Posts tagged with ‘World Cup’

Half a cheer for Formula One

I’ll say one thing for Bernie Ecclestone: he may be a greedy, ruthless, vindictive, amoral little shit and a panderer to tyrants; but as far as I know, he’s never come out with any self-serving pablum about how Formula One brings the world together in peace and harmony, and thus promotes understanding and brotherhood amongst […]

Belated World Cup food blogging: Algeria

I wasn’t going to do World Cup food blogging for the Algeria gam, because I was out that night at a friend’s house, but as it happens I did a somewhat appropriate dish yesterday because I happened to have the right ingredients. It’s lamb meatballs in an aubergine sauce, and it’s based on a couple […]

England vs Algeria: my diagnosis

England are suffering from the world’s biggest collective case of the yips.* It seems like the only explanation for how much worse these players become when they pull on an England shirt. Sigh. * Well, not quite the biggest: that must be the one that afflicts the All Blacks every four years at the Rugby […]

England vs USA: my diagnosis

My overall feeling was that there just wasn’t a critical mass of players in that team whose game lends itself to composed possession football. Gerrard and Lampard can’t do it on their own. So for example, I’m a big fan of Aaron Lennon, and I think he could be an important player for England at […]

World Cup food blogging: USA

Well, that was a bit depressing: not so much because of the result, but the tendency to revert to long balls hoofed up the front, the lack of involvement of England’s wingers, the lack of controlled possession in midfield… all the usual England failings, in fact. Not to mention the further undermining of confidence in […]

Football advertising

As all the sportswear manufacturers unveil their big ad campaigns in the run-up to the World Cup, the one which has been the biggest hit is Nike’s epic Write the Future. And don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly impressive, if only for the sheer amount of money thrown at the screen. And while it’s conceptually […]

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika

So, the World Cup is almost upon us, and inevitably our attention has been narrowed in on the nervy minutiae of squad selections and injury worries and tactical arguments. So before the action starts, can I just take a moment to say how fucking marvellous it is to see the World Cup being hosted in […]

Today’s big question

What did Materazzi say to Zidane to provoke such a violent reation? EDIT: I’ve had a bit of a spike in traffic because this blog is the top-ranked result on Google for “what did materazzi say to zidane.” Welcome to my blog, but I’m afraid I don’t know the answer. I’ve seen people confidently claim […]

Semi-finals

Well, a proper good Germany/Italy game, and a pretty dismal France/Portugal one. I’m still hoping to see Zidane take the final by the scruff of the neck and win it gloriously for France, but at this point I’d be happy just to see an attacking game with a few goals.

England out

Well, it’s been a dreadful World Cup for England. Normally, despite the disappointment of going out, there’s some glorious memory – beating Argentina in 2002, Owen’s wondergoal in 98, Gazza and Platt and Lineker in 90 – but this has been grim. No classic matches, no great new players, no win against a good team. Joe […]

Bookings, red cards and the sin bin

Having seen several matches at this World Cup mucked up by sendings off, I’m increasingly persuaded that it’s time to reform the yellow and red card system. I just don’t think the progression of punishments is very well worked out. The free kick for minor fouls makes perfect sense. Sending a player off for genuinely […]

England vs Ecuador

Sorry, I know it’s been all football all the time here recently. I promise I’ll resume the normal diet of half-baked arts commentary soon. I seem to be the only person who was vaguely cheered by the Ecuador game and was left with an impression that England are getting better, even if only in teeny […]

World Cup blather

And so we reach the knock-out stages. It might have seemed like an intense, pressurised competition already, but now all matches are between two decent teams playing for survival, and the field starts getting thinned out very quickly. I almost feel there should be some kind of ceremony at this point to mark the transition. […]

World Cup food blogging – Sweden

I’ve been trying to keep optimistic about England’s chances in the World Cup, but it’s not easy. Michael Owen was the only forward in the squad with a history of scoring lots of goals, so that injury is a real blow. Crouch actually did OK today in midfield areas, but I just don’t think he’s […]

Argentina, Angola, and Africa

Argentina played the most beautiful football yesterday in thrashing Serbia and Montenegro. That’s the kind of play that you watch the World Cup to see – great individual flair combining in a great team performance. Great goals, great skills. It was like a highlight reel. The only thing it lacked to be a true all-time […]

World Cup food blogging – Trinidad and Tobago

Thankfully, we did manage to beat T&T, despite the fact that Peter Crouch just isn’t good enough to play for England and Sven seems to have sucked all the creativity out of the players like some Swedish football-vampyr. Anyway, I cooked some Trini food today to mark the occasion. The recipe was from Madhur Jaffrey’s […]

Cult of Brasil

I wish the BBC commentators wouldn’t be quite so uncritically fanboy when they talk about Brazil. Yes, they have produced some brilliant players; yes, Ronaldinho is the world’s best player at the moment; yes the current squad is extremely talented and deservedly favourites to win the tournament. But they aren’t superhuman. Today, they looked pretty […]

Togo vs. South Korea – live blogging!

With their glowing pink shirts and white shorts, the South Koreans look like they’re starring in a washing powder advert. The dazzle effect hasn’t stopped Togo taking the lead, though. EDIT: the Rutherford kiss of death comes into play: almost immediately the Togolese have a man sent off and the Koreans score with a cracking […]

FIFA London Cup 2006

I was thinking the other day that it’s surprising and slightly disappointing that, while London is covered in England flags for the World Cup, you don’t see many flags from other countries. Something like 25% of people resident in London were born outside the UK, so there must be plenty of people supporting just about […]

Eight minutes to kick off

… everything is still possible.

Peculiar subtitles

it’s still Michael Allen – and he scores a girl! I was watching the football build-up with the sound off and the subtitles on.

Soccer, soca, and similar

I was getting antsy waiting for the footy (an hour and twenty minutes build-up before the match clearly isn’t enough, dammit), so I thought I’d try and buy some music from each country England plays in the World Cup. I already have a fair bit of Swedish pop, thanks to Catchy Tunes of Sweden. Trinidad […]

Those Ashley Cole rumours

hmmm…