Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday 18 June 2010 – WORLD CUP DAY EIGHT

Today apparently is the happiest day of the year, the third Friday in June.  I will believe that when I see it.

After the mistake of drinking a late cup of coffee last night which resulted in a restless and disturbed night I awaken just before 7.30AM this morning feeling tired but thankfully without the headache that plagued the last moments of yesterday.

Compared to recent days it is downcast outside this morning which in a way suits.  The sun this summer is turning out to be a suffocating one, one that makes existence difficult and unpleasant stifling any plans that I hatch and generally putting me in an ugly mood and bad frame of mind.

With today being an England game The Guardian is doing another one of their matchday programmes.  In a good gesture of good intentions and behaviour I decide to walk down Layer Road to the paper shop with view to getting some kind of exercise.  This is the only paper shop on our road/street and typically when I get there I discover that they have sold out.

As I walk back resigning myself to having to go out in my car in search of a copy of today’s Guardian Mark texts to say that Sebastian Horsley has died of a heroin overdose.  This news freaks me out slightly considering that just last Wednesday I was watching the man watch the play of his own life, laughing heartily at his own words and generally looking very happy with everything.

When I get back to our building I promptly jump in my car and drive to the closest paper shop which turns out to be in Shrub End.  This is not the nicest of places to be.  As I look at the people already inside the paper shop I forget what it is like to be around people without jobs during the daytime.  I hate to suggest it but there is a certain lairiness to them, which I experience as they get into an exchange with the lady serving at the counter.  What’s going on?

From here I swiftly return home with view to doing some writing before the football begins.  Quickly midday arrives and with it some kind of countdown to kick off which today begins wit Germany v Serbia.

As an appetizer to the main event the game barely scratches the surface of my attention meaning that when Serbia scores a 1-0 win it does not initially sink in.

The second game USA v Slovenia turns out to be a more interesting and exciting encounter seeing Slovenia taking the Yanks to task and racking up an early two goal lead.  Now why on earth was England unable to do this when it appears all so easy?  The horrible nature of style over substance that is America in general suddenly appears.

Partway through the game I get a phonecall from some guy telling me that I am entitled to a grant to put loft insulation into my flat.  The good times are here again!

In the second half the Americans claw their way back to a 2-2 draw in dramatic style thanks to a goal from their manager’s son.  Nepotastic!  Towards the end of the game they even snag an apparent winner which only gets disallowed when there didn’t necessarily look anything wrong with the effort.  Perhaps this is karma paying them back for their good fortune last Saturday.  Regardless their manager/coach Bob Bradley looks a scary drill sergeant of a character.  And whatever happened to Tim Howard’s tourettes?

The rest leaves Group C looking pretty open and pretty mixed up.  Had England won last weekend you can’t help but think/feel we would be sitting pretty right now.  Things could definitely be worse though.

Swiftly after the game ends I head to my parents for tonight’s main event.  I arrive just in time for dinner (tactical) that comes served with a side order of anticipation for the game/job ahead.

Eventually England v Algeria begins and it is atrocious from the start.  There is just no life or energy attached to this team or lineup and the changes Capello has made are minimal.  His removal of Green from the lineup in preference for James is hardly the kind of tactic to inspire confidence.  After his performance at the Cup Final personally I felt it was a no-brainer that James should be the England goalkeeper but when Capello went with Green against the USA, regardless of the howler the West Ham dickhead made, the manager should stand/stick by his decision.  Green is not likely to make a howler two games running.  Even I know that.

Tonight I genuinely sit stunned watching in disbelief as for long periods Algeria run circles around us.  This is not how it should be.  In particular Glen Johnson looks particularly shaky while many of the “stars” of the team just do not look as they have turned up, disinterested in the game.  It goes without saying that Wayne Rooney is the player that most/worst exhibits this.  For the player who is supposed to be our world beater he truly is embarrassing himself and the country.

For a large portion of the game a bird sits perched atop of the Algerian goal unconcerned about being disrupted.  It is not in its decision of a quiet space.

Ninety minutes later the game ends 0-0.  What’s the point in even being at these finals if we are not even going to bother?  Suddenly the reality that later on I will have to arise at 3AM in order to take my parents to Stansted causes me to resent our squad.  These are rotten moments.

Mere minutes after the final whistle I speed home where I happen across the first eviction on Big Brother tonight which upsettingly is the Beyonce lookalike.  Shit, I really fancied her.

From here I set my alarm clock for 3AM and typically proceed to struggle to fall asleep.  I will be a fucking wreck tomorrow.

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