Sunday, June 27, 2010


Sunday 27 June 2010 – WORLD CUP DAY SEVENTEEN

Dream: I am hanging out with some people (the regulars) at some kind of event held in a bar cum cinema.  There is a loud guy I am meeting for the first time and he is rubbing me up the wrong way creating a lot of distaste to and from my direction.  After many drinks and some food a movie begins running in the background.  It is a variation on 2001: A Space Odyssey but not the actual movie itself.  This version is terrible, genuine tripe, which really slows down the pace of our evening.  Many times I begin threatening (hinting to others) to leave.  Eventually we find ourselves outside the venue deciding what to do and where to go next.  The night is still young, light and at the height of summer, it is a brilliant pink haze.  Coming down the street is Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai handing out flyers to an event he is putting on.  Its not music, some kind of art/film thing.  As he approaches our group he recognizes me but refuses to acknowledge me.  I want to say “hi” because back in the day we half knew each other briefly but he will only discuss the event on a professional level with us.  It soon becomes apparent that over the years my old Gringo Records acquaintances have told him really shitty things about me.  I become paranoid of the content.  It saddens me.  The past is lost.

After an early awakening I re-emerge around 7.15AM unable to find any news on TV.  Does this mean that everything is all right?  In place on the news on BBC is motor racing.  What kind of fucking idiot watches this?  Why haven’t the eco squad jumped on them yet and their ugly waste of resources?  Thankfully I eventually find the news.

I want peanuts.

People are saying that today is going to be the hottest/warmest day of the year so far.  This news hampers me indefinitely; I am not made to cope with these elements.

Thoughts still remain of the old man’s bust up yesterday.  I’m slightly spooked by it, it all good have gone so wrong.  I think actually the bit that annoys me most was how I was stranded, left holding the dog.  No doubt the old man pulled the stunt because he knew I was there to back him up but when I couldn’t move due to the dog in order to help him out immediately I felt undermined and emasculated, reduced to being/feeling like the kid from my youth.  I thought I had grown out of this.  Shouldn’t I be the one with youthful vigor that my old man should be pulling back rather than vice versa?

Of course this being a Sunday morning the same old shit appears on TV with Andrew Marr and The Big Questions.  It seems this has to be endured every week until the shops open.

As ever The Big Questions chips in with two of the questions relating to Islam.  This show is a broken record.  The second question is surprisingly sensibly “Does Islam need better PR?” which is an obvious and given.  Even more surprising is when Kristiane Backer pops up to reiterate this point.  This Kristiane Backer who used to be the hot slutty VJ on MTV (when it was only MTV Europe) back in 1989.  It suddenly occurs to me that that was twenty years ago now and that I should not be surprised that she now looks like an old middle aged woman.  How on earth has she sunk to lows of this show though?  I remember he being involved with Imran Khan and making it into the News Of The World.  Ouch.

Just after 11AM I head to Sainsburys for the Sunday newspapers.  When I arrive the queue is insane with beer and burger buyers lined around the block.  With this in mind I fuck off, turn around and head straight to Russia and the Co-op.

By the time I get back home it is almost midday, which barely lends me two hours with which to do any writing.  Where does the time go in the modern world?

As I drive to my parents to watch the game suddenly I turn sour on proceedings.  With each passing England flag it all continues to feel cheaper and cheaper, this truly is the Asda World Cup.  Always the eternal party pooper I can’t help but feel disdain for the various/numerous match related posts on Twitter and Facebook.  Suddenly people with no interest in football have an interest in football.  One person (Drummer Boy) Tweets a picture of an ice bucket with bottles of beer in it.  How can people justify being so cheesy?

Soon I find myself heading to Balkerne Heights for 2PM.  When I arrive mum is hanging out the balcony doors with the dog apparently waiting for me.  From here the absence of owning a barbecue results in mum cooking a shit load of meet in/as substitute.  I wonder what the poor people are doing.

Gradually the game begins its build up and very soon we find ourselves at 3PM and kick off time.  Today there is no doubt that we are going to win.  Just like in 1990 we have grafted our way through the group stage and now it is time to let rip and have some fun.

The game opens up lively with both sides snapping at each other and generally looking up for it.  Finally it appears that England have arrived at the World Cup, maybe all they required was for a decent team/country/side to square up to them.  This looks like they’re stepping up.

Annoyingly somewhat against the run of play Germany take the lead as goal kick from the German goalkeeper cuts through everything and Klose hands them the lead in the 20th minute via a most route one manner and fashion.  What was that Beckenbauer was saying about kick and rush?  It never looked like that before.

After a bright restart from England things begin to fall apart when Podolski adds a second twelve minutes later and I can’t help but laugh and scoff “typical England”.  Unfortunately now the players you would expect to fail are failing spectacularly (in other words John Terry).  With this an air of resignation grips hold of proceedings, one that echoes the reaction to the second German goal in Escape To Victory.

Suddenly though a miracle happens and England buck up as Upson (of all people) quickly pulls a goal back in a rare gesture of fight from England this tournament.  Out of nowhere, with time on our side, they display form that could/should equate to a comeback.

Then the most exciting and controversial moment of the World Cup so far occurs when Frank Lampard smashes a shot against the German crossbar that comes crashing down inside the goal before bouncing out back into play with no goal given.  At first it looks like it might have crossed the line but initially it is far from clear (to me).  When however the shot gets replayed/repeated it turns out to have been well over the line and a definite goal.

With this disappointment and sense of swindle the game reaches halftime with the score 2-1 to Germany.  During the interval the readers wives express some kind of optimism but generally there is a sense of disbelief attached to the disallowed goal and how it always happens to us.  Is this some kind of long overdue revenge for 1966?

Into the second half England go at Germany from the start but then things go tits up when the Germans expose us and break away to add a third.  To say the least our defense is left wanting.  These are the realization of people’s fears of John Terry not being up to the job.

At 3-1 there doesn’t look any way back now.  When the Germans again break away and add a fourth I can’t help but sarcastically cheer.  England are failures no doubt but with it so well paid and revered for absolutely no good reason, all just based on hype and smart but misleading management.  In reality they are just a load of old shite.

So this is what a large portion of our generation aspires to be like.  There are definite lessons to be learned here; firstly all that sparkles is not gold.  Not that these players have sparkled.  Secondly it feels like the long overdue culmination of how football has been ruined by money.  The Sky era of football has changed the game forever and despite pumping more finance into it than ever could have been imagined it truly has cheapened things irrecoverably.

This was not the England that tore through our qualification group.  There is more to this story than meets than eye.  Maybe Terry was right; certainly the sight of Capello looking clueless and retarded on the touchline has been a worrying spectacle.  Maybe we were not good enough to actually win the tournament but certainly we were better than this.

When the game ends 4-1 to Germany a national seems in shock.  I return to the theory that were there the edge/risk of crowd trouble they might have bucked up their performance.  Golden Shower Generation more like.

From here with the day still relatively young and people being pissed up and angry the sound of people shouting and playing football outside begins to emerge and I hate to admit just what an intimidating sound it is.

Eventually I head home on what is still a sunny summer evening that was designed by God to cater celebration barbecues.

Not that it matters but the second game tonight is Argentina v Mexico which sees the game go in the expected direction while also sporting its own controversy that could also have been assisted/corrected by video replay technology apparently.  The game should not go down this direction though.

A great moment occurs when the Argentineans score and when the cameraman crashes their celebration as Heinze rises from the huddle he bashes his head against the camera.  Naturally he reacts by angrily clumping the camera.  For all the wrong reasons I love this moment, it has justice written all over it.

After this Argentina take Mexico to school, adding a non-controversial second goal before eventually finishing off the game running out 3-1 victors.

Soon afterwards I call a night on Sunday and my weekend.  When I get home the Glastonbury coverage is live and in full force on BBC2 and my first thought is: what is Wesley Willis doing at Glastonbury?  Turns out it is just Stevie Wonder.

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