Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

And Finally

"New Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has promised to sack himself from the manager's role if he doesn't deliver the goods. (Daily Mirror)"

I really hope he gives himself a vote of confidence two days before.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


BBC Sport reports :

"And just to prove football really is the new rock 'n' roll, Del Piero's close pal Noel Gallagher from Oasis - who was described as 'Italy's lucky mascot' for the final - treated the team to an acoustic rendition of Don't Look Back In Anger after the match."

Just imagine it. You've won the World Cup, you're high as a kite on pure adrenalin, and then Noel frigging Gallagher blows the party with that fucking dirge of a song. Talk about a downer !

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Done And Done

Well that's that ; I quite enjoyed the Germany-Italy semi and the final itself (although I missed the goals because I was confused about the start time, doh) but classics they were not and a classic tournament this was not either. Never mind. Italy probably just about deserved it. I was very surprised that Zidane did what he did ; you would think that in an entire career he would have heard all the verbals that anyone could come up with, and could manage ten more minutes without losing it. Nonetheless, as Pete B says, you have to give him some credit for just doing the guy and not being sneaky about it. I've always said that if you're going to get sent off, fucking lamp someone, don't just bitch slap them. And as I have also said before, teams who whine about penalty lotteries and tiredness and all this bollocks should be sat down and made to watch videos of a team doing it right until they shut the hell up. Not one of the Italian penalties was ever in doubt.

On the bets, I can't be arsed adding it all up, because I lost. I was about even on match betting [1], up a bit on the groups, even on the semi-final market [see 1] and lost a load of points on Brazil. So this blog is taking a well deserved break until the new season which is, ooh, at least three weeks away. Talk about no rest for the wicked.

[1] About even in that sense of down a bit but I can kid myself it was even, beloved by poker players the world over.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Just A Quickie

I strongly fancy Germany tomorrow, they'll want to sign off with a win, whereas Portugal just want to slope off home. Plus Germany are basically much better than Portugal who, don't forget, only managed one goal in their three knockout games. Germany to win in 90 mins, 4 pts @ 1.88, see if that gets me out of it !

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Better Luck Next Time

For England, who huffed and puffed but eventually came up against a half-decent team, couldn't score, suffered from a moment of indiscipline and then bounced out on that old penalty "lottery". Damn these lotteries. How come we always lose and the Germans always win ? It must be rigged. Either that or it isn't a lottery at all, it's a test of nerve and technique that our players repeatedly fail.

Hats off to Sven for at least refusing to blame anyone else, but as I said right at the start it was crazy to only bring four strikers, of whom two were injured, one was completely untried and the other was Peter Crouch. Fair enough, Hargreaves came in and did well, I'll hold my hands up to that, but the mystifying choice of Jenas ahead of another attacking option was a severe handicap.

Perhaps more on England later, including my general thoughts that goalscoring midfielders flatter to deceive and, Lampard being the prime example in this campaign, are often shown up for their lack of craft when they're not troubling the onion bag. A genuine international midfielder who also scores goals, like Bryan Robson, is worth his weight in gold. A flashy goalscorer who can't tackle and doesn't know how to dictate the tempo of a game, however ... and as for playing two of them in the same side ...

Meanwhile, keen as I am to skim over this, the team I backed to win it have been eliminated by the team I rubbished more than any other pre-tournament. I hope no one had any actual money on these tips :-). Fair play to France too, I didn't give them a cat in hell's chance of beating Spain and Brazil but they've done it. Germany, Italy, Portugal and France. Would you call any of them more than decent ? You can't point to anyone better who's been knocked out - Argentina maybe, but that 6-0 everyone was creaming about was against a team who didn't make a tackle for 90 minutes. With three games to go, I think if we don't see at least one classic and preferably two, this World Cup will not live long in the memory, myself.