(written in July 2010)
Here am I back again with my reports to my multitude of adoring fans – well, ok, three; alright, two, I won’t reduce that number any further, however much you try to push me, so there!
Another week has gone by and so much has happened, that it’s now time to review whats gone on, crow about what pleased me, and eat crow about all the predictions gone haywire. And that does mean a lot of crow, but today I have gone veggie…heh…heh…heh…
And now to the awards…
The Shunyata Award for serial underperformance
This handsome trophy, which is actually a very large soap bubble which comes with a free toothpick for pricking the very same balloon with, is being shared by Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, and a smaller replica of the trophy has been given to Kaka. There were other claimants to this valued trophy, like Drogba and Torres, but we can’t really share a soap bubble, however large, with too many people. Drogba and Torres will have their chance in 2014.
The Three Kittens Award
has gone to England. The Queen has personally decided to redesign their jersey – “it is our wish that they shall wear the three kittens, and not the three lions” is what she said in a private conversation with me. And I dutifully conveyed this message of Her Majesty to the couturiers.
I really pity the English, I really really do. They had everything going for them, everything. Count ’em.
When they qualified, the media back home in England told them that the Cup was theirs – they just had to land up to get it home. The tabloids had told FIFA that they should pack up and send the Cup to London in advance, for safekeeping you know, and put up a replica for the award ceremony, for after all it was coming back to England, wasn’t it?
The players had paychecks of around 100,000 GBP per week, which must count for a lot, right? Made them among the best players in the world, and not just the best paid lot, didn’t it?
They were playing in red, which is the colour they wore when they beat Germany in 1966. All the omens were falling right into place.
And of course, they had the best WAGs in the world, the prettiest and the highest maintenance WAGs of all footballing nations. Other teams quaked at the size of the weekly shopping bills of the English WAGs.
With such huge competitive advantages, how could the English lose? So what if they were a tad deficient in the areas of skills, mental toughness, confidence, resilience, etc – they were going to win the Cup, weren’t they?
This is one of those mysteries which makes mathematicians and physicists grow prematurely grey; must be about as confounding as that other conundrum: how many roads must a man walk down before they call him a man. And I don’t believe anyone has found the answer to this one yet. (Deep Throat’s answer of 42 doesn’t count – he didn’t provide proof so there’s no QED to that one).
Fabio Capello told me the other day that he wishes the English team had stayed lost (see my earlier post), he would have got better results from a bunch of trainee teenage fish-and-chips-mongers.
The Who are those Boys? Award
has been shared by Khedira, Mueller and Ozil – they came with not too much expectations on their shoulders, part of a team from whom not much was expected by the fans back home, and these boys have turned up real stars. Certainly better than the Rooneys, Ronaldos and the Drogbas of the world.
The Who replaced my spinal cord with straw? Award
goes to Brazil and Argentina, for losing it completely in the second half of their matches against Netherlands and Germany. After being dominant in the first half, Brazil went completely to pieces in the second half particularly after conceding the own goal, lost their head and their confidence and slunk out of the World Cup, quite humiliated and beaten up by the Dutch.
The Argentines were no better – they dominated the first twenty minutes of the second half, and then went completely to pieces.
The I don’t want it ‘Man of the Match’ Award
goes to Felipo Melo, for the great pass from which Robinho scored Brazil’s goal against Netherlands, for the own goal that gave Netherlands the lifeline, and the red card for stomping on Robben. Quite a full hand for one 90 minute period. How did you do it, Phil?
Finally…at least for now
The Lionel Messi Award for the best player in the World Cup so far
goes to Bastian Schweinsteiger. If you’ve seen the Germans beating the stuffing out of Argentina, you won’t ask why. And if you haven’t, you won’t know – just take my word for it.