Tag Archives | Germany

I’ll Be Back After The Break


For Nina, Bonnie & Jesse

A malady has taken me over. It’s not something that you’ll find case studies on in prestigious medical journals or in the latest pop-psychiatry bestseller from Oliver Sacks but its symptoms (in my mind, at least) are very real and have an effect on how I’m to digest football for the next few months. You see, I’m currently within the grip of a heavy dose of the Post World Cup Blues. Don’t worry. It doesn’t last for long. Usually until October at which point, I inevitably and finally commit those glorious days of summer to memory and once again nuzzle back into the ample bosom of club football.

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Die Größte Show Der Welt

Mario Gotze Kissing FIFA 2014 World Cup Trophy Wallpaper

It’s staring at me, that wallchart. It’s a little bit frayed and crumpled now since the move back from Greece and after finding its way around Jesse’s sticky fingers and teething gums. Since Sunday, I haven’t been able to summon the requisite will to complete the final vacant space. The one that states that Germany beat Argentina, one-nil, AET. It’s the finality that daunts me; the knowledge that once complete it becomes a historical artefact, no more a tantalising map of an unknown future.

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Germany: Killing Football To Save Football

APTOPIX Brazil Soccer WCup Brazil Germany

It’s hard to put into words but I’ll try. They could be, and were, described as ‘clinical’, ‘efficient’, ‘methodical’ but those adjectives somehow don’t sit well alongside the manner and magnitude of Germany’s annihilation of Brazil. Outmoded phraseology that lazily takes refuge in the defining of a nation through the scars of conflict is best left to the fingertips of the tabloid hack or the mouth of Alan Shearer. This was so much more.

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¡Vamos Argentina! ¡Vamos South America!


It’s always been Argentina. The thoughts that run through my head may undoubtedly be tinged with an English hue and the blood that courses through my veins is unquestionably Hellenic, but my football heart has always belonged to a country shimmering in silver.

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The World Cup Is For Losers

Belgium v USA: Round of 16 – 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

“In sport, winners can survive only if losers do too; otherwise, there’d be no game” – Tim Flannery

How will you remember this World Cup? Will it be for the collective panic attack that gripped the Brazilian nation when the penalties crashed and fluffed but ultimately undid that effervescent band of pirate footballers from across the border? Or will it be for Angel Di Maria’s anonymous ghosting of a goal against the Swiss as Argentina sweated minutes before the dead ball roulette wheel loomed ominously for yet another random spin? Is Kevin De Bruyne a name that will enter our game’s folklore? Will the talking head previews of World Cup 2026 still be condemning the scurrilous swan dives of a Dutch footballer, long after he has accepted a lucrative role as a World Cup talking head?

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This World Cup! This Bloody, Beautiful World Cup!


“And when good football happens, I give thanks for the miracle and I don’t give a damn which team or country performs it” – Eduardo Galeano

The unrepaired cracks in the ITV studio’s glass panels serve as a poignant reminder of the real world. Every time Glenn Hoddle, Ian Wright and their fellow pundits blow another gust of hot air on English football’s pyre, they’re there. Brazil is not just a sunny postcard playground for bikini-clad nymphettes and bronzed soccer gods. People are angry and when people are stripped of their voices they throw things. At Adrian Chiles. And for all the cossetting, bewitching magnificence we’ve all witnessed over the last two weeks, Brazil’s problems, or even our own, are not about to vanish into nothingness once the carnival has packed up and left for the Russian dourlands.

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How We Can Change Football. Can We Change Football?


You spend half a season moaning about the state of football and then when you actually sit down to try and think of how we, as supporters, can change it, you find yourself staring into space for the best part of a week. It’s easy to complain, far harder to find solutions and I can certainly testify to that.

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In ‘Defence’ Of Nicolas Anelka


Note: The following post is littered with ‘inverted commas’. After all, one wouldn’t want to ‘offend’ anyone.

I really hope that Spurs win their next three matches. In fact, I’m ‘crossing my fingers’ in the hope they might. That’s a fairly ‘innocuous’ gesture to indicate my investment in ‘blind faith’, right? Not in Vietnam it’s not. Crossing your fingers in the presence of a Vietnamese friend might cause a rift in the relationship seeing as you are effectively insulting them by making reference to female genitalia. Similarly, if I suggest that Tim Sherwood’s first few matches as head coach have been ‘ok’, I might curve my thumb and index finger into an ‘o’ and splay the remaining three thus confirming my satisfaction. Do that in Brazil during the World Cup and I run the risk of a lynching because I’ve called someone an ‘arse’. Do you see where I’m ‘going’ with this?

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Pep Guardiola: I Think Football, Therefore I Am Football


Inspired by Albert Camus’ The Outsider

Had he been party to the death, he might have felt a modicum of grief. As it happened, the circumstances surrounding the demise of the club he once loved did not affect Josep Guardiola in the manner in which bereavement was universally accepted to be observed by life’s survivors.

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Closed Shop: Why Cyprus And San Marino Will Never Play With The Big Boys


When Oliver Kay of The Times was this week duped into writing a story detailing plans by those dastardly Qataris to finance a breakaway football league comprising Europe’s elite football clubs, the blogosphere (horrible word) erupted into a bilesack of righteous indignation. It was aimed at the incompetence of those people professionally employed to meld words together into sentences about football. In response to such insolence, writers who should really have risen above the tittle-tattle, retorted with puerile jibes aimed at belittling ‘amateurs’.

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