All Hail Ze Germans

Thursday, 17 July 2014

So the greatest ever World Cup is over and with a fitting finale to end it all. The Argentina Vs Germany game was not a classic by any means, but thoroughly absorbing nonetheless and with a truly wonderful strike from Goetze settling matters on the biggest stage of them all.

I'm too upset that the tournament has ended that I am not going to write too much, other than to say that last week I found a total of £15 (amazing I know), money which I decided to soundly invest by sticking it alongside a rather larger sum of Ze Germans, who thankfully didn't disappoint.

As one of my friends perhaps dubiously surmised "When are the Germans going to get their karma?  I mean, they have great footballers, great looking women and a thriving economy, what more do they need?".

Thanks to all for staying tuned away, providing that I haven't sorted my life in in 2 years (an extremely distinct possibility), then I will see you all at the Euros



Brazil 1 - Germany 7 (Seven)

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A close friend of mine recently sent me a link of an epic fail on the Crystal Maze, something which was so catastrophic and hilarious that I never thought that I would see it repeated in the near future.  It really is worth a look


Nonetheless, my doubts about seeing another embarrassment were banished almost instantaneously with the completely ridiculous capitulation by the Samba Boys against our European neighbours, those oh so canny Germans

I am sure that everyone has already trudged through the now obligatory post mortem and this apparently is the most tweeted about a sports match in Twitter history.  Numbers of other jokes and comments have also been passed around the internet at an exponential rate so I will intersperse my favourites throughout my musings on the catastrophe in the Estadio Mineirao.

I was watching the game in a local pub with a couple of mates and we were commenting on how fierce and passionate the Brazilian players were had been in each game so far during the national anthem so much so that the players had often been reduced to tears.  Expecting the same again, I looked up at the TV to see the same shenanigans going on, only this time I was astonished to see that Neymar had died!  I thought the poor bastard had just broken his back but when I saw that Luiz and Cesar were holding his shirt aloft I realised that he must have passed away on the same day.  I'm not entirely sure how this did not make bigger news. Either way, the home fans seemed to be in buoyant mood and ready to banish their memories of that World Cup Final defeat in 1950 to Uruguay (boy oh boy they probably wished they hadn't ask for that event to be forgotten).

  • "The most embarrassing semi since I went to to see Brokeback mountain with my Dad"

The game started fairly slow paced with nothing really between the teams until a well worked set piece gave the Germans a lead via the irrepressible Thomas Muller, many people's outside bet for top scorer.  Whatever people think of him, you cannot help but admire his talent. I for one, like the fact he doesn't "look" like a modern day footballer.  He looks a little bit like Steve Claridge, with his unorthodox style and socks often around his ankles and I also find that he does not know how to celebrate either pretty amusing. I think its fair to say you won't be getting any choreographed celebrations from this chap

  • "The clean up to this one is going to take longer than Chernobyl" (this one is mine, sorry for the self love)
However, what was to happen in the next 30 minute was staggering beyond belief. Being a WBA fan, I have seem some capitulations in my time but I have come to expect it. This on the other hand was pretty unforeseeable. A well worked goal allowed Miroslav Klose to double the lead before further calamitous defending from Luiz and Fernandinho allowed Kroos and Khedira to join the party and send the home fans into tears and the Germans into raptures

  • "Even Oscar Pistorius has a better defence than the Brazilians"

At this point, I am pretty sure that no one was entirely sure what was going on although I would imagine that at this point Alan Hansen must have thought that all his Christmases had come at once.  The guy was probably having a fit at half time.  I can just imagine him now saying to Gary Lineker at half time "We've only got 15 minutes? I've got enough coverage here for a week!"

The way the Brazilians folded like a pack of cards was pretty unforgivable if you ask me. It's one thing to get beaten but to lose by just giving up is serving a major injustice to your fans and country alike.  We've all been through a dry spell at various times but I think even the most inept of us could have scored against this set of players. No tracking back, jumping out of tackles, turning your back to the ball and wandering completely out of position are what this Brazlian team are to be known for.

Queue half time then. Never has the phrase "if this was a boxing match, it would have been stopped a long time ago" ever been more appropriate.  

  • "Last time I saw a Brazilian get f*cked by so many Germans was on Pornhub"
The 2nd half was slightly more respectable but by there were still further goals to follow including an absolutely fabulous strike from Schurrle which really put the icing on the cake.  Oscar finally bagged a late consolation but by this time half the fans had probably already left to join the riots outside the stadium. In fact, the fans probably wished that the stadium had actually collapsed, much like a lot of people were anticipating prior to the World Cup

Now first things first, I would like to comment on some of the rather now spurious and lazy comments from pundits and such like that the Germans were devastatingly "efficient" in their execution.  I'm surprised some people did not just add in that they were "just following orders to devastating effect". The truth is, this wasn't efficiency,  this was world class football of the highest order and due credit should have been given.  Admittedly, they were up against a compete and utter shambles but you can only  admire the way they sliced through the Brazilian defence time after time with some brilliant passing and movement.  If ever there was an archetypal Brazil-type performance then the Germans produced it. A far cry from their match up in the 2002 Final, the tables had well and truly turned last night which is a credit to the way the Germans have revamped their footballing style over the last 10 years or so.  The heat map below confirms their dominance in yesterday's proceedings.

On a lighter note, I actually commented in the pub that they would have to put the word "seven" in brackets as per the old Videprinter days and then low and behold the BBC actually did this exact thing, great scenes! Not sure if they were they were themselves being serious or if they were taking the p*ss.

So what now for the Brazilians? With the memories of the 1950 World Cup final now possibly vanquished forever , this set of fans and players will be scarred for life almost certainly. One way forward could be for the players to change their kit again, and it would be argued that with the way they surrendered they should perhaps switch back to wearing all white although I would imagine its unlikely this will happen. It's likely that they may have sweeping reforms across the game in order to bring back the type of football that they were renowned for.  

Anyway, it looks like the Argentina game is heading for penalties so I am going to focus my attentions on that.  I will leave the final say on the Brazil Vs Germany to Mr Ron Burgundy



Sideshow Bob Scorcher and The Biggest Balls In World Sport

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Unless you are currently another planet, then you will realise that today is the biggest game in the tennis calendar, the Men's Wimbedon Final, with Novak Djokovic taking on the greatest player every, Roger Federer (all those saying it's Nadal can do one!).  To win this title takes everything required of an athlete including monumental bottle. Talking of which, one of my friends used to joke that Pete Sampras had the biggest balls in World Sport.  Whenever the chips were down and the pressure was on, he would deliver. He could be down 0-40 in the final set facing three Championship points, but when it mattered would step up to the plate and slap down five aces in a row.

However, I think that this title must be now be passed to the slightly better looking version of Steve Bruce, a certain Mr Louis Van Gaal.  He's already made some big decisions in this tournament, with a dazzling array of tactical switches and substitutions. However, his decision to bring on a "specialist" keeper for the penalty shoot out (Tim Krul had only saved 2 penalties in his Newcastle career) is one of the most staggering things I have ever seen.  I am sure this has possibly happened many times before but the only time I can remember when Leicester City brought on Zelko Kalac many years ago in a Division One Play off Final for a potential shoot out, only for Steve Claridge to save all the hassle by then shinning in a goal in the 120th minute (or something like that).  Heartbreak for the Costa Ricans who were gallant losers but delight for the Dutch and I am sure that Man United fans are currently massaging themselves at the thought of having a manager who could return them back to the title race next season with such ballsy decisions.

The Germany vs France affair was a fairly dour affair with the Germans doing what they do best in order to secure a much needed victory so I won't comment too much on that. However, the hosts Brazil continue what seems to be a destiny carved route to the final. Again, anyone hoping for the Brazilians to hit top form will be disappointed as they ground at another scrappy win, this time against the Colombians.  Some of the Brazilian tactics have been borderline thuggish and it has been somewhat disappointing that they have not produced the fast free flowing football teams of great teams gone by.  However, one cannot deny the pure emotion that they have been playing with as shown by David Luiz's (aka Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons)  celebration after his bombastic free kick. With his fist pumping and his eyes bulged, it reminded me of a certain Maradona's celebration at USA 94 which proved to everyone without any reasonable doubt that he was in fact taking drugs. Here's a reminder of why there was no need for a urine sample after this one

On a final note for those who have not seen it, here is the picture of the mammoth insect which decided to take a ride after James Rodriguez scored a penalty to reduce the deficit. I am sure I am not the only person who thought 'HOLY SH*T!' when they saw this one.

Buen Provecho!



Not All Americans Are In Love With Harry

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Before I settled down to watch the Belgium Vs USA game the other night, I had the misfortune of stumbling across a program on E4+8 (or some other nondescript Channel) called "I Wanna Marry Harry.  I have seen some awful shows in my time but the premise was so ridiculous I just had to take a second look.  I was bamboozled as to why 12 American Cheerleader types were all trying to woo a guy who was a simply a lookalike for Prince Harry (think of Average Joe in reverse and you are pretty much there).  I know some people have some weird fetishes but this really took the biscuit.  Then to my utter astonishment it transpires that these girls actually thought that this was the actual Prince Harry!  I nearly fell off my chair. How ludicrous.  Hardly a great advert for the Americans it would seem.....

Even more ridiculous, I then switched over to the Belgium game and this ginger lookalike was again staring me in the face like some evil serial killer. Alas, my fears were quashed when I realised that this was just Kevin De Bruyne, the Belgium midfielder. Phew. And perhaps more importantly, this set of Americans proved that they were not a bunch of big chested buffoons.

Anyway, back to the game and what an absolutely titanic contest.  This match now ranks in my top 3 of all time, behind Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle and Istanbul, two epic games which will live long in the memory.

The game in 90 minutes was perhaps not a classic but what followed in the next 30 minutes was absolutely incredible.  As Belgium put their converted their dominance to goals via Prince Harry and Lukaku it looked like Tim Howard's heroics would be in vain.  Yet, the game was still somehow not over. A wonderful goal from Julian Green put the cat amongst the pigeons and the Americans nearly frantically scrambled an equalizer.  Jurgen Klinsmann's knack of producing teams full of energy again surfaced as his men gained a second win and nearly pulled off an amazing comeback with a brilliant set piece routine.

Ultimately, it was not enough and the Belgians sneaked through but what a wonderful advert for the game.  A game played at breakneck speed almost like a basketball game (you attack, we attack) and some great individual performances (was the American right back on Speed?).

If the USA had equalized then I am pretty sure that they would have had to have made a Hollywood film about it (I am sure Tom Hanks would have been involved somewhere) but instead the team will have to make do a with their role as gallant losers

Roll on the Quarter Finals.....

(P.S For those show who share my love of trash TV shows/documentaries then I would recommend My Granny : The Escort as seen on Channel 4 last night. I would add though that Wayne Rooney does not make a surprise appearance)