Tag Archives: Fabio Capello

A Much Relieved Match Report

23 Jun

Our moment came. England played a good game of football. It wasn’t the best game of football but it was a solid game; they played as they should have done in the first two matches.

Defoe’s goal was lovely and the tide had turned. Although we weren’t able to score another, we had some decent efforts. It was exciting and fun to watch (though it was also nerve-wracking, Christopher has bitten my nails down to the quick this afternoon). This is what the World Cup should be like.

Yesterday, Steven Gerrard said, “The fear of not winning drives you on.” Stevie, no. The desire to win drives you on. The desire to win, to be the best. We should not be motivated by any fear—fear of losing, fear of letting people down or being pilloried by the press. Have you ever seen a Will Smith film? Did he defeat the aliens because he was afraid? No. He killed them because he is one tough motherfucker; anyone messes with him and he is going to get all rowdy on their ass.  We need to stop being driving forward by fear. We need to get through the next round because we have that burning desire that fills our stands, our pubs and all too frequently our trousers but is so rarely seen on the pitch.

But today, in the end, we did it. Was it down to a coach, who successfully motivated his team, (possibly Sopranos-style)? Was it down to the players who remembered that it’s three lions they’re wearing and made it to the back of the net? Was it down to the media whose constant pressure finally paid off? Or was it down to the good old English fans, who woke this morning believing that for fuck’s sake, in a week where we’re facing the Budget, a Tube strike and the news that Jordan has doubts about remarrying Alex Reid, something good has got to happen to this country?

Thank you, boys.

Thank you, England.

A Sensible Match Report—England v USA, 12 June 2010

13 Jun

Please note: The unfortunate circumstance of the USA goal as a result of Rob Green has occurred. We can’t change that now. Whether or not there were problems with the ball is neither here nor there. The plain and simple truth is that mistakes happen. All of you have made them; I have even come close myself. So I say, let’s not dwell on this. We must move forward.

Despite the incessant phone calls I receive from Mick McCarthy, the truth is I’m not really an expert on football. However, I would like to share a few of my observations.


I’m very impressed you managed to keep your temper under control this evening. Well done, son. The next challenge is to maintain that control while actually getting involved in play some time before the 71st minute.


1. Your suit and glasses—absolutely divine.

2. Stevie (I can’t help but still think of him in that way) Gerrard rose to the occasion as captain, particularly in the first half.

3. Aaron Lennon was in fine form. Tell him I said that.

4. Frank Lampard needs less hair gel and more focus.

5. Glen Johnson worked hard and shed blood, which has got to count for something.

6. I’m not going to comment on your choice of Rob Green. As I said, we can’t dwell on it.

7. Less Heskey, more Crouch, please. A Crouch and Rooney partnership is magic.

8. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but have you ever thought to mention to the players that sassing the referee never comes to any good?


I think the condemnation of the drone of the vuvuzelas is too much. Throughout my travels in Africa, I’ve come across a number of enormous horns and have never found them too hard to handle. Pay attention to the action, my friends.


Both the orange and the yellow boots have got to go. Besides being dreadfully hideous, they unfairly call the eyes to the feet of certain players. This was distracting to me as I was trying to focus more on their asses.

I’m not a fan of the USA’s sash. I’ll avoid any making any comparisons to beauty pageants, because I’m sure pundits everywhere have already done that. I’ll just say this: unless you’re the heir apparent of a small European principality, a sash is never the right choice.

Although he played his little heart out, Tim Howard’s goalkeeping get-up was too flash for me. When will the world accept that very few people look good in head-to-toe orange? Rob Green’s kit was much easier on the eye and also coordinated nicely with his surname. But I’ll move on from that. Mustn’t dwell.

Additionally, something must be said about the hairstyles. The close-cut clip look, so favoured by English lads, may not be at the cutting edge of fashion, but let’s face it—it makes us who we are. My god, just pause for a moment and imagine what potato-faced Rooney would like with a mop of hair. Frightening. Though there was more variety on the heads of the Americans, most of it was appalling. Robbie Findley’s was too reminiscent of Lionel Jefferson’s. Oguchi Onyewu—it’s a mustache and beard, not mustache or beard. And I’ve only got one word for Landon Donovan: your forehead is out of control.


Overall, it was not a totally unenjoyable/enjoyable (delete as appropriate) way to spend ninety-seven minutes of one’s time.

(An England match is never an England match without a mention of David Beckham. Sigh. He’s so lovely.)