Tag Archives: Frank Lampard

No Witty Title Today, I’m Afraid

27 Jun

Technology is everywhere. That’s the world we live in. Some technology is morally good—it can help us find directions to little towns with delightful tea shops and allow lovely lady writers to reach out more of their devoted public. Some technology is not morally good—it is helping sad bastards to feel better about themselves when they really shouldn’t,  it is draining us of our sanity by tempting us to six hour Mah Jongg marathons, and it is destroying the pleasure of holding a book or newspaper in your hands as you read.

However, technology is here. I can’t do anything to stop it. I don’t have to fall in love with it, but it’s here and it’s changing our world.

Today’s England v Germany match would have benefited from technology. In less that a few seconds, we were all able to see that Lampard’s goal went in. In the time it takes for Ashley Cole to decide where to throw in the ball or the time it takes for a player to pretend he’s hurt long enough for the other team to kick out the ball, the refs could have been able to see that the goal had gone in. Cost is not the issue; the fact that video technology won’t be used at all levels of the game is not an issue (international teams get pussy at the drop of a hat but my Sunday league can’t even get a look in, how is FIFA addressing that inequality?). Technology would have shown the goal to be fair and who knows how keeping things fair  might have changed the match.

That said . . .

England’s performance was poor throughout. Despite the hours I’ve spent on the minds of Fergie, Arsene and yes, Jose, I am no football expert. But I do know this:

  1. There needs to be an offensive plan beyond just whacking it towards the goal and hoping that someone on the other team makes a mistake and allows it to go in.
  2. There needs to be a strong defense. Did Germany play fantastically or did they just take advantage of the space they were allowed? David James (albeit in gorgeous yellow) had to work too hard whereas the skinny version of James Corden at the other end was more protected.

While it’s true that we don’t know what might have happened had the “goal that wasn’t (but really was)” counted, it’s also true that it shouldn’t have mattered. When I set out to woo a gentleman, I am a man possessed. I know what I want and, on the few occasions I’ve taken a kicking (not literally, of course, as I do not woo that type of man), I get up and get on with the wooing.  When I really, really want a man, I go in there and get him. England did not go in and get their man today (not even Ashley). It was a poor showing all round: Johnson wasn’t fast enough, Lampard has to do something other than miss “ambitious” tries, I don’t even know what’s up with Rooney and John Terry—Hello? Did you not get the memo that you were playing in a World Cup match today?

I’m afraid I don’t have the patience to analyze this any further, to dig into the sporting, historical and cultural explanations that might make sense of this fiasco. Like the rest of you, I am too mortified and too drunk to do so reasonably at this moment. Instead we should all just concentrate on accepting it, getting to the toilet before we vomit and avoiding kicking off at the elderly German man who just happens to step into our paths as we stumble home.

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.

WELL DONE TO ONE MISTER WAYNE ROONEY

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.

MEMO TO FABIO CAPELLO

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?

COMPLAINING ABOUT THE VUVUZELAS MEANS YOU ARE A RACIST

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.

THE STYLE, THOUGH, WAS QUITE VULGAR

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.

THE FINAL WORD

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.)