Sunday, June 25, 2006

In which Portugal and Holland lose their shit, and David Beckham loses his lunch

I've developed a new system of measuring how well England play: it's inversely proportional to the number of beers I consume during the match. This was only a two-beer game, but I suspect it would've been more if not for the 11am kickoff.

The big question is what it's going to take before we can bench Frank Lampard. Seriously. Has he stolen Owen Hargreaves' incriminating pictures of Sven or something? Every time he flubbed a shot today, I could almost hear Steven Gerrard muttering, "I would've scored that one." Attacking midfielder, my ass.

The entire attack was misfiring, though. Five men in the midfield, and not one of them seemed to have any creativity going forward. You can't spend the whole game just trying to hold the ball and hoping that Beckham bends one in. Well, I mean, you can, obviously, judging by England's performances so far, but I wouldn't recommend it. Just because Germany has stopped playing like that doesn't mean someone else should try to take up the mantle.

As for the defence, they looked slightly less shaky than they did against Sweden (where I was covering my eyes every time the ball was crossed into the box) but still far from solid. Ashley Cole was the one exception -- he had a very good game. John Terry, on the other hand, seems to be doing his best Sol-Campbell-has-a-wobbly impression.

Best moment of the match: Beckham scoring that absolutely gorgeous free kick. And then puking all over the sideline. Nice.
Runner-up: The roar of joy in the pub when Owen Hargreaves went down injured and we thought he might have to be substituted.

And as for that Portugal-Netherlands game: I hope y'all have seen it. If you haven't, do whatever you need to do -- beg, borrow, steal -- to get yourself a copy, because it is utterly fantastic. In a "What the shit is this?" kind of way. I'm tempted to watch it again when they replay it later, just so I can boggle some more.

I could summarize it here, but really there wasn't a lot of actual football to analyze. Just picture something like this: foul, foul, dive, goal, foul, handbags, yellow card, dive, foul, shot of Van Nistelrooy looking glum on the sidelines, foul, headbutt, yellow card, dive, red card, handbags, foul, repeat ad nauseum.

Best moment of the match: Gio and Deco sitting on the sidelines together after they'd both been sent off -- presumably commiserating about the ref.
Runner-up: Pick a fight, any fight. My personal favourite was the Figo head-butt (and how he didn't get sent off for that, I don't know, but I suppose it just adds to the general insanity).

In other news: Germany beat Sweden, and Argentina knocked out Mexico. Just like we all knew was going to happen.


Soccer Dad said...

I'm thinking the ESPN techs were on drugs during the England match. Beckham's beauty of a shot, replay, replay again, and again, and then the closeup of some 'spice' One of the commentors in a match thread posted 'well there could be worse things to look at than Posh Spice' and then I look up to see Beckham puking. Niiiice touch.

But that was definitely a fun match to watch even if it was mostly bookings and dives and little 'beautiful' football!

sc7 said...

van brockhorst and deco in the "bad-boys corner" ahahah! priceless...

brill game(por v hol)- drama-wise leastways...whoever thought deco would ever emulate the stupidity of a selfish five-yr-old kid on the playground? esp in the wc!

human said...

My goodness but you nailed my own feeling about the Portugal-Netherlands match, right on the head. Utterly fantastic in a "what the shit is this?" sort of way - I'm going to have to use that one.

I agree with Soccer Dad, ESPN seems to have suddenly lost their ability to get the proper shots/show the appropriate replays in the round of 16. To the point where at several points the announcers were admitting they hadn't a clue what was going on, why someone was being booked, etc. Frustrating!