Archive for June 15th, 2010

What We Learned From New Zealand vs Slovakia

You Might As Well Qualify For The World Cup By Drawing Lots

How these two dogs managed to qualify is a fucking mystery. I mean we’re all aware that the entire Oceana federation consists of New Zealand, some rocks with penguins attached and the sort of island republics that old American Ambassadors dream of being sent to for the scuba diving. With Oztralia moving to the Asia group, there is almost negative competition for the sole World Cup Spot with rugby scorelines like 50 – 0 being regular occurances.  Slovakia have it harder coming from Europe, but they seem to have qualified with little skill and no ambition. They should be aiming to give the New Zealanders a right good kicking, instead they looked like they were playing for a draw. Now aside from letting the bloody kiwis off, this stunning lack of ambition is an insult to all the other teams who battled their way through umpteen qualification games only to be ruled too  useless to participate (hands up Scotland, Wales, Russia, Lichtenstein, Albania, Andorra and Scotland again). They too would like to have been here and, you suspect, would have put up a bit more of a fight.  These two can book the first planes home now.

Virgin Media Are Fundamentally Useless

You would have thought a monopoly provider of cable TV, who has in its various incarnations, had the best part of 30 years to sort out digital cable TV, would have got it vaguely right by now. Not Virgin Media, who not only inherited Telewaste and NTL’s garbage quality infrastructure, but have added to it with a degree of non-service that is quite astonishing. Their much vaunted V+ box, not only has space for a spastic maximum 10 or so hours of HD quality TV, but it somehow can’t seem to record programmes that are the ‘first of the day’. That kind of technical incompetance is matched only by their crass and useless customer service. When presented with rational points, their ‘customer helpers’ respond by cutting you off and playing loud and obnoxious music at you. They are the most useless service company currently in operation in the UK and with competition from banks, mobile phone companies and the utility providers among others, that is fucking saying something.

Sorry, Was There A Scoreline?

Who fucking cares. These two suck.

12 Down 52 To Go

Archive for June 15th, 2010

What We Learned From Italy vs Paraguay (1-1)

Dirty, Dirty, Dirty And We’re Not Talking About The Italians

At last! We have found the heirs to the spiritual vacuum that was the Old Skool Argentinian teams, whose kick and trip footballing philosophy bears more resemblance to World Wildlife Wrestling than it does to the beautiful game. You know you’re in the presence of bruisers when the first tackle is a super-friendly shin-splitter on the opponent’s mdifield dynamo. Kerpow! Take that vaguely talented Italian midfielder, that’s your introduction to the World Cup, let’s hope a good old-fashioned six-stud football tattoo will stop you ‘expressing yourself’ (in any way other than crying like a baby obviously). And it didn’t stop there. We all thought that it would be the Greeks who ‘brought the pain’ to the World Cup, but frankly the Paraguayayayayans have them beaten hands down. Every single tackle came with an optional extra of a stud-rake down the back of the leg, an elbow in the face and some kind of shirt holding. Quite impressively the ref failed to see any of it.

Lippi Proved His Managerial Mettle

If goals change games, then the only thing a manager can do once their team is one down is amend the side via substitutions and tactical changes. Lippi showed that he was capable of doing both by adding old Juve scrote Calamarioneisi. Now I haven’t laughed so much in a football match since Calamarioneisi came over to play Arsenal in the Champions League along with Juventus and Patrick Viera and was roundly taught a lesson by a very young Cesc Fabregas that culminated in his being utterly humiliated, then sent off. Here, years later, he was a real game-changer, putting together Italy’s most threatening attack within seconds of getting into the match . His presence opened up the width of the pitch and seemed to galvanise the Italians. One imagines he will be starting the next game.

Engerland Not The Only Team Carrying Damaged Baggage

Although if you were given the choice between taking a half-fit Buffon (still one of the best goalkeepers in the world) and a half-fit Ledley Kneeknack (still one of the best Enlglish central defenders at Tottingham), I know which one I’d take a risk on and which one was an invitation to utter ridicule. Still, if we really stretch the envelope we can see that Engerland aren’t the only team with problems.

11 Down 53 To Go