Sunday, July 09, 2006

My World Cup Overfloweth

I don't know about you (well actually I do know about a couple of you) but I don't know who to support in tonight's final. I loved the way France beat the massively overrated Brazilians and I could watch Zinedine Zidane all day. By the end of the day I'd probably even believe that this is how a beautiful man should look.

And Italy versus Germany was the best match I have seen in a very long time. The Germans have really played above themselves in this tournament, really had a go. And that's all down to Jurgen Klinsmann's intelligence and enthusiasm. Yes, that's both - you can't get by on just the latter, Mr Keegan.

But Italy were something else. The perfect team performance.

So I'm going to sit down, relax, and cheer the team that plays the best on the day. Not really an ideal way to watch a football match, as I'm not going into it with the prejudices which you need to get yourself on the edge of your seat. So come on, Fritaly!

Of more concern to me is which channel to watch it on. The BBC coverage has been really getting on my tits, what with "dream team" Motty and Lawro talking shit throughout the matches then Lineker and Shearer moaning how the tournament has been negative since the Group stages. Of course this is only sour grapes because the BBC got the crap matches (i.e. the ones involving Portugal).

But Martin O'Neill does make the BBC worth watching. The man who should be England Manager (mentor Brian Clough) tells it like it is. Previewing the France Portugal game, after Hansen and Shearer had stuck their pennyworth in, O'Neill says truthfully that he has nothing to say as Hansen has spoken about Portugal and Shearer about France. There are only two teams playing and there are three pundits. And at half time in last night's third place match, he called it the "most meaningless game in football history." Squeaky bum time for Lineker.

By the end of the match, he was quoting William Goldman...

O'NEILL: Has anybody seen a film called Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?

SHEARER: I'm only 35.

O'NEILL: The writer William Goldman wrote a book in which the most famous line is "No one knows anything."

There then ensues a bit of an altercation with Shearer who can't believe that no one knows anything. The dialogue ends thus...

O'NEILL: Well, maybe you should go out and watch a few films instead of going home and...


  1. Les vieux pour moi! I've always been a bit of a Francophile.
    The commentators in Spain are marvellous. Loads of unbridled enthusiasm.
    The fact that you can't understand a bloody word helps a lot

  2. "Fritaly." Nice one, Geoff. As you know, I'm keen on the Italians but I can live with a France victory. As long as Portugal is out, eh?!

    I had to work yesterday and missed the match but kept up-to-date with the BBC report as it played out. Here are a few of my fave quotes from the play-by-play:

    43 mins: Germany's midfield talisman Michael Ballack lets out a yawn on the squad bench.

    "I think this is the most meaningless match in the history of football."
    BBC Sport analyst Martin O'Neill

    "I hope it gets better."
    BBC Sport analyst Alan Hansen.

  3. Oh well, France deserved that one. Bloody penalties again.

    And if that wasn't a racist comment that caused Zidane's "moment of madness", then I'll eat my hat. But of course we're kicking racism out of football, aren't we? I know I've got no proof but it was a fucking good header by Zidane if I'm right.

  4. Difficult to know which version to watch. Motson is a complete twat, so I chose Mr almost-a-complete-twat Tyldesley. Both of them are better than the commentators on ABC. However, Mr Tyldesley used his favourite word "ironic" twice, and "irony" once. In all cases, inappropriately. If only there had been another count of stupidity that I could have thought of, it may have made the evening interesting. I switched over to the BBC at the intervals to avoid Venables. You are right about O'Neill, but it is time everyone recognised that everything there is to say about a football match can be said in two minutes. Or, if you are as insightful as Mr Shearer, in less than one second.

  5. The German channel we watched on holiday seemed to have it about right. One commentator on the match and one pundit interviewed in the studio for a short time (a very serious looking Gunter Netzer).

    Motson last night was like a parrot on Lawrenson's shoulder...


  6. I can't help wondering how Zidane felt when he woke up this morning.

  7. Martin O'Neill is my favourite football pundit. They should just ditch the others and let him do it all.

  8. I think Zidane woke up with a headache.

    Even if Twaterazzi didn't call Zidane a "terrorist", the least he deserved was a headbutt for those wanky tattoos on his arms. Who does he think he is? Robbie Williams?

  9. Mark Lawrenson - the third Chuckle Brother. Wish he'd grow the 'tache back.
    And what made the famously phlegmatic Zidane blow up except a racist remark (apparently including his mother)?
    I'm told, by my better half, that all the ladies like Zidane - it's the threat of violence.

  10. A word to Anthony's better half. I'm not a Zidane lover although I recognize his immense talent. Zidane and Freddie Ljungberg give a lot of ladies the hots but they both look too hard and somewhat mean to me. Give me an Italian anyday.