Thursday, 24 June 2010

We shall fight them on the beaches and Lennon Naked

Today was not for the feint of heart, leading 1-0  is always an invitation to disaster that  we cannot afford and I must confess that despite missing the entire first half of the England match, it did not stop me from shvitzing till the final whistle .. Now you may call me unfair but on the back of the last few displays , I should be pleased the England we know and love was back. Truth be told, as good as we were, it was still all a bit stilted and uncertain. We beat Slovenia, not Brazil or Portugal. Any other day we would have said it was just good enough but we could have done better and we wouldn't be wrong. Rooney is hurt and If we want to take the next few games by the scruff of the neck, Capello has to continue his comedown from the previously hard and unchanging policy of playing certain people out of position and excluding others. Today we saw what worked and should have been done on day one. with the exception of Gareth Barry the line up was as good as it gets. Please don't for a second take from this that I think Capello is fit for purpose, he isn't. If I knew what was the perfect solution  I'd be running the FA not writing this blog, but I do know there is a special touch required to get a result from this collection of egos and talent and Capello does not have it.

I'd like to take a moment to address my American readers, I admire you immensely,  you cheered today when Landon Donavan  booked  the US spot in the final 16 with a last minute goal. You were the kind of supporters any team , national or league would want. A truly well deserved result by any account. Sadly however , we rang my in laws in the YOU ES EH right after the match. These folks are as average Americans as you'll find and they were only vaguely aware there was a World Cup on and they didn't seem at all pleased or excited to learn of the win or the fact the US had advanced. We then tried this with my wife's family in New York and it wasn't much better. There are countries with shite sides who care more about football than the USA. I am astonished at the lack of penetration into the greater conciousness of Americans considering the fact your team have managed to do so well in the greatest tournament on earth. Poor football mad Irish people of every age and size look on from the outside while you get a great run, in near complete anonymity. It's times like these we see just how isolated from the rest of the planet the USA is. Only when this changes, will football get any respect.

The next match that had me and most of you most likely in a grip, was Germany v Ghana. Let's step back for a second. We all assumed in a bit of our own arrogance that if we won by even the slimmest margin (which we did) we would go top of the group and not have to face Germany in the next round right away. Well nobody told the Americans and the scoundrels won our group. Suddenly it became incredibly important to know just how well Germany would do. Doom and gloom set in from the opening minutes of play, but as the match wore on, it became clear the Ghanayans were not going to be taken lightly. I even relaxed and allowed myself to think that Germany would be forced to a nil nil draw and come 2nd . How wrong I was, in the 60th minute Ozil scored and shattered my zen like mood of quiet confidence. Ghana sadly never seemed able to convert a number of chances to get a least a draw. So there we have it, Germany win the group and Ghana advance. Just the sort of news we wanted to hear.

So we go forth to do battle with towel wielding Germans intent on taking our spots, the Dunkirk spirit is upon us,  the spectre of  every penalty shoot out and ignominious defeat at the  hands of the Germans rises up like bile in the pit of the stomach of every England supporter ahead of Sunday. Yet again we face the daunting task of getting past Germany in a World Cup. Fellow blogger and self confessed optimist Keith Topping told me the following ...It's not a question of confidence, it's just about belief. If you go into a game shitting yourself because of who you're playing, you'll get beat. If you don't, you still might get beat but if you do then there's no doubt about it. I for one will shit myself for England , as long as the lads don't !

To take our mind off events in South Africa we mass migrated to BBC4 for perhaps their biggest ratings in months. Lennon Naked was Ab Fab meets Train Spotting meets potted history of the Beatles. A gritty sometimes hard to watch portrayal of a haunted man who's life started badly and got worse by his own hand. Christopher Ecclstone noted Manc and ex Doctor does not spare the rose coloured reputation many fans including myself had built up over the years of this clearly tortured soul. We get a picture of a man who does not know what he wants and seems never satisfied with anything. Ecclestone's Doctor , I mean  Lennon, encases himself in a skin of superiority  surpassing rudeness and often exuding a complete lack of appreciation for any loyalty or friendship ever shown him. That is until Yoko Ono played  by the lovely Naoko Mori better known for her work in Torchwood, shows up. The pair of oddballs indulge in all manner of surrealist art, bizarre recordings and to some, still misguided after 40 years, peace initiatives.  There is a clear line drawn between Lennon-Ono and the lads, he is the reason they broke up, as if any of us who ever copied the White Album minus Revolution number 9 ever had any doubt. In the end you walk away with the impression that John Lennon was for most of his life a lousy son, a terrible father, an angry confused person who transcended mere mortality to Godhood without ever resolving those issues. Only when his Hera (Ono) entered his life  did he even begin to show some kind of serenity. A good friend of mine once spent the night in hospital with John Lennon who was there to watch over another rocker recovering from a massive overdose of pharmaceuticals. His impressions of the man were interesting  considering that Lennon himself was coming off  heroin at the time of the vigil. Freaked out and imagining lord knows what, they talked through the night. John Lennon I suspect even on a good day was not somebody you wanted to get too close to. My criticism of the film as such are that many events that took place were moved around, Beatles that weren't at certain things were placed there willy nilly and yet other events may not have even taken place at all. Clothing, haircuts and other details easily verifiable were fudged for the sake of a more streamlined story. Why should simple fact stand in the way of a good story that gets to the core of the man? I mention this only that should you watch this for an excruciatingly accurate portrayal of Beatles history, you'll do better  reading a few books and watching the hours of documentaries already out there. If you want to understand the man, watch this film. A highlight for all you Naoko Mori fans who have wanted see her naked since she played Toshiko Sato, you see it all in a tasteful sequence recreating the famous Lennon-Ono nude portraits session.  All in all a great way to top off a day of butt clenching football.


Paul S. Mabley said...

I know it was called 'Lennon Naked' but was it really necessary to display the 9th Doctor's tidger? Not once either...three bloody times!!!!

Mietek Padowicz said...

But Paul we at least got to see Tosh in the altogether as well, a far better sight I'm sure you'll agree.