Sunday, 4 July 2010

First Eurovision and now the World cup: Deutschland on a roll

Yesterday started with a gargantuan battle of the two finest teams in the competition bar none. Germany  Argentina to me was the final. Both teams had proceeded very nicely towards this meeting. Lets review quickly...Argentina won convincing games 1-0, 4-1, 2-0, 3-1 and Germany won all but one 4-0, 0-1( Serbia),1-0, 4-2 . A not unreasonable expectation would be that these two juggernauts of football would produce a defensive dual worthy of any tense exercise complete with low scoreline and caution by the bucket load. The Battle Jutland all over again.

Well before I get to the match itself, I'd like to deal with my own feelings here. As an England supporter I have had a lot of baggage to carry in regards these two teams, I have hated them for years, sometimes for football sometimes for other  reasons. but unlike most of you I found Buddha and love everybody now.....Ok maybe I'm not one with the world enirely but , I like the Germans and have for some time now, they are our friends and trade partners and culturally similar. They are leaders in green politics and eco reform, they gave us Kratfwerk, they even play great football... My big surprise is Argentina, not four years ago I still hated them with a passion, the Falklands, the hand of God .... harbouring Nazis... did I mention the Hand of God??? any road....this year even Maradona has become this cute little bundle of insanity and football wisdom all rolled into one. Between the man love and the adulation I admit it's all a bit creepy, but I like him and  his results. I cannot hold an entire football system responsible for a single coke addled mad man and some still seriously flawed methods of applying the rules of the game by refs.

So I prepared to watch this match with great interest  cheering for the Germans as they have three Polish players, are good and want it more than many a side that came to this World Cup. Deserving a fair shot and   barring some intervention from an official both Germany and Argentina would be allowed to play a mostly uninterrupted match of some of the best football we'll see in this tournament. Boy were we not disappointed, especially me who had been bigging up Germany from day one, 3 minutes in Muller punishes Argentina for sloppy defending and scores. For the remainder of the match Argentina would struggle to make a dent or get any serious shot on goal. In fairness there was a patch where they did , but Germany's back 8 shut them down. Poor Lionel Messi, he was so well marked he never got a decent shot in. Speaking of Messi, one of the most unfortunate turns of phrase came out of the commentary, can't recall who said it, but they were looking forward to a shot of Messi magic, I'm sure I'm not alone in imagining a more than pornographic scene. To quote a friend, " If I said that my girlfriend, she'd slap me."   Where was I ? The Germans.... forget two banks of four, was more like 4 waves of discipline, an octopus the BBC called it, whichever analogy you prefer, they moved as a single unit, time and again catching Argentina in the off side trap, good thing too as it saved them from a not goal by big spoilt baby blue Tevez. This piece of work has got on my wick since he was at Man U, I didn't like him then and I liked him even less when he moved across town. This vain, soulless mercenary who thinks only of himself was kept off the score sheet by the kind of teamwork he himself cannot begin to to comprehend.
About 15 minutes in Argentina began taking the game to the Germans, but as I said , they were expertly fended off. What was concerning me was that if they let the the Argies stay in their end too long, somebody might score  and that almost happened a few times. German Keeper Manuel Neuer stopped shot after shot. It did look like depending how you viewed things, that Germany were toying with Argentina or they had taken the pedal off the gas. But with 30 minutes left to play, Germany put the match to bed delivering what amounted to a spanking to the only team in this tournament to have a similarly strong run in. Klose 67,Friedrich74, Klose again in the 89th minute. I was giddy, Germany deserved the win, as frankly Argentina reverted to form and began the niggling little dramas and tackles they are famous for when things are not going their way. Not as overt as Portugal with the class theatrical diving , they nonetheless tried. On this alone I thought they deserved to loose. The best team won on the day and congratulations to Germany from one of the bumps in the road. Even 4-2 would not have flattered us, Germany outclassed every opponent save one and the English performance wasn't all down to German skill, most of it was self inflicted. Germany did the job they needed to do and moved on.

So who will stop these boys and their Blitzkrieg football? Spain if you believe the seriously puffed up Spanish supporters, no one else takes them seriously. Not withstanding 15 minutes of decent football to get them this far, Spain have been as lacklustre as England, France Greece and Italy. In fact today possibly the 2nd dullest match I have ever been forced to watch, By the end of the first half  of Spain v Paraguay we were hoping they would just go straight to pens when the game started up again. Clearly no one was going to score. It was shortly after the restart that a discussion arose about theology. I asked if God existed , was he watching a replay of Germany Argentina or Sheridan Smith taking a shower, cos clearly he hadn't bothered throwing a spark into this dull affair. In answer  one of my mates said  it was proof God didn't exist and another said God had died watching officially the dullest ever match Switzerland Ukraine. I was however to prevail. Clearly God exists, from a mad scramble first Paraguay was awarded a penalty , but failed, undeterred, God arranged a second pen in as many minutes on the other side,  Goal ! match over we thought, but no the comedy continued, retake and Spain also failed to score. Clearly God had tried and failed, and in  what was probably one of the wittiest remarks of the day, one of the lads said "Yeah, Satan is in the stands, blowing a vuvuzela, and laughing his arse off." . Well not for long, Villa finally broke the stalemate at 82 minutes. This however left 8 minutes plus added time for Satan to arrange an equaliser, and he almost did it too. None of us wanted to watch 30 seconds more of this torture let alone 30 minutes. And judging by the earlier display, the pens would have lasted longer than that tennis match the other day. But in the end the Villa goal was enough to stop the pain. It's not too late to fly in Ireland you know? This is the 2nd time in the tournament  that I've wanted both teams to go Home.

Should Germany be worried by these clowns? I don't think so. But to be on the safe side, they had better demolish them in the first 15 minutes next Wednesday and send them home for the well deserved inquest in to the gash the Spanish call football. Come September I'll be watching a lot more Bundesliga,

Next blog will be back to the telly and for the first time, the long awaited unsigned and lesser known bands reviews. Enjoy the rest from the footy, hug your significant other go for a walk , get some air, Tuesday is coming fast.

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