So, what did we learn from the recent World Cup competition in South Africa then? Aside from the fact that I realised that I there is still bad blood between myself and Forlan (more on my side than his, I suspect…) a few things stood out for me.
For a start we found out how to properly pronounce Dikagoki’s name. I’ve been pottering about since we signed him saying Dik-a-Ghook-wee like some kind of prize idiot. But now we all know better.
We need to get Paintsil a flag. He loved it. I’m a fan of his laps of honour at the conclusion of matches as it is, but after Ghana won a game he was a presented with a flag and his was almost bursting with excitement as his circumnavigated the pitch. When I travel to a cold, wet and depressing Rotherham, where we scrape a one nil victory over them in the Carling Cup this would make the journey all worthwhile. It also appears that he’s quite useful with a long throw too. While I’m the last person who would suggest we become like Stoke perhaps this could come in use at some point next season?
It also appears, whilst the whole of London was getting (over) excited about the England USA game, there is still at least one pub that refused to cave in to the hype and instead chose to show Doctor Who on the big screen. Not to be swayed by the fact people came and left quite quickly after realising, and the bar itself was empty, the barman stuck to his guns and plumped for the TimeLord over depressing football. Well done him.
We all knew it before, but ITV are a bit useless at Football coverage. Adrian Chiles spent the first week looking like a rabit caught in headlights, and the commentators weren’t much better. I believe it was John Champion who spent a good ten minutes using Norwegian stereotypes while talking about Denmark. “The team from the very north of Europe” were described as “The Vikings”, and while I know as the Viking ‘empire expanded they did eventually take in Denmark, surely easier stereotypical images of the peninsular could have been Lego, Hans Christian Anderson or Bacon. Sloppy work.
We also found out, again it came as no surprise, that Alan Green off Radio 5Live knows very little about anything. Picture the scene, it’s the morning before the England USA game and up pipes the Irishman with “”What on earth are we even discussing the goalkeeping position for? We’re only playing USA, for goodness sake.” Only one thing was ever gonna happen from then on. David Pleat, on the same network, demonstrated why he never ventured far from these green and pleasant lands. After Frances hilarious elimination from the tournament his final summary was “Au revoir Italy!” Nice one.
Garth Crooks often irritates me, what with his Spuds bias and the fact he’s not very good on the telly, but I’ve grown to like him now. Fifty two year old Crooks doesn’t seem to be a big fan of Kanu, “I don’t care what his passport says, that man is older than me.” Now he does seem to have been around a long time, but…
But the best part was that Crooks’ wife called him during the match he was giving his expert analysis on and told him to change his trousers before half time because he looked a mess. 4,000miles away, on a jolly up with the boys, all on the licence fee payer, yet he’s still properly under the thumb.
And finally, it’s been a month, and I’m still trying to work out what our boy Dempsey meant with this quote after the England USA game. There’s something in there, but I just can’t get it. “Even though they did score early, when we came back and we equalised, they just seemed edgy. There just seemed to be an edge to the team but it could have just been the opening game. But they were edgy, there was an edginess to their game.”
Well, thank goodness that it’s over for another four years, and it’s now less than a month until the proper football begins again. Hurrah!!