Archive for the ‘Hooliganism’ category

“If you can keep your head…”

July 11, 2006

Yes, yes – Zinedine Zidane disgraced himself and besmirched his sparkling career by savagely headbutting Italian defender Marco Matterazi in the chest in the 109th minute of Sunday’s World Cup final. (So savage it didn’t look to me, especially since the Italians are notorious for subscribing to the Greg Louganis school of foul emphasis, but you decide.)

Zidane’s pate punch has inspired much peculiar psycho-socio eulo-babbling and consensus opinion has it that Matterazi must have said something very, very bad to Zidane as they jogged up-field to provoke the attack. (I would have thought that simply pointing out he was French would be insult enough, but that’s just me.) Zidane has so far kept stum but the good people of the Times of London, showing typical English pluck in trying to find out what naughty thing was said, brought in lip-readers and translators to study the footage. Their verdict: Matterazi called the Algerian-descended Zidane “the son of a terrorist whore.” Not being privy to international pitch-level banter, I’m not sure how egregious such an insult should be considered, but if true it sounds like some pretty ignorant, racist bullshit to me, making Zidane’s reaction understandable, if not excusable. Matterazi denies it, but in the words of the immortal Mandy Rice-Davies, “well ‘e would, wouldn’t ‘e.”

The real disgrace, as far as this humble correspondent is concerned, is that yet another world cup final was decided on penalties. While it may seem terribly dramatic for a game to be decided in a best of five penalty shootout, where a matter of inches can determine the outcome, they are, in fact, hella lame. Instead of a desperate struggle for eternal glory you get a bunch of tuckered-out millionaires crouched on the the sideline sucking their water bottles like babies at the teat as a lone teammate on the pitch tries not to screw up.

And I’m not just saying this because England have set world records in penalty shootout shambollockry. Penalties are always a let-down. It’s as if after ten rounds of two magnificent prize fighters wailing on each other, each one is held in place while the other gets five clear shots at his chin. There’s something deeply unsatisfying about the whole thing. French coach Raymond Domenech even said he considered a game that ends in penalties a draw (see above – Davies, Mandy-Rice). Indeed, the Italians seemed to be playing not to lose throughout extra time so they could try and win on penalties. The incentives are all wrong.

Put simply, the penalty shootout should be abolished. International super stars should be forced to play until someone claims decisive victory by the scoring of an actual goal. They should be forced to play until their studs are worn to nubs and their entire team is Beckham-ing where they stand. If scoring is such a problem, extra time could see the goalies sent off. That would make for some exciting final moments I’d wager.

Nuts

July 5, 2006

Since Saturday’s debacle against Portugal, there has been naught but anguished Anglo wailing and blubbery Saxon weeping, with torrents of bitter tears shed into our pints of bitter. A nation mourns. Stiff upper lips have come perilously close to quavering. I have it on good authority that one of the Queen’s corgis even tried to take its own life.

But all is not lost. Lamenting limeys can take some satisfaction in our maintaining a proud tradition: namely, the English football team getting to the quarter or semi finals, going a man down thanks to a star player’s incredibly stupid foul (Beckham in 1998 vs. Argentina is a particularly fine example), playing pluckily against the odds and then proceeding to break our hearts by losing, again. Football will still be coming home of course; it just seems it’s going to be making a few more stops along the way.

What’s most galling about this latest defeat, however, is that it was clearly the result of subterfuge and skulduggery. The unholy alliance of Portugal and Voledom resorted to chicanery to reduce our lads to ten men. The tackling of a rival’s wedding tackle that got England’s star striker and friend of sex workers everywhere Wayne Rooney sent off can be seen above. And while on first glance Rooney’s foul on Portugal’s Ricardo Carvahlo might appear to be the worst football-related crotch-savaging since Pele inadvertently castrated Franz Beckenbauer with an errant bicycle kick in 1971’s infamous “Frankfurter Friendly,” closer inspection reveals our boy’s innocence. (Incidentally, this may be the first time in history that a tackle that was all ball was called as a foul.)

Other commentators have pointed out that Rooney’s use of Carvalho as a groin trampoline was obviously unintentional and that he himself was fouled multiple times as he scrambled for possession. But these observers overlook the clearly visible licks of flame emerging from Carvalho’s shorts. We can now discern that in a fit of misinterpreted sportsmanship Rooney was attempting to stamp out a rather nasty crotch fire that flared up in his opponent’s nether regions. No doubt this gonadal conflagration was set by a volish agent so as to trap Rooney into a brave but red-card inducing act of humanitarian testicle trampling. For shame!

The worst thing about Portugal’s villainous victory is that it forced us to root for France in the ensuing semi-final. France! Oh, the shame of it still stings. Nevertheless, we are grateful to our French brothers for humiliating the Portuguese in their match-up and eagerly await their being crushed by Italy in the final.

England 1, Voles 0

June 26, 2006

Yes, despite the best efforts of their Ecuadorian puppet squad, the evil Volish empire was handed a convincing defeat courtesy of the miraculous free-kickery of Spice Girl impregnator and sometime international football star David Beckham. After his gorgeous set-piece strike beat the Ecuadorian goalkeeper in the 60th minute, Beckham celebrated by vomiting on the field.

Slanderous reports have attributed this triumphant spew to dehydration but their hack authors are obviously ignorant of history. Beckham was clearly reprising Henry V’s famous victory retch at the Battle of Agincourt, where good King Hal showed the cowardly French what British soldiers – and army rations – are made of.

Attention must also be paid to the marvelous efforts of England striker phenom and wunderkind Wayne Rooney. Like the savage little British bulldog he so closely resembles, Rooney was relentless in attack, humiliating Ecuador’s hapless defenders with astonishing runs and cheeky flick passes through their legs. Rooney…

…who has apparently made a Faustian pact to acquire superior footballing skills in exchange for his neck, is a mere twenty years old and made his English Premier League debut at only 16 years of age. He was previously voted FIFA embryo-of-the-month three times in a row.

Catastrophe!

June 21, 2006

No, not that weird Beckett play (come to think of it, “weird Beckett play” might be something of a redundancy), but the sight of star England Striker Michael Owen writhing on the German sod in agony. Owen’s knee is kaput, probably the ACL, and he’s out for the rest of the World Cup, leaving an already battered and hobbling England team to face the evil empire of Ecuador on Sunday. It doesn’t look good but We Still Believe.

As for the injury itself, it’s hard to believe this was a mere “accident.” Was this Krautish skullduggery in delayed vengeance for Monty’s victory over Rommel at El Alamein? Too obvious. Clearly, this was the work of voles.

Yes, Stephen Colbert has bears; your humble correspondent has voles – vicious, nefarious blighters the lot of them. Especially those Trinidadian and Tobagan voles. This time they’ve gone too far. In the name of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Borough of Camden, I declare a polite English fatwah upon all voles and those who harbour voles. Note the proud British spelling of “harbour” and feel my nation’s wrath, you foul endless-molar sprouting vermin. You’re on notice!

Eng-uh-land, Eng-uh-land, Eng-uh-land

June 9, 2006

Ordinarily I find the whole frothing nationalism and ardent patriotism thing a bit silly. But there are a few exceptions. Despite the fact that I don't even like football that much (that's football not "soccer" you American swine), the advent of the World Cup does tug at my limey heartstrings and turn me into a rabid near-hooligan. So much so that I'm willing to temporarily subvert the solidly internationalist bent of this website and shout "Down with Paraguay." We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets (and on the pitch). We shall never surrender (a goal).