A Boring Rip Off

It has to be the most tedious World Cup tournament since Jules Rimet was a boy. As a spectacle it compares dismally to the European Championship of two summers back when we were treated to the finest display of competition soccer at international level in decades which saw Spain win the trophy. The Spanish, however, in South Africa, appear tempted to revert back to their flatter to deceive form. Still, it is early days.

As hard to listen to as it is to watch, because of the desiccating drone from the horns, South Africa will be remembered for many things but not for the brilliance of these finals. It is so boring we could be forgiven for thinking the teams were competing for the Peace Process Cup rather than the World Cup.

France have been pathetic, England Rubbish. England can’t play as a team and France can’t play; England play as if they can’t win, France as if they are afraid to win. No point in getting too purist over Thierry Henry’s handball getting France to South Africa and ensuring Ireland would watch the games rather than play in any. It was a moment of opportunistic cheating rather than planned corporate fraud. It should no more be frowned upon than a push in the back or the tug of a shirt in the penalty area. It is a universal feature of the game. Giovanni Trapattoni’s team would not have objected to having gone through on the basis of a little push or trip unseen by the referee. Yet the Irish would have played with heart and put some passion into their performance, win or lose. Those with the least expectation hanging over them play with the fervour of those unafraid to lose. North Korea’s performance against a lacklustre Brazil side underscores the point.

If Algeria were not disappointed with last night’s result they have little cause to be. They should have stuffed that dysfunctional team fielded by the English. What did Fabio Capello actually do before he came to manage England? I know that somebody by the same name coached Real Madrid to La Liga victory before Bernd Schuster took over. Must have been a lookalike. Judging by the England performance this guy was a chicken farmer in his previous job. He has pulled together the most accomplished team of chicken chokers ever witnessed wearing football shirts. And now the Italian master baits his team with frowns and exasperated expressions to which the team respond in idiotic fashion, in the belief that coming last is better than not coming at all. Better had they stayed at home. The Irish at least have an excuse for non-performance.

Although a cliché at this stage it is axiomatic that soccer at this level is a business rather than a sport. The millionaires who patrol the pitches of South Africa have the demeanour of boring Belgian businessmen and not that of athletes at the top of their game. Billions are being generated but very little sporting acumen is on display.

A rip-off.


  1. I agree it has been an abysmal World Cup so far. England have been woeful. Interestingly, Graeme Souness has a theory to explain their poor performances: the altitude training has debilitated the English players. If it is the case that altitude training drains players in the short term, then Fabio Capello and his staff have a lot to answer for in choosing Rustenburg as a base. Graeme could be wrong though.

  2. i can't believe that you keep ranting on about the world cup and haven't mentioned the attack on the flotilla! why? do you still consider yourself a revolutionary? or, like the shinners, have you gave it up!!

  3. It's kind of sad how much you seem to care about England. Firstly, it's just a game. Secondly, the vast majority of England players and fans neither know or care much about the Irish republicanism you are so obsessed by. Most of the players are from my generation, not yours, and the "troubles" are yesterday's news. You're like one of those ageing socialists still telling people the revolution is on the horizon: but the fact is that your hatred will never trouble Northern Ireland again. Peace.

  4. Why, pure_tones, for such a peace loving guy, you pack a lot of punch in your spleen

  5. Pure_tones,

    there waa me thinking the English had a sense of humour putting that lot out to represent them in the World Cup - then you come along and spoil it all. You must be from the 40s generation if most of the players share it with you. Or has their lack of pace simply deceived me?

  6. Cyber,

    see you at the barricade in 20 minutes. Can't go now - there is a game on.

  7. the Italian "master baits" his team with frowns and exasperated expressions to which the team respond in idiotic fashion, in the belief that that coming last is better than not coming at all. If you meant this to be , brilliant if not still brilliant

  8. Sorry AM but always have the first round games been poor in all the major competetions thats just human nature wait for the real action next week the Germans will take some beating. PS some very grumpy contributors on here wow

  9. Interested,

    given the reference to chicken chokers and the earlier article on the team being knuckle shufflers, the chances of it just being coincidence or unintentional are ... what do they say about the monkey on the piano?!!! It presented the opportunity for a bit of humour which I took.

    The games in many early rounds of other competitions just didn't seem this bad. The Germans will get it together I imagine. The grumpy lot make it all the funnier.

  10. Alfie,

    Souness is a good analyst but are England any different this time from most others?

  11. where are ye anto? i'm standing here waiting on ye since yesterday! 'tiocfaidh out the windy'.

  12. Cyber,

    was just going out the door but climbedback in thru the window as the Brazil game started. As Emma Goldmann said 'If I can't dance, it's not my revolution!

  13. pure tones not only do the players not know about Irish republicanism, they apparently don't know about scoring goals. I'm no expert on soccer but paying your coach 7 million a year for these 2 putrid performances is highway robbery by Fabio. He should be arrested soon as he steps foot back on English soil.

  14. Ryan, years ago Fabio would have found himself in the Tower.
    Not on own his thankfully, the entire squad including Beckham would have been joining him.

    All that hype about nothing, hope they get tossed out after a crushing defeat.

  15. Nuala,

    you must just hate England too. Peace be upon you sister!

  16. Mackers, even their own fans hate them!
    Rooney had a cheek to rant and rave about 'fans and loyalty' as he was being booed off.

    They set themselves up for it everywhere they go!
    All hype. They score a goal and the next day they are 'heroes'.

    Pure Tones maybe too young to remember the time Beckham missed the penalty against Argentina.
    The next day in the papers they wanted him hanged.
    His da actually had to make an appeal for calm.

    Wasn't republican who wanted him strung up, but the the non-political and of course non-violent English fans.

  17. I think you're right, Anthony. I just read that most teams have training camps at similar altitudes to the English lads, so the altitude excuse goes out the window. Can't say that I'm sorry that they've flopped so spectacularly, but if I were English, I would be demanding that Capello and co. be lined up and shot with balls of their own shite!

  18. humanity mackers, it's everyone's revolution. most of the human race skipped more than a few heartbeats when that happened. where are we without our pensive quills? onward to victory...bella ciao comrade

  19. Since we now seem to be talking about the football instead of just England-bashing:

    One, analysts are talking about the length of the European season. Italy, Spain and France have so far all done as badly or worse than England.

    Two, the balls are rubbish. Adidas outbids proper footballing manufacturers like Mitre every time. People who say it doesn't matter don't play football. Go ask a concert pianist whether the quality of his piano matters, then get back to me. This is so far the lowest scoring world cup of all time, with shocking statistics for corners, shooting accuracy and misplaced shots.

    Three, Capello has tried to run England like a football club, telling the players only two hours before who plays. In a group of strangers who don't really gel like a club side, this creates confusion. Additionally he has tried to make it "his" team by favouring Heskey above Joe Cole - another mistake at international level.

    So there you have it. Like the Germans we're not the most technically gifted side, but the Germans have been using the ultra-light tournament ball for a year in the Bundesliga. For a long-ball side, this has spelt disaster for us, and since the only subtle player we have has been dropped in favour of that human battering ram, Heskey, it's really no wonder why we've failed to break down defensive teams.

  20. pure_tones, I think you have a point about Joe Cole; he should be starting. Then again, if England have a long-ball strategy, he might not get much opportunity on the ball. On the issue of the long European season, quite a few Brazilians and Argentinians play for European clubs, and they're coping well, so I don't really think that's much of an excuse. Also, Capello has been producing the team sheet two hours before a match for two years now with no complaints. It wasn't a problem when England were winning, so why is it suddenly a factor in their poor performance? However, the ball does appear to be a problem though; I've never seen so many overhit passes, crosses and corners in an international-level tournament before. Maybe England will go through against Slovenia, but, after the way they've played, it would actually be a shock.

  21. Any manager with serious thoughts about winning anything , would he have Jamie Peter and Emile on his team .dont think so

  22. The England players visited an orphanage in South Africa this morning"Its so good to put a smile on the faces of people constantly struggling and facing the impossible" said Jamal Umbotto aged 6

  23. Cyber,

    You have more faith in revolutionaries than me!


    Any excuse will suffice for them. More down to attitude than altitude.


    brave man coming back here to defend that lot!! Nor is England hated – many who post here support teams like Liverpool or Manchester United. Most of us probably find England’s inflated sense of their own importance amusing and it is nice to prick the balloons of haughtiness. Yeah, there are problems but all teams have been affected. Quality lies in overcoming adversity. Rather than the balls being rubbish the English side are playing rubbish football. They couldn’t even qualify for the European championships and we are expected to think they might be a quality global side.

    No doubt if they win next time you can force us all to eat humble pie!!


    Just those 3?

  24. Lets be objective here. England being at the World Cup IS THE ENTERTAINMENT. When Pacman was going to fight Ricky Hatton Radio 5 live stated Hatton was too big, longer reach and too powerful for Pacman. On investigation the Pacman posessed a longer reach, larger chest and smaller waiste. After almost turning the radio off for fear my wife [Philippina ] would fall foul of English psyc-ops Hatton was on his back in round 2. The football is always the same.
    Instead of all the hand wringing and moaning a little objectivity would maybe turn on a light or two. If we could choose a premiership 11 would many of the England team be in it? Heskey..Crouch..first on anyones list? Lennon or SWP?? a top 6 premiership spot would be a fair assessment of that team, in my opinion...maybe I should retire to my nuclear bunker now ha ha ??
    But where would we be without the English and their Grand Old Duke of York media? My mrs having got the measure of them, is loving it. Long may perfidious expect!!

  25. I find a lot of negative comments on this post re the world cup, the truth be told I find it educational if we all listen carefully we may hear "shalem y voco" thats fuck the pope in Swaheli" I didnt know that did you?

  26. This was linked to JohnWSmart.com today. All the way in L.A. Get the "buzz" out over those damned horns, eh?

  27. I,ve just heard that the English team have just got a new coach, yip its taking them to the airport on Thursday

  28. Marty,

    think I might learn Swahili

  29. Marty, England have just scored! Do you think all that cursing the Pope in Swahili could have been a factor?

  30. Nah Nuala its the balls fault it was round!!!!

  31. Marty, really believe you have upped England's chances by cursing the pope.

    Do you know how to ask for repentance in Swahili?

    Wish I could sign myself into one of those clinics that you take Marie to every so often.
    Those clinics for the over demanding.
    Just want to hide out until Sunday's game is over.

  32. Marie has gone on a recruitment drive up them thar hills, Larrys missus has had a narrow escape, I think they will be playing through the keyhole,ya know the game "who could possibly live in a house like this"well probably half of Romania or a psf mla,as for cursing the pope hon he still hasnt excommunicated me the f##ker probably counting alter boys, Ive been left to fend for myself so next week I,ll probably be mostly eating beans human beings!!!I unfurled the nazi flag out the window today the neighbours think its the new psf cummans flag

  33. Nuala please dont jump down my throat or send the leigon of Mary upon me but has anyone else noticed the Dominoes pissa add on itv at the mo ,well what I wish to know is whoever arranged the salami where they taking the piss

  34. Marty, has Larry been recruited by Marie's squad? Seems to be very quiet lately, maybe he's an England supporter!
    Or maybe, he has had to do re-sits for all that messing when he should have been studying.

    For those who still believe in divine intervention. I really hope we see it translate into annihilation and sheer humilation for the Brits today.

  35. Nuala Larrys missus has had a very narrow escape, but you know the saying "we only have to be lucky once"poor lass its only a matter of time, which come to think ot it you havent said wether you yourself have taken up the mantle or should I say have you ever left it down, as for Larry I know hes away on a top secret mission involving loads of drink and loads of semi naked weemen kinda Jimmy Bond the Lurgan spade thats all I,m at liberty to say at the mo other than you can bet your life come 3pm he.ll be strutting about in Germany,s colours like the rest of the world

  36. Marty, I was wondering when you would get to that question.
    As Marie would tell you we sort of operate on a need to know basis.

    We are something like the Legion Of Mary, only in reverse.
    A secret society so to speak.
    So to divulge what we do or don't do would be deviating from the rules.

    I take it the Clinic did not work for Marie, considering she is off on her travels again?

    Albert is taking himself off next week as well. You would never know what he is up to Marty. A shady character as you well know.

  37. MMM Marie is gone awol now ya tell me that Albert is about to shake of the domestic shackle,oh Lordie could that poor lad be seduced by those sirens,you realise that once under their spell hon there,s no escape,if your man returns hon he,l not be the one that left I,m afraid,my advice to you is lock the bedroom door and nail the window shut,play soothing music and reassure him that the pain will pass, failing that take his pocket money of him and hit him a slap around the gob,I,ll inform you when Marie returns this usually concides with the changing of the moon.I,m wondering since its Anthony,s birthday would she be paying him a flying visit, then even Marie would,nt be that cruel.in the meantime keep a close eye on our brave soldier Albert,buy him a 99 when the poke man comes round that,l keep him happy

  38. Marty, he is heading off to Cork for his yearly retreat?
    He did accidentally cross the path of Marie and Co one night. It was one of those nights that the girls were out in force and for some reason they gave him a by ball?
    Or so he thinks, maybe they just have him on a long leash?

  39. Nuala you above all should know that our marine Albert dosent do retreats, he just advances backwards, Cork should be safe enough,as Marie is up the opposite end of the country,you and I of course are left stuck in the middle holding the fort,at least we are safe in the knowledge that bangers in the hat is boring the life out of anyone remotely famous he can come across in that land beyond the big sheugh,hope he runs into Garry Glitter.

  40. Marty, if Marie is in Donegal we are heading there soon.
    You are right about 'Bangers' probably sent a few unsuspecting celebs over the edge by now.
    He is bad enough by himself but he has his brother in tow.
    Pay back time.