Fewer Donkeys – More Hay for the Horses

During games featuring his Argentina side Diego Maradona’s comedy act of ritually blessing himself at the edge of his technical area seems to have prompted a response from the god with whom he has been communicating. It might not have been the response the Argentinean expected, but god works in mysterious ways. The divine response to Maradona’s prayers was simple: England were allowed to proceed to the last 16 of the World Cup only because Maradona had backhanded them out of the 1986 quarter finals in Mexico with the aid of ‘the hand of god’ as he has described his sleight of hand since. The infinite god who let Maradona con the referee for some strange reason our finite minds cannot understand, has on this occasion intervened to restore the balance. A just god we might all agree.

Well, not exactly, but that is how it will figure in the minds of some who think the invisible men of a celestial world poke into worldly affairs in response to some mumbled mumbo jumbo. Nonsense it may well be but it helps explain the scientifically inexplicable - a drove of donkeys managed to make its way through to the World Cup’s round of 16. Whatever the reason for that uncharacteristic success, few believe that England made it as a result of their soccer ability. Easier to believe in gods and miracles.

I didn’t get to watch the England game against Slovenia which saw the English scrape through. Like many others who missed the game, probably, I was busy with things I would rather not have been doing. Later in the evening I managed to watch the Germans take on Ghana, a match the Germans needed to win in order to make the knockout stage of the competition. And what a game it was. Both teams played some brilliant flowing football and the result could have gone either way. As well as wanting to view a great match I was also interested to find out who would knock England out in the next game, Ghana or Germany. An outstanding goal sealed it for the Germans.

Match commentary is an intensely focussed activity. Those good at it convey the atmosphere from the stadium to the viewer. Peter Jones of BBC Radio 2 back in the 1980s was so accomplished at match commentary that he could even convince the listener they were in fact viewing the game. Pity the poor commentator who draws the short straw to report on England games. It would go something like this:
Donkeyonkis picks up the ball and passes it over to Donkeyakis. It is now fed out wide to Donkeyopoulos who sweeps it in to Donkeyumpus. He takes it and stumbles his way into the 18 yard area where he falls over it. After much braying from the England side the referee awards a penalty which Donkeyagoulis now steps forward to take. The spectators pause in anticipation as the England midfielder swings his hoof and … hits the corner flag. Some England fans are cheering. It is the closest their team has come to scoring in 73 minutes. Donkeynagalot protests to the referee that it is the ball’s fault and is sent off for a second bookable offence – whinnying at the referee. England are in disarray as their mane player trots off to the paddock in disgrace where a brown bag is placed over his nagging head to reduce hyperventilation. But he is sniffing around the bag for a sugar lump. He has yet to learn that England players only get treats when they do something right.

In an autobiography detailing his playing career with England, Bobby Charlton boldly stated:
I fervently hope that Fabio Capello can lay down new foundations and that in ten years time we might just be able to invite the world to see first hand our love of the game – and a national team in which once again we can invest some pride.

Yet, some English football pundits on television the other night seem to have accordioned ten years into two. They insulted their viewers by proffering as serious commentary the notion that man for man the England team outshines the German side; that they would not replace one of the English first eleven with a German player. Big Heskey with a searchlight strapped to his head still couldn’t outshine the Germans. Jamie Carragher, Peter Crouch, better than the Germans – which Germans? Carragher is probably faster than Lothar Matthaeus today but it is a while since Matthaeus turned out for a German side. Crouch, with a possible future as a safari giraffe, might out jump Guido Buchwald who, at a mere 6’ 2”, is a dwarf by comparison. But Buchwald is 50.

Enough of the rubbish. Donkeys go home. Time for the steeplechasers.


  1. This world cup has turned out like world war 2!! The French surrendered early,The U.S.A arrived at the last minute,the Italians have capitulated and the brits are left to fight the Germans,the Irish arent in it but still hate the brits

  2. he haw Anthony you can be a bitch some times,those boys are gonna suffer enough without you putting the boot in

  3. Marty, no harm in a bit of winding. Today there are two possible World Cup winners in action - Argentina and Germany. If Mexico or England win today neither will go on to lift the trophy. All the banter and slagging aside England are not a team equipped to win the World Cup. Those of us apart from the pundits who regularly watch English soccer take that for granted.

  4. Would love to see the Germans destroying them. Could possibly be left up to Argentina though.

    A few years ago I had the pleasure of sitting in a bar in Spain and watching Argentina put them out.

    The Brits completely took over the bar. rearranged the seating areas, moved the TVs and literally covered the place in union jacks.

    They intimidated bar staff and punters alike.
    We did fight back though, Kevin was rigged out in the German kit and Albert was quite vocally cheering on Argentina.
    To say they were horrified by our behaviour is an understatement.

    Then, they were stuffed on penalties and the feeling was something else.
    All night, they had screamed about Goose Green and then they were well and truly goosed, MAGIC!

  5. lol loved to have been there Nuala, we could have cooked their goose for them, I,ve backed Argentina for the cup but as they say anyone but the brits, I see Danny boy Morrison is at Glastonbury and he,s talking about how he shook hands with the paras commander in chief, Charlie to you and me,! what a disgusting man! Morrison I mean

  6. Marty, always was an obnoxious, arrogant git. He seemed a tad put out, that Charlie did not recognise him.

    The day he was arrested he actually asked the Brit, 'do you know who I am?'

    Adams dumped him with great haste. Caught muddying the waters with informers, Big Gerry could not put up with that.
    Someone might implicate him.

    What an absolute asshole, Morrison is, one of those Mackers would say, 'could have bored the Brits out of Ireland'

    Is it too late to fly him over to England's dressing room? He would fit so lovely with all the other conceited bores.

    Doubt if anyone would want to stray into the dressing room knowing he was there.
    Except the Royals of course, now that he is on friendly terms with their da.

  7. I said it before it was the balls fault and I,ve been proved right, it keeps getting stuck in the back of the English net

  8. Just saw the end of the German blitz; youse got your wish!

  9. Nuala, the Germans utterly destroyed them. Now we can watch Argentina this evening and enjoy

  10. Fionnchú, we got our wish, didn't we just!! If they were a decent team I would like to see them do well. But they are rubbish and we are supposed to sit and listen to rubbish about what they might do. It is an insult to our intelligence.

  11. Nuala and Marty,

    couldn't care less who Danny meets and shakes hands with but it did surprise me that he would ring the BBC to tell them. Self promotion works best when it is discreet. Had Richard O'Rawe met Charlie I would not have criticised him but I could name the droves that would have been screaming about it.

  12. Macker,
    what a brilliant result.
    The look on their faces was priceless.
    Albert, said the atmosphere in the bar was electric.
    They should knight Fabio, provided they no longer use the sword.
    Wonder, did Morrison get into their dressing room?
    Could be an explanation.

  13. Thats excatly what it was Anthony,like the bearded one,once they get a whiff of a tv crew they just gotta show up,the eejit was probably running around Glastonbury on a pass, as some sort big wig from feile an phobail,telling any cronie with him stick with me I,m nearly famous, with a bit of luck someone will spike his drink and then his

  14. Marty, what were you about to say?

    Could just picture him walking around Glastonbury passing himself off as a big shot.

    Is it still politically correct to say shot?
    It's just Danny corrects people who call him 'Bangers'

    These days he sees himself as much more cultured and sophisticated. Surrounding himself with intellects, thespians and the odd shinner.

    I really don't care who he shakes hands with, just actually feel sorry for anyone who can't manage to avoid him.