Posts Tagged ‘world cup’

England’s World Cup Woes

So Russia have the 2018 World Cup and it’s to go to Qatar in 2022. Anyone trying to suggest that this decision has anything to do with football needs to go away and sit quietly in a dark corner whilst they reevaluate their opinion.

The decision by FIFA bigwigs is solely about where the power is in the new world order, and it’s not in quiet, dusty old England. No-one should be trying to make Panorama a scapegoat, either – this is a decision that would have been reached regardless of their investigations.

We live in an age of infocapitalists. Those with the biggest budgets are always most likely to buy up these big events – and who is bigger these days than the big, oil rich states?

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Royal wedding? Screw the recession, there’s dosh to be made…

And so the day has come! Prince William is to marry Kate Middleton. Be of good cheer, Britain, there’s new blood being drafted into the old firm!

It really is fabulous news, in such tough economic times, that the cuts will not affect everything. In 2011 there will be something for the whole nation to celebrate, especially the merchandise sellers, caterers and makers of bunting. It’s really an early Christmas present for them all.

And better still, it’ll take place 30 years after Charles and Diana’s wedding. We will have a new Princess of Hearts – and the same sort of economic straits then as now. Perhaps we’ll get anniversary riots in Brixton and Toxteth too, only to have the wedding calm them down.

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The Truth? Bend it About Beckham

Conundrum of the week is the strange case of why In Touch magazine ran a story suggesting athletic rumpy pumpy between Beckham and exotic model-come-prostitute Irma Nici.

I might be wrong, but it all feels so fake. Certainly, David Beckham looks set to sue the US magazine for the claims that he went a bit Rooney.

Bauer – who publish In Touch – clearly did not comprehend the chaos that would be unleashed. I suspect their office must have echoed with the cry of: “Bugger the truth, the story is too good to ignore!” The fall out and collective web chatter suggests a plethora of conspiracy theories. My favourite so far is the one that suggests that it is a hoax attempting to derail England’s World Cup bid. Read the rest of this entry »

No More Heroes: The media, football and built in obsolescence

Today’s edition of the Sun features an exposé of Wayne Rooney’s recent night on the tiles as his team-mates “completed rigorous pre-season fitness tours”. It is a typically irked and excitable article, chipping away at the veneer of sporting heroism that has been liberally applied to Rooney and his sporting colleagues in the past.

The article is desperate to get people fulminating about spoilt football players in the wake of England’s World Cup flop, on the assumption that these football “legends” are heroes and idols for the nation’s kids who are betraying their legions of fans by going out and being normal. They are doing nothing of the sort. Read the rest of this entry »

Hauling England Over the Coles

There is no hope for the England team – every time one of them opens their mouth they put their foot in it and someone (usually the press) helpfully shoves the boot in too.

What do we really expect, though, when the players have too much time, money and self-regard on their hands? Take Ashley Cole, for example: Read the rest of this entry »

The Next England Manager

There’s a deal of speculation about how long Fabio Capello is to stay in the job as England’s manager – a statement was even put out before the decisive group match suggesting that his job was in jeopardy.

It seems likely that he will go, and soon, despite a few bullish headlines suggesting that we should blame the players rather than the manager. Capello’s struggles with English and his authoritarian regime will not stand him in good stead. And he is not an accessible man, which is utterly essential in a job like this.

Look at Simon Cowell, a man who is subjected to equally rigorous scrutiny. Despite employing the services of Max Clifford Read the rest of this entry »

England’s Drowning

The Borkowski poet in residence, Adam Horovitz, returns with a versicle celebrating the reaction to the England v. Algeria match last night.

I’ve been drowning my ennui
in tequila, beer and noise,
trying to float the bubble
football blows and then destroys

I’ve been drowning my ennui.
I’ve been blotting the despair
that’s been welling up inside me
since England were laid bare.

I’ve been drowning my ennui
in lager laced with lime
and it tastes a little salty
but the drowning feels sublime.

The Endless Woes of English Football

From the archives – an old post from Euro 2004, reflecting on another dismal tournament for the English football team. We heap too much expectation on a bunch of lads who will never be able to exorcise the ghosts of the 1966 World Cup. The hype and the ballyhoo is too heavy a burden for any team to bear. Another tournament and more despair… Read the rest of this entry »

Orange Skirts, Flying Midgets and the World Cup

Ever heard of the beer Bavaria? Me neither, until FIFA made sure that absolutely everyone got to hear about it after Bavaria sent a team of pretty young female ambush marketeers to Holland’s opening match of the World Cup using tickets bought in the name of (now ex-) ITV pundit Robbie Earle.

One sacking, several arrests (ambush marketing being illegal in South Africa) and a barrel-full of free publicity for Bavaria later and the only clear winner is the beer company, although the attractive young ladies – already described as ‘blonde bombshells’ in tabloids and blogs – will probably enjoy their day in court. Read the rest of this entry »

England’s World Cup: Hype or Hope?

Forty-eight hours can feel like an eternity when your brand is in the centrifugal force in the maelstrom of public ridicule. In poor old Robert Green’s case, the error he committed by fumbling a save and letting in a dismal equalising goal in the World Cup match against the USA will plague him for the rest of his life.

Still, at least Green is English, where all he faces is ridicule and crushing, sweaty disappointment. In 1994, Columbian footballer Andrés Escobar was murdered after scoring an own goal in the World Cup. If England fail to progress, Green is likely to be vilified by the myopic soccer tribe in full rhetorical flow and be verbally lumped in with paedophiles, murderers and rapists in bitter conversations down the pub.

This despite the fact that, post-match, Green fronted up his error and bravely faced the media, admitting to the gaffe whilst attempting to take control of the narrative. In PR terms, it was a flawless effort in damage limitation. But, reading the papers today, the media continue to sadistically throw salt onto his open wound. We need a scapegoat and Green is the man of the hour. Read the rest of this entry »