Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

World Cup Watch (4)

World Cup Watch (4)

By Steve Wade

Still on the World Cup couch but as the competition moved into the knock-out stage; things, I found, got a little more intense. Even from an horizontal position, discomfort reigned. And, during a certain England game, I felt like Alex in Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, as my eyes were dutifully clamped open, and I was forced to watch horror images, while feeling slightly sick. Comfort-food was de rigueur.

Halfway through the weekend I was forced to upgrade my ice-cream brand, after discovering the perils of supine Magnum-eating: chocolate spatter. So rather than face the indignity of looking like I had encountered a fresh dog-turd with a garden strimmer, I went all Haagen-Dazs (affectionately known as Nena). A rather expensive date, I found, and actually not that good - too sweet - portion-control is a nightmare. So until Good Housekeeping Magazine, does an ice-cream special-edition, I will have to temporarily revert to chocolate Cornettos, with their predictable, yet manageable problem, of nut-shrapnel, joining the blue fluff in the navel.

I was feeling doubly-sick on Saturday as my heavy date with Nena caught up with me and I watched the Germans stroll to an easy win against Sweden - the
green-eyed monster gnawed at my English soul. Two-nil up, a Swede sent-off and they could play. Previously admired Swede, turned into a turnip. By early evening, I felt as mocked as an Austin Allegro parked next to a VW Golf. Stuff the comfort-food, I needed booze and lots of it. But all I had was cheese - woe was me.

The England team were not about to send in the SAS to rescue my feelings from my German hostages, as I found out on Sunday. As I remembered it later, it was like watching a new game on an old computer, and the frame-rate dropped to a crawl, even Ashley Cole's desperate rescuing-sprint, which kept the score at nil-nil, seemed to happen in slow-mo but perhaps it was a Steve Austin moment and I wasn't seeing it in real time. Robinson had his comic interlude when he mistook Ferdinand's head for the ball, or perhaps he was trying to get a bit of gel on his gloves to improve his grip on that slippery German sphere. Frank Lampard kept passing the ball back to their goalie.

England, it seems, were trying to play in little triangles but had yet to discover the hypotenuse. Too many close-ups of Rooney seemed to show that if he'd enrolled for handsome lessons, he'd missed a few classes. It was England's Johnny Vegas, compared to Germany's David Hasselhoff (yeah, I know he's an American but he's still a German idol, innit). Suddenly the sulky 'not fair' which I had been muttering since Germany's tour de force, began to seem a bit daft. The new BMW 5-series might not be as good as the old one but it is still a good car. An Austin Maxi, is still an Austin Maxi. A Rover 25 was never going to be a BMW. It was the
Millennium Dome, versus the new Reichstag. Kraftwerk versus Gary Numan. But just as I was composing a letter to Mr Blair, suggesting we all should get a plane, so we could leave the country too; David Beckham, in between bouts of projectile-vomiting (his not mine), looped a free-kick in at the near-post. Things began to look better.

Subsequent viewing of the other matches in the same round, acted as a strong reminder that there is a lot to be said for just getting through, whether you are Johnny Vegas or the handsome Hoff (read those Amazon reviews); a feeling which reached some kind of peak, when I changed channels, from a lovely programme about allotment-keeping in Edgabaston (The Guinea Fields), to watch the kind of score-bore that makes sensory-deprivation seem like a fairground-ride. Blessed, the cheese-makers maybe, but they didn't go through. Instead, their kit looking as yellow as a Chernobyl sunset, Ukraine won it by missing slightly fewer penalties than the Swiss. Elsewhere, better teams than England went out, so better a live Johnny Vee, than a dead Pisselhoff, I consoled myself.

As you might expect, if you live on a diet of ice-cream and cheese, you are likely to look more like Johnny Vegas than Darren Happeltoss, and I fear, in that at least, I am a fair representative of my nation. Sometimes you have to live with the truth and accept that handsome might be better than ugly but if you are ugly, it might be wise to learn to live with it. Life, it seems, is just not fair

Football, I noticed, from my World Cup immersion, is not going to challenge that assumption either. In fact, it seems that the best teams and the best players, are those who are not only better at football, but are also, within FIFA's latest moral strictures, rather better at cheating too. And, it has been the mark of many of the outsiders, particularly the Africans, that when it comes to cheating they lack the subtlety of many of their more sophisticated rivals. England, over the years, have a very patchy record: Linekar's penalties against Cameroon - outstanding; Gazza's German booking; Beckham getting sent-off - pathetic. Owen's penalty against the
Argies; Crouch's hair-pulling against T&T - excellent.

If England are to get anywhere near to winning the trophy, it is a side of their game they need to focus on. Figo's outstanding piece of work, which got Boulahrouz sent-off, was world-class and let us not forget, he was once considered the best player in the world. Henry's for France against Spain, might have been equally effective, but the fact that it was easily detected by the cameras, suggested he is not quite ready for that step up in class. The Latins might lead the way in this area of the game but I still consider the Germans, right up there with the best and certainly Klose is a huge talent. I think the Italians might surprise a few people too.

But whether we are Johnny Vegas ugly or we are to be perfidious Albion; whatever it takes, let's make it into the semi-finals.

Now where's that box of Cornettos?
Exclusive to Vital ! Read now ! The Vital Boxing John H Stracey Interview

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Friday June 30 2006
Time: 10:24AM

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - On 9h December 2007..

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

From Hate To Love! 5 Teams Villa Fan Does Like (Opinion)

JuanPabloAngel yesterday told us which opposition teams he hated. Today he's showing the love.

Away Fan Consultation Minutes From 7/12/2016 Meeting

The away fan consultation minutes from the last meeting.

The Villa Times - 09/12/2016 (Aston Villa News Round-up)

The uno fish ial Aston Villa news and views round up...

Pre Wigan Athletic Injury News - Ross Back / Nathan Not?

Pre match injury news for Aston Villa at home to Wigan Athletic.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
Villa_Grizzly
no email
Profile
Turkish Penguin
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile
Chris Heath
no email
Profile
M Calucar
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

The Vital Villa Player Of November
Suggested By: JP Fear
Gollini6%
Hutton1%
Chester5%
Baker5%
Westwood2%
Amavi3%
Jedinak33%
Gardner1%
Grealish2%
Gestede2%
Kodjia32%
Adomah 5%
Ayew1%
Other2%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 19 13 1 5 40 21
2 Brighton 19 11 6 2 39 17
3 Reading 19 10 4 5 34 1
4 Leeds Utd 19 10 2 7 32 3
5 Birmingham 19 8 7 4 31 2
6 Sheff Wed 19 9 4 6 31 1
7 Norwich 19 9 3 7 30 4
8 Huddersfield 19 9 3 7 30 -3
9 Derby County 19 8 5 6 29 4
10 Fulham 19 7 7 5 28 9
11 Bristol City 19 8 3 8 27 4
12 Barnsley 19 7 4 8 25 3
13 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
14 Preston 19 7 4 8 25 1
15 Aston Villa 19 5 10 4 25 1
16 Ipswich 19 6 6 7 24 -2
17 Q.P.R. 19 6 5 8 23 -8
18 Brentford 19 6 4 9 22 -2
19 Burton 19 5 7 7 22 -4
20 Wolves 19 5 6 8 21 -3
21 Blackburn 19 5 5 9 20 -7
22 Cardiff 19 5 4 10 19 -12
23 Wigan 19 4 6 9 18 -5
24 Rotherham 19 1 4 14 7 -26
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Red Bull Racing to take advantage of Merc turmoil?
Latest Vital Boxing News
On 9h December 2007..
Vital Football Comment

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Wigan Athletic (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 13 2016 7:45PM : Norwich City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 18 2016 12:00PM : Queens Park Rangers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 26 2016 3:00PM : Burton Albion (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 29 2016 7:45PM : Leeds United (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Jan 2 2017 3:00PM : Cardiff City (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.The Fear204
2.JuanPabloAngel131
3.HeathfieldRoad187494
4.sirdennis84
5.BodyButter72
6.TuBBz71
7.Stephen Jay Hawkings55
8.DeanoVilla51
9.Wurzel49
10.Melon Donkey32
Write for Vital Football