Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Who Needs Lighter Balls?
Back from my break, punctuated by the wife’s brother’s marriage to a fine filly of Home Counties stock. Dad thinks talking about his golf handicap is hilarious, Mum’s a teacher with a brooding smile. The bride looked glowing. Umbria raged and cracked with thunder then reserved a baking hot twenty-four hours for the day itself.
May their wedded bliss trot happily into the Umbrian sunshine in a halo of diamonds, designer labels and dodgy all-over spray tans.
It seems that the Italians compact all their cynicism into their national football team and leave the rest of ‘em to smile and get on with their lives. The only thing that narked me was their 660ml bottles of Peroni were decorated with scorelines from the Azzurri’s previous World Cup successes. Four of them. Count them.
They don’t even know the meaning of the phrase forty-four years of hurt, the cocky bleeders. (Apart perhaps from Marco Materazzi whose ribs might still jangle for all eternity after the last final.
So what have I missed? Well not as much as Rio Ferdinand is going to that’s for sure. And not pizza. Christ I’ve had so much mozzarella my craps are coming out all stringy. Too much info. Apologies.
I’ve missed the fact that Shaun Wright-Phillips has made the plane. Fabio’s a fool - he could’ve taken young Adam Johnson and put SWP in Becks’s Gucci hold-alls. No one would’ve known.
Warnock’s presence proves that sometimes you look best if you just sit tight and let the other bloke make play with all the direction of a cub scout on a luggage carousel.
And Carrick’s there somehow – but the lad’s as brittle as a Cadbury’s Flake if you ask me and if he gets a start against the US that’ll be the one and only I suspect.
Of course the big news is Rio’s World Cup is over following a challenge by Emile Heskey. Who said Heskey was a terrible finisher, eh? One of vem fings, according to the erstwhile skipper but fortunately we have a ready-made fit-as-flea-replacement on hand in Ledley K... oh booger.
I’m assuming Steven Gerrard is now our captain. Stevie G. Not exactly the first name on my teamsheet at the mo. But Fabio’s admitted the wearer of the armband is cursed so maybe he’s got his fingers crossed that the Liverpool skipper might tweak a hamstring (or a nipple in his case, such has been his physical frailty) and eventually they’ll forget about giving anyone the job in the hope that they all fulfil the cliché of being 11 captains.
In the meantime I am given to understand that Rooney’s launching four-letter invectives at officials. This Jeff Selogilwe bloke is building up his part, isn’t he? Just how rare does he think it is to get sworn at by Wazza. Hellfire it’s almost a compliment. I hear the sewer-tonsilled Scouser made it up to the ref by giving him a sweaty shirt as compensation.
Nice touch, Wayne. It’s not like them polyester mix cling-film tops don’t flaming reek after walking to the shops in the damn things let alone after ninety minutes run-around with a right hairy apoth within it.
'Hooray - now to grow a crap beard and run the cloob slowly downhill'
And today, oh joy of joys, Rafa Benitez is departing these shores to take over the hotseat from the special one, probably crossing into Italy as I left. He’ll be up at the manager’s office right soon, opening the windows to let out the stench of utter self-satisfaction, repairing the doorframe after that massive bonce crashed out of it for the last time.
I expect Inter fans to get a not dissimilar team off old Faffa, but without the irritating iron will that Mourinho instils into his teams. A kind of Inter lite, I suppose.
It’s come at a good time for Liverpool. They surely didn’t want the bloke hanging round and continuing to furnish the Anfield turf with more useless sods than Wembley’s terrible surface.
So the trawl begins for Liverpool with Hodgson up the top of the list, I guess. Mind, he’s just signed Senderos so maybe the old boy’s marbles are getting a little difficult to locate. Ian Wright says Hodgson getting the job would be a victory for all English managers.
Mind you he also says stuff like ‘They need to get at ‘em, get in their faces, I mean they’re not doin’ nothin’! I mean come on England, come on!’ That’s the sort of intellectual input any national broadcaster really craves. Come to think of it with young Shaun out there he’s going to be worse than ever.
Frankly it wouldn’t be a victory for English managers any more than Inter’s Champs League triuph was a victory for Italy. It would be a great achievement for a fine old fella if Woy was to get the post, but then again they better hire him soon cos there’s a frigging shedload of dossiers blocking the door to the manager’s office.
The other thing of note is these new bloody footballs they’re playing with. Every major tournament some new ball gets invented that’s supposedly superior to the last. I remember one being described as the roundest ever, as if footballers up and down the land were stopping mid-run-up and asking themselves if the object which they were about to clog upfield could possible be called a true sphere.
This new jobby – called a jambalaya or summat – has already drawn criticism from Buffon and Casillas. It’s very light apparently. Which is the way things are going isn’t it. Soon toddlers will be able to twat a Ronaldo special in from forty-five yards with enough dip and spin to boggle the minf of Stephen Hawking (not that the Prof will be between the sticks, naturally).
How long before Darren Bent nabs a fluky winner for Sunderland cops some errant away fan chucked a proper flaming football on to the pitch? Bring back caseys with laces that took out your eyeballs. They were balls with balls if you get my meaning.
COME ON ENGLAND!!!!