Preview: World Cup 2006
World Cup 2006
The World Cup 2006 - it'll be over soon...
The streets went wild with an awful lot of unnecessary honking last night as the Maltese-Italians celebrated their very lucky win.
I thought France were good.
Mandy and I liked Zidane's headbutt. Silly way to leave your last International game, but I'd like to find a replay of that on youTube.
Yes mr telepathy, that's it for another WC blog. The next question is when shall we start the one for 2008? Or perhaps we should practise with a Euro'08 effort as well.
Alas, let's make those decisions at a later stage. For now it's back to the bar in Marsascala for a Cisk and a packet of Twistees.
The last post
My top three most enjoyable games:
Australia 2 Croatia 2
Argentina 2 Mexico 1
Portugal 1 Holland 0
Some other good ones!
Germany 4 Costa Rica 2
Italy 1 USA 1
Argentina 6 Serbia & Montenegro 0
Spain 3 Tunisia 1
France 3 Spain 1
If there were any other good games, then I was probably asleep or at work, or both.
And that's it from me.
I'm out of here.
And now, the end is near, and so we face our final curtains
Is that it then? Has this blog reached its end? A lot of football water's passed under the bridge since I last updated. Have we lost the World Cup will to live since our ghastly inevitable godawful sweaty agonising exit at the weekend?
By the way, I tipped Italy before it all began, not that anyone remembers.
It's alleged that one of the Portuguese football players failed a drugs and alcohol test after the match. If this is confirmed as positive, under World Football Federation rules, paragraph 6 sub section 2e, Portugal will forfeit the quarter final match and England will play France in the Semi Final on Wednesday.
Scroll down for the full transcript of this report.
Carlsberg do not send emails, but if they did they
would probably be the best emails in the world.
Last post from me from Sydney before heading back to the UK to watch England demolish Portugal, then Brazil and then beat Germany 4-1 in the final with a hat-trick from Aaron Lennon in extra time.
Mandy enjoys a Toohey's New Shandy in the Surf Rock Cafe in Collaroy before the penalty.
It was never a penalty ref. Was it? I mean I know you've got to watch your footing in the penalty area, especially with the Italians, but that close to extra time I mean come on. We wanted extra time. Not some anti-climactic dodgy decision.(image)
This is Mandy and Louisa in the first half before the effects of beer at 2am on 3 hours sleep started to take effect. You can tell that because in this picture they are standing up.
A terrible way for Australia to go out, especially considering how much above their expected level of performance they'd played in their 4 games.
Despite the penalty incident, Neill was for me their player of the tournament.
I can still taste beergate (a new cocktail I invented for the World Cup contining beer and Colgate).
ENGLAND 1-0 ECUADOR
England beat Ecuador but they were boring. So I've attached a photo of a funny shirt instead.
Should I shouldn't I?
I am debating whether or not to wake up to watch the Germany v Sweden game. Of course I know I will end up doing so, but the thought of waking up at the weekend at 1am and crawling out of a warm bed in the middle of Winter is not appealing.
I predict Germany 0-0 Sweden, then a golden German goal.
Jurgen Klinsmann: "We mustn’t be eliminated – we’re a football nation. Even a quarter-final exit would be a catastrophe."
World Cup Sh*t
Three things that are sh*t about the World Cup:
1) I can't find a World Cup venue on Sydney's Northern Beaches that is showing the Australia game. Our local pub advertises "All World Cup Soccer games here LIVE" but when calling them they say "nah mate we're shut".
2) I got one point out of 4 in my tipping content and am now 9 points behind the leader.
3) I am behind Mandy in the tipping contest.
Re: AUS BRA
Are you being held hostage in a hotel room until the end of the month? It looks awfully glamorous.
I saw AUS BRA in a trendy club. It cost seven quid to get in, and then it took half a bleeding hour to get a drink. Never again.
It was (surprise) full of Brazilians and Aussies. I was very much on the Sheilaroos' side, but despite a brave performance, it wasn't to be. I was thinking of you, propping up your eyelids at 3 in the morning, chuckling away at fatty Ronaldo.
Right now there is TOG SWI online, but I can't raise much enthusiasm for that. It would be nice if once of the ARS players in this game scored, then they could join Rosicky, Ljungberg, van Persie, Henry as World Cup goalscorers.
BRAZIL V AUSTRALIA - half time report
I wonder what the odds for that would have been.
Australia are actually defending quite well. They're closing down the Brazillians quite effectively, but let's not forget that Brazil are also not making the most of some of their chances. They need to start taking some more risks though.
The earlier game between Croatia and Japan was a draw, so Australia can lose this and still go through to the 2nd round if they draw against Croatia. I think Guus should bring on Kewell at some point in the 2nd half.
All of a sudden qualification seems possible.(image)
I was going to take a photo of the game, but there was nothing of note in the replays, so here's a shot of the view from my hotel room instead. It's a bridge in Canberra, in the dark, with no cars on it. What a fascinating blog this has become.
We went to the local RSL to watch it. There were 5 other people there and one of them was the bouncer.
So we watched the 2nd half at home, which was much better.
I thought we weren't all that convincing.
I wanted to see a robot dance but was sadly let down.
Live: Argentina v Serbia & Montenegro
(image) (image) (image)
Watching at work is great, apart from you can't really watch as you have to do some work. It also spurred me on to figure out how to take screen captures of streaming Real Video. The boys in the studio are drooling over Argentina. They look streets ahead. England, meanwhile, have been woeful in spite of winning both games.
At this moment in time, right now, as I write / type this, I am sat in Rydges Melbourne on level 12, room 03, it's 12:45am and Korea are leading Togo 2-1.
Togo took the lead of course. But Korea are gradually bringing it back.
I am making the most of the in-room HSIA and it's actually quite mega.
I've just ordered a veggie pizza on room service (it's all they have after 11pm) and gave the nice man a massive tip of $0. I'm in Melbourne on some website training gubbins. It's 7degrees, I'm cold and I miss my wife.
I'm also going to wake up to watch Brazil despite the fact that means I'll have 4 hours sleep for the second night in a row before a whole day's presentations and then a flight to Brisbane tomorrow night.
Work is SO overrated. Can I go home now?
"Ecuador my life, football my passion, the cup my goal"
I got Ecuador in the office sweepstake, so I am mainly suppoting them. They had an excellent start against Poland, so a win against Costa Rica will see them through. We might meet those spoiled overrated plodders England (my 'other' team) in the next round so there may be some split loyalties.
Wizards of Oz etc...
My friend Paul in Spain says that John Aloisi is the friendliest footballer he's ever spoken to. So, well done to him and hats off to Australia for their exciting win. Did you go nuts? Are you still there?
Well it's the big one tonight. Big if you're Australian that is.
Last time they were in the World Cup they pulled off a "monumentous" draw against Chile. Ok, yes that's right I said Chile, and what they don't tell you whenever they recount that match on the TV is that it was a 0-0 draw. Yes that's right, in the 1974 World Cup they didn't win a game and didn't score a goal.
But that's supposed to all change today.
Japan is a must win game for Australia. You don't fancy them getting anything from the Brazil tie, and Croatia will be a tough ask, so a draw probably won't cut it for the Socceroos.
I've put them down to lose in my tipping contest. According to the stats 70% of tippers are backing an Aussie win and 10% a draw.
Groo, any pre-match musings?
Matchday 2 - Report from Sydney
Yes the England game was a bit of a let down after a good start. I thought after the deflected goal and the attacking moves that followed that we might be on to a good score here, but alas no.
Oohh that Mexican ref. He (Dracula) got a few swear words amogst our group. I was particularly annoyed by the way Peter Crouch would get penalised for anything like scratching his arse. I mean come on, he's a HUGE lad, he's going to knock the other players now and again but he wasn't doing anything wrong. Certainly not deserving of the number of decisions against him.(image)
We had a lovely meal by the way, baked veggies with goat's cheese served in a pumpkin followed by Mandy's golden syrup steamed pudding. Culinary triumph's all round.
Yes, Skype skype skype...
We drove home and watched 10 minutes of the Sweden game then decided to go to sleep. A wise move. Great to see T&T get a World Cup point, and very good for us now that we're firmly on top of the table. Although the T&T game this week won't necessarily be the walkover we first thought.
Didn't watch the Argentina game. I was in bed dreaming of being pulled over for drink-driving for some reason.
Next big game over here now is Australia v Japan tomorrow at 11pm. The TV and papers are full of beaming Socceroos.
Come on Rooney, get off that bench and give us some England goals.
Three game days
Well, I'd forgotten the dedication it takes to watch three World Cup games in one World Cup day. It's exhausting, but I'm proud of myself for putting in the hours.
England was not all that good in my estimation and Sven's substitutions were questionable, and his decision not to take a fifth striker was shown up for the MISTAKE he'll never admit it is. Still, a win is three points and we can only improve.
You'll be pleased to hear I swore vociferously at the fussy Mexican referee, especially when he yellow carded Steven Gerrard. We played too many long balls and lost possession too much, especially in the hot conditions, I thought. The studio guests said that Sven's years in Italy meant that he's content to defend a one goal lead - but what about the players?
The most ridiculous moment though was when Paul Robinson kicked the ball upfield and it bounced back at him off the hi-tech video screen thing hanging miles above the stadium.
Sweden v Trinidad & Tobago being a 0-0 was the best result for England. T&T did extremely well, and I was delighted they got a result after going down to ten men shortly after half time. Shaka Hislop was excellent after being called in to replace the number one choice keeper, who tripped over going into the changing room or something.
Talking of goalkeeping heartbreaks, you had to feel sorry for the Paraguay keeper who went off after only six minutes against England after doing himself a mischief following a clearance.
After SWE TRI there wasn't much of a rest before ARG CIV (Argentina v Ivory Coast). Are there any World Cup three letter abbreviations which could make up a proper word - like if Wales and Russia were to play it would be WAL RUS? Never mind.
ARG CIV was another ITV game, and their commentators are really annoying me. It's never bothered me much before but the crass comments and pathetic attempts at humour are doing my head - Tyldesley and (yes) Drury are the offenders. A poll on the BBC website (no bias then) comes out 90% in favour of the BBC coverage so far.
I'd have liked the Ivory Coast to have got a result but Argentina were deserving 2-1 winners. They look top quality. The Elephants look very useful too, and are still very capable of qualifying from a tough group.
After all that was Rio's World Cup Wind-Ups (ITV of course), where Rio Ferdinand played Beadlesque prankster tricks on his unsuspecting England mates. It was terrible and I really enjoyed it.
World Cup fever!
I am almost overwhelmed by the fever.(image)
The country is gone mad. (image)
It's also the hottest day of the year. Ever. Lobster faces and outdoor lager drinking ahoy!(image)
We need to fix up a Skype session Mr Brewery.(image)
I was reading our 2002 journal - lots I'd forgotten!
Making preparations for the England game:
1) Looking up the Tottenham players to make sure that when asked Spurs related questions I can answer with some level of education. A lot's changed since I last saw them play.
2) Watching replays of the games from last night.
3) Changing my tips for the games tonight (for the 5th time).
4) Choosing trousers to go with my England top. Jeans I think.
We're off to a friend's house (English couple) to watch the game. I'm taking a bottle of Rosé and 12 cans of lager. I think that should just about be enough, but it's England so you can't be too careful.
Mandy's made a golden syrup steamed pudding for half-time. I bet they don't get that in the changing rooms.
Come on England. And come on Telepathy, we need your thoughts on day 1...