Sunday, June 27, 2010

Whose World? What Cup? (Day 17)

As a British citizen, born and raised in East Anglia, I have more right than many of my readers to be supporting England in their quest for glory at the 2010 World Cup. However, I must confess I feel a sense of extreme disquiet in having to support this particular team.

It is true that they are getting better, I suppose. It is also true that they are reasonably good performers. But I think that compared with the other footballers I've seen at this World Cup, they are paid about 5-7 times too much. I am quite sure that a certain player who earns about £140,000 a week should not be earning more than £20,000, and if people do want to pay him more, it shouldn't be much more than £30,000. At least, based on his performances thus far.

If I had to say who was England's best player so far, I'd have to say James Milner. And I'd have to agree with a friend of mine who said Aston Villa might have played better than England if they had to use only their England players.

In contrast, Germany. I can't say I've ever supported them. After all, if you grew up in England and in the presence of adults who seemed to always be talking about the previous world war with one wary eye on the next, you probably would be squeamish about supporting Germany (East or West, in those days) or Russia (the USSR, then) too.

But tonight, I think my extreme disquiet with the present underperforming, underentertaining, overpaid England side might just spill over into a sneaking sense of admiration for the Germans. And even, dare I say it, the desire that they win it.

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Germany went 2-0 up in the first half-hour with goals from Klose, then Podolski. The central defenders Terry and Upson appeared asleep. Upson, on the other hand, redeemed himself with a good header to score and make it 2-1. Lampard then scored. Or at least, it bounced into the goal and out again — and was not given! What a scandal! But I guess the English deserve it as karmic burden from Hurst's non-goal that was given in 1966. I shall laugh if that proves a critical difference.

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Thomas Müller scores two in five minutes. It's 4-1 for Germany! Haha, now England bring on Emile Heskey to save them. It's tragicomic. You have to feel for an England team which is now under the cosh of the universal dharma. And that's how it ends. And if England had had that second goal, it would have been 4-2, probably.

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