See that little cloud of dust over your computer? That’s TLF’s theory about opening World Cup weekends not always being entertainment fests going up in smoke. And yes. I did inhale.
The signs were there for a good weekend, with an early Friday TLF triumph as it became clear that the BBC Iplayer radio and First Capital Connect are a happy combination with the Mexico commentary only being lost for a couple of minutes. Sadly the reception always seemed to be spot when ever Robbie Savage was speaking. As he and his co-commentator deconstructed yet another poor decision in the Mexico game, Savage bemoaned, “ We don’t want to be talking about the officials all the time.” Well do you know what Robbie? YOU DON’T HAVE TO. Yes he made a mistake, like countless refs before him. Comment and MOVE ON. Oh…yes you are; to BT Sport for next season. Can’t come soon enough.
Fortunately that minor aberration did nothing to spoil the overall game, and nor did the ref (see he’s got me at it now) as Mexico finally scored a goal that wasn’t ruled offside. Which was celebrated by yours truly with a small jig of delight in M&S…I think I got away with it.
The Dutch performance, you wont be surprised to learn did take the jigging (steady) up a notch so that it became big, major, bouncing around the house while yelling at Mr TLF, “Oh my God. Come and see this goal. It’s amazing.” Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the fact that he has got Holland in the sweepstake, but even the man who retains a sense of perspective during this fiesta of football was grinning at those Robben goals. He certainly seemed more cheerful than the Dutch player whose boot bore the brunt of the free kick spray paint. The look he gave the ref would have suggested a slightly greater and maybe even match affecting crime….uh-oh I’m coming over all Savage again.
While there are negatives to the very late night nature of some games, it does mean that you have the day to spend with loved ones. Particularly those who you had, several weeks ago promised that our first free weekend, after so many when I had been busy (it’s always my fault) would totally be spent with and focussed on them….without checking your diary. OOPS. So it was an early charm offensive with a nice late lunch at Lussmans, a favourite St Albans restaurant. Sadly for Mr TLF it didn’t prove to be the football free sanctuary he might have expected, as I embarked on a long assessment of the various teams with our waiter. He is from Kosovo and was supporting England but also keeping an eye out for Switzerland who have a handful of his countrymen in the their team. As he put it with a certain degree of understatement, “you know these guys ended up there because of difficult times back home.” His enthusiasm meant that I watched the Switzerland game with a bit more interest on Sunday and was rewarded with some perfect swiss timing.
As predictable as that pun, was England’s ultimate, but honourable failure against Italy. Tres leoes were more bonito than they had been a in long time and fair play to Hodgson for the team he selected (Rooney debate aside). Sadly we just weren’t quite bonito enough.
France spent Sunday at the school of Honduran hard knocks. I can admire a bit of robustness in football but the stamping-hacking-and-overacting was not what I wanted to see from my latest adopted team…Too late to abandon them now as I have furnished myself with the away shirt. The real talking point of course from that game was Jonathan Pearce’s reaction. Or should I say over-reaction to the management of the goal-line technology. The man was a gibbering wreck. Perhaps he had a hefty bet on being the man on the spot when the technology failed. Perhaps he is not paid a salary but by the number of times he says, “if in doubt the referee can’t give it.” Or perhaps Martin Keown was serving up some serious cocktails. Either way, the one thing not in doubt today Jonathan is that you looked like a complete tool.
As it was a skool night the Argentina game was not an option. By the sounds of things, it was a bit of a slow start for them (the weight of expectation when you are TLF’s tip for the tournament should never be under-estimated) and I can’t quite work out from the various newspaper and radio reports whether Messi was brilliant or pants…
One player certainly does not make a team and it will be interesting to see today how the team with the world’s best player does against the best tournament team (copyright Radio 5 Live). Mind you it could be the Iranian’s incredible shrinking kit that takes all the headlines. I expect plenty of tight marking, with Querioz’s team aiming to put the squeeze on Nigeria (Don’t worry folks, I’m here all month).
Keep your eyes peeled for the rare and lesser-spotted football result, “the draw” and enjoy.
Der Verlorene Fuchs (as the Germans would describe me)
FRIDAY AND WEEKEND RESULTS
Mexico 1 Cameroon 0
Spain 1 Holland 5
Chile 3 Australia 1
Colombia 3 Greece 0
Uruguay 1 Costa Rica 3
Italy 2 England 1
Ivory Coast 2 Japan 1
Switzerland 2 Ecuador 1
France 3 Honduras 0
Argentina 2 Bosnia 1
…phew and the players think they are tired…..
5pm Germany v Portugal, Grp G
8pm Iran by Nigeria, Grp F
11pm Ghana v USA, Grp G
Phrase of the day – SpanishHe tenido mejores viernes
I’ve had better Fridays
Website of the day – You might have noticed the England player pictures that are being shown during the BBC’s coverage.. Drawn by Steve Walsh, who has a great website called miniboro.com they are on display at the national football museum.
Dish of the day – Some heart warming Iranian soup. Soup-er (BOOMBOOM)