Liam delighted as Sepp scores another own goal
ON THE COUCH:Yesterday was an ‘infamous day’ for football, but Liam Brady is still smiling
DID YOU get that text from the English and Mexican camps yesterday? “We r all Irish now,” it read, “we apologise 4 telling u to quit whinging after Paris and 4 laughing at ur reply about hoping that the absence of video technology wud bite ye in the bottoms at the World Cup”?
You don’t, of course, like to say I told you so, unless you’re Liam Brady. “The World Cup just gets better for me and all Irish people because this is an embarrassment to Sepp Blatter,” he said at half-time in the England v Germany tussle.
“I’m sad for England, but absolutely de….li…..ghted for Blatter.”
We were too, to be honest, and if he hadn’t blocked our text messages after Paris we’d have sent Sepp one yesterday, along the lines of: “U r a dorkus malorkus.”
Even if, say, Lionel Messi scores the goal of this or any other century in the next fortnight it won’t knock from the top of the ‘Most Memorable Moments’ list the sight last night of the officials’ spotting on the stadium’s big screen that Carlos Tevez was a couple of dozen miles offside when he scored Argentina’s first goal against Mexico. But not being able to use the information because, well, they can’t.
So, the only fella who’ll, possibly, lose his job is the fella responsible for showing on the stadium’s big screen that Carlos Tevez was a couple of dozen miles offside when he scored Argentina’s first goal against Mexico. You have to laugh. Unless you’re Mexican.
“To be done like that is a head-wrecker,” said Eamon Dunphy, and even Ossie Ardiles agreed, despite his compatriots benefitting from the madness.
“A farcical decision,” said he, Bill O’Herlihy declaring it to be “an infamous day” for football. The cackling sound you heard emanated from rugby and cricket circles, two technology-friendly sports that, combined, gross about as much as John Terry in an average year. Ish.
Earlier in the day, though, Didi Hamman was fairly determined to point out that Frank Lampard’s goal that wasn’t had feck all to do with England’s demise, and for once the lads over on the BBC very nearly agreed with their RTÉ comrades.
“An abject performance,” said Gary Lineker. “You cannot believe how bad England were,” said Alan Hansen (who’d told us pre-match that the Germans “are an average side and are eminently beatable”). “I don’t know where to start . . . they were hopeless from start to finish,” said Alan Shearer. “Defensively, it was the worst team performance I’ve ever seen,” said Lee Dixon. “Shambolic, it really was,” said Hansen.
“Quite frankly it was awful,” agreed Dixon. “They could have lost by five or six,” said Hansen. Dixon disagreed. “They could have lost seven, eight, quite easily,” he sighed.
Heavens above, when you think back to the hope-jammed build-up. Like on Sky News.
You could only admire the courage of Georg Boomgaarden for standing on a London street in his Deutschland shirt yesterday, the German ambassador to Britain chirpily pinning his colours to the mast for his interview with the channel.
It began amicably enough, but then Georg was asked what he thought about the rivalry between the two nations. “Is it based on the war, penalties, what?” wondered the newsreader. If Georg had wept at that moment we’d have had the Kleenex at the ready. “Warlike vocabulary is not really the best for it because it is a football competition,” he said. A prediction, ambassador? “If it was a horse race I would say 1-0 – for Germany,” he replied, all set to see Joachim Loew’s stars.
Next we were treated to a chat with comedian John Bishop. “The Germans have no sense of humour . . . they rob our sunbeds on holidays . . . we proved a point with the war, now we need to get back to the football.
Slovenia didn’t even exist a couple years ago, it’s like playing against Narnia . . . Algeria?! No one knows anyone from Algeria. They’ve never played football before, that’s why they weren’t complaining about the ball . . . this is the first proper team we’ve played. The Americans don’t count, they call it soccer.” Next week, apparently, John will be the support act to a crutch in the Liverpool Empire.
Like John’s act, the BBC was a laugh-free zone come full-time. Gary, who’d earlier hinted that Jurgen Klinsmann was “smug”, a bit like Louis Walsh accusing someone of being publicity-hungry, decided the problem was a non-English one.
“We’ve tried a couple of foreign coaches, is it time to try an Englishman,” he asked ‘Arry Redknapp. ‘Arry defended Fabio Capello, manfully, while coming mightily close to shoving his CV down the camera lens.
“We’ll always remember the Uruguayan linesman,” said Gary, as he bid us farewell, “but England really have no defence – literally.” And this from the fella who had us convinced they were world beaters.
“They got what they deserved,” said Giles. “And so did Sepp Blatter,” Liam smiled to himself.