The Lad Done Great. The Untold Awards for Good Things in the WC so far

By Tony Attwood.

It ain’t all bad in football just now.  Here’s some things we’ve noticed along the way which have been good.

1.  No one much seems to have heard of Fat Sam of West Ham at the World Cup.  Buses are parked in the bus parked not on the pitch.  Quite a few teams attack.

2.  There are some good commentators; Brad Friedel is superb.  Insightful, entertaining, all you want all you need.

3.  England did take a psychiatrist – the Guardian helpfully corrects my assumption that we didn’t.  He was one of 72 people in the non-playing division that were taken, including presumably a physio to look after the physio when the physio injures himself in the wild celebrations.

4. Racism and homophobia is rampant in Mexico, and defended apparently by Mexican TV host Martha Figueroa, BUT there are movements from Fifa to do something.  We wait to see if they will do anything serious but a punishment of 10 home games with no homophobia or racism in sight or else they are refused permission to play any World Cup games in Brazil for two years.

5.  The foam is great – sad we can’t have it in the Premier League.  And we can’t because the Premier League want to look more closely at it!   Well, Untold can help here.  It’s white, and it’s foamy.

But of course allowing opposition defenders to advance to six or seven yards at free kicks is a prime way in which bent referees operate.  And we wouldn’t want to stop that would we?

On the other hand fullest congrats to Fifa.  They took the idea, and made it work.   And to Uefa for putting it into the Champions League.

6.  Arsenal injuries quite low.  The Ox and Vermaelen basically.  Let’s keep it that way.

7.  Chris Waddle’s still a great great guy.  I make no bones about this – I do like him.  I travelled once on a train from Newcastle to London when Chris was there with his children – many years ago.   One of them ordered Chris to go to the refreshment bar and get crisps – and Chris did.  He brought them back, and the child announced that they were the wrong type of crisps, and sent him back again.  And Chris did.  No fuss, no nothing.  Just a regular dad.

Here’s another thing about Chris.  He has told the story a number of times of when he announced he was going to Marseilles in 1989.  Now this was the time when English players didn’t do overseas.   Chris tells how his fellow players were incredulous – repeating asking, “Are you really going to France????”   Chris confirmed, and they all said, “How are you going to talk to them?”

Chris replied, “I’m learning French.”

“Nah,” said his team mates in England.  “Make them learn English.  Show them whose boss.”

He would have nothing of it.

And here’s another thing about Chris.  He played for Torquay, the official “second club” of Untold.    In fact Chris has played for 14 clubs – the last just one year ago.  None of your silly pundit stuff – he just loves playing.  And why not?

Anyway Chris said recently, “It’s not about wanting the best 11 flair players. We never, ever, ever learn.”

Good man.

8.  David James has said something similar in an article he recently wrote a piece in the Guardian (for which, as always, he paid his fee over to charity).

“If it’s just about technique, why aren’t English kids learning technique?  Why can’t we do what they do? It’s just learning.

“Which is what makes me feel so strongly that we need to look at investing more in coaching. The more coaches out there, the better chance of producing a really good coach, and the better the coaches, the better the chance of producing really good young players.

“Numbers are key, and that’s part of why I don’t buy into the idea that you have to be an ex-professional to be a great coach. But the costs remain prohibitive. To go all the way through to an A-licence badge costs thousands of pounds. That’s a lot for the average person.”

Eight nice things in the last couple of weeks.  Not bad.  But…

9.  I must add one comment from Adrian Chiles at half time during the Costa Rica v England match.   “A lack of width is our problem congenitally.”

Now let us pause and think what that means.

It means that from birth (that is the meaning of congenitally) England players have a lack of width.   They are therefore presumably very tall.  But not very wide.



Thank you Adrian.

10: Joel Campbell.  Say no more.



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26 Replies to “The Lad Done Great. The Untold Awards for Good Things in the WC so far”

  1. Not sure I agree on the lack of width as statistically we are producing more fat kids than ever.

  2. Apparently FIFA are reviewing the tape and will make an off-field decision. Normally had the officials seen this vampirism during the game he’d have been immediately ejected and get at least a 3 game suspension so lets see what happens.

  3. Re: Suarez:
    He must have rabbit teeth.
    Rabbits need to gnaw at things all the time.
    Otherwise the teeth keep growing…
    May be a large stock of carrots will help?
    (I hope I didn’t cross the line there somewhere.

  4. Let’s be fair to Suarez, the price of a snack at the Emirates is stratospheric, so you can imagine what a bite would cost at a world cup venue after FIFA’s cut. (About 12 months wages I would guess)

  5. @ Shakabula, nice one, and with a bit of work you can turn it into a Haiku. Where’s Joey Barton le philosopher when you need him?

  6. So how does it work now? Does any punishment get carried over to the Premiership or is it just for international games?
    I should also think that Madrid will reconsider any interest they might have had.
    Mario was a bit shit too wasn’t he? Could also have got a straight red. Do we need that type of player?

  7. maybe suarez is a snake…don’t they have a bite reflex even after they’re dead?

  8. @ oldgroover If he only gets an international ban he’ll be more attractive to other clubs – no clearing off for pointless friendlies or qualifiers.

  9. No more Chiles on football is a welcome bonus.
    But we still have to put up with the grotesque smirking Richard Arnold at breakfast.

  10. Another positive, England did not miss any penalties in the whole tournament, must be a first

  11. Joel got in some nice touches early on but Costa Rica played conservatively and there wasn’t a lot of support up front. He was withdrawn in 2nd half to keep him fresh for the next round.

  12. Cheers GoingGoingGooner. Makes sense. Also I wouldn’t have trusted some of those Liverpool players not to have taken him out in an OTT tackle. You might think it’s only an international and they’d put their club allegiances aside but some of them don’t. It happened with Jack.

  13. @ Oliver, if only he’d turned to camera, given it the thumbs up and declared “i’m lovin’ it” he’d have got away scott free.

  14. Best bit of ambush marketing seen:

    Belo Horizonte, Brazil -Some sarcastic England fans had their 15 seconds of fame during Tuesday’s Group D finale against Costa Rica.

    They held up a sign listing the various costs of the trip to Brazil: 1,200 pounds for the flight, 2,000 pounds for “enjoying the ambiance,” 2,000 pounds for accommodation. The punchline? “Arriving after elimination – priceless.”

    FIFA officials probably weren’t as amused as all the folks who retweeted an image of the sign, which plays off MasterCard’s signature ad campaign. The tournament credit card sponsor is Visa.

  15. Ozil has played well. He has consistently been a thorn in the side of his opponents. He’s not getting a lot of press (aside from Ballack’s comments)but he has been at the centre of many of Germany’s chances.

  16. The FA Coaching structure is extremely biased towards ex-professional players, so are the jobs working at Football League level and above.

    Even in today’s enlightened times English professional footballers are not the brightest stars in the sky.

    Hence you have the ‘thick’leading the ‘thick’……….a complete developmental disaster which is a constant.

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