The Morning After

And so, the dream that never was anything more than a dream is now over. And while we English lick our wounds and think about what might have been, it’s only right that those readers and tweeters who have asked for my considered opinion on matters football get their manna from heaven.
I’ve thought long and hard about how best to put my thoughts in some sort of rational order. I had plenty of time to do this last night because the neighbourhood dogs kept everyone awake all sodding night. Again. But I digress.
Anyway, I couldn’t come up with any rational order, so I’m just going to do a quick  memory dump on stuff which occurred to me yesterday and in the intervening period between then and now.

I’m angry. This is in marked contrast to when Bafana Bafana bowed out (which was essentially after their 0-3 to Uruguay) when I was sad.  To go out fair and square is disappointing. To go out because of refereeing ineptitude is infuriating.

FIFA have to introduce video technology to help refs out. Yes, I recognise that “Write to Sepp” is on every English person’s agenda today, but I’ve said this before. FIFA’s continuing refusal to instate video replays into football is frustrating and foolish. And that’s without a whole lot of other f-words I could have used. Yesterday, Lampard’s “goal” wasn’t a goal and that affected the entire game and with it, potentially, the entire tournament.
It’s not “sour grapes”. It’s embarrassing to love a sport so much and watch it become a laughing stock because its “owners” want it to stay in the Dark Ages. We saw it again in the second game yesterday – Tevez’s first goal was way offside and why didn’t we get goalline camera replays of that Mexican effort that wasn’t given? The conspiracy theorist in me is screaming out that someone had had a word upstairs.

Those who say that “it wouldn’t have made a difference” are laughably naive. Consider the game in Bloem yesterday, one side going in at 2-2 having been 0-2 down: you tell me who’s going to have the psychological edge in the second half. You tell me who’s not going to have to commit too many players forward, leaving themselves vulnerable at the back.

That said, England haven’t lived up to expectations. There’s been a lot of talk of English “arrogance”, but this is a side that won all but one of its qualifying games for this tournament – they had every right to expect to do well, but too many big name players just haven’t performed. Why? Well, I don’t think it’s this “too much football” thing, because every other team is full of players that have played the same amount of football – much of it in the Premiership. Maybe there’s the issue – not enough English players in our own leagues.
So what we’ll do is to get the tabloids to blame the “durty forrennurs” and then do nothing about it until this happens again in 2014.
Oh Joy.
Oh – and I do hope that someone introduces John Terry to Matthew Upson on the plane home, because on the Free State Stadium pitch, it did look like they’d never met before.

And then I looked at Twitter to see why things didn’t go our way. And I wondered why I didn’t look there earlier.
Look at Simon Dingle’s reasons for the Lampard wonder strike not being given:

In the run up to the World Cup Germany gave us advice and support while the English media ran us down. Justice.

Ah yes Simon – of course. Those earthquake, race war and snake stories. Although I might be missing the meaning of your word “support” there. Do you perhaps mean Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness’ comments:

“I was never a friend of a World Cup in South Africa and Africa as long is the security issue is not 100 percent solved,” Hoeness said.
“Mr Blatter had to have his way, I always considered it wrong. Now you have to make the best out of it (but) I am convinced that deep down Mr Blatter has realised that giving the World Cup to South Africa was one of the biggest wrong decisions he ever made.”

Full on support right there. And here’s some more from Franz Beckenbauer:

Beckenbauer, who captained Germany to World Cup success in 1974 and coached the winning side in 1990, says few German fans can afford the expensive tickets and are put off by South Africa’s reputation for crime.
“Not only are there doubts by those thinking of travelling there, because of security, but the tickets are too expensive,” Beckenbauer, who is on FIFA’s executive committee, told German broadcaster Sky.

This after his earlier comments:

The organisation for the World Cup in South Africa is beset by big problems,” the German legend claimed.
“But these are not South African problems – these are African problems.”

Justice indeed, then.

And then, even more laughably, self-proclaimed social media guru, Khaya Dlanga:

England won’t stop talking about how they were robbed. well, England robbed entire countries during colonialism. Lol

Lol! Yes, if you put ‘Lol’ after something,  it makes everything ok. e.g.:

Hitler wasn’t such a bad chap after all. Lol
Paedophilia in the catholic church is actually ok, because they’re men of god. Lol

Presumably, this also explains why Norway failed to qualify, having had that Viking thing going on, but I’m not sure how the Netherlands have got this far.
Quite how colonialism is going to rear its ugly head at tomorrow night’s Spain (Mexico, America, East Indies) v Portugal (South America, Angola, Mozambique) game remains to be seen, but I’m sure Khaya (who describes himself as “Speaker. Columnist. Copywriter. Humourist. Seriousist. Typoist. I’m too schooled to be cool. I never eat black Jelly Babies.” and who I describe as “a complete tosser”) will have some pithy amusing comment to drag things down to a racial level and sort it all out.


UPDATE: Thanks to the several of you who have sent me the “What’s the difference between England and a teabag? The teabag stays in the cup longer.” “joke”.
England’s World Cup campaign kicked off in Rustenburg on 12th June and ended yesterday in Bloem on 27th June. That’s 15 days. How long do you stew your tea for? More than 15 days? Is this some sort of African thing? How do you keep it warm?
Or have you just not thought it through?

UPDATE 2: via Sky News:

Major officiating blunders in two World Cup knockout games have sparked outrage among fans.
But FIFA officials ducked the controversy when faced with hostile questioning from journalists at their daily briefing.
In fact, the governing body failed to send any officials with responsibility for refereeing to the press conference.

Spokesman Nicolas Maingot said it was “obviously not the place” to debate refereeing errors or the merits of goal line and video technology. Lol


18 thoughts on “The Morning After

  1. Not 100% that England would have won if the goal was given, however it would have been a different and much closer game.

    Regarding the use of technology – you are right, ok maybe we do not want to add too many delays with too many referrals – so why don’t they offer one referral to each Captain, to use when they think that the ref or other officials have missed something. In yesterday’s games that would have give England the 2 – 2 draw at half time and taken away Argentina’s offside goal. The games would have been fairer and certainly closer.

  2. Fair comments.

    But as far as I know you can’t be offside from a goalkick (like a throw-in).

  3. I must admit, I am excited about the prospect of Germany playing Argentina in the quarters (seeing as I have tickets for the game), but I am little disappointed to see England go home.
    Disappointed on 2 fronts, the first being they didn’t live up to the expectation set by the way they played in the qualifiers and 2nd being the “controversy” of the goal that was that wasn’t.

    FIFA will make some half assed press release about how human error adds to the game and that linesmen are human too.
    How about a very simple RFID tag on the ball that sets off fireworks or dancing girls as soon as it passes between the sticks and over the line?
    Just one little bit of tech that won’t slow the game down and need countless replays.

  4. The officiating has indeed been an embarrassment, as is Khaya. Besides the obvious need for some sort of goal-line technology or appeal system, some of these refs/linesmen are a joke – surely the selection process could be more robust, even if that makes it less inclusive? Competence is a greater virtue than representativity, in this instance.

  5. The officiating in this World Cup has been appalling. And I’m sorry to see England out.

    Here are my ten cents.

    Capello has to go. Anyone who puts Heskey on when you need 3 goals obviously has a serious crack habit.

    Terry, Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney. All on the teamsheet as a matter of course. All utter shite this World Cup.

    It’s been said before. But I’ll say it again. Gerrard and Lampard should not be automatic selections. At least not together. Gerrard is not a left winger. He is a player that operates best in the middle behind the striker(s). So is Lampard. It’s no accident that all the crosses that went into the box came from the right.

    England had no Joga Bonito. They looked like scared little boys. Maybe this fall to earth will lighten the weight of expectation for the next generation and allow them to play with a bit more joy come 2014.

  6. Agree with Roni (don’t tell anyone, though). Another issue that’s bothersome is the ball – not the Jabulani complaints generally, but the fact that Germany & Japan (at least, maybe there are others?) had months of practice with it. Japan’s superb free kicks in their last game are perhaps evidence of this familiarity?

    If we’re aiming at the pinnacle of football competition, then apart from refereeing competence, FIFA should surely also try to even out potential competitive advantages such as this? Such as, everyone getting the ball a month before the tournament starts?

  7. …you said it all! Khaya really’ disappointed’ me yesterday and I was glad of your tweet to him – exactly what everyone else was too nervous to say themselves..I was like, huh! WTF does that have to do with it…I was thinking every other effing northern european nation should be tarred with that effing brush..of course the British 22yr olds on the field must have been thinking to themselves – if only our ancestors HADN’T got off their arses and left their stone houses and explored the rest of the world..that goal would SURELY have been called in! Tosser did come straight to mind! effing Bravo!

    ..your point about the psychological advantage and the throwing all players into attack in the 2nd half was F*&$ing spot on..alas ..I dine with many stuffy old men in their 70’s (Sepp Blatter-esque) and the chances of them sending an email their much younger wives didn’t arrange is highly unlikely and new technology is a definite taboo (grief, shoot me before I get like that) so I believe that is why they haven’t embraced the ‘eye in the sky’ principal and will possibly, belligerently continue to resist.

    ..keep on doing what you do Mr 6000..

  8. Phillip Gibb > I don’t think that the danger of it “ruining the game” can be a reasonable excuse. What did those decisions yesterday do?

    Altus > Correct. Thanks.

    Reflex > Dancing girls. I like that. Sepp would go for that, too.

    Jacques > These are the best the each FA could offer. Sad, isn’t it?

    Roni > Some good points, well made. See you tomorrow for ESP v POR in the rain?

    Jacques > Each FA was given Jabulani in December. But I’m not sure if FIFA meant the ball or the epic PJ Powers hit single.

    LanKarner > You mean this tweet?

    @khayadlanga Don’t be a twat. Or can’t you help yourself? ‘Lol’

    Written in anger and I still stand by it. So it must be true.
    Thanks for the props. I’m not about to quieten down, believe. 😉

  9. Jacques, regarding your comment on the Germans playing with the ball longer. It appears that the Premier League we’re given the option of using the ball from December or something like the Germans, BUT the Premier League have a contract with NIKE to supply us with the match balls in the Premier League, and UMBRO to supply the national team with the balls, so they were unable to take them up on the offer. Should dig up the goal area, and have it so when the whole of the ball hits beyond the goalline a light goals off at the back of the net a little like in Ice Hockey

  10. Yep Wiggy and 6K, that’s what I was referring to (and apparently something similar was the case in the J-league). Given that these long-term contractual agreements (Nike/Umbro for British football) could be said to handicap players from affected nations, I was suggesting that the ball shouldn’t be available for use in domestic leagues where Adidas (currently) has the rights to produce the World Cup ball.

  11. Wiggy > That is exactly the problem.

    Jacques > It’s the perfect solution. Now… who’s going to tell Mr Adidas?

  12. We basically blogged about the same thing, although I didn’t go into the technical footbally stuff (must be ‘cos I’m a girl 😀 ) and I totally agree with everything you said.

    And I had to laugh at the end of your post… “Nicholas Maingot” – mein Gott, what an unfortunate name for a spokesman, ‘specially after last night’s game!! 😉

    Love from your favourite Viking. Lol.

  13. The only way that it could work in my opinion is for there to be a fifth official watching the TV coverage and be in instant radio contact with the referee.

    If it’s done on a replay, how would that come about – player protest? I think not.

    And how would you you restart the game? When video technology is used in Rugby and Cricket, the ball is dead. What we have to deal with is a live ball. Ball over line? If it is, the ball is dead. If it’s not, the ball remains alive.

    That’s why I think the only way is the unseen extra official blowing in the referee’s ear.

    As for the England:Germany game, it really wouldn’t have made any difference in my opinion. We (England) were crap throughout, and video technology doesn’t make any difference to that.

  14. England just weren’t good enough, as per usual believing their own hype about how good they were. I’m dead against the use of technology, it will affect the flow of the game and for one or two decisions a year where the ref gets it wrong, just not worth it in my opinion. (goal line technology would not have changed the Argetinian goal nor henry’s goal). Its sport, you win some, you lose some.

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