World Cup Tales: When The World Cup Legitimised A Dictatorship – Argentina, 1978

May 30, 2010


Camouflage Comics
“There have been, over the last eighty years or so, several questionable decisions made regarding the hosting of World Cup tournaments. None, however, have been met with quite the fury that met the hosting of the 1978 World Cup finals in Argentina. The decision made to award the 1978 finals to Argentina was made in July of 1966, but after a military coup in March 1976 left the country in the hands of a military dictatorship, there were calls for the tournament to be moved elsewhere in a clash of ideologies that pitted the liberal left of popular opinion in Western Europe against the more right-wing politics of FIFA.” (twohundredpercent)


Japan 1-2 England – Video Highlights and Recap – Friendly – 30 May 2010

May 30, 2010

“England played their last warm-up to the 2010 World Cup with a friendly match against AFC side Japan. They still haven’t narrowed down their roster from 30 to 23 so it was a chance for a few players to try and impress Fabio Capello. Japan are not expected to get out their group but would provide a decent test for the Three Lions.” (The 90th Minute)


Book Review: The World Is A Ball

May 30, 2010

“I have no idea what kind of distribution The World is a Ball: The Joy, Madness and Meaning of Soccer is going to get outside of Canada and Ireland, where the author, John Doyle, has some kind of following. But if you’re in Canada, I suspect it’s going to be hard to go into a bookshop for the next two months without seeing this book prominently on display. Being football fans, you’re going to be tempted to buy it. So let me get the important part of this review of the way: if you do buy it, you will almost certainly be disappointed.” (Pitch Invasion)


World Cup Tales – Magyarország! The Greatest Team Never To Win A World Cup? Hungary, 1954

May 30, 2010

“The story of football in the years immediately following the end of the Second World War often seemed to be following a pre-prepared script, but it was a script that, at the World Cup finals at least, the competing nations seemed unwilling to follow. In 1950, the tournament should have been a procession for the host nation, Brazil, but in the final minutes of the final match, Uruguay silenced the Maracana. And four years later, one of the greatest teams in the history of the game would come unstuck in similar circumstances. They were the ‘Golden Team’ – the Hungarian team of Ferenc Puskas, Nándor Hidegkuti and József Bozsik. This Hungarian team was, tactically, one of the most important in the history of the game, and it only lost one match in four years. It just so happened, however, that the match that they did lose was the most important of all.” (twohundredpercent)


Photo: US v England Will Be All Kisses & Hugs

May 30, 2010


“A sign viewed at the USA – Czech Republic friendly earlier in the week. They get marks for effort, particularly with the clever implication Landon Donovan was planted on loan in England as some sort of spy (English flag on the chest and all), but the consensus is cutting off Wayne Rooney’s head would merely piss him off, thus scoring eight goals rather than two. The smart move would be cutting off Don Fabio’s noggin’ – he’s the brains of the operation.” (World Cup Blog)


Heysel: Requiem For A Cup Final

May 30, 2010

“There is no pleasure to be had in this evening’s second post, which is a BBC documentary of the story of the 1985 Heysel Stadium Disaster, which happened twenty-five years ago this evening. Even at a quarter of a century’s remove, and speaking as someone that watched the events of that appalling evening unfold live on the television, the capacity of the such events to shock remains undiminished. The crowning glory of years of English hooliganism laid bare in front of the whole world.” (twohundredpercent)


Two friendlies lead Capello back to square one

May 30, 2010

“It’s difficult to analyse England’s 2-1 win over Japan, simply because it’s not clear what Fabio Capello was trying to discover. Was this match purely an audition for individuals to stake their claim, or was he trying to find a cohesive shape? Assessing individuals was certainly on his mind, since Tom Huddlestone and Darren Bent – two players in danger of going home – were given starting places. This was plainly not the line-up that will face the USA. Capello stated in his pre-match interview that he had decided 20 of 23 the players, with one defensive, one midfield and one attacking position still up for grabs.” (Zonal Marking)


Route to ’66

May 30, 2010

“tsk tsk… there you go again with your 1966 nonsense. will you ever be able to discuss England without referring to that ominous year? i doubt it. it was a controversial tournament that ended in controversy. same goes for the italians winning on french soil in 1938, the maglia nera incident comes to mind as mildly controversial, but you don’t see the italians bringing up the glory days of the 1930′s every chance they get! some fascists might but that’s besides the point. italians revel in recent history because they have actually done something in international competition recently!” (The Dark Horses)

Group C: thank you for playing
J’en sais beaucoup de par le monde/ A qui ceci conviendrait bien :/De loin c’est quelque chose, et de près ce n’est rien./ Jean de la Fontaine, Le Chameau et les Bâtons flottants. From afar it is something big, and close it is nothing. that’s how i feel about this group. England. check out the previous post: route to ’66. USA. the obvious – the team is the freshest of the major teams at the world cup….” (The Dark Horses)

Route to ’66
(YouTube)