World Cup 2010: Henry Winter diary part 1

July 17, 2010

“June 3: Pride before a fall. England swan into town and the locals start dancing. They’ll soon be laughing, but for now respect fills warm air of the savannah at the Bafokeng Sports Campus outside Rustenburg. Even the king of the Bafokeng tribe turns up to greet Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand. The noble warrior does well to get close. England are surrounded by heavy security as they disgorge from a battle-bus emblazoned with the slogan ‘Playing With Pride And Glory’’. Someone obviously has a sense of humour. A nearby building would be better suited to hosting England — the Phokeng Trauma Centre.” (Telegraph – Henry Winter, Part 1), (Telegraph – Henry Winter, Part 2), (Telegraph – Henry Winter, Part 3)

Not For Glory Alone

July 17, 2010

“Two billion souls: One must begin with that. That’s how many people, or nearly so, sat or stood in view of television screens to watch twenty-two men kick a white ball around a green field on a warm July night in Berlin four years ago. The twenty-two men comprised the men’s national soccer teams of Italy and France. The occasion was the final game of the 2006 World Cup. The cagey match, as the world now knows, turned on an extraordinary event near its end when France’s captain and star, Zinedine Zidane, strode toward the Italian defender Marco Materazzi and, for reasons unknown, drove his bald pate into the taller man’s chest. The motion mimicked one he’d used a few minutes earlier to head a flighted ball inches over the Italians’ goal, coming ago nizingly close to winning the day for France. Now Zidane was expelled, his team was rattled, and a player in blue whose name few outside Umbria and Trieste recall darted inside a player in white and curled the ball inside the French goal with his left foot, cueing images, on countless flickering screens around the planet, of his countrymen celebrating Italy’s triumph in the floodlit waters of the Trevi fountain in Rome.” (Laphams Quarterly)

Those Who Strive

July 17, 2010

“I read an article this morning about how to build an audience on the internet. People on the internet, it said, don’t want a lot of fancy explanations and preambles. They just want to get in, get the information, and get out. People on the internet don’t need to know why you’re introducing something in a certain way, or where you’re thinking about going with it. They just want facts.” (Run of Play)

“They Didn’t Have to Deserve It … They Were Just Playing”

July 17, 2010

Andrés Iniesta
“His control of the ball, his first touch, looked just a tiny bit heavy by the exalted standards of Andrés Iniesta. The football popped up in the air and seemed to hang there, as Iniesta turned toward it with intent. Around the world we held our breath or shouted out or just waited to see if, after two hours of soccer, we would at last see a goal, and thus be spared the cheap drama of a penalty shootout to decide the destination of the World Cup trophy.” (counterpunch)

What Not To Wear 2010/11: The Premier League

July 17, 2010

“Now that the World Cup is over (and there will be a couple more bits and pieces to tidy it up over the next couple of days), it is time to start looking forward to the new domestic season, which starts in just over four weeks, and what better way could there be to start it all off than with our annual look at the kits that the teams of 2010/11 will be wearing. As ever, it’s a mixed bag in the Premier League this season, with some clubs getting it right, some clubs getting it woefully wrong and a couple of clubs treating the launch of their new kit as if it is some sort of state secret.” (twohundredpercent)

The final analysis, part four: second half changes on the flanks

July 17, 2010

“As the game wore on, Arjen Robben took up even more advanced and central positions when Holland had the ball. Indeed, the shot below sees Robben (green) about to race through for his one-on-one with Iker Casillas, and the Spain defence temporarily looks like a back three up against two strikers, with two man-markers and Gerard Pique (yellow) as the sweeper.” (Zonal Marking)


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