Ghost goals and whingerings
So everyone and their grandmother are complaining about the lack of use of technology in soccer after England had a perfectly good goal disallowed during the first half of their round of 16 match-up with Germany.
It is hard to argue against some kind of electronic and/or human intervention in cases of howlers such as this, or the missed off-side call during the Argentina-Mexico game later in the day.
But, even though England went on to be subsequently thrashed 1-4, apologists – chief among them coach Fabio Capello and other English players – decided to blame the entire loss that disallowed goal. Their reasoning: England would have played differently with a 2-2 score and Germany would not have had chances for the counter-attacks.
This is of course, perfect bullocks.
Here are two reasons:
(1) Look at the South Korea-Uruguay game from yesterday. Korea, down by a similar margin at the interval, came out brilliantly in the second half; controlling the ball well, not getting nervous or hurried, and constantly keeping the mighty Uruguayan defense under pressure. Their efforts paid off in a goal scored partly by a rare lapse from a defense that hadn’t conceded yet in the World Cup. Now if a country like South Korea, much less experienced at the World Cup knock-out stages, can keep their composure and achieve an equalizer playing proper football, there is little excuse for the highly paid English footballers, majority of them playing in one of the best professional leagues in the world, and aided by a million-dollar income coach, not to do the same.
(2) The third goal conceded by England was a counter-attack off a set-piece near the German penalty box. It was not as if English defenders (or even midfielders) did not know the situation and the existence of the possibility of a quick German counter. The truth they should face is that English defense was a joke. The first goal by Klose proved that amply. A goal-kick results in a score only in back-yard soccer. And that third goal was the pure speed of the young German midfield, combined with the selflessness of their players.
Capello’s whining is also a tacit admission that a tied score would’ve made England play defensively and attempt to luck it out in the lottery of penalty kicks (for which Capello famously already had a line-up drawn up for).
Anyway, I am waaaaay pleased that Germany won. I love following the German team in football for reasons I won’t go into now. (a love for German lagers and ales doesn’t hurt).
But before I end, can anyone please answer this question that’s been vexing me for the whole World Cup: what the fuck is David Beckham doing on the English sidelines dolled up in a three-piece suit and looking suitably worried all the time? The Guardian tells me Beckham is some sort of a go-to guy between the players and the manager. If that is true, then I rest my case about why England lost. @a_muse suggested Beckham is their official mascot. In which case, I ask, ‘ Dude, where’s your monocle?’.