Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Aftermath

Good grief it's only a game. But this is a far far bigger thing than all of us. The Irish FA want the France Ireland match replayed. Oh please the last one was bucklingly dull.

To play it over again? But why not since it was decided by outrageous cheating. Outrageous skill was never going to decide it so why not resort to the dark side.

Thierry you are no Jedi. Ho hum but the French football association and FIFA don't care about honour. it's results that count and what bigger result than getting to the world cup finals.

But at what cost to your mortal soul? Me soul? That went long ago.

I've seen enough on a Saturday morning with clunkers like me to know that odd things happen with people and football. The corinthian precepts go out of the window.

Perhaps that's why I would never have made it. I wasn't brought up to be like that and I never had being like that thrust upon me.

I once wrote in a blog that for me football is about how you can dine out on the game. Spouting off and being told to be quiet because no one wants to hear about the fantastic angled ball to set up a goal or the sliding tackle to avert a goal.

But these are things that can be dampened with good humour. Would you ever try to dine out on: "I handled the ball and got a cross in for my team mate to score. We were all pleased. The ref didn't spot it."

And with cameras galore watching the ignominy. You win a game. You lose the right.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Ta Ta Ti Ti

Quite how you are supposed to teach youngsters the joy of participation when you see the professionals being ever so dodgy.

France got through to the World Cup thanks to their captain Thierry (Titi to his team mates) Henry handling the ball and then passing it for William Gallas to score.

It wasn't the ball hit me hand ref, it was more I made sure I controlled the ball with me mits.

Oh well. France through and Ireland out. No feat of genius. No flash of skill. Just plain old fashioned cheating.

The match was tough to watch. Indeed it was dire fare and I don't think I was seeing the potential world champions battling it out.

Went off for supper before the match with me mate Charlie who was over from London. And then we saw the match from about the hour mark. What with extra time, it was about an hour's worth of "top quality" football. Dire.

While at tennis practice, there was a cacophony outside the tennisdrome. Klaxons galore as the Algerians all came out to blare their happiness as their team had beaten Egypt 1-0 in Khartoum to advance to the finals for the first time since 1986.

No element of a handball in their goal.

But then they're not the former world champions.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

The Laugh

Early train from Paris. Into London and bright joyous sunshine. What are the options with a few hours to kill before work? A cycle along the canal to the zoo to make the most of my new London Zoo all year entry card? Or a bit of art?

Art. Royal Academy art. Anish Kapoor is gracing the galleries though I wonder just what it takes these days to be called art.

The boy Kapoor has done well. My favourite bit was having a canon fire a 50lb globule of wax at one of the white walls. This is art? This is damn lucky.

I guess the creativity comes from having the guts (and the back catalogue) to say to the curators: "Look, what we're going to do is explore the relationship between violence and formation in the supra context of global reduction." I paraphrase of course.

But the canon went off and caused a flurry of chattering. It was a loud bang and the splat of wax was equally impressive.

One room was devoted to sludges. It reminded me of Paris. Lots of doggie dejections piled up high. Needless to say I thought these particular pieces were crap.

Loved the mirrors. Anybody who gets people in to look at themselves while looking at his art gets my vote.

Gets my laugh too.

Friday, 13 November 2009

The Overload Over

I might well be able to be all athletic on the football pitch but after three evenings of yoga, I might be too zen to be competitive.

Small price to pay for being able to stay on the field. But what's the point of being on the pitch if you're not going to be aggressive.

Be corinthian. Not being like that at the moment in Egypt where tensions are boiling over the match against Algeria.

But world cup qualification is at stake. The match takes place on Saturday. Shortly after the match. The match being our latest attempt to win a game.

The star striker is playing for the first bit and only 12 players are available this weekend. Unlike last weekend when 15 turned up and it was chaos.

I sense a result.

Even if we don't get one me and the missus are going to try a new restaurant out in the evening. It's North African cuisine and is owned by the man who runs Momo in London.

Give us a cous cous.

More like give me a break. The TV is on France 2 as the France v South Africa international has just finished. It's the loto draw brought to us by two young and wholesome people.

Balls flying around everywhere. Presage of the morning's activities.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Overload

Day one of a mass of yoga nights. Not that I have become over enthusiastic, rather the time limit on my card is soon to expire and I had about five lessons left.

Cue an intensive run. This means I should get my money's worth by the end of the week. But by the end of the week I shall be so chilled I won't really care about having fulfilled the demands of my card.

I was trying to watch the tennis on TV but it is on the pay channel and I have stumbled on Barcelona TV. All very interesting. At the moment talking about a Barcelona academy - school work and football. So have to 'watch' the tennis via the internet.

At the Paris Masters over in Bercy which I guess I could have gone to, top seed Roger Federer is doing his best to lose to the home hero Julien Benneteau.

Get the feeling that after winning his 15th grand slam at Wimbledon and having twins, winning more tournaments isn't going to be that easy.

Maybe he needs more yoga.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Trawl

There's one good thing about the football at the moment. The matches are in the morning so they're over and done with and you can get on with the rest of the day.

There's no time for pre match nerves. The kind of thing I suffer from.

So I viewed a 9am start with very mixed feelings. Upside was that I would be home for lunch. Downside was that I would have to get up early to wend my way to the venue.

When I set my alarm it was for 7.15am. Early early I thought. But not really because I get up half an hour before that to go to the swimmig pool during the week.

So in fact it was a lie-in. Lazy boy.

Perhaps that sluggishness was transmitted to the team. For here was an immensely winnable cup match against lower league opposition but as norma when 15 of our team turn up, we were useless.

Well it was one particularly bad formation which cost us two goals. I scored so that's the third of the season in four games. That's not a bad strike rate for a midfielder.

But they've all been face saving exercises adn have never come to put us in the lead. Maybe I should take a lead and go up front.

Maybe I should take a lead and be more up front.

I went home and said to the missus - same old story when they're 15 of us. She asked me if I'd made my observations known. I reminded her that this was the team that voted to stay in the second division so that people could turn up and play. The idea was to win but not at all costs.

Better to have 15 turning up and to lose on a Saturday morning than eight saps in the dressing room wondering why the others haven't bothered to come.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Sexology

I'm not quite sure when it was bought but I got the Die Hard box set. It was called the Quadrology. And in it was eight odd hours of Brucie going bang crash wallop against a plethora of baddies.

I've had Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI more or less since I've had a DVD player. Though I was never a great fan, I got the prequel epsiodes.

Trip to Burgundy last week was a joy of autumnal sunny flourishes and a trip to Chablis to stock up on me bottles.

For the children? The chronological rendition of Star Wars. It finished on the middle child's birthday back in Paris and the eldest has had her eureka moment at the end of episode three. "Oh now I know who Darth Vader," she cried out after Obi Wan had left his former pupil a severed mass in the lava of some volcano cum planet.

The middle child was just very sad that the cute little blond boy of Episode I had mutated into a bloodthirsty Sith lord.

The boy just did the Vader like breathing.

I have watched the first three that were made many times and it's the first time I've watched I-VI so rapidly. It was because of the children and it gave me a whole new realm of pleasure. The joy of sexology.