Monday, June 28, 2010

Open Call for Forgiveness.

Dear England F.C.

I am writing to congratulate you on your recent success in the South Africa World Cup 2010. This year you showed great promise and potential, acted as role-models for an entire country and were a credit to your parents and not least, your own hard work playing soccer.

I have many friends who support you in a very passionate relationship some are claiming now, after you left; is wholly one way - from them to you.

There were a number of incidents on and off the pitch at this year's tournament, that were singled out and picked up on by the global media, during the first few games of the tournament, in which England as a team, were disunited. John Terry in respect of seeking to disagree with Fabbio Capello in public about certain managerial responsibilities Terry's voice, thoughts and feelings on the subject of team selection, whilst very welcome at all times - took upon themselves to manifest as a man clearly making the wrong decision and embaressing himself and his team mates. It was lucky Anelka walked out and news of France's public mood beamed to you, reminding you how easily it could have been one of your players huffing off and creating a public mood of surprised disgust and a 'state in disgrace' caused by soccer players representing England internationally, as agents of her realm.

There will be a lot of good to come out of this. Liam Brady was 'very pleased' about the England humiliation, not because he derives any pleasure at seeing it; but because the disallowed goal will force a climbdown by FIFA's president, who is the only man in soccer against the introduction of touch-line technology available to match officials (as rugby has) because - he claims - it is too expensive to impliment. Brady's got a real bee in his bonnet about it, and such he expressed a view that in less confident, more fragile eras of the historical special relationship between these two islands - could be viewed as triumphalism in reverse, colonials getting their own back on the chaps; and something proven most poetically wrong today with the existing technology the richest news corporations on the planet use to beam soccer around the globe as the 'global game' that truly does embrace all continents and most nations.

Liam Brady was 'made up' Germany's young team with less international experience than Australia; thrashed England and Germany's young stars swiftly clicking into that flawless machine internationally emerging into a classic German side - not because he derives any hidden joy from seeing England hammered by Germany - but because of the changes it may hopefully force and that Brady has been banging on about for years, soon after it proved itself in rugby. Seconds out of play to consult the screens and Ireland could have been in this year's tournament after the Irish equivalent of Britain's 'hand of god' goal by Maradonna; except a penalty at stake and not the goals that booted us out the world cup, that was all Henry's fault, Ireland agreed and the redtops and a more recent introduction to the market, the Irish Daily Mail, sought to whip up national unity around. The issues of soccer and justice.

Until Jack Chartlon arrived and turned Ireland F.C into a nation of winners interationally (not in the sense we 'won' any competitions, but that we always went further than the odds had us when Big Jack came his Charlton's Barmy Army manifest as part fo the cultural fabric and consciousness - recently out, fervent and proud soccer fans whose numbers had been smaller and with many less hesitant prior to the national team getting good for the first time; under a geordie legend, the entire nation en masse experiencing for the first time, the world cup tournament as contendors - expressing a culturally collective passion for a game that was viewed with a degree of suspicion until then because it was considered an 'English' game the invading occupiers pushed on us with the spreading of soccer and cricket, both very popular but not a part of the collective Irish consciousness in the way it is in England, until an Englishman came and achieved the impossible of getting us to the tournament and turning a nation of supressed for a thousand years cubs - only seventy years alive free - into winners by belief and talent alone.

Four million Irish boggers with ten times less talent than England, beating England, after her very embaressing Lansdowe Road incident seared into Irish cultural history as a dark day of Englosh disgrace when they ripped up the seating and began throwing it into the bemused Irish people below who had welcomed England with an open heart and hand.


If it had been a 2.1 win for Germany then England would be demanding justice, but, as I say, unfortunately the small and welcome five minutes of togetherness and purpose, a brief snarl of grit and united as a team, evaporated at half time when the enormity of the injustice occured; but still, poetry in the sense of England's only world cup being won in a similar kind of game with the same team, eerily so, Germany England 1966 Wembley, a team the Charlton brothers played in. When England got the rub f luck abd were awarded a goal by a decision that turned out to be wrong, the ball not crossing the goal line, so 1.1 and not England 2.1 up; and the psychology of the game and the teams shifted into final gear after that wrong decsion, much like it did yesterday; England beaten at their own, physical game by a bunch of legends. Mark these words.

Klose was a revelation and grew in stature the longer he was on the pitch; his and his teamates rise in belief as the game went on, mirroring England's ebbing away; until twenty five minutes to the end the team collectively switched off and its psychology wentinto 'departure lounge' mode, plain to witness.

A self-fulfilling curse manifest as the absence of wit and class. The captain's explanation, childishly simple in its logic, keen to remain upbeat, take the positive from the negative and carry-on looking foward four years, Wayne nearing thirty, playing support to the next Roy of the Rovers being invested with the collective hiope of millions, the chances of a winners medal slimming into a semblance of reality; who knows, it might happen four years from now..

It's going to Argentina Germany or Brazil, again. I personally have a desire for Maradonna being the story of this tournament; his life has been pure poetry already; from slum to world best to heart-attack and early death before turning his life round with faith and religion, a God he seems to believe in, and who seems to believe in him. If he wins the world cup after winning it when a pinch of years older than Messi is now, that's a team that leads from the heart.

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