Friday, 20 August 2004


I haven't traditionally subscribed to the theory that soccer is a game for sheilas, wogs and poofters, and probably still don't. However, I'm probably now pretty much convinced that its not a game worth wasting any energy over.

Last night I went along with some friends to the friendly between France and Bosnia. Early on, the Bosnians were pretty overwhelmed, and the French set up the game well down the flanks, resulting in a bustled goal by Luyindula after 7 minutes or so and an Henry penalty that was saved by the Bosnian keeper. I think that settled the Bosnians, in fact, and they played much better after that, leading to their goal (a much prettier one, incidentally) after a half hour or so.

The game was crap. There was no structure in the midfield, particularly in the second half, and good shots on goal were rare. The Bosnians were way overmatched athletically, but tried hard all night, whereas the French seemed uninterested and leadereless at times. The latter could be put down to a lack of key playmakers with Zidane retired and Vieira injured, but I don't think that's really a valid excuse.

What really bugged me was the way the game was played. There seems to be no idea of courage in football, no players really giving a piece of themselves for the team. The worst last night was Pires, who flopped and whined like a little girl. The stretcher made, I think, 3 appearances, and was never, in my opinion, warranted. Moments of true team play or individual flare, as should be the feature of the world's only global game, were rare, and always overshadowed by the above problems.

So, I'm abandoning soccer in favour of sports where the players put in. Footy remains my number one winter sport, followed by rugby, and cricket rules the summer followed, I guess, by tennis.

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