Monday, 30 June 2008

good old John Motson.

He, as ever, did OK. Mark Lawrenson can be quite acerbic sometimes too. 'Mottie' did make me laugh last night though. With his stange insistence on referring to the Runners Up as losers. They may have lost the final but for Christ's sake-they came 2nd! That ain't so bad.

'And the German players look gutted, they are in no hurry to collect their losers medals.'

'Ah, here the come now, here come the losers.'

Then Quuen started to play over the tannoy, and as Freddie Mercury belted out "NO TIME FOR LOSERS " The camera cut away from jubilant EspaƱa and towards Lehamann looking jealous as hell, and Schweinsteiger looking gutted.

Also strange was the endless repetition of the pundit's line "this is the worst German team in years." Sure, they are not of the class of previous years, but ever since Germany lost 5-1 to England half a decade ago commentators have been saying the same thing. For such a rubbish team they have done rather well one thinks. And they shoud be very proud of these so called 'losers' medals.

Football Overdose would also like to thank the A-Level English Language students from Bury St Edmonds for their wonderfully titled "Month In a Life Of A Fly At The European Champoinships 2008" that closed out the BBC's coverage last night. Poetry indeed.

Here is the first draft the prodcers rejected...

"I only lived for a month,
But what a month,
Unfortunately I was too busy watching football to remember to procreate
And my species is now dead
But what the hell
At least Italy or Germany did not win it"

Friday, 27 June 2008

the final is here, almost

and everyone, except the Germans of course, wants Spain to win. Europe is unified in its desire to see 'anyone but Germany'. Spain have been great. Not only have they demonstrated the attacking panache you would always expect from them, but they have proved solid defensively. Reducing Russia and Italy to a handful of shots on goal. solid in all areas, and with a keeper of Billy the Fish like agility, Spain are the clear favourites.

But never count out Germany. That old chesnut. Its true. Germany have been uncharacteristically inconsistent in these championships-after a convincing win against Poland, they lost to Croatia and struggled passed Austria, before impressing against Portugal, and yet while they seemed woeful against the Turks, they are surely due to another impressive game in the final. So everything is normal. Either team coud win it.

And now on to Turkey, who completely won me over the other night. I was quite moved by the end, which is weird. I was thinking about how shit the Turks are spoken about by many Germans, always going on about the "Turkish problem", and how the endeavour and enterprise they demonstrated, reflected their people in such a good, and largely accurate, light. They did themselves proud. I for one have been won over to Turkish football- in a way I wasn't by Greece's football 4 years earlier, when that nation played the triumphing underdog.

And then to Russia, who while being a pretty useful team, were not as good as everyone thought. In the opinion of football overdose their spectacular win over Holland can be put down not only to an excellent collective performance, especially going forward, but also to the briefing and insight of Gus Hiddink- who surely knew the dutch players and tactics inside and out. This is not to detract from Russia though-they are at least as good as England. The sooner the English climb down off that silly looking patriotic hobby horse, and realise they are not that good just because they play in the filthy rich premiership, the better.

Finally, I enjoyed the 5 live commentary the other day, when it accompanied the pictures. When that power cut kicked in. Can't we have them do the telly commentary all the time? they were soooooo much better.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

tomorrow's potential (rubbish) headlines

TURKISH DELIGHT (for the umpteenth time)
SOUR KRAUTS (if Germany lose and there is an air of controversy)
ONE FLUKE OVER THE EAGLES' NEST (admittedly this would work better if Turkey had a last gasp lucky win over Nigeria)
GERMANY SPELL IT OUT IN LEHMMANN'S TERMS (if they win on penalties)

Turkey's magic carpet is still flying high after last night's....

There was to be no Arabian nights style twist as Turkey's fairytale came grinding to a halt last night....

Turkey pulled the rug out from under Germany's campaign last night...

The ruthlessely efficent German footballing machine annexed Turkey last night...

Actually, surely no-one is daft anough to write these, apart form me... we shall see.

Monday, 23 June 2008

My new favourite footballer:

Toni. Good ole Tone. Toni the guy from down the pub, big Tony, il barrista, Megatone (proud sponsors of boca Juniors?!). How do you say Couldn't Hit A Barn Door in Italian? Toni 'good in the air'. NOTE: He doesn't 'have a good touch for a big man' he is just 'good in the air'. I eagerly await a compilation of his misses in this championship on youtube. By the end of last night's match the commentators had stopped exclaiming TONI THORUGH ON GOAL TONI! and reverted to muttering 'a ball through the middle but there is only Toni there to collect it'. Poor Toni. The highlight of last night was Big Tone's attempted bicycle kick. It was like watcing the tallest kid in your year trying his hand, and feet, at ballet or contemporary dance. As he pirouhetted with the grace of a wilderbeest on stilts he contrived to miss the ball by, literally, metres, before wrapping his back leg round at an impossible angle, and then falling over, his front leg flailing in spastic homage as to what the manouvere should have looked like. Toni, we will miss you. Not since Peter Crouch has there been a player so blessed with inadvertent comic potential. Call it the curse of a tall footballer.

Despite a love of all things Italian (apart from fascism, mummy's boys, and roman catholicism of course- these three things are not necessarily linked) I for one was glad to see the back of Italy last night. They are the only team in the world who can plausibly think '0-0 with 15 minutes to go- everything is going to plan'. I blame the Romans. Who, in warfare, were famous for withstanding the charge, waiting for their opponents to tire, then decimating them with a sucker punch. Those tactics live on, in the form of Italian football, to this very day. Thankfully the fickle god of penalties (or godess) swapped alliegances again last night. Good for the rest of us, who, while we like the Italians, and are not beyond being jealous of them, like to watch teams actually try to score during 90 minutes from time to time.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Steve Mclaren will no longer be seen

doing his best Robert Carlisle dancing in the job centre queue impression- he will take his P45, tattered reputation and, presumably, his umbrella, to dutch club, tween.. tewete, endieslaven... I can't remember. But apparently they are good and almost in the champions League 3rd round. I will however stake money on them not qualifying for the the 4th under Mclaren.

Meanwhile Roman Abramovic is already regreting signing scolari as- after Portugal's failure to overcome familiar over achievers Germany. The notoriously fickle owner of Chelsea is now wishing he had courted the german coach.

And finally, my perenially childish humour was in full force the other night as I continuiosuly got the giggles as the commentators kept pronouncing Russian star Zhirkov as Jerkoff.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Ronaldo and 104 nurses:

According to recent press reports Man Utd are willing to sell Ronaldo for £75 million pounds. To but this into context £75, or a cheap new telly, is 0.0001% of £75million. Put another way £75 x 2=£150 which is roughly the pre-tax monthlysalary of a nurse in Argentina, if that nurse works in a public hospital. So Ronaldo's value as a raw footballing commodity is worth 50,000 months of labour of a fully qualified nurse. Considering that nurses work maybe for 480 months over a lifetime Ronaldo is valued at 104 nurses working for their entire working lives-before he even kicks a ball for Real Madrid.

I shall honourably leave you all to deduce your own moral or political conclusions from all this, that is if I have got my math more or less right.

[insert naughty nurse picture here]

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

the euro venues

inspired by the good people of Some People Are On The Pitch here is Football Overdose's take on the venues for the European championship. AS I've been busy with other stuff and it has been my birthday weekend I have taken an age to write this and it still is not finished, but yeah, here is part of it-

It is all to easy to be dismissive of 'boring' Austria and Switzerland. But to do so is to ignore the strategic importance of these european states, that has seen them smelt together french, Germanic, Slavic, and Italian cultures, among others- and give them a peculiar Alpine twist. It also overlooks the bare facts that these countries between them boast some of the most picturesque landscapes anywhere in the world.

So here goes, what to make of...


Pronounced Inchhhbruck by the natives who speak a demi-peculiar German dialect, and a lot of Italian too, Inchhhbruck has apparently been populated since the stone age. By the time the bronze age came along the ancients had tribed themselves together and and had their own special identity and become a people that inhabited the Tyrol, of which Inchhbruck is now the capital. Even now the residents of the Tyrol, have a distinct sense of cultural autonomy, in fact some of them, especially in the north of Italy, want there own state.

Inchhhbruck is located in a really handy geographical point to cross the Alps, as such it became very rich with all the trade channeled through there. These days tourism is huge, as are winter sports. These two points are clearly connected. Skiers are given alpha privileges across town and venerated somewhat- the town has hosted the winter Olympics twice. It also has a huge population of students- the density of tourists and students probably means it is a good place to get laid.

More lately the first world war saw some horrid battles fought among the mountain peaks surrounding the area, as the two sides bedded down among the snow and ice. And there was a concentration camp built nearby too around WW2, a sad testimony to fascism.

Interestingly many residents of Innsbruck, to revert to classical spelling, have as strong a traditional hatred of the Germans as the British, if not more so.


The history of Vienna is redolent with conflict, culture, and intrigue. The Celts, Barbarians, Romans, and Ottomans have all fought it out for this central European hotbed. Even the mongols had their eyes on it at one time and had plans to sweep through on horses to do a bit of raping and pillaging.

More recently the city's back streets and swanky hotels saw the shady goings on of the Cold War and James Bond-style espionage. Throughout history, therefore, Vienna has been a western stronghold, a bastion of the west against the rest.

No wonder, then, that culture, or what we think of as western high culture - the opera and all that - has become so integral to its identity. All the intellectual and cultural highbrow activity mark it out as a place of importance: a place worth preserving in the western mind set.

Loads of composers have lived and produced there, the classical big guns of Strauss and Mozart among them, attracted like artistic types always are to throbbing and diverse cities.

Statues and busts of the great and good dot Stadtpark in the middle of town. More recently a youthful Adolf Hitler would stalk the Viennese streets, inspired by its triumphal Aryan heritage.

Vienna is really a living museum of the west, stately and mysterious. An historic venue for that comparatively small matter of the European Cup, it also has the world's oldest zoo. Oh, and the Viennans make a delicious apple strudel.