quarta-feira, julho 5

British non-sense

Há muito que me apetecia escrever qualquer coisa sobre a atitude inglesa em relação à derrota sofrida contra Portugal mas entretanto houve um amigo que, vivendo em Inglaterra, se antecipou e me enviou um texto que encontrou num forum da BBC. E ainda bem que assim foi. Poupou-me imenso trabalho. This really sums it all up!

(não traduzi a coisa por que não tenho tempo, não me apetece e perderia também mais de metade da intenção.)

Living in England as a non-English person has become a source of much amusement of late.

The English football community, with the odd notable exception, seem to have disappeared up their own backsides, such has been the comprehensiveness of their self-delusion.

Here are some of the more choice offerings –

Fiction 1 - Wayne Rooney is a world-class player. He will learn to behave himself. One day he will lead us to a World Cup.

Fact – Wayne Rooney is a world-class thug. He is also a talented lad, but he will no more lead England to a World Cup than he will go down on his hands and knees and kiss Carvalho’s testicles better.

Fiction 2 – Our boy Wayne did nothing wrong. Ronaldo is the real piece of slime.

Fact – Harald Schumacher’s 1982 elbow is still the most evil thing I’ve seen in football by a long, long distance, but Crouch’s utterly disgusting and eyeball-poppingly cynical hair-pull and Rooney’s deliberate and vicious testicle-stamp are right in there as contenders for the No. 2 slot. Ronaldo’s only crime in my book was a failure to return the favour to Rooney’s nads right there and then. If anyone’s a piece of **** it’s Wayne Rooney.

Fiction 3 - Did you see Ronaldo’s evil wink?

Fact – So Portugal had carefully rehearsed the scenario where Carvalho and Rooney tangle, Rooney does his stamp and then Ronaldo persuades the ref to show Rooney the red. Mission accomplished – wink, wink, nudge, nudge. You must be having a laugh. More likely the Portugese lads had all had a sweepstake as to which minute Rooney would get sent off in and Ronaldo came up trumps. Sly wink to the bench lets them them know that he is still king of the sweepstake.

Fiction 4 – All right, our lads do cheat but not as badly or as cynically as the devious Latinos.

Fact – Schumacher was German. Other than that, see 2 above.

Fiction 5 – We only started cheating and diving in response to the foreigners.

Fact – Nobby Stiles anyone? Chopper Harris? Oh sorry, I forgot they fall under the special exemption granted to ‘Loveable Rogues’ – foreigners need not apply. Fair play on the diving point though. It has been an imported item, but my o my haven’t the natives lapped it up like hotcakes? I think you’ll find that since old Jurgen Klinsmann introduced the natives to a twisting triple-salko in the late 80s, their record of winning penalties through simulation at major tournaments is second to none. Now if only they could score those darned penalties…

Fiction 6 – Man for man, we are as good as anyone. Our team is full of world-class players.

Fact – Yeah, sitting at home, you can keep repeating to yourself that you’re world-class like a senile old granny, but it’s only when the trendy young neighbours come round that you realise just how out of it you really are. All the major and many of the minor teams have their own versions of Lampard, Gerrard and Rooney and in many cases they are better ones. England have no equivalent of a Zidane, a Ronaldo, a Ronaldinho, an Henry, a Makalele, an Essien, a Riqelme, a Shevchenko ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Maybe when they look at their team, the English see the super-imposed faces of Moore, Charlton, Greaves and Banks on their players’ heads – that would explain the confusion.

Fiction 7 – It is still 1970 and we are still a footballing superpower.

Fact – Hahahahahahahaha. Er no. It is 2006, and England are eating the big five’s dust – Italy, Germany, France, Brazil and Argentina. In fairness though, England are definitely right in there with the chasing pack, alongside the likes of Holland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Mexico, and others. Mexico? Don’t laugh. England were lucky they didn’t face Mexico this time round or it could have been mass-suicides all round. Getting beat by the European Dagos is one thing, but I am not sure if the English would have been able to handle getting trumped by the Greasy Ones from Mexico.

Fiction 8 – We are the most civilised nation on earth.

Fact – World’s leading exporter of football hooligans. Now available on the football pitch as well – the new Rooney model. Manufacturer’s caution – due to certain defects in the mechanism, it may not last the entire 90 minutes. This is to be expected and no refunds or exchanges will be accepted in this regard. Comes with its own set of matching red and yellow cards.

Fiction 9 – We are the best. We just can’t take penalties.

Fact – I’m better than Jimi Hendrix. I just can’t play guitar.

Fiction 10 – Sven screwed us.

Fact – True. But you let him. He’s been robbing you blind for over a half a decade now – surely you weren’t that dozy? No point getting your Swiss Army knives out now – Sven has left the building. If you hadn’t been so full of yourselves and your own mythology and hype, you might have seen SGE for what he was – a money-grabbing zombie who seemed to have learnt all he needed to know about football tactics from his local tiddlywinks club. Dear o dear.

Fiction 11 – We played heroically. We played better. We only had 10 men. We deserved to win. We didn’t deserve to go out. The referee’s a cheater. Ronaldo’s a cheater. They’re greasy. We’re not. Boo-hoo-hoo, it’s so unfair.

Fact – 28 out of 32 teams have gone out so far. England is one of them. A world footballing tragedy it is not.

Fiction 12 – The Germans, the Italians, the French are no better than us.

Fact – I think you’ll find that they are.

Fiction 13 – We had great individuals just like Brazil. We just couldn’t mould them into a team.

Fact – hahahahahahaha. I have a great right foot, just like Ronaldinho’s. I just haven’t been able to mould it into the shape of a World-Cup and Champions League winning footballer. Hahahahahahaha.

Fiction 14 – We didn’t plan. We didn’t prepare. We didn’t have a plan B. Our key guys got injured. Our manager picked an infant.

Fact – The world apologises to you for its failure to do your job for you. But let’s face it, even at their fittest, the 2006 versions of Owen and Becks were hardly going to set the tournament on fire. And as for your manager picking the infant Rooney, you have my sympathies.

Fiction 15 – Uh, uh, nearly forgot this little gem – Rooney’s stamp was clearly not deliberate. It was a simple case of physics – his foot had to land somewhere.

Fact – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, you English masters of self-deception, you exceed yourselves, please.

Fiction 16 – No really, Rooney’s stamp was clearly not deliberate.

Fact – What’s that you say? Hold on while I take my eyeballs out and pop in some English ones. Ah, now let’s have a look. Ah yes, of course, it’s all so clear now. Perfectly clear – angle of trajectory, Rooney’s boot, no place to land but groin, marvellous, marvellous, reminds me of the moon landings – one small step for Rooney, one giant crash for England. Perfectly normal. Quite all right. Could have happened to anyone. Such a nice boy and so unlucky – first the metatarsal, now the trajectory – quite the young scientist isn’t he?

Fiction 17 – The rest of the world hate us for no good reason.

Fact – We do, but we managed to cobble together a few good reasons to do so first.

Fiction 18 – Our pig-headedness, narcissism, self-deception and blind belief in our team endears us to others.

Fact – Er, no.

Fiction 18 – England is still the best country in the world. The foreigners who attack us are sour, bitter, jealous and are much more rubbish than us anyway.

Fact – Agreed, England may be one of the best countries in the world. The same cannot unfortunately be said for the many of the English people who occupy space in it. I think the words that best describe the foreigners attitude are pitying, saddened and amused. It may surprise many of you that many people the world over aspire to something more than being spotty, pie-eating shop assistants in a second-rate footballing nation. I could be wrong though. I’ll come back on that one.

If you are English, I hope you found some of this post offensive, cruel and unnecessarily spiteful. Welcome to yourselves. Not very pleasant, is it? Now you know how us foreigners feel.

But on a happier note, I have watched this World Cup in England in dismay as the above fictions have been shamelessly and loudly proclaimed as fact by various commentators, journos, players and fans. Whatever happened to the likes of Brian Moore, Harry Carpenter, Dan Maskell, David Davies, Peter Lewis and other such stalwarts that I grew up listening to, thinking to myself, yep the English really are a cut above. Now that was what I call a Golden Generation – not today’s collection of pampered, self-regarding, sarong-wearing bleaters and blubbers who think that wearing diamonds, driving Mercs and painting two red lines on their faces elevates them to the fellowship of the saints. If only it were that easy…

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