Sunday 4th July 2004

This evening, I turn to the dreary subject of football and with it England. I have finally decided to discuss it, as the dust begins to settle, with the final taking place this evening. What I love about international tournaments, is how it turns everyone into football fans. Even those, who have not even a passing interest in the national sport. One clear case is my dear friend Sippy. He is completely oblivious to everything football and most things sporting. Expect for WWE wrestling, (but is that more light entertainment?). Unexpectedly, I received a text message from him, minutes into the first game against France. He was out in his back garden, for a family barbeque, while they watched the game. Of all the people, I did not expect an SMS from him at that moment in time. Rather still, noting it was from him, I expected something more familiar, such as, “Come online mate” or “What you up to matey?”. Instead, it had the mortal words, “Come on Eng-er-land!”. The tide had indeed turned, but I was more concerned with how long would this interest last? I had little time to ponder the quarter final against Portugal. I was at work, had a busy day, very much more concerned with the pending tube strike, the following week. When it came down to the match, I felt deep in my heart, that maybe, just maybe England could provide us with that memorable moment. A player, come to life for the big occasion and show some signs of pure genius. When Owen, gave England the lead, with a defiant touch of excellence of the outside of his right foot, to lob Ricardo and send all England fans ecstatic. How sweet did that moment feel? Would it last? I knew that we were in for a game now, and something for the neutral to savour. But then, what happened? Rather than go and kill Portugal off, with a second or even third goal, the play became stagnated. Then twenty six minutes into the game, our star sensation, went off injured. The game changed. Hope faded. Well maybe, just in my head. My heart was telling me, to wake up. England were still one nil up, holding onto the game. For the time being. As the game drew on, I felt that England could just do this. Hope turned to joy, when Figo was substituted. Could England really hold on? But it was short lived, with Postiga’s equalizer. England had opted to play more defensively and hold on to the lead, perhaps breaking on the counter, to nick a goal. I feel in qualifying games, this is an ideal game plan, but in the knock out stages of a major tournament? Who knows the full reasons for the game to turn in a split second. Then a moment, that we had all witness, six years ago. Sol Campbell, rose highest to meet the ball for a header. The ball was in the back of the net. Pure elation for all England fans! We were through. Then we look to the referee, Urs Meier. He had disallowed it. Incorrectly and robbed us of the victory. With extra time beckoning, the thought and failure of penalties came into my mind. Please, boys, spare us from the inevitable drama, such conclusions to a match bring. Win the game, in extra time, if need be. Please not, those spot kicks again. I heart sank the moment Portugal scored to take the lead late into the second period of extra time. Could England respond? Could we drag ourselves back into the game, after spending some 80 minutes, defending a lead. Prospects looked bleak, until a late corner, taken by Beckham, swung in near post, for Lampard to control, turn and shoot. YEAH! England had equalized. We were back in the game. Sheer joy flooded my body all over, and a strange sense of warmth overcame me mentally. Would this really be our year? Could all those years of hurt come to end? It was not to be. When the penalty shoot out commenced, I was unsure with only a few of the England takers. Those who eventually missed, were clear favourites to net a tick on the England score card. Why does this always happen to us? Maybe because penalty kicks can never been practiced. Think about it.

Can you believe it is July? Where has the time gone? Been quite busy this weekend, went over to the Henley Regatta yesterday evening, for the fireworks. Then today was spent at a friend’s wedding in Elstree, Hertfordshire. Hope to upload some images soon. Wish I had time to write more on these subjects, but the time is taking over me. I need to start preparing for the working week, and winding down my weekend. It hurts when you look at me that way It scares me to hear the things you say ‘Cause God only knows what i would do If i had to live life without you I see the sadness in your eyes And i know i should have spent more time ‘Cause god only knows I’d be a fool Yes i would To think that there’s someone else but you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.