do not mention the war

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Football and Africa

In England, Football, Sport, Stereotypes, World Cup on June 26, 2010 at 10:44

Football and Africa

With the last of the group games played, it is safe to say that this World Cup will not be Africa’s World Cup as was said by many commentators beforehand, including a certain Sepp Blatter. His organisation is said to make around €3.3bn from this World Cup. None of the money will stay in Africa.

All but one African team are going home after the group stages. Like 2006 Ghana are keeping the flag of the African nations flying. While last time they came up against Brazil and were soundly beaten, this time it will be the US Boys and chances are looking good that they will progress to the quarters, which would be some progress. Unfortunately this can’t be said for the other African teams that competed in the tournament. It appears that most teams indeed did take a step back instead of forward. There will be questions and the answers appear rather simple.

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War of the Words

In England, Football, Germany, Sport, Stereotypes, World Cup on June 24, 2010 at 21:27

Well, well England vs Germany. The continent’s oldest and fiercest rivalry once more. This time as early as the second round. Already the war of the words has begun. With Der Kaiser delivering what was thought to be a broadside at the English could backfire against Löw’s team as England will be even more motivated. Stupidly enough some England players immediately took offence and responded, ignoring that the Kaiser is not so much a loved figure in Germany as he might think he is.

Like Kaiser Wilhelm II in the early twentieth century, Franz Beckenbauer is never shy of speaking his mind. One clearly does not need to be a historian of modern Germany to figure out the role of the Kaiser Wilhelm II and his verbal and political blunders in the build-up to WWI. Not that he carries the guilt all alone but he certainly played his role. A certain naïvety and undoubtedly huge portions egocentrism kickstarted all sorts of trouble in 1914.

The Germans liked their Kaiser in the early twentieth century and the English tend to think we still do in the twenty-first. That certainly is not the case. Beckenbauer is far from influential as he thinks he is. His column about football in BILD Zeitung often enough speaks the minds of the common people but is not considered to be of any value for the state of German football.

Labelling the efforts of the English finishing second in their group as stupid, Kaiser Franz Beckenbauer kickstarted the war of the words. Stupidly enough, they responded with a translation error, which made it look as though Beckenbauer has said just that. In response The Sun claimed Defoe demanded to bring on the Germans.

First Things First.

In History on June 22, 2010 at 20:47

Hej there everybody and welcome!

Well, what is this about you might wonder, carrying this particular title. This blog will be covering the Anglo-German relationships post-1945. This is also the topic of my current academic research but i thought i might share some of the insights with the outside world. Yes, this blog will cover football as this field is so rich in anecdotes and incidences that it would be a crime to ignore it. Mind you we, might be just days away from another clash between Germany and England! Who knows! However, there won’t be any detailed match reports here. Instead, these will be here

Anyway, this should not be it. What is so special about Anglo-German relationships is that they are so special, so much so, that one could title them “special relationship”. The ties between two countries are rather strong and root back so long into European history, which makes them very special indeed and thus worth studying. One thing that will always come up when examinig both countries are stereotypes. Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) wrote after travelling across England “…the old stereotype characteristics we find in learned manual and ale houses can serve no more and lead us only to hopeless errors.” Having experienced the English way of life from a German perspective in a middle sized city in the Midlands i can say that some of the stereotypes that the Germans have about the English are not true and i would say that i saw as many people wearing socks and sandals in England as in Germany. So much for stereotypes. This blog is open to those who have something fruitful to say, allowing people to voice their disagreement or who agree with what i say and who give hints and advice or just randomly talk about England and Germany.

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