do not mention the war

Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Dear diary

In Football on July 7, 2018 at 15:48

27 June 1996

A wonderful piece found on twitter, a diary entry from 1996.


Gareth Southgate, Fußballgott

In Football on July 5, 2018 at 09:00

If there ever was an England manager who could end England’s curse of losing penalty shootouts, it had to be Gareth Southgate.

Read the rest of this entry »

England vs Germany. Podcast

In Football on April 15, 2018 at 13:33

I’ve had the pleasure to speak with Chris of the website Outside Write about the topic that I have studied and researched for my PhD: England vs Germany and its reverberations on and off the pitch, especially on the sports press in England.

Before Germany could play England the game had to come to Germany, something which this podcast also touches upon.

Once football became the most popular sporting pastime in Germany, the development of the game began and in 1930 almost brought rewards: Germany took a 3-0 lead but had to live with a 3-3 draw after England scored late to save their immaculate record against Germany.

The next stop is the World Cup Final of 1966 when England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra time. It was the climax for English football. Since then Germany have mostly stood in the way of England, like in 1970 and again in 1982, 1990 and 1996.

The episode also mentions Brexit briefly and the current political climate in which the tone of the press coverage has become once again more aggressive as it had been in the 1980s and 1990s.

Could it happen again? Yes, England and Germany could meet again. Though the latter would be considered favourites, it is not a given that England have no chance to go through. Everything has to click for England if they really want to beat Germany again in a competitive match.

Have a listen to this podcast episode and let me and Chris know what you think.

Book Review: Wembley 1966 – The Myth in Photos

In Football on October 31, 2017 at 09:00

A book about the World Cup final 1966 at Wembley: A collection of photographs which show the match from various angles.
Read the rest of this entry »

Finland – England in 2000: Parlour’s 1966 Moment

In Football on October 11, 2017 at 08:00

As England have qualified for Russia 2018, this clip from 2000 shows, although shaky, how England struggled to get to grip with Finland. The game came a few days after England were beaten at the old Wembley by their all time foe Germany, 1-0 thanks to a Didi Hamann free kick. The England keeper David Seaman demanded his team mates to place a wall, which was ignored as the latter thought the ball was too far out to be dangerous. How wrong they were they realized when Hamann stepped up and kicked the ball low and hard. Seaman could not stop it. 1-0. Keegan resigned in the wake of the defeat and Howard Wilkinson took over as careaker manager.

His first game in charge was the trip to Finland. It was here where England had another 1966 moment when Ray Parlour hit the crossbar and the ball bounced down and according to the English players behind the goal line. The referee did not give the goal.

The moment where Parlour hit the crossbar comes at 10:18. The coverage is shaky and it is not clear to see if the ball really bounced behind the line or not.

The magazine Soccer America reported on the match saying that England lacked togetherness and that doom was to descend on England. The article finished by stating

Wilkinson made much of a late strike by Ray Parlour that appeared to bounce down over the goal line but was not given as a goal by French referee Alain Sars. After a period of sustained England pressure, Parlour’s shot from eight yards hit the bar and ricocheted down.

“Clearly the team thought they were denied a victory,” Wilkinson said. The incident was reminiscent of Geoff Hurst’s controversial second goal in the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany that was given by a Russian linesman. The Sun showed Wilkinson with a telephone and a speech bubble: “Is that FIFA? Give me a Russian linesman,” it said.

The Curse of Wembley struck again and denied England.

The Wurst Nightmare

In Anglo-German Relations, Football on September 5, 2017 at 15:00

Remembering the early autumn of 2001 when Germany were beaten by England in Munich and I had no clue how to react to English banter.

Read the rest of this entry »

When England meet Germany

In Football on March 22, 2017 at 15:30

When England and Germany play each other, most people in either country would almost immediately come up with the World Cup Final of 1966. English football supporters would remember fondly England’s day on top of the football world, while the Germans would argue about the injustice suffered at the hands of the referee and his assistant. This is of course justified but limits this football rivalry to just one game when in fact there have been more than 30 matches over the course of more than a hundred years. The current tally stands at 14 victories for Germany and 13 for England highlighting the long history of these two footballing nations. Germany may have had the upper hand by winning the important matches after 1966 especially those in 1970, 1972, 1990 and 1996 or most recently the knock-out match during the 2010 World Cup. Each of these games provide enough space to fill book chapters and magazine articles.

León, 1970

An England team that many described as better than the 1966 World Cup winning blend, the team in Mexico inexplicably squandered a 2-0 lead only to lose 3-2 after extra-time. Largely described as revenge for 1966, the Germans were not on the pitch for the better part of the 90 minutes. Only after an hour or so of play, did they get back into the game. Was it Ramsey’s fault to substitute Bobby Charlton? Or was ot just a bad day at the office for Peter Bonnetti in goal? We’ll never know for sure. What is clear is that this turnaround has now become part of the Anglo-German football folklore.

Wembley, 1972

The game that would haunt England for 30 years not because of the final score of 3-1 but because for the way they saw how far behind they were left technically in contrast to the Germans. It was the beginning of the end for Sir Alf Ramsey; a year later he was gone and replaced by Don Revie. It was the start to a bleak decade for the English national team.

Turin, 1990

Almost 20 years later England and Germany would meet again in a competitive match. The World Cup semi-final of 1990 was an instant classic. It had everything: two teams going for it, there was drama, there were tears and possibly a very lucky German team.

Wembley, 1996

Gareth Southgate, the current England manager has shown his England team the penalty shoot-out. It is an indicator how strong this game still reverberates with him. Copy/Paste everything there was written for Turin and it gives a good description of the match. This time though the press got nasty.

Munich, 2001

England nonetheless have provided the odd shock result, most importantly in 2001 in the Olympic Stadium of Munich when the German national team was outplayed and beaten 5-1 in Munich. “5-1 and even Heskey scored” sang the England fans in the years following until Germany beat England again at the new Wembley in 2007. The period between 2000 and 2001 must be considered the worst in German football history as they finished bottom of their group at Euro 2000, behind England! That was the first time England finished ahead of Germany since 1968!

Tradition and Continuity

It seems to be tradition that England beat Germany often at home as they have done last year in Berlin. Moreover, England have always beaten Germany after the latter have won the World Cup. So it was in 1954 in 1975 in 1991 and 2016. With the exception of 1956 when England really were playing in a different class, the second match between these two always went Germany’s way. So it was in 1978 and in 1993. With England arriving without a number of strikers the chances are higher for Germany to win the match, however there is always Jamie Vardy who stunned Germany, England and possibly himself last year with a superb flick of the heel only four minutes after coming on as a substitute. At the end England had overcome Germany in dramatic fashion which gave hope to England and was a warning shot for the Germans. It came at the right time. For England it was once more a false dawn. With no tournament around the bend, tonight’s game will be one among many between England and Germany, though nothing could take the history away from this fixture.

FIFA, Putin and the FBI

In Football on June 29, 2015 at 08:00

A month has passed since a number of high-ranking FIFA officials were arrested by FBI agents. The initial reaction was that of relief as finally some one took the initiative against football’s global governing body as Blatter and his entourage have long been suspected to be utterly corrupt. The examples of the past are plentiful. It is proven that the TV rights dealer ISL and its bankruptcy in the early 2000s was murky to say the least. There is evidence that Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner and possibly others have accepted bribes. The action by the US Federal Agents was therefore welcomed by most people. Read the rest of this entry »

England vs. Germany: No One Mentions the War

In England, Football, Germany on November 23, 2014 at 10:00

England will play Germany at Wembley this afternoon. And no one has mentioned the war. Read the rest of this entry »

Football and Politics

In Football on June 21, 2014 at 22:47

Angela Merkel’s presence at Germany’s World Cup game against Portugal raised some questions. It has become tradition by the German chancellor to attend matches of Die Nationalmannschaft. Yet, Merkel’s omni-presence gives reason for concern over the link between football and politics. Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: