do not mention the war

Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

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.

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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.

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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 »

Punk Football – FC United of Manchester

In Football on December 4, 2013 at 11:09

FC United have come very close to promotion to the Conference North, which is only one step away from the Football League. This is a fantastic achievement given that the club was established only in 2005 and has since moved up the divisions. After 3 straight promotions from 2005 until 2008 the Red Rebels are currently playing in the Northern Premier League, Northern Division. where they have reached the 3 consecutive play-off finals, albeit finishing as runners-up on each occasion.

This video by Hard Lines Productions was directed by Daniel Colbourne and recounts the history of the club through the voices of its fans, their manager Karl Marginson – who is still the first manager ever appointed by the club – as well as chairman Andy Walsh. The tenor of the voices heard here are that every time FCUM play it is a resolute 2 fingered salute to the football establishment.

Interesting was one comment by a fan after the play-off defeat: ‘They’ve had a crack at it and lost it. But they’ll come back and have another crack at it.’ A healthy attitude in the sphere of football where winning and promotion seems to have become most important goal, regardless of the consequences. Punk Football indeed.

England – Poland 1973

In Football on October 15, 2013 at 09:45

England meet Poland tonight to ensure qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The same encounter 40 years ago was a very different affair; England needing a win to secure their passage to West Germany in 1974. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Owen announces his retirement

In Football on March 19, 2013 at 22:17

Michael Owen, once a great goalscorer, winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2001 has announced his retirement from professional football at the end of this season. Read the rest of this entry »

Separated at Birth: Freddy Ljungberg and Wanja Mues

In Football, Popular Culture on February 12, 2013 at 11:00

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