worldcup online – the real conversation

Crystal Balls

September 27th, 2005 by · No Comments · Features, Football

While repairing the damage Great Aunty WCO, our family medium [No jokes please] contacted us to say she had a stirring in her waters on Thursday morning after the game. Well hindsight is a wonderful thing, as is bowel trouble, so we invited her to the Bunker to reveal all.

Over a G and Tea, at a wobbly table, she gave us the benefit of her visions. As the mist [steam?] parted??England just qualify for the 2006 World Cup??the FA pay Sven The Negotiator another ?5million after we scrape two comprehensive last 10 minutes, 1-0 victories over Austria and Poland, [for some reason we always think about Grange Hill ?We want to help you Poland?. Strange]?..a wave of optimism sweeps the country. Yes, the stumbles during the qualifiers were just to lull Jonny Foreigner into a false sense of security?..more Brits arrive in Germany than since the BEF tried and failed some 60 years previous?.everyone thinks it?ll be a different result this time.

The first group stages are nervous so Great Aunty tells us. England draw the opening game. In the second group game they comprehensively beat a small African nation that no-one has heard of except Arsene Wenger, who has signed most of the squad for the Arsenal bench. Everything hinges on the final group game. Business as usual, England comes to a standstill [the country, not the team that is], Tony Blair grins as he twists his ankle in a photo opportunity with Sam Allardyce. It?s all going great, Rooney gets sent off after a petulant 65 minutes, Michael Owen hobbles one off his shin [a ?Drogba? if you like] in the 86th minute. An equaliser floats in while Rio is still adjusting his dreads for the cameras. Don?t panic, cautions Great Aunty, a draw was enough to see us through in second place. The national collective relief adds a few hundred tonnes of beer-breath greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.

The nation is elated and a little confused when England win the first knock out match comfortably 2-0. Sven just smiles enigmatically. Nancy counts the money. The country is beside itself [which technically would make us Irish or French] and we all move around dreamily, smiling at strangers, for the next four days while waiting for the next game.

And then! Reverting to type the team fail to turn up for the next match go out 2-0. Not even blessed with the drama and moral victory of going out on penalties to cling to for the next four years, just that slow, deflating, realisation that they simply are not good enough.

YOU?RE BACK IN THE ROOM. So, we say to Great Aunty, we could have told her that, no surprises there. Ah, she slurs, ?ish the neksh bit?.

After the post-mortem Sven gets an offer from a mad Italian president [no, not Mr. Berlusconi] and scarpers with Nancy and the swag back to Italy. The country clamours for an English manager. But who is made of the right stuff to follow in the illustrious steps of Glen Hoddle, Kevin Keegan and Graham Taylor? Curbs? Steve McClean? Big Sam? the mild mannered janitor?

Great Aunt is steaming [urg] again???ah Psycho. She?s seen the future and it starts with a psycho in the dressing room. No change there then.


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