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Steve Braunias' World Cup Diary: day 8

Jun 20, 2014 Sport


5-0, nearly

I called it. I called it not quite right. In yesterday’s diary, I predicted a scoreline of England 5, Uruguay 0; and that’s the way it might have panned out this morning, but for an exhilarating performance by Steven Gerrard.

England’s ambassador to Uruguay gifted them two goals, and played as though he had Alzheimer’s. He couldn’t remember anything. He trembled. He was off his meds. He was the English Patient, bedridden and gaga, bringing to a close one of the longest and most useless careers in the white shirt of England.

He was electrifying to watch, which is to say it looked as though he’d just been administered a powerful jolt of ECT. He was Chief in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a lost cause, sweeping the floor of the ward.

He – but enough of dumping on that turkey, that flop, that bum. Football is a team game. England lost 2-1. It was a cruel result and a fabulous, exciting game to watch.

Suarez! Yes, but also: Rooney! Magic properties of that fucking Weetabix on top of his head must have finally made their way into his bloodstream. He was England’s best player – no, not saying much, but it was marvellous to see him wake from a long international stupor, score a goal, hit the crossbar, force a good save, and attack the Uruguayans from deep as well as threaten them in the box. He was world-class, an alert, dynamic presence.

All is not lost. England still have everything to play for, possibly. Italy need to beat Costa Rica and Uruguay, and England need to give Costa Rica a hiding to go through on goal difference. These are all reasonable expectations.

I’m calling it! England 5, Costa Rica 0. It can be done. So long as Rooney continues to believe in himself – he’s a confidence player, and he’s got his confidence back. So long as Gerrard makes good use of the space on the bench – it ain’t over till his fat arse sits there, and doesn’t go anywhere near the field.


A brief history of death

The vast pleasure and joy of the World Cup must not blind us to the fact that while Group D (England, Uruguay, Italy) is the Group of Death, Group C (Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Greece) is the Group of Bored to Death.


A brief meditation on the eternal appeal of feminine beauty

Are the camera operators following orders, and fulfilling a contractual requirement, when they pick out girls who attend World Cup matches?

Or is it just the male gaze?


A brief history of life

It’s my birthday today. 54!


Read more: Day 7 – What the Bloggers and Other Experts Think



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