Match Journal #3: Spain v Tahiti

After the colossal mis-match that was Spain 10-0 Tahiti, David Wild pays tribute to the Pacific Islanders who gave their all…

“Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell, Rode the six hundred.”– Alfred, Lord Tennyson

One of football’s most timeless and appealing virtues is its egalitarian nature; its ability to give the underdog their own glorious day in the sun. USA 1-0 England World cup 1950. Wimbledon’s 1988 FA cup final victory, North Korea’s glorious late consolation against Brazil in World Cup 2010. To the delight of fans worldwide history is replete with the unexpected upsetting of the odds.

Last night in the Confederations Cup the World Cup winners and European champions Spain, their sparkling contingent laden with universal honours, accolades and a perception of true sporting greatness lining up against a team with one professional player, and of whom nine are technically unemployed; Tahiti. Continue reading

Match Journal Entry #2: Italy v Japan


James Dutton rejoices in the spectacle of last night’s 4-3 tussle between Italy and Japan in the Confederations Cup…

A month ago we couldn’t wait for the season to finish. The Premier League season spiraled into unconfined misery as it dragged on and on and on and on.

But the Confederations Cup, in that footballing nirvana of Brazil, has brought unbridled joy to the unsuspecting, average footballing Joe thus far.

Last night it reached its zenith as Italy and Japan played out an absolute humdinger in Recife. It caught us all slightly unawares after Brazil’s rather subdued and functional 2-0 win over Mexico, which, were it not for the fleeting flashiness of Neymar (and the fact that Jô is the second top goal scorer of the tournament so far with just 17 minutes under his belt), would not have lived long in the memory. Continue reading

Match Journal Entry #1: Brazil vs. England


In a new series for Summer 2013, The False Nine team will provide talking points from the matches they’ve watched. First up, John Guillem on England’s visit to Brazil…

-          Prescript: since the game, I have suffered nightmares for the past pair of nights. Murdered ‘Arry in one of them ONLY TO TRANSFORM INTO HIM [!] That one was bad. Chased down the road by Woy with a butterfly night in another. The implications of these are yet to be fully determined. Watching England is bloody miserable, harrowing, traumatic (even if you don’t care) perhaps to a degree which extends beyond the conventional contemporary psychopathology of numbness and alienation…can I get my (figurative) money back?

-          Obvious but still merits statement: England had an extremely depleted squad, and the players who were available dictated our strategy and performance for this game. It’s heartening to see that we can still be hard to break down (though Brazil do suck) with such a weak squad.

-          This was the perfect game for Joe ‘world class’ Hart. Lots of shots to stop but we were playing a side lacking clinicality and aerial/indirect set piece threats of any note. Continue reading