Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wylye Girl's Guide to the World Cup 2010

Well, it's almost (literally by hours) upon us. Those 32 days of sheer hell for non-fans of the one they play with a large round ball. I mean of course the World Cup.

32 countries will put forward their finest divers, actors (ability to feign serious injury in order to get penalties a major benefit) and overpaid jessies in the hope of lifting a rather blingy gold trophy which is considered something of an international achievement apparently.

I will not be watching.

So for those that aren't fans of the Beautiful Game or worse still, will be forced to watch it by cruel, heartless partners, here are a few tips to survive it or, if necessary, bluff you way through it.

Tips to avoid it altogether:

1. Set the TV to BBC, jam a matchstick into your Sky box/Virgin Media box/Freeview box so you can't change channels and hide the remote. In your 'house cleaning' box would be a good place because we all know there's little chance of husbands and partners even knowing where it is - a cruel slur on my male readers, I know.

2. Go shoppping. For the next 32 days the car parks will be deserted. Don't forget to ask your partner for permission to buy those expensive shoes/dress/bag just as England line up for the inevitable penalty shoot out. Success is assured.

3. There are only 32 countries in the World Cup but there are 192 countries (approximately) in the World. That means that there are 160 countries NOT taking part. Take an extended vacation in one of them.

4. Take the time to learn a language. If the Italian team sets your loins (not lions) aflame, learn Italian. Then at least you can drive your partner mad by uttering random Italian phrases in a sexy voice at the TV. After all, he's not to know that your Italian purring actually translates as 'please may I have a dozen eggs'.

5. Pamper yourself for a whole month. If your partner complains, tell him you're just emulating the WAGs (also see Shopping above). He'll understand.

But if you really have to watch it.......

Learn these important facts and factoids

1. Impress people with your knowledge of the offside rule. In case you are unsure about this here it is in a nutshell.

A player is in an offside position if he is in his opponents' half of the field and is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the next to last opponent.
The 2005 edition of the Laws of the Game included a new decision that stated being "nearer to an opponent's goal line" meant that "any part of his head, body or feet is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent (the last opponent typically being the goalkeeper). The arms are not included in this definition." This is taken to mean that any part of the attacking player named in
this decision has to be past the part of the second-last defender closest to his goal line (excluding the arms) and past the part of the ball closest to the defenders' goal line.
It is not necessary that the goalkeeper be one of the last two opponents. It should be noted that any attacker that is even with or behind the ball is not in an offside position and may never be sanctioned for an offside offense. Regardless of position, there is no offside offense if a player receives the ball directly from a goal kick, corner kick, or throw-in

Got it? No, I didn't think so.

Try this one for size. The offside rule explained in 'shoe shopping' terms.

You're in a shoe shop, second in the queue for the till. Behind the shop assistant on the till is a pair of shoes which you have seen and which you must have.

The 'opposing' female shopper in front of you has seen them also and is eyeing them with desire.

Both of you have forgotten your purses.

It would be totally rude to push in front of the first woman if you had no money to pay for the shoes.

The shop assistant remains at the till waiting.

Your friend is trying on another pair of shoes at the back of the shop and sees your dilemma.

She prepares to throw her purse to you.

If she does so, you can catch the purse, then walk round the other shopper and buy the shoes.

At a pinch she could throw the purse ahead of the other shopper and, *whilst it is in flight* you could nip around the other shopper, catch the purse and buy the shoes.

Always remembering that until the purse had *actually been thrown* it would be plain wrong to be forward of the other shopper.

There, much clearer! Never forget thatn England is never offside, the opposition should never had been awarded that Goal and the ref, without doubt, should have gone to Specsavers.

2. "Well done the lads" is unlikely to impress your partner. Try one of the following:

"Capello prefers the 4-4-2 system but it's difficult to know who to play up front with Rooney"

If Jamie Carragher is playing well
"Capello was right to lure him out of retirement". If he's playing badly, say the reverse

"Capello really needs to bring on Lennon for a bit of width"

If a team is making lots of small passes, declare "Team X are really keeping it tight"

"I've seen milk turning faster that Team X's defence"

Shout "Cheat" whenever Argentinian Manager Diego Maradona is on TV. We've never forgiven him for 'the hand of God'.

3. Call the players by their nicknames. This is generally done by adding a 'y' or an 'o' so Joe Cole become 'Coley' (like the fish), David James is 'Jamo'. Note that it doesn't work with either Rooney or Wright-Phillips.

Football boasts some pretty wild nicknames. Take
the Brazilian player Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite. He's known as Kaka which is always greeted with snorts of amusement in France and in several English speaking countries. Whether the choice of a nickname that means 'poo' was a good idea is open to question.

The German team boasts a 'Butt' and Nigeria a 'Shittu' but those, sadly, are their real names.

4. Stand in front of a mirror and perfect the following phrases "FFS ref, anyone could see that was offside". When an opposing player dives or flops, "Get up you big jessie or I'll give you something to really moan about". If an England player does the same they're just being a bit cheeky. Smile knowingly.

What not to say....

1. Is Pele still playing?

2. Why isn't Scotland in it? (to a Scot at least) Will you, therefore, be supporting England?

3. Never mind, it's only a game

4. You 't's. For the next 32 days, the letter t is erased from the alphabet. Players will be fi', your tv schedule will be sor'id and when England invariably loses on penalty shoot-outs you'll be gu''id

The other teams

Italy - they're the ones with the hairbands

Spain - they're the ones with the dreadful haircuts

France - they're the ones that the Irish won't be supporting (but who regrettably I should support as they were the team drawn for me in our office sweepstakes. Oh, the injustice!)

Argentina - they're the ones that England doesn't want to win

Brazil - they're the favourite (everywhere except in the British tabloid press)

Germany - see above

Eye Candy for the Girls
Landon Donovan - All American Hunk

Karim Ziani - Algeria (but needs to lose the moustache)

Zlatko Dedic - Slovenia (could almost be Matt Damon)

Guillermo Ochoa - sexy Mexican goalkeeper

Roque Santa Cruz - Paraguayan player votes 'Most Sexy Player' in Germany

Look away.....

Wayne Rooney - England's very own answer to Shrek and recently voted the World's Ugliest Player. Cruel but fair.... Thank God he can score goals! Incidentally, of the top 25 Ugliest Players in the same survey, 7 played for Manchester United, making them the ugliest team in the world!

Peter Crouch - I've met him and he really is as ugly in real life - and ditch that bloody 80s robotic dance pleeeeeesssseee!

Franc Ribery - a French player who's face was made up from spare parts

Ronaldinho - what gene pool does he come from? But then it wouldn't be fair if he had all that talent and good looks

Gianfranco Zola - quite possibly the missing link

Carlos Tevez - looks like he was hit by a bus

Fab Footie Facts

1. Germany has never won the World Cup. West Germany though, has won it twice

2. The Prince Boateng brothers are the only brothers in the World Cup to be playing for different teams. With a Ghanaian mother and a German father, Jerome is playing for Germany and Kevin for Ghana. Both teams are in the same pool. Could be awkward

3. In the 80 years that the World Cup has been played, it has only been won by 7 different countries. Makes it all the more pointless in my book.

4. The most secretive team is North Korea (and, I'd bet, the least likely to win). No-one even knows what their strip looks like

5. Beer and the World Cup go hand in hand. If you want to improve your World Cup experience try Beer Genie

Well, the opening Ceremony is now only minutes away. Sadly, nothing can be done to stop the inevitable. Time to batten down the hatches and try and make the best of it. Good luck!