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(June 11, 2002)

The Scores on the Doors

Well, today I've had to juggle the football action with teaching 3 classes, but I've managed to watch the Denmark-France game live (2-0), switching over to Senegal-Uruguay (3-3) for the last 15 minutes, and then video the Germany-Cameroon game (2-0) and watch it later, choosing to miss Ireland-Saudi Arabia (3-0) on the grounds that the result was fairly obvious (I had to miss one, as they were on simultaneously).

So, how have my predictions gone? Not great so far. In Group A, Denmark did hold France off (although rather more convincingly than I implied), but France didn't score, going home in disgrace to domestic crossness of Gallic proportions.

Senegal were living up to my expectations at half time, being 3-0 up, but then struggled throughout the second half to squeeze into the second round with a 3-3 draw only after the miss of the tournament, Morales heading wide from three yards with the Senegal defence lying prone in the goalmouth like beached whales. I guess I always knew he would do that.

At least I guessed the correct 2 teams to go through, even if they were in the wrong order.

In Group E, I didn't. Ireland won comfortably enough to take second place, but the Germans saw Cameroon off to take top spot. It seems odd to describe a German win as a shock result, but it was.

Cameroon's main problem is the way they keep thinking Rigobert Song is a proper footballer with skills and stuff, when he is so clearly not. Germany have an equivalent in Carsten Jancker, but at least today they had the sense to take him off at halftime.

Something occurred to me today, which was about the names on players' backs. I'd always thought they were surname only (or the equivalent), but Brazilian names like Ronaldinho are actually made up. His real name is Ronaldo, so they call him this to differentiate him from the other Ronaldo - it means "little Ronaldo". Why Edilson has only one name, which is only one character different from Edmilson, I don't know.

Anyway, if they can do this why can't we? Why couldn't Gascoigne, for instance, have gone out with "Gazza" across his back. Admittedly many of them are a bit unimaginative (Scholes-y, Becks, etc), but it would have been nice to have seen Stewart Pierce clearly labelled "Psycho", just in case there was anyone in any doubt.

Anyway, off to bed to be bright and breezy for England tomorrow. G'night.

posted by Jon 19:57
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