Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Germany v Poland, BBC1

For best results, accompany this and many of our other recaps with The Colourbox Official World Cup Theme

Gary's setting himself up for a fall, or at least a fool, very early on, starting with the claim that the German reliability on being "disciplined, efficient and organised" has become "carefree, attack minded play". We'll be the judges of that. Hansen and Strachan are in with Shearer, wearing a shirt which makes him look even more like a bloke in a pub, Gary getting in a line about Scots in the first round that never palls. For some. He also seems surprised by Germans singing Three Lions, which means he can't have been concentrating too hard at the grounds he's been at. Reminiscence turns to 1974, Hansen getting into the swing of it only to be interrupted by Shearer's "I wasn't 32, I was only four". The England feature, early for your entertainment, features a lengthy spiel of Sven quoting statistics, which even Garth isn't sure about. Meanwhile Celina is in Poland interviewing women in jester's hats in the street, which is as fraught with danger as you'd expect. We never see her again.

Noting "a massive invasion of Polish fans into Germany - some sort of irony there somewhere" isn't the half of it yet, as after Steve Wilson has told us that "with apologies to those in Group H...this is the match of the day" he refers again to the war. "I've got to mention it, but like Basil Fawlty I think I got away with it". Um, yeah. He and Mick McCarthy pore over the idea of German TV devoting much of their discussion to Oliver Kahn close-ups in case Jens Lehmann makes a mistake, "looking for the merest hint of a smile". "That's the loudest shout we'll hear" Mick states, bluffly, at one appeal, as he continues to find it difficult to deal with the idea of an injured player. Right at the end of the half, in a portent of things to come, we get Podolski's miss, rightly pointed up as the "best chance of the first half by a country mile, that". "Gordon, enjoyed it?" "Huh!" Sounds fair enough, especially when he knowingly dubs Poland "functional". After everything said before there's plenty of time spent on how deep the Germans are now defending, Hansen being visibly surprised when his package of clips is cut one short. "Think Klinsmann's been listening to Hansen at all?" Shearer humourlessly interjects, as usual. The filler feature this time, as well as Chris Birchall's show nothing diary, is Ivan round the house of a sticker book collector. Say, what if he just points to 1966 World Cup shots and pictures of the pundits when they looked slightly different for three minutes?

As Mick gets to moan about the rule regarding coming back onto the pitch and declares apropos of little "I don't like that Schweinsteiger" Germany turn the screw very slowly, eventually breaking out into a set of marvellous Wilson expositions - "Off the bar! And off the bar! Neuville! No! Ballack! Offside!" McCarthy helpfully reiterates it all for us immediately, but before everybody's really settled down Wilson's going almost as mad at Neuville's goal as the fans are.

While nobody directly claims you can't write the Germans off afterwards there's a lot of praise for the way they took the upper hand, Gordon interjecting at the end with the thought "I don't think Germany are a threat at the moment". His argument doesn't make that much sense in light, unfortunately, and instead we get to see Jurgen leap about, Hansen marvelling "that's a major celebration - he's actually won the World Cup!". Shearer admits Klose "had an absolute shocker" and gets ribbed for 'his' choice mercilessly before we're reminded Artur Boruc is "Gordon's goalie", Shearer proving he does his own background work by admitting "I said to him (Gordon) in the car here, what's he like", although I wonder what sort of response he expected. Hansen takes it up: "Did you buy him, Gordon?" "I did. I used Celtic's money...", later retorted with "so you've made one decent signing, then". A goals of the tournament so far compilation breaks the tone briefly before Gary startles us with his closing statement that "it needed a late, late goal from Neuville to break their duck". Neuville/Orville, sir?

What we've learned: If it's not one end Germany are underwhelming at it's the other; Poland's downfall was a lack of a midfield and very much not Boruc; two games in we still can't really tell what Germany will do


Blogger skif said...

You certainly can't go wrong with the Colourbox World Cup theme. The most fun 5 minutes that vaguely football-related music has ever provided. Never fails to fill me with a giggy glee.

In terms of being wrapped up in a game, this was probably my favourite game of the tournament thus far. Mind you I did miss 3 or 4 earlier.

8:34 am, June 15, 2006

Blogger Ben said...

Germany should have won comfortably, but it made for another entertaining finish.

10:31 am, June 15, 2006

Blogger skif said...

again I'm typing too fast. That should have been 'giddy glee'

11:46 am, June 15, 2006


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