Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sweden v Paraguay, ITV1

Goal of the match: Not a great deal of choice, really. A good deep cross from Johan Elmander found the head of his fellow substitute Marcus Allback, whose nod back across goal was headed in expertly by Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg.

Shot of the match: Kim Kallstrom, who had replaced former Saint Anders Svensson in the starting line-up, hit a cracker in the first half.

Save of the match: Aldo Bobadilla's tip-over from that Kallstrom shot was top drawer, as was his push wide from Ljungberg's shot in injury time, but it has to go to right back Denis Caniza who raced back valiantly to hook Allback's lob off the line.

Pass of the match: Henrik Larsson's first half through-ball to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was subsequently - and wrongly - ruled offside.

Miss of the match: Allback, who was too busy preparing to celebrate scoring with that lob to realise that Caniza was going to get there before it crossed the line. They talk about players losing none of their sharpness - well, since Allback left Villa he's clearly lost none of his bluntness.

Man of the match: Probably Kallstrom, who caused lots of problems with his powerful shooting and flitting movement behind the front two.

He was playing?!: Ibrahimovic and Roque Santa Cruz were equally disappointing, the former substituted at the break and the latter not that long into the second half.

We didn't need to see that: Ibrahimovic juggling his bollocks on the way off the pitch at the break. The sight of Dwight Yorke with his hand rummaging around down his shorts earlier was quite enough.

The Gary Neville Award For The Shittest Goatee: Nelson Valdez.

Player whom I always sign when playing 'Championship Manager' but whom I had never really seen playing in the flesh: Teddy Lucic.

Number of Limahl fans playing: 1 (Christian Wilhelmsson).

Manager who would, had it not been for Ljungberg's winner, have been saying "I love it when a plan comes together" while chomping on a big fat cigar: Anibal Ruiz.

Face in the crowd: Surprisingly avoiding the Swedish beauties, the camera instead focused before kick-off on one chap who was belting out the Swedish national anthem while wearing an orange wig with wonky pigtails.

Stat attack: Prior to this game, Sweden hadn't won a single game since qualifying for the tournament in October. A stat so good Peter Drury reminded us of it twice.

Minutes elapsed before Drury mentions the Ljungberg / Mellberg spat: 2.

Minutes elapsed before Ibrahimovic throws a tantrum: 10 (though it was with himself).

The David Pleat Award For Idiosyncratic Pronunciation: Pleat, of course, who didn't let me down on the first ITV1 coverage I've reported on. FYI, David, "Rennes" has a silent 's'.

Famous first words: "England are through" - Gabby Logan introduces live coverage of Sweden v Paraguay.

Understatement Corner: Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink comes up with a gem, in perfectly imperfect English, about England's first half performance - "Nothing nice happened for them".

Learning the lingo: Drury refers to "an elongated penalty shoot-out" - what's that, exactly? From 30 yards rather than 12?

The soft sell: Drury - "Flick over to ITV4 for a spot of World Cup frivolity". He was referring to 'World Cuppa', the show presented by Christian O'Connell and incorporating a feature called 'Warren Barton: Travel Agent'. Not seen it yet, and to be honest Drury's done nothing to persuade me to tune in.

You what?!: Drury's comment on the hordes of Sweden fans packing out the stadium - "It does look like a herd of giraffes". When was the last time you went on safari, then, Peter? But even then he won't let it lie, referring to "the yellow herd". And Pleat's comment that "that deep ball seems to hang effortlessly in the air" deserves a mention too. How exactly can an inanimate object do something WITH effort?

What we learned: Sweden are uninspiring but will keep on plugging away until they get that goal; Paraguay lack ambition; Pleat needs shooting in the head. Actually, sorry, we knew that last bit already.


Blogger Matt said...

According to the board outside the bookies that I saw this afternoon, Allback was 7-1 to be the first goalscorer. I know the theory goes that you never see a poor bookie, but that's just taking the piss.

11:21 pm, June 15, 2006

Blogger skif said...

Thanks to my Freeview box's pecadillos, I can't recieve ITV4. Some might suggest that is something to be grateful for (although I believe they show Larry Sanders re-runs, so can't be all bad).

It is frustrating though. I need to know just how bad 'Warren Barton: Travel Agent' really is.

I can only imagine the horror. Can someone who lives in a less marginal Freeview area put my mind at rest?

8:30 am, June 16, 2006

Anonymous Karl said...

To be honest, Warren Barton Travel Agent was hands-down one of the best segments of World Cuppa. Very funny. What does everyone else think?

8:26 pm, July 16, 2006


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