FIFA World Cup Review

 In the first of a number of one-offs The Lone Ranger reviews the England vs. Germany FIFA World Cup game in the style of a literary review ...

England vs Germany 2010 FIFA World Cup
Review: The Lone Ranger

England vs. Germany 2010 FIFA World Cup BBC coverage followed England through a fractured path of memories as they tried to work out what on earth was happening to them. One moment they were on African soil, the next heading for Heathrow Airport. They were a team adrift, trying to stay awake as they stumbled towards failure. Behind them and before, the memories of England's hopes forever denied. I remembered a childhood kicking balls around the park as I watched, a pint of bitter at the local, a death of innocence, a choke in the throat.

The start was weak, the pace lacking, the tension high. And for a moment towards the middle of the game , where often the narrative arc flags unsure of itself and how to bridge the start and finish, the game came to life. But in a cruel plot twist the knife was unveiled and the heart of England diced and served as a starter to the German's coming feast. After that the memory of England as a first class team receded as the programme unfolded. With it went part of England's identity – their link with where they've come from, their connection to the past.

And of finding and losing the ball.

"Where’s the England I’ve known? Where am I? We’ve vanished," cried one fan towards the end.

The coverage weaved around wooden one dimensional characters and although told with a great love and tenderness for the game it was dipped in sadness, frustration, disbelief. The commentary was excellent, the game heart wrenching and mysterious.  At the end the BBC took all England's past failures, their hurt and their love, and buried the manager and players in scorn so that their defeat was set hard in cold blocks to stand as a warning to future viewers: Support England at your peril.

Photo credit: e-magic 


Eileen T O'Neill - Written Words said...

This is an excellent description, which really says it all.

Where to go with national pride now?

The Lone Ranger said...

Hi Eileen

Mike can't write for toffee, that's all my own work above :-)

National pride ... Darts?

Michael J. Kannengieser said...


So, "FIFA?" What's that? Ha ha.

Hey, speaking of the UK in soccer, I mean football, didn't some team from the US play them to a tie?

There are no "ties" in baseball...even if the game goes on for over four hours!

Still, it's crushing to have your favorite team lose. Sorry, to the UK team, but there's the next one to look forward to in four years.

Jen P said...

@ Michael: next time Scotland will qualify, and then you'll see some fightin' spirit - as opposed to those lacklustre English lads. We might geographically all be part of the UK, but when it comes to sport, national pride knows its borders well.

Hat's off to you Lone Ranger. Liked this.