Posted: June 4, 2010 in Pubs
Tags: , ,

This was supposed to be published last night, but WordPress was clearly being an idiot.

It’s getting exciting now. All it took was one e-mail, one link, and suddenly the World Cup juices are flowing. My missus has, in the words of her brother, “won the internet” with this little beauty of a link, which is absolute manna from heaven given what I’m trying to do during the tournament.

And goddammit it was so hard finding places during the Euros!

I genuinely thought I’d be struggling to find any North Korean places to watch the matches. But then London is a big city. This has almost made it too easy…

Of course, I need to be careful. The fact that those places are getting namechecked means that a) they’re already quite well-known, and b) more people will read about them and go to them for the matches. I remember De Hems getting a recommendation during Euro 2008, but I think you’d need to turn up 12 hours before the game painted entirely orange and wearing clogs on all four limbs to get in, it was that busy.

(De Hems is a nice place to go for a drink by the way – central, the Oranjeboom is nice, decor is decent. Unfortunately it’s also the place I had my mp3 player nicked during the late summer of 2008, so it’s been forever tainted in my eyes as a result. In fairness they did have loads of signs up that said “beware professional thieves operate here”. And I still don’t know how that bastard managed to nick it out of my bag from under my nose. It wasn’t even a good mp3 player! Anyway.)

So the wheels are now in motion. I’ve booked time off work for the start of the tournament a week tomorrow. Originally I was going to support Mexico but I’ve been swayed towards South Africa. It seems sort of fitting to start off with the host nation. Plus I don’t think they’ll be in it long. After that I’ll be trekking to a Uruguayan place to cheer on the U R Gayans against France. I just don’t like France. Not really sure why, but them and Argentina are two sides I don’t think I’ll end up supporting at any stage. Maybe the wounds of 2004 still run deep.

The general plan with the group stages is to try and support as many “minnows” as possible on the grounds that they probably won’t be in it for too long. So in addition to the above (although I fancy Uruguay to do pretty well), Greece, Nigeria, Ghana, Paraguay, North Korea and Denmark will all get a look in. And Honduras of course. GO ON HONDURAS

Another team that will be hard to support is Australia, now I think about it. Not that I have anything against the Socceroos. Fat Brett plays for them after all. Ah, Brettus. FIFA 10 hero. It’s just that drunk Australians really get on my tits, with their superior sporting prowess and all. You couldn’t bloody move at Glastonbury for drunk Australians. There were more drunk Australians than hippies. That’s the true face of your festival, Eavis.

Seeing as I have a job and all, that means that the day-time kick-offs are a no-go, which is slightly frustrating but what can you do. It’s either that or, er, be unemployed.

I haven’t really decided what to do about weekends, or, indeed, for England games. I’ll need a few “rest days” I think otherwise I’ll be completely knackered from going to the pub every single night. For England, I do want to go and watch a game in The Big Tree in Woodseats (Sheffield) as I’ve got plenty of memories from there, some bad (France 2004, Portugal 2000 and 2006) and some great (Argentina 2002, 5-1 v Germany in a seminal night down t’pub) so I’d like to continue that. Problem is my dad’s in Croatia for the first two group games, so it really hinges on England making it through to the second round and beyond…

Just a few final things for now then:

One is a very shiny World Cup planner that is about as beautiful as it is useless (seriously, a wall-planner out of this weekend’s paper will do nicely).

Another is the BBC’s pretty damn good World Cup site, which has stacks of footage and is thus perfect for getting you in the mood.

And from that, I strongly recommend you watch this game back as it contains probably the best goal I’ve ever seen (controversial), some scandalous cheating by those damn Argies (just watch them rolllllll) and two very decent teams.

On that note, watch the highlights from the aforementioned England v Argentina game in 2002 and marvel at  just how good that team actually was. I reckon they’d crap on the current crop from a great height.


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