Thomas Muller feels Pepe’s fingers checking his beard growth and decides that his jaw has been broken, or that at minimum he has lost a few fine German teeth. He immediately falls like a shot cow, sits up and examines his hands for dislocated molars. Pepe knows that Muller is faking and presses his ample Portuguese curls to Muller’s mop. Muller is so stunned by the contact that he feel his skull has caved in…however he quickly seizes the moment… realising that if he get to his feet and fiercely hams up some German outrage…who knows, Pepe might get his marching orders. Pepe is red carded . Job done..game over…go and cut the lawn…there’s nothing to see folks.
Wouldn’t you love to be close enough to give the two of them a kick up the arse and tell to give over their prick acting? Not a chance, I’m afraid. These spoilt boys are now insulated from the real world and well protected by the biggest circus of charlatans that ever graced the planet. They are now as bad as the shysters and crooks that run the show. No wonder Blatter and his ilk feel untouchable…just look at the army of cheats and spoofers that he is overseeing? They’ve managed to poison a game that once upon a time was worth watching.
We played soccer as kids. We went to see Georgie Lynham and Al Finucane in the Market’s Field. We smelled the liniment of the visiting Drums players, with their strange accents as the stepped off the bus from Dublin. We got their autographs. When Limerick played away we listened to the account of the game on the wireless.
We persuaded my father to drive us to his friend’s house in Dunmore East on the first Saturday in May. On a snowy black and white television we saw Jack Burkett hold the FA cup aloft. We felt sorry for Roy Dwight and his broken leg and we drove back to Limerick in the Morris Minor. We were big fans.
We played from light pole to light pole on St. Patrick’s Road in Limerick. When there weren’t enough of us to make up a couple of teams…we played ‘combo’. We loved it. Sometimes you were bounced into a garden wall by one of the bigger guys and the bloody traces of the pebbledash stayed on your thigh. Badge of honour. You kept on playing or else you were told to go home to your mother. And you played on because you didn’t want miss the fun.
I played five a side in the Rink. You were hopped off the barrier from time to time. You felt it…you got on with it. You tried your best not to fall over….falling over was wimps…..t’was laughed at. Staying down and feigning injury was a nono….you got on with it. I played on the odd occasion for Fairview Rangers in Cal’s Park, where the sliding tackle was an art form. Sometimes you were sent out over the touchline by some one bigger than you. You got up. You didn’t start crying to the referee.
Limerick FC had the best exponent of the sliding tackle in the land…Joe Casey was his name and his brother ‘Basker’ wasn’t far behind. Joe played left back and visiting wingers were always well aware of Joe’s presence. There was bodily contact. It was a contact sport for men. There were collisions and bruises. For chrissakes it was a contact sport for men. I never say any of Joe’s adversaries crying for their mothers or pretending their skulls were broken?? Today’s players, to a man, are now infected by Drogbaitis and as Eamon Dunphy says “We’ve lost the beautiful game”
Germany v Portugal was my fourth World Cup game and already I thing that I have seen enough? How many hours of sheer tedium, diving, cheating, and petulance does one have to endure to catch a beautiful moment of genuine skill such as Van Persie’s headed goal against Spain. For me, too many, I’m afraid.
Happily, Cork V Clare on Sunday provided some honest endeavour and a welcome relief.