Wednesday, June 27, 2012

All around my hat I will wear the green willow (Steeleye Span)

I will wear the green willow for England - until the next knock out football competition, that is. Which will be 2014's World Cup in Brazil. Who would bet against England making another exit on penalties after a dull scoreless draw??

Tomorrow we get into the semi finals of UEFA's Euro 2012 competition. The way too arrogant Ronaldo vs Spain is first up and then the next day the Germans will take Italy apart and show how woeful England's campaign really was.

Why were the premier league stars like Rooney and Ashley Young so inept? They had great seasons for Manchester United but for some reason they were damp squids when playing for England.

Anyway - Spain vs Germany for the final and the Germans to win.

Sometimes I think my life is the stuff that happens to me in between football competitions.

Since 1974 I can tick off where and what I was doing during the World Cups and to a lesser extent, the Euro competitions since 2000.

That first one in 1974 was in Germany and the Germans won thanks to Gerd Muller.

I was a student at Mt Albert Grammar, playing football and, at the time of the world cup, I was billoting some guy from a team we were hosting. I don't recall that we had live TV coverage but I do remember us listening to the commentary on this guy's radio.

It wasn't Gerd Muller who impressed me in 1974 - instead this was the era of Holland's total football and Johan Cruyff. The romance of total football won me over big time. Then they lost and that just seemed to add to the romance. The pragmatic, disciplined Germans had beaten the free for all spirit of the Dutch.

1978 and I was watching the World Cup in Argentina from the family home at Ramelton Rd., Auckland, in colour.

1982 in Spain was memorable because I was staying with a Scottish family in Hastings while on a teaching section to Havelock North High School. Nu Zild, of course were in the finals for the first time and had to play Scotland  and Brazil in their group. It was freezing (their place was opposite the Freezing Works in Hastings which I thought was really appropriate). This was the year of Zico, Falcao and Socrates which I've written about in the blog before.

1986 in Mexico was Argentina's year. I was teaching at Macleans College and fully into the mullet years.

1990 was played in Italy (Germany won again) and 1994 in USA was Brazil's year again. During these ones I was teaching in Nelson.

1998 was France's turn to host and win. Amazing given the state of French football these days. The family had moved back to Auckland and we were living in the boarding school at Mt Albert Grammar.

UEFA's Euro 2000 champs were held in Belgium/Holland and won by France. This was the first time the Euros entered my consciousness really. I don't recall where or what I was doing with Euros before this one but I distinctly remember watching Sylvain Wiltord scoring to equalise and David Trezeguet scoring the winner in extra time. 

2002 in South korea and Japan was won by Brazil again and we had moved to Cambridge. This is the last World Cup that I've watched and followed from Nu Zild.

Euro 2004 was, of course, the year unfancied Greece went on to win.

2006 was the reverse of 1990. The finals were played in Germany and Italy won. We were watching from the UK and we went to Italy on holiday shortly after the win. An amazing good time feeling in Rome; it was summer and Italy team shirts, images of Cannavaro and flags were everywhere.

2008 and Euro was finally won by Spain - the perrenial underachievers of world football. I was in Stratford, NZ.

2010 in South Africa and Spain finally realised their potential in a World Cup as well. SWMBO and I had to go to great lengths to watch the finals from Qatar. We managed to buy a package from Al Jazeera Sport in Villagio Mall - the one that had the tragic fire in it recently.  

2012 Euro in Poland and The Ukraine. We're in Otane and so far it's been business as usual - Germany strong and never should be discounted, England flatter and then deceive etc etc. 

2014 will be in Brazil but I have no idea where we'll be to watch it. Look for a major announcement in the next post about the near future prospects for SWMBO and your correspondent in the blogosphere.

Love and peace - Wozza

No comments: