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PHOTO: TWO ASHLEYS, TWO MISSED PENALTIES, ONE NATION WITH A SERIOUS CASE OF ‘AGAIN?!’
The two Ashleys look dejected after missing their crucial penalties against Italy. Fans are upset. But there’s no call, ever ever ever, for this bullshit. (Reuters)
Woe is England.
The only way the “England go out on penalties” storyline could be ridiculous in it’s odd frequency is if it happened every time rather than just most of the time. This isn’t an issue of luck, as in “England have no luck in penalty shootouts”; this is something different, something cosmic. A long time ago, some power we cannot possibly understand or communicate with decided that England would, with disturbing regularity, lose in major tournament in penalty shootouts. This time around it was the the two Ashleys that did them in, but it hardly matters. England were destined for that failure.
It’s a little sad, because England’s tournament wasn’t all that bad. Sure, it took Hodgsonian tactics, a few moments of brilliance, and a tiny bit of luck to bring them to the quarterfinals of the European Championships, but you could hardly say they didn’t deserve to be there.
One day, maybe after we’re all dead and buried and the great nations of the world have merged into one and the only remaining bastions of the old national identities are tied to the game of soccer, England will win a penalty shootout. Maybe.
For the time being, however, it’s hard to even chuckle derisively in the Three Lions direction. I have no particular love for England, and so I was not emotionally tied to their winning or losing yesterday; but we’ve see this story before, many, many times, and it would be nice to have it go the other way just to see how everyone involved would handle winning. On penalties.
The phrase “mass hysteria” comes to mind. Wouldn’t that be fun, just once?
PIRLO DOES A PANENKA. EXCEPT FOR THAT RUNNING-AROUND-ARMS-IN-THE-AIR BIT.
Cool as you like. I mean Pirlo himself. That penalty can’t make someone that cool cooler. // Off the Post
ARGENTINIAN SOCCER IS CRAZY. BUT YOU KNEW THIS ALREADY.
Down in Argentina, you can be contending for a championship while at the same time be on the verge of relegation. That’s weird. // Futfanatico
YOU KNOW THE OLD SAYING: ‘YOU CAN’T KEEP A SHAMELESSLY CORRUPT FORMER FIFA OFFICIAL DOWN.’
We have a Jack Warner sighting. After resigning from FIFA with his official record clean (because FIFA sucks that way), Jack has been named the national security minister of his native Trinidad and Tobago. Seriously. // Reuters
PHOTO: SEE? EVEN THEIR OWN FANS ARE BORED TO TEARS! LOOK AT THOSE BLANK STARES.
Spain fans luxuriate in the tiki-taka tactics of Del Bosqzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. (Reuters)
THE BEST PART IS THE INCONGRUITY OF IT. LIKE NAMING YOUR DOG ‘CAT.’
A Brazilian whose given name is Franz Beckenbauer named his newborn son Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And really, who can blame him? // Dirty Tackle
AND HERE’S THE PART WHERE YOU THINK ‘ONLY 25? BLIMEY!’ UNLESS YOU’RE NOT BRITISH, IN WHICH CASE YOU PROBABLY DON’T USE THE WORD ‘BLIMEY.’
Leo Messi turned 25 yesterday. The world waits in anxious anticipation of his next feats of amazingness. Except for Ronaldo. // A Football Report
HEY, MAYBE THE GROWN ASS MAN IS FINALLY BEGINNING TO ACT LIKE A GROWN AS MAN.
Here’s an excellent piece on Sounders forward Eddie Johnson that gives me the excuse to use the phrase “grown ass man.” // The Sporting News
PHOTO: IT WAS NEVER GOING TO GO ENGLAND’S WAY. FUNTIK PICKED ITALY, AND HE’S A PSYCHIC PIG.
Almost forgot about the psychic animal phenomenon, didn’t you? You’re welcome for me reminding you. (Reuters)
THAT SAMIR NASRI, HE’S ONE LIKABLE CHAP. OH, I MEAN THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THAT.
Samir Nasri, bit of a hot-headed potty mouth. France is France. // ONTD_Football
TELL ME IF YOU’VE HEARD IT BEFORE: ENGLAND GO OUT ON PENALTIES…
England folded when it came down to spot kicks, but that’s okay because they didn’t deserve to go through anyway. This is what Englishmen (and non-Englishmen who support England) are telling themselves today. // Bleacher Report
YOU JUST KNOW THERE’S AN ALTERNATE DIMENSION WHERE ENGLAND PLAYS THE BEST SOCCER AND ALWAYS WIN PENALTY SHOOTOUTS.
Of course, in that alternate universe, football is America’s number one sport, the USMNT wins every tournament, and the Premier League is a feeder league for MLS, so I’m not sure English fans would really want to switch dimensions. This penalty thing is getting really old, though. Some might be tempted. Follow and like.