Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Charge of the White Shirt Brigade

So now we know six of the last eight, with the Son and the Father in the shape of Spain and Italy going forward to the quarter-finals. The Holy Ghost at least put up a spirited performance in their two nothing defeat by Italy. It was a shame to see the Irish Player sent off in the last minute and you felt his pent up frustration as he kicked the ball into the stands and berated the referee.
It was less pleasing to see Mario Balotelli who having scored a wonderful goal having to have another player put his hand over Mario’s mouth as he directed a stream of invective at someone. A very talented player, but with a rather large loose screw.

The final round of group matches sees the return to the England team of the Prodigal son, one Wayne Rooney known to his friends as Wazza. In the second game, a rather poor Swedish team who have already been eliminated face a French team, who are quietly getting the job done and will be difficult to beat as the tournament progresses. The result of this game is of little interest, except for deciding who wins the group and thus avoids playing Spain in the next round, which is the fate which awaits the runner up of group D.

The poet laureate Lord Tennyson penned his famous words in 1854 during the Crimean war which if you were not aware is located in the Ukraine. We shall paraphrase them for our purpose. “into the valley of death ran the brave eleven” Shevchenko to the left, voronin to the right, Blockin in front, volleyed and thunder, theirs is not to reason why, theirs is but to do and die”

Obviously the original poem was glorifying a disaster in that way peculiar to the English of taking a terrible defeat and immortalizing it, as in the same way as Dunkirk which is remembered for the evacuation and not for the fact that British army was lucky to survive by the skin of their teeth.

To return to the football, England only needs a draw to qualify, but playing for a draw is a very risky option especially when you are up against the host nation. England are hoping that the return of Rooney, one of the true world class players England possess will enable them to ease pass the Ukrainians and get Rooney back to fitness for the stiffer challenges that lay ahead.

Rooney missed the first two games have been banned for kicking an opposition player off the ball in an act of petulance, reminiscent of when he stamped on the privates of a Portuguese player during the 2006 world cup. Rooney’s tendency to a red mist has earned him a red card or two in his time. I suppose the tattoo that Rooney sports on his arm sums it up “just enough education to perform”. If England does progress, we shall return to this issue. We shall finish off with another paraphrased section from the poem

When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd. Honour the charge they made!
Honour the white shirt Brigade,   Noble eleven!

No comments:

Post a Comment