You must have seen the headlines:
“Popular and witty Peterborough blogger abducted by aliens! Returns after 4 weeks thinking it is still Mid–June!”
No I wasn’t actually abducted, probed or memory wiped over the duration of the 2014 Football World Cup – there turned out to be a much more prosaic reason for the absence of the eagerly anticipated series of short, pithy pieces about the tournament; I found that couldn’t be arsed to write anything!
Oh, I had every intention of doing so right up to the point where first Italy and then Uruguay beat England making it extremely unlikely that we would progress to the knockout stages. Then we were off home after a very slightly face-saving 0 – 0 draw with the mighty footballing power that is Costa Rica.
I should say that whatever may have been reported in the media (whose ideas of “performance” are decided post-match by the result) I thought England played with more style, verve and accuracy than I have seen in many a year. This seems to confirm Danny Baker’s theory, as I reported 4 years ago, that England do not go out of major competitions until they start playing well.
Unfortunately they started playing well much too soon this time!
Following their early exit (and that of Spain and Italy at the same time) I decided to “adopt” Germany. Apparently I was not alone in that – I understand that you could not buy a replica German shirt in the UK for the last two weeks of the competition. Everywhere had sold out!
Not surprisingly I lost interest in most of the games in the knockout stages – until the semi-finals and the absolute rout of the Brazilian hosts with a 7-1 German victory. I was sorry that they weren’t able to do quite as well against Argentina but you can’t have everything!
Now that I have managed to conclude this “series” I can get on with some things that I felt had to wait until this “closure” so I just have to remember what they were.
In keeping with my policy of leaving you with a groan, I should just say that I actually got more familiar with the names of the German squad than I was with England – especially (for no particular reason) with their Defenders. In fact you could say that now the World Cup has finished I am suffering from what the Manic Street Preachers would call….
And no, I’m not going to explain it if you didn’t get it.