Saturday, June 10, 2006

England 1 Paraguay 0


Perhaps it was fitting that this was the early Saturday morning game, because waking up at 8 AM to watch while fighting a hangover is just asking for ugliness. And this game was ugly. And there was nothing David Beckham's cover boy looks could do about it. Perhaps it was even more fitting that the only goal of the game came just three minutes in when a Beckham free kick glanced off the head of Paraguay's Carlos Gamarra and into the net accidentally. That was ugly.

And then just moments later Paraguay keeper Justo Villar limped off injured. Good lord, what an ugly start for the South Americans.

And then, worst of all, the two teams spent the rest of the afternoon producing pretty much no creativity whatsoever. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

But England will take it, for sure. A win is a win. What I don't get is the backlash England takes. Constantly. Immediately following the game, no matter where you turned England was getting panned for its performance. Granted, it wasn't pretty, but what did people expect? Paraguay is a defensive team whose entire aim for the day was to ugly the game down, keep England off the board, and hopefully convert a lucky chance of their own. In other words, they killed the game and it was totally expected. And it's not like Paraguay sucks. They've advance in each of the last two World Cups and in recent years have emerged as the third best South American team behind Brazil and Argentina.

And England got the win. Was it pretty? Far from it. But Wayne Rooney was missing, Michael Owen still isn't completely fit and was subbed early, and Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are clearly still working out this whole partnership in the midfield thing. It wasn't a glorious performance, but it earned three points. So cut England some slack.

I don't even know why I'm defending England - being of Irish descent I'm supposed to root for England's demise in anything and everything - but the backlash they take is absurd. England is the Paris Hilton of the soccer world. Everyone has something negative to say. And Beckhan is way prettier than Hilton. And has bigger tits.

Speaking of tits, I'm almost positive this guy is passed out on a Frankfurt sidewalk as we speak.


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