Wednesday, 23 July 2014

TDMTLTUT #75 - Emitt Rhodes - With My Face On The Floor



This is the first track off his self titled album and if you like yourself some solo Macca you're going to drool over it. Also you may recognise the name as one of his songs Lullaby was used on The Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The End of the Affair - A Last Bit of World Cup Spoofery


SUN 13th July
Germany 0-0 Argentina (1-0 aet) (PREDICTION 1-0)
So Germany went and did it, won their first World Cup in 24 years and typically the German player who infuriated the most over the tournament, Goetze, goes and bags the winner. Unusually for a World Cup final it actually started well with an excellent first half of football but unfortunately the second half stank, only for a few sparks of excitement to re-emerge in extra time. As you may remember I cautiously predicted either Spain, Germany, Brazil or Argentina would win the World Cup so I'm sitting pretty (3 of the semi-finalists at least) and to be fair to Germany they were consistently the best team throughout the month and deserved it. Doubts about a future domination by them persist but when you realise Reus, Gondogan, Badstuber and at a stretch Mario Gomez can come back into the squad you never know, just need to find someone good in beside Hummels and they're set.

SAT 12th July
Brazil 0-3 Netherlands (PREDICTION 1-3)
Brazil were found to be lacking again but luckily for them the Netherlands proved to be nowhere near as clinical as Germany were in the semi final,which kind of suggests as poor as Brazil were in the last game Germany were outstanding. Also in fairness to the Dutch, they were completely written off by most including myself before the tournament, but finishing in third place and unbeaten while all the while playing Dirk Kuyt as a wing back says they've overachieved.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOURNAMENT (anything in blue is a youtube link btw)
Goal Line Technology - The fun little graphic they persisted in showing in the early games did its job in the France/Honduras game but seemed to confuse most commentators and even the coaches.
11pm Kick-offs - Produced the best games more often than not and made for some fun bleary-eyed water cooler conversation the next morning.
Costa Rica - The serendipitous pick of Costa Rica in the work pool led to a small scale re-living of Italia 90. Costa Rica were excellent throughout, they showed that with a bit of organisation, a small bit of talent and a bit of luck you can do some good in these things. The same can be said for Algeria, Mexico and the USA as well. They also did Tony Adams proud by showing the offside trap ain't dead just yet.
USA - Klinsmann's positive energy rubbed off on, let's face it, an average enough bunch of players to turn USA into one of the most fun teams to watch in the tournament. They had a go in every game, Clint Dempsey was in goal scoring form, their midfield and defence were heroic at times as was Tim Howard, particularly against Belgium which had most of the world pulling for them to get through.
James Rodriguez - Had an amazing tournament, scored the most goals, even the best one and helped elevate the players around him.
Loads of goals/high scoring matches - Germany 7-1 Brazil, Australia 2-3 Netherlands, Nigeria 2-3 Argentina, Japan 1-4 Colombia, Cameroon 1-4 Brazil, South Korea 2-4 Algeria, Spain 1-5 Netherlands to name a few.
Gordon Strachan - telling it like it is after Suarez ban, never truer words spoken.
Kenny Cunningham/Apres Match - Kenny's performance as the spark of debate was excellent in the RTE Studios, pissing off Eamonn Dunphy at every turn, his view on Lavezzi's water bottle leading Richy Sadlier to tell him to relax and telling Brad Friedel, with a straight face, that Tim Howard was making nothing saves. Only outdone by his Apres Match impersonation, the lads were on top form again this World Cup culminating in their typically excellent third place playoff coverage.
Pepe getting sent off - beautiful

LOWLIGHTS OF THE TOURNAMENT
Spain being spent - Absolutely heart breaking watching this best team in the world disintegrate before my eyes, particularly sad to see David Villa retiring.
Suarez - not the fun villain this time round, just stupid and annoying this time around.
Brazil, Cameroon, Russia - All very very poor, Russia unbelievably poor and Capello blaming referees for no reason, Cameroon headbutting each other and fighting over money and Brazil really, really poor at least Neymar aqcuited himself well under ridiculous pressure.

Anyway that's the end of that......


Friday, 11 July 2014

Nearly There Now - More World Cup Spoofery


FRI 4th July
France 0-1 Germany (Prediction 2-2, Germany on penalties)
Brazil 2-1 Colombia (Prediction 1-1 at full time, Colombia on penalties)
Missed first game due to sister getting married (very selfish of her) but snuck away from the dancefloor long enough to catch Brazil kick Colombia and Rodriguez off the pitch, a tactic that led to Colombian players losing their rag and ultimately Neymar getting a fractured vertebrae from a reckless challenge. Brazil promptly went into mourning.

SAT 5th July
Argentina 1-0 Belgium (Prediction 0-0, Argentina to win in extra time)
Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica (aet) Netherlands through on penalties (Prediction 2-0)
Higuain finally contributed to this World Cup with a great finish from outside the box early on but the game was ultimately a dud, very surprised that Belgium didn't have a right go until the very end and Januzaj didn't come on to get some pace into the team after Hazard came off after another poor performance. Wilmots was very disparaging about Argentina afterwards but typically he should have been looking at himself and his tactics.
Costa Rica went out unbeaten (just saying) in very Krul fashion when bizarrely van Gaal threw Krul on for Cillessen at the end of extra time to face the penalties in the shootout. It ultimately worked as Tim Krul proceeded to act like a complete berk talking shite at every player stepping up to take a penalty and ended up saving two. Van Gaal was immediately called a genius but as I said before these kind of moves seem to be lucky rather clever, so watching him at United next season will at least be interesting.

TUES 8th July
Brazil 1-7 Germany (Prediction 0-0, Germany on penalties)
One of the strangest games of football I've seen in a good while, Brazil were even more undisciplined than usual with their two best players missing and got clinically carved apart, conceding four goals in roughly six minutes in the first half. Klose became the top scorer in World Cup finals history with his goal. Germany at least eased up in the second half but Schurrle came on and bagged a brace just to rub it in. Oscar grabbed the solitary goal for Brazil just before injury time much to the disgust of Neuer.

WEDS 9th July
Argentina 0-0 Netherlands (aet) Argentina through on penalties (Prediction 0-0, Argentina to win in extra time)
Absolute bag of shite of a game with neither side wanting to have a go, which means Argentina go into the final without ever really showing much in any of the games so far, having the world's best player helps sure, but would be absolutely amazing if they can win the World Cup in Brazil of all places playing such drudge.

Predictions
Sat 12th July - THIRD PLACE PLAYOFF
Netherlands 3-1 Brazil
This could come down to who kicks each other the hardest, Brazil will try and restore some pride but think Netherlands might be too good for them.

Sun 13th July - FINAL
Argentina 0-1 Germany
Messi might fancy his chances playing balls in past Germany's defensive high line but think Germany should have just enough to win, considering most of Argentina's players are patched together and struggling for fitness, we'll see.

Friday, 4 July 2014

And then there were 8 - More World Cup Spoofery


MON 30th JUNE
France 2-0 Nigeria (Prediction 1-0)
Germany 0-0 Algeria (2-1 aet) (Prediction 2-0)
France go through after a couple of late goals and Nigeria crying foul over a couple of refereeing decisions.
Germany took even longer to break Algeria down who looked better than them in the first half with the Germans playing a very dangerous high line that had Neuer playing sweeper way too often, a tactic which could cost them against France.

TUES 1st JULY
Argentina 0-0 Switzerland (1-0 aet) (Prediction 3-1)
Belgium 0-0 USA (2-1 aet) (Prediction 1-1, USA on pens)
Messi again manages to drag Argentina along with a fine run and pass for Di Maria to grab the winner, felt sorry for Dzemaili whose double miss for the Swiss reminded me of myself out on the astro pitch, not the goal fest I expected with the ramshackle nature of both defences.
Belgium needed Lukaku to come on and use his pace and strength when the American defence, who had a particularly brilliant Tim Howard behind them, tired and couldn't handle him. The fact the US found something within them to pull it back to 2-1 with a nicely taken goal from Green and a free kick routine that nearly levelled it for them was quite remarkable and shows the positive energy of Klinsmann's managerial style is particularly suited to them.

Now we reach the stage which is usually the best of any footballing competition where it's the last time that teams have a right go at each other before getting cagey in the semis and final match.

PREDICTIONS
FRI 4th July
France vs Germany
The Battle of the European powerhouses really comes down to team selection and tactics (no shit I know!), if France put Benzema wide again could be a real waste. Germany need to put Lahm back at right back and just have Khedira as the holding midfielder, if fit, and then their attacking players can get on with what they're good at it. Also as I've mentioned the high line could really cost Germany, but in the end I've gone for 2-2 after the 90 with Germany nicking it in extra time or penalties.

Brazil vs Colombia
I really don't know how this is going to go, I have a feeling Colombia might retreat within themselves a bit because they're facing the hosts, if that's the case it could be tough for them because they look like they need to be full throttle and taking the game to the opposition, hopefully I'm wrong. Yepes at the back could be got at in these latter stages but don't think Fred is going to scare him too much. So I've gone for 1-1 at full time, Colombia on penalties.

SAT 5th July
Argentina vs Belgium
I think this could be a bit of a dud, but then again with both teams yet to spring to life in the competition wouldn't be surprised if both of them turn it on in the same game. I can see Belgium causing Argentina real problems at set pieces but can also see Messi dragging Argentina along with him again. I've gone for a cautious 0-0 at full time, Argentina to do it in extra time.

Netherlands Vs Costa Rica
I fully expect my beloved Costa Rica to falter at this stage unfortunately, that last match surely would have taken it out of them. But then again they look better setup to play against better teams, so we'll see but Robben and Van Persie should be too strong for their defence although De Jong missing could unbalance the Dutch. I predict no extra time in this one though as I've gone 2-0 Netherlands.

Monday, 30 June 2014

In June I...


...watched A LOT of the World Cup

...watched the following films:
Pulp: A Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets - dir. Florian Habicht

...checked out the following music:
Jack White - Lazaretto
The Roots - ...and then you shoot your cousin

...was at Hollywood Babble-on with Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman at Vicar St

...read Groucho & Me by Groucho Marx (well I've a couple of chapters to go but this is looking a bit bare this month)

A Touch of Klass - More World Cup Spoofery


SAT 28th JUNE
Brazil 1-1 Chile (Chile on pens) (Prediction 2-2, Chile on pens)
Colombia 2-0 Uruguay (Prediction 3-1)
So the goalfest I was hoping for from Brazil/Chile didn't happen but it was an entertaining enough game throughout and Chile were unlucky not to steal it, David-Platt-style, when they hit the bar in the 119th minute. Brazil showed some nerve in the penalty shootout, I was expecting them to fold under the pressure but instead they pulled through and now face Colombia in the quarters. Only saw very miniscule highlights of the second game, but both Rodriguez goals were great for different reasons, one an individual display of technique and skill with a powerful volley, and the second a well worked goal including a very clever header at the back post by Cuadrado for Rodriguez to strike. I would do a toothless Uruguay joke but I've been well beaten to it at this stage.

SUN 29th JUNE
Netherlands 2-1 Mexico (Prediction 2-0)
Costa Rica 1-1 Greece (Costa Rica on pens) (Prediction 0-0, Costa Rica on pens)
Both the Netherlands and Mexico struggled with the conditions in the first half but in the second half the game sprang into life after Dos Santos blasted one in from outside the box. The Netherlands found another gear when they changed shape slightly and got Robben into the game more. Huntelaar came on for a drained and ineffectual Van Persie and showed his Klass (apologies) by setting up Sneijder's volley and then stepped and took the winning penalty. Robben's diving is tough to take but while he clearly exaggerated the fall for the penalty it was silly for Marquez to make that challenge, and the penalty was deserved in my opinion. Kuyt must have played five or six different positions including both full back berths, so I'm not sure all of these turnarounds are down to tactical nous or clutching at straws.
Finally onto the big game, the first 90 mins of Costa Rica and Greece was a bit of a dud but extra time was fun at least. Ruiz' goal was jammy and Greece's equaliser was down to tiredness after Duarte got sent off after an hour, leaving space. Costa Rica said they practiced their penalties and it showed and they go through to face the Dutch which left me with the expression below....and yes that is the Costa Rican jersey, excuse me while I kiss the badge...


PREDICTIONS FOR MON 30th JUNE
France 1-0 Nigeria
Germany 2-0 Algeria
PREDICTIONS FOR TUES 1st JULY
Argentina 3-1 Switzerland
Belgium 1-1 USA (USA on pens)