This week’s good, the bad and the ugly features stories from the upcoming World Cup qualifiers as well as a shock salute from Spurs-fan Damian to Arsene Wenger. Whatever next, Damon to congratulate Sir Alex Ferguson?
Just to prove that we are balanced here at languagecaster, my good this week goes to Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger who completed 13 years in charge of the second-best team in North London (sorry!). He has become the longest-serving manager of the Gunners and in that time he has won 3 Premier League titles and 4 FA Cups and overseen the transformation of the club into one of the most popular teams around the world – though obviously I don’t completely agree!
Good news as England coach Capello names his strongest squad for the two remaining qualifying games despite having already qualified. Nice to see a manager taking things seriously right down to the wire. Shame a lot of people won’t be able to watch the game because… (see bad)
England fans will have to pay to watch the qualifier against the Ukraine – 5 pounds – this Saturday on the internet, or go to a local cinema chain, if there’s one in their town, and possibly pay up to 10 pounds to watch it there. Disgraceful and another reason for big national sporting events to be available on terrestrial TV. Mad! It doesn’t matter if England have already qualified, all games should be available to the majority of people. They shouldn’t need to own computers and have internet, or have cable or satellite TV for that matter! Bring back free, terrestrial broadcasting of matches.
FIFA representatives were in South Africa last week for a photo opportunity but Sepp Blatter, the president, made a statement that could have a profound effect on how countries qualify for the finals in South Africa next year. 8 countries from the European region who finish second in their groups will be involved in a play-off next month but rather than having an open draw to decide which teams would play each other, FIFA have suddenly decided to seed the countries involved. This means that the top sides will not face each other and have a much easier chance of making it through. This rule change has come at the end of the qualifying campaign and is obviously pandering to the bigger countries and the demands of TV companies who would much rather see players like Ronaldo at the World Cup than not. Irish fans, players and the manager Trapatonni are furious as it now makes the Republic’s passage much more difficult. This rule change at this late stage is not only bad, it is grossly unfair.
In the u-20 World Cup being held in Egypt, England lie bottom of their group: three games and two losses, one draw, and one goal. Not too clever you’d think. Not according to their coach Brian Eastick, whose last job was first team coach at Norwich, who must have popped something in his breakfast cuppa to come out with this quote: “For me, this tournament was not about the results, but the development of the players. There will be no losers coming home, they’ll all be winners; they’ve had a fantastic experience.”
the Gunners: Nickname of Arsenal
despite having – even though (they) have, in spite of the fact that they have (these phrases show surprise, and indicate that something is unexpected)
(be a) shame – bad luck, a bummer (informal), misfortune
disgraceful – terrible, bad behaviour
to seed: To separate teams in order of ability
pandering: bowing to pressure, not sticking to your position but be easily influenced
passage: The opportunity to qualify
grossly unfair: Extremely unfair
popped something in – put something in, dropped something in (the inference here is a drug has been put in the cup of tea)
cuppa – (informal British) a cup of tea
not too clever – not good, a bit stupid