football thread No11

Grendeldef

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No hattrick for that scrub EBH? Total bum. Sell while value is still high.

Yeah, he even missed few chances so I think he's just getting old - it was fun while it lasted but it's unreasonable to expect anyone to score for years. Pep will prolly only play him in Special Cityzen Operations from now to minimize the risk on injuries etc. After a decade they can still sell him to United.

Panini ftw though my only full album is from '78 and I still have, somewhere, hundreds on surplus cards from that bunch. This might have something to do with the fact I was two weeks in Italy with my neighbours during the games and didn't waste a penny of the money I was given for the trip - apart from a belt I was tasked to buy I invested everything in Panini cards & icecream. I have no idea what cards cost at home but price in Italy was significantly lower.
Last card/sticker I got was Marcelino Perez of Spain on a trip back to Genovese airport hours before flying back home.

There're a number of people who collect the cards & (try to) fill their albums here as well and the larger football related forums have a card exchange thread at minimum. In '78 those where visible at kiosks but after that not so much so these days peeps order them bulk from abroad as far as I'm aware. Surely somebody sells six-packs or whatever the current size is here, too. Anyway, the issue not something likely to bother government here.
I sort of switched my sticker enthusiasm towards stamps after that. Life with limited monetary options is full of choices.

---
Speaking of Panini my latest endeavours with it have been the numerous YT videos remembering those who've passed away - one video per album incl. some EC, too. Like this
Spoiler 1978 :
 
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Grendeldef

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Question of the week in the UK - will EBH score this week or has the well of goals dried out completely? Only one opportunity so no wonder the government is erratic and PM's seat is in great danger. Not really an ideal situation for any fresh PM.
Meanwhile Jürgen has clearly resolved the defensive issues with Hames the Teenager & Joe I-played-last-solid-game-three-years-ago Gomez - clearly a solution from leftfield but if it works it's cool with me. However, the Cityzens game made me wonder if Hames has a twin brother? This latest version is equally slow but in his wreckingball mode he hit actually something useful while the previous one could only catch a corner flag on a windless day.
 

Takhisis

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Barcelona and Juventus manage to make it to the Europa League knockout stages.
 

JohannaK

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it's a lot to ask in out current state and given the group we were given. Well scratch that, Europa League was just the reasonable outcome. I do think we could have bested Inter, but the team is just not reliable enough at this point.
 

Takhisis

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It's the reasonable outcome for Barcelona as well now that financially it too is unable to compete with the hyper-mega-clubs. The club needs a rebuild.

Juventus, on the other hand, is just pathetic.
 

Takhisis

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This is an expanded and augmented version of what Argentina did with its ‘human rights’ campaign for the 1978 World Cup even as people were being butchered and ‘disappeared’ within walking distance of stadia.

Paid fans and England band show everyone is for sale at Qatar World Cup

By Barney Ronay

Some England and Wales fans will receive flights and tickets to Qatar and ‘will be expected to stand, sing and wave flags’

Spoiler :
Roll up. Humans for sale. We will buy your labour. We will buy your joy too. We will buy your parping horn, your triumphalist songs. We will, let us make this clear, buy your feelings. So dance for us. Show your passion for the project (or lose its associated privileges). Because make no mistake: those tender feelings, the urge to feel and express pleasure, to interact with the spectacle, are now property of the state of Qatar.

There is something genuinely jaw-dropping about the story that 40 England fans – including members of the England band – and 40 Wales fans are being paid by Qatar to attend this month’s Fifa World Cup; a sense, common in the last few years, of reality starting to fray at the edges.

According to a Times report, and a similar story in the Netherlands this week, the England and Wales fans, along with supporters from 30 other nations, have signed a code of conduct that requires them to deliver positive messages about being in Qatar, to sing songs as directed, and, perhaps most unsettlingly, to respond to social media posts critical of Qatar’s World Cup.

In return the England band and their fellow Fan Leaders will receive flights, tickets, accommodation and £60-a-day spending money. “You will be expected to stand up, sing the song/chant, wave your flags,” Qatar’s guidance states, adding in red letters: “Be ready in your shirt, flags and scarves to cheer and shout.” Just to be clear, that’s shout. Not weep, or scream, or collapse into a slough of melancholy.

There is a Great Depression-era novel called They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, set around a dance marathon competition on a pier in Santa Monica. In the book a group of young penniless people are paid to dance non-stop in public in return for food and a cash prize for the last couple left standing. Meanwhile paying customers can spectate on the dancers’ agony and fatigue, their forced gaiety, their murderous existential crises while circling the floor.

It is to be hoped a similar fate does not await the England band, out there trundling through their circular set-list, hands blistered and bloody as they creak out another rendition of the Great Escape, dreaming of vaulting their own barbed wire fences, trumpet nozzles slowly filling with tears and sweat and snot as the cameras pan back for one more cramp-ridden wave. Behold our migrant happiness workers, here to decorate the imperial show with their joy.

It is of course all too easy to laugh at the England band. And yet I think we should still laugh at the England band, if only because laughter is an appropriately unforced human response.

And really, you do wonder how this will play out in practice. Will Qatar’s image massagers suggest an updated version of the usual playlist? No Surrender To The Global Zionist Hegemony, perhaps. A pre-match chorus of Ten British-Made RAF Joint-Squadron Typhoon Bombers. Please Don’t Take Me Home, Because You’ve Confiscated My Passport. Plus of course the classic Southgate You’re The One, You Still Turn Me On (But Not, Repeat Not, In A Gay Way).

It is also tempting to wonder precisely how enthusiastic the faces of the contracted England fans need to look to remain within agreed parameters. How un-jubilant can you get, before your travel pass stops beeping on the metro?

Plus of course, there is the obvious point that England’s fan leaders have sold themselves for a disappointingly small amount of money. David Beckham got £15m for his soul, although the Beckham soul does come with 75 million Instagram followers, a range of country-squire hats and the weary disappointment of anyone who thought it was cool when he went on the cover of Attitude magazine.

Mainly we should also laugh at Qatar, because laughter is the opposite of the designed response, and may disincentivise the future purchasing of human feelings. And also because this whole process shows such a profound misunderstanding of how the PR is likely to work here in practice.

Or does it? Step back a little and it is hard to avoid an echo of a wider and more disturbing process. The fact is, the band and their contracted co-fans should not be the ultimate target of our ridicule. To be fair to the Fan Leaders this may just have seemed like a good idea at the time. There’s a cost of living crisis going on. Any kind of casual employment is welcome. Perhaps it was unclear how this would look and sound outside of their own echo chamber.

In the end they are basically doing what everyone else is doing around this World Cup and the version of the world it represents, a place where the very rich and powerful are free to explore their mastery and control of the poor and the plentiful.
So at the micro level we have the likes of Beckham, paid vast amounts of money to look fascinated in a faux spice market, all the while leasing out his public profile to the highest bidder; who isn’t, it turns out, the marginalised groups he has previously advocated.

Then at the far end we have the UK parliament, which has spent the last year parading on Qatar’s behalf in its vulcanised rubber thong like never before. Forget the fans. This is where our scorn should be focused.

Last week the Observer revealed the Qatari government had made gifts to members of parliament worth £251,208 in the 12 months to October 2022, including stays at luxury hotels with “vast swimming pools”, business class travel on Qatar Airways and a private dinner with Qatari World Cup officials. By pure coincidence some of those MPs would later praise Qatar or advocate its interests in the house of commons. “There is no suggestion that any MP broke rules” the Observer notes. OK then. So what does this tell us, exactly, about the rules?

And in the end this clumsy piece of World Cup stage management is probably doing us a favour. The Times story called the paid England fans “spies”. They’re not really. They’re cheerleaders. But they are also giving us information.

The paid fans are telling us in the boldest possible terms about the violently transactional forces at play around this World Cup. Big Sport is telling us that in the end everyone is for sale here, that humans and their feelings, their 8 billion-strong collective mass, are units of commerce out there.

It is the sharpest point of the thing we call “sportswashing”, humans literally being paid to dance and smile for the cameras in a stadium haunted by the ghosts of migrant workers. This same process applies too in the paid media, where for many outlets dissent has a financial penalty in clicks and subscribers. It’s there too, just down from the band, in the tribe-like ultra-loyalty of some football supporters, backing their club-colours despotic regime, whichever one it might happen be.

The ownership class will weaponise these emotions, from use as a soft power tool to wringing the last drop of cash from those unbreakable loyalties. And while the band deserve our ridicule, we are, to some degree, all marching to that same baleful tune.
 

Grendeldef

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For a change I'll be fine if the games just suck. Obviously if something has to suck let it be organization and administrative issues instead of football itself. Uncle-Uli as a sewer inspector for bomb threats would be nice later entry appointment. Last week I had to check to make sure about the starting date of the games - usually my internal hype has ran about three years by now and the schedule is imprinted in my DNA. Apparently I have mellowed quite a bit but I'll still be watching every game, no issue there, but I haven't prepared for a single day-off nevermind a week or two vacation but then again the Qatari TZ favours me.
 

Takhisis

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Eh, the level of the game at World Cups has been markedly deteriorating since ~2010. It didn't help that Brazil and Argentina appointed Dunga and Maradona respectively, but they weren't the only ones. The Dutch in 2010 and 2014 were mostly about kicking people off the park and all that profusion of mid-level ‘neat’ European mid-level teams just makes it a meh thing.
 

Takhisis

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Liverpool's up for sale while Urited and Barça are to face each other and match their meat.
And also Messi v. the Bayern Munchkins.
All interesting.

Meanwhile (sigh) Argentina's approved another whacko format again
 

Grendeldef

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A lively game down there https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/63540624

There's also an interesting rumour about TT replacing Southgate after the WC.

Pool on sale wasn't much of a surprise especially if they only sell up to 49% as FSG announcing we really are dumping it is not a good negotiation starting point for max value. As long as the owners are not Cecil Rhodes type of philantropists I guess I'll have to live with it but Anfield turning into Etihad 2 and they go pleasure themselves for all I care. I can become full-time Tranmere supporter.

Meanwhile on domestic front I'm still trying to digest the idea that this is the first time WC is not commercial free here on tv but the games are split between YLE & MTV3 by 60/40 or thereabouts. MTV3 is very capable of effing everything up but I'm not yet sure how they'll implement commercials apart from obvious half-time stuff instead of full studio which will be running on their pay-to-watch channel.
 

Takhisis

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Oh yes, a lively game.

Althought if such refereeing standards had been applied to Bover earlier, they wouldn't have won an official title in years. They've been playing football mixed with volleyball and taekwondo for quite some time.
 

Grendeldef

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I only looked at Hoofoot for video material of the game so I haven't seen a thing but generally I oppose all these modern triathlons. I kind of like the current rules; not so much all the interpretations but mixing those with volleyball & taekwondo sounds even worse so FIFA has prolly been on the case for years.
 

Grendeldef

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I have the usual pre-games fever but not due to WC but actual flu and it's annoying. The Dune version of WC is about to kick off tomorrow and the opening game isn't even the most interesting game on tv tomorrow. Apparently YLE is sensing the mood around the games and will broadcast 2018 final just before the opening game as an aperitive. I haven't seen the final as whole in two years so I'll enjoy that quite a bit.
Also an interesting note from YLE few days ago - they will not send a single (sporting) reporter to Qatar; every game will be commented from Helsinki where all the studio parts with numerous pundits are also done. There will be a journalist & a cameraman on site in Qatar with an unsaid task of digging up dirt around the games. Hopefully they'll be successfull and/or exiled from Qatar before the games end. Bottoms up during 2nd semi-final if nothing else works.

On normal circumstances there'd surely be a dedicated WC '22 thread by now but I don't think we need one now. I would rather like to have a fresh "football #12 - post camel crap" -thread.
 

Takhisis

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Normally a World Cup here means half a year of build-up. This year it's meant a whole year of build-up and, frankly, it's so pervasive that I have little to no enthusiasm for it.

Of course, Infantino's stand-up comedy act didn't help at all.
 

Grendeldef

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While the 2nd game is just around the corner I'm still waiting for a good or even adequate explanation for that opening Saudi-Arabia game? Messi & di Maria being past their teens is not one.

In general, expectedly disappointing matches so far and it doesn't help at all that the best goal so far was scored by a proper (on-field) a-hole.
 

FredLC

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Hmm, came to CFC to get a feel on how the World Cup is being perceived by a general audience in a world stage, but I'm surprised of how little discussion there is here. I guess the forum profile changed a lot since last time I was actively involved (granted, 12 years ago).
 

FredLC

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While the 2nd game is just around the corner I'm still waiting for a good or even adequate explanation for that opening Saudi-Arabia game? Messi & di Maria being past their teens is not one.

In general, expectedly disappointing matches so far and it doesn't help at all that the best goal so far was scored by a proper (on-field) a-hole.
I am seeing very little of this world cup. Busy with my work schedule and thus, only took some time to see Brazil x Serbia. I thought it was a good game, and actually, one of the best brazilian's WC openings I ever seen, arguably the best. Also, our second goal was very beautiful, with Neymar breaking the lines, Vini's transversal pass with the outside of the feet (we nickname that a three-fingered pass) and specially Richarlisson's finisher with a great control touch followed by an inverted semi-bicicle (we nickname that move "puxeta") without letting the ball touch the ground.

So perhaps my perception is skewed by my small sample size, but so far I've seen an entertaining WC.

What is the goal you refer to as the one scored by an A-hole? Genuine question. Press here says that Richarlisson's the best one so far, and as I have not seen others, I have no opinion, but I have no context for him being a bastard in the field. Is that the one you refer to? Or do you consider that the best goal was another one?

Regards :).
 

Grendeldef

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Sadly very few people left and I for one am on purpose commenting very little these current games/matches though I'm watching every game as usual.

Richarlison's 2nd is the goal in question - not even a contest so far as is his status of being a top notch &¤%#"& on the pitch.
 

AdrienIer

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Following loosely but not watching the world cup this time around. F Qatar.
 
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