There’s something reassuringly old-fashioned about Scott Parker as a footballer; the unflappable side-parting, the perma-grass-stained knees, the affection for bone-shuddering challenges. If you want a midfielder to fight tooth and nail for the cause; want them to exude a plucky wartime spirit that’ll mean they’ll bomb eighty-yards to prevent a throw-in or just put the whizzers up some Young Harry Flash, then Private Parker is without question your man…
Well, apart from all the reports of hate-filled violence, racism and excessive amounts of Alan Shearer, it’s been a rather enjoyable affair so far, I would say. In the entertainment stakes, the Italians were certainly good value on Sunday. With Cassano and Di Natale up yonder, the Azzurri couldn’t hope for a more talented or likeable front pair. And Gianluigi Buffon; that commander of cool was wearing a stylish little hairclip in the Gdansk sun yesterday; the type of which I usually find in the hoover bag after the good lady’s been to visit. Those crazy Italians!
Meanwhile, the ongoing dual between Balotelli and Torres- as to who’s the most dysfunctional striker- was eagerly watched. I would think Mario just about edged it this time around, with the fitful punch-combo on thin air; as well as that bizarre moment in which I can only assume he thought someone had slowed down time for him, (a reasonable request for a man of his talent) enough to walk the ball in the net unheeded. The Chelsea frontman on the other hand. Well, sometimes the laughter stops and it just becomes uncomfortable, doesn’t it? No-one even had the heart to be angry with him, for fear of snapping his fragile spirit like melba toast.
If the man’s lacking in confidence, one fellow whom never seems to be short of the stuff- despite being told he’s either too lazy or too fat by his national team manager- is erstwhile Spurs favourite, Super Roman Pavlyuchenko. The Russian ripsnorted this delicious effort in Wraclow on Friday, to the delight of many.
Sign him up, Harry!
So now it’s over to those Brave Lions, England. Mediocre, technically lacking and extremely difficult to love. If it weren’t for J-Dizzly and Parker, you’d seriously consider backing the French. I am warming to the idea of seeing Scotty bulldoze Samir Nasri, mind.
And they say patriotism is dead.
Twitter is where ma’ dogs at.