A View From the Chaise Longue -What a Night in Qatar!

Posted on December 10, 2022

Many are calling it the World Cup that just keeps giving, and isn’t it just? The two quarter-final matches were evidence of no matter how much we can hate football sometimes, its beauty still shines through. No other sport can provide such drama.

Nervous Neutrals

Across the world last night, neutral observers were pacing the floor and hiding behind cushions and sofas as the drama of the quarter-finals unfolded. What it must have been like for supporters of the nations involved, I just don’t know. I probably will do at around 9:00 PM tonight if I am not in the Winchester cardiology unit.

Last night’s games had everything. Beautiful goals, passion, skill, emotion and tears of joy and despair. The rousing fight backs by The Netherlands and Croatia were gripping entertainment. Highest drama on the biggest stage. It was compelling to watch it all unfold. An evening that could not be scripted. Go to the theatre and you know what you are going to see. Go to the football and anything can happen. Anything.

Custard Pie for the Samba Boys

Brazil had it coming to them. You could almost sense what was on the way for the boys with the premature samba. As the stadium partied in waves of blue and gold, Croatia got down to the business of rescuing themselves. Neymar’s goal was a moment of beauty but so was the Croatia counter-attack that stunned the stadium. Brazil went looking for the icing on the cake and ended with a custard pie in the face. It was hard not laugh. So hard, I laughed my sack off.

After Brazil crashed in the shoot-out, there was barely time to draw for breath before part-two of the Friday night drama commenced. Surely it couldn’t deliver anything like what we had already witnessed? As Messi swept home the best penalty the world has ever seen and the BBC studio drowned in its own spunk, at last we had a formality on our hands. At 2-0 to Argentina, we could calmly sip our wine or beer and contemplate England’s formidable challenge the following day.

Drama but Despair for the Cleaners

Like any great pantomime, “OH NO WE COULDN’T!”. The Dutch went for it, got the goal to panic Argentina and it was game on. Just as the tension and drama reached 100 minutes, The Netherlands performed a free kick off such ludicrous audacity it was beyond reality. If the world’s best script writers and producers were putting together a film about the World Cup and and came up with that, they would agree not to use it for purposes of authenticity. “No Quentin, we can’t…we’ll have to stick with him blazing it over the bar”.

After enough yellow cards to fill a season, handbags flying all over the shop and some calm before a late Argentina surge in extra-time, justice was just about done. Argentina prevailed in the shoot-out that included a calm Messi penalty resulting in a collective “FOR FUCK’S SAKE” from the BBC studio cleaning team. One dollar an hour hardly seems a fair return for wiping down Alan Shearer’s spunk.

What a night of football that was!

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