Scapegoat Awards- My Winner
Posted on June 28, 2010
After England’s annihilation at the hands of the young but talented Germans yesterday, I have, after several hours of reading the press and listening to radio phone ins come to a decision of who should be awarded Scapegoat champion, and I have decided to go with rank outsider Fabio Capello after the footballing debacle witnessed yesterday by a nation of perplexed supporters.
This has been one of the tightest contests we have ever seen, with numerous players and officials emerging as likely winners, even the Adidas official World Cup ball had a go at being blamed for all our problems at one point. After early favourite Rob Green had been dropped, we had some vintage performances v Algeria, and a disastrous attempted internal coup of a press conference by John Terry, before a slight lull and a win against the might of Slovenia whilst we all caught our breath.
As we entered the game against Germany yesterday, it was all up for grabs, with Capello stating his intentions with another 4-4-2 line up featuring Steven Gerrard on left of midfield. Whilst Terry and Capello remained favourites, Wayne Rooney knew he was only one punch in the face away from capping off four inept performances on the trot, and David James, disappointing thus far, could easily seal it with one missed cross or shot through his legs.
However no one would have predicted the drama that was to unfold. First Mathew Upson put himself in the frame with ‘Dog and Duck’ style pub team defending for Lucas Podowlski’s opener but he will consider himself unfortunate that Terry was equally at fault to keep himself (Terry) at the head of the field. This was followed by a few fine saves by David James that effectively ended his scapegoat chances, before Terry and Upson were once again cut to pieces in what was turning out to be a desperate head to head competition in inept defending.
Then another twist, England who were surprisingly only 2-0 down scored, and remarkably, the goal came from the woeful Upson putting a severe dent in his hopes, and allowing Terry to take the lead. The drama was relentless, and just a minute after the goal, England equalised as Frank Lampard’s shot went in off the bar, but incredibly the linesman ruled that it had not crossed the line. Now the match officials were putting themselves forward as likely winners along with Sepp Blatter who deemed video evidence bad for the game. Incredible stuff!!
The second half began with England in the ascendancy and the young German side looked shaken by the fact that they should have been winning 15-2 and not just 2-1. The fact that England failed to exploit this gave them an opportunity to be collective scapegoats as in the Algeria game. Then, enter the previously unfancied Gareth Barry with a superb double cock up, firstly giving the ball away on the edge of his box as Germany once again tore in to the hapless Upson and Terry to make it 3-1, then secondly getting ruthlessly exposed by Mezit Ozul as if though he was running through quick sand in hobnail boots with a piano strapped to his back. Ozul set up Muller who scored easily.
With twenty minutes to go it looked like Terry’s trophy, as despite the efforts of Upson Barry, and England as an inept collective, Terry had had a major part in all the cock ups to back up his previous petulance at a press conference and self indulgence V Slovenia to credit a worthy winner in waiting. Then out of nowhere, cometh the hour cometh the man! With twenty minutes to go Capello came up with a masterstroke, bringing on the dreadful Emile Heskey, a man with a goal every 500 minutes for England. Terry was a broken man, he knew that even a sending off wouldn’t get him back in the hunt, and that there was no answer to this inexplicable substitution timed to perfection to turn the nation to outright rage. As Alan Shearer said: “If you are losing 4-1 with 20 minutes to go the last person you bring on is Emile Heskey”
So Capello is my champion, a worthy winner. Here are some of highlights of the tournament:
- Not picking Walcott
- Using Aaron Lennon on the right wing and replacing him with Wright Phillips
- Ignoring Peter Crouch completely
- Playing Heskey at all
- The Algeria game
- Persisting with Steven Gerrard in left midfield position
- Not using Joe Cole until too late
- Picking Upson for final game despite King and Carragher being fit again
- Bringing on Heskey when we are desperate for a goal, even a consolation.
Well done Fab, a deserved achievment