I’ve Lost That World Cup Feeling

Those of you whom have had the misfortune of reading any of the inane and largely pointless drivel I have inflicted upon the faithful readership of this and the ‘other place’ over the years may know two things about me:

① I’ve no interest in football, generally (outside of Spurs); and

② I’ve no interest in the World Cup (Internationals), particularly.

These statements are an accurate representation of my current position viz the beautiful game. But it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when the game of football held me in its thrall.

As we are in the middle of a World Cup finals right now, I will push club football to the side and share some of my memories of World Cups gone by.

I’m 48 years of age, which means that, including this WC, there have been twelve WC finals during my life-time (so far). Of these twelve only three have meant anything to me: ’82, ’86 and ’98.

Spain ’82 and Mexico ’86 occurred when I was at the height of my own playing powers; yes, that’s right, I peaked between the ages of 11 and 16. I completed missed Italia ’90 due to raves and bags of little white pills. By USA ’94 my life had changed beyond recognition and I was officially disconnected from the game. I rallied briefly for France ’98 but, alas, my love for the game was dead.

The truth is, I couldn’t tell you who the WC winners were, even in those years that I was engaged, but what I do remember, and this is the point of my post, are the myths and legends of the footballing demigods who graced the game with their outrageous skill and seemingly supernatural ability.

I was a little too young to appreciate the ’78 WC first hand, but I still remember the excitment I felt when I read about the Daniel Passarella and Mario Kempes WC final goal against the Dutch. Legends.

In ’82 I watched some of the games on our family’s first colour TV. Dad bought it from a neighbor ad it was already on the way out. The tube was shot so every game looked like it was played on Mars.

’82 was all about Brazil: Zico, Socrates, Eder, Falcao et al. Zico’s bicycle kick was something I practiced and practised and something I longed to do in a game. Watching that Brazil side play, and for me, Socrates’ slide rule passing filled me to bursting with excitement.

That side were beaten by Italy and Paolo Rossi, who had just returned from a ban for match fixing (?) and who went on to score six goals and win the Golden Boot.

’86 was all about Maradona, of course. And then there was Platini …

’98, for me, was Brazil’s Dunga, and France’s Zidane. I haven’t forgotten Ronaldo …

I’m tailing off as the weight of my Chinese meal begins to take effect and my interest wains…

No doubt there are other genuine WC legends that I’ve missed, some of whom may have played post ’98 and who may be able to excite the senses in the way my picks did for me.

Who are yours, and why?

  • cavey 03/07/2018 at 8:29 am

    Where I is everyone. Is this a football bank holiday?

    • 61SpursNut 03/07/2018 at 9:33 am

      Mornin’ Mr C. How’s it hangin’?

    • ronwol196061 03/07/2018 at 11:00 am

      Morning Cavey!! There are no bankers today

      • cavey 03/07/2018 at 11:24 am

        Hi Ron. England to dispatch Colombia, narrowly.

        • Freund or Foe 03/07/2018 at 11:26 am

          Narrowly? That’ll be the inverted wingers.

        • ronwol196061 03/07/2018 at 11:38 am

          I want England to get through but really hope Sanchez has a good game

          • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 11:43 am

            I hope he has an absolute shocker.

            Along with everyone else in a Columbian shirt.

            • cavey 03/07/2018 at 11:51 am

              I agree Unk, England need a good test but they need to gain confidence with a good win. Having said that I would like to see Sanchez having a good game.

            • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 11:56 am

              I would never wish that on any Tottenham player Taff.
              I want to see our boys (Tottenham) have a good game and Im happy if England win

              • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 12:02 pm

                If they’re wearing a Tottenham shirt at the time then obviously I agree with you. But it’s far more important to me to see England progress, and if Sanchez needs to have a shocker for that to happen then so be it. He’s a big boy. He’ll get over it.

                • cavey 03/07/2018 at 12:03 pm

                  He’ll probably have a blinder and score the winner!!!

                • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 12:05 pm

                  I disagree. I would take Sanchez playing a great game over him not

                • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 12:06 pm

                  Actually my thinking is always let the best performance win

    • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 11:27 am

      Just woke/ got up. How are you today, Jeff?

  • cavey 03/07/2018 at 9:40 am

    Good nutty, Just wondered had you all buggered off back to TBH site?

    • 61SpursNut 03/07/2018 at 10:05 am

      I was tempted by TBH for zero-point-six-eight seconds, sir.

      • cavey 03/07/2018 at 10:14 am

        He started getting very civil with me and I couldn’t understand why? Now I know. He was losing bloggers at a rate of knots. Hes actually quite polite with what’s left of his bloggers, but it’s artficial, hell be back to mr nasty in no time.

        • DAVID 03/07/2018 at 11:24 am

          Shame the way things turned out, onwards and upwards.

  • Caspurs 03/07/2018 at 9:56 am

    Face paint day has arrived! Do you think I can get away with a white and navy blue flag of St George?

    • Freund or Foe 03/07/2018 at 11:10 am

      Come on you Lilywhites!

  • DAVID 03/07/2018 at 11:26 am

    Can we have a new blog for tonight’s match, posting on this one is getting very slow, probably due to the sheer number.
    Probably won’t do me much good, internet keeps crashing 😞.

    • Flat Oeuf 03/07/2018 at 11:30 am

      Would b great to have you contribute one, Big D

      • DAVID 03/07/2018 at 11:40 am

        I’ll work on one, having to use internet at daughters house at moment as mine isn’t working so it’s a bit tricky.
        I’ll be watching the game at home tonight so probably won’t be able to get on here.
        Same problem last Summer, doesn’t like the heat.

        • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 11:57 am

          Who’s your ISP big D?

          • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 1:32 pm

            Don’t tell ‘im DAVID!

  • Flat Oeuf 03/07/2018 at 11:27 am

    New nostalgic England bloeug coming up later this afternoon 😀

  • Flat Oeuf 03/07/2018 at 11:31 am


    • DAVID 03/07/2018 at 11:41 am

      Nice one Jeff!

  • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 11:49 am
    • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 11:59 am

      This article also raises the question of do we want a man who admits to ‘giving up’ after his side went two-nil down as our club captain?

      • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 12:04 pm

        Isnt it funny how Verts gave up by going upfield and scoring the goal that got them back in it?????????????????????
        Its click bait mate!

      • 61SpursNut 03/07/2018 at 12:06 pm

        A) He didn’t say he’d “given up”.
        B) He didn’t say he wasn’t trying to score.

        • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 12:08 pm

          I agree Nut its totally bullshit

        • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 12:10 pm

          A) “I am counting on the first goal,” explained the 31-year-old. “After that it was difficult to keep the focus and we also got the 0-2 against, I already saw us back in the plane.”

          B) “There was a lot of spin on the ball. I tried to head for the ball, but he came in with a lot of luck.”

          Okay, so the second part is open to interpretation. But I guess that’s what you get when someone (i.e. the ‘reporter’) simply uses Google translate for his quotes.

          • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 12:11 pm

            Thats not giving up Taff for the first one.
            Fear is a great motivator too

            • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 12:12 pm

              I mean he didnt actually fold did he????????????

            • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 12:14 pm

              “I already saw us back on the plane” doesn’t exactly scream “we can still win this”, does it?

              • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 12:16 pm

                No but its also a motivator. He didnt want to see them back on the plane probably was the point. He didnt give up!
                Look what he did not was some schmuck reporter reported

              • 61SpursNut 03/07/2018 at 12:18 pm

                That “quote” doesn’t correlate with what we all witnessed on the pitch, does it?

                • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 12:23 pm

                  Before their first goal Belgium looked a beaten side to me, so I’d suggest it does.

                  • 61SpursNut 03/07/2018 at 12:29 pm

                    Oh, ok.

                  • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 1:06 pm

                    Taff of all our players has Verts looked like a quitter?

                    • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 1:33 pm

                      No. But I think there’s difference between being a quitter and not believing. Until Belgium scored they didn’t look to me like a team that had belief. After they scored it was a completely different story. Suddenly there was a sense of urgency and purpose that had been lacking before.

          • 61SpursNut 03/07/2018 at 12:11 pm

            Yes Unk, I read exactly that and maintain my position on both counts.

          • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 12:31 pm

            Taff doctoring an article? Never!

            • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 1:06 pm


    • cavey 03/07/2018 at 12:02 pm

      Wow, it takes a big man to admit that.

  • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 12:15 pm

    I am a bigger supporter of Tottenham than England.Yes I would like England to win but prefer to see our players do well whoever they are playing for.
    Tottenham first for me

    • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 12:32 pm


    • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 12:38 pm

      We clearly have a difference of opinion here, then.

      Although if the England team were full of Arsenal and Chelsea players that might make me question my position somewhat.

      • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 1:08 pm

        Ok if you had the choice of Tottenham winning the league or England winning the world cup what would you take.
        I suggest not answering that in case it might incriminate you Taff

        • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 1:11 pm

          First of all, the two are not mutually exclusive.

          Secondly, if I absolutely had to choose only one I’d probably go for England. And if that ‘incriminates’ me so be it.

          • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 1:14 pm

            There is no question with me Taff. Tottenham all the way.

            • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 1:20 pm

              That’s fine. Each to their own.

              I will add that I fell completely out of love with the national side when Capello and Eriksson were in charge and the likes of Terry, Lampard and Cole were regularly featuring, but under Southgate I’ve rediscovered my love for the national side.

              • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 1:22 pm

                I think we all have. But especially now for me its not Southgate as much as the players we have playing from our team although Southgate has done a great job.

                • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 1:28 pm

                  Having the Spurs players in there is the icing on the cake. The thought that one of our own could well be holding aloft the trophy in a few days time is a very exciting one indeed.

                • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 1:48 pm

                  Twirly for me, Southgate seems a genuine sort but one win over a poor team, albeit a thrashing of a very poor team and a loss to a good team doesn’t make a summer for me yet. Beat columbia well and I’ll be more convinced.
                  Tottenham winning the PL over England WC for me.
                  Any chance of the new bloeug. Its taken me 10 mins to type this.

              • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 1:28 pm

                I wouldn’t call it love but I too feel more warmly about this squad.

  • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 12:47 pm

    Quick question: how many of you cheered when Vertonghen scored yesterday?

    For my part I was so caught up in the Japanese performance I really wanted to see them win and therefore was disappointed when Vertonghen scored, as amazing a goal as it was.

    • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 1:13 pm

      I know that Japan as sorry as they felt held their heads up high in what they achieved. I love Japan. Been there more than 50 times. But I wanted Belguim to ultimately win and our players to do well. I was cheering Japan’s goals.It was a challenge to Belguim to step it up. Hazard was going nowhere most of the time and it was Fellaini who changed the tempo as he has more emotion on the field than Hazard and they started gettiomg cooking then and Chadli. I hand it to them both. But Japan was great too.
      No disspointment for me loved the whole game and the outcome

      • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 1:26 pm

        I went into the game not expecting anything of it. I’d thought about it I’d probably have preferred to see Belgium win only because they’d have given Brazil a better game, but Japan just played so magnificently they really had me rooting for them to the extent that I was actually quite upset when Chadli scored the winner.

        And in a tournament awash with injury fakers it was so refreshing to watch a game where nobody indulged in that nonsense.

  • HD 03/07/2018 at 1:04 pm

    I did not get to see the Belgium vs. Japan match, so I am reduced to highlights and commentary, all of which point to a Belgium win. As far as England vs. Columbia goes, since I have both teams in the Taff World Blind Draw World Cup Sweepstakes, I shall foresake Columbia and gleefully support England even though it means I am in fact rooting against myself. So there.

    • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 03/07/2018 at 1:17 pm

      I would watch it all HD
      Japan took so much heat in the first half and amazingly held their own and took the chances when they could. Belguim was too full of itself early to think Japan would hurt them and then got stunned.
      Fellaini inspired the comeback I think

    • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 1:26 pm

      “I did not get to see the Belgium vs. Japan match, so I am reduced to highlights and commentary, all of which point to a Belgium win.”

      … as does the final result.

      • HD 03/07/2018 at 1:42 pm


    • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 1:30 pm

      “England even though it means I am in fact rooting against myself.”

      You’re worried that your business with the cartels will suffer in the event of a Colombian defeat?

      • HD 03/07/2018 at 1:42 pm

        Everyone loves a loser. 💥

  • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 1:36 pm

    One of my neighbours is making some kind of curry at the moment, the pungent aroma of which is doing my pip in. I’d gladly trade an England WC win and/or Spurs’ Prem win for a bowl of this curry.

    • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 1:50 pm

      I’d be calling the council asking them to issue an asbo!

      • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 2:10 pm

        Hmm. Delicious. Would you like that asbo with pilau rice and sag aloo?

        • Caspurs 03/07/2018 at 2:17 pm

          That’s made me hungry. I may have to eat a world cup hot dog.

        • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 2:18 pm

          Ay caramba, make!

  • Sexy Beast 03/07/2018 at 2:29 pm

    Who do we want to win this game?
    I think Sweden would be easier in the next round if we win tonight.
    Afternoon gentlemen 🙂

    • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 2:32 pm

      If we have genuine pretensions of winning the thing then I don’t think we should be unduly worried which of them triumph. They’re both on about the same level as far as I can tell.

      Columbia could well be the most difficult game until the final (although I’m still not convinced they’re all that).

      • Caspurs 03/07/2018 at 2:35 pm

        Our record against Sweden is poor, so I’d prefer the other lot.

        • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 2:39 pm

          Records, schmecords. I’ve already booked my place on the sofa for the final.

          • Caspurs 03/07/2018 at 2:43 pm

            To watch my sweepstake team win? I must say that’s very magnanimous of you Taff. 😘

    • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 2:33 pm

      Gday SB, I have no preference. They both are teams that England should beat…. on paper.

  • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 2:29 pm

    Has anyone else noticed that all the really good games so far in the knockout stage have been on BBC?

    Guess what side the England game is on later…

    • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 2:30 pm

      Channel 4?

    • Sexy Beast 03/07/2018 at 2:33 pm

      The Punjab channel? 🤣

  • DAVID 03/07/2018 at 2:52 pm

    Call me a grumpy old fekir but why do we have to have women on the expert panels ?
    Started with cricket, now football.
    In my experience they add nothing and in cricket, they excel at stating the bleeding obvious.

    • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 2:54 pm

      It’s not just me then.

      • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 2:56 pm

        No. You’re both grumpy old fekirs.

        • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 2:57 pm

          We’re GOF’s and we’re loud and proud! 🙂

    • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 3:11 pm

      Not a fan of women’s sport or womanly involvement in men’s sport, but this Alex lass on the BBC knows what she’s talking about and is utterly gorgeous and I’d have her (oi!) over that pleb Neville every time.

      When you consider Alex, Gabi, Kirsty and Spursy, well, I think you know what I mean.

      • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 3:29 pm

        Don’t mind a presenter of any persuasion. Don’t mind the principal of women pundits. I just prefer to have someone punditting who is playing or played at the highest level not someone who’s played at conference level.

        • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 3:33 pm

          Ooh. Constructive sexism.

      • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 3:50 pm

        Indeed. Her analcyst has been more informative than Neville and Jenas combined.

  • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 3:01 pm

    Get in, Lawro co-commentating!

  • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 3:06 pm

    Hmmm. Who do I want to win this one? The secretive and morally bankrupt nation which helped the Nazis hide wealth stolen from the Jews, or the nation that gave the world mustachioed plumbers and ABBA?

    • HD 03/07/2018 at 3:10 pm

      I vote for the blondes.

      • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 3:13 pm

        Bjorn and Agnetha? Fair enough.

    • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 3:11 pm

      I can forgive a lot of things but there’s a line. The Swiss it is then.

  • SpurAndy 🍒 🥧 03/07/2018 at 3:16 pm

    The Swede names sound like IKEA door handles.

  • Caspurs 03/07/2018 at 3:25 pm

    When does this game kick off?

  • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 3:32 pm

    Right, I’ve seen enough of this rubbish, I’m switching over to Homes Under The Hammer.

    Also, keep in mind Gill Gascoigne’s ‘Gentle Touch’ is on Talking Pictures this evening at 8pm.

  • 61SpursNut 03/07/2018 at 3:44 pm

    I’m not overly impressed with the quality of the footballing in this game.

  • UnkleTaff 03/07/2018 at 3:51 pm

    So. Nil-nil at half time between Switzerland and Sweden. I bet no one saw that coming.

    • Sexy Beast 03/07/2018 at 4:20 pm

      Extra time would be great!
      Where is Nilly?

      • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 4:29 pm

        He’s keeping the peace on The Boy’s blog.

        • Sexy Beast 03/07/2018 at 4:44 pm

          Under what name?

          • Fatty B 03/07/2018 at 4:51 pm

            check yo whatsapp

            • Sexy Beast 03/07/2018 at 4:57 pm

              I did spot that 🙌 to myself 😂
              Don’t understand why the name change though 🤔

              • 61SpursNut 03/07/2018 at 5:00 pm

                He wanted a different persona because of the grief he was getting due to his declared profession, which sall remain unmentioned.

  • Caspurs 03/07/2018 at 4:25 pm

    It would appear Neymar’s playing for Sweden..

  • Flat Oeuf 03/07/2018 at 4:44 pm
  • Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enoeuf

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