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World Cup: View from the Primark WAGs

I like to think of myself and my friends as WAGS. After all, we too stand by our men throughout the football season, allowing them to wear nasty nylon football shirts, and talk about football at every given opportunity. The difference may be that their Prada is our Primark and their Ferraris our Fiestas, but basically we are the same.

No doubt Colleen and the other WAGs are breathing a sigh of relief, just as we are, that England have made it through to the next round. Personally I am relieved as I did not relish the prospect of removing the numerous flags festooned across the front of my house, while my husband sank into a depression so bad that only a few pints with his equally depressed mates would shake it off. So the house can stay looking like the headquarters of the British Red Cross at least for the next few days, and the Macho Grill Master 5000 barbeque he bought, whilst still full of optimism that “this is our year” won’t be covered up and relegated to the back of the shed just yet.

Now, I’m not saying it’s only men who enjoy the beautiful game. Plenty of women do as well and so they should: it’s exciting, it’s entertaining and they all swap shirts at the end. But when your husband and sons (of which I have 5) are mad football fans it does have an impact on your life, especially when it’s the World Cup. Our social life has to revolve around the extremely confusing World Cup chart on the kitchen wall so I don’t accidentally arrange a family get-together with my elderly aunts the day England play Germany. Hence when all the lads come round with their WAGs, us girls watch half the match, then leave them shouting at the telly (apparently their 90 year old granny could have netted that one), then we go and sit in the garden among the half eaten burgers, the smouldering Grill Master 5000 and talk girl talk. Like which Italian player was the fittest during the line up, and other important things in life. Also when England are losing or drawing or even winning (but only by one goal because it could still go either way!) we have to escape in case all our blokes spontaneously combust at the same time.

The match is then followed by a post match analysis of who played well or who played like their 90 year old granny (honestly, one minute she could score a sitter, the next she is being compared to the worst player of the game… give granny a break) The next rounds are impossible for anyone other than a die hard footie fan to work out. Almost as confusing as the offside rule. For example if Germany beat Ghana they go through as long as there is a three goal difference and if Accrington Stanley beat Italy then Spain get into the finals and play Manchester United… something like that… but at the end of the day (see I do know some football lingo) it’s only a game. Don’t tell him I said that.

Posted by The Lovely Nicola

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World Cup: The perfect football song

In a few hours’ time, the England football team could possibly be packing their designer luggage and heading for the airport, as yet again World Cup dreams lie shattered to miserable pieces.

Or it could all be glorious. There’s still hope. And the perfect soundtrack to the particular type of brittle, dewy-eyed hope that swells up in English breasts every four years is World In Motion, the 1990 World Cup song by New Order.

Hope springs from the very start of that song, with Kenneth Wolstenholme reprising his legendary “They think it’s all over… it is now!” commentary from the 1966 final. Spirits duly raised by the memory of Bobby Moore lifting the trophy, the song’s intro leads us, via standard New Order beats and keyboards to a lyric full of commentator cliches about creating space and expressing yourself.

“Expressing yourself,” eh? It makes football sound all creative and arty and beautiful. And then there’s the chorus: Love’s got the world in motion. That’s right – love. It’s not a World Cup, it’s the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, all peace, love and understanding. It ought to sound silly, but at the time it sounded perfect – optimistic, positive and even a little bit sexy. And it still does.

In case we get too carried away, John Barnes appears to prove that not all black men can rap. Even so, there’s something quite mesmerising about the way he delivers his lines with a kind of ponderous rhythmicality, and he’s Barnesy so we love him anyway.

Then it all culminates in the team joining in with “We’re playing for England – Eng-er-land!” and the cute line “Arrivederci it’s one on one,” as a little nod to the host nation, Italy.

There we have it. The perfect football song from yet another year when it was all so elusively within England’s reach.

Posted by PLA

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