Tokyo Fox’s World Cup 2006 Overview

So after four weeks the final whistle has blown on the 2006 World Cup and now my life can hopefully return to as normal as possible meaning no more split sleeping shifts, sleep deprivation or catching 40 winks in between lessons.

On reflection, England were woeful and the worlds biggest under-achievers failed to deliver anything beyond the minimum. Although they put up a bit of a fight against Portugal in the face of adversity the displays of the overpaid prima-donnas that make up the England team has to be questioned. Definitely a case of reverse symmetry in that the whole was not greater than the sum of its parts. Try telling that to my students though who continually frustrated me with talk of England being strong and Becks being great which were so wide of the mark.

I enjoyed the last world cup so much more and that partially inspired me to come to Japan. Back then I had just returned from my ’round the world’ adventures and was able to dedicate my whole time to the action. I missed that in many ways this time as I had no English feed for the games and so I didnt get the full picture from just watching what was happening on screen. Would have been nice to see some World Cup-related features and news stories too such as scenes from Hamburg city where I worked a few years back as the saviour of a small IT company (*).

I like most things about Germany but don’t like the national team yet i have to admit that they were probably the most entertaining team in the tournament and seeing Klinsmann jumping around the sidelines was nice to see and remnant of Martin O’Neills celebrations at Leicester many years ago during our golden era. It was a surprise to see them play so well too given that they wasnt given a prayer before the tournament. The country did put on a good show off the field too and it was refreshing to see them embrace the idea of inviting all fans (i.e. non-ticket holders) to come and enjoy the atmosphere and culture.

As for the other teams, the Czechs got off to a flyer but couldn’t keep that momentum up and made a surprisingly early exit. The Argies looked odds on favourites to win the tournament and scored the best goal along the way but that was before they came up against the German penalty experts. Like England, Brazil and France failed to impress in the early stages whereas perennial slow starters Spain and Italy won their groups in perfect fashion. More negative tactics then seemed to take over with managers seemingly prepared to settle for the lottery of penalties and be abstained from blame if they then lost.

For once I didn’t quite see all the games but the best I did see was the Italians late show against the Germans in the semi’s and the final wasn’t so bad either culminating in ZZ blowing his top (a disgrace whatever the provocation but very funny too I thought and made sure his career ended with a bang) before the Italians finally won in a shoot-out and then followed one of the most shambolic presentations of a trophy ever. I think it was the 3rd choice keeper who actualy passed on the trophy to the fantastic Cannavaro who was arguably the player of a tournament with no real outstanding players, few underdog victories and not so much emerging new talent.

(*) Not necessarily true as sitting at a desk surfing the net all day every day doesn’t constitute being a saviour!

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
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7 Responses to Tokyo Fox’s World Cup 2006 Overview

  1. Gideon says:

    This all sounds like an expert but it mostly went right over my head!
    I also found Argentina very impressive to watch and thought it a bit cruel for tham and so many teams to be going out on penalties. I also found things slowed down by too much defensive playing, which I found a bit cynical, as if they were all most afraid of losing badly, an attitude which meant there were few clear winners. The Italy vs. Gemany game impressed me a lot too, very dramatic, though probably I was more impressed by Zidane than you (despite his antics).
    I look forward to you updating you’re memorable World Cup Games list- I wonder how many, if any will qualify for it?

  2. The Whitemeister says:

    I can assure you right now that absolutely no games from this world cup will feature in my memorable world cup games list! Most of the games on my list involve England or the underdog victories. Also, this time i only had Japanese commentary so i didn’t get absorbed by the hype which the BBC or ITV commentators can add to a match which can bring a game to life a bit more just as much as it can be annoying if the game doesn’t match up with the cr*p that they’re spouting.
    Favourite World Cup Commentary Quote: "The referee isn’t biased… he’s just rubbish!" (BBC Five Live’s Outspoken commentator Alan Green)
    More great quotes at

  3. The Whitemeister says:

    For those that care i have actually added a few extra entries on to my ‘great world cup moments’ but none from this tournament although the celebration of Italys first scorer in the semi’s against Germany did remind and inspire me to enter Marco Tardelli’s world cup final decider celebrations into the list. One of the greatest images of world cup history.

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