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World Cup 2014: a beginner’s guide

Posted at 8:00 am, June 11, 2014 in Fun London

football pub

Vindaloo! Vindaloo! Vindaloo vindaloo nah-nahhhh!

What on earth is wrong with you? What’s with all the laddish singing about curry?

The World Cup’s kicking off this Thursday. Where have you been?

Crap. Does that mean my local’s going to be full of shaven, chanting twats wearing grubby Hackett polo shirts for the next two weeks?

Erm, a little longer than that – the tournament lasts just over a month, with the final on July 13.

Suppose I might as well embrace it then. Who should I support?

Go for Brazil – they’re the hosts and favourites.

Not England?

If you like, but don’t get your hopes up – England are only joint sixth favourite, with the bookies putting Roy Hodgson’s team at 25/1 to win the tournament.

Who’s Roy Hodgson?

England manager – looks a bit like an owl.

Ahh yes, I saw him on TV. He does look a lot like an owl, doesn’t he? Okay, England it is. When’s their first game?

This Saturday, against Italy at 11pm.

What? Why so late?

It’s in Brazil. And there are these things called time zones…

Okay, okay I get it. Who else are they playing?

England’s other two group games are against Uruguay at 8pm on Thursday June 19 and Costa Rica at 5pm on Tuesday June 24.

Who’s our best player? Is that wonderkid from last time still around? Theo something?

Walcott? Injured. And he’s 25 now – geriatric, in footballing terms.

Oh. David Beckham?

Retired from international football five years ago.

Gareth Bale?

He’s Welsh.

Right. So who do we have?

Striker Daniel Sturridge has had a great season with Liverpool and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed in his 15 appearances for his country so far.

Anything else I should know? My half-time chat isn’t so hot.

This is the first ever World Cup to employ to use of goal-line technology – censors that’ll give the referee a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when there’s a frantic goal-line scuffle.

Uh-huh. So what?

England were knocked out of the last tournament after this Frank Lampard screamer was somehow denied by the ref, so expect tech to be a big talking point.

Oh yeah, I remember that being a bit of a big deal. I think I was out having a curry at the time.

Vindaloo?

Jesus, don’t start that again.

So now you’re up to speed, get yourself along to these World Cup events and parties in London.

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