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Anorak | At The Sharp End

At The Sharp End

by | 16th, June 2004

‘REMEMBER when Uri Geller asked us to touch the orange ball in Euro 96? If we all did it as he asked, England would win.

‘Ouch! Careful where you stick that thing’

Now, either we all did and Uri is a charlatan or someone failed to touch the disc as requested and so caused the calamitous loss to Germany on penalty kicks.

Mindful of that, we look to the Guardian and its news that the good clockmakers of Switzerland are being invited to stick pins into pictures of David Beckham.

Adverts featuring a picture of the England captain have appeared in Swiss newspapers and magazines, inviting fans of England’s next opponents to rip it out, stick it to a wall and push in a pin.

And if the Swiss don’t have a pin to hand, they are instructed to use a needle or staples. “If we believe it will work, then it will,” comes the Geller-like message.

Which means that, if Beckham awakens on the morning of the match with a severe case of pins and needles, then we know who to blame – and we will be invading Switzerland around lunchtime on Friday.

But David has no time for unlucky charms and hexes. He’s a level-headed chap and, the Times says, has insisted that he will continue to take England’s penalties whatever the pressure.

“My mentality is to carry on until I win,” says Beckham. Which is clear to us.

But, to the Times, Beckham’s statement makes him sound “more like a 10-year-old refusing to go in for his tea until he has scored the winning goal than the England captain”.

Does it? Or does it make him sound like the man who once had a hissy fit and told the Times’ sister media messenger Sky TV that he didn’t want to talk to them?

While we ponder that, Beckham goes on.

“If there is another penalty, I will take it,” says Beckham, aged 29.

“Nothing will defeat me…If I miss the next four or five penalties then I will step up and take one, although I am not sure if people will want me to.”

Well, the oppositions’ people would want you do, especially those pin-sticking, Voodoo worshipping Swiss.

Or the Germans, who are known to enjoy a spot of penalty taking with the English.

And the Guardian has news of the German team at Euro 2004 in its review of last night’s game between them and their old pals the Dutch.

“Traditionally the English are not meant to have sympathetic feelings towards Germany,” begins the paper, “but even the strongest euro-sceptic must have felt some pity for them last night.”

The report then goes into how the Dutch were awful yet still managed to salvage a 1-1 draw from the jaws of defeat thanks to a goal from Ruud van Nistelrooy.

But to the paper’s opening gambit. And the answer is no. We have no sympathy for the Germans.

This is the time to nail your colours to the mast – or David’s Beckham’s tackle to your Swiss clock.’



Posted: 16th, June 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink