I’ve made no secret of my negative feelings about Brazil in the past, but in my (or anyone’s!) wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined them taking a thumping like the one on Tuesday. It even made wanting Germany to win a football game less painful.

All together now: “Eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf, sechs, sieben…”

Download: Numbers – Kraftwerk (mp3)

I shall be supporting Germany in the final too, but only because I want a European team to finally win a World Cup in South America. Hopefully that will the last time I find myself in the position of wanting them to win something.

Early Doors

Well, that didn’t last long did it? England were barely in the World Cup long enough for you to read your special issue of the Radio Times.

Despite the early exit I’m not as depressed as I was during the last World Cup where we got past the group stage but were so dismal it was almost a relief when we got knocked out. This time we actually showed glimmers of playing decent, attacking football. Not much to cling to, granted, but I’ll take it.

I’ll still be keenly watching the rest of the tournament of course and there are a few other teams I’d be happy to see to do well, but if it’s a Brazil v Germany final I may find myself overwhelmed by indifference.

But while we might be rubbish at football not many other countries can make records as great as this. No small consolation, that.

Download: Say Hello, Wave Goodbye (12″ version)- Soft Cell (mp3)

World Cup Fever

If you think I’m going to be writing blog posts when I could be watching the World Cup you’re out of your tiny mind, especially when the tournament has gotten off to such a great start. Despite England’s loss Saturday it was the best World Cup performance from them in years so I’m optimistic about their chances too. So for the next few weeks don’t be surprised or upset if I only communicate via photos and videos.

If you look at any footage or photos of the 1966 World Cup (like the above) you’ll see that nearly all the England fans are waving Union Jacks instead of the Cross of St. George, but now the situation is reversed with the latter being flown almost exclusively. Euro ’96 was the first time I really noticed the change and I’m wondering if someone took England fans aside and informed them than the Union Jack was the wrong flag or are there cultural and political reasons for it. There’s probably a very good blog post to be written about that and I’d have a go at it myself if, you know, I wasn’t too busy watching football.

Something Brazilian is probably appropriate right now, a sweet swinging number by the great Elis Regina that should have you doing more stepovers than Ronaldo.

Download: Bicho Do Mato – Elis Regina (mp3)

Picture Post

Download: High Steppin’ Hip Dressin’ Fella (You Got It Together) – Love Unlimited (mp3)

Being Blue

I was very sad to hear about the death of former Chelsea manager Dave Sexton who will always be the real “special one” to Chelsea fans my age. Before the club became the plaything of a Russian gazillionaire and started racking up the trophies, the “glory years” had been way back in the early 70s when Sexton was manager and the team contained names — nay, legends! — like Osgood, Bonetti, Harris, Cooke, and Hudson.

Chelsea and Fulham were my two local sides growing up but the latter seemed like the team of Brylcreemed old men going on about Johnny Haynes — the first player to make £100 a week! — while Chelsea were all King’s Road flash, sideburns, and Raquel Welch. No contest really, especially when they won the FA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup (beating the mighty Leeds and Real Madrid in the process) which made them all heroes in my young eyes. Little was I to know they wouldn’t win another trophy for nearly 30 years.

Like those kids in the picture above I used to hang around outside Stamford Bridge waiting for the players to come out from training in the hopes of getting an autograph. A lot of them would just walk out of the ground on foot so it was easy to get an autograph, these days they’d probably zoom right past in their Bentleys and Ferraris, knocking over old ladies on their way to shag a Page Three girl or meet with their accountant. But player’s lives were less opulent then, I used to see Chelsea players in local pubs and our silky winger Charlie Cooke lived down the road from us in a regular terraced house. When they retired a player’s biggest dream was to have enough money saved to buy a pub.

The one autograph I still have is of Ray “Butch” Wilkins who was the golden boy of the team at the time, having been made captain when he was only 18 and being a bit of a handsome pin-up star (hard to believe when you see him now), so it was a real thrill getting him to sign my 1975-76 Fixture Card, like being a teenybopper and having David Cassidy sign your boob.

Thrilled though I was, I remember being a little disappointed that he signed his name Ray and not Butch which was his nickname back then. Who was this Ray fella? No one called him that!

1975 was a crap year for Chelsea (and there were many more crap years to come), Sexton had been sacked the season before and we were in the Second Division. Sexton’s replacement Eddie McCreadie eventually quit himself because the Chairman wouldn’t get him a company car (this after he had got Chelsea back to the First Division) so it seems like our owners have always been arseholes. But whenever friends talk to me now about how the money we have is destroying the game, the bad behaviour of our players, our owner changing managers like socks etc. etc., I always reply “Sure, it’s terrible. But what am I supposed to do, start supporting another club?”

Download: Pass, Shoot, Goal! – Gracie Fields (mp3)

Picture Post

Download: Giving It All Away – Roger Daltrey (mp3)

Blue Heaven

I don’t think I’ve felt this happy since my kids were born, except then I didn’t jump up and down with the nurses screaming YES! YES! WE DID IT! WE DID IT! YEEAAAAASSSS!!!

Download: Happy Song – The Nips (mp3)

Today we are all City fans

I don’t even like Manchester City but I went berserk with joy when they got the title-winning goal in the last minute of the last game of the season yesterday. Not because of any gentlemanly, neutral appreciation of the drama, but because it snatched the trophy from the grasp of that other team from Manchester, and schadenfreude is rarely more pleasurable than when it involves bad things happening to United.

Hopefully I’ll be going even more ballistic next Saturday.

Download: End of The Season – The Kinks (mp3)

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com


Follow me!