Sunday, June 27, 2010

England Vs Germany in historical perspective

Marina Hyde points to a twitter message and puts the forthcoming England-Germany World Cup Football match in its right historical perspective

"This World Cup is exactly like the second world war. The French surrender early, the US turn up late, and we're left to deal with the bloody Germans."

She compares the performances of the two countries in major competitions (11 finals against two semifinals since 1966!) and describes their contests as an "ancient and hilariously one-sided blood feud",

"With his last minute, group-winning goal against Algeria yesterday, the USA's Landon Donovan effectively assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and invaded Poland. England now face the old enemy – the old enemy being the one within, namely some people's pathological inability to view football games with Germany through any other prism than war. Yet if this enemy has an ally – an Axis buddy, if you will – it is the idea that our nation enjoys a serious football rivalry with Germany.

From the minute England's round of 16 destiny was clear, you will have heard much about this sainted antagonism with Germany. Yet the so-called rivalry is quite obviously an illusion, existing only in the minds of those wishful to the point of insanity – which is to say, the English. We are rivals with Germany in the same way Christine Bleakley is rivals with Oprah."

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