“I grew up in Devon,” says Sam Ryan, “but I used to be in London a lot. A three hour drive each time. We had a game of guessing the number of roundabouts on the A303 in the journey and it was my job to make a note of them each time we went through one. My father won. I think the total was 17. Ah….. childhood. What memories!”
art. When we drove to Manchester to visit my grandmother, my parents liked to call out “Mezuzah” as we drove through the Jewish Quarter where she lived, a mezuzah being a thing attached to a doorpost that marks a Jewish home. It was a real thrill, I can tell you that.
The anthem of Morocco by the way, is a low-key banger, and the Moroccans in the crowd give him absolutely heaps.
Anthem time, flags forward and hands on hearts. Apparently politics and football don’t go together.
And here they come!
Moving from advanced strategy games to today’s, the Croatian midfield is extremely decent. I can’t lie, I’ve been wondering for a while what Mateo Kovacic has been doing other than being traded with Ross Barkley, but he’s turned into a very nice ball carrier and a handy physical presence. However, I wonder if Morocco can outrun them.
“Daniel, please don’t quote my name (I prefer anonymity)” says someone we call Mr. X. “But the definitive Yellow Car player is Arthur Shappey (alter ego by John Finnemore in the excellent Cabin Pressure).
I’m afraid I can’t get on board without the dead arm. I think it’s like paintball which wouldn’t be fun if it didn’t hurt.
What I just learned from Wikipedia: Trent’s maternal grandmother was once involved with Alex Ferguson before emigrating to New York. Meanwhile, Philip Malcolm points out that he has three first names, which makes me think of him as a Brazilian, Trentão.
“As a kid growing up in the Midlands,” says Richard O’Hagan, “we played a version of Yellow Car/Spotto on family car trips. It was called “My Bridge” and involved trying to be the first to shout that phrase every time we saw a bridge. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that my parents always scored the most bridges because they sat in the front and we four kids were wedged in the back with severely limited views of the road.”
Four in the back, you don’t see that often. I used to be picked up from school by a childminder and in her Vauxhall Chevette there was one in the front and one in the front footwell, five in the back, one in each footwell and one on the center lump.
“I wish they would show the club teams of the players involved next to their names”, muses Kevin in Chicago, “so we’d have a reasonable idea of what level they’re at. That’s all.”
You are in the right place!
By the way, Harry Kane has an ankle situation. If he doesn’t make it to the United States on Friday, Gareth Southgate will likely choose between Callum Wilson, a proper centre-forward, or Marcus Rashford, a better player with more experience at the top level. I think I would get Wilson to keep the same system and keep the ball up as best as he can. But I see both sides.
Top athletes are amazing. We’re seeing VT of “Trent” – that’s going to come across as a tired gag, but I’m really trying to avoid typing “Alexander-Arnold” – and he’s been asked how he thinks he’s defended this season. Amazingly, he said that people talk about the times you’re doing poorly, not when you’re doing well; I might try that at home next time I smash something. But that’s the confidence it takes to be as brilliant as he is and I can’t believe there would ever be a debate about England picking him. I wouldn’t start it, but if I needed a goal – and especially if Harry Kane were there – it would always be one of my first substitutions.
“In Australia,” writes Penelope Cottier, “when a yellow car is visible, the first to shout ‘Spotto’ wins. That’s the only rule of the game. Surprisingly, it’s called Spotto.”
So we say there is no physical element? Total mental decay I guess.
“That banging of someone seeing a yellow car has been around for a number of years,” says Tim Skern. “Ten years ago, whenever my daughters saw a yellow one, they would drive me to the toilet and hit each other in the back of the car. I never quite understood the fun of it.”
Inflicting mild pain on people I love
was is a key part of mine childhood Life. Same as fooling around with your friends, teasing them about things they did 37 years ago, that sort of thing. For what it’s worth, I’ve written about such things here.
ITV now brings us a collection of the best World Cup volleys. However, this Belter was conspicuous by his absence – and check out the hashtag for more favorites.
Nigel de Jong has just suggested Cristiano Ronaldo join Sporting. Becoming majority owner, appointing himself player-coach, and then becoming chairman when he’s done playing. That would be so en vogue it’s almost begging us not to waste our time
fighting blind thoughts of despair, but I’m not sure it’s entirely likely.
Football is the greatest, part Infinity:
Time it took ITV to make its England pivot: seven minutes.
In a similar way: a game I learned from my nine-year-old daughter and common in 1920s London (and probably elsewhere): Yellow Car. Here’s how it works: you see a yellow car, you yell “yellow car” and show everyone you’re with a dead arm.
Let me share some massive deja vu I just enjoyed: Joe Cole pronounces ‘world’ as ‘weld’, equipment very common in 1980s London. Also of this variety: “embarrassed” is pronounced “embarrissed”.
Morocco (4-2-3-1): bounou; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui; Amrabat, Ounahi; Amallah, Boufal, Ziyech; En Nesyri. Subtitle: Hamdallah, Zaroury, Sabiri, El Kajoui, Chair, Jabrane, Aboukhlal, Ezzalzouli, El Yamiq, Dari, Cheddira, Tagnaouti, El Khannouss, Benoun, Attiat Allah.
Croatia (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvadiol, Sosa; Brozovic, Modric, Kovacic; Vladic, Kramaric, Perisic. Subtitle: Grbic, Ivusic, Stanisic, Barisic, Erlic, Majer, Livaja, Pasalic, Petkovic, Budimir, Orsic, Vida, Sutalo, Sucic, Jakic.
Referee: Fernando Andrés Rapallini (Argentina)
And it doesn’t stop! As if yesterday’s antics weren’t enough, here begins another round of four games, a tasty Tetris of World Cup soccerTM to our delight. Bing-Bing-Whee-Sliiiide.
At Mexico 86, Morocco became the first African country to progress through the group stage after being beaten in the round of 16 by a late Lothar Matthäus free-kick. Occasionally they have some serious players this time around so they’ll feel confident of doing something here.
The star of Moroccan football is the electric Achraf Hakimi, a one-man right winger. But down the left, Bayern’s Noussair Mazraoui is also superb, while in between are Roman Saïss, ex-Wolves, and West Ham’s Nayef Aguerd; that’s a pretty solid defense. Ahead of them are Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat and Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech, whose cunning is so crucial that the manager gave way after his falling out with Vahid Halilhodzic. I wonder if they will be fighting for goals – Youssef En-Nesyri, their likely centre-forward, isn’t exactly productive – but he can play like that if the attacking midfielders can get around him his side are in business.
Croatia, on the other hand, is a minor version of the German tournament side, with a constant presence in the later stages of the proceedings. And judging by their current site, the potential for more success is there. Josip Juranovic – from Celtic – is a dynamic right-back, while in the center and left of the back four Josko Gvardiol and Bosko Sutalo have elite potential.
But it’s midfield where the Croatian class speaks consistently and although the great Ivan Rakitic has gone, neither Luka Modric nor his genius have done the same and alongside him Marcelo Brozovic provides top-class ballast. However, like Morocco, Croatia are lacking a reliable goalscorer which means that even when it comes to goals, both sides will be keen to accompany Belgium, likely group winners, into the last 16 so we can expect another thrilling, uplifting match .
Kick-off: 13:00 local time, 10:00 GMT