An interesting subplot that emerged with the USA’s incredible, last-second victory against Algeria yesterday is the fantastic fact that we will get to witness a renewing of one of the great rivalries the sport has ever seen–England, which classified second, will play Germany, which classified first, in the round of 16.
Now, one can point to great confrontations between thee two countries (they have a great historic rivalry)–going back to the great wars of the 20th century, and continuing on to the 1966 World Cup final (England 4-2 Germany), and to the massive English victory in 2001 (5-1), which gave rise to various things, including the chant “5-1 and even Heskey scored,” made famous by Liverpool fans. Each player that scored for England in the famous 5-1 shellacking played for Liverpool, including a young Michael Owen, who scored a hat-trick.
But perhaps more important than that chant–or even than that historical game–is the incredible hooligan-pride song “England 5, Germany 1” by hooligan-punk band, The Business. Here it is, in its’ full glory–and don’t worry if you can’t understand any of the lyrics other than “England 5, Germany 1”: I don’t think you’re supposed to.
All of that being said, don’t be surprised if you hear some extremely insulting anti-German chants over the vuvuzelas this weekend: the limeys are famous for the songs “Two World Wars and One World Cup” (to the tune of Camptown Races) or “Ten German Bombers” (to the tune of She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain) and for chanting things like “World War 2! World War 2!” or “We won the War! We won the War!” at the Jerrys (yeah, I’m using 1940’s anti-English and anti-German slang…what of it?).
Should be a good match–I’m betting England wins, even though the Germans are favored, because the three lions haven’t really hit their peak yet, while the Germans seem to have played their best match against the Aussies. I also really like Capello, no matter what the English press says–he’s a really good coach, and very capable of turning the team into a champion: their defense has been superb this tournament (yes, it has)–one of Capello’s calling cards. While this hasn’t endeared them to anyone, it has made the English a much more legitimate championship contender than they have been previously.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!