Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: All White on the night

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  • Tom Semmens,

    The current sudden outburst of soccer hysteria says more about the over-exposure of rugby in the main centres than it does about the skills and playing style of the All Whites.

    Let's face it - there are plenty of teams who would thrash the All Whites who are not going to be in South Africa.

    I just can't enthused over beating Bahrain and then celebrating hysterically just because we qualified to turn up. How low is that hurdle? The All Whites will have a starters chance in South Africa I suppose, but they'll be lucky to score a goal let alone actually win a game.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I just can't enthused over beating Bahrain and then celebrating hysterically just because we qualified to turn up. How low is that hurdle?

    Given that it's one we've failed to clear for thirty-odd years, I think a *little* celebration is in order. Small steps, after all...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    If somebody suggests Team New Zealand, I'm going to scream.

    Just thinking is on the right track and Keir hits the nail, "New Zealand" is good, this kind of thing works for all other teams except of course 'the yellow menace'... I mean Brazil. What's with renaming all the national teams?

    Let's face it - there are plenty of teams who would thrash the All Whites who are not going to be in South Africa.

    If you'd have called Radio Sport last night and said that, the host would have called you a loser for not savoring the moment Tom. As it stands, there's plenty of teams who would thrash New Zealand who are going to South Africa. Maybe you could write to FIFA and express your disappointment at NZ's over easy qualification and the flawed system.....or open another beer and watch the sunset....

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    Let's not overlook either the Black Sticks efforts this weekend in qualifying for the Hockey World Cup. And they probably have more chance than the All Whites. It's just so great though to see the round ball codes do so well.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Let's not overlook either the Black Sticks efforts this weekend in qualifying for the Hockey World Cup. And they probably have more chance than the All Whites. It's just so great though to see the round ball codes do so well.

    true.

    How low is that hurdle?

    204 teams, twice as high as qualification for the RWC

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • tim kong,

    On the name thing - if we're to change the name of the All Whites purely because we're going to South Africa, shouldn't we in the interests of equality change the name of the All Blacks whenever they play in South Africa?

    Officially all teams are just known by the name of their country anyway - nicknames are added/used by media, fans and whoever. There's a long list of colour based nicknames - Italy - Azzura, France: Les Bleus, Netherlands: Oranje, even the Brazilians have about 3 different colour nicknames for their squad.

    I don't know this obviously- but Fifa do - and google is a wonderful thing.

    What's in a name?

    @Tom

    That low hurdle is the one that's put in front of us - it's like saying why should the All Blacks play any teams to make the final of the RWC - I mean obviously they're the best rugby team on the planet - put them straight into the final - who needs to bother with a quarterfinal in Cardiff....

    Good god man - of course there will be teams that thrash the All Whites - they're ranked 83rd in the world. But the hosts, South Africa are ranked 85th - should we kick them out as well?

    Bahrain is ranked 61st - so it's not like they're rubbish. Possibly compared to Portugal, Spain, France, Brazil and the Netherlands they are - but on the Fifa table they're a far better squad than Ricky Herbert's mob.

    If you can't be enthused about it - fair enough - but don't deny that the All Whites have earned that trip to SA next year, and I for one will be supporting them fervently, regardless of the result.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    On the name thing - if we're to change the name of the All Whites purely because we're going to South Africa, shouldn't we in the interests of equality change the name of the All Blacks whenever they play in South Africa?

    Haha nice, Tim.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • tim kong,

    Speaking of poor attempts at singing national anthems, this is from the start of the France v. South Africa test.

    Not sure what the thinking was behind choosing these guys, and then combining their obviously unique talents with a full brass band; but the results are pretty spectacular, and the reaction from the Springbok players, Schalk Burger in particular, is priceless.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Where is NZ ranked in the world?

    How low is that hurdle?

    When Namibia qualified for the last Rugby World Cup and the Namibian know-all Football fans went on the local sport forum to sneer at how they'd be cleaned up by South Africa or the All Blacks, I hope another Namibian sports fan who just loved seeing their country men and women go crazy-ape-bat shit celebrating a special achievement said what I'm going to say to you:

    Cheer the fuck up. It's fun being a minnow.

    Compare the almost Latin levels of excitement in Wellington last night with the dour 'support' we give our national Rugby team. I want to see more of That Kind Of Thing. I just hope we we can get this small-mindedness about our place in Football's global pecking order out of our system now, and get on with the excitement of being at the frickin' world cup finals.

    Mmmm I want one of these now.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Cheer the fuck up. It's fun being a minnow.

    Ah, yes! Well put.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Too true, & lets not put too much into F*&ken anthems. I won't sing one of ours (God save the Queen) and am not familiar enough in te reo or sign for the other to give it a desent go,

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • tim kong,

    I agree - I'm not demanding we all raise our right arms and bellow allegiance - I just think if it's the one anthem that is ours - it should be done right.

    Either the band plays and we all stand in respect - or a singer sings it and those who want to join the song. IMO - the te reo version is a far better sounding refrain - and it's not that difficult to learn.

    And I don't agree with singing 'God save the Queen' either. This opinion piece from the BBCwas a bit off. I understand the point he was trying to make - that a lot of Kiwi football players have got a start or ply their trade in England - but to me at least this All White squad very much is a Kiwi-made team, and should be celebrated as such. I'm surprised anyone Kiwi would even consider singing "God save the Queen" on behalf of a New Zealand sporting team, in any context.

    I'm not sure if it's because of the Phoenix connection, but last night it was NZ/Aotearoa qualifying for the big show - not some small colonial outpost of the Empire. The fervour from the crowd was uniquely Kiwi/Wellingtonian, and it was all the better because of it.

    The crowd were in emphatic high spirits, energized by the whitenoise/Yellow Fever chants and had a raucous enthusiastic feel, but there was no nasty undertone that can happen in a football match. Having the 1982 squad do a lap of honour was great theatre and only added to the sense of history. The boos and abuse for the Bahrain player/divers who theatrically flung themselves to the ground was born from most in the crowd having watched rugby all their lives and thus being fully aware of what 'contact' actually is. But no-one was being beaten up in the stands. I heard people commiserating with Bahrain supporters as I left, in fair rugby fashion and I enjoyed the 1982 inspired "Ole, Ole, Ole" chants as we made our way out through the concourse.

    It was a blend of old and new, football and rugby culture. To me at least it represented what great sporting experiences are all about - not a new dawn for football in NZ, and definitely not the end of rugby as we know it - but a chance to celebrate a beautiful game, played in front of a passionate crowd and with a joy and celebration that's hard to create in any other way.

    Of course, if I was from Bahrain I'd feel differently... but that's sport.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    How hard is it to be a footballer in New Zealand. Fucking fantastic, we have enough talent here to be in the top 20 one day.

    Rugby is in the blood, rugby is tattoed on my soul , the all blacks losing hurts but football is a war in 90 minutes, it brings out the tribal. Football is the world game.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    That BBC piece wasn't quiet the ass work I expected of an opinion piece but still held plenty of paternalism, of the Home country upon its colony and their rag tag ethnic make up.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Footballs trying to come home.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Llewellyn,

    Some people just don't get it. I suppose it is part of the culture in NZ to be snide and belittle, in an attempt to be cool.
    For example this comment:
    ``I just can't enthused over beating Bahrain and then celebrating hysterically just because we qualified to turn up. How low is that hurdle? The All Whites will have a starters chance in South Africa I suppose, but they'll be lucky to score a goal let alone actually win a game.''
    It is just a game, but for those who care about football, qualifying for the world cup is pretty much up there.
    ``How low is the hurdle''... Umm if you looked around the world, you will find many countries who think the hurdle is very high.
    Remember this is not NZ and rugby, it is a game that lots of people play and care about.
    There are millions of people waiting for the last qualifying matches this week and they are worried about qualifying.
    They would care a lot about a shot at scoring a goal or possibly winning a game in the finals
    And the best thing about it, is that you can be snide, condescending and even mocking and we don't care.
    We had a good time and are hoping for more

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Jo S,

    What a brilliant night!

    Monday morning and my voice still doesn't work properly.

    I've been to a bunch of All Blacks games, but nothing has compared to the atmosphere in the cake tin on Saturday night.

    NZ at the World Cup!
    Yay!!!

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    The thing is Tom, you're not going to get someone in the New Zealand camp to soberly state that qualifying is all very well, but the focus from now on has to be on how to avoid turning South Africa 2010 into an embarrassing repeat of the Confederations Cup. Because the reality is that this isn't Day 1 of World Cup preparations at all - the team will now be dispersed to all corners of the world and will not play together until a couple of warm up games in June next year. So let everyone go off on their bender - for NZ soccer this is as good as it gets.

    As for how low the hurdle was - it doesn't get any lower than qualifying from Oceania, but I believe we've been dicked by Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands in the past...

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    the all blacks losing hurts but football is a war in 90 minutes,

    Ah, yes, 90 minutes 90 emotions. What they don't tell you is that in the A League 88 of those emotions are subtle variations on boredom and despair.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    What they don't tell you is that in the A League 88 of those emotions are subtle variations on boredom and despair.

    Which could be why what goes on in the crowd is often more interesting than what happens on the pitch? You have to do something to occupy the time, as the ball goes back-and-forth, back-and-forth and no goals are coming? I agree that the Wellington crowd was a very jolly lot but I have seen too many ugly soccer crowds in my life.

    In Cardiff, they don't sell alcohol in the Millennium Stadium but turn the city into a giant booze zone (mobile booze barns on every corner). The city looks like a war zone after the event. But they do sell alcohol in the ground for rugby matches, which sort of says something?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I had trouble singing the national anthem because... I got all choked up and emotional. This completely surprised me, but there I was, unable to get around the simple lyrics without needing a big hard swallow first.

    Also, YouTube reveals that the All Whites had two (2) songs for the 1982 World Cup.

    Marching on to Spain:

    Heading for the Top:

    The last one is particularly painful, so if there is a requirement for a song for 2010, I offer this as the minimum requirement:

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    giovanni, boredom & despair? Surely not.
    The transparancy of the game, simple rules (except for off side) holds the greatest potential for a free flowing game and excibition of skill.
    Using the NZ context, it is completely different to a sodden game of rugby where the ball is wrapped up in a maul or scrum and dodgy doe is done to secure it. I never knew the rules when I played rugby and firmly refuse to learn them now. That is how it was always played.
    Those quieter moments allow for the development of team spirit and songs to be sung.
    Football is an event bigger than the game.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Thoughts on league?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Why have men's soccer shorts got longer over the last three decades, while women's netball and tennis skirts have got skimpier?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Chockasunday,

    That was amazing. Wildest dreams and all that.

    So pleased to have been in the crowd, on the night, in the whiteout.

    I saw a certain All Whites player doing a Flintoff in a Courtenay Place bar on the Sunday afternoon!

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 62 posts Report Reply

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