Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Spanish humiliation and problem hair


A lacklustre Spain looked well past their sell by date not long after Silva failed to score a second goal in the first half, last night. Talk about a game being two halves, you could’ve been forgiven for thinking they were playing the second half of extra time by the end of the first thirty minutes, and hoping for a penalty shoot-out, so tired they seemed.

Up until that moment, they’d appeared like potential winners, passing forward and taking the game to the Dutch time after time. But then at least four years of chasing massive advertising contracts, and tackling deals to dribble over, must’ve have taken their toll. More time spent in front of the studio dressing room mirror, than in the team dressing room, can really go to your head. Literally, in the case of a goalkeeper arguably head and shoulders above all others only a short time ago.

Casillas showercapA bad hair day doesn’t even describe his hair. Casillas should definitely stop playing in the rain without a protective plastic covering. Head and Shoulders – as H&S hair shampoo used to be called – may have cured his dandruff, but any hair not falling out last night, must have been torn out by the look of his barnet at the end of the match. His sponsors must be fuming. And it doesn’t look like the sort of problem a short visit to the hairdressers, or a quick-fix toupée, can cure.

Meanwhile, Iniesta, who used to play for ten men, seemed to have no energy, or even the heart, to fight back, after guzzling too much ice cream in front of the cameras to set an example to children. Just goes to prove too many high-cholesterol treats are not good for football either. Those cornets must really take it out of you. And I’m not even going to mention the condition of his hair. It’s not fair to mock the balding. As for the rest of the team, their hair showed no innovation whatsoever. There wasn’t even the hint of a Mohawk, or a shaven design, among the lot of them. Not even a green or pink streak. And beards are so last year. Oh, you wanted to know how they played? Two thirds of the match they looked like mauled gazelles stopping to lick their wounds while still being chased down by a pack of lions, about sums it up.

That”s not to take the Dutch victory away from them. Though revenge can taste sweet, revenge such as this is not fair to the more faint-hearted Spanish fan. Robbens played magnificently, as did van Persi, to name just two, who could’ve probably won on their own. They had come to assassinate and that’s what they did. But a weary Spain probably helped make them look far better than they may turn out to be against sturdier opponents.

Not to worry, I’ll still be rooting for Spain against Chile next Wednesday, hoping for a lot better. I just hope they can do something about that hair before kick-off.

It’s starting to feel like I’m back in England supporting my home national team at World Cup time. Ah, the nostalgia all floods back now, along with the tears; the tragic sensation of losing badly. I’d almost forgotten how good emotional masochism is for the tortured souls among us.

Copyright © 2014 Bryan Hemming



12 comments on “Spanish humiliation and problem hair

  1. colltales
    June 14, 2014

    I also feel that the Spaniards are slowly abandoning their more fluidic but absolutely lethal pass-exchange-till-you-kill-them game, and I suspect that it has to do with the Barcelona’s terrible loss to the pre-Guardiola Bayern at the Champions Cup a couple of years back. I remember that right after the Brazilian team (oh, no, why everything has to go back to the Brazilians with this guy?) lost to Italy in 1982, there was a reactive trend worldwide against the ‘jogo bonito,’ because people believed falsely that it wasn’t enough to win titles. The ugly football had been winning since until Barcelona showed again that was possible to combine both beauty and efficiency. The Spanish team has always lacked a killer scorer at the front (and some would say, a Messi) but the fact is that Del Bosque slowly diluted the cohesive way they played (and played and played) for two, three years. That and, of course, the obsession with the hair and advertising contracts. But not all is lost yet and they still can redeem themselves by beating everyone on their path, out of a wounded-beast complex, including Brazil. After all, it’s been said over and over that the Dutch have showed the world again how a tasty cold plate of revenge can be savored when everyone least expect. They can do the same. Best


    • Bryan Hemming
      June 15, 2014

      Don’t know whether you saw the England Italy match, Wesely, but it bored me to tears. England seem to have some good young players, but tactically they seem to be too predictable. Time after time they went up the right side in the second half leaving Sterling trapped in the same position with nowhere to go and nobody to find. You could’ve thought a video had got stuck on continual replay. Italy won, but not convincingly, and they don’t look as though they’ll get too much further, yet neither will England on that showing.

      The team seem to have got a good press in England though, you know sort of English self-flagellation stuff, ‘our boys took a good beating well’. Rooney played the part of the invisible man for most of the night, probably sulking because everybody knows his hair is a transplant. You’d think he’d get one from a qualified trichologist with the money he gets paid, and not one of those back street jobs where they sew a chimpanzee scalp to your head.


  2. Wendy Kate
    June 14, 2014

    Well, I didn’t watch it but I might have to next match, just to check the hair out…. 🙂


    • Bryan Hemming
      June 14, 2014

      If you really want hair, I think you should start examining the Latin American teams ‘cos that’s where hair is probably going to happen. For myself, I think hair should be included in the score, especially when it comes to ties. Did I really just write that? Is World Cup football about to become the new Eurovision Song Contest on a planet level?


      • Wendy Kate
        June 14, 2014

        I would probably enjoy it more if it did…


      • Bryan Hemming
        June 14, 2014

        Yeah, I would certainly give Dusty Springfield dix points for hair, but I don’t think she ever made Eurovision. But certainly she gets dix points for having one of the best female voices ever. As for kicking a ball, she may have kicked a few, but kicking ass was probably more her style.


  3. auntyuta
    June 14, 2014

    We watched this morning Chile versus Australia. Some more exciting games coming up. The Australians have a lot of young people in their team!


    • Bryan Hemming
      June 14, 2014

      Be interesting to watch the Australians, as the perception of football has changed through immigration. From my old Aussie mates I know Aussie rules dominated in the Victoria area, whereas rugby was NSW. I get the feeling a lot of Australians, who used to look down on football, now see it in a different light. Same with the USA.

      With your German roots, Uta, you have two teams to support, one of them arguably the best in the world. Though, to be honest I prefer the Latin American game.

      And the English game, because defeat has become a strange sort of victory in English eyes. I know it’s pathetic, but it’s all I’ve got.


      • auntyuta
        June 15, 2014

        To be honest, Bryan, to me it does not matter so much who wins as long as the game is lively. I think in this regard the Latin Americans are better than for instance the Germans. But of course Peter loves to see the Germans play well and possibly win. Peter gets very upset when the Germans don’t play well. He just expects them to be at at their peak no matter what.
        Peter liked very much to see the young Aussies seriously getting into the game against Chile, even though the players were very shocked in the first few minutes with two goals down!
        Our son was born in 1960. As a seven year old he played soccer. However he did grow into a very solid youngster. This is why rugby suited him much better a few years later. Peter of course preferred soccer. But you are right, a lot of Aussies used to look down on soccer. These days it is getting a lot more popular here. I also believe that a lot of the soccer supporters here have a migrant background.
        Enjoy your Sunday, Bryan. We have a very bleak Sunday here: Windy and cold! 🙂


      • Bryan Hemming
        June 15, 2014

        At one school I attended for four years rugby was the main sport, but I loved soccer and played it all the time, despite not being very good at it.

        As for Germany, although I have to admire their skill and ability to win, which is the main point of most sports, I suppose, I prefer the Latin American game. I support England for no better reason than the fact I was born there, Norway, because my mother was Norwegian, and I have a soft spot for the underdog, and Spain because I live here and love the exuberance of the fans.

        So on this one, Peter and I will be mortal enemies for as long as it takes for one or all of our teams to get knocked out or win. At that point we can raise a glass to the game itself and celebrate the winners, even if we hate their guts. It´s only a game, after all.

        I must admit I´d like to see Australia or the US get a bit further this time round, if only to see an upset or two.

        Hope you and Peter had a lovely Sunday. The day is just getting underway here, with temperatures due to hit the top 30s and maybe 40 like yesterday. I was up till 2.00am to watch a very tactical, but boringly repetitive match in the European style between England and Italy. Though England lost, neither team impressed me, but it’s early days.


      • berlioz1935
        June 15, 2014

        Hi Bryan, I’m the before mentioned Peter. I don’t want to be the mortal enemy of anybody. I like the English football team because they always fight to the end. I supported them today against Italy and will next week when they play Uruguay.

        How is Spain taking the abdication of King Carlos? The news here is that they question the monarchy now.

        We once questioned the monarchy but with the prospect of a future Queen Kate and Baby George (never mind William) all those thoughts have been gone to water.


      • Bryan Hemming
        June 15, 2014

        Well, just for a couple of weeks we can be virtual mortal enemies as we’re so far apart and can’t cause one another any harm.

        People seem pretty happy with the King’s abdication in Spain, as he has lost a tremendous amount of popularity over the last couple of years. With one of his daughters up to her neck in a corruption scandal it’s not surpring.

        What is quite surprising is that Prince Felipe and his wife Leticia have managed to keep a dignified distance from all the fall-out and remain very popular.

        Nevertheless, the old enthusiasm for monarchy is slowly being replaced by a desire for a republic, as it is in many other European monarchies, where there have been too many scandals for the public to stomach.

        Apparently, figures released today, say William is the most popular British royal and Charles one of the least popular. What was surprising about that was that William beat the Queen by a considerable margin.


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