The river was high and flowing fast, so the swimming leg was replaced by running, for fear of the risk that logs etc. in the river might not be spotted and hit the competitors. Attendance was lower because of the unpleasant weather. Captured one strange incident when the 3rd leg German ran into the French runner.
The “incredible true story” of Margaret Trautman, Bert Trautman, Margaret’s father, Sergeant Smythe, and all touched by the bravery and tragedy and hatred of living through the war. Shown again on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day by Broadway, and the cinema knew what they were doing. Cos it is the most visible example of reconciliation between German and British people I’ve ever seen. It is so much more than a football film. (Indeed the commentary of the Wembley final is the one thing the director gets badly wrong.) I’d wanted to see it during its release in April, but elections got in the way. It’s a great film and I’d say go see, but it’s gone. (5 stars; e:5; s:5; p:4; wiki; Guardian – 3 stars; btw, truish rather than “true”.)
Went down to check the impact of parking along Meadows Way and again, very few issues. The match was to be a bit of an event, with Pakistan scoring highly and England not quite making it up (looked on with 8 overs to go) and losing despite having just won 4-0 in a one-day series.
Reminded of Tottenham Hotspur losing at Notts County in the League Cup badly in the Klinsmann / Sheringham era when their decisive cutting penetrating forward moves were rehearsed in the warm-up but in some kind of slow motion. Ditto Liverpool last night. Building repeatedly from 6 yards out, getting past 4 Liverpool players with passes to 30 yards out and then not finding each other in the next leap forward (typical culprits – Trippier, Alli, Son), or passing back to the keeper, cos it was till all too slow. Just not sure what continental football made of this “all English” final, with most of the players getting ratings of 5 and 6, but it all seemed too ineffective; and lacking in glory. The penalty award after 23 seconds was bizarre. I assumed VAR was going to overturn it – the ball hit the chest, leaving no time to react to a deflection, from a pass that had been going away from goal. Tottenham had 62% of the possession, and many more shots on target, but the possession was never very penetrating and the efforts on target were soft. Tottenham went into the final having lost 5 of their previous 8 games and 19 in the season throughout. They were nearly knocked out of the competition on 5 occasions. They were unlucky in some ways and cup football being what it is, they could have won.
Liverpool came from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona at home in a European Cup semi-final and Tottenham Hotspur came from 3-0 down at half-time away to Ajax of Amsterdam to win on away goals in the 6th minute of added time. Being English teams, both comebacks were declared to be about character. Especially since Arsenal and Chelsea won their semi-finals to create the first instance of all contenders in both European finals coming from one country – England. Except, the teams are commendably international – perhaps Spurs having the most English internationals; none of the team managers are English and 2 of the clubs are foreign owned. I’ve followed Tottenham since I was 7, first saw them when I was 9, and they became my 2nd preference when I was 11 and old enough to watch Salop on my own. I from time to time refer to Spurs as Tottenham Glassjaws and had resolved not to listen to the Ajax game cos I knew there was no point. So guess who I think will win the Liverpool final! (And I was at the 7-0 thrashing in 1978.) So what to celebrate? That Deli flick, yes. But that Liverpool corner. That I did hear, or kinda didn’t, cos the smug commentators, who were soon to point out that Barcelona defenders were sleeping, missed it as well.
A disappointing game, with few clear cut opportunities created. Kinda mixed feelings about Walsall going down, cos that’s another Midlands fixture gone. Meanwhile, my sister was acknowledged for her interest in the club in the programme.