We’re all armchair experts for this World Cup

PUBLISHED: 15:10 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:23 11 July 2018

England's Raheem Sterling (left) and Colombia's Yerry Mina battle for the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2018, round of 16 match at the Spartak Stadium, Moscow.  Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

England's Raheem Sterling (left) and Colombia's Yerry Mina battle for the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2018, round of 16 match at the Spartak Stadium, Moscow. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

PA Wire

Shouting, confusion, delight and tears - it can only be the World Cup, writes Jo Malone

We’re like hundreds of thousands – probably millions of people - around the Uk, yelling at the telly.

But unlike probably most of those other people, our yelling is a bit random.

“Man on,” says the almost-not-a-teenager-any-more Sunny, deploying one of her two footballing phrases, ‘C’mon Kane’ being the other.

“Get off him,” I add.

We don’t get much more technical, apart from a good amount of ‘oh not again’ as the game is stopped for yet another free kick.

We’re watching England v Colombia and I’d forgotten how tense a game of football can be, and also how much shirt pulling, arm tugging and clambering on one another is involved.

I can’t imagine that happening in the 1970s and 80s when my brother was playing. For a start our mum, a very vocal supporter, would have made it quite clear from the sidelines that wrestling was not acceptable. I remember a lot of ‘leave him alone’ shouts when opponents thought they could cut down or elbow our golden boy out of the way.

It was later mutually agreed that perhaps she didn’t need to watch his matches. But maybe if a few more mums had watched and yelled, today’s players wouldn’t be shoving each other or using their opponents as climbing frames mid-match.

They’d hear that ‘play properly’ shriek from an opposing side mum and learn to use only their feet rather than endure the embarrassment of the wrath from someone else’s very cross mother - or possibly even worse, the embarrassment of the shouting of their own furious mum.

But now we have swathes of adult footballers jostling and pushing their way around the pitch and Sunny and I are the ones yelling ‘ get off him’ as our boys are manhandled, again.

We don’t watch a lot of sport, but if it’s at world class level – whether football, rugby, athletics, netball or Olympic rowing – then watching, applauding and shouting a lot (I guess it’s hereditary) is the least we can do to respect the hard work the sportsmen or women have put in to represent their country.

Suddenly we’re football experts, giving our own running commentary, but also slightly confused.

“Which end is our end?” asks Sunny at one point, and when the commentator says ‘and that’s his first touch’ we suggest Rashford hasn’t been pulling his weight until we realise he’s only just got on the pitch.

Then it’s extra time, then the breath holding penalty shoot outs, and then tears, lots of tears from Sunny.

“I didn’t know I loved football so much,” she cries.

Bring on the Quarter Finals!

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