Glowing Globes Gazette
In conjunction with Andrea Mahoney's Spank Shop Glowing Globes Gazette is pleased and proud to present Beth's 2nd installment from the recent Women's World Soccer Cup.
How to fix performance problems
One team in the World Cup that proved to be highly inconsistent was England. They opened group play by tying Mexico 1-1. Most bookmakers had picked England to win and to win rather handily. Next up for England was New Zealand. This was another team that England was picked to crush. However, at halftime of that match, the Football Ferns, as the New Zealand team is known, were leading 1-0, thanks to a goal in the 18th minute by Sarah Gregorius. After half time was over, the Kiwis were dominating England, and it looked like New Zealand just might get its first World Cup win. Thanks to goals by Jill Scott in the 63rd minute and Jessica Clarke in the 81st minute, the unthinkable did not happen. England was still alive in group play, while New Zealand had been eliminated. However, thanks to the tie against Mexico, England had not yet secured a berth in the knockout round. They would have to face Japan, a team that had handily beat both Mexico and New Zealand.
Going into the match against Japan, England knew that a win or a tie would put them into the elimination round. A loss, depending on what happened in the Mexico / New Zealand game, could send them home. Based on how England had played in its previous two matches, it was anyone’s guess as to what might happen against Japan. I think much of the world, and especially the Japanese team, was surprised at the English team that showed up. On the stats page, the Three Lions did not dominate any category, but stats do not win football games, goals do that, and England made the most of its chances, winning 2 – 0, and winning their group as well.
The proud English Lions in their team photo.
Getting to the bottom of the problem
I was curious as to what happened to the lackluster English football team that showed up for its first two matches that caused it to play Japan so well. I talked to team captain Faye White to see what had made the difference for England in this crucial match against the eventual world champions.
“Our coach, Hope Powell, was really pissed off at us during the New Zealand match,” Ms. White told me. “At halftime, she really blistered our ears as to how poorly we were playing and our lack of finishing. There was no reason we should be losing to our little sisters, as she refers to the Kiwis. Even though we ended up winning the match, it was doubtful until the end. After the match, Coach Powell decided she needed to blister more than our ears if we wanted to have any chance against undefeated Japan.”
Being a reporter for the Glowing Globes Gazette, certain phrases catch my ear, and Faye White had just said one of them. What, I wanted to know on behalf of my readers, did Coach Powell intend to blister? Ms. White looked at me for a moment, as if she thought I might not be too bright before she answered me.
“Our bums,” she stated. “What else do you think she would blister?”
“You mean she spanked you?” I asked as a follow up question. Again I got the look of her wondering what my IQ was, and where was my keeper.
“Of course she spanked us,” came the reply. “Why do you think they call it the English vice?”
What a World Cup this was turning out to be. Here I had my second confirmation of a team that employed spanking as a motivational/disciplinary tool. On top of that, FIFA officials also employed corporal punishment on officials who performed poorly. In follow up questioning, Faye White provided me the details as to how England disciplines its players.
“It depends on when our next match is, as to what Coach uses on us,” Ms. White explained. “Normally, she prefers to use the cane, and she has one that will make you change your ways just looking at it. However, it’s fairly impossible to play world class football on a freshly caned bum. So, if our next match is in less than two weeks and there’s any chance you might play in it, she uses a heavy strap instead.
“So after the New Zealand match, we met in the locker room of the training pitch. Coach let us know in no uncertain terms that our performance had been unacceptable in our first two matches and that punishment was in order. The first XI of the match were to get 15 strokes each, and the substitutes who played in the match were to get 10 each. Laura Bassett, who didn’t play in the match asked about the penalty for those who did not play. Coach said they would not get strapped as they hadn’t played. Bassett said that she felt as responsible as those who did play and felt that she should get the strap, too.
So Coach Powell agreed to give 10 to any substitute who didn’t play who felt she should also be punished. My heart filled with pride when every substitute on the team said she would take a strapping.
“Normally, Coach punishes us in private, but since the entire team was getting the strap, she did it in the locker room, with each of us watching the others get it. One by one, we would approach one of the locker room benches, drop our shorts and knickers, bend over, and take our punishment. Coach Powell may be a world class soccer player and coach, but I swear she must play tennis in her spare time. She really knows how to lay it on. She punished the subs first, followed by the starters. As captain of the match, I had the honor of going last. When it was my turn, I told her that I should get more than the others, because as captain, I should have done a better job of motivating my team. She agreed and said I would get both a starter’s share and a sub’s share, for a total of 25. Her arm had lost none of its vigor, and going last did not save my backside any. My bum was sore for days.”
A relaxed looking Faye White in a publicity shot. The English player was somewhat less relaxed under her team manager's strap during the World Cup.
A determined looking Hope Powell coaching her girls in the more conventional manner.
Laura Bassett on the pitch, competing for her team.
Since Ms. White didn’t play in the match against Japan, I was a bit curious, wondering if a sore bottom had kept her out of the match. She assured me it had not. She had tweaked her ankle late in the New Zealand match and was not up to playing against Japan.
Success is achieved.
Coach Powell’s methods certainly seemed to work in getting the Three Lions to play an outstanding match against Japan. Unfortunately for England, the magic worked for just one match, and England fell to France in a penalty shoot-out four days later. I asked the team captain if Coach Powell gave another group punishment after the match.
“No, she didn’t,” Ms. White responded. “You may find it surprising, but Coach realizes that being knocked out hurts more than the cane ever could. After our last group meeting, I went up to Coach and told her I deserved the cane for missing England’s last penalty. She told me no, if anyone deserved the cane, it was she as the coach, for not preparing us for that moment. I thought, that’s a heavy burden to bear as the coach. I know she can get the sack as punishment for us not doing better, but I know how much a good caning or strapping can make you feel on the inside, even while your bum is still throbbing. You feel like you’ve done something to make amends with your teammates, and that’s not something she gets to experience as the coach.”
After I finished interviewing the English captain, I had to wonder, if Glowing Globes Gazette had given me a big enough expense account to interview every World Cup team, if I would have discovered that all the teams employed some form of corporal punishment. Or would I find that the English vice is limited to teams that speak English?