First Published in The Independent, June 22nd 2006

Come on, England – Germany expects

Lucky England. Poor Swedes. That is the summary after the last four matches of Groups A and B. It was great to see how both teams tried to avoid playing Germany in the last 16.
The best scene of the England v Sweden match came shortly after the Swedes equalised for the second time and pressed for the winner. Steven Gerrard got hold of the ball and hoofed it into Row Z in an attempt to hang on to England’s lead in the group just so they could play Ecuador.
Undoubtedly both sides had seen Germany hammer the South Americans in the afternoon in what must have been the best performance of any team at World Cup 2006. Forget about the Argentines’ 20-odd pass move – Germany efficiently needed half as many touches to put the ball in the back of the net. I cannot believe I did not back Miroslav Klose to become top scorer at 27-1 prior to the tournament.

I wouldn’t have thought that I would write so euphorically about Deutschland, but the recent improvements have been massive. Ecuador only got into our half when they had to restart the match after conceding another goal. Now all Germany expects nothing less than victory – especially if the other teams rest their best players when they play us.

Before the England game I got asked by a big, tattoo- riddled Yorkshireman, whom I met in a pub outside Cologne’s RheinEnergieStadion, how big a deal a last-16 encounter with England would be for Germans.

Well, try to answer that one without offending anyone. Bear in mind that Germany have been to 12 finals in major competitions and England to one. I replied with another question: “How big a deal do you think is it for Man United supporters to play West Brom in the third round of the FA Cup – at home?” Then I ran away.

The best thing about my day in Cologne was that I managed to get into the ground. Don’t ask me how but all I needed was a used ticket for Switzerland v Togo, a match that had been played the previous day in Dortmund. The ticket controls at the World Cup are worse than anybody could have imagined.

Being Germany’s Comedy Ambassador in the United Kingdom, I shall cross my fingers for England in their next three matches.
Winning the World Cup is one thing but beating you in the final gives me bragging rights for the rest of my days. Even if they might be numbered.

Posted by Henning Wehn on Thursday, June 22nd, 2006.
Filed Under: Writing


Enjoy this blast from the past? Here's some up-to-date live shows coming up..

October 2017

13 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – SOLD OUT
14 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – SOLD OUT
15 – KETTERING Lighthouse – SOLD OUT
20 – KENDAL – Westmoreland Hall – TICKETS
21 – CARLISLE – Sands Centre – TICKETS
22 – NEWCASTLE – Theatre Royal – SOLD OUT
26 – LONDON – Hackney Empire – TICKETS
28 – MELTON MOWBRAY – Melton Theatre – SOLD OUT
29 – CHESTERFIELD – Pomegranate Theatre – TICKETS

November 2017

3 – CRAWLEY – The Hawth  – SOLD OUT
8 – READING – Hexagon – SOLD OUT
9 – CANTERBURY – Marlowe Theatre – SOLD OUT
12 – SHREWSBURY – Theatre Severn – SOLD OUT
16 – CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange – SOLD OUT
17 – BRIGHTON – Dome  – SOLD OUT
18 – HAYES – Beck Theatre – SOLD OUT
19 – SALISBURY – City Hall – SOLD OUT
23 – BARNSLEY – Civic Theatre – SOLD OUT
24 – SCARBOROUGH – The Spa Theatre – SOLD OUT
25 – NOTTINGHAM – Playhouse – SOLD OUT

December 2017

2 – LONDON Cadogan Hall TICKETS

Eins, Zwei, DIY

New DVD & Download
DVD on Amazon
Download at iTunes

See Henning Live!

Henning Knows Bestest DVD

You've got some catching up to do!
Have a look at Henning's previous offering.
Download now!

No Surrender DVD

You've got A LOT of catching up to do!
Have a look at Henning's earlier offering.
Download now!

Henning’s Newsletter

Pop your email address in here!