May 14

PWC14 Second Round: England v Cote D’Ivoire

FT + Pop World Cup 201412 comments • 1,422 views

bebi Today’s second round game sees Group D winners England (managed by Ronald) take on Group C runners-up, Garry McK’s Cote D’Ivoire. ENG ended up with 7 points in their group, while CIV bagged 5 1/2. The winners will take on Croatia in the Quarter-Finals, who just emerged victorious from their game against the Dutch.

R16 4: England v Cote D'Ivoire - Which Do You Pick?

  • ENGLAND: AlunaGeorge 60%
  • COTE D'IVOIRE: Bebi Philip ft Debordeau 40%

Total Voters: 78

Poll closes: 6 May 2014 @ 13:00

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Voting ends on Tuesday! Songs – and farewells to the Netherlands and Cameroon – below the cut.

ENGLAND: AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It”

“You know you like it, but it drives you insane… Hopefully you like England’s latest pick and it drives you insane (in a good way). This song did drive me insane upon first hearing it. It’s just so smooth and seductive and refreshing. It’s a great combination of dreamy electropop fused with a touch of 90s R&B. Aluna’s coy, girlish vocals are just the perfect icing on the cake.”

COTE D’IVOIRE: Bebi Philip ft Debordeau – “On S’Eclate”

“The Cote D’Ivoire board is pleased we’ve replicated the team’s performance from 2010 and reached the knock-out stages. But standing in our way of taking the next step is England. Having recently read Bob Stanley’s Pop Tactics and Formations of the UK and US: A Managers Guide, we know England excels in almost any formation. But while it’s advantage England on so many levels, Cote D’Ivoire fans can take heart knowing we can play in ways England can’t. So it’s back to coup decale forged on the packed pitches of Abidjan.

Bebi Philip is our most adaptable player, equally at home with balladry or zouglou but here playing a freestyle role. He also has the best hair in the league. Debordeau is our target man, battle-hardened from regular bouts with DJ Arafat. His tough persona belies great subtlety on the ball. Behind this front pair is our typically effervescent midfield and disciplined defense.

Whether this is enough to pull off a giant-killing performance remains to seen, but if we bow out, we can take pride in doing it while playing the Ivorian way.”

And now a new PWC feature as a thankyou to our departing managers!

SO FAREWELL THEN….: Cameroon, ably managed by Chris, who dominated group A but fell in a narrow defeat to Chile. Their track that found most favour with the crowd was Reniss – “C’Est La Vie”. As one commentator put it, “sometimes I think there is no more euphoric music in the world than modern African gospel bangers”. So here she is again.

, gaffered (is that a word?) by Job De Wit. Some may point to the pitch invasion that helped them in their first game, but they were doing well in that match anyhow, and challenged strongly in the third match too. We’ll leave you with that first track, by Yellow Claw and The Opposites. A commentators’ view: “Yes, it kicks, but it’s not all the same kick. Not that I’d mind it if it were. Anyway, clobbers the opposition.”


  1. 1
    Kat but logged out innit on 1 May 2014 #

    The England team appear to have shown up to the wrong stadium! Luckily I have my portable telly with me and can view their excellent performance from afar.

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 1 May 2014 #

    England have impressed in the knockout stages but here their lone striker quickly ends up repeating themselves and looks out of her depth. The English defence put up a strong resistance but they are no match for the impressive versatility of the Cote D’Ivoire team who change the pace and tactics with ease.

  3. 3
    lartsaegis on 1 May 2014 #

    England entering a little tentative with this rising star performance, relying on a classic 4-4-2 diamond formation that sees forward pair Aluna Francis and George Reid backed by a legion of fab backup dancers, each representing a rhythmic element of the track. While the latter’s performances are certainly formidable and up to today’s task, I feel as if it’s the pair who’s responsible for not making enough chances in the box, choosing to rely too much on their chorus vocally — though it does manage to get through, that silky 90’s RnB mannerism in her voice hits like Brandy, baby.

    Outside the box, George follows suit and delivers a tastefully sonic sparseness that feels on-point and on-goal, but his own uniformity alongside Aluna seems to prevent him from breaking through more than once, it all gets unfortunately predictable after the first chorus. CDI’s defense is too clever to be fooled more than twice. The Capello 4-4-2 is classic, trademark football, but we can see why it’s been phased out since 2010. It doesn’t have the flexibility and creative potential that say CDI’s interpretation of the 4-4-1-1 have. This feels like a misstep, maybe bringing Disclosure back in featuring AG would have been more emphatic tactically, but England may do just fine here anyway.

    CDI’s formation is looking more creatively game, they have a lot more ideas and make a lot of their goals off of set pieces which seem to be in verdant supply — at the same time they trade execution of these ideas for a bit of a lack of consistency that would drive this track home stronger, at times things seem more casual than they should be. What I see here, I like though, the offkilter 4-4-1-1, elements that surprise the English defense, Debordeau: the man in the hole. We may yet see African pop morale rise again with CDI’s ascent to the next round, my vote is for them.

  4. 4
    thefatgit on 3 May 2014 #

    I was all prepared to cheer England towards another victory, but the Ivorians ruthlessly pull apart England’s shattered defence with more tricks than a box set of Dynamo’s greatest illusions. Coup decale? Coup de grace, more like.

  5. 5
    weej on 3 May 2014 #

    Enjoyed the Ivorian performance a great deal, but England have pulled one of my favourite tracks of the 2010s so far out of the bag, and there’s no competing with that.

  6. 6
    Erithian on 4 May 2014 #

    Uncertain start for England, but they win out on their originality and an engaging performance as the striker finds her range. Plenty of style and confidence in the Ivorian team, but their attacks don’t find the net. Quarter-final for England as ever, but is the inevitable shootout looming?

  7. 7
    dollymix on 4 May 2014 #

    I thought this would be an easy win for England when I saw their formation, but credit to Cote d’Ivoire for making it anything but a formality. The Ivorians bring a lot of pace and nifty interplay to the match but lose a little steam in the end and miss their chance to secure a terrific victory with a late goal. They look deflated in the subsequent penalty shootout, which England (contrary to type) appear to have been ready for from the first minute.

  8. 8
    Ed on 4 May 2014 #

    Same result for me: the cool heads of England prevail on penalties, but need an equaliser late in normal time to get there. A damn fine close-run thing. And a really high-quality match, too: the kind of showcase performances you want from world pop’s greatest competition.

    I am sorry to see Cameroon go. Reniss must surely be a contender for Golden Boot (Golden Mic?), in spite of her team’s failure to progress.

  9. 9
    tonya on 5 May 2014 #

    I love Aluna George but I have Europe fatigue. Heaven is full of West African guitar players.

  10. 10
    Ronald on 6 May 2014 #

    I will say I was a bit worried looking at the comments here but I should know by now not to let them get to me.

  11. 11
    Tom on 6 May 2014 #

    Congratulations England and commiserations Cote D’Ivoire – a hard-fought game that one.

    England now have a quarter final against Croatia to look forward to. This is – I believe – the furthest perennial sleeping giants England have got in a Pop Football tournament. Will this be their year, or will the tactically unpredictable (yet astute) Croats extend the years of hurt?

  12. 12
    Garry on 7 May 2014 #

    It was fun while it lasted but congratulations to Ronald, a worthy winner. At least the result saves me having to go up against Croatia who were my favourite team in the group stages.

    Actually I’m surprised I even made it this far considering there was a civil war over 2010/11. I learned some artists haven’t returned since the war, but the scene is gradually getting it’s vibe back.

    In case anyone is interested, here are a few more tracks on my shortlist. They are different to what the other west African countries produced. The civil wars affected which outside influences came – there isn’t much rnb for isntance. The country’s music is predominantly party music – think coup decale as their techno or house club music – sample, edit, sequence and MC over the top. It found popularity when the zouglou bands (ie the bands who used to play live at parties) found it hard to play in the conflict.

    I didn’t pick any Zouglou – there wasn’t much to pick from though Magic System was active – but one of the best was by Bebi Philip (feat La Magnific) with 1990: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oGviKLttho

    For his part La Magnific is a stand-up comedian and zouglou artist. This track was perhaps my favourite of all the CIV tracks I found. I don’t know why, there’s just an edge to the music and feel-good factor to the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbFmCza44YQ

    Reggae also seemed to disappear after the war though Tiken Jah Fakoly – the country’s biggest reggae name and in exile – released an album in 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEC-8005oXM

    Of coup decale the stars are many: DJ Arafat, Molare, Roland Le Binguiste, Vitale (the African Beyonce no less). On my list was a collaboration between two old timers in Teeyah and Molare. I was worried it was a little too Europe, though the guitars mixed with synth near the end is great: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-HPWyZmMWE

    For Tonya – I hope this track by Meiway keeps you in guitar heaven. He’s singing here in a local dialect, and playing in his own Zoblazo style. Note the hunter also appears in the La Magnific track – I assume he’s a known name in CIV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znd_PUJE16s

    And finally I spent ages looking for someone just… different. I found Gor La Montagne. He who had a hit in 1990 (Zimblo), disappeared, and then returned reborn. I almost put this up against England. I really can’t explain his schtick, but the fact someone in his clips seems to break down in laughter shows they are having a ball: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGRJz-ENTm0

    And finally, with the game over, can I finally ask George to give Andy Partridge his hair back.

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