It's Nearly Over...Until The Next Time

OK, so my semi-final predictions were, er, 100% wrong. That is the reason why I'm not a professional gambler. At least Uruguay gave it a go, though. What was up with Germany - it was like they didn't realise they were in semi-final and just couldn't motivate themselves. After the first 20 minutes or so, I could see the game only going one way. Although I was surprised it took Spain until 70-odd

Posted on: 8 July 2010 | 11:22 am

Predictions For The Semi-Finals

So, we're down to the last four: Holland, Spain, Germany and Uruguay.Frankly, I was expecting at least one other South American side to be here: most likely Brazil, but what do I know.The thing is, though, that only one of these teams has shown any real consistency so far in the tournament and that is: Germany.While, admittedly, they did lose their second match, Joachim Loew's side have shown

Posted on: 5 July 2010 | 1:37 pm

A One Man Battleship

OK, another brief post.Argentina are currently 2-0 down to Germany in the quarter final. Carlos Tevez is trying to win it on his own for Maradona's side. But, better than all this is the BBC commentator who has just said: "look at Tevez, on his own, like a one man battleship". Er, what?Also, nice to see Germany back in their historic black shirts. Couldn't resist that one. Sorry.

Posted on: 3 July 2010 | 10:26 am

Things That I've Enjoyed

Very short post today. Almost a micro-blog. It's just a shame that no-one has invented some kind of micro-blogging service ;)Anyway, right now, I've particularly enjoyed the colour co-ordinated Germany bench. Loew wears blue t-shirt under dark blazer...everyone wears blue t-shirt under dark blazer.Second, Bastian Schweinsteiger. He's starting to resemble a young Dean Windass.As a comparison:Dean

Posted on: 3 July 2010 | 9:51 am

So And Thanks For...Not A Whole Lot

So, England crashed out 4-1 to a lean, young, hungry looking Germany side. And with that, the hopes of a nation are dashed. Such a shame.The problem is, though, not that England got well and truly beaten. The problem is with the whole 'hopes of a nation' thing in the first place.The simple fact remains that a few players aside, England just don't have that strong a squad. They're just not that

Posted on: 28 June 2010 | 8:56 am

Reflections On The Group Stages

The Group stages finished last night with Spain's 2-1 win over a 10 man Chile side, so now would be a good time to look back on the highs and lows of the 2010 World Cup so far.The Hosts: South Africa got drawn in a very tough group but can hold their heads high after a solid draw with a good Mexico side and, of course, after putting France out of the competition in the final group match. Their

Posted on: 26 June 2010 | 2:15 am

England vs Slovenia: Live Blog

16:50 - Even more excitingly, USA have scored against Algeria via Landon Donovan and will win the Group. Rock and, indeed, roll.16:48 - England are on the verge of the knock out stages. The fans are so, so loud. And that's it - England are through. Thank God for that.16:46 - Slovenia break through but a fantastic last ditch tackle from Upson ensures that this match is still England's to lose.16:

Posted on: 23 June 2010 | 7:27 am

England vs Slovenia Live Blog

I've never done a live blog before, but as I'm doing some consultancy work tomorrow (or today, depending on when you read this) and will be working from home, I'll be live blogging the England vs Slovenia match.If you happen to work for the company I'm doing the consultancy for and are reading this, then forgive me but I don't doubt you will all be watching the match too. Anyway, come back here

Posted on: 22 June 2010 | 11:37 am

This Team Will Self-Destruct In Five Seconds

'The mission, should you decide to accept it, is to infiltrate a national football squad of your choosing, and render them next to useless.' Unfortunately, this mission seems to be not so much impossible, but ridiculously easy. France, England, even Italy have all imploded at this World Cup Finals. By far the best example, though, is France. The players have long been dissatisfied with coach

Posted on: 21 June 2010 | 8:07 am

Reflections on Yesterdays Matches

Well, I guess I should start with England vs Algeria. But luckily - due to a winning combination of drunkeness and boredom - I really can't remember anything about it. I think there was the occasional pass that actually reached another England player, but I might have dreamt that. I do remember a forward run, but that could have been Algeria. Let's move on from the paucity of England's

Posted on: 19 June 2010 | 5:05 am

Highlights So Far

Did anyone else see North Korea's press conference on Monday? For me this has been the highlight of the World Cup so far because, Germany aside, the standard of the matches has been dismal.It started with a question from a journalist about North Korea.The response from coach Kim Jong-hun? :"There's no such country named North Korea.’ Next question."And it got better. When questioned about naming

Posted on: 16 June 2010 | 3:44 am

What D'Ya Think Of It So Far?

Legendary British comedians Morecambe and Wise used to have a running gag that went something like this:Ernie Wise (talking about the show): 'So, what do you think of it so far?'Eric Morecambe: 'Rubbish!'.And, frankly, that's how I feel about the 2010 World Cup Finals so far. I'm writing this before Italy play Paraguay, but so far only the opener between South Africa and Mexico and last night's

Posted on: 14 June 2010 | 11:42 am

Well, It Was Worth A Try

A very short post for you today, but certainly one that brought a big smile to my face.Those cunning/inscrutable/mysterious (delete to find your favoured Oriental cliche) North Koreans thought they could put one over the, er, mighty FIFA by registering striker Kim Myong-Won as their third goalkeeper. This would mean those crafty Koreans would go to the World Cup Finals with no less than six

Posted on: 7 June 2010 | 1:10 pm

Dropping Like Flies...And It Hasn't Even Started Yet

Well, the first match of the 2010 World Cup Finals is just under a week away, but already key players are dropping like flies.Just to keep you all updated: Rio Ferdinand suffered an injury in a collision with Emile Heskey that will mean he misses the World Cup.Nigeria's Jon Obi Mikel also misses out as his knee injury hasn't cleared up sufficiently for him to play any part.Ivory Coast striker

Posted on: 5 June 2010 | 7:03 am

Reflections on the England Squad

I suppose I really should have an opinion on yesterday's England world cup squad announcement. Frankly, though, there's been too much written about it already, so I'll do what most bloggers do (and what I hate to do) and that is: comment on the commentary on the story.Firstly, there's been a lot of complaining among the media because the FA delayed the official announcement until 4pm GMT. By this

Posted on: 2 June 2010 | 11:40 am

Friendly Results...Everyone Is Rubbish

Manchester United's second top scorer - 'own goal' - made a timely appearance in England's clash with Japan, scoring 2 goals. This saved everyone's blushes in a very unconvincing 2-1 victory for England.So, it is with relief that I note that every other World Cup bound side who played a friendly today was also rubbish. Well, except Mexico who gave Gambia a 5-1 thrashing.You can see the full

Posted on: 30 May 2010 | 2:01 pm

Don't Travel To The World Cup...It's Dangerous!

It's hardly surprising, I admit, but the United States government are paranoid. Presumably, it's because they know someone is genuinely out to get them.Anyway, this paranoia has prompted the US State Department to issue a travel warning to American citizens thinking of travelling to the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa."There is a heightened risk that extremist groups will conduct terrorist

Posted on: 28 May 2010 | 11:54 am

How To Do Well At A World Cup

Remember South Korea at the 2002 World Cup Finals? Did well, didn't they? Home advantage; some lucky decisions: yup, these things played their part. But, to my mind, the reason for South Korea's success was clever management on the part of then boss Guus Hiddink.Realising that the South Koreans were a) awful and b) not going to play a competitive match ahead of the 2002 World Cup, Hiddink

Posted on: 26 May 2010 | 3:41 am

Er, Raymond...That's Not A Good Idea

Leaving aside the question of just how Raymond Domenech is still manager of France, you have to question his judgement when he is allowing injured players to mess about in Dune buggies in their time off.Particularly when they, as defender William Gallas did, might crash the damn thing. Luckily Gallas was OK, but seriously - it's not a very good idea to let professional footballers undertake

Posted on: 24 May 2010 | 5:26 am

More Maradona Madness

Not content with leaving Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti out of his provisional World Cup squad, Diego Maradona has gone one further in his single-minded attempt to prove to the world that he is, frankly, as mad as a box of frogs.Yesterday, Maradona announced his twenty three man squad and -bizarrely among those to make the final cut - were old time and frankly rubbish striker Martin Palermo

Posted on: 20 May 2010 | 6:58 am

Ballack vs Boateng: It's All Too Silly

After Chelsea and Germany midfielder Michael Ballack was ruled out of the World Cup Finals, after a tackle by Pompey's Kevin Prince-Boateng, it has all kicked off.There have been claims and counterclaims that Boateng set out to deliberately injury Ballack, with even Boateng's own father claiming that there is some 'history' between the two players dating back to when Boateng was playing for

Posted on: 18 May 2010 | 5:22 am

Danny Shittu vs Lionel Messi

Danny Shittu. He plays for Nigeria, you know. He also sits on the bench for Bolton Wanderers.Lionel Messi. He plays for Argentina, you know. He also wins Champions League titles with Barcelona.No contest, right. So, it is with great joy, that I draw your attention to this interview with Shittu in The Daily Telegraph where he says, and I quote, "It is about going out there, having a good time and

Posted on: 14 May 2010 | 5:16 am

Capello In Really Rather Rubbish Shocker!

I woke up this morning and found that everything I knew was wrong. I had gone to bed under the mistaken impression that Fabio Capello was an extremely able and - most importantly - successful coach that knew what he was doing. Maybe it was the 4 Serie A and Champions League titles with AC Milan, the two La Liga titles with Real and a host of other trophies that gave me this false impression.Cos,

Posted on: 12 May 2010 | 8:44 am

Earthquakes, Budget Airlines and Zulus

I don't know if you saw this, frankly ludicrous story in the Daily Star last month? I somehow missed it, which is a shame, because I would have ridiculed it at length on this very blog.Basically, the gist of it is that there's going to be an earthquake during the 2010 World Cup Final in South Africa.However, close reading of the story suggests that, well, there isn't going to be an earthquake

Posted on: 10 May 2010 | 11:52 am

Provisional Squads So Far

OK, we're now getting down to the serious business of the World Cup with a number of nations announcing their provisional World Cup 2010 squads. To avoid the world's most tedious blog post, I'm just linking to news articles detailing who is in and who is out.Germany Provisional Squad : No Hitzlesperger, no Kuranyi - full details here.South Korea Provisional Squad : Park Ji Sung, that Bolton guy

Posted on: 7 May 2010 | 11:58 am