I fancy a Brazilian!
No, that’s not a suggestion to my barber but my tip for who will pick up the World Cup.
We’re approaching the quarter-final stage and now that the English imposters have been walloped, it’s time to concentrate on the real contenders.
This World Cup has really exposed the leading English players for what they are – overpaid, over-hyped and overrated.
For that the media must take much of the blame. Hoodwinked by Premier League and Sky TV marketing spiel, they bought the line that English-born players in the Premier League are world class performers. We now know that that is just not true. The likes of Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and co looked very, very sub-standard compared to some of the Spanish, Brazilian and Argentinian stars on show.
Technically they are definitely inferior and once again this reinforces the need to completely reform the coaching of young players from a very early age. The emphasis must be placed firmly on ball skills and inventiveness and not power and strength.
So as the World Cup reaches the really interesting stage, it’s forecast time and I’ve plumped for Brazil although Argentina could still pip them.
Mind you, I’ve come across a far better tipster than me.
The BBC reported that a ‘psychic’ octopus was said by its aquarium owners to have predicted Germany would beat England! Apparently Paul the octopus chose a mussel from a jar with the German flag on it instead of one in a similar jar bearing the cross of St George. Spot-on Paul has so far correctly predicted all of Germany’s results in South Africa and his keepers claim that he correctly predicted 80 per cent of Germany’s results during the 2008 European Championship.
“Paul’s prediction was phenomenal,” said Tanja Munzig, a spokesman for the German aquarium. “He swam straight over to the German glass, climbed in and even put a lid on top once he was sitting inside.”
Maybe Paul ought to be consulted over whether Fabio Capello should stay on as England manager.
The football pundits are baying for blood and there is a lot of speculation that the Italian will step down.
And already there is a sizeable campaign for a return to an English manager after the failures of Capello and his predecessor Sven-Goran Eriksson. But if the players simply aren’t good enough, then changing the manager will not change anything.
Whilst the country wallows in World Cup depression, footballers outside the Premier League are preparing to return to their clubs this week for the start of pre-season training.
For most fans, the World Cup will soon become a distant but painful memory as the transfer market really kicks into action and a flurry of pre-season friendly matches arrive.
For the players, there is the worry that the country is basking in a heatwave and that running up and down those hills is really, really going to hurt….
Finally, back to the World Cup. Is there anyone on the planet who doesn’t think that FIFA officials are nincompoops?