We have now seen every team. Most of the opening matches have been cagey but now teams have to start getting results and that can only mean desperate measures. The last resort – they are going to have to actually play some football…
Results – Wednesday 16th June
|Group H:||Honduras||0 – 1||Chile|
|Group H:||Spain||0 – 1||Switzerland|
|Group A:||South Africa||0 – 3||Uruguay|
Results – Thursday 17th June
|Group B:||Argentina||4 – 1||South Korea|
|Group B:||Greece||2 – 1||Nigeria|
|Group A:||France||0 – 2||Mexico|
Fixtures – Friday 18th June
|Gazza’s Daily Football Factoids|
|England’s Glen Johnson was arrested in B&Q for stealing a toilet seat along with Ben May of Millwall.|
|Mystic Ron’s World Cup Horoscope|
|Can Germany continue their fine start to the world cup? Ja, naturlich! The force is strong in this one and they will deal with Serbia with little problem. The US face Slovenia and will be on a high after their draw with England. They will have to settle for a draw however as Slovenia will be feeling stubborn. The big one – England against Algeria? It won’t be a walkover but Fabios men are on a biorhythmic upturn and will win! Hooray!|
|Pre Match Comment|
Today will go down as the day France imploded. We knew there were deep rifts within the squad and management team and the question was when and not if France would come a cropper. Manager Raymond Domenech knows that even a win in their final group game to secure qualification may well not be enough to secure his tenure beyond the world cup.
After their sticky start all eyes are on England and they are expected to improve. There’s a belief within the camp and it would be no surprise to see a more attacking formation to face the Algerians. There’s no doubt that the surprise defeats inflicted against Spain and France will have taken the spotlight off the England players. Let’s see how that translates to performances on the pitch.
View from the sofa
Apologies for the lack of a post yesterday but life rudely intervened. Three fascinating games took place that really shook the competition up. First the Chile team won their game with a confident attacking verve that has marked them out from most other teams so far with their conservative performances. The final match of the first round of games saw the shock of the tournament with average Switzerland stunning joint favourites Brazil with a 1 – 0 victory. That result came from nowhere and we won’t know till the next game whether it was just an off day for Spain. The evening match saw hosts South Africa sensationally thrashed 3 – 0 by Uruguay. They were as poor as Uruguay were good and their participation beyond the group stages looks to be highly doubtful
Today served up more drama – things are certainly hotting up. Argentina followed up their dominant but narrow vistory against a useful looking Nigeria with a 4 – 1 defeat against a resilient South Korea. There’s no mistake that this team are genuine contenders – at least until manager Maradona screws it up. The appalling Greeks remained appalling but somehow contrived to beat Nigeria largely due to a sending off. They remain crap however. Yet more drama in the evening when France’s anticipated capitulation finally materialised. A dreadful performance saw them dispatched by Mexico and they are clinging onto hopes of qualification, although this would only prolong the inevitable.
It’s England tomorrow and suddenly our belittled victory over Mexico in a recent friendly is looking more impressive. I’m confident that our formation and performance will improve and – unless we are very unlucky – this should be enough to give us a much needed win against Algeria.
Anyway, this world cup thing. Is it worth it? FIFA have insisted that the Jules Rimet trophy is made of solid gold but Martyn Poliakoff of Nottingham University has calculated that this cannot be the case because the weight would prevent players from easily lifting it.
His contention is that it must be hollow. I feel that his theory is only half formed. The logical extension of his assertion is that it is not only hollow but made of chocolate and contains a toy. How great would that be – if the winning team hoisted the trophy, then sat circled on the pitch ripping off golden foil and breaking chunks of chocolate off. We can all dream…