Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Cup Wednesday: Get your own Brazilian name and England's problems

Wait a second, there are no World Cup games today? What? Seriously? Well, time to get in touch with your loved ones again I suppose, catch up on soap operas and maybe check out the new series of 'Entourage'. Back to work Friday with the quarter finals.

In the meantime, fancy getting your own Brazilian like name? Then check this out.

Meanwhile, ‘Engurland’, what to make of the spectacular English demise. We all knew they were going to crash out amidst great drama, but could anyone have predicted this? Schadenfruede is a terrible, lazy and ugly thing but I would have to raise my hand like a Mexican defender against Argentina, and admit guilt to committing nuclear levels of same on Sunday when England were battered by the brilliant Germans.

Thing is, much as I rejoiced in the over hyped English team being destroyed, it is actually interesting to see where they are going wrong.

Item A on the agenda, their own arrogance. Pre tournament England’s sporting media hypes their national side up to the extent that anything other than lifting the trophy is seen as an abject failure. The English sports media is inherently blind to how limited their football team is. Every single paper, every single online site of English extraction selected their own boys to beat the Germans on Sunday. It was almost entirely impossible to find a dissenting view.

There is an enormous disconnect between the English media and reality when it comes to team England.

We all saw the games. Germany were superb, England stumbled to come second in a group with Algeria in it. How did the English pundits decide that Fabio’s eleven would beat the Germans? Pure unadulterated arrogance.

Secondly, the manager is not the problem. Try this figure on for size. 71.4% - No England manager has managed a better win percentage than Fabio Capello in international tournaments and qualifiers. He is a manager with a proven record of success. Albeit not at International level yet, but a stunning record of 9 league titles in 16 attempts (including Juventus of course) should speak for itself. It is obvious that at he knows what he's doing.

It would make more sense to look at the players and their inflated reputations. Frank Lampard? Decent attacking midfielder, who scores plenty of goals in an advanced role for Chelsea, whilst surrounded by top class talent. My feeling is England are expecting one thing and Lampard is providing another. The man they ask to win the ball back, Gareth Barry, honestly, can you say you have seen him dominate a game this side of 2010? I know I haven’t. Then there is Emile Heskey. How many of the Quarter finalists would have Heskey up front for them? Zero. Not one. You could argue that not many of the original 32 would. He is completely and utterly useless at International level. England chose to leave the second top scorer in the much vaunted English Premiership at home (Darren Bent, who might have provided a spark for England), while taking Heskey, who John terry could beat in a race.

Wayne Rooney? I have always had a theory that Rooney would start to struggle with his body type as the years went on, and it appears I may have been right. Watching Rooney stumble around the South African pitches all red faced and flustered, was nothing short of embarrassing. That is the cream of the English crop? Really?

Once again, pre tournament you could not have scripted the English demise with any more panache and flair. They are spectacularly incompetent in terms of International football, and boy is it fun to watch.


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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports


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