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Many words have been written in many places concerning the England performance against Algeria on Friday. So many were written in the heat of the moment, without reflection and analysis. The mainstream media have already made manager Fabio Capello the scapegoat (and this was always likely to be the case, but that’s another column for…
Two more interesting groups play to a finish today – not only can all eight teams still qualify but all of them still have their fate still in their own hands. Albeit, only just in Australia’s case. A reminder again that the order of splitting teams is points, goal difference, goals scored, head-to-head records, then drawing of lots.
No-one has done it single-handedly before. And whatever Lionel Messi achieves during the rest of his football career, nothing will surpass his transformation of Argentina – and one managed by “dirty” Diego to boot – into the good guys in the English media. One unfortunate side-effect of this astonishing volte face is that there’s only…
“It might also have something to do with BBC’s highlights presenter Colin Murray being such a turn-off,” suggested Charles Sale in his Daily Mail newspaper diary column last week – “it” being ITV’s daily World Cup highlights programme averaging a million viewers compared to the BBC’s 846,000. It is rare for ITV to outperform the…
In England, it isn’t difficult to run into Francophobia. Sometimes it feels as if a range of feelings from mild dislike to irrational, rabid hatred are hard-wired into our DNA. As such, those of us that like (or even love) the country that lies just the other side of the English Channel can find ourselves…
It’s the fault of Germany, Austria, Argentina and Peru, although it was bound to happen one day, although as Mexico and Uruguay proved earlier, some teams can enter a game knowing that a specific result benefits both sides, and still treat the game as any other. But, just in case the last two games kick…
Twelve years ago, at their own World Cup finals, France comfortably beat South Africa in their opening group game, going on to become the sixth nation to win the tournament at home. Today South Africa became the first hosts in the 80-year history of the competition to fall at the first hurdle, but their blushes were somewhat spared with this spirited display against an abject French side in their last game under Raymond Domenech. Twelve years is a long time in football.