Monthly Archive: June 2010

France Fall At The First 3

France Fall At The First

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...

World Cup 2010: Nigeria 2-2 South Korea 4

World Cup 2010: Nigeria 2-2 South Korea

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...

World Cup 2010: South Africa 2-1 France 5

World Cup 2010: South Africa 2-1 France

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.

World Cup 2010: Mexico 0-1 Uruguay 2

World Cup 2010: Mexico 0-1 Uruguay

My first memories of Uruguay as football team – and quite possibly of their existence as a country at all – came from the World Cup in 1986. They were in Scotland’s group then, and were portrayed as thugs, a bunch of big cheating, spoiling, fouling, cynical bruisers who would – if the ref let them – hack Scotland’s magnificent collection of creative wizards out of the tournament. In the event, of course, Scotland did get some help from the ref; Uruguay played the last 89 minutes with ten men, but a Scotland side who had in any case already lost to Denmark and Germany weren’t good enough to break them down.

John Terry & English Expectations 9

John Terry & English Expectations

On Friday night in Cape Town, the England 2010 World Cup team played as if they had passed into the spirit world. All but invisible, they made an absolute mockery of their pre-tournament hype...

World Cup 2010: Spain 2-0 Honduras 2

World Cup 2010: Spain 2-0 Honduras

The part-timers from Honduras took on the mighty European champions Spain with it all at stake: a loss for the Spanish side would see the tournament favourites eliminated at the first hurdle. What could possibly happen? Well, naturally enough, Spain won at a canter. However comfortable the performance, though, the margin of victory could yet cause some furrowed brows and frenzied abacus work come this Friday evening’s Group H deciders.

World Cup 2010: Chile 1-0 Switzerland 0

World Cup 2010: Chile 1-0 Switzerland

Well if I’ve only got one pre-tournament prediction right so far, I’ve got it right even more convincingly than I imagined – that the South American teams would all do well. Their combined record for the first two rounds of games reads Played 10, Won 8, Drawn 2. (Compare and contrast with the combined records of Europe’s big five: England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy can boast Played 9, Won 1, Drawn 5, Lost 3 – with Spain still to play this evening.)

Mungo in Africa, part 4 1

Mungo in Africa, part 4

The final group games in the 2010 World Cup are imminent and results are getting critical.  Like all good television channels, Clack TV is not afraid to stick its bloody nose right in and...

The Politics Of The Five Man Midfield 2

The Politics Of The Five Man Midfield

The England team had a “clear the air” meeting with Fabio Capello last night in a bid to try and salvage something from what is starting to look like a disastrous World Cup campaign....

World Cup 2010: Brazil 3-1 Ivory Coast 5

World Cup 2010: Brazil 3-1 Ivory Coast

There is a lot of hyperbole spoken about the Brazilian football team. Probably more than is spoken about any club or national side on the planet. It’s almost a mythology. Admittedly, it’s a mythology...

World Cup 2010: Italy 1-1 New Zealand 4

World Cup 2010: Italy 1-1 New Zealand

When the World Cup was expanded to twenty-four nations for the tournament in Spain in 1982, the decision didn’t come without criticism. Some of it was reserved for the fact that twenty-four nations meant...

World Cup 2010: Slovakia 0-2 Paraguay 3

World Cup 2010: Slovakia 0-2 Paraguay

So, it’s Sunday lunchtime and time for the stout yeomen of Slovakia and Paraguay to enter into battle in The Group (so far) Of Parity. Slovakia need a win more desperately than Paraguay today,...

World Cup 2010: Cameroon 1-2 Denmark 2

World Cup 2010: Cameroon 1-2 Denmark

A match so good even Peter Drury couldn’t spoil it. “Two nations living just a little on their history,” he notes, as the teams come out. And, as an English football commentator, he should...