WORLDOFSPORT with Alan Swann
I’M seriously thinking of boycotting the World Cup. I’m sick to death of the competition and it’s still almost a fortnight away.
In fact I’m sick to death of football full stop. I’m not sure I can stand a month of faking, cheating, posturing and arrogance, accompanied by England’s inevitable demise, probably after a penalty shoot-out, in the quarter-finals.
Even Japan’s anonymous footballers were diving around in Sunday’s pointless friendly against England, holding their faces whenever they were slapped on the shoulder. It’s ingrained in professional footballers to cheat at every opportunity and I’ve had a bellyful of it.
As Italy keep proving, the best team won’t necessarily win the World Cup. Luck and terrible decision-making by officials are just as important.
The media coverage in this country will be biased and ruined by commentators who have started to believe that their opinions matter more than people who have played and managed at the highest level. Unless those opinions belong to Alan Shearer, it’s nonsense.
I swear I heard Clive Tyldesley, a man famous only for mentioning he was present at the 1999 European Champions League final at every opportunity, criticise Fabio Capello’s tactics on Sunday.
Still what has Cappello ever done compared to a cliche-spouting commentator like Tyldesley. Nothing if you ignore the league titles with every club he’s ever coached and the fact that he steered England to the easiest qualification in their history, even with Emile Heskey and Gareth Barry in his squad. AND
those last two England friendlies were a complete and utter waste of time unless Capello needed further proof that Theo Walcott’s legs are about a thousand times quicker than his brain.
Our desperation and panic is now so great that Gareth Barry has suddenly become a vital cog in our World Cup team.
How did we get into this state? Barry is a one-footed, plodding midfielder who has just endured an average season at Manchester City and who passes to the opposition more than to his own team.
But he misses one match against Mex- ico, when admittedly England defended like lemons, and we are are subjected to daily bulletins about Barry’s poorly ankle.
Barry is not Wayne Rooney. He is not even Ashley Cole. His absence is an irrelevance. ON
the other hand Ledley King’s absence would be a bonus. I always thought the praise he received as Spurs sneaked into the fourth and final Champions League place was a bit over the top.
It’s easy to mark statues like Emannuel Adebayor, but even the movement of the Mexico forwards was too much for King.
Add in the fact that he’s unlikely to be fit for a vast chunk of the tournament and it’s clear England are taking a huge gamble including him.
I have a theory that Rio Ferdinand and King are on a glorified job share. They will take it in turns to be fit enough to partner John Terry. IWOULD
have considered taking Shaun Wright-Phillips to South Africa, just to ensure we didn’t suffer the inevitable rant from Ian Wright about how badly treated his son has been. LOOKING
at the threadbare nature of England’s original 30-man World Cup squad, it’s no surprise that Capello appears to be having second thoughts about his future from the autumn onwards.
I have found 11 players for the opening game against the United States, I sort of trust. If any of them get injured then we are will be in big trouble.
Forget the nonsense about 4-5-1 and holding midfielders, If we can’t get through a group which also includes Algeria and Slovenia playing 4-4-2 and going all-out attack, the players and manager shouldn’t bother coming home. My team v USA: (4-4-2) Joe Hart Glen Johnson, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ashley Cole.
Aaron Lennon, Frank Lampard, Steve Gerrard, Joe Cole. Wayne Rooney, Peter Crouch. They’ll win 3-0 minimum. We can save the fancy tactics for the later stages. down to an extent, not signing players of equal class, yet to suggest Wenger’s prudence is an arrogant failure is ridiculous.
If the key to sucess is spending millions year on year how come Spuds never look like winning the Premier league?
on a shoestring Wenger has achieved champions league qualification 13 years on the trot, a feat only matched by a couple of other clubs.
If we can no longer have the joy of Fabregas it will not set us back 10 years. We have lost Henry, Vieira and others and survived.
As for Spuds finishing above us, that’s as likely as you writing an article declaring your undying love for all things Arsenal. Mark Baker
NOT A QUICK THINKER: Theo Walcott’s legs are about a thousand times quicker than his brain.