WORLDOFSPORT with Alan Swann

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - World of Sport - 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10)

EPray. Tha t Rooney and Ashley Cole NGLAND may have a squad full of play­ers who are not even reg­u­lars in their club sides, but there is a way for them to win the World Cup.

Fabio Capello, who thank­fully took my ad­vice and left Theo Wal­cott out of his trav­el­ling party, must now im­ple­ment my 10-point plan to con­quer the world.

Don’t peak too early. You don’t want to suf­fer a drop in form in the knock-out stages when a de­feat will send you back home. Los­ing a group game or at least play­ing badly can be a good sign and Capello can make this hap­pen by play­ing Emile Heskey in place of Wayne Rooney.

Hire Rooney an anger man­age­ment coun­sel­lor. Eng­land’s great­est tal­ent un­der­stand­ably gets frus­trated at re­ly­ing on clowns like Wal­cott and Aaron Len­non (Rooney was sim­mer­ing through­out the re­cent friendly with Ja­pan) for a de­cent pass, but World Cup de­fend­ers will know all about his tem­per tantrums and will try and wind him up.

Don’t be afraid. The best teams don’t al­ways win the World Cup as Hol­land in 1974 and Brazil in 1982 proved. Eng­land are far from be­ing the best team, but they are as good as 2006 win­ners Italy.

Ban the WAGS. They are a dis­trac­tion and an ir­rel­e­vance and it’s prob­a­bly best for team morale that temp­ta­tion is not placed right un­der John Terry’s nose.

Sack the paper de­liv­ery boy: Ev­ery Eng­land win will lead to pre­dic­tions that we will win the whole thing, ev­ery Eng­land de­feat will be treated as a dis­as­ter. Play­ers also sulk when they get bad marks (bit like at Posh re­ally) so best they don’t read them.

Eat right: Stay away from any restau­rants rec­om­mended by South African Benni McCarthy, the fat­test pro­fes­sional foot­baller since Tony Kelly ar­rived at London Road.

Don’t pick David James: James has started moan­ing that the World Cup balls are mov­ing about too much and caus­ing him prob­lems. As James has had enough trou­ble sav­ing the Premier League balls he should be used to, this is a cause for con­cern,

Keep it sim­ple: Most foot­ballers are thick so don’t over-com­pli­cate the tac­tics. You could pick any team from the 23-man squad (apart from in­clud­ing Stephen Warnock) and qual­ify from our su­per-soft group.

Of­fer banker-style bonuses: Money is af­ter all the sole mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor for the vast ma­jor­ity of pro­fes­sional foot­ballers. I won­der how many of them would have pulled out if the World Cup was like the old Ry­der Cup and play­ers turned out for noth­ing. stay fit for the en­tire tour­na­ment, that no Eng­land match goes to penal­ties, that the in­evitably bad ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions go in our favour, that Brazil and Spain get knocked out early and that Diego Maradona stays in charge of Ar­gentina thus neu­ter­ing the team with the most gifted in­di­vid­u­als. IDON’T

even think the in­jury to Rio Fer­di­nand is the dis­as­ter some are mak­ing out.

He would have laboured through­out the com­pe­ti­tion if his form for Manch­ester United last sea­son was any­thing to go by. Fer­di­nand isn’t fit and I’d be sur­prised if he man­ages 20 games in any sea­son be­fore his re­tire­ment.

I’d rather have a fit and keen Michael Daw­son than a show pony with a bad back. IFEAR

The sack­ing of Rafa Ben­itez has come far too late to save Liver­pool from be­com­ing a medi­ocre midtable side.

Ben­itez was a prob­lem and should carry a lot of the blame for Liver­pool’s ter­ri­ble form last sea­son. Some of his sign­ings made Barry Fry look as­tute in the trans­fer mar­ket.

But if Liver­pool’s trans­fer kitty re­ally is about a third of what they paid for Ital­ian dud Al­berto Aquilani, they are fin­ished as a force in this coun­try.

Tra­di­tion and loy­alty mean noth­ing to mod­ern day foot­ballers. With no Cham­pi­ons League foot­ball next sea­son, and no re­al­is­tic prospect of it re­turn­ing any time soon, it will be a mir­a­cle if their cur­rent stars don’t leave this sum­mer.

Sadly the fees re­ceived for Steven Ger­rard and Fer­nando Tor­res will prob­a­bly go to­wards ser­vic­ing the An­field debts rather than on hir­ing re­place­ments.

That will test the le­gendary loy­alty and fa­bled wit of Scouse sup­port­ers. I sus­pect they will be found want­ing. ITOLD

you a cou­ple of weeks ago that it was the silly sea­son. How else do you ex­plain the fact that Shaun Batt (be­low) is likely to start next sea­son play­ing a higher stan­dard of foot­ball than Ge­orge Boyd? AP­PAR­ENTLY

Eng­land paceman Steve Finn is the new Glenn McGrath. A state­ment that will have the Aussies chuck­ling rather than shak­ing ahead of The Ashes se­ries in the win­ter.

Finn has taken wick­ets against Bangladesh at home and away. If I was 10 years younger I’d be dis­ap­pointed not to skit­tle a few of their bats­men.

How typ­i­cal of this coun­try’s des­per­ate me­dia to build some­one up so ridicu­lously. The pres­sure on a young man who has yet to learn to stay on his feet af­ter bowl­ing will be im­mense.

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