WORLDOFSPORT with Alan Swann
IAM probably alone in finding positives from England’s opening World Cup match.
Of course we were hopeless, clueless and lucky to even snatch a draw against poor opposition, but no team wants to peak too early.
I fancy England will stumble on a match-winning system before the knockout stages which will take us to our traditional quarter-final defeat following a penalty shoot-out.
Unless Fabio Capello has morphed into Graham Taylor in the last fortnight, he will sort us out, starting with the inevitable removal of gaffeprone goalie Robert Green in favour of Joe Hart.
Hart may lack experience, but he will get two games against teams who will be lucky to register a shot against us in which to find his feet.
Unless of course Capello perseveres with Jamie Carragher alongside John Terry. Carragher’s dismal display should have surprised no-one as he’s been in steady decline all season and getting the runaround from a Hull reserve should ensure he doesn’t feature again.
Capello should pick the form choice Michael Dawson. Dawson defied far better strikers this season than those representing Slovenia and Algeria and most importantly he can run quite fast.
The boss must already be regretting not selecting Adam Johnson ahead of Shaun Wright-Phillips. In fact he must be regretting not selecting anyone with a working left foot ahead of the Manchester City misfit, but he must resist moving Steven Gerrard out to the wing just to accommodate the horribly over-rated Gareth Barry, and instead play Joe Cole.
Simple stuff really. Come on Fabio you know it all makes sense. MOST
inevitable result of the first few games? Not Germany’s dismantling of Australia, but Ledley King and Rio Ferdinand picking up injuries within the first week. BIGGEST
conundrum of the first few games? Not who to play up front with Wayne Rooney, but who on earth do you support when Germany play Australia? THE
BBC’s never-ending ability to plumb new depths is strikingly obvious from the list of staff on World Cup duty in South Africa.
Every useless football pundit from Lee Dixon to Gordon Strachan is over there. Apparently Emmanuel Adebayor will even be employed as a panellist, presumably to deliver his expertise on lazy, over-rated strikers.
Smug Gary Lineker is inevitably leading the coverage, but as the incredibly irritating Colin Murray is also on site, the crisp salesman won’t for once be the most unwatchable presenter on television.
Who on earth finds Murray’s nonstop babbling and rambling entertaining or informative? I haven’t met anyone who does. It’s a toss up between Murray and those vuvuzelas which is the most irritating noise on television.
Mark Bright somehow keeps finding work as a co-commentator despite never knowingly offering an insight into a sport he played very averagely for a few years.
No Ian Wright or Garth Crooks which are massive blessings, but surely there are more talented potential employees out there who don’t mangle their English like Alan Shearer? ROBBIE
Savage is to be the new voice of the BBC’s Radio Five football phone-ins. I can’t stand the bloke, but I have to say that he’s the perfect choice for the show.
Most of the callers are partisan prattlers with nothing interesting to say. Savage will feel right at home. CONGRATULATIONS
to the ECB for managing to make Twenty/20 cricket as dull as all the other competitions between county teams.
A vibrant innovative format has been ruined by over-exposure, all in a naked rush to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible.
The trouble is cricket fans like me are already bored by the same old players playing the same type of game night after night.
I also find it offensive that Middlesex, the team run by that great patriot Angus Fraser who play at the spiritual home of English cricket, open the batting with two Australians. HOW
much longer will the England rugby union team and their supporters have to put up with Martin Johnson as their boss?
He’s failed and worse than that he’s failed by setting back English rugby by about a decade. He’s still encouraging the sort of boring, set-play dominated rugby that won the World Cup in 2003 when the rest of the world has evolved.
What a shame such an iconic figure has been damaged beyond repair.
DISMAL DISPLAY: Jamie Carragher.
MAN CITY MISFIT: Shaun Wright-Phillips.