Quote of the tour­na­ment . . .

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - World Cup -

I WAS al­ways taught that ac­tions speak louder than words.

A hell of a lot of hot air has come out of the Eng­land camp in the past few days. They might not be fill­ing their boots in South Africa, but Eng­land’s play­ers and their man­ager have had no prob­lem fill­ing col­umn inches.

First Fabio Capello had a pop at his play­ers in the wake of the Al­ge­ria de­ba­cle and then the fan that found his way into the dress­ing room gave them an­other blast.

And the ver­bals kept on com­ing. John Terry shot from the hip when tak­ing a swipe at his boss be­fore all was sur­pris­ingly calm at a show­down squad meet­ing.

Since then we’ve had Frank Lam­pard stressing all is well aboard the good ship Eng­land be­fore Capello held his hands up to mak­ing mis­takes in the open­ing two games.

But now they’ve got all that off their chests, it is time to do some talk­ing on the pitch.

It might be squeaky bum time, but there can be no more stut­ter­ing and stum­bling.

The United States stale­mate and the Al­ge­ria draw are his­tory. We The World Cup com­pe­ti­tion might not be two weeks old, but there will be no greater words spo­ken than those of the French sports min­is­ter Rose­lyne Bach­e­lot. want and need Eng­land to de­liver a fine foot­balling state­ment as they book their place in the sec­ond round.

There can be no hid­ing be­hind sys­tems and se­lec­tions, Capello and his play­ers have an hour-and-a-half to re­store their rep­u­ta­tions and si­lence their crit­ics.

Slove­nia – a nation of just two mil­lion peo­ple and with only 30,000 reg­is­tered play­ers - are min­nows. They should be swept aside with a min­i­mum of fuss.

BUT it won’t all be bad if Slove­nia ad­vance at Eng­land’s ex­pense – their tourist board are of­fer­ing us dis­counted hol­i­days.

There’s 25 per-cent off if they reach the quar­ter-fi­nals; 50 per-cent if they make it to the semis and a full re­fund if they go all the way.

She said of her coun­try’s play­ers: “I told them they could no longer be he­roes for our chil­dren.

“They have de­stroyed the dreams of their coun­try­men, their friends and sup­port­ers.” who took no pris­on­ers.

He is a suc­cess­ful man­ager who takes no non­sense.

And he is a co-com­men­ta­tor who says what he thinks.

McCarthy’s blunt com­ments and dead­pan de­liv­ery stand him out as a rose among the many thorns of­fer­ing their views on the World Cup.

A cou­ple of his crack­ers dur­ing Ar­gentina ver­sus Greece last night were: “The Greeks have only gone and told Pa­past­sthopou­los to go and man-mark Messi. Haven’t they got a player called Smith who could do the job?” and “I’ve got a cam­era on me now which tells you how bad the game is!”

FI­NAL score from yes­ter­day af­ter­noon: Bafana Bafana 2, Buf­foons Buf­foons 1.

France’s in­glo­ri­ous exit was sealed as their 10 men went down to a host nation who also join them on the sc- rapheap.

The only dif­fer­ence is that while South Africa be­came the first hosts to fall at the first hur­dle, they bowed out with their heads held high.

Their peo­ple can be proud of their ef­forts. The sim­ple fact is they just weren’t good enough to ad­vance.

On the other hand French pride is prob­a­bly at the same level as a snake’s stom­ach af­ter their sham­bolic World Cup cam­paign. It’s been brouhaha rather than ooh la la!

And the ma­jor­ity of their many prob­lems have been self-in­flicted.

A striker sent home, a skip­per dropped af­ter be­ing lam­basted by his na­tional me­dia and a coach who will hardly leave a last­ing legacy.

Ray­mond Domenech and his bunch of bitch­ing play­ers have man­aged to en­rage a whole nation and even pee off the pres­i­dent.

My sug­ges­tion is to ban the hun­dreds of drugged-up cy­clists from

A FEL­LOW jour­nal­ist once told me that if you men­tion cer­tain prod­ucts in a news­pa­per col­umn, you might just get free stuff.

He once name-checked some kind of food (it was a long time ago and he has eaten a lot of food) and then re­ceived a big card­board box-load of the stuff with com­pli­ments.

I’m not sure it re­ally works though. My col­league Alan Swann tells me the only thing he has ever re­ceived is an egg be­ing hurled at his head from a pass­ing ve­hi­cle as he walked over Cres­cent Bridge.

I would much pre­fer ba­con my­self. I also like Domi­nos Pizza, Pringles, But­terk­ist pop­corn, Wagon Wheels, Pepsi Max and Corona.

Should any of those com­pa­nies wish to send me goods to help me get through this sofa-bound as­sign­ment, I will be happy to re­ceivethem.

And af­ter spend­ing so much on my cur­rent one, the wife reck­ons we need a new sofa as well. Nudge, wink.

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