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Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Psychology Of World Cup Penalties

Judging by Germany 2006 and, well, pretty much every other major tournament, the England football team are, um, not very good at penalties. David Batty, Gareth Southgate and Stuart Pearce are all testimony to that fact.

So the England team need all the help they can get if it comes down to sudden death at the World Cup 2010.

Luckily some sports psychologists with rather too much time on their hands have discovered that more players miss penalties against 'keepers wearing red than any other colour.

Just one problem: the England goalkeeper's strip isn't red. Ho hum. And here we go again.

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posted by mark_s at 2:51 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You Only Sing When You're Winning

Despite Fabio Capello banning England from recording an official World Cup song (for which, I for, thank him deeply), the tradition of the World Cup song is alive and well.

Just check out the prosaicly titled World Cup Song website, which has a bunch of unofficial World Cup songs. View at your own risk, though, as some of them, are, well, shall we say, crap!

However, there are some gems - especially Rik Mayall's entry which has to be seen to be believed. For your delectation and delight, I present the truly crazy 'Rik Mayall's Noble England' :

Even better, host nation South Africa haven't gone down the Capello route and have come up with this cracking tune, from K'Naan and David Bisbal, entitled 'Wavin' Flag'.

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posted by mark_s at 12:22 PM 1 comments

Monday, April 12, 2010

Capello Has A Cunning Plan

Fabio Capello has proved himself to be a great manager whereever he has been - he's won trophies in Spain and Italy and guided England to comfortable World Cup qualification. His credentials are not in doubt.

And part of the reason for his success is not just his ability to mould a squad into winners on the pitch, it's that he takes care of the off the pitch stuff too.

More subtle than, say, Sir Alex Ferguson's rants about referees, Capello is already getting into the heads of FIFA's World Cup refs by suggesting that they should be protecting the world's best players.

It appears that Capello had conversations with FIFA's head of referees Jose Maria Garcia Aranda at a recent conference ahead of the World Cup Finals to suggest that the officials at the 2010 World Cup might like to keep a close eye on "how important it is for the best players to be protected from opposition players who might only be interested in removing them by foul means."

Smart man, Mr Capello. He'll go far!

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posted by mark_s at 5:16 PM 0 comments