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Friday, May 28, 2010

Don't Travel To The World Cup...It's Dangerous!

It's hardly surprising, I admit, but the United States government are paranoid. Presumably, it's because they know someone is genuinely out to get them.

Anyway, this paranoia has prompted the US State Department to issue a travel warning to American citizens thinking of travelling to the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa.

"There is a heightened risk that extremist groups will conduct terrorist acts within South Africa in the near future," they said.

The State Department statement (as it were) went on to add that there was 'no information on any specific, credible threat during the tournament'; which leads me to ask: why bother scaring the hell out of your native soccer fans in the first place.

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posted by mark_s at 5:54 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How To Do Well At A World Cup

Remember South Korea at the 2002 World Cup Finals? Did well, didn't they? Home advantage; some lucky decisions: yup, these things played their part. But, to my mind, the reason for South Korea's success was clever management on the part of then boss Guus Hiddink.

Realising that the South Koreans were a) awful and b) not going to play a competitive match ahead of the 2002 World Cup, Hiddink organised friendlies against the world's best, including both France and England. Thus, he managed to hone a competitive spirit and turn them into a half decent team.

The reason I bring this up now is because it looks like Mexico boss Javier Aguirre is trying to do the same thing. Mexico have already played 5 friendlies this month and they have a further three still to play ahead of the 2010 World Cup Finals.

They have already played England and have Holland, Gambia and Italy still to play. Indeed, the only reason they are playing Gambia is that their original opponents, Portugal, pulled out.

It seems to me that Aguirre is taking the World Cup very, very seriously and is attempting to turn Mexico into a team that is very comfortable playing together, as opposed to a collection of internationals with no more than a week or two training together before the tournament.

It's going to be interesting to see if he can pull it off, but I for one think Mexico might just be a surprise package at the 2010 World Cup Finals.

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posted by mark_s at 9:41 AM 1 comments

Monday, May 24, 2010

Er, Raymond...That's Not A Good Idea

Leaving aside the question of just how Raymond Domenech is still manager of France, you have to question his judgement when he is allowing injured players to mess about in Dune buggies in their time off.

Particularly when they, as defender William Gallas did, might crash the damn thing. Luckily Gallas was OK, but seriously - it's not a very good idea to let professional footballers undertake activities that could result in injury. There's a World Cup soon, you know.

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posted by mark_s at 11:26 AM 0 comments