"Football, bloody hell!"
The football press never won a World Cup
273 days left until the kick-off in South Africa and 11 teams have already qualified for the World Cup: Australia, Brazil, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Ghana, Netherlands, England, Spain, Paraguay and of course the host squad. On the other hand, some of the other big national teams such as France, Portugal, Argentina or Germany haven’t got their tickets yet – something which won’t ruin the whole scenario that WC offers every 4 years.
Back to the qualified teams, we have Brazil, England and Spain, which have had great performances in the last months – e.g. Seleçao‘s victory over Argentina in Rosario or the eight wins out of eight matches for both European teams in their respective groups.
Are those the big achievements they need to be considered favourites in the tournament?
I don’t think so, but reading Harry Redknapp‘s think piece in today’s The Sun entitled “Now we’ll win the World Cup” it seems he doesn’t agree with me.
Tottenham manager says:
There is maturity about the key players now. As a manager it makes your mouth water to think how Fabio Capello will take that squad to South Africa and take on the world.
We hear a lot about Spain, the European champions, but they do not have any better defenders than John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.
Back in 2006 the squad was short of forwards, but look at the armoury now. Peter Crouch is an enigma to foreign defenders. There is Defoe, Wayne Rooney and big, revitalised Emile Heskey.
There is maturity, there’s a style, there are eight victories and nine months left to the final challenge. There’s nothing yet, only words.
Do you really think that, if England faced Spain, defenders would be the key to winning? Would the presence of JT and Rio’s be the only asset for Capello’s team against the Iberian side? Are Puyol and Piqué bad players? Come on Harry, let’s keep our feet on the ground.
Armoury? That really makes me laugh. Of course Wayne Rooney is a world-class footballer, but what about Defoe or Heskey? Do you really think those players can be compared to Luis Fabiano, Drogba, Torres or even Milito? That would be ridiculous.
Nevertheless, British press is not the only one which goes too far with their compliments for their squad. Spanish journals, such as MARCA or AS, are already living the World Cup and their favourites to win in Johannesburg are Brazil, England and of course Spain. Then we have verde-amarela fans, who were always cautious and respectful but, lately, have become arrogant and snobby.
In my opinion, we should wait a little, at least till we know if France, Germany or Argentina will be in the tournament. Then we will be able to predict, to bet or simply talk about it. Right now, we just have a blank page.