World Cup shambles
The reason London won the 2012 Olympic Games was because they got so much of the bid right. It helped that they had as their figurehead, Lord Sebastian Coe. Understated but statesmanlike, passionate, enthusiastic and acutely aware of how to play the political game. Indeed, many believe it was Coe’s final address to the IOC that swung the vote. It probably helped too that he’d won two Olympic Gold medals.
England’s World Cup bid for 2018 is headed up by Lord Triesman. As Neil Custis of the Sun pointed out on Sky Sports this weekend, the average football fan wouldn’t know Triesman if he slapped them in the face. England need to appoint a new figurehead, and quickly. A man that will inspire and who Fifa dignitaries would want to walk over to and shake by the hand. Triesman couldn’t inspire me to change my 3 week old socks.
International friendlies, who needs them eh? Certainly not England who fielded a B team in the defeat to Brazil, nor Arsenal who will now be without the services of Robin van Persie for a least 6 weeks after he was injured playing for Holland against Italy. George Burley’s probably not too keen on them either after his Scotland team was taken apart by Wales.
That said, John Toshack would be entitled to feel somewhat differently after the wonderful display from Aaron Ramsey. The 18 year old was involved in all 3 goals against the Scots, including a fantastic solo effort. Wales and Arsenal have a real gem on their hands.
Diego Maradona has been given a two month ban by Fifa following his obscene tirade after Argentina qualified for the World Cup finals. The Argentina coach is prohibited from “any football-related activity” until 16th January. Mind you, judging how Argentina played during their World Cup campaign, I assume that the ban won’t rule him out of coaching them during this period. Football related – hardly!
England’s rugby players certainly looked the part on Saturday against Argentina in their new purple Nike kit. Ugo Monye even more so, wearing a pair of limited edition white and purple Nike Superfly’s.
A shame then that the England management continue to play him out of position at full back. The unfortunate Monye, a revelation on the Lions tour of South Africa when playing on the wing, was all at sea in the wet and windy conditions as England stumbled to a 16 – 9 win. Never has a boot made for speed and movement been so chronically underused.