When a draw equals a win
Despite their completely arbitrary act of seeding the World Cup draw using rankings from October (therefore excluding the Henry, his hands and the French) Fifa did a pretty good job in Cape Town on Friday.
There was a good mix of glitz and glamour, a nice turn from the walking, talking human football computer that is Fifa General Secretary Jerome Valke plus some fascinating match ups including a Group of Death and another which certainly qualified, if not as a Group of Death, then as a Group of Running A High Temperature.
South Africa still has a mountain of work to get through until 11th June, but it was a promising start.
Becks for Prime Minister, King etc
I do hope that professional David Beckham hater Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail was watching proceedings in South Africa. If so, let’s hope that he also writes some favourable words about the former England captain that he loves to despise. Forget Blatter, Theron and Ntini – Beckham was the star of the show, using his world wide appeal to pull up the England 2018 World Cup bid by its boot strings. He put in a tremendous performance, charming kids and VIP’s alike, working every room he entered and reinvigorating a tired campaign in to a serious contender.
Beckham on the charm offensive in SA
There are, or course, parts of the Beckham empire that jar (I for one won’t be buying his signature fragrance this Xmas and I hope no-one gets it for me) but he’s a man who clearly loves to represent his country be it by wearing the 3 Lions on his chest or three of the sharpest suits you’ll see this side of Saville Row. Credit where credit is due Jeff eh?
Pulis v Beattie
If some reports are to be believed then Tony Pulis and James Beattie had something of an altercation at The Emirates on Saturday after Stoke’s 2 – 0 loss to Arsenal.
Pulis and Beatiie ‘get it on’
Pulis apparently wanted his players to attend extra training on Monday, a move that upset the striker as he’d organised the players Xmas party at a London venue on Monday evening believing that they were all to get 2 days off. Blows were exchanged and the two had to be pulled apart.
What nonsense is this? Anyone who knows anything about footballer’s Xmas parties will tell you that any punch up’s and general poor behaviour should be scheduled for the event itself, not 48 hours in advance!
Premier League rules
It’s often said that the English Premier League is the best league in the world. It may not always provide the most skilful of games but for sheer excitement, no other can match it.
England v USA overtones
Cue Everton v Spurs on Sunday. Spurs are 2 – 0 up and coasting with 12 minutes to play. Back come Everton to draw level at 2 – 2. Then they give away a penalty in injury time. Up steps Jermain Defoe (England) to see his kick saved by Tim Howard (USA). Breathless stuff, hugely enjoyable and an interesting World Cup sub-plot to boot.