Thoughts ahead of the World Cup Final

Thoughts ahead of the World Cup Final

I am still out here in South Africa enjoying the latter stages of the tournament. The standard of games and level of performance has definitely increased as the tournament has gone on. I did however feel the frustration and disappointment of the African nations for the manner in which Ghana went out of the competition. There has been great debate over here with all nations voicing their own opinions on a suitable punishment for such blatant cheating. Many are calling for FIFA to change their regulations so that a goal can be given if it is definitely going to cross the line, like a penalty try in rugby. Others believe a player must be punished more severely, given a 5 or 6 game ban to deter them. In my opinion there needs to be a greater deterrent because the Suarez handball in the dying minutes prevented Ghana making it into the semis. It was a real low point of the tournament and a cloud of disappointment covering SA after that event.

And so to the semis, Holland vs. Uruguay was always going to be a tough game but it is fair to say you had to fancy Holland particularly as Uruguay had played extra tine and penalties which would have been both mentally and physically draining. Coming up against a team that hadn’t lost in their previous 24 games was always going to be a tough ask. Although Uruguay battled and the score line suggests it may have been close, in truth Holland was the dominant force in the game. I felt they were fortunate with a few decisions particularly their second goal when Robin Van Persie was clearly offside. However it was good to see the Dutch progress to their first ever World Cup final. The second semi Spain vs. Germany, and after Germany had found such great form throughout the group stages and knockout rounds, everyone felt it would be Germany who would make it through to yet another major tournament final. Having scored 13 goals and with Spain’s less than convincing form prior to the quarterfinals Germany were favourites.

On the night however Spain were worthy winner passing the ball around beautifully and for the first time making the young German team look highly inferior and inexperienced. Although it ended only 1-0, it was a very one sided game and at times the football was simply breathtaking. So we have ourselves an all European final, which no one would have predicted after the group stages. It is great that we will have a winner who has never won it before and that is refreshing for football.

Although England didn’t make it to where we wanted in the tournament, we still have a representative in the final. I think a big congratulation goes to Howard Webb who has had a superb world cup and fully deserves to be given the final to referee.

Following the announcement by the FA that Capello is to continue as England manager, a decision I agree with, it is time to make some big changes to English football. Our emphasis must now be to produce top quality players for the future. As what we are calling the golden generation are in the twilight of their careers, it is worrying for the England fans that the names coming through to the England fray, with all due respect, are not setting the world alight. Hopefully the new FA National Football Centre in Burton will be successful in producing new young talent as well as helping to improve the levels of coaching and management in the English game.

Finally, South Africa has put on a fantastic spectacle and they should be really proud of the tournament they have presented to the world.  With so much speculation prior to the tournament, I think everyone would admit that South Africa 2010 has exceeded all expectation. Well done South Africa.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted by john thomson on August 5, 2010

    hi les lets hope the boys do well this year lets hope we win something spurs are my life and i love them to bits i have been to a few games and meet some of the team but it would be i dream come true to meet the team at white lane before the game but that willl only happen if i win the lottery lol anyway thanks for all your hard work john thomson

  2. Posted by admin on August 9, 2010

    Hi John – thanks for your comments, looks like another fascinating season coming up in the Premiership – we can’t wait!

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