World Cup 2010: football culture around the world

Kicking off this morning’s World Cup review is a selection of photographs from The Telegraph. “World Cup 2010: football culture around the world” put me in the mood for a great 2010. Enjoy.


England fans face struggle for World Cup tickets

England fans are in for a raw deal on World Cup 2010 tickets, according to The Telegraph this morning. While the report goes on to say the demand for tickets this time around will probably be lower than 2006, mainly because of the increased costs involved, the Football Supporters’ Federation believes the lessons of 2006 have been forgotten. Then their “Tickets for Fans not Sponsors” campaign raised awareness of the problems many ordinary fans faced in getting hold of tickets. They need to do the same for 2010.


Hargreaves for England’s 2010 World Cup squad?

Almost certainly a shoo-in for England’s best player during the 2006 World Cup, Owen Hargreaves was named Man of the Match in the quarter final against Portugal and ended up being England’s only successful penalty taker. He had a great future ahead of him as the anchor of England’s midfield. All that seems a long time ago as injury has taken its toll over the past fifteen months. Strangely he’s still being touted as a potential squad member for next year. Is this realistic or just headline-grabbing space filling by journalists?


World Cup 2010 trash talk competition continues

Here are some more early World Cup 2010 trash talk competition entries from Algeria and fans. Ex-Charlton centre back Madjid Bougherra says Algeria play with heart and can beat England. He’s entitled to his opinion, of course, as are the fans who regard these comments as a heaven sent opportunity to have a go. The tournament is still six months away. What are these people going to be like when the action starts?


Best World Cup Players Of The Decade Part I: the 1930s

This is the first in a series of posts entitled Best World Cup Players Of The Decade. The idea is to take each World Cup decade and critically evaluate the teams and players before honouring one player for his performances during the tournaments.


The official World Cup trash talk challenge begins

“Sorry Huh Huh, your side will crumble, you will cry, your mum will cry”. It’s heartwarming to see proper fans using comment boxes to offer their mature and well considered opinions. So begins the World Cup Bafana Bafana 2010 official World Cup trash talk challenge. Send in your examples of players, managers and fans having a go if you see any. Meanwhile, what pairing of World Cup winners and minnows is this referring to?


Should Owen go to the World Cup?

At the time of writing 79% of voters in the Guardian’s “Should Michael Owen go to South Africa?” poll says Yes. I don’t know how many people have voted so far but a mere two comments suggests the topic is hardly catching the public’s imagination.


Capello to rely on “ambulance cases”

Earlier this year four England fans entered a FIFA “Follow Your Team” ballot for tickets to every England game and subsequent matches, whether England are still in the tournament or not. Having won a month off watching footy, now they are telling us all about it in The Daily Mail. I’ll keep an eye on what they say just in case they offend anyone. They look like decent lads but you can never be too careful with the Mail.


Stiff task ahead for World Cup 2010 pun writers

Is it just me or is this report on England players and Viagra, which could apparently help the squad cope at altitude, merely an excuse for puns about erections? It reads like something out of Viz, says one reader.


US media reacts to 2010 World Cup Finals draw

In a change to the traditional World Cup Bafana Bafana look at the media in the UK, this morning I decided to investigate the US reaction to Friday’s World Cup 2010 draw. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long before the 1 – 0 victory at the 1950 World Cup was wheeled out for another day in the sun.


2010 World Cup Finals draw made in South Africa

England draw US, Algeria and Slovenia, while Brazil are in the Group of Death.


World Cup seeds and pots news

After much intense speculation we now know which teams are in which pots for tomorrow’s World Cup finals draw. As suggested here on November 24th the French have paid for Thierry Henry’s juggling act in the play off against Ireland with demotion to a non-seed pot. While FIFA obviously won’t admit it, the French are being punished. Wasn’t it obvious once news broke of the intention to use the October rather than the more traditional November rankings? Now if we can just put the whole sorry episode behind us and all move on.


The Liam Brady School of Interminable Moaning

Today sees the first of two crucial FIFA meetings ahead of Friday’s much anticipated World Cup draw. Yes, it’s the extraordinary meeting convened by the enemy of cheats and charlatans, the scourge of shirt pullers and divers, the nemesis of handball players and anyone else not currently doing very well in the eyes of the watching public and the Irish, Sepp Blatter.


Blatter launches World Cup 'rant'

So Sepp Blatter has attacked the ill-disciplined cheaters of the modern game. In what would almost certainly be described as a rant if it contained the word “fact” and was delivered by a Premiership manager sporting a goatee, the President of FIFA laid into behaviour which he says has become “a threat to the game’s future”. Amazingly, no-one at the Soccerex conference in Johannesburg asked Blatter the most important question: “Where have you been for the past twenty years?”