A brief look at a World Cup venue

Some mornings you just shake your head and wonder why people bother. Take today. Having spotted an article entitled “6 Things About Rustenburg - 2010 World Cup Venue” I sat back for what I presumed would be a tour of local pubs and restaurants. The kind of useful information England or USA fans can use. Inexplicably, while there are “popular eateries” and “traditional taverns” in the area, this article fails to mention beer. Do they want fans to come or not?

When I think of the Dutch, my mind is drawn to footage of the great sides of the seventies and the 4 – 1 defeat at Wembley in 1996. By contrast their fans seem over preoccupied with talk of formations and the number of strikers who should play. It’s a far cry from total football.

Here’s Patrick Barclay of The Times on African teams in the World Cup. He advises we keep an eye on the opening game in Group G: Portugal versus the Ivory Coast. A win for the Africans may signal “a wind of change”.

And Liverpool’s Glen Johnson is expected to be out of action until March. This piece says England coach Fabio Capello “is privately relieved that Johnson is resting at a key part of the season and he expects him to be fully fit come the end of the campaign”. What Rafa Benitez will make of that is anyone’s guess. Johnson’s defending has been erratic for most of the season anyway, his best work coming when he moves forward. If he stays out for too long, he may find himself moving to the back of the queue for a place in the England squad.

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