Good news from the African Nations Cup (for England)

Following the doom and gloom after last week’s attack on the Togo team and a weekend filled with confusion and uncertainty, there is some good news: Algeria don’t seem as if they will be bringing much to the World Cup 2010 party. Losing 3 – 0 to Malawi is hardly going to frighten England or the US. You imagine Slovenia will also take heart from this result. If this poor form continues, Algeria could be looking at a dismal group stage in South Africa. What a contrast from the exhilaration of beating bitter rivals Egypt to qualify. Who was to know that’s all the Algerians can do?

England needs a crisis. That’s what wins World Cups, according to one writer. France, Italy, Germany and Argentina have all won after experiencing some form of social and political upheaval. There are some problems with this theory. France wasn’t torn apart by racial divisions and then suddenly reunited in 1998. The Italians went through two football corruption scandals prior to 1982 and 2006 but historians will struggle to find evidence that Italian society was going through similar problems in 1934 and 1938. They had a fascist dictator and totalitarianism then, but not corruption in football. Germany was on the verge of reunification in 1990. That’s reunification, not splitting. And Argentina in 1978? Fair enough, the junta clearly used the occasion to whip up a nationalistic fervour. So that’s one out of four. Not enough to sustain the theory in my opinion.

Of course there is another problem. Strangely the writer hasn’t spotted we are sort of experiencing a crisis now in England and the UK now. High unemployment, disenchantment with the political classes, tension as far right groups exploit divisions in society, poor weather hampering the recovery. Sounds like the 1970s to me, a period when England couldn’t even be bothered to qualify. Do your homework next time.

It’s a day for oddly written columns I have decided to take issue with. Here’s another one, this time about David Beckham. I can’t work out what this man is trying to say. Will Beckham go to the World Cup? Is he important to the squad? Why am I asking you so many questions? See if you can work this one out for yourself.

And finally, I am a sucker for a mysterious headline. “Soccer World Cup 2012 Prophecy – The End Of The World” seemed intriguing as well as factually incorrect. So I clicked the link. Turns out it has nothing to do with the World Cup at all. The site is one of millions which simply can’t resist mentioning the World Cup, mostly because its authors know people like me are searching for information. The gits.

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