Sunday, 3 January 2010

Sunday 3 January 2010 – 159 DAYS TO THE WORLD CUP

Group B features Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea (Korean Republic) and Greece which actually reads as a subtly exciting prospect considering it is a group of current underachievers and who possess a history of overachiever and creating upsets in the past. There truly is potential pedigree in this group and whereas it is pretty unlikely any of the nations are likely to win the World Cup (Argentina? Maybe? Nah!) there is plenty within to cause nuisance in the later stages once they have stopping thumping the shit out of each other in their three group games.

By rights Argentina shouldn’t be at the finals, quite frankly they are lucky to be here but it is without doubt that the competition is a better and more colourful for having Maradona in tow than it would be without. After some classically disgraceful and undignified scenes at press conferences post qualification realistically it should hopefully be a joy to have the bad man of football in attendance as we all look to him for his latest trick and hardest insult.

Elsewhere the group does not necessarily appear to pose much in the way of opposition to Argentina even though Greece has some pedigree having won Euro 2004 (although I did refer to this at the time as the worst thing to happen to international football ever). It is difficult to imagine what Greece really can bring to the table.

Personally my natural inclination is to have higher expectations of Nigeria even though I hardly feel there is a consistent bone in the body of that federation. With Nigeria playing in the Africa Cup Of Nations from Angola that begins on 10 January I think that tournament will lend a better degree of insight into the potential held by the African nations involved.

The group is rounded out by South Korea who turned many heads and pulled off a great job in 2002 by both doing a fine job of co-hosting the tournament and then surprisingly almost everybody by first defeating Portugal then Italy then Spain and reaching the semi finals of the tournament. It would be lovely for them to make waves again but this year it just does not look feasible.

This group runs the risk of being a group of sleep.

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