Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Wednesday 6 January 2010 – 156 DAYS TO THE WORLD CUP

Initially when the groups were first drawn it was Group E that I was initially most excited by and the one that I felt most resembled a group of death. Of course this was an opinion born more out of legacy and tradition that actual current performance because here was a set of teams and countries that have in the past provided much in the way of World Cup entertainment.

Headed by the Netherlands (or Holland depending on what day it is and who you ask) the prospect of seeing them going up against Denmark is a fixture that conjures up vision of magnificent feast of football, not least when considering the great Dutch team of the seventies and the great Danish team of the eighties.

The group is rounded out by Japan and Cameroon, the former of which co-hosted an amazing event back in 2002 while the latter provided me personally with one of my fondest memories when on the opening day of the 1990 World Cup in Italy they beat the still villainous Argentina team still with Maradona et al. Alas in recent years Cameroon have gained something of a reputation for becoming a nation of kickers. And sadly despite most recently appearing on our radars by beating Scotland 2-0 it would appear very much that Japan will be to make up the numbers.

Elsewhere this evening I head to the Barbican for a screening of The Road including a Q&A with director John Hillcoat. My understanding is that the book by Cormac McCarthy serves as a good metaphor for the Republic Of Ireland’s qualification campaign as Robbie Keane walks to various parts of Europe pushing a shopping trolley (the team bus) as his son (the youthful lineup) follows and learns from him. The movie version however better represents Group E with Viggo Mortensen starring as Denmark’s charge to the final including their despatching of Sweden. The World Cup link is cemented by having Charlize Theron again assisting in the post-apocalyptic draw.

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