Monday, 7 June 2010

Monday 7 June 2010 – 4 DAYS TO THE WORLD CUP

This morning all World Cup news is pointed towards some crowd trouble in that occurred during a match between Nigeria and North Korea. It wasn’t your traditional crowd trouble more a surge born out of poverty but it was a risk to health and safety no less. Surely though this was always to be expected by FIFA staging the finals in such a potentially incendiary country.

Today the only game is Tanzania v Brazil who run out 5-1 victors with two goals a piece for Robinho and Ramires in addition to Kaka scoring the other. Beating Tanzania is never really going to reveal a whole lot about a team’s form but from a Brazilian perspective they are at least hitting the net.

Tonight I find myself heading to Wembley Arena where the Harlem Globetrotters are playing the Washington Generals in an exhibition match as part of their European tour. This is sports taken to the pinnacle of entertainment. The athletes on show tonight are truly amazing specimens. Obviously I get drunk and my most drunken moment happens to coincide with the sight of the Globetrotters mascot Globie doing the moonwalk in the centre of the court. At this point I am probably in fits of laughter unbefitting my 33 year old frame.

I wonder if this is a glimpse into what the spectacle of the World Cup may be like. Prior to the Globetrotters taking to the court the Washington Generals manager grabs the opportunity to the take the mike and trash talk his English audience, ripping on the injury to Rio Ferdinand and generally exhibiting American bravado with regards to Saturday’s game with the USA. This is not welcome stuff. This however is perhaps a timely glimpse into the competitive mentality of the Americans, of a mindset our football team may be facing this weekend.

As the match begins the Globetrotters run the show never really allowing the Generals into the game. To contend with their apparent weakness at various points during the game the Washington Generals manager returns to the court and hypnotises various Globetrotter players using a specialised umbrella. Now that is one tactic that Capello should perhaps consider employing. This guy in charge is a true visionary.

Or perhaps he is not as the Globetrotters eventually trot out 87-65 victors. Some might say their horseplay equates to cheating but they get the result regardless, which is I guess a mentality the England team would do well to tap into.

Exiting Wembley Arena I look up at Wembley Stadium itself to an enormous billboard of Capello looking down on his adopted nation. I truly hope he was taking notes.

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