NED 0 ESP 1: Like a birthday

July 11, 2010

WORLD Cup finals are, I think, like birthdays – less memorable the older you get. In both cases, I haven’t yet reached the stage where I actively dread them, but I suspect I’m getting there. Read the rest of this entry »


URU 2 GER 3: Experts and adverts

July 10, 2010

AS Chris Coleman has said time and time again: “I tell you what.” So I will tell you what. This World Cup has missed Martin O’Neill’s punditry. Read the rest of this entry »


GER 0 ESP 1: Thoughts on a psychic octopus

July 7, 2010

THE one thing that really gets me about Paul the psychic octopus – apart from the fact that he’s a psychic octopus, and called Paul – is that his method for predicting the outcome of Germany’s matches appears to make no allowances for draws. Read the rest of this entry »


URU 2 NED 3: All I want for Christmas is a Uruguay away kit

July 6, 2010

MESSAGE to whoever is running the Sports Direct shop at the Trafford Centre: £40 for a Brazil replica shirt is not ‘mega value’, whatever your price tags might say. Did you not pay any attention to Friday’s quarter-final against Holland? Read the rest of this entry »


PAR 0 ESP 1: Penalties all round

July 3, 2010

WE used to play Single Cuppies in our lunch break when I was at junior school. (Do I have to explain the rules? OK. One goalkeeper, several players all trying to score in the same goal, you’re through to the next round if you score, last outfield player remaining is eliminated. It was brilliant.) Read the rest of this entry »


ARG 0 GER 4: The won’t of God

July 3, 2010

I DON’T want to start getting all religious on your ass – not at the quarter-final stage of a World Cup. It would be a very unpleasant spectacle. But if there is a God, I suspect he or she has better things to do than worry about the outcome of football matches. Read the rest of this entry »


URU 1 GHA 1 (pens 4-2): Gambling for beginners

July 3, 2010

GLENN Hoddle was wrong – penalties are not a lottery. Well, except in England’s case, where the odds of winning a shoot-out are roughly 14 million to one. But a lottery implies a test of luck, whereas what Barry Davies always used to call “a penalty competition” is distinct as a test of nerve. Read the rest of this entry »