World Cup: Reasons to feel positive

Simon Rice

lampard 280x300 World Cup: Reasons to feel positiveAs an Englishman, it would be easy to feel glum about this World Cup – but it’s just impossible. There are too many things to smile about.

South America…
We all have our favourite teams and vested interests, but there’s nothing like sitting back and watching some quality football – and as always it’s been provided in abundance by the South Americans. Argentina and Brazil have predictably been impressive, but watching Uruguay thump the hosts and Mexico pull France apart have been a couple of personal highlights.

Lionel and Diego…
He’s yet to score a goal, but in Argentina’s two games so far, Messi has been incredible. Much like his manager in 1986, it’s beginning to feel as though Argentina’s fate in this tournament is entwined with his own. But can he become one of the greats under the stewardship of Maradona – a man who is apparently fearful of being usurped as Argentina’s favourite son? It’s got the makings of a classic story.

The French…
They’ve been a delight so far. A bore draw in their first match was followed by defeat to Mexico. And then an unapologetic Nicolas Anelka was sent home, and then the players refused to train. They appear destined for an early exit, and it couldn’t be better. For a team that cheated their way into the tournament in the first place, it is no more than they deserve. The only bitterness felt in this whole debacle is the contribution and passion a Republic of Ireland team, along with their hordes of travelling fans, would have brought to this tournament.

There’s been Kaka’s sending off, Fabiano’s double hand ball (which incidentally would have been one of the great World Cup goals if it had hit his shoulder instead), the mystery reason as to why the United States’s third goal against Slovenia was disallowed and Tim Cahill’s laughable red card. Admit it, we love having something to be angry about.

Missed penalty…
The German’s missed their first penalty in a World Cup finals since 1982 (including shoot-outs).

The vuvuzela…
As irritating as the South African horn may be, I seem to have grown immune to its powers, hardly evening noticing it anymore. The only drone I can now hear is that of Mark Bright on the BBC, who has an irritating habit of explaining what a player was ‘trying’ to do after every single incident.

…and then there’s England

Who will beat Slovenia and top the group – which is exactly what we expected and demanded of the team before things kicked off in South Africa. So cheer up and enjoy the show.

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  • Nick

    Mark Bright. Maybe we can put togther a petition to have him replaced by Robbie Earle?!

  • Conor McLaughlin

    It’s worth mentioning that Mexico is in North America.

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