Our World Cup Thoughts

11 06 2010

The greatest show on earth is here – or so it is said.

Having avoided the subject up until this point, and with South Africa meeting Mexico in the opening game this afternoon, we thought we would tackle this tricky subject (for the Compulsive Hooker anyway).

Anyone reading this will be faintly shocked perhaps that we are not falling over ourselves with joy and, to tell the truth, we are actually not sure why we aren’t ourselves.  We are undoubtedly looking forward to it and will probably end up watching almost all the games as we love a big sports event. After all, the football world cup, along with the Summer Olympics, is the biggest sporting competition around and as such is one of the greatest spectacles on earth. But why then are we not jumping for joy?

Here at the Compulsive Hooker we are not exclusive in the sports we watch or cover. Our first loves are cricket and rugby, which means inevitably that we write about these more than tennis, football, horse racing or F1 to name a few other sports at random, yet from a casual point of view we follow all. Similarly to everyone else we have read many articles building up to the world cup (it would be impossible to read them all!) and have even taken part in the debates surrounding who should get the number 9 shirt on this website. Incidentally we went with Peter Crouch which Mr. Capello seems to now have agreed with, yet at the back of our mind there is a slight and nagging feeling of discontent.

At this point perhaps we should say that we will be supporting England as passionately as the next Englishman and we sincerely and deeply hope they win the tournament. We don’t think they will, having consistently underperformed in these big tournaments over our sport following lifetimes, but surely this year they have as good a chance as any. Perhaps it is this at the end of the day which is part of the problem; the fact that in our eyes the England team has never come through, never gelled as we felt they should and also often never seemed to care as much as they might. Before anyone accuses us of being football snobs, we should mention that similar feelings are being engendered by the current English rugby team (of whom we are slowly but surely getting sick of).

It is also probably a little bit to do with the all pervasive coverage of football, which ensures a hunt through even such papers as the Telegraph and the Times to find the cricket reports even during the football off season; but which during times such as a world cup means that you cannot literally turn anywhere but see Frank Lampard, John Terry or Capello staring back out of you whilst Andrew Strauss and co languish in the ‘In Brief’ section.

we imagine these feelings may jar with some of our faithful readers whom we know to be avid football fans- but we thought we had to write something about it and quite honestly everything else that is possible to be written has been! Another preview/team selection piece would simply be unnecessary!

Despite these little niggles (for they are really only irritations about the trappings that surround football rather than specifically the sport or the world cup) we are looking forward to having international sport on all the time. It is a wonderful thing when you are at a loose end to be able to turn on the TV and watch a meaningful game of international sport; be it rugby, cricket or football.

Finally, as is customary, we are going to make a prediction as to the winner of the whole tournament. Our tip, therefore, is Spain, partly because we have them in a world cup sweep stake, but also because they have a truly golden generation of footballers currently representing them.

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