Like most of you I have been watching the World Cup from a distinctly biased perspective. My loyalties lie with England of course, but I’m also keeping an eye on how the proceedings will affect Spurs.
The opening match between South Africa and Mexico was a classic example of watching a game from an extremely limited perspective. All I was really interested in was how Giovanni Dos Santos was doing and whether he could perhaps score a goal that could convince some mugs to pay a few million for him.
Actually, Dos Santos did look quite bright and might have scored, were it not for this silly new beach ball that FIFA are playing this World Cup with. Hopefully he will continue to impress in the World Cup shop window, against France and Uruguay.
Conversely, I’d rather that the likes of Wilson Palacios fail to shine too brightly and return home to White Hart Lane having turned few heads. From today’s showing it doesn’t look as if Honduras will be making it into the knockout stages of the tournament and Wilson will soon be safely back at Spurs.
The same could be true of Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Sebastien Bassong, whose Cameroon side lost their opening match. If their manager persists in playing their one world class player Samuel Eto’o on the right wing, then they too will shortly be back ready for pre-season training at Tottenham.
One player who I wouldn’t have minded playing in every possible game of the tournament, is of course Ledley King. Not only would it have meant that England had a successful World Cup, but it would also have been a great opportunity for Ledley to show the world what everyone at Spurs already knows. The man is absolute class.
Unfortunately a rather predictable injury looks to have curtailed King’s World Cup. It seems likely that he’ll be available again for the quarter final, but whoever replaces him would have had to have been playing pretty badly, for Capello to then ditch them if we reach the last eight.
I’d like to think that Dawson will get the chance to replace King, but I can’t see it. Capello rather foolishly didn’t take the chance to give Dawson his first cap in the warm up games and it would be a big call to give him his debut now. I’d still play him any day though, over the painfully slow Carragher or the out of form Upson.
Lennon had a pretty decent game against the USA, though on a couple of occasions he could have done with being more selfish and flashing a shot at goal, rather than putting in a cross. Crouch struggled to get involved in the game when he came on as a sub, while it seems that Defoe is well down the pecking order of England’s attacking options.
Overall, the football hasn’t been of a particularly high quality. The trouble with this World Cup is that these days the lesser teams aren’t as inclined to lose 5-0 as they used to be. Even if a team is lacking in talent, they are tactically sound and well able to nullify the stronger sides with organised and dogged defending.
The new ball seems to be playing a part, but not in the way we thought it would. Before the tournament all the goalkeepers were moaning about it, which you presumed would mean that the ball would be bending past them at all sorts of improbable angles. Instead, it’s proved to be just as much of a hindrance to the attackers.
Let’s hope that the first week was just a warm up and that the tournament will now gather pace. The only thing that’s started slower than the 2010 World Cup is Jamie Carragher.