Well, the 2010 South African World Cup is almost over. In less than twenty four hours there’ll be a new name on the trophy after Spain and the Netherlands contest what could be a classic final.
But while there will be many, many moments that will be remembered for years to come, there will also be many things that I’d like to forget. So, in no particular order, here are ten things I won’t miss once the World Cup is over.
English Press Hype
It happens every time England play in a major football tournament. The English press goes absolutely crazy and over the top. Each team that plays is part of the so-called “golden generation”, and as each player plays in the richest and most hyped league in the world, all the newspaper writers and television pundits tell us that England are going to win, and when it doesn’t happen…..
English Press Condemnation
Again, it happens every time. Whenever England fail in a major football tournament, the same people who have told us that we’ve got the best team in the world roundly condemn everything they’ve done on the pitch. I’m surprised that they don’t start petitions asking them to be tried for treason and sentenced to life in the Tower of London.
For some reason the vast majority of the British public like this man. I can’t see why. He clearly hasn’t been one of the highlights of ITV’s coverage here in Britain, and comes a pretty poor second to the BBC’s Gary Lineker as far as screen presence is concerned. Thankfully he’s been shuffled off to breakfast television afterwards. Thankfully he’ll be finished for the day once I get up.
The Jabulani Ball Debate
This has been one of the biggest controversies during the tournament. Players and managers alike have complained until they’re blue in the face about how this particular model is the worst ball they’ve ever played with. Well, all except the Germans that is.
But I can’t help but think that the apparent problems could have been solved if the other thirty-one teams in the tournament had followed the German’s lead, and introduced the ball into their national leagues last season. Surely all of the great players around the world would have become accustomed to the ball after playing with the damn thing for nine months!
Constant Diego Forlan/Manchester United References
Uruguay’s star striker Diego Forlan has been one of the highlights of the tournament, and has been tearing up a storm in Spain’s La Liga over the past few years. But whenever he plays it seems that every pundit and commentator comes out with the same tired old line - why couldn’t he play like that for Manchester United a few years ago?
I don’t know the answer. I doubt if anyone will. But can’t we just accept the fact that his career has blossomed ever since he left Old Trafford?
Disappointing Star Players
Wayne Rooney. Kaka. Fernando Torres. Cristiano Ronaldo. The entire French team. The list of so-called star players who didn’t set the world alight when they stepped onto South African soil seems like an endless one. We’re told that some of them were too tired, and that some of them couldn’t handle the pressure. Well maybe they should try and find other careers so they can get a good night’s sleep.
Whether it’s Peter Crouch playing keepy-uppy with an empty Pringles tube or Terry Venables crooning it up for The Sun, we’ve certainly had our fair share of awful World Cup related advertisements. Hopefully they’ll all finish by Monday.
Each tournament both ITV and the BBC add to their regular roster of pundits, and while some of the choices have been great, especially after seeing Marcel Desailly’s passion whenever Ghana did well, some of them left you scratching your head, especially when you couldn’t understand a thing they said, and they even took a telephone call during a live show. Emmanuel Adebayor anyone?
The most over-exposed fat talent less waste of space currently on British television. If he’s not appearing in that almost constantly repeated sitcom he co-wrote, he’s presenting his own comedy sports panel show, or his awful comedy sketch show, or guest presenting other comedy panel shows (and I use the word comedy very loosely here), as well as appearing on other chat shows or presenting minor award shows and getting into arguments with Sir Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
But the World Cup has given him the chance to get even more exposure, by appearing on a hit record and presenting a comedy football chat show on ITV. I did consider leaving him off this list, because given his current exposure I’d be hard pushed to actually miss him.
So where were David Baddiel and Frank Skinner when we needed them?
I know this list is in no particular order, but if I did rank this list, these annoying plastic pieces of crap would definitely get the number one spot. I swear, they’ve got even more annoying since the tournament began, to the point where they new sound even more like a swarm of giant bees. But there’s probably worse to come, given how popular these bloody things have become!