Football World Cup? Who Gives A (Full) Toss?

In a couple of weeks time the football World Cup kicks off in South Africa. The newspapers are already starting to crank up the volume and suggesting, like they have done every four years since 1966, that this is Englands year and that they’re going to fly home from Johannesburg with the trophy.

I don’t know about you but I couldn’t give a toss.

Personally, I’ve pretty much lost all interest in top level football these days. Money has ruined the sport and the people that play the game are nothing more than overpaid cheats – both on and off the field. Sure, I’ll cheer England on but I’m not exactly excited at the prospect of four weeks of wall-to-wall cheating, play acting and pictures of WAGs plastered all over the papers.

There is no official England World Cup song this year (thank God) so I suggest that all English cricket fans embrace the following as our World Cup tune of choice. It’s from everyone’s favourite Chap-Hop artist, Mr B. The Gentleman Rhymer. It’s rather jolly good.

Mr.B’s World Cup Song by gentlemanrhymer

Just in case you can’t get enough of Mr B, here’s the legendary cover he did of of NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton”.

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Is Kevin Pietersen God?

Well he’d certainly like us to believe he is and, if you were to go along with some of the stuff that’s been written recently, it’s a view shared by journalists and pundits alike but just how good is he?

Now don’t get me wrong, our performances since he took over the reigns from Vaughany have been pretty impressive. We won the final Test match of the series and are 4-0 up in the ODI series with just the final match to be played tomorrow. Freddie Flintoff is back amongst the runs and Steve Harmison is back amongst the wickets. On the face of it he’s performed miracles since taking over. A win tomorrow lifts England up to second in the ODI world rankings but let’s just put things into perspective for a minute, shall we?

The win in the final Test was against a South African team who had already done what they set out to achieve which was secure a first Test series victory on English soil for over 40 years. Sure there’s the professional pride thing but I’m sure that as far as the Saffers were concerned they’d already done the job. To a certain extent that attitude has spilt over into the one day team. They weren’t helped by the injuries to key players but I can’t help feeling that their heart wasn’t in it. I’m not saying they’ve rolled over and kicked their legs in the air but I feel that if the Test series had gone the other way that we’d be seeing a different South Africa team.

Ian Bell gives us an interesting insight into Team KP in this quote from the BBC website:

Kev (Pietersen) sat down with us before the series started and gave us an honest chat about where he thought we were as a team…It’s pretty obvious to see that at times we can play outstandingly well and at times we can be pretty poor…The one thing he has tried to mark on everyone is that we have to have consistency and everyone has bought into that…

So the key ingredient to Pietersens success is by getting highly paid professional sportsman to stop being shit, then. Getting the players to agree that they need to perform consistently doesn’t strike me as being revolutionary and, if anything, says more about them than it does about him.

Maybe it’s just the curmudgeon in me. Possibly it’s because I wanted Fatboy Fat to take over but for whatever reason I’m still not totally sold on Pietersen as skipper.

Bring home the Ashes next summer and then I might reconsider.

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Freddie Flintoff Is Back!

Freddie Flintoff bowls the perfect yorker to dismiss Jacques Kallis

It’s been a long time since England saw Freddie Flintoff at his best but his display in the final session of the day against South Africa suggests that he’s back. Quite how Aleem Dar managed to give Jacques Kallis not out LBW is beyond me but, as the guys over at King Cricket suggest (and who also provided this most excellent picture), all it did was fire Flintoff up and the resulting passage of play was fantastic to watch.

Can England claw their way back into the match and secure a series levelling win? The bookies have them 16/5 and the weather forecast suggests that, with the exception of some light showers on Sunday, that we’re likely to get a full Test match. With the Saffers 1/2 to win the match if you stuck ¬£15 on them and a fiver on England, you’re guaranteed a profit. I can’t see the game ending a draw. Can you?

Looking at the picture above still makes me question the selection decisions for this match. Collingwood came in because they wanted a batsman who could bowl a bit. The guys is horrendously out of form. And he’s ginger so why didn’t they go for a player who is averaging 25.66 with the bat and 27.88 with the ball for his county side? A young player who looks like he has some potential. In fact one who has shown promise against the touring side in the past. He’s batted 3 times against them and has an average of 80.0. Sure he’s not done so well with the ball but Collingwood has a Test average of 49.07 so maybe it was worth giving him a call.

His name?

Stuart Broad.

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