World Cup talking points

Time Out’s resident pundit Vinny Maddage tells us a few things we’ve learnt from the tournament

World Cup 2010
Cheating gets you everywhere

Football and ethics go together like Anelka and Domenech. From Thierry Henry’s deft basketball skills to Manuel Neuer’s boast about fooling referees, the World Cup has been marred by some desperately disappointing behaviour. A new entry has gone straight in at number one: Uruguay’s Luis Suarez. Some may call his actions sacrificial, but when it comes down to it, his Ghana-denying handball was equally as tragic as it was stupendous. ‘Winning at all costs’, he robbed Ghana of a place in what would have been their first semi final, and confirmed our worst fears that sportsmanship no longer exists in football.

Sorry seems to be the easiest word

Teams are going out for the wrong reasons and all we’re getting in return are pointless apologies from Blatter. USA, Mexico and England have all experienced big injustices and many will feel it’s time to relieve refs of their super powers to dictate games. In a tournament where Larrionda and Coulibaly have made more of an impact than Rooney or Ronaldo, isn’t it time we embraced video technology? It’s a debate that’s been simmering for sometime, but now the pressure is firmly on FIFA to act.

Going AWOL

Of the big boys, it’s hard to call who’s had the worst tournament. England talked the talk, promising glorious things that they naturally didn’t deliver. Italy, with one win in 10 months leading up to the World Cup, continued to bore, and a fiery France left their fireworks (and players) at the training ground. Whether it’s a case of the minnows bridging the gap with the heavyweights or if it’s a matter of pressure and frustration, some of the favourites simply didn’t turn up.

Carry on Capello

It seems you can fail and still come out on top. Fabio Capello looks to have the England FA under his little finger. It defies logic that a man taking home Dhs49 million a year (more than the German, Dutch, Spanish and Brazilian coaches combined) is still in a job after such a dire outing. By the looks of it, he’s pulled the wool over the FA’s eyes. They’ve recently unanimously backed their chosen one to carry on, so don’t be surprised if there’s a pay rise for more of his brilliance.

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