Friday, 11 June 2010

World Cup Preview

I am nothing more than an armchair coach and most of my knowledge was garnered playing Football/Championship Manager but I would still like to think I know more than etv’s panel of ‘experts’ as well as anyone who has ever watched a football/soccer game. Here are my predictions based on my limited knowledge.

South Africa
There is a lot of hysteria going around due to the fact of us being hosts and people shouting out “We are going to win the World Cup” all over Facebook and Twitter, but let’s face it, there is no way that is happening. Not being pessimistic, and unpatriotic, just realistic. I have a new found belief that we could reach the second round but not much beyond that. For us to make it to the second round, it is crucial to get a result against Mexico today and for all the other teams to take points of each other. The other teams are quite tough and I see Uruguay as the team winning our group and a 3 way fight for second between us, France and Mexico.

African Teams
This is the first World Cup that there are 6 African teams and many people feel it crucial that the African teams perform well collectively in order to allow 6 African teams for every World Cup. There are currently just 5 African teams allowed to qualify, with South Africa only qualifying for virtue of being a host. Based on the talent and number of countries in Africa, it makes little sense to have that few places, while the Concacaf(Mexico, USA etc.) region have 3 and a half places (a playoff place as well) based on their level of interest. The problem however is that every team has a tough draw based on the fact they are not seeded. The only teams I see making it to the second round, based on the groups are Nigeria, Cameroon and, hopefully, South Africa. I do not think this will be enough to convince the powers that be.

The Contenders
The teams I think, based on squads and ability, that have the best chance of winning the World Cup are Spain, Netherlands, Argentina and Brazil. Spain has the best squad available, with top drawer players in each position with quality back up as well, so they are my tips to win.

There is little under 4 hours to go for kick off of the greatest game on earth, and I hope we host the best World Cup ever and whether Bafana Bafana progress or not, we as a country are successful in proving the world wrong.

Till next time in Waseem world.