So, Spanish football wins one more trophy. At Arhus Stadion in Jutland on Saturday night, two sublime goals defeated Switzerland, previously unscored upon, with grace and elan. TIKI-TAKI is the football that Johann Cruyff used at Barcelona a generation ago. After the 2006 FIFA World Cup the Spanish F.A. realized that its team's couldn't 'mix it' with physically stronger opponents, so went back to the short pass and keep control game.
The UEFA under 21 tournament was a little unlucky. No Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Sweden to bring in foreign fans, Instead we had Iceland, Belarus, Ukraine. We also had a disapponting tournament from the host nation while the super stars of England, valued at $200 million, went home early. Backed by a huge staff of minders, they were badly coached, badly educated, maybe badly parented and lacked vision.
Belarus almost beat Denmark and were within a minute of knocking out Spain in the semi-finals, Their reward was to beat Czech Republic in the third place match in Aalborg and a pass to the 2012 London Olympics football tournament. They had come all the way from Minsk by bus, 1,900 km each way, while the English team had flown in and stayed at a luxury resort. Spain stayed in a normal downtown hotel in the middle of Velje and mixed with the locals.
The dour defender Stuart Pearce gets to keep his job, and is in line to coach the Great Britain men's team at the Olympics. He is probably a nice family guy, not too harsh with his players and would help old ladies and aging F.A. councillors across the road-IF you gave him a SatNav!!
We had Fabio Capello, Sir Trevor Brooking, Gareth Southgate, Franco Baldini, first team goalie coach Ray Clemence and other high rollers flying in for a match to add to the cost, money that could be better spent elsewhere. I dragged my wheely bag from and inexpensive hotel in Arhus to the SAS Radisson Blu upscale hotel to catch the airport bus to the airport. Standing outside was another F.A. big shot moaning that 'his driver' had not arrived to take him to the airport. I told him it took longer to drieve to Aarhus airport than to fly home and he might want to get a taxi or HEAVEN FORBID !!! the airport bus! He said he didn't carry any money, and I said bus drivers and taxi drivers have credit card machine.
I won't name him, but he was the last Englishman to win the title with an English club and is chairman of the League Managers Association. Sums up English football. No improvisation and vision.
It has been a busy football weekend world wide. 93,000, mostly Mexicans at Pasadena's Rose Bowl at the hugely successful GOLD CUP. They cheered on Mexico, 'El Tri' in their come from behind 4-2 demolition of USA, where Bob 'badly' Bradley was experimenting with his powderpuff dwarf defence, hopefully for the last time.
In Pachuca, Torreon, Monterrey, Queretaro and other Mexican cities the FIFA U17 World Cup started. England won the group but there was no TV and no press in ANY newspaper that I read in England. Germany look to be favourites and will play a struggling USA in the Round of 16.(there were 24 teams starting out) USA came 2nd in their group behind first place Kazahkstan and 3rd place New Zealand who drew lots and lost out to the Americans. www.fifa.com
In Berlin's Olympiastadion 83,000 fans watched Germany win their opener in the FIFA Women's World Cup and hope to retain their title and win for the third time in a row. With The English Women's Premier League in the first of two seasons to be backed by the F.A. Manager Hope Powell hopes that her THREE LIONESSES can go far. The small 8 team league has attracted only sparse crowds in the low hundred's, and can't attract a title sponsor. However, this summer league should result in better fitness levels than before.
Oh ! not forgetting more FIFA scandals at www.transparencyinsport.org