Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

Misguided World Cup Previews: Group E

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The Dutch used like squabbling with each other during major tournaments. A World Cup or European Championships never seemed to pass by without Edgar Davids flushing Dennis Bergkamp’s head down the dressing-room toilet or Clarence Seedorf writing ‘Dick Advocaat smells of rotten Edam’ on the tactics board. Detente seems to have descended over the camp in recent years and now they direct their aggression on the opposition. Like Portugal in 2006. Not clear who the Dutch will target this year, but we can only hope it’s anyone blowing enthusiatically into a vuvuzela.

Cameroon’s Rigobert Song is one of only two men appearing in this World Cup that also played in the 1994 tournament. His longevity is remarkable considering that he isn’t very good. Possibly the inspiration for the most apposite bit of Cockney rhyming slang when long-suffering West Hams fans coined the phrase “it’s all gone a bit Rigobert” after yet another clownish exhibition of defending. In case you were wondering the other player to endure from the 1994 World Cup is Lee Woon Jae of South Korea. Of course it was.

Japan’s manager Takeshi Okada has predicted that his side will reach the semi-finals. Based on the unfailingly helpful and polite manner in which they allowed an ailing England team to beat them in last week’s friendly, I would suggest that Takeshi needs to go back to his castle and re-think his prognosis.

Denmark will want to extinguish the sour memories of the last game they played in a World Cup finals. It was in the second round in 2002 against England. They lost 3-0. Emile Heskey scored. The team’s famously amiable supporters are known as roligans. This is derived from from a Danish word for ‘peace’. This is funny because it sounds a bit like ‘hooligans’. In 2008 a Danish fan ran onto the pitch and attacked the referee who had shown red card for Christian Poulsen. This fan was not a roligan.

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Written by harrisharrison

June 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm

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