Tuesday, 4th June, 2002

My easily favourite boxing web site www.BoxingAction.com has a section for all-sports that they entitle: SPORTS ARENA..

Last week they summed up England's chances of winning the World Cup.

It pulls no punches (sorry about the pun) but it is an honest appraisal, and this is missing from many sections of the media.

I enjoyed it so much that I called them and asked them to let me publish the article in my Viewpoint's.

They know I am an avid football fan, and they readily agreed without my having to mention my alleged dentistry skills.

For the record I agree wholeheartedly with their views except the reference to Martin Keown. That was a little too painful.

I hope you enjoy it as much I did. Frank.

Published on www.Boxing Action.com on 30.05.02.


Yes, If Dinosaurs Come Back As Household Pets

Is it possible for England to win the World Cup, the inter-nations biggest prize in soccer?

The answer is yes! That is if dinosaurs are coming back - as household pets.

Despite the hysteria engendered by the media that the England team is capable of winning this extremely hard-to-win trophy, the present English team does not have the quality necessary to win such a coveted trophy.

It is no less than 36 years since England last won the World Cup, and the successful manager was Mr. Alf Ramsey, later to be knighted.

Sir Alf was a man short on words, but long on deeds. His game plan was the basic reason England won the World Cup in'66.

His team had some great players, and some honest ­to-goodness players. Alf blended these players together to make them the most successful football team in the world.

For his great services to football Sir Alf was treated very shabbily by the 'sweet' F.A. (Football Association). This organisation is responsible for the administration of English football.

The hero of English football Sir Alf Ramsey was so disenchanted with the 'sweet' F.A. he became a recluse from football, and turned his back on the beautiful game that he loved so dearly.

However, for his services to his country by bringing home the World Cup, he was made a Knight of the Realm.

However, the 'sweet F.A. administrate English football as if it is a member's club, and if there is one reason for the abysmal record Of England in the World Cup it is due to the 'sweet' F.A.

When they overlooked Terry Venables as the English coach and manager for the 2002 World Cup, and insulted English football by appointing Sven Goran Ericcson, the man from Sweden, they destroyed the one chance that England had of winning the 2002 World Cup.

The appointment of Sven Ericsson made little sense. He had no experience of English football or English players, and he was reported to be costing £3 million a year.

Terry Venables knew every English player intimately, and had valuable international experience at all levels. Terry would have cost £600,000.

Only the arrogant bigwigs at 'sweet' F.A. could make sense of such a decision that is a disparagement to English football, and the talented coaches and managers in this country.

Sven Ericsson is an academic in football studies, but his knowledge of the beautiful game is no greater than that of Terry Venables.

The reason why the 'sweet' F.A would not choose Terry was because of his soiled record in business matters.

It is also said that a former Premier League club chairman who has an intense dislike of Terry called in favours to have Terry blackballed.

Either, or both, reason is invalid.

Terry Venables record as a businessman should have no bearing on his ability to coach the English football team.

However the alleged holier than thou attitude of the people at the 'sweet' F.A. refused to appoint a coach that had received adverse publicity as a businessman,

So Sven Ericsson a person with no business connections, and impeccable reputation fitted well into the 'sweet' F.A. image of that which the English should have imposed on them..

The fact that such an appointment was not in the best interests of English football was unimportant to the 'club' members at the 'sweet' F.A. Image was the most important factor, so Sven Goran Ericsson was brought in.

How good is Sven Erickson as the manager of England? At this stage it is not known, that is if the judgement is to be based upon evidence.

However, the fact that he has included Emile Heskey of Liverpool and Teddy Sheringham, (an Alex Ferguson reject), and Martin Keown, an honest footballer, (but World Cup class?) is sufficient testimony that he is not a better coach/manager for England than Terry Venables.

It is likely none of these selections would have been the choice of Terry Venables.

Sven has not discovered any hidden talent. No player in his chosen squad is a personal discovery of Sven. Most are obvious choices.

The one player in the England kit that could make his name at the 2002 World Cup is young Joe Cole, of West Ham FC. If he were given the opportunity it would be no surprise to see him sparkle.

Another dark horse could be Owen Hargreaves.

Michael Owen is world class, and a fit David Beckham would make any World team.

It may be a sad statement but dinosaurs are not coming back into existence, especially as household pets.