Thursday, 12 June 2014


When I started with all of this blogging stuff I was Dreading 3 teams Honduras, Iran and Algeria. I know little about them and that is a nightmare for any blogger or football writer. However Algeria is one of the teams that you think you know nothing about but in fact its not that bad. I know a few of these players in fact i rate a few of these players. Don’t get me wrong im not saying they will be getting out of the group and im not even saying they will win or draw a game but they have  few players ive heard of.

The first one is a guy who I actually think would do a decent job in the championship or maybe higher and that is Madjid Bougherra. He was brilliant at Charlton and Rangers and then moved to Qatar. Ruined his career. I think this guy is class. He is 31 and could be back in France or England from what I hear on a free this year.

Also like a lad called Sofiane Feghouli (a cool name to say). He plays for Valencia. I have seen him a few times playing for them and he seems tricky almost works his way into trouble. But decent at what he does. I like the look of Boudebouz. I remember him being linked to Blackburn a few years ago. Playing in France with Bastia still but may be on for a move soon.

I don’t expect much from them but good luck to them. They are in a weak group. They have Russia, Belgium and South Korea and all 3 are better than them. A Draw would be a good result for them.

Star Man: Feghouli
One to watch: Boudebouz
Prediction: no points out at group stage.  


I cant help but feel like Portugal should have done better over the last 10 years. When Porto won the Champions league they had a base of fine Portuguese players who were all class and they lacked a centre forward. Then Ronaldo came along and moved from wide to up front and now they are fine in that area (but still only because of him) but the supporting cast they had is no longer there. The championship winning Porto team is no more and now Portugal is mainly used by South Americans to develop before moving elsewhere in Europe. Benfica have been in a few Europa League finals in the last few years but only 2  of the Benfica squad made the cut to the World Cup and they are back ups not star players. 

Portugal are set up to counter attack and they will look more impressive against bigger teams that will want to play than the smaller teams that will look to defend and play on set pieces i actually think Portugal will get quite far because of this. The group is a tough one and that works in Portugals hands. I was actually in Portugal last week. They believe they will win the World Cup. Mainly because of Ronaldo but also they love Joao Moutinho and they think William Carvalho is going to be a star for them. I have to agree. I looked up some stats yesterday. Moutinho assisted to more goals in qualifying than any other player. Ronaldo is Ronaldo and Carvalho is being rumoured to Manchester United and many other major European teams.

This is Ronaldo’s time to Shine. At 29 this is the World cup when he is his Prime. He is the current world Player of the year and has just won the champions league and is on FIRE!!!! I actually think that Messi is the best footballer in the world but i completely agree that Ronaldo won it this year. My worry for CR is that he doesn’t have the players around him that he has at Madrid. Nani is ok but he is not Di Maria. They are not blessed with the talent that Madrid has to offer so how much will that effect Ronaldo. Don’t get me wrong, If Portugal set up just to counter then they may well win the World cup but if they have to break a team down they will struggle. With Ronaldo they are a contender. If you play him out of the game they are not much better than Greece.

Portugal may well win this group but i think Germany will win the group. It all comes down to who does better in the game between them. I expect them to get out of the group but if they in that will need to be at their best at all times in the tournament. Its going to be a tough road but 8 good games and they may well win it. they wont win it for the record.

Star man: um well they are a bit of a one man team so im going with RONALDO
One to Watch: Carvalho
Predction: 2nd round/ Quarter finals 


Ghana have the youngest squad in the World cup. The Defence is weak and inexperienced. Against Portugal and Germany there will be goals and I expect them to fall at the first hurdle in the group and that is purely because of the weak inexperienced defence. However I actually think they are very good in midfield and not bad up front. Kevin-Prince Boatang, Sulley Muntari and Michael Essien are all well known for playing both England and Italy.

The guy im most looking forward to watching is Kwadwo Asamoah. The Juventus Midfield player can play central or wide left and I think this is hi world cup to show off what he can do. I also like Emmanuel Agymang-Babu who plays for Udinese. I saw him play a few times this year and I really like him as a footballer. Loads of energy. They have the Ayew brothers Jordan and Andre who play in France for Marseille.  If your a Fifa computer game player you may know Abedi Pele who is always in the Fifa legends squads well his real surname is Ayew and his is the father of both Jordan and Andre.

You may remember Asamoah Gyan for nothing more than his Penalty 4 years ago that crashed off the crossbar and effectively put Uruguay through after Suarez handballed it on the line.  Well you may be surprised to find out that he is still only 28 years old and is about to compete in his 3rd world cup. Ghana have got out of the group on the last to occasions knocking out USA both times (either in the group or in the 2nd round) they also play Germany again after being in the same group as them 4 years ago and joining them out of the group in the knockout stages and facing the USA who they beat. No African team has got closer to the semi finals than Ghana but don’t expect that to change this world cup.

The Group is tough. I expect Portugal and Germany to go through. Defensively they are just better than the USA and Ghana. Im not saying that Ghana or the USA cannot cause a shock and go through but I just don’t think they will. But there is a shock every year so maybe this year it will be Germany or Portugal going out group stage.

Star man: Kevin Prince Boatang
One to watch: Kwadwo Asamoah
Prediction: Group Stage 


4 years ago Germany took a really young side to south Africa and not a lot expected of them. Now the weight of the world is on them. The likes of Ozil, Hummels, Kroos and Muller are all world class players now. Bayern Munich have dominated World football for a few years and they have German players the whole way through the squad. Pound for Pound this is the best team in the tournament. There is not a weakness throughout the team with the maybe exception of a centre forward. They have Klose and Podolski but I think they may start with Muller as a false 9. But with Gotze, Kroos, Draxler, Muller, Schurrle, Ozil and Schweinsteiger they are not short of midfield players who can weigh in with a goal or 2. At the back they are strong. Right back may be questionable but they have the best keeper in the world right now, Hummels, Meresacker and Lahm in front of him and the highly rated Howedes and Boateng to come in if needed. Germany will be a force this world cup for sure.

I actually think they are similar to Spain. I guess thats not a bad thing. The foundations in place for German football are brilliant. They are used to making organised solid defences and building on that. They struggled recently to make as many full backs and midfield players but the full backs worldwide are not that strong at the minute. In terms of individuals Klose deserves one more shot at the top ever scorer at the world cup. He needs 2 to overtake Ronaldo (the Brazilian one) at the top ever goal scorer at the world cup (set in 2006). Podolski is a great goal scorer as well and Im a big fan of Andre Schurrle. Its a shame that Marco Reus got his injury but they have enough cover in this squad.

The Sub goalkeeper in the squad is a chap called Ron-Robert Zieler who was at Manchester United as a young player and had a loan spell for a few months at Little Northampton Town (This is where is am from and watch a lot of football at). He played 2 games in 93 days and was mainly behind a chap called Frank Fielding who is currently playing in the championship. If you had told me that 6 years later he would be in the German squad for the World cup even as a back up I simply wouldn’t have believed you. I am really pleased for him.  

Tough Group, Germany are joined by Portugal, Ghana and the USA. I think the USA will be bottom of the group. Don’t get me wrong i don’t think they are bad but they don’t tend to win against teams better than them and Ghana tend to turn up to these kind of games. If you don’t know the Boatangs in both the Germany Squad (Jerome) and Ghana’s Kevin Prince are bothers who chose to play for different national squads. They are both German with Ghana roots. Both played for Germany at youth levels and both play in Germany now but Kevin Prince made his name a little later than Jerome (in terms of age) and Ghana were able to snap him up. 4 years ago they played each other at the world cup and again they have done again this year.  Portugal have the world player of the year in Ronaldo and will be a counter attacking force make no mistake. They could beat Germany but I actually think they wont. Germany to top this group but they wont win all 3 games. If they do, put your money on them to win the cup.

Star Man: Ozil
One to watch: Gotze
Prediction: Semi finals/ Final

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Why don’t the Americans get Football. I just don’t understand how its the only truly whole world based tournament and they don’t care about it. it shocks me. the Americans love themselves. They show more national pride than pretty much any other country. This is the only single sport sporting event that they could actually show the world that they make better athletes in the world than any other and they just don’t. The year that they invest in football property they will win the world cup 10-15 years later. The athletes they produce for Basketball and NFL they would change football. Imagine if LeBron James was a footballer. A quick, strong and huge guy, Even as a goalkeeper would be amazing.

This USA squad has been clouded by the Non selection of Landon Donovan. If Klinsmann thinks they are better without him then they should back this but I don’t think it was the right call. i don’t see a  lot of quality in this squad. Im actually a fan of Jozy Altidore dispite the fact that he never scores against anybody I think he has a presence and I think he needs someone to show his how to be a proper target man. But at the moment at 24 he has 70 caps and still looks a raw talent. Time for Jozy to push on. Clint Dempsey still stars in this team even playing back in the USA he is still a very very good player. Tim Howard is the first choice keeper, Americans have always been able to make a good goalkeeper and in Brad Guzan they have a back up that they can call on if need be.

The one to watch may not play but they have selected a young man making waves at Bayern Munich. I have heard a few rumblings that Julian Green would be a German international but he has chosen to be an international for USA. Can play as a forward or a wide player been compared to Gotze. I have never actually seen him play so I cannot say much about him but I hear that he will be a class act.

A little story that makes me giggle. At the last World Cup is South Africa the USA scored a goal against Slovenia and the Ref disallowed the goal. Bars in America went silent. No outrage nothing. They were waiting for the Ref to tell them why he hadn’t given the goal. In American sports they explain everything. Even if its just hand signals they explain why they give a foul. In football we have to work it out.   

Group G is a tough group for the USA. Portugal, Germany and the team everybody was talking about 4 years ago Ghana. USA have the weakest 11 but the 2nd weakest squad ahead of Ghana. I don’t expect anything. I don’t think they will get out of the group and i don’t think they will win a game. Prove me wrong America!!

Star Man: Clint Dempsey
One to Watch: Jozy Alidore
Prediction: Group Stage


Argentina are a lot of teams pick to win the World Cup. Its close to home. They have one of the best players to have ever played the game as well as many players who are the in the World Class bracket. But they have a weak link. If they win the World Cup this year they will be the team with the worst defence to have ever won the World Cup. American Football has a saying that I love “offense wins you games, Defence Wins you championships” a world class offence can win you a game but can it win when it matters. A world class defence gives your offence a chance to score 1 or 2 and win. This is what champions are made of. Look at the best teams in the world they all have great defenders. Argentina have 1 world class defender (Zabaleta) but the rest of the defenders are average or Poor. Demichelis isn’t and has never been an international standard defender. If he was English he would be Curtis Davies (no caps 1 call up and that was with a new manager) yet at 33 and 38 caps he is in this squad. Actually their best centre back is Mascherano and they play him centre midfield.

Attacking talent they are the best in the world. If you put the forward from with team in the Belgium defence they would be unbeaten for years. Di Maria, Messi, Aguero, Higuain and Levezzi are all top class forward players. And they would have played together hundreds of times even if Higuain only has 36 caps. They are all 26 years old (except Levezzi) so they will know each other better (I would think) than any other team at the world cup.

Please understand that im not saying Argentina will not win the World Cup because they don’t have a good enough Defence but looking back on history the winners have had top class defenders and thats something that Argentina just don’t have. The youngest player in the squad is 24 years old. So this team has been built for this tournament. They need Messi to perform at the big time and so far he hasnt done that but he was 22 last world cup this year he is 26. He is primed to make a big impression this year. In my opinion he is the greatest football to have ever played the game. Pele, Maradona and Zidane are all up there make no mistake but they are known as the best because they have won the World cup. The only thing that people say against Messi is that he hasnt done it at the world cup. I think he will be the Top scorer at this years world cup. With the group they have he could have 5 or 6 before the 2nd round. Last world cup Forlan and Muller shared the top scorer with 5 goals. This is Messi’s year. if he doesn’t win this World cup I actually don’t expect him to win it in Russia in 4 years unless Argentina develop some world class talent in the next few years. The fact that not 1 player is under 23 years old doesn’t look good for them.

Aguero is also one to watch he is for my money the best footballer in the Premier League when fit but his fitness is a problem. If Argentina have him fit for the whole month they have one hell of a player. His fitness is frustrating because he is a World player of the year player if he is fit. He is never fit.

The group is easy for them. Nigeria, Bosnia and Iran. They couldn’t have a easier group if they had rigged it not saying they did rig it themselves but if they did they would have this group. The toughest thing about this group is that they wont know much about Bosnia, the Nigerians either turn up and play well or are tripe and Iran........ok i have nothing good to say about Iran. If Argentina don’t win this group with 9 points (in the words of Brian Clough) they want bloody shooting.

Star Man: Messi
One to watch: Di Maria is in sizzling form
Prediction: Semi Finals (beaten by Spain) or Final (beaten by Brazil) wow i love the World Cup

Saturday, 31 May 2014


Bosnia are the only team in their first World Cup this year. I for one welcome them. They are starting to have a few players who are making into the big clubs. They have Dzeko of Man City, they have Pjanic of Roma and Begovic of Stoke who is known as one of the Premier Leagues best keepers. I know little about any other players in the team. A lot of the players play their football outside of Bosnia in fact only 1 person (the 2nd choice Keeper) actually plays for in Bosnia.

In Dzeko they have a goal scorer but more than that they have a world class striker who has won the league in both England and Germany. He is really dangerous and scores important goals.

In Pjanic they have a center midfielder who the world is chasing. This guy at 24 years old is about to make a big move if you ask me. already made his name in France and Italy a move to one of the big teams in Spain or England is due im sure. A classy midfield player who is on the verge of being world class. He is a massive player for this team.

The defence isn’t great but in Begovic they have a keeper who is proven and solid. He even scored a goal this year. I think its a matter of time before he moves on from Stoke and moves to a much larger team. The question for me is where does he go? Manchester United, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea all have World Class Goalkeepers so a move outside the UK seems to make sense.

I think it comes down to Bosnia or Nigeria to get the 2nd spot in this group (Argentina will top the group for sure). The game between them is huge so a good result for Bosnia could see them in the 2nd stage. However I think Nigeria will qualify.

Star Man: Dzeko
One to watch: Pjanic
Prediction: Group Stage