American fans are winning the World Cup

I’m enjoying this World Cup more than the last. Not because my national team is doing well - it’s England, they’re out already - but because I’m watching this tournament from America.
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Helping homelessness through football

Solving homelessness is not easy, but every year the Homeless World Cup has shown success in encouraging social inclusion through the international language of football. Nicola Hebden spoke to the organiser and participants to find out more.
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Are fashionable stripes right for French footballers?

The mariner-striped chemise that is flabbergasting the French is not part of Jean-Paul Gaultier’s spring collection.
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French dump foot losers for hand heartthrobs

French sports lovers have been left vulnerable after the national football team's timid performance on the world stage, but they seem to have found the thrills they were missing in the bulging forearms of the country’s wacky handballers.
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Amoros : « Il faut que tous les mutins soient suspendus trois ou quatre ans»

Manuel Amoros compte 82 sélections en Équipe de France, avec laquelle il a remporté l’Euro 84.



And we thought France were bad

Well, what a shambles. From the match in Cape Town to the press conference shenanigans yesterday with John Terry, England are in a mess.


Everyone is to blame; manager, coaches and players. Could it be that Fabio Capello is the right man at the wrong time? Some of his substitutions against Algeria were baffling. Before the World Cup, all the talk was of pace. Everyone seemed to believe that this was what was required to break down the world's best defences (and Algeria's). However, pace is only useful when there is space to run into, and Algeria weren't daft enough to allow that so they defended on the edge of their penalty area. The game was screaming out for Joe Cole, one of the few English players with a bit of cunning, but Capello left him on the bench. He seems inflexible, like a man still defiantly watching his old black-and-white telly, while the rest of us relax in front of our colour HDs.


Football fashion -- continued



Some cafes in Paris have sponsors  that provide new tee-shirts every night to their waiters. Don't they look proud?

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Spain fail to get us on our feet

So are you still watching? It's fair to say that the neutrals (excluding Switzerland for once) wanted Spain not just to win, but to win well. This has been a World Cup that, thus far, has been lacking in world-class play. It comes to something when Germany - efficient, mechanical old Germany - are considered the flair team of the tournament.


The obvious answer is that managers have learnt their lessons from mistakes by their predecessors. Avoiding defeat in their first match has become their priority. As Arsene Wenger put it this week: "In the first round teams play more not to lose than to win. The games are quite locked tactically with very few chances and very few have had a go. The pressure of the World Cup is so intense nobody wants to lose that first game."