Mexican fans meltdown after Tri’s defeat

Mexican fan with tears

Published on front page of Reforma newspaper on 28/06/10


The humiliation was too much for many fans after Argentina crushed Mexico 3-1 in a win or die match to qualify to the quarter-finals. This match promised to be the rematch of Mexico against Argentina, in which the South American team defeated the Aztec national team four years back on German soil in the same stage of the World Cup.

From glory to ridiculous

Mexican fans mexico-uruguay

 Photo: Gabriel Infante


Absolutely shameful and disappointing! The Tri after playing an amazing game, orderly and with great precision against les Blues, and which caused the sub-champions’ meltdown, seems to have vanished away with Uruguay.

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.


A historic match! After 80 years Mexico finally beats les Bleus

celebración de mexicanos

Photo: Gabriel Infante


The victory of Mexico over France has revived the enthusiasm of the fans and the local media considers it as historic. For the skeptics, like me, we were proven wrong. I have to admit that I had my doubts if the national team could overcome “Les bleus”, the sub-champions, and taking into account that Mexico has never beaten the French national team, since both teams first played back in the 1930 Uruguay FIFA World Cup opening match.

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."


England start poorly yet again

England have competed in 13 championships in my lifetime. Our opening fixture record reads as follows: Wins - 3, Draws - 6, Defeats - 4. A win percentage of 23% -  a poor figure for a supposedly top football nation. What is it about England that makes them fail this test time and again?


In a word - fear. How else can you explain players like Lampard and Lennon playing like shadows of the performers we see for their clubs? It's like they've been replaced with an Invasion of the Bodysnatchers style replica. One of my Talksport colleagues who went to the Royal Bafokeng Stadium said he thought they looked nervous before the game, as if they could already see the headlines should they fail to beat the US (although quite why Robert Green decided to make it easier, Lord only knows). For this Capello and staff must take some of the blame.


48 million people with one common goal

So I am in South Africa! The blog has had to wait as they sent me out to work straight off the flight. I only managed to sleep for two hours on the way over but thought it would not matter as I had the day to sleep some more. Not a chance. When we reached our accommodation, I was told to hurry up as I was going straight out to record some audio and then I would be producing a show in the afternoon. We ended up in a safari park, recording the presenters’ reactions to the wildlife and getting some vox pops. I then produced Drive with Adrian Durham, where he tried to be positive about England’s chances. The listeners on the whole were quite downbeat though. It is amazing the way people are playing down our prospects. I have even heard people criticising Fabio Capello for not knowing his best team or formation. Don’t they appreciate he has to try different things in the build-up? Is he supposed to do it in our opening game instead? As Michael Winner might suggest, calm down dear!!!


99 problems but a pitch ain't one

So due to a few gremlins, it's been a while since the last blog. This was very frustrating, not least because I called Walcott not making the squad but no-one was able to see it! The only person who was selected for the squad that didn't tally with my prediction was Stephen Warnock. Leighton Baines's decision to tell the media how he hates going abroad because it means he has to miss Corrie or whatever meant Warnock goes despite not playing a game under Capello.


Spread your wings to find profit

The World Cup is the biggest betting event you will ever see. Not only are there 64 matches to bet on, but 30-50 markets on each match depending on which bookmaker you use, and then there are all the specials markets as bookies strive for a bit of variety to draw in new customers. It is these specials markets where punters should look hardest - since they are lower profile markets, bookmakers will spend less time in creating them and are more likely to have a different price to other firms.


When it comes to match markets, all bookmakers use odds monitoring services - there are not going to be huge variations between odds. Match markets are heavily based on intelligent statistical models which, in the long term, are very difficult to beat. But when bookmakers cast their nets far and wide in order to lure a few more customers, they will offer markets which can't be analysed scientifically - just by personal opinions, and this is where an advantage can sometimes be found.


Take a look at some of the special markets being offered:


South Africa, China and the North Korean Football team

With the soon-to-start World Cup in South Africa, it is our China Filers’ hope that you’re still wondering why we’re writing this post when China has not even qualified –and is probably still paddling into corruption affairs. Well, while most eyes will be following the conventional teams –Brasil, France, Italy, Spain- our trained ones will bet on the North Korean one…and its Chinese supporters !
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