There is nothing that makes me love football more, than when you watch a player for the first time and think he’s gonna be great and 5-10 years later when he is you think back on when you first watched him, I love it.

The 2 examples that stick out for me are Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, ever since 1994 I have loved Brazil it was Romario and Bebeto that started the love affair and two Ronnies just increased my love of Samba football. I first saw Ronaldo playing in the Atlanta Olympics, funnily enough he had Ronaldinho on the back of his shirt, I had remembered seeing him celebrate the 94 World Cup but never played, then he stood out to me in Atalanta and we all know how good he became, only the greatest goal scorer in World Cup history.

Ronaldinho was a special find also, I was watching a youth tournament on Eurosport, I can’t remember what year or if it was u17 or 19, Brazil were playing and there was this little bald midfielder who was destroying their opponents then he got a Free Kick and bent it over the wall past the goalkeeper, on the back of his shirt he wore the #7 and his name was RONALDO that name made me take notice and he was superb, then years later when PSG signed the player we knew as Ronaldinho I looked at him and the face was unforgettable it was him.

Yesterday saw the final of the European U17 championships and England picked up the trophy beating Spain 2-1,I didn’t get a chance to see any of the game luckily I found a great article this morning, UEFA’s commitee have picked out 10 players to watch out for so I thought I would share it on here. These are names I will definitely be looking out for, I would hope you would too.

Jack Butland (goalkeeper, England)
On the bench for England’s first two wins, Butland replaced Samuel Johnstone for the Turkey encounter with his team through. The tall Birmingham City FC keeper’s performance was so impressive, he retained his place and aided England to victory as they held on to beat Spain 2-1 in the final.

Tiago Ferreira (defender, Portugal)
FC Porto’s Ferreira combined superbly in central defence with Tobias Figueiredo and Portugal conceded only three goals in the whole finals, two of them late on against Spain when Rui Bento’s side had to chase a big win. Being schooled by Bento, no mean defender himself, is an added plus.

Mattia Desole (defender, Switzerland)
Left-back Desole already has a reputation – FC Internazionale Milano signed him from Grasshopper-Club in June 2008 – and although injury-hit Switzerland struggled in three defeats, Desole looked the equal of his opponents having already featured in his nation’s fine defensive performance in the elite round.

Konstantinos Rougkalas (defender, Greece)
Up front, captain Dimitrios Diamantakos, the hero in qualifying, was dominant for Greece but they mainly impressed in defence, conceding only once against England and holding the Czech Republic 0-0. Olympiacos FC player Rougkalas was a solid presence in a well-drilled backline.

Tomáš Kalas (Czech Republic)
The Czech Republic too had an impressive defence. Although Filip Twardzik made a costly slip against Turkey, the Celtic FC centre-back bolstered his reputation while alongside him Kalas did a sterling job, though a red card against Greece ended his tournament early.

Taşkın Çalış (winger, Turkey)
There was plenty of focus on three-goal Turkey captain Artun Akçakin but he was aided in his task by VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach winger Taşkın. It was the No7′s clever deep corner that helped put Turkey briefly ahead against England and Taşkın also equalised in the semi-final with Spain, though his side were to lose 3-1.

Abdoulaye Doucouré (midfielder, France)
Turkey’s fellow beaten semi-finalists France had a talented team, including Yaya Sanogo up front and another tall player, Paul Pogba, in midfield. Stade Rennais FC’s Doucouré has a lower profile than that pair, but proved a real prospect, showing great skill and coolness to set up Pogba to give France hope in their semi-final loss to England.

Gerard (forward, Spain)
In Gerard and Jesé Rodríguez, Spain had two superb wingers lurking on the touchlines blessed with skill and pace. Of the two, the pick was FC Barcelona man Gerard, who scored twice in the group stage against Portugal, including one straight from a corner, and lit up the final with the opening goal and an array of tricks. England won but left-back Luke Garbutt will not forget Gerard in a hurry.

Connor Wickham (forward, England)
England had talent running through their team from Garbutt in defence to Conor Coady in midfield and Joshua McEachran supporting the attack. Up front they had a formidable pair, Arsenal FC striker Benik Afobe supporting the strapping Wickham, already a senior regular for Ipswich Town FC. He did not score in the group stage but two in the semi-final defeat of France and the winner against Spain – a piece of superb control and cool finishing –  capped a season to remember.

Paco (forward, Spain)
He drew a blank in the final but that was out of character. Paco’s six goals in the finals, a winner against France, a hat-trick to beat Switzerland and two in the semi-final dismissal of Turkey, left him three clear of anyone else in Liechtenstein. Including qualifying, the Valencia CF forward managed a tournament record 14.

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Sorry for the lack of content, I have been working on the World Cup sections of the website trying to get them all up and running before the big kick off on June 11th, even though being Scottish my country isn’t there I still love the competition and everything about it, a love affair that start when I was 9 and Italia 90 entertained me for 4 weeks.

13 days now till South Africa face Mexico in the opening game, by Tuesday every nation must submit the 23 players chosen the represent their respective country, some countries have made the squads public already but#a1 the majority are still making the final picks, England manager Fabio Capello still has to trim his 30 man squad to 23, the two friendly games against Mexico and Japan will have helped to make his decisions but people will still have differing opinions on who should stay or go.

Against Mexico Adam Johnson and Aaron Lennon impressed as subs, Carrick didn’t do anything to strengthen his position, then against Japan, Bent did well with limited service, Walcott was very poor, Joe Cole came on in a new system and performed well, Heskey should have scored but didn’t.

So I think I will post 2 squads, my 23 and what I think Capello’s will be.

My 23 first, I will name my starters then the subs.

Starting XI:

 GK – Joe Hart
Experience is overrated, Casillas made his name in the Champions League final, Joe is a great keeper and would be solid for England.

LB – Ashley Cole
One of the best Left Backs in the world.

CB – John Terry & Rio Ferdinand
As shaky as this partnership has looked recently I’m sure everyone would still start them.

RB – Glen Johnson
He may not be able to defend but he is still a danger going forward.

LM – Adam Johnson
Best left foot in the squad, has trickery, delivery and a great attitude could be a star at this world cup

CM – Frank Lampard
20+ goals this season auto pick

CM – James Milner
without Gareth Barry and Carricks poor form, James needs to play

RM – Aaron Lennon
Great pace, very dangerous

AM – Steven Gerrard
Plays fantastic behind Fernando Torres so why no Rooney and brings the best out of Stevie

CF – Wayne Rooney
No need for a reason


GK – David James & Robert Green – they pick themselves

LB - Leighton Baines – better option than Stephen Warnock, good left foot, decent defender

CB – Michael Dawson & Ledley King – King on his day can be superb and Dawson has been one of the best cb’s in the Premier League, I can’t pick Upson as he has not performed as well as Dawson

RB – Jamie Carragher – only other) in the squad so has to go

6 spots left

CM – Scott Parker – hard working central mid, superb for WHU should have been tried against Mexico better than Carrick

AM - Joe Cole – alternative to Gerrard or Johnson or Lennon very versatile could perform in the Gerrard position

RM – Shaun Wright-Phillips – still has that spark that can change a game, great pace and skill, more consistent than Theo.

CF – Peter Crouch, Jermaine Defoe, Darren Bent – Three strikers that all add something, Crouch will always trouble teams with his height, Defoe has pace and can finish, and for me Bent should be on that plane due to his form this season.

So that’s my squad, I am picking that as if Barry is out, if he’s fit Parker is out and Barry starts for Milner.

This is what I think Capello’s 23 will be

Starting XI

GK – James RB – Johnson CB – Terry and Rio LB – Cole

LM – Milner CM – Gerrard & Lampard RM – Lennon

CF – Rooney & Heskey


GK – Green & Hart

LB – Baines CB – Upson & King RB – Carragher

CM – Carrick AM – Joe Cole RM – Theo Walcott LM – Adam Johnson

CF – Defoe & Crouch

So the differences, Fabio will take Upson as he has used him regurarly, Heskey will start as a target man to help Rooney, even though his form has been awful Michael Carrick will get a place, Theo will go as Fabio loves him and Bent will be left out.

I would love to hear everyones thoughts and your squads.

We will see how right I am on Tuesday.


The English Championship can boast one of the wealthiest games in all of football, the Playoff Final played at Wembley could be worth 50 to 60 million pounds to the winner, and heartbreak and a tough season ahead for the losers.

4 teams tonight and tomorrow fight for their place in the Playoff Final; both games still in the balance, the winners will then be 1 win away from a place at England’s top table the Barclay’s Premier League.

The teams in question are Blackpool, Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City and Leicester City. Nottingham Forest were once the top team in Europe winning 2 European Cups, and then in the 90’s the fell all the way down to the 3rd tier of English football, Promoted from League One last season they have had a remarkable season under Billy Davies it is no easy feat to have the chance of 2 promotions in a row.

Leicester City of course had some wonderful seasons in the Premier League under Martin O’Neill making stars out of Neil Lennon, Emile Heskey, Steve Guppy, Muzzy Izzet etc once O’Neill left Peter Taylor continued the good job but was sacked in his second season, Micky Adams took over and things got from bad to worse for Leicester, relegation then administration followed and Leicester like Nottingham Forest found themselves in the 3rd Tier of English football, a rebuilding process began, Once in League One talented manager Nigel Pearson took over and in his first season they were promoted as Champions, and now with a chance for consecutive promotions and a chance to have a crack at the big time again.

If any team could do with the riches of the Premier League Cardiff City would be pretty high up that list, there’s has been doubt cast over Cardiff’s financial state in recent times, Peter Risdale trying to find a rich buyer for the club and coming up short, then promising all season ticket sales would be spent on players, and once again not delivering, Cardiff have been in the Championship since 2003 and would see this as their greatest chance to make it to the top flight, talented players like Peter Whittingham, Michael Chopra and Joe Ledley will be hoping they can fire their team to Wembley, and the Cardiff fans will be hoping the same, if they don’t win promotion the chances of these players remaining at Cardiff next season are very slim, even their status as a club could be under threat.

Now most people reading this blog I would hope have at some point taken a holiday in Blackpool, cold sea winds, Blackpool Tower, the Piers, the Pleasure Beach and Premier League Football, sounds good doesn’t it, well maybe not good but would be wonderful for the people of Blackpool, with the backing of Latavian Businessman Valeri Belokon they have made their way out of League One and up the Championship table and secured their Playoff spot on the last day of the season, having eccentric manager Ian Holloway in charge has spurred The ‘Pool on to new heights, and who would bet against them reaching the dizzy heights of the Premier League.


Blackpool welcomed Nottingham Forest to Bloomfield Road last Saturday and the game did not disappoint, Forest started the better side and made it pay when Chris Cohen curled a beautiful shot with the outside of his left foot past Blackpool’s keeper, this only woke Blackpool up and they went on the hunt for a equaliser, a great move sweeping from right to left then back in the middle to find Keith Southern unmarked in the box his left foot shot trundled into the net, the first half ended with Dexter Blackstock’s header coming off the crossbar and Stephen Crainey clearing efforts off Blackpool’s goal line.

The Second half was all Blackpool and when James Perch brought down DJ Campbell in the box, Charlie Adam who has been Blackpool’s talisman all season calmly tucked it away for the 2-1 lead and that’s how the game finished Blackpool might rue the chance to score a third with the amount of possession they had in the Second Half.


This game was a much tighter affair, both teams still attacking but not as open as at Blackpool, Cardiff at times looking like the home side as they peppered the Leicester goal, the first half was all Cardiff, nervous Leicester fans could only watch on.

The second half started the same, Jay Bothroyd had a great header tipped over the bar in an early attack, it was Richie Wellens that got Leicester going firing a drive just past the post, then they had a penalty claim when Martyn Waghorn was bundled over when trying to get on the end of a cross, the pleas were waved away by referee Wiley.

On 78 minutes Peter Whittingham made the break through, a free kick on the right hand side, looked like he was going to play it into the box, He had different ideas, smashing the ball with his left foot past Chris Weale, there was nothing the keeper could do, a fantastic goal. For the remaining 10 minutes Leicester bombarded the Cardiff goal but David Marshall was not to be beaten and Cardiff will take a 1-0 lead into the 2nd leg.

2nd LEGS 

Tonight Blackpool travel to the City Ground with a slender lead, and Billy Davies will be hoping his team can use the home advantage and peg back the result and go on to Wembley. Blackpool will be confident they can score a goal away from home, it should be a great game, I cannot see anyone running away with it, and should go till the end, I would not be surprised if it ended on penalties, an exciting but cruel end for either team, my heart says Blackpool, think it would be great to see them in the Premier League, however my heart says Nottingham Forest I think they will have too much at home for Blackpool.

Prediction Blackpool 1 Notts Forest 3 (3-4 on agg)

Tomorrow Leicester go to Cardiff knowing they have to score 2 goals, and I think it will be too much for them, Cardiff looked great on Sunday and I think they will score more at home and I can’t see Leicester having an answer for them.

Cardiff will win by two and book their place at Wembley.

Prediction Cardiff 2 Leicester 0 (3-0 on agg)


That would make it a Nottingham Forest v Cardiff City Final – who will go on to emulate Burnley from last year when they beat Sheffield United in the final, and although they have come back down, I doubt they regret their year in the Premier League.


This weekend sees the climax of League One and League Two in England, the Bundesliga, Portugal’s SuperLiga, Scotland’s SPL and of course the English Premier League.



I’ll start with Saturday’s events, 5 teams in England are all fighting for promotion to the Championship; Leeds, Millwall, Swindon, Charlton and Hudderfield can all still mathematically make the leap to 2nd place.
Leeds have it all in their hands 9th place Bristol Rovers travel to Elland Road for what is expected to be a capacity Elland Road all eager to see their team make the jump finally out of League One, however this is a team made up of mostly lower league players, and how many have played in front of 45,000 people all baying for blood, the ocassion could be too much, or someone could become a hero.

Millwall v Swindon is a winner (maybe) takes it all situation, a win for either side along with a Leeds draw will give the victor passage to the Championship, Millwall’s 16 wins at home would make them favourites for this match, but Swindon can’t be ruled out.

Charlton travel to Oldham knowing that a victory along with a Leeds defeat and of course a draw between Swindon and Millwall would see them promoted, it is a lot to ask for but crazier things have happened in football, an even crazier situation would be a Leeds and Charlton defeat a draw at The New Den and Huddersfield go to Exeter and win, which against all odds would see them come from nowhere to get promoted, and what a story that would be.

2 Leeds United 45 32 83

3 Millwall 45 31 82
4 Swindon 45 17 82
5 Charlton 45 21 81
6 Huddersfield 45 27 80

Also in League One Tranmere visit relegated Stockport knowing a win could be enough to keep them in the division, Exeter, Hartlepool and Gillingham hover above the dangerzone looking down, Exeter have that difficult game against Huddersfield, Hartlepool travel to Brentford who have nothing to play for, knowing a win for the ‘pool would keep them up, Gillingham travel to relegated Wycombe and a point should be enough to ensure their safety.

18 Gillingham 45 -13 50
19 Hartlepool 45 -8 49
20 Exeter 45 -13 48

21 Tranmere 45 -30 48

So a very exciting day for League One fans with 9 teams all waiting on their fate.


Loads of teams with things to play for, gonna try to break it down.

6 Morecambe 45 8 70
7 Dag & Red 45 9 69

8 Bury 45 -5 68
9 Port Vale 45 11 67
10 Chesterfield 45 -2 67
11 Northampton 45 9 66

6 teams playing for 2 playoff spots:
Morecambe v Aldershot
Darlington v Dag & Red
Northampton v Bury
Port Vale v Shrewsbury
Chesterfield v Bournemouth

Wins for Morecambe or Dag & Red would secure their playoff status even a point for Morecambe should be enough, however a slip up could give 1 or even 2 of the other 4 a chance to steal a playoff berth at the death, Northampton v Bury is another win takes all situation, Port Vale have a great chance to win at Shrewsbury, Chesterfield have a tough home game against Bournemouth, it’s all to play for though and a single goal could make all the difference.

At the bottom it is all to play for, 3 teams fighting for survival and it is still all to play for, Cheltenham, Barnet and Grimsby know that Non-League football could be their destination depending on how the results play out.

21 Cheltenham 45 -17 47
22 Barnet 45 -17 45
23 Grimsby 45 -23 44

If Cheltenham draw at home to Accrington Stanley then they are safe,  however if 13th place Accrington can win, it means Cheltenham could be in danger, Barnet are at home to Rochdale: although already promoted, Rochdale could still come 2nd and places do mean more money, Grimsby travel to 14th Burton Albion knowing anything but a win and they are relegated, but a win would put pressure on the other two teams, could be a nail biting finish.


The bottom half of the SPL is in action today and all eyes will be on Rugby Park what a finish we have, Falkirk travel to Kilmarnock in what is a relegation dog-fight, Falkirk sit bottom of the table on 30 points but know if they can beat Kilmarnock they would leap frog above Jim Jeffries side and survive for another season in the SPL.
Relegation would be a disaster for Kilmarnock, reports of losses up to £1.5 million if they go down could cripple a team like Killie, which would be sad for Scottish football, Killie have it in their own hands though, avoid defeat and they could save their club.

Aberdeen travel to St-Mirren and St Johnstone host Hamilton but they have nothing to play for and the Aberdeen players will be happy to end what has been a poor season for them, St Johnstone and Hamilton will celebrate what has been a successful season for both clubs and another year in the SPL beckons.


The Final day of Germany’s Bundesliga kicks off at 14:30 today and it would take a miracle for Bayern Munich not to win the Championship, Schalke travel to Mainz knowing they have to do their job and pick up 3 points, but already Relegated Hertha BSC host Bayern Munich and for Schalke to lift the Title, Hertha need to collect all 3 points, Bayern will be hoping to complete part one of a possible Treble with the DFB Pokal Cup and Champions League final still to come.

Bayer Leverkusen or Borussia Dortmund could cap off wonderful seasons if they can pip Werder Bremen for the last Champions League place, both have already guarenteed Europa League football next season, the Champions League is where all teams want to be though.
Leverkusen travel to Monchengladbach who are save from relegation and nothing to really play for, Dortmund travel to Freiburg who are also safe, Werder Bremen host Hamburg who are trying to steal the Europa League place from Stuttgart so the pressure will be on the team from Bremen, Dortmund need Bremen to lose, however for Leverkusen a draw could be enough.
Stuttgart need a point against Hoffenheim that would secure that Europa League place, visiting Hoffenheim that will not be the easiest place to pick up that point.

At the bottom things are just at tight, Hannover, Bochum and Nuremberg can all still go down, Hannover are on 30 points and 2 points ahead of Bochum and Nuremberg, 1 will stay up, 1 will go down and 1 will have to play in the relegation playoffs, Nuremberg host FC Koln, and then in Bochum the biggest game of the day as they host Hannover, I am amazed how many times the fixture list brings up great fixtures like this.

Should be an exciting day in Germany.


When the coaches of all 32 teams have selected the 23 players they want to take with them to South Africa for the biggest football tournament in the World of course there will be players missing from the selections, I have picked out 10 players I think will miss out on a place, but in my opinion should be part of their respective countries plans.

If I have missed anyone out, please let me know.


#1 Ronaldo – Brazil

Unfortunately know more these days as “Fat Ronaldo” which is a shame for one of the greatest strikers of all time and the all time leading scorer in FIFA World Cup history, he has revived his career with the move back to Brazil with Sao Paulo club Corinthians, in the 2009 season he scored 12 goals in 20 games. Surely there could be a place in a 23 man squad for a born goal scorer; Dunga seems to want to go with the inexperience of Nilmar and Grafite or the youth of Alexander Pato.

I think if Dunga found a spot for Ronaldo in the squad the Selecao fans would fully support the decision and who better to bring on for half an hour to find a goal then a striker in form with killer instinct.


#2 Victor Valdes – Spain

Surely the man between the sticks in a team that won 6 trophies last year, Champions League Semi-Finalist and top of La Liga this year could be Spain’s #3, no doubt Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina are ahead of him in the queue, Victor Valdes is more than good enough to be picked by Del Bosque and go to the World Cup, yeah he has his moments, overall a very good keeper, better than Diego Lopez of Villarreal, and would be a fitting to award him a seat on the plane to South Africa.


#3 Esteban Cambiasso – Argentina

Inter Milan’s run to the Champions League final has helped highlight how good Esteban Cambiasso has played this season, a very important part in Inter’s midfield, great defensive play against Chelsea and Barcelona, however he is nowhere near the 23 man squad Diego Maradona will take to South Africa, only Diego will know why he won’t pick Esteban, it was November 2009 in a friendly against Spain that he last put on La Albiceleste jersey, and he deserves this June to wear it again.


#4 Darren Bent – England


If you have a look at all our leagues in Europe, it is quite consistent, If you score a lot of goals and your country is in the World Cup, you are probably going to be in the squad. In Spain 8 of the top 10 scorers will likely be in South Africa the same with Italy, in Germany Stefan Kiessling’s 21 goals so far should be enough to see him take a seat to the World Cup, however when you look at the Top Scorers in the English Premier League, Wayne Rooney on  26 goals and Didier Drogba on 25 are touted as the World’s Best, and then behind them Darren Bent has scored 24 goals in the League for a mid-table team,  if he was any other nationality than English he would be on that teams plane, the more shocking thing being that fans aren’t shouting for him to be part of Capello’s squad, Bobby Zamora has 8 League Goals and people are campaigning for his selection in the squad.

I just don’t understand this mentality, Darren has bags of space, is good in the air, and has always scored goals, he has only managed 5 caps for England so far, so no one can see he has really had his chance to impress, If I was the England manager he’s be in my squad guaranteed, with the conditions in South Africa with 30 minutes to go when teams are tired from the altitude and weather conditions, Defenders would hate to see a powerful striker that can run full pelt for 30 minutes against them, and I would think he could easily bag a few goals.

It seems to me that the England team is one that you don’t get picked by form, but who you play for, and for England to win the World Cup this needs to change.


#5 Ronaldinho – Brazil


In 2008 the Ronaldinho playing for Barcelona was not the player we all fell in love with, the smile was mostly gone and the skills and tricks were becoming less and less, a remember a quote from after the 2006 WC from Ronnie when he said the reason that he wasn’t the outstanding and entertaining player he had been was because Messi was injured, he had to limit the bursts of genius to save his energy as he had to carry the team, I don’t think it help that he had put on weight and was still partying, and I think lost the love for football that he previously had.

Then he moved to the San Siro for Ancelotti’s Rossoneri and he found time tough again playing 35 games scoring 10 goals and only 8 assists all the questions remained about his fitness and abilities, then when Ancelotti left for Chelsea and his Brazilian compatriot Leonardo took over after a difficult start Ronaldinho began to find form again linking up well with Pato and playing some of his best football again and has arguable been one of Milan’s best players this season 33 games 9 goals and a Serie A leading 15 assists, Ronaldinho has expressed his want to be on that plan for Dunga’s side this summer, whether Dunga will pick him or not is the real question, is there space for Robinho, Kaka, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo in the same squad, maybe 3 out of the 4 at the most, more likely to be only Robinho and Kaka, it would be a fairytale story if “Ronnie” could make the squad and also make an impact and light up the tournament, which on his day we all know he can.


#6 Giuseppe Rossi – Italy


Sometimes Italy can lack a spark, that little bit of magic, If I was Marcelo Lippi Rossi is someone who would find a place in my squad, the ability to bring Giuseppe on and he doesn’t even need a position, he can play upfront, drop deep, go wide, he just generally plays where the ball is and makes things happen, strong for his size, he has the ability to make a goal out of nothing, sometimes the play with Gilardino/Iaquinta can be predictable, Rossi can bring that little bit of unpredictability that sometimes teams need.


#7 Javier Zanetti – Argentina


One of the greatest footballers ever to play the game, Consistent over his whole career near 600 games of football, in an Argentinean team lacking leadership and direction, who better to be part of a squad trying to fulfil it’s potential than a born leader in Zanetti, playing a pivotal part in Inter’s run to the Champions League final he is very versatile can play left and right full back and all across the midfield, and with a team that has some great young talent in Messi and Aguero it is always good to have a strong leader around to help these players out. Javier would be flying my plan to SA not just taking a seat.


#8 Phil Jagielka – England


If April 2009 when Jagielka went down injured against Manchester City in what turned out to be a Cruciate Knee ligament damage with 14 months to the World Cup any hopes the ex-Sheffield United defender had of making a run into the running for a place in South Africa seemed to be gone, a fantastic 2009 for Everton he played 45 minutes for England against Spain. It was a year after that performance that he came on against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League and made his return and in the 2 months that have followed Phil has picked up where he left off, playing well beside Johnny Heitinga playing the last 9 games in Everton’s fantastic run of late, in defence for England apart from Terry and Ferdinand no place is guaranteed, so there is nothing to say “Jags” could easily make himself in Capello’s plans, I have no idea why someone like Upson in a very poor West Ham could be picked before Jagielka, what a reward for a tremendous comeback that would be.


#9 Djibril Cisse – France


The 2006 World Cup was meant to be Cisse’s big moment after sub appearances in 2002 in Korea/Japan, Germany could have been his chance to make a massive impact, however in the last warm-up game against China he fell under a challenge twisted badly and broke his leg, once he recovered from the Injury he started re-building his career, a great 24 goals in 1 season for Marseille looked to have re-launched Djibril’s career, however a strange loan move to Sunderland in where he scored 10 goals seemed to stall the reinvention as British fans still judged him on his Liverpool form. He had made it clear he wanted to stay at Sunderland but a deal never materialised and he returned to Marseille, obviously not wanted at the Stade Velodrome he then made the surprise move to the Greek League with Athens giants Panathinaikos, and Djibril has had a fantastic season scoring 23 goals in 28 games leading Pana to the Greek title which lead to Raymond Domenech picking Cisse for the friendly against Spain, he came on as a sub and produced a fantastic save from Casillas when his head from Malouda’s cross was pushed against the post.

Domenech could be very brave and pick Djibril for the World Cup, he has the ability to continue his goal scoring form and finally produce the performances his potential has always promised, I just doubt Domenech is brave enough.


#10 Charlie Davies – USA


In October 2010 Charlie was in a horrific car crash, breaking his Leg in multiple places, fracturing his elbow, cheek bone, eye socket and forehead, there was worries he would survive the injuries never mind play football again, the 26th of April will be a day Charlie remembers forever, he began full training with his team Sochaux in France, the next day he scored his first goal in training, he commented on twitter the amazing feeling it gave him.

Ligue 1 in France has 4 games left till the season ends and Team USA have 3 warm-up games before the Group Stage starts, chance for Charlie to play some games before the WC starts.

Before his injury Charlie had exploded onto the International scene, scoring against Brazil in the Confederations Cup Final, 4 goals in 17 games for USA and he was a cert to start in South Africa, now he is fighting for a place in the squad, It would be a amazing achievement if Charlie was sitting on the bench against England on June 12th, and who knows if he came on, I wouldn’t bet against him scoring a goal.

There are not an abundance of striking options for the US, Altidore has had a tough season at Hull City, Eddie Johnson has scored 4 goals for Aris in Greece and the other options don’t strike fear in the opponent, so if Bob Bradley thinks Charlie still has the ability, I don’t see why he shouldn’t be on the plane.


I would hope 4 or 5 of these players are playing in South Africa in June, but there is a very good chance none of them will and it is the football fans that would miss out, all of these players could play a big part in the Tournament in June, for the coaches picking the squads….What have you got to lose.