Adam Hawes, founder of Schport – the free grass roots team sports website, used by hundreds of teams around the UK to make organising their teams much easier – give us the thoughts of the gaffers of run-of-the-mill Sunday league teams.
We got in touch with a good bunch of the Saturday and Sunday league footy team gaffers on Schport, and asked for their tips for South Africa. Nearly everyone we contacted – with the exception of one pessimistic Souness-alike – were extremely excited by the tournament.
The favourite: Argentina
It seems Sunday League managers all identify with Maradona most! Despite his questionable tactical nous, picking players based on “visions” etc, Argentina emerged as the clear favourite.
Apart from “One word: Messi”, our favourite response had to be: “Even their rubbish players are mustard. Diego Milito might not even be first choice and he pretty much won the Champs League final single handedly for Inter.”
Can’t fault the logic…
The Dark Horse: Serbia
Serbia was the most popular pick here. And the best reason given for this choice: “They’re a team of hardcases. You wouldn’t fancy seeing Vidic, Ivanovic and co down a dark alley!”
We should also mention that somehow New Zealand scored a vote! The reason? “They’re pretty good at all the other sports they play.” Unfortunately, it’s not our responsibility to inform this (presumably under-fire) manager that the Kiwi football team are firmly the rank outsiders, tipped not to score a goal or notch a point.
Most over-rated team: Spain
We had a ton of suggestions for this one. And yet Spain surprisingly scored a good few votes!
The reasoning seemed to be that despite arguably the strongest squad and only a single loss in their last 47 matches: “They’ve played too many games, so most of them will be carrying injuries or will be tired.”
Players to look out for
“Cuauhtémoc Blanco [of Mexico]. No one can see the ‘bunny hop’ enough times!”
“Diego Forlan. Just to be reminded that a player who was a joke at United has become one of the deadliest strikers in the world. I wonder if we’ll be saying the same about Berba in four years!”
“North Korea’s third choice goal keeper Kim Myong-won. He’s actually a striker! This could make great car crash TV!”
“Jong Tae-Se has been billed the Asian Wayne Rooney. Can’t wait to see how it goes down with Kim Jong-Il, when he sleeps with a South African granny!”
Most delusional: England
It has to be England. There was lots of healthy realism among the grassroots gaffers. Best reasoning to keep the blind faith in check:
“How many times has Three Lions been released as a single and scored a top ten hit in the run up to the World Cup? Says a lot about the psyche of a nation if they’re willing to be duped by the same song every four years.”
Plus let’s not also forget that this song should have been firmly binned in the archives when it became the song for the German national team in 1996!
And the reason why the one gaffer was not interested in the world cup?
“I quit international football at the same time I quit the fags. England just wasn’t good for my health. Avoiding watching the games worked better than the patches.”
Please also contribute your gems to this article.