World Cup Briefs - Sven a risk for Ivory Coast
Published: 06 Apr 2010 - 10:25:12
So 23 people will certainly have the chance to make a name for themselves at this summer's World Cup. What will they have in common? They'll all be female and they'll all be attached to Ivorian footballers.
Sven Goran Eriksson's appointment as the latest Head Coach of the Ivory Coast should ensure that another group of nobodies will make a brief name for themselves this summer thanks to their relationships with footballers. Although from what we are told the WAGS of the Ivory Coast may be safer to keep their handbags at home than on display.
Africa’s best shout at making the semi-finals of a World Cup for the first time (although their cause was not helped by the draw) will now lie in the hands of a man who recently left a disastrous 'project' in the fourth-tier of English football at Notts County, moved on from Mexico and who oversaw an England side who were the dullest of the 32 participants at the 2006 World Cup.
When the Ivorians, led by Didier Drogba, take to the field they are amongst the proudest of footballing nations, a classic 'golden generation' representing the millions, many who live impoverished, at home. Whether Eriksson can add anything to the side remains to be seen - he gradually blunted England's attacking edge with his obsession at playing a controlling game with players lacking possesional expertise.
The Ivory Coast are a side that play on instinct, that rely heavily on character and vigour. Could Eriksson's relaxed demeanour take that element away from his side? How the likes of Drogba and the Toure brothers respond to the 62-year-old Swede, and his unique conduct will be of significant interest.
How serious will Eriksson treat this job? There are already stories doing the rounds that he is failing to attend association functions in preference of illuminating his face back into the public spotlight.
His task is immediately problematic - his adopted nation face Brazil & Portugal in the Group Stage. Reaching the Second Round will be an achievement of sorts after their failure to progress in Germany.
With the world waiting for Africa to break the final four wouldn't it be standard Sven to see it all end in the Quarter-Finals?
Could it rain goals?
Have we ever gone into a World Cup year with so many forwards in such good form?
Since the World Cup expanded to encompass 24 nations in 1982 the highest average goals per game stands at 2.81 - set in Spain that year. The last four tournaments have seen the average fall in successive World Cups down to a measly 2.30 in Germany in 2006.
With so many stars in such sparkling form could this year buck the trend? Could the 2010 World Cup be a mecca for attacking football? Could this World Cup be one we remember not just for being the first on African soil?
It stands every chance.
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:andy bishop
- Having worked in radio, newspapers, magazines, internet and television I hope to now bring my passion for the game to your computer screens with analysis, comment and tongue-in-cheek humour on all things global in the world of football - from Barcelona to Boca and from Blatter to Berlusconi...enjoy!
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