Monday, 21 June 2010

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day Eleven

The 2010 World Cup is at the halfway stage, sez Peter Drury. I'd like to think (hope?) that it's actually just beginning.

The second wave of group games was wrapped up by Group H once again providing some of the best action despite a relative lack of goals, while Portugal opened their South African account after a drab goalless draw with the Ivory Coast by thumping North Korea 7-0 and sending them crashing out.

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day Ten

Of the three games on day ten of the 2010 World Cup, it's safe to say that people will remember one match - and one incident in another.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day Nine

The fact that it has taken almost nine full days to confirm the first nation in the last sixteen and the first nation making an early trip home is testament to the fact that we are in for one of the tightest and most intriguing group stages in recent memory. So much for this becoming the dullest World Cup in history...

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day Eight

Day eight of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was one of severe disappointment and dismay for three sides who could have guaranteed, or at least all but secured, their place in the second round of the finals.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day Seven

We are now one full week into the 2010 World Cup, and the first full day of second fixtures was upon us. The big question: were the numerous wary, lethargic, low-scoring performances really down to the altitude, the new ball, the vuvuzelas?

If the quality of football on display so far in game two of Groups A and B, the answer would appear to be "perhaps they were".

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day Six

With all 32 sides off and running now in the 2010 World Cup, it may finally be safe to confirm that the worst of the shaky, tentative start to proceedings, accompanied by all of the excuses and concerns, is behind us.

Unfortunately, it also seems that host nation South Africa's chances of continuing their progress on home soil has also fallen by the wayside, unless the Bafana Bafana can pull off a miracle against France.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day Five

I was absolutely adamant that my recent trend of finding themes among each day's three World Cup games would finish before long, likely by today in fact. But one word screamed out at me by the end of New Zealand v Slovakia, Cote d'Ivoire v Portugal and Brazil v North Korea: surprise.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day Four

The general concensus from the first few days of World Cup action is one of disappointment due to several nations playing extremely cautiously to begin their respective campaigns - not to mention a low tally of actual goals scored.

Germany's rout of Australia was, as a result, heralded as the first quality performance and first truly entertaining fixture of the tournament so far - but the former sentiment I feel is extremely unfair to the likes of South Korea who came to South Africa to play, and the latter a harsh reflection on the extremely watchable Argentina/Nigeria encounter.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day Three

The opening weekend of the 2010 World Cup concluded with another triple threat of games on a lazy Sunday afternoon(/evening). Half of our thirty-two sides have now made an account of themselves and, quite frankly, very few have been that dazzling.

However, the goals finally game for those netbuster fanatics in the evening's fixture and England's situation in Group C following a disappointing draw with the USA became a little clearer.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day Two

After a successful start to the first African World Cup with a compelling opening match between hosts South Africa and Mexico (followed by a not so compelling stinker between France and Uruguay), it was time for the tournament to get real good for the armchair spectator: Day Two meant three games throughout a Saturday afternoon and evening, and this writer can confirm that London's West End was absolutely rammed throughout.

You'd have expected crowds to be minimal for the first two games in Group B before hitting fever pitch in the evening for England's bow against international rivals the United States. But the number of Korean, Greek, Argentine and Nigerian fans on hand in the bars of the big smoke was impressive to say the least - not to mention the amount of locals out to take full advantage of the perfect excuse for a boozy all-dayer.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Host Nation's World Cup Armchair Diary: Day One

After what felt like an eternity in waiting, World Cup fever has once again run wild, and in lieu of actual tickets to South Africa, I'll be posting my thoughts on the games and the tournament as a whole right here on everybody's favourite ghost-town blog!