Day one of the 2010 FIFA World Cup ended without any of the four teams competing managing to win their game. The hosts, South Africa drew 1-1 with Mexico, whilst France and Uruguay played a dismal 90 minutes in a game that eventually finished goalless.

Aside from a stunning goal by South Africa and a colourful, vibrant and noisy opening ceremony, the opening day provided very few talking points, but today is the big one for England fans, as we get our campaign under way with a match against the Yanks.

Man for the job!

The USA, who for some unknown reason, prefer to watch men in pads close-line one another, or a more tedious (yes it’s possible!) game of cricket played with a round bat, aren’t a team that should have England particularly worried. The only problem with that statement however, is that when a team ‘shouldn’t have England particularly worried,’ we usually should be.

Not only do we have a tendency to get a little carried away with our own abilities but we also tend to underestimate the competition. However irrelevant the professional game of “soccer” may be in the US, it’s still played by millions upon millions of people at grass-roots level. From all those millions, it stands to reason that eleven above average players must have emerged.

Now, I aren’t saying we should afford our American friends too much respect, but to underestimate them could be disastrous. America is a team high in confidence, convinced they’ll make it through what many are describing as their ‘easiest group stage’ in decades. The casual American observers do rate England, but with confidence so high in Camp USA, there’s more than the odd deranged blogger claiming they could cause an upset.

Personally, I’m more confident about England’s chances than I have been in a long time. Capello has brought with him a much needed iron-fist and the players now respect and appreciate their roles in the team. There are no superstars in Capello’s England. Instead, what we have for the first time since Euro 96, is a team playing for one another. No one player is bigger than the one standing next to him. It’s that kind of team-ethic and unity that should see us prevail where we have previously failed.

2010 WC predictions update

For yours truly, yesterday was an unmitigating disaster. I predicted a 1-0 win to South Africa in the opening game by convincing myself the hosts always win and in the France v Uruguay game, I decided that Uruguay should be that little bit worse than France, again going for 1-0.

So, no points so far for me, but we do have an outright leader as Wally became the first predictor to get the exact result with his 0-0 prediction for France v Uruguay. Wally leads the table with 3.0 points, followed by NickMetcalfe and MadFerret with 2.0 each.

The only other points scorers for yesterday were Elperronegro, Matt BB and TheReaper08 who all scored 1.5 points for correctly predicting France and Uruguay would finish level.

New entrants – Anyone wishing to join TSS’ World Cup prediction league can sign-up at SportGuru.co.uk now. During registration, the form asks for a Pool ID; Here you should enter ‘harmboxy‘ to join TSS’ league.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention The Scratching Shed | Blog | The 'special relationship' means nothing as England take on the USA -- Topsy.com()

  • TheReaper08

    Morning all, the France game yesterday was utter dross, the sooner they go home the better.

    As for today well me and the little one have got our shirts on and are looking forward to us smashing the Yanks up, not sure he fully appreciates what’s going on at just 7 weeks old but nothing like starting em young.

    I have every faith in Mr Capello and the boy’s and made a bold triple forecast at the start of the year, my son being born fit and healthy, Leeds getting promoted and England winning the World cup, 2 down………

  • Mike

    I am beginning to get a little interested in England again, Beckham and his circus turned me right off England, but he is gone now so maybe we can do pretty well.
    Gerrard will win the world cup himself if he has to now he is Captain. Not doing any predictions though as I seem to put the mockers on things by doing so.
    Come on England.

  • TheReaper08

    1-1 ! That was total gash. Milner off after 35mins, Ledley injured, a fair few bookings, Rob Green’s error and end up drawing against the burger munchers.

    Think I am just going to sit here and get totally battered.

  • Ørjan

    What is going on….Gerrard and Lampard as defenciv mitfilders. Capello I don like what I see. Makes it dificult to the left and rigth backs to get involved offencive play. One error by Green , Milner off because he is sick. England have a problem in central defence, no speed. I cant see England as Champions.

  • Ørjan

    And I am sorry by that.

  • Dje

    Still waiting for any real quality to show itself in the teams at the World Cup. Early days I suppose, disappointed with Argentina and England though.

    • TheReaper08

      You forgot about France Dje, I almost gauged my own eye’s out when they were playing.

      • Dje

        To be fair, Reaper, my expectations for France were minimal – like Greece – an utter waste of space at the World Cup. Uruguay pissed me off as I thought at least they’d justly humiliate the French, but they were lame too.

        When you think of the reasonable-to-good teams in Europe – Sweden, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Russia, Czech Republic and Ukraine – that aren’t at the World Cup and yet France and Greece have gone to literally make up the numbers, it seems criminal.

        • TheReaper08

          I couldn’t agree more Dje although I confess I thought France might come good for the tournament. I also heard so much about how Uruguay were really good and I was looking forward to a cracker.

          Greece just looked like they had won a competition from there Sunday league to play in a World cup, like you say, totally criminal.

          • Dje

            One of the commentators mentioned that a few of the South Korean players had had all their money pinched from their hotel – to be honest I thought it looked as if the commentator had got it the wrong way round and it was actually the entire Greek team that had had their money, return tickets and wives stolen from them the way they played. Almost “Thanks a bunch Coach for bringing us to this disaster”.

            Considering the economic and social implosion happening back in Greece at the moment, you’d have thought their football team could have at least put in the effort to give them something to cheer for.

            Oh well, roll on Algeria v. Slovenia!

  • Mike

    I think , after today I am going Back to not giving a fleas fart about internation football and save myself for Leeds United, there is enough ups and downs there to satisfy anyone.
    How good was it though to see Lewis grab pole in Canada?
    All is not lost. Come on Jensen, make it 1-2 for England.

  • Dje

    Early days, Mike. England are historically slow starters (read as: ‘lousy’) at World Cups. From what I’ve seen so far: if they calm down a bit and put their foot on the ball once in awhile and make the opposition chase after it, opening up space to exploit; if they don’t pick up any injuries in key positions; if they don’t play against pacy forwards, ever; if Rooney doesn’t get himself sent off – then hey! they’ve as much chance as anyone else.

    Or so goes the theory.