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 now. During registration, the form asks for a Pool ID; Here you should enter ‘harmboxy‘ to join TSS’ league.