Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Moribund no more

So that statistic about 95% of blogs being abandoned within months of their creation is true. I see my last posting was way back in March 2008. Just another unloved and uncared for blog in a desert of social networking casualties. So much for it being a vehicle for witty and regular missives on the twists and turns of a shambolic mug punting career!

But no! Lazarus-like, this blog can be resurrected. I will truly aspire to lofty commitments of irregular, variable quality and dubiously sourced postings. Let it be so!

In a World Cup summer, it's no surprise that football punting has dominated my activities. But, sadly, only marginally profitably.

As a football spectacle most commentators agree that the quality of the action at this tournament was low. My take on this is that it continues a recent trend that declined sharply four years ago in Germany. Whilst South Africa saw (arguably) less blatant diving, air-card waving and general referee pressurising, there was a desperate rise in the level of well organised defences, negative tactics and cynical play. Technically proficient European coaches bringing about massive improvements to the defensive qualities of uninspiring African, Asian and Australasian teams is certainly part of the explanation. It is far easier to coach organisation, discipline and tactical awareness than it is to produce brilliance, creativity and invention in a squad of average footballers. Alchemy would be easier.

But that explanation does not extend to the World Cup Final. The Oranje tactics to break up slick Spanish passing and moving through bad tackles, obstruction and negative play (that's just van Bommel!) betrayed a lamentable disbelief in their own ability. Natural justice was seen to be done with a Spanish win. Personally I feel that the Netherlands A game could have given Spain a real fright.

But never mind natural justice. A Dutch win would have been financial justice for me. Big time. I'd invested a good few quid in various combinations involving the Netherlands winning. Their appearance in the final guaranteed me a small profit. But, oh, what might have been. In addition to plundering Betfair markets heavily, my mate has launched a new footie predictions website with some tasty prize money on offer. Needless to say, a Dutch win would have seen me pocket a tidy sum. Check out Three More Points. Oh, and I had the Netherlands in the office sweepstake too!

I tried to get the girls interested in the World Cup this year. At 12 and 10 I thought they were ready. So it was that Catherine and I were poring over the pull-out from The Observer in early June. "Who will you be supporting then Cathy?", I inquired, rather hopefully. She looked at the double spread before her. Pondered the fixtures. Glanced at the team names. "Group C", she uttered convincingly! Blimey, I still have a long way to go.....

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