WORLD CUP : Offside

‘Failure to think ahead’

BERLIN: Former England coach Terry Venables blasted outgoing England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson’s World Cup tactics saying they involved a “failure to think ahead” while the selection of Arsenal teen Theo Walcott comprised a “mistake”. “From the moment Sven went with two fit strikers, including an untried teenager, there was always a danger that circumstances would conspire against us,” Venables said. “Some might argue that we suffered bad luck but the bottom line is that in both situations a drama became a crisis because we failed to think ahead,” said Venables.

Cheap at the price?

BERLIN: Tickets for the World Cup final between Italy and France were going at a whopping 2,200 euros ($2800) as Italian and French fans gathered to try to snap one up in a final dash for a seat at the Olympic Stadium. Dozens of fans, including a Japanese clad in a France shirt who said he would pay up to 500 euros ‘only’, were asking touts at the Olympic Stadium railway station. According to one French fan some touts carried signs reading “1,400 euros minimum.” One report said a member of the Brazilian Federation had sold a ticket for 2,200 euros.

Lawn souvenirs

BERLIN: Fans are queuing up for a piece of history — or rather, a piece of the Olympic Stadium turf, which will be sold off to supporters after the tournament, according to German daily Tagespiegel. “On Tuesday, the turf will be dug up and the Quelle company will cut it into sections and sell it to supporters,” Alan Cairncross, head groundsman, told the paper. He added he had been trimming the grass to ensure it maintains its FIFA-specified length of 2.8 centimetres.

Robson unimpressed

LONDON: Former England coach Sir Bobby Robson says this year’s vintage were not hungry enough to win the World Cup. “I think we needed a bit of hunger to want to win. That was, in some cases, lacking,” Robson said. “I don’t think some of our players played to their maximum potential” added Robson, who took England to the semis in 1990. “We have a lot to learn,” he said.