Countdown To 2010 #9
South African based Manchester City fan, Mariner sent is the following.
As was widely anticipated, Joel Santana has been replaced by the very man that he succeeded, Carlos Parreira. This has not gone down well in some circles were it was thought a local South African coach would have more empathy and knowledge than any import, even if that import had been here before.
For a coach who had led Brazil to a World Cup win, Parreira's record was decidedly sketchy during his last tour here. Out of 24 games played he won ten, but of those ten only one was a competitive game, and that was against Chad (who must be on a par with Outer Mongolia in the World rankings). Nonetheless, he has stated he is not here for the money (huge by SA standards) and that his first aim is to get South Africa through the Group stages. Incidentally, his previous job with Fluminese ended with them at the bottom and Parreira getting the sack. Next month we play Japan & Jamaica at home - the former could be dodgy, the latter will cause a furore if we don't win.
I remember reading in one of Vital Manchester City articles regarding the Germans being advised to wear bullet proof vests. Presumably this was meant as a joke nevertheless the current spate of hi - jackings along with gratuitous shootings indicates there could be some sound sense behind the suggestion.
On the political front, we have a firebrand out here called Julius Malema. He is twenty eight years old and leader of the ANC Youth League. He makes the most outrageous racist statements and quite obviously has a very anti white agenda. Up to now one has to wonder why he has not been disciplined by his party for his behaviour, but it now appears that he is being groomed for eventual leadership, having had praise heaped on him by none other than Jacob Zuma. This is a Mugabe in the making and God help us all if he ever becomes President.
Virtually all the Stadia are now complete with Capetown being the last ground to be given the all clear and signed off. The finishing touches should be complete in December.
We now wait the draw for the finals with the hope that England will be in Durban where the support base is huge. The problem will be the games at altitude in Pretoria and Johannesburg where acclimatisation is essential. Visiting Rugby teams sometimes prefer to base themselves at altitude and travel down to the coast just before any games at sea level, and then return immediately afterwards and thus maintaining their altitude tolerance.
World Cup countdown #8 can be found here.