Rob’s World Cup Wire
incl: States Gets Soccer Fever & Klinsmann’s Chicken Salad Recipe!

by Rob Shepherd.

Jay Who..?

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The unmistakable Jay Goppingen…

Jurgen Klinsmann quickly defied the cliché that Germans don’t have a sense of humour when he arrived at Tottenham in 1994 and produced a self-mocking pronounced dive celebration when he scored on his debut at Sheffield Wednesday.

And when he left Spurs he held a press conference at London’s Comedy Club.

After quitting playing in 1998 (after a loan period back at Tottenham) he moved to California and in 2003 he put his playing boots back on – but cheekily under a false name.

Known as Jay Goppingen (Goppingen being the German town where he was born) Klinsmann played eight games for local team Orange County Blue Star scoring five goals during the summer of 2003.

“I was just having fun and staying healthy and fit, and having a group of guys to kick the ball around with,” Klinsmann said. “It was for me after a long career, it was just enjoyable. It was a lot of fun and the name thing is funny.”

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Jurgen’s Chicken Salad Recipe

It’s a quote that will always stick with me;

In the opening game of the 1994 World Cup (won 1-0 against Bolivia) Jurgen Klinsmann put in a typically energetic display in intense heat at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

Afterwards I chatted with an American Sportswriter who was hugely impressed by Klansmann’s sheer energy, physicality and willingness not to see any wayward pass as a lost cause but a potential chance.

“You see that guy Klinsmann… he makes chicken salad out of chicken shit!”

What a wonderful turn of phrase.

In 80 internationals Klinsmann hit an impressive 38 goals.

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German Resort

Quite rightly a lot has been made about the ridiculous number of England backroom staff  (77 no less)  and the £2 million cost of the trip to Brazil.

But Germany built a new facility and built their own training ground to suit their requirements.

The custom built complex near Porto Seguor was commissioned by the German DFB and will become a sports and nature resort with a youth academy when the World Cup is over.

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Security!

Mind you the England entourage pales into insignificance compared to that of the USA…

Their contingent – bloated by security men for fear of a terrorist threat includes their own traffic cops and FBI contingent – is an incredible 700.

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Asamoah Makes Amends

Asamoah Gyan was the player who you will remember missed the last minute penalty that would have put Ghana into the World Cup semi finals four years ago.

But his goal in the 2-2 against Germany has kept Ghana in it this time.

It is the third successive World Cup in which he has scored and he is now Africa’s all time WC top scorer with five goals.

And has hit a whopping 41 goals in 80 internationals.

He has the potential to lead Ghana to the next stage but a move back to the Premier League is unlikely. After leaving Sunderland in 2012 he signed a six year deal with UAE worth a £6 million a season.
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States Soccer Makes Strides

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Spurs Win Title! (wont be typing that again for a while I suspect…)

USA’s match against Germany today is expected to attract the biggest ever soccer audience in the States, possibly pushing towards the 30 million barrier which would be bigger than many regular season NFL games.

The opening game victory over Ghana attracted the biggest US television audience for a football match – 16m people. The draw with Portugal smashed that record with an average of 24.7m viewers.

Football is finally beginning to gain genuine ground on America’s three heartland sports of American football, basketball and baseball.

Coach Jurgen Klinsman has tried to boost audiences by wirting a letter to urge bosses in the States give workers time off.

To put the audiences in perspective the concluding game of the NBA Finals last week drew an audience of 18m when the San Antonio Spurs beat Miami Heat, while Major League Baseball’s hallowed World Series averaged just short of 15m viewers.

The average audience for regular-season games in the NFL in 2013 was 21m, although the Super Bowl was the most-watched programme in US history with 111.5 million

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South Korea Go The West Ham Way!

Given the clichéd view of the stature of South Koreans it is ironic thet they have developed a version of long-ball, route one football.

Both their goals in the 4-2 defeat to Algeria were from long ball punts which is the liking of Park Chu-Young who is an Arsenal player but spent last year on loan at Watford.

Maybe West Ham boss Sam Allardayce will take in interest in the Korean target man…?

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In Case You Missed it, Luis Suarez Is In The News…

In Uruguay, Luis Suarez trades on his bad-boy image, so his latest transgression could actually increase his marketability given the dubious moral code of top level football and big business.

In an interview yesterday Creative chairman of advertising agency Green Cave People, Malcolm Green, told BBC Sport: “The level of social media interest shows he has been able to take his infamy to new heights in an instant.

“More than just a pantomime villain, he is now able to take the role to unprecedented heights.”

Incredible.

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One to Watch:

Algeria reached the semi finals of 2013 African Nations Cup and can enjoy their best ever run at World Cup if they best Russia today.

For them to do so then their 5ft 8 attacking midfield player Yacine Brahimi will be key to their success – and Russia boss Fanio Capello enduring more World Cup misery.

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I-Say:

Roy Hodgson has suggested he will keep the door open for both Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

Hodgson says he doesn’t want either to retire formally from international football because it means “They disappear from England selection”.

No it doesn’t. There is no contractual obligation or pension complications about such a retirement.

But the idea that Hodgson feels he might need to turn to them as England embark on their 2016 Euro campaign illustrates why Roy should retire from the scene.

He says he won’t resign so he should be sacked.

Not just because of two dire showings at major tournaments but by suggesting that he doesn’t seem to have a clue of how to build a new team, as revealed by trying to cling on Gerrard and Lampard and keep them part of the set up. How can that be progress when both are in their mid thirties..?

Those at the FA who have their doubts about standing by Hodgson should consider that when they make their deliberations in the wake of the failure in Brazil.

As it happens I suspect that both Gerrard and Lampard will do Hodsgon’s job for him on that front and hang up their England boots.

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Beat The Bookie

It is never a good idea to back against Germany but William Hill are offering an incredible 10/1 on a USA win. That’s worth a tickle…

A safer bet would appear Thomas Muller and Eden Hazard both to score.

Ghana at 21/10 against a dispirited Portugal is also worth a punt.

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World Cup Moment

It is perhaps the most painful for England fans.

Not the 1-0 defeat to USA in 1950 but Gerd Muller’s extra time goal to give West Germany a 3-2 win over England and knock Sir Alf Ramsey’s World Cup holders out of the 1970 tournament at the quarter final stage.

@robshepherd5

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