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Vlog on the Pitch: Where will it end for Maradona?

Vlog on the Pitch host Owen Wyatt is in Glasgow to see the preparations for Diego Maradona’s first game in charge of Argentina.

Owen’s question today is a simple one: Will Diego’s journey end at Soccer City in Johannesburg with the final of the 2010 World Cup? Or is it destined to end badly…

Argentina  have the players to win the World Cup — with Messi and Riquelme to add to the squad assembled for the Scotland game — but does Maradona have enough experience to plot the path to glory?

Let us know in the comments, or even better, record your own vlog, let us know where it is, and if we like it we’ll embed it here.

An unnecessary Swiss trip


A South African World CupAfrica’s remaining World Cup contenders have to travel north across the Mediterranean, over the Alps and on to Zurich next week to find out who they meet in the battle for places at the 2010 finals.

How ridiculous is it that the draw for the last phase of the African preliminaries will take place in the Swiss city ahead of a first-ever African World Cup and at a time when FIFA is trumpeting all sorts of African initiatives.

World Cup organisers present mascot, with shorts this time


Zakumi in all his glory

So, what do you make of Zakumi, the green-haired leopard presented last night as the official mascot for the 2010 World Cup?

Organisers deserve credit for remembering to give a big cat a pair of shorts this time. For the last World Cup in Germany in 2006 we had the gormless-looking Goleo, who was (rather daringly) naked from the waist down.

How to frustrate Brazil — by Robinho


Brazil playersRobinho was so keen to rub it in after Brazil’s 3-0 win over Chile on Sunday that he inadvertently gave some invaluable advice to Bolivia, their opponents in Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier.

Having daubed graffiti on the wall of Brazil’s dressing-room in Santiago – ”There must be respect for the best national team in the world,” he wrote – Robinho then proceeded to tell the Chilean players where they had gone wrong.

England should think back to Munich before getting too excited


Theo Walcott celebrates

A clinical hat-trick in Zagreb on Wednesday and suddenly Theo Walcott is the answer to all England’s ills and Fabio Capello is worth every penny of the millions the FA pay him for his services as national coach.

At least that’s the line trotted out in most of the daily newspapers as talk of new era and new wonder kid dominated the back pages.

World Cup could fall flat if South Africa carry on losing


South Africa fans look unhappy

South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup is supposed to be a watershed for the world game and the African continent, an opportunity to emphasise the international flavour of the game and at the same time give an under privileged continent a chance to prove its potential and bask in the world spotlight.

To that end South Africa is a flurry of construction as new stadiums go up along with hotels, rail and road projects and a myriad of other infrastructure improvements.

Argentina’s romantic commitment facing a test


Basile watches as Tevez walks offTake a look at the standings in the South American World Cup qualifying group and it seems that Argentina are making steady progress towards South Africa. After seven of the 18 games, Alfio Basile’s team are third with 12 points, two points behind the leaders, and only four goals conceded.

On paper, Argentina and their elegant playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme are a purist’s dream, weaving neat patterns around the field with their passing and refusing to resort to the long ball or the physical approach.