Weblog: The football punter

The party's over so it's time for some sun

ALREADY missing it, aren't you?

The shaving foam, Joe Hart ads, cameramen on the hunt for pretty girls, the haircuts, boot colour combinations, Adrian Chiles. No I'm serious. As dire as he is/was/will be, Chilesy was an integral part of my World Cup.

I won't miss Fabio Cannavaro. Or Robbie Savage. Or Arjen Robben, the diving little hobgoblin. Or Alan Hansen, come to that. But even though Chiles was often as excruciating as the sight of Lionel Messi walking up to collect the best player of the tournament award, he helped make my summer.

Let's face it, it's been a great World Cup, full of moments of joy. Algeria, for example. And what a decent find Rio Ferdinand was. I thought a feller with a reputation for being forgetful might be a little bit absent-minded, yet he was actually quite perceptive.

And you love the cut-aways to fans blubbing at the fact that their team is getting chinned, until they realise their mugs are all over the big screen and they suddenly start beaming like they've won the lottery.

But the party's over now. Inspired by the sight of Chiles sunning himself on the Copacabana on a daily basis, I'm off to the Costa del Paignton for a few days.

By the time I come home, I daresay the clowns who run the Premier League clubs will have splashed the cash on a couple of dozen summer stars who may have looked classy playing with their mates in Brasilia in June but might struggle to make the grade in Burnley in January. Do they never learn?

And we wonder why England will be as rubbish at the next Euros as they were at this World Cup. Happy holidays.

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Match in Focus

18:45 TODAY

The New Saints v S. Bratislava

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Slovan Bratislava had 21 more attempts on goal than TNS in the first leg
Expert verdict
TNS put in an admirable performance to come back from Slovakia only 1-0 behind in this Champions League qualifying second-round tie. The Welsh champions were outclassed for long spells and were unable to carve out any real opportunities, so turning things around in the home leg seems improbable.