Saturday, June 5, 2010

One of the great things about the World Cup is that it's the only occasion where you can really see pretty much all of the world's best players assembled in one location.

You want everyone (except England obviously! :p) to have their best players and strongest squads together, in the hope of seeing the best World Cup finals ever.

This year though, the players seem to be dropping like flies.

So many squads have been hit by injuries, withdrawals and serious doubts on some of their top players.

England's loss of Rio Ferdinand is a big blow to them, not as much as if they lose Wayne Rooney (as they seem very short on goalscorers in their squad), but their pain is not felt alone.

Germany have lost Michael Ballack and others; Didier Drogba is now extremely doubtful for the Ivory Coast with a fractured arm; Arjen Robben is a major doubt for Holland with a hamstring injury; Ghana have no Michael Essien; John Mikel Obi adds to the missing Chelsea players by having to withdraw from the Nigeria squad; and other teams hit by injuries to top players are Italy, Slovakia, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and the US.

Some of the injured players may make it. Some may make the latter stages. Some will unfortunately miss out altogether.

With teams having to play so many matches now for their domestic clubs, it would seem that the raft of pre tournament friendlies is a step too much for some of these players as we covered before in the blog.

It's a shame that this fixture congestion, and overuse of players, is going to deprive us of some of the best players in South Africa, but I think it's something we're going to have to get used to for tournaments down the road and that's the biggest shame.


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