Ray King: sport saturation
Not having seen a ball kicked I cannot comment on their performance and it was only through newspaper coverage I could assess their progress. There has been much talk and tabloid coverage regarding the penalty kick.
When the tournament was reaching its climax, it was inevitable that a penalty shootout would materialize and that England once again would play a significant role in the proceedings. Players who are earning tens of thousands a week should never miss converting from a distance of a mere 12 yards. That is the view of course construed by most football followers but human nature being what it is, penalties will be missed no matter what a player earns.
Temperament plays a huge part in this controversial issue especially when that one kick can mean winning or losing a vital match, such as the vital penalties that were missed by Ashley Young and Ashley Cole against Italy. Gareth Southgate, David Beckham and Chris Waddle have been responsible for the worst penalty kicks I have ever seen so the two Ashleys can console themselves on that score. As Southgate’s mother commented afterwards, ‘Why didn’t you just bend it?’ – a sound philosophy!
Having recently witnessed one of the finest Wimbledon men’s finals for years, I feel competent to air my views. Roger Federer gave us a wonderful display of classic tennis, even though he was pressed to the very limit by Great Britain, Andy Murray.
Andy was magnificent in defeat but my main criticism of Andy is his lack of emotional control which was so evident at various stages of the match. It is imperative that he composes himself consistently and controls his unpredictable temperament.
This is perhaps the major difference between him and Federer who always manages to remain calm and keeps himself under control at all time. When I devised my formula for superlative goalkeeping: Confidence, Concentration, Control, Courage, Consistency, and never Concede. I think the same recipe belongs to tennis without a doubt. It was a memorable tournament despite the rain.
When you read these notes the games will be up and running, hopefully without any threat of terrorism. As I wrote in a previous column, my good friend, the late Daily Mail sports writer, Ian Wooldridge said the Sports Council would regret their decision to hold the games in London because of the enormous cost, threat of terrorism and car parking problems. We all hope the games will be an enormous success and like most of you armchair addicts we can watch it all in comfort.