Article: World Cup 2002 predictions

The World Cup – The Ultimate Predictions

(Orginally published in Inform Magazine, June 2002)

Most people are making predictions as to what will happen in the world cup in Japan and South Korea but this is exactly what is going to happen. Honestly.

Right, first of all, the world will be utterly stunned after France lose to Senegal. Gad, I’m good at this! After this it gets trickier as I won’t be able to see the results on TV before writing this article.
By the second day of the tournament, the entire population of Britain will be struggling to get up at 7.30am on a Saturday to watch Ireland take on Cameroon. 98% of the aforesaid population will not do this again. In the studio, the BBC will be relying on the detailed knowledge of bone-fide, pukha Irishmen like Mark Lawrenson (Hansen won’t bother to get up). Mick McCarthy will be interviewed after the game, trying for the 100th time that week not to say that Roy Keane is a git.
Ireland will get stuffed, but in an honourable way. There will then be reports on how everybody has given up on them already that go on about ‘just enjoying the occasion as only the Irish can.’ Meanwhile, the hero worship of David Beckham amongst the Japanese will get immediately dented when he gets sent off after 10 minutes against Sweden. Sven-Goran Eriksson will wryly say to Gary Newbon that Beckham was a bit too up for the game. Gary Newbon will ignore him as he’s too busy trying to understand what the director is saying in his ear. In the studio Beckham will get blamed for any subsequent failures, France’s opening defeat, September 11th and Ray Stubbs.
Paraguay will lose all their games, and goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert will get so angry at his defence he will explode on his goal line, leaving only a shredded luminous tracksuit and a large spinning coin. Alan Hansen will shake his head sadly at this flaunting of the defensive system. Brazil will get beaten in the first round by Turkey, with most of the blame being put upon Ronaldo’s shoulders. Fortunately, Nike will give him a lot of comfort and money, much to Terry Venables’ envious disgust.
South Korea will wake up to the reality of the World Cup when they’re beaten by Poland. Korean coach Guus Hiddink will say that his team are fallible and will get lynched by a massed army of polite Koreans led by Cha Bum Kun.
Argentina and Nigeria will put at least five of each other’s team out of the tournament. And England still won’t be able to beat them. Italy won’t have got over the careful avoiding of unsightly bruises in the Friendlies and will be beaten by Ecuador. Despite this, the Ecuadorian coach Hernan ‘El Bolillo’ Gomez will be assassinated by former president Abdala ‘El Loco’ Bucaram for refusing to play Bucaram’s son. However, with the exception of Garth Crooks, nobody is really bothered as Gomez is Colombian and it wouldn’t be a World Cup unless one Colombian got killed.
Clive Tyldesley will struggle not to call the Japanese players ‘tiny’ or any synonym thereof. After a nervous start, Paul Gascoigne will settle comfortably into his pundit role and will be happily trotting out mildly racist jokes at the expense of Ally McCoist. Des Lynam will look embarassed.
Barely a week into the tournament, absolutely nobody is now getting up early, and Ray Stubbs gloomily accepts that he’s broadcasting to nothing but wired drug addicts who’ve stayed up all night.
After their first disastrous result, France win against Uruguay, although the prematurely returning Zinadine Zidane is carried off the pitch after losing a leg in an ‘enthusiastic’ tackle by Richard ‘El Chengue’ Morales, who has also been up all night and is equally wired. Gary Lineker will attempt to defend Morales before shrugging under a concerted assault by a near-animalist Trevor Brooking. Nike will attempt to give Zidane a robotic leg in the shape of a giant swoosh logo.
South Africa will greatly surprise Ron Atkinson by beating Slovenia, who had predicted the worst South African drubbing since the Zulus. Attempting to cover his embarassment, Atkinson will call the pitch ‘cakey’.
Brazil will win the rest of their games, but badly. Most pundits will say they’re not the best team Brazil have ever put out, before confidently predicting they’ll win it. South Korea vs. USA will attract the largest TV audience of the tournament, and will inevitably produce a 0-0 draw. There will be much lamenting in the studios about how the USA will never get into soccer now.
Clive Tyldesley will struggle not to call the Cameroon players ‘massive’ or any synonym thereof. Rigobert Song will be sent off for retaliation, after somebody rips the transparent sleeves of his jersey.
An entire nation bunks off work to watch Argentina vs. England. The country will never recover from the loss in productivity and Gordon Brown will shoot himself after his prudent economic plans are destroyed overnight. And Argentina will completely stuff us, causing much wailing and gnashing of teeth for John Motson.
Japan vs. Russia will be billed as the grudge match of the tournament, as they’ve been arguing over some island or other for centuries. Terry Butcher and Alan Green will build up this emnity massively, only to have a relatively tame game in which nobody gets hurt. Butcher, in particular, will get annoyed at the lack of blood.
For the final games of the first round, even the commentators and pundits are not bothering to get up for the matches. It gets really embarassing when Gary Lineker attempts to have a post-match discussion with a floor manager and his wife. Even then, he still comes off worst.
Paul Gascoigne is by now giving himself beer showers and dancing pirhouettes in a pair of novelty breasts. Des Lynam smiles indulgently, unable to get a word in edgeways.
France and Denmark go through from Group A, with Stig Tofting carrying the team with threats of terrible retribution from his Hell’s Angel mates. Raul is delighted when Spain qualify from Group B along with South Africa. Or at least we think he’s delighted as his expression doesn’t actually change.
Brazil and Costa Rica qualify easily from Group C, with much talk amongst the pundits of the conditions suiting the South Americans. Luis Figo celebrates Portugal qualifying, along with Poland, by immediately appearing in another 50 adverts.
Germany and Cameroon go through from Group E, with Ireland going out. Everyone will blame Roy Keane. England will also fail to qualify from Group F, but with nobody to blame the England fans will go on the rampage and will have the shit kicked out of them by the prepared and trigger happy Japanese police, before being forced to build a railway in the jungle.
Italy and Croatia will qualify from Group G, which will make up for Goran Vlaovic’s wife not winning the Eurovision Song Contest. The last qualifiers will be Japan and Belgium, with the Japanese having to play their next game in South Korea. Which should create a nice atmosphere.
What happens in the second round is anybody’s guess, although there’s bound to be penalty shoot-outs and shocks a-plenty. However, since nobody will be watching anymore who cares?

The World Cup is on all channels, all the time.

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About klausjoynson
I'm a writer, editor, musician, DJ and cartoonist. Contact me at: klausjoynson(at)gmail.com or follow me on Twitter: @KlausJoynson

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