World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

If England can't stand the heat...

phil_mcnulty.gifEN ROUTE TO STUTTGART - England's traditional obsession with the weather has been derided here in Germany as we swelter in the heat.

The complaints about the temperatures and humidity after the opening game against Paraguay were treated with barely disguised contempt by outsiders, scornful of the fact England appeared shocked at it being a little sunny during high summer in Germany.

But take it from me, I stood pitchside at what would be virtually kick-off time in Stuttgart yesterday, and even a specimen so finely-honed to the peak of physical perfection such as myself found it difficult to take.

It is a sign of how finely-tuned professional sportsmen have become that they can push themselves through physical barriers for 90 minutes, and now possibly more as we enter the knockout stages.

Sven-Goran Eriksson told us how players undergo sweat tests, start taking the correct fluids on board two days before a game and will even suffer the torture of ice baths to fight off the effects of the stifling heat.

Are England too obsessed with the weather? I'd be interested to know what you think...

Eriksson's pre-match press conference was his now usual mix of knockabout light humour and iron-clad confidence that his England side have something up their sleeve they haven't produced so far.

He laughs (literally!) in the face of negativity and has sparked a mixture of admiration and bafflement with his optimistic outlook despite England's performances so far.

If England have got their best form hidden away and ready to roll out in their hour of need, let's just hope they're not saving it for a rainy day.

Eriksson has been linked with the Australia job that is due to be vacated by Guus Hiddink after the World Cup - and there was a press presence from our old sporting rivals at his briefing in Stuttgart yesterday.

Once they got it off their chest that they could not believe England did not lay everything on the table to land Hiddink rather than the safe-hands appointment of Steve McClaren, they threw another name in the frame as a possible contender for Australia.

They appeared to think Lyon's former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier was the top target, but feared he is too committed in France to make the switch Down Under.

So Sven could yet get as far away as possible if he fails to win the World Cup.

Now I'm going to tread very carefully here after being wrongly accused of mocking Italian fans for their celebrations in Baden-Baden after reaching the last 16 with victory against the Czech Republic.

As we returned to Baden-Baden from Stuttgart, our coach was held up by dozens of cars with German flags flying parading in laps around the town...hours after the win against Sweden.

There was even a traffic policeman guiding them on an unofficial route. Now that's German organisation for you.

Were they over-doing it as they prepare to face Argentina? I'm not saying a word.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 11:47 AM on 25 Jun 2006,
  • Geoff Saunders wrote:

I'm just looking forward to the post-match Beckham interview. I'll even tell you what he'll say:

Well, yeah, it was hot out there, and yeah, you know, it takes it out of you. You know?

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  • 2.
  • At 11:52 AM on 25 Jun 2006,
  • TAH wrote:

I live in Germany and sometimes, just sometimes, it gets hot and humid here. Actually, the weather is not so different from the southern half of England, and sometimes really worse.
The English have an obsession that everywhere else has better weather and that slight variation out of the 5 to 18 degree corridor gives certain "oppostion" an advantage.
If you are a professioanl sportsman you have to be ready to play in all environments (think of Sweden in Miami in 1994). It's the same with English cricketers - go and LEARN to play on a Quennsland wicket or in the slow heat of Chennai and stop complaing. Or should Roger Federer ask wimbledon to get rid of the grass too? Real talent copes.

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Here we go again! We are playing in Northern Europe not Mexico, not Central Africa and not the Australian outback!

For heavens sake there is no excuse from England. The weather will not beat us and I predict neither will Ecuador.

It will also be 5pm when we start, not high noon!

I hope the England players are not as obsessed about the weather as the media and fans are! God help us if we qualify for the next World Cup and then potentially playing in Brazil in 2014!

My prediction for the game. Whatever happens every interviewed English player will mention the heat.

http://www.followingengland.com

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  • 4.
  • At 12:30 PM on 25 Jun 2006,
  • TAH wrote:

Well, why not assume the other side might also feel hot?

Quote from travel guide:

"In Quito the temperature ranges from 7 degrees C (55 F) at night to 26 C (78 F) at noon, and averages 15 C (64 F). There are two seasons, wet and dry."

Alternatively, take control of the game and slow it down to your pace applying the deadly strike just before and just after half time.
OK I know, that isn't so likely from Engalnd's point of view!!!

Bottom line: England are mentally weak despite, or because of, the pervading working class male culture of the domestic game.

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If the England rugby team can win the World Cup downunder then the England football team can win it in Europe.

If anything is going to beat England it will be the players themselves.

I hope the players have more confidence than the BBC website viewers!

http://www.workingnomad.com

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  • 6.
  • At 12:51 PM on 25 Jun 2006,
  • Stephen Kershaw wrote:

Agreed with all those comments on England should be able to play in any temperature.
However, in the spirit of fairness, it would be nice if FIFA managed to occasionally have a World Cup in Winter - personally, I don't think Argentina would be half the team they appear to be if they had to play in a wet and windy January evening at Elland Road - just look at most South American imports to the English league - they can't cope with the mud and the frenetic pace of the game - hence, Mexico who outran Argentina for 90 minutes, were in my opinion, the better team last night (and should have been playing against 10 men) - unfortunately, no matter what your readers have so far written, England could never play at the pace Mexico did last night for that amount of time in the heat they will get today - physical limits and your own physiology and home climate do take their toll I'm afraid.

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  • 7.
  • At 02:17 PM on 25 Jun 2006,
  • super_si wrote:

Come on guys. As an Ex Pat Pom living in Sydney, I've got little sympathy for this whinging about the heat. I've been struggling to watch the games at all hours of the night and then going to work the next day.

http://www.expatworldcup.com

You just deal with the adversity and get on with it. Sounds like they're looking for their 'losing excuse' well before the need arises. Show some bulldog spirit. Good luck today!!

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SO let's see - after this World Cup - Russia gets Hiddink, the US gets Klinnsman, the Aussies get Sven (payback?) and England gets Sven's right hand man??!!
HOW is that possible. I think it is past time the FA admit they made a mistake - fire McClaren - may him his cash and bring in BIG PHIL! Vote Here:
http://www.globalfutbol.com/poll_vote/1151237838_KoCbgmss

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  • 9.
  • At 02:33 PM on 25 Jun 2006,
  • Rahul wrote:

Sure, have the world cup in winter. Why not - why should the spectators not have to sit in rain and wind and be cold and miserable? And why should people be given the chance to be outside in the sun and have a drink or two while watching the game? The fair people of the British isles do that all the time, the rest of the world should damn well have to share the misery as well!

Do not understand this hysteria re. the weather. No one is saying that it will not be hot and that it will not make it harder for England to play (not that England have shown much playing till now anyways...). It's just this - the weather will be hot. Period. England have to accept that and do their best and figure out how to beat the weather. Not get fixated with it. Going on and on will not make it rain (though I hope it does - really want to see rooney and gerrard and cole play some proper football, like they do on a saturday/sunday afternoon).

England must win, and that it all that everyone should be talking and thinking about, the media and fans included. They have to win come sun, rain or snow. The weather, late night celebrations, croaking frogs, not enough sleep - all irrelevant.

That is what being a champion is all about - taking the circumstances you are given, and winning. The greater the challenge and adversity, the stronger the will to succeed. You do not become a champion by trying to ensure that all the ancillary factors, all the surrounding circumstances and conditions, are perfect. You become one by going out and seizing the day, come what may.

Come on England!

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  • 10.
  • At 03:05 PM on 25 Jun 2006,
  • john wrote:

Well guys,

Most of Ecuadorian players played and lived in Guayaquil. Guayaquil is a city that is around 100 or less meters above sea level.THus, the temperature all year around is 25 - 38 C and 100% humidity. I believe Ecuadorians are ready to play a good match against England .

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  • 11.
  • At 04:21 PM on 25 Jun 2006,
  • t. simpson wrote:

Hot weather in summer - the top bananas of the team are getting heavenly paid for doing their lowly football work in such icy countries like Spain.
Vice versa, key members of the heat resistant opposition in this tournament from Africa, Spain, Brasil, Argentina etc. are composed of mercenaries, earning their living in northern Europe, including the UK.
I heard little complaints. At least this aspect escaped the hysterical media attention.
Thunderstorms are to be expected in Southern Germany, Stuttgart and Baden Baden included. As far as this prediction relates to the weather: However, not before tomorrow. Any significance in this ill timing?

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  • 12.
  • At 04:37 PM on 25 Jun 2006,
  • Matty wrote:

It is truly pathetic to complain about heat! We all knew it would be warm in Germany in June so it should have been prepared better for. Seems like same old excuses from england.

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CONGRADULATIONS TO ENGLAND ON ITS VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 14.
  • At 08:07 PM on 25 Jun 2006,
  • sally wrote:

Congratulations to England!!And most importantly to David Beckham!He has proved yet again how vital he is to that team.So he didnt play all that great but none of them did and hes the only one who scored a goal.So to all those people who wanted Beckham to be dropped for this game,all I can say is,'where would England be now without him???On a plane back home is where!!!!

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  • 15.
  • At 12:00 AM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Sascha wrote:

You know something is wrong with your team, when they complain about the weather. ;)

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  • 16.
  • At 01:05 AM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • David H wrote:

Wasnt it a little warm in Mexico, 1986? We seemed to do pretty well then!
Its a rubbish excuse!

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  • 17.
  • At 03:39 AM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Michael Holgate wrote:

The players are professionals and no matter what conditions will go out and do there best.

If there are problems with climatization there is the technology to get the players right.

The Australian Institute of Sport climatizes there buildings for any possible heat and humidity conditions that their athletes are expected to perfrorm.

But the best way to combat heat is simply fitness and hydration and above all a will to keep going no matter the conditions and to fight to the very end even if the world is against you.

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  • 18.
  • At 03:47 AM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Michael Holgate wrote:

I have grown up in Australia and I'll say you never get used to the heat, you learn to live with it and cope with it but above all it should never be an excuse.

When two teams have to play with the same conditions there is no difference. It is who copes with it the best, it has nothing to do with which latitude you grew up in.

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  • 19.
  • At 11:38 AM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Nick Alexander wrote:

I agree with michael.
just because the weather or conditions are different, the teams should have been properly trained to withstand those conditions, if they have not then it just shows poor coaching skills and poor preparation. All teams should undergo severe training to prepare them for the conditions, be it extreme heat or down pouring rain.
Without the proper training of course the players will suffer in the conditions.

Nick Alexander, Strodes college. As Media Studies student

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