Maradona’s penalty solution, El Tel to Doha for the World Cup and other football stories

**Everybody seems to think that Argentina would be a shoe-in for the World Cup if only their manager was someone sensible and not the crazy former main man Diego Maradona. They do seem to have the best players.

But, you never know, Diego might just pull it off as this original approach to penalty-taking, from the Argie training camp allegedly, may indicate.

Although isn’t there something in the rules about men on the goal line?

**Terry Venables, or El Tel as he hates being called, is due to be one of the stars lined up by Gulf channel Al Jazeera to host its World Cup coverage.

This is the station that George Bush wanted to bomb in the last Gulf War. These days it even employs Sir David Frost!

He’ll be joined by lots of other old lags including Trevor Francis, Scott Minto (who?) and former ref Graham Poll, the man who gave a player three red cards in a match in the last World Cup in Germany.

Will Terry still be able to do ITV? He’ll be a loss if he can’t because, along with the Beeb’s Alan Hansen, he’s still the best pundit.

**England kick off on Saturday against the US and it looks like master tactician Fabio Capello will be going into the match without a holding midfield player (Gareth Barry still being crocked).

This is surely a bit remiss. Especially as England, now that Rio Ferdinand is injured, will be fielding two remarkably slow centre halves in John Terry and Ledley King – who could do with a bit of a shield.

Anyway let’s hope for the best (expecting the worst).

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.