It is very difficult to pick out a winner for this weekend’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
Even though Tiger Woods has got a fantastic track record at Hoylake, he won the last of his three Opens at the venue in 2006, you cannot see him adding this tally at the weekend.
His aura of invincibility seems to have diminished and the top players sense this.
Justin Rose did well to win the Scottish Open last weekend, but it may be tough to produce that form two weeks on the trot.
Like all links courses it will depend on the weather this weekend, if it is bright and sunny that opens it up to a lot of players, but if it is wet and windy then that restricts the amount of players who can win the event.
Martin Kaymer, Rose and Graeme McDowell are all players who seem to impress in these kinds of conditions. I also think Aussie Adam Scott won’t be too far away either.
The Germans fully deserved their World Cup final 1-0 win against Argentina as they were the best team in the tournament, but it has sparked a debate about whether our FA should possibly take heed of their ‘blueprint’ for success for the national team.
The ironic thing is that when the Germans started their plans to rebuild after their Euro 2004 exit they took some parts of the FA’s blueprint launched by Howard Wilkinson, taking the bits they liked and making a new plan for the future.
How you produce players through youth football is the key. Germany had a 10-year plan and they stuck to it.
The problem is in England we do not have that patience.
In the Premier League, the likes of Southampton seem to produce good young England players over the years such as Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott and Lallana, but in stark contrast Chelsea and Man City, despite having very strong youth teams, seem to produce very few young players from this country.
Daniel Sturridge was unable to gain a regular slot in either City or Chelsea’s first team, but since moving to Liverpool he is a regular, scoring goals on a regular basis.
Clubs need to invest in the facilities and staff for the youth teams, that is the only way that things will change.
I also think a limit on foreign players in the Premier League will also happen in the future. much as the Italians did in the 1980s.
Quote of the Week: “I had his agent on trial at Watford many, many years ago and what I have said about us is that we will be honest and hard-working.
“That’s Doukara. He’s honest, he’s hard-working and he will put in a shift.
Leeds United boss David Hockaday judging his players on what their agents were like as players.
Performance of the week: Has to be the German football team again, they fully deserved to win the World Cup as they were the best side in the tournament.