World Cup: Why England will not win it all, and why Spain might do so
Want to know why England will not win the World Cup?
Look no further than Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea's misguided management has once again chosen the most inappropriate of times to tell a player he will not be back next season. In this case, it was two players, but only one is in South Africa.
The Blues have let midfielders Michael Ballack and Joe Cole know that their contracts will not be renewed when they expire July 1. Ballack is injured and will not be playing for Germany at the World Cup. But Cole could be starting for England when it opens against the U.S. on Saturday. This was hardly the time to be getting the news that he has been pink-slipped.
Cole is a good enough player that the offers will come rolling in, even with his huge salary demands, but disrupting him on the eve of the World Cup was hardly a smart move by Chelsea, and England Coach Fabio Capello is unlikely to have been amused.
English clubs that put club before country are nothing new, but it's a bit disappointing from the defending Premier League champions and FA Cup holders.
Want to know why Spain might win the World Cup?
Look no further than Camp Nou, where Barcelona's enlightened management has chosen the best of times to inform forward Pedro and midfielder Xavi that they can extend their contracts through 2015 and 2016, respectively, if they wish.
The two Spanish internationals are key players in Spain Coach Vicente del Bosque's World Cup planning, and the knowledge that their club future is secure will give them peace of mind heading into Spain's opener against Switzerland in Durban on June 16.
-- Grahame L. Jones in Johannesburg, South Africa