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World Cup 2010
England Team Banned from Using Twitter during the World Cup
By Shane Clarke
London Correspondent
England boss Fabio Capello has barred his team from using Twitter or other networking sites during the World Cup finals next month. The Italian wants the team to be focussed on football, and not distracted by the media. They will also not be able to write for newspapers, and will have to voice any mid-tournament comments or gripes through the governing body’s website.

Spain manager, Vicente del Bosque, has imposed the same ban on his side, saying he wanted “no distractions”. He informed the current European champions when they met up at their training camp at Las Rozas near Madrid on Monday that they were not to use any networking sites throughout the tournament.

The advent of micro-blogging has caused controversy and put some players in the limelight. Darren Bent, one of Capello’s 30-man provisional squad, was forced to apologise last July when he criticised Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, accusing him of disrupting his move to Sunderland.

Time Running out for Gareth Barry

The clock is ticking for Gareth Barry. England boss Fabio Capello is giving him all the time he can to recover from the ankle injury he sustained playing for his parent club, Manchester City, earlier this month.

The good news is that Barry has been able to remove the protective boot that was supporting his ankle. The bad news is that he’s still only jogging in a swimming pool.

He certainly will not be flying to Austria to join the England squad for their final pre-tournament friendly against Japan on 30th. He will continue his rehabilitation here in England, where he will have a scan on his right ankle on 1st June – the day that Capello has to finalise his squad.

England needs Gareth Barry. The midfield engine room is arguably the most important area of the pitch, and it seems no one can fill the holding midfield role like him. Michael Carrick tried in the friendly against Mexico on Monday but his performance was poor at best.

Torres Starts Training with the Spain Team

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has begun training with the Spanish team in Madrid for the first time. The 26-year-old hit-man had been out for a number weeks with a knee injury.

Following surgery in April, Torres has undergone rehabilitation, and was able to join his national team-mates on the training pitch today. According to the Associated Press, Torres seemed to feel no pain, however, the Spanish FA website has indicated that he was taking things slowly.

The fact that he is training will come as a relief for the current European championship holders, who many tip will go on to take the World Cup this year. Torres scored 22 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool this season, and has put away 23 for Spain since making his debut in 2003.

He will fly with the team to Innsbruck, Austria on Friday for their warm-up game against Saudi Arabia, following which they will embark on a new training camp in Western Austria, where they will stay until 3rd June.

Bookies Give Odds on Rooney not Scoring in the World Cup

On-line bookmakers,, have given odds of 6-1 on Wayne Rooney not scoring in the World Cup Finals. These odds are probably the result of what some are calling a goal-drought for England in recent matches.

The Manchester United striker and current PFA Player of the year scored 34 goals in 44 appearances for his club in all competitions. However, his recent stats for England are not so impressive. He has only scored once in the last 7 games.

This may sound worrying, but when you consider that he has scored 9 goals in his last 12 games, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Rooney is the talisman for both club and country. Both perform better when he is on the pitch, because they know that in an instant he can produce a piece of magic that can have fans leaping out of their seats. If Gareth Barry makes it to South Africa and Wayne Rooney performs like we know he can, then England will truly be a force to be reckoned with.

What’s your opinion?

Who will you be looking out for in South Africa?

Who’s your tip for the title?

Get in touch and let me know.

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Shane Clarke serves as London Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He has been involved in humanitarian work for numerous years. He’s also a freelance management consultant. Having completed an honors degree in Law at Wolverhampton University, he then moved on to an MBA at Warwick Business School. He’s heavily involved in the fight against international parental child abduction to Japan.






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