Why can't they teach players to kick with both feet?

It's Tuesday and I'm passionately looking forward to Scotland-England on Saturday. Then the return on Wednesday. The results, that's what I'll be passionate about. Not the matches. They'll be dire, dreary, draggy, with a great deal of huffing and puffing, not to mention kicking lumps. Skill will not be apparent, nor entertainment. They should really be held on a school playground, with the gates closed. I doubt if the rest of the football world will be aware they have taken place. Abroad, only saddo exiles will watch, stuck on an ice floe with their trannies in the Arctic, up a gum tree with Sky in Botswana.

There is no national TV in Botswana, as I'm sure you know, but my daughter in Maun, miles from anywhere, crocodiles swimming round her house, nearest proper hospital 900 miles away, has now got satellite TV. At long last, when I ring her, I can have decent intellectual conversations, on the really serious matters, such as what do you think, pet, will it be Joe Kinnear or Graeme Souness for Blackburn, or will neither get it?

England, at this moment in time, as if moments could ever be anywhere except in time, is but a poor 12th in the world rankings, trailing behind mega, superstar soccer nations such as, well, Croatia and Norway. Those are the Big Boys, with glamour, form and success, things little England can only dream about.

Scotland is currently 20th, lumbering behind such giants of the world game as Paraguay. Ah, but hold on. A year ago, Scotland was ranked at 38. So they have zoomed up 18 places. While England have gone down three places. Well done Scotland. Could that be a sign? I am desperately looking for clues to a Scottish victory.

Craig Brown will sit still, as if meditating, doing nothing, for what can he do, once it starts. He'll have had to ratch around for a full team, so whichever subs he has on the bench are bound to be pretty useless and not worth sending on, unless there are injuries. In the case of Calderwood, slightly worse than useless, according to the English Premier League. But ah, when the call comes, he won't let Craig down.

Kevin Keegan will show his emotions. That's his way, up and down, full facial activity, but not in fact doing very much, either. He'll have better subs beside him, a far richer choice, but he's not much of a tactician, not agile at changing plans when things are not working.

We've been saying all week that Kev has the players while Craig has the team. Even Kev has said it. That's the accepted wisdom. Neither is true, not when you look at countries that really do have good players, such as Brazil, or do have really good, well-organised teams - step forward once again, Croatia and Norway.

I wonder if Kevin Phillips will play? I think Keegan likes him because they share the same first name and were each slow to start their careers, working their way up the divisions to become top strikers. I always thought the only reason Hoddle ever picked Andy Hinchcliffe was because he looked like him.

Cole could partner Shearer, despite Cole slagging off both Shearer and Keegan in his book. Hard to leave him out, on his present form. In football, as in politics, as in life, expediency rules. Chris Sutton spoke out of turn during Hoddle's reign, and was supposedly black-listed, but that wasn't the reason. It was because he was playing rubbish. Still is. If you're playing well, and the choices are limited, you can slag off Keegan all day long, say he's a big girl's blouse, a small boy's prick, he'll still have to pick you.

Who'll be on the left? You know, that space sort of opposite the right, the one we won't talk about, try to forget. Kevin has been through the Yellow Pages in every town, searching like mad for any left-sided players. That's how he found Froggatt. He rang Fridge, Frigging, Frugginhell, but they were all out.

What I can't understand about the Premier League's Academies of Excellence, which they all have now, where they take two-year-old boys, some potty-trained, some still in nappies, is that they don't appear to have time in their curriculum for teaching them to kick with both feet. I know it's hard. I know the pressures. Once you've fitted in half a day for hair styling, a day for jewellery, two and a half days for posing, a day for the car showrooms, plus meeting prospective agents, there's just no time for actually kicking a ball.

Whoever plays, they will all be fired up, as Big Ron, or similar, will no doubt say. Several times. It will be all about passion. As someone will also say.

And this is the big danger for both teams. We, on our little, insignificant offshore island, far removed from the real movers and shakers of world football, yet another small bow towards Croats and Norwegians, have got it into our tiny heads that passion is the thing, that passion is what matters, playing with that frantic, bulldog, never-say-die British spirit. Getting stuck in. Gettin' at 'em. Playing with fire in the belly.

Alas, passion is pretty pointless, on its own, which is probably all we'll get. What's wanted is icy control, clear heads, players who are emotionally, physically and mentally controlled, able to concentrate on the game and use their talents, technique and skills, such as they are, rather than be swept along by brute force and raw passion.

Leave all that to us. Let us be the passionate ones, as we all sit watching, passionately.

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