If any England fans are still wondering what went wrong in South Africa, allow Sir Alex Ferguson to illuminate you:
With inquests continuing into England's lacklustre showing at the World Cup, Ferguson lamented the continued absence of a mid-season break from the English football calendar (which would need the approval of the Premier League) as a major contributing factor to the struggles of Fabio Capello's side.
"(The FA) has to give the country the best possible chance of doing well in the World Cup and because of the nature of our game and because of the demands from television to have a programme every week, the idea of a winter break, which I was first talking about 30 years ago in Scotland and have done since I came down to England, nothing has happened about it," Ferguson said. "They must realise that, going into the World Cup, they have handicapped their team."
It's certainly possible that taking a short break mid-season could be beneficial. A little rest and recuperation could help prevent some injuries and strains and keep players at peak performance levels - I won't argue with that. But it's also possible it wouldn't do jack shit if you've got players who are, for example, so accustomed to being the stars of their club teams that they forget how to play as a full squad and blunder around the pitch, communicating as badly as Palin's Twitter feed. Besides that, it's simply no guarantee that taking a couple of weeks off six months before the World Cup would have any impact whatsoever, so while it's fine to say that maybe this is an idea to think about, it seems a little egregious for Ferguson to essentially say the failures are the FA's fault because they have not granted him his birthday-candle wishes for 30 years. It is not definitive that the team is "handicapped" by not having a winter break. It is far more definitive that Ferguson misses having officials on the pitch to complain about and just wants it to be mid-August already, guys!
Plus, even if the FA did kneel before
Zod SAF and implement a break, we all know it would either be too long or too short for Fergie, depending on how United played in their games following resumption of play.