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World Cup studio duo the right combo

Posted by Bob Ryan, Globe Staff  June 15, 2010 07:14 PM

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LOS ANGELES -- One of the nice by-products of the World Cup is the ESPN studio analyst duo consisting of Ruud Gulitt and Steve McManaman.

Gullitt is a superstar's superstar who can marshal his thoughts very well and who comes off as a very likeable fellow. McManaman has been cast as the resident Englishman, which is always a hoot.

They disagreed totally on the subject of Maicon's goal that gave Brazil a 1-0 lead over North Korea. Gullitt saw it as a stroke of brilliance. McManaman, sensitive to goalkeepers as all Englishmen are at the present time, saw it as a goalkeeper's gaffe.

What Maicon did was shoot the ball from the dead right corner, sneaking the ball in via a narrow opening on the near side. In Gullitt's view, the goalkeeper, correctly anticipating a cross, did the right thing by taking a step out. Maicon made a one-in-a-million shot.

McManaman insisted the goaltender should never have taken that step. As a neutral, I've got to go with Gulitt. But it was a fun exchange, anyway. Check these guys out.

From the "you can't make this up" department: The camera cut to the stands to reveal a small cadre of alleged North Korean supporters, all clad in red jackets and clutching North Korean fans. It turns out they were hired Chinese actors.

Supply your own punch line.

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About bob ryan's blog Opinions, observations and anecdotes from Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan.
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