England vs South Korea
This is again one of those really difficult match ups to call, particularly following recent revelations that the English defence forces are being further stripped back - to the point that the RAF are going to have fewer aircraft available than they had before the outbreak of the Second World War. The Trident program remains under threat and although cuts are yet to be applied to the building of three new superaircraft carriers have not been announced, the sheer scale and cost of building and equipping these carriers will inevitably come under scrutiny. For an armed force that is already calling for greater investment in weapons and equipment this is a real problem, and an ongoing worry for a military force which has been one of the dominant world forces for hundreds of years. As the war in Afghanistan rumbles on without an end in sight it is likely that the impact on the military will be significant. Aging equipment is already being pushed right to the limits and the ability of the English to replace men and material will certainly come into question soon.
At the same time South Korea continues to stare out across her Northern border at an increasingly hostile and unpredictable neighbour. No need to worry about cuts in military spending - South Korea, despite her small size and her restricted participation in conflicts outside her borders still comes in with a massive military budget, which is quite often in the top 15 in the world. As well as that, South Korea holds a close military pact with the US which pretty much ensures US involvement in any invasion of the South. Now admittedly the British are still close allies with the US, but the 'special relationship' is crumbling - accelerated by the whole BP scandal - so much so that in the future the strength of this relationship could come into question.
So who should take this victory? It may be time for some blue sky thinking. The Koreans gave the Japanese a bit of a beating when the Samurai tried to annex the peninsular. And the Japanese gave the English a complete battering in the early years of the Second World War (until the US jumped in to help). Following the logic that the Koreans beat the Japanese, who beat the English it stands to reason that the Koreans would be able to defeat the English. Follow me so far? So, by this unquestionable reasoning I hereby decree that the English need to pack their things and head home as South Korea charge into the semi-finals.
(On the plus side, this logic would mean that the English would have beaten the Argies 1-0 as they were pummeled 4-0 by the Germans. Technically that should have actually been 2-0... but the less said about the better!)
North Korea vs Portugal
Ok, I admit it, in the last round the Portuguese really just about scraped through against the Spanish and although I stand by my claims that this has absolutely nothing to do with my Portuguese heritage...well it did. But corruption is not a nice habit to get into - so this time round I am going to be totally 100% neutral. No more favoritism. Not even if you bribe me with the promise of an eternal diet of salted cod, sardines, port and peri-peri chicken.
Another east versus west tangle here - and once again it seems clear who is going to win. The Portuguese military seems to have been in a steep decline for a number of years. Various skilled military analysts attribute this to a diet of salted cod, sardines, port and peri-peri chicken, and the relaxed, laid back attitudes that such a diet encourages. I am not sure about that - although as the weather is nice I might just pop into town for a quick lunch at Nandos. I will be back...well probably tomorrow to be honest...
In all seriousness, the Portuguese have had their day in the spotlight. The days of Portugal being a world power are over. The golden generation has passed.
But North Korea - well North Korea is heading for greatness. It is all up from here. In fact, the same military analyst who has suggested that the Portuguese decline is in direct relation to their diet has suggested that by 2024 North Korea will be a leading world power. I have even found proof for my theory. Oops. I mean he has recently uncovered evidence to prove this theory, and here it is:
So, as you can see - things are going to get really interesting, really soon!
Umm...really? After that video and unswerving logic you still need me to tell you who won that round?
North Korea force their way over the line and into the semi final.