22nd April 1998
Will power should win it for England
EXCLUSIVE: URI GELLER PSYCHIC SPECIAL
By MARK McGUINNESS
They may be the peak physical fitness, but just how healthy are the minds of our World Cup warriors?
As they prepare to fly across the English channel to the tune of Ride of the Valkyries and do battle against the best the rest have to offer, the burning question remains.
Are Glenn's troops mentally prepared for Uri?
Will Eileen Drewery's own faith be tested as she exposes herself to the whacky world of football and those who inhabit it?
And is Hoddle wrong to discount Uri Geller - the man who believes he can help the Three Lions roar in France mid-July?
Think about it - what use will Drewery be when the clinical Germans are lining up their spot-kicks against us in the inevitable semi-final shoot-out.
Just stick Uri behind the goal, and he can make sure that their penalties go just a little bit left, right or north of the taker's intended target.
And maybe for once the Germans would be left blubbing while our battling boys march triumphantly into the final.
Geller is convinced that it was his influence that helped play such a massive role in England's so-near-but-yet-so-far tilt at the European Championship in 1996. And after a mysterious recent incident when the World Cup was delivered to his home, he feels that victory for Glenn's boys could be in the offing.
"The World Cup was brought to my home when it was over here in February," he said.
"I don't know why, nor who organised it, but several cars pulled up and they brought it to my home.
"I energised it - gave it the kind of positive vibes you need and off it went - I bent it a little bit too!"
Well, quite. But there is no doubt in Geller's mind that the England team could definitely use a little bit more positive thinking.
"Yes, there are many things that could be done to introduce a positive atmosphere in the dressing room," he said. "Perhaps Glenn could introduce some aromatherapy - that could help."
"I was asked to give a prediction on last night's game against Portugal, but I couldn't -it wasn't right."
"I went to Portugal earlier this week and I was sensing very strong vibes in the air that didn't make me feel that good."
"That's why I was a little bit worried about this game. I knew they had a good, technically gifted team."
So no chance of a sneak preview of next Saturday's football results for the pools coupon?
Or how about a look at the first half dozen balls pulled out of the drum during the national lottery draw? No, Uri's intentions are strictly honourable and designed for the good of Glenn's troops'
"The power of the crowd is very underplayed. Think back to the 1994 World Cup when Roberto Baggio missed that penalty in the final," he said.
"That wasn't just him missing, that was millions of Brazilians willing him to miss at the same time."
"If a large number of people all want something and think about it at the same time, they can get it. Like in the first half when they missed a couple of good chances - that can happen when people really want it to."
So just to get a REALLY in-depth analysis of last night's key players, Uri ran his mind over the performances and prospects of England main men.
I HAVE mentioned that Glenn needs to introduce some aromatherapy to the group - that would certainly work.
A positive smell can make all the difference when dealing with a group of people with a common aim.
He should also get his men to visualise themselves with the World Cup in their hands, running around and celebrating.
THIS is a young man with a great deal on his mind, and it shows.
He is one of Manchester United's excellent young players, but his thoughts are too frequently elsewhere.
The high profile of his love life with Posh Spice Victoria Adams doesn't help.
But if he can get himself focussed in time for really big games and isolate the things he needs to think about, he could be the best.
IT'S such a terribly difficult job being a goalkeeper. It can be very lonely back there.
The keeper can frequently feel as if he is out of the team, so perhaps they could all get together in a group hug before each game, like they do in rugby. Then he may not feel so alone.
He looked dependable as ever and pulled off a great save when he really had to at the end of the first half.
THIS man is a rock - all you have to do is look at him and you can tell that.
He has been through personal problems in the past, but it has never affected his game and that is what is so admirable about him.
He doesn't need much help - his inner strength and focus are really excellent.
Any man who could play in front of big crowds with private turmoil in his mind is a strong person.
A FIGHTER pilot - that is exactly what this man is.
Looking at the way he took his goal in the first five minutes last night, proves he is incredibly focussed.
When he is called into action, he responds. It is a bit like sitting beside a fighter pilot at a dinner party - he doesn't look all that dangerous, but he is.
He has great clarity of thought and an incredibly professional attitude.
WORLD CUP CHANCES
IT is very important for the players to believe that they can do it in France this summer.
They played with such confidence and vision last night - now the entire England squad must take that forward and visualise themselves with that trophy in their hands.
It is a very difficult thing for a whole team of players to be completely focussed at the same time - but they can do it.
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