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Time for some actual World Cup coverage

Telegraph Sport: where the debate gets started

With John Laverty

Not long now until the thing starts, thank goodness. Our media colleagues out in Brazil will be thinking the same thing.

After tomorrow, no more stultifying pre-World Cup musings, no more banal 'build-up.'

I'm not being critical, mind; been there, wrote that.

People 'back home' get the impression that, because you're out there with a tournament squad, you'll be constantly fraternising with the players. Wrong.

Here's something you won't read: a courteous 'hello' in a hotel corridor is the most you'll get outside of press conferences.

Example: Last week, the Brazil-based boys provided an update on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's fitness – solely based on a quote from the player on Twitter that anyone could have had access to.

Of course there's nowhere you'd rather be (so a "woe is me" lament won't really cut it), but at times it can be a struggle to generate 1,000 words out of "nothing's happening out here."

Hence the 'debate' about whether or not Rooney should start against Italy.

The coverage of that issue threatened many a rain forest, but I doubt if even one of the writers out there seriously believed that England would kick off a World Cup without their best player in the first XI.

One other thing: beware those inevitable "arrogant Germany have already booked their hotel for the final/pessimistic England have already booked their plane home" stories.

Every country's clerical staff prepare for every eventuality. What do you think they do: jump onto Lastminute.com or Trivago after every match?

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