TONI KROOS “NOT OPTIMISTIC”

WOB! hears from sources inside the German World Cup camp that morale is already an issue, as the entire squad is beset by rumours associating them with Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United. Worst affected is midfielder Toni Kroos, already depressed at the thought of having his surname mispronounced to a worldwide television audience of billions.

“This is a surprisingly common mind injury for sportspeople, especially them foreigners that play in monoglot English-speaking countries,” explained Professor Dick Butt of Leyton University’s Department of Pronunciation, “Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky spent years out of the game while Anglophones struggled with the ‘ts’ sound in his name. The ability of Brazilians to completely ditch the last syllable of any name or word has famously confused their opponents. They don’t even finish the phrase ‘man on’.”

Apparently it’s Krowss, like ‘crows’ but with a hissing S at the end. Not that a single commentator or pundit will get it right. Or give a damn.