AS WE’VE been saying for the last few weeks, no league games, but plenty of football to talk about, even if you can’t actually attend the games.

Although it has surprised me looking at the World Cup games so far away in Qatar, that so many Welsh and English supporters are in attendance.

It could well be that once the venue was mentioned a few years ago, they started saving up, because it must have cost quite a few pounds, both to get there and find accommodation.

But they’ll have plenty to talk about when they get home, because there have one or two big surprises already. Particularly the first one, when Saudi Arabia beat Argentina.

With due respect to the Saudis, I don’t think anybody would have expected this. But there is obviously a passion there, as we’ve seen from some of our clubs in England being taken over by Saudi owners.

I suppose that should have made people like me notice that football was a big interest for them. This has been proved now not only in ownership, but on the field as well.

Germany have always been one of the favourites in World Cup competitions. But they lost to Japan, which, with due respect, was a huge surprise.

But it does show that the football game is now big in all countries. Presumably the schoolboys, like anywhere else, will be following the football.

It has affected countries like all of those taking part in the World Cup now.

The things that came out of both of those games showed strong feeling from the countries who, at the beginning, were really expected not to win. Because both Saudi Arabia and Japan were behind to start with, but battled back to win 2-1 each time.

I think Japan beating Germany was probably the biggest surprise as Germany are usually one of the most difficult to play against.

But it has given the competition a big lift and it will be interesting to see how far both England and Wales can get.

I am writing this now ahead of both nations playing in their second group games, but England started with a big 6-2 win over Iran and Wales fought back to draw 1-1 with USA.

The Welsh team look as though they’re really enjoying everything.

Not everyone may remember, but Gareth Bale, their captain and a big name in the game around the world, used to be a youngster at Saints. He came through the academy and made his first-team debut aged just 16 in 2006.

I will be interested to see what happens when Wales play England on Tuesday.

On a completely different angle, but still to do with the game, there is always an interest in certain players who may be linked with transfers.

But the surprising thing this week has been about two clubs possibly being sold in Manchester United and Everton.

A name cropped up, who has been linked with United in the past, Sir Jim Ratcliffe. He is apparently the richest man in Britain.

At one time he lived in this area, somewhere in the New Forest, and I remember meeting him and asking if he was interested in Southampton as he lived near. But it was soon obvious he was a big Manchester United supporter.

Everton, on the other hand, have been linked with not an individual but an American consortium.

Despite the fact there will be no league games for a few weeks yet, football is still giving plenty to talk about and seeing what changes, if any, will have been made come Boxing Day when they get started again.

Talking of Everton, the sad news this week was to see the ex-player David Johnson had died, aged 71.

He suffered from a form of cancer.

He had quite an interesting career, during the 1970s and 80s, playing for quite a few clubs.

But he was one of the very few players to play for both Everton and Liverpool. That doesn’t happen very often.

He was also the first player to score for both clubs in a Merseyside derby.

I didn’t know David personally, but from reading the tributes which have been coming in this week, it is clear he will be sorely missed.