Sunday, June 20, 2010
The stupid thing is that now Kaka will be missing against Portugal now and Ivory Coast really need Brazil to win.
The odd thing about the game was that the second Brasil goal, at first, looked excellent but there was two handballs in the move and the ref was clearly talking to the Brazil player asking him if he handled it. Surely if there was any doubt the he disallows the goal. You can understand the Ivorians being angry.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
They look utterly bereft of cohesion, gameplan and team spirit. Rooney and James' reaction were both very telling and very, very worrying.
Nothing even vaguely redeeming about the whole night although ultimately a one nil win is much the same as the nil nil because we still need to beat Slovenia. A two niller would have meant the draw would have been good enough.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Last night was really tricky, one the one hand you have a team renowned for wonderful football, however that team is currently playing a lot more pragmatic & defensively. On the other hand you have a plucky underdog however one hailing from the world’s most nasty, backward oppressive dictatorships.
In truth North Korea were really good, extremely diligent and kept pressing and harrying all game, it was undeniably a great moment when they got their goal.
There was lots of outrageous scare stories about how the North Korean fans were paid actors, how the game wasn’t going to be shown back in North Korea etc but at the end of the day...as a football match it was just nice to see an emerging nation giving a great account of themselves.
PS There is no way that Brazilian player meant that first goal.
12:30, 15:00 and 19:30 makes for pretty lean pickings for us workers. Surely 15:00, 18:00 and 20:00 would be better.
BTW is Hup Oranje what the Dutch fans actually say? Thought they looked very solid in their first game. Denmark are no mugs so that is a decent indication. The Netherlands and Germany could be two teams to keep an eye on.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
"To celebrate the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa, Puma have teamed up with nine African football federations to launch the African Unity kit – a revolutionary sporting concept designed to promote harmony across the great continent. Worn by every Puma sponsored African nation, the African Unity shirt comes complete with the crests for selected federations enabling you to iron on the nation of your choice at home. From the vibrant blue of the awesome African sky to the deep brown of the scorched, yet fertile African earth and finally to the yellow of the fiery Africa sun, the Unity shirt represents not only cultural similarities but geographic ones too. Indeed, the bespoke colour, ‘PUMA Africa’, was created by combining actual soil samples from Ghana, the Ivory Coast, South Africa and Cameroon to identify a shade of brown that is truly representative of the earth beneath Africa’s feet.
First revealed as a part of the United Nations’ International Year of Biodiversity campaign - a scheme designed to highlight the importance of preserving areas dense with unique plant and animal life – the Africa Unity shirt is a potent symbol of the continent that is home to nine of the richest and most important sites of biodiversity on earth. The people of Africa received their first sporting glimpse of the shirt at the Orange African Cup of Nations 2010 when the victorious Egypt team wore the Africa Unity kit to collect their seventh competition trophy in front of 50,000 fans in Luanda, Angola. When the nine Puma Africa teams step out in their matching Unity strips at South Africa 2010, they will not only be representing their respective nations, but also their home continent itself. Africa Unity is about more than just sharing sporting success - it’s about sharing culture, language and understanding – everything necessary to invigorate the African spirit and help push the continent forward, in unity, towards a more prosperous and peaceful future."
The England game was a pretty depressing affair, primarily because the exact opposite of what I was expecting happened. I wasn’t at all optimistic beforehand but when you take a step back and look at it they played pretty well individually. The problem was there was no real gameplan on how to open up the US once we’d conceded.
Very annoying because Capello was lauded as the best coach in the world before the tournament, why we just persisted in running down blind alleys was the big mystery. So frustrating because the Amercians looked very limited.
If you look at the talent in the England side we are no worse than the Germans and yet they were dazzling. A strong, committed, energetic team with a plan. They have probably been the most impressive of all the teams I’ve seen so far.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Obviously being in work this afternoon I didn't catch the opening ceremony but thankfully our lovely, lovely wonderful bosses let us watch it via a projector shining onto on the office wall.
So here we go (here we go, here we go) :
South Africa :
Did okay, all enthusiasm, vim and vigour. Steven Pienaar looked very bright. In truth they should have won it at the death but ultimately they were second best for most of the game.
They looked pretty good actually...very well balanced in midfield. They lack a cutting edge but are a pretty good side. Pretty under-rated overall.
Argh, what to say about Les Bleus. They are so talented but ultimately lacking in a plan. Raymond Domenech struck me as a scapegoat before the tournament but it's difficult to argue against the way he let that game drift. He seemed happy to let his team just dash itself on the rocks.
Possibly the team who can be the most pleased with the opening day. Well organised, disciplined, energetic, brave and looked at least as likely to win it until they had their man sent off.
The referees, they've been brilliant so far....long may it continue
Teams managed by Barnes are taught to either hold or give the ball, though crucially they must do it at the right time. When in attack, Barnes' sides attempt to get the ball to the line at a variety of speeds ranging from slow to fast. In team talks Barnes always warns his players to be wary of the opposition's attempts to hit them and hurt them in both defence and attack. One criticism levelled at sides managed by Barnes is that one way they beat their opposition is as a result of getting around the back. John Barnes, although born in Jamaica, is a self proclaimed England man, and he refers to his tactical strategy as "the masterplan". Barnes is noted for his opposition to both hooliganism and football songs, and also for his firm belief that, with the crest of the club on their chests, his players cannot go wrong.
I wonder what the funniest, wittiest bit of Wiki-vandalism is
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
The 34-year-old lock left Leicester at the end of the season after the Premiership champions opted not to offer him a new deal.
Kay, who won 62 caps for England, is pursuing a media career and will now work as a commentator with ESPN.
"I had other options but I was keeping things open while ESPN confirmed the deal," Kay told the Guardian.
Kay was an integral part of England's World Cup-winning side seven years ago and also played every minute of every match in 2007 when they also reached the final before losing to South Africa. His career also featured two Lions caps in 2005.
Monday, June 07, 2010
Bought The Times on Saturday as it proudly announced Free World Cup Wallchart but it turned out to be some rubbish list of different chants for different nations.
The Observer came up trumps on Sunday so we are all systems go.