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michael22
10-04-2010, 06:55 AM
I decided that we might as well start a thread for it. It would save me a huge rant in the shoutbox. What are your predictions, hopes etc.
So far I am supporting Uruguay, Greece (my old boss made me a fan of Greek football somehow) and the're underdog status, Kiwi team mainly for them being the best hope for italy getting its teeth kicked in and Switzerland- see previous only change italy for Spain.
Though as for results I have no clue who it is going to be. (other than England are sure to fuck up somewhere along the way fucking Rooney).

Hazzle
11-04-2010, 02:20 AM
And here I was thinking this was a thread about the game...

If football were won on paper, Argentina would win it. With players like Messi, Aguero, Higuain and Tevez up front, Mascherano and Cambiasso in midfield and the likes of Demichelis, Heinze and Milito at the back, they have all the tools. They unfortunately also possess a manager singularly incapable of using them. But with Messi, anything is possible.

Italy and Germany are always dangerous in tournaments, France arguably have the two best wide players in the world right now (Ribery and Malouda) and then there's Holland, who despite their terrible record in major tournaments, still pose a threat, with players like Robben, Van Persie, Sneijder and Van Der Vaart. I doubt they'll win the tournament, but they could derail the hopes of the favourites on the way.

Portugal's fate will largely depend on Cristiano Ronaldo, much as England's will on Rooney. Unlike Portugal, however, England do have several other weapons, Joe Cole, Lennon, Walcott, Gerrard and Lampard. And I suspect Fifa's ideal scenario would be for the Ivory Coast to win the first ever world cup staged in Africa. I doubt they will, though.

I still believe it's hard to look past Spain. Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Xabi Alonso, Villa, Torres...they'll dominate possession and have the firepower up front to score goals. Their defence is good enough with that midfield.

hasselbrad
13-04-2010, 04:50 AM
USA... all the way! We might just get to the knock out round! How exciting is that? Once we're eliminated, I'll root for England.

Hazzle
13-04-2010, 09:09 AM
I actually think the US v England game will be our hardest in the group. A lot of people still don't realise just how good the US side is.

Kelsey
16-04-2010, 03:45 AM
I have nothing to add to this conversation, except to lament that if it were not for the stupidly slow Visa system....I would be living in South Africa right now!

Hazzle
16-04-2010, 09:09 AM
How come?

Kelsey
16-04-2010, 07:34 PM
Are you talking to me?

If so....school. University of Cape Town. Got my acceptance letter, sent in my deposit, got housing all situated....then had to cancel everything because my visa didn't come in time. I'm bummed, but I guess there is always grad school.

hasselbrad
16-04-2010, 11:54 PM
Are you talking to me?

If so....school. University of Cape Town. Got my acceptance letter, sent in my deposit, got housing all situated....then had to cancel everything because my visa didn't come in time. I'm bummed, but I guess there is always grad school.

That sucks ass.

Kelsey
18-04-2010, 06:32 PM
No kidding. But it worked out. Now I am going to Hillsdale, which is really selective and probably the best school I could have graduated from. It'll all work out. I just like South Africa better than Michigan lol.

Hazzle
19-04-2010, 08:59 AM
Glad to hear that worked out. And yeah, I was talking to you before.

Hazzle
25-04-2010, 02:43 PM
And how could I forget Brazil?! The only side to win 5 world cups, the only side to win the World Cup outside their own continent, and in fact the only side to win World Cups on all four continents it's been held on so far (Asia, Europe, South America and North America). Could they add Africa to the list?

Dunga's got them playing well, which is unsurprising because as a player he was a key reason why the 1994 Brazil side won the tournament, despite the likes of Romario and Bebeto getting all the plaudits. He recognises, crucially, the role that defensive midfielders play to allow the others to work magic.

The problem for them could be that they are predominantly a side that wins games on the counter attack. Minnow nations won't attack Brazil. Countries like Spain, which keep the ball well, won't give it away enough to be worried about counter attacks, so Brazil may need to find ways to unlock teams.

hasselbrad
29-05-2010, 02:25 PM
I was a bit worried by the 4-2 scoreline against the Czechs until I saw that Dempsey, Donovan and others weren't playing. I think we'll get out of the group stage easily, but what happens after that is anyone's guess.

Hazzle
01-06-2010, 08:42 AM
You should get out of the group easily. I'm still telling every England fan that I know not to take the USA lightly. I can only imagine the hoopla if you guys win on the 60th anniversary of that infamous defeat at Belo Horizonte.

hasselbrad
11-06-2010, 04:41 PM
Game one in the books... South Africa: 1 - Mexico: 1
Mexico dominated the run of play, but my God are they susceptible to the counter attack. El Tri' also lacks a quality finisher. Most of their early possession was negated by horrible, inaccurate shots on goal.
All the Mexican fans are too busy blaming the referee for making the (utterly correct) offside call that "robbed" them of a goal. Strangely, they fail to acknowledge the fact that a Mexican defender pulled a South African player down by the shoulder in the penalty area. He managed a shot on goal, but it was weak and easily saved. Shoulder to shoulder challenge is fine, but the Mexican clearly reached out with his right hand and pulled the South African's left shoulder.
I'll definitely be rooting for Uruguay to beat France, since Les Bleus are Les Cheats.

Hazzle
11-06-2010, 11:24 PM
Not so much rooting for France but I'd like them to prove plenty of people wrong. Everyone's written them off and I think they're all wrong to do so. I'm blogging and tweeting about the World Cup. The blog's here (http://matchreports.tumblr.com/) and if you want to punish yourself, my twitter information is all on there too. Figured this was the right place to promo it.

hasselbrad
14-06-2010, 04:33 PM
Even though I'm rooting for the United States, my heart goes out to Robert Green. That said, I'm thrilled that we got a draw out of that match and looked pretty solid doing it.

Of all the matches I've watched, which so far is all of them except France v. Uruguay and Japan v. Cameroon (after about 20 minutes... effing work!), I have been most impressed by Germany and South Korea. Germany carved Australia up like Jack the Ripper and South Korea seemed to be very crisp and creative.

hasselbrad
15-06-2010, 08:21 PM
So Haz... have you started breathing again?

Hazzle
16-06-2010, 04:25 PM
Heh. It was a little nervy but to be honest, the game was won and I suspect the defence just switched off (watch Lucio get caught flat-footed). Doubt the Koreans had a second in them.

I'm still laughing about Green. So far I have to say I like Argentina, Germany, Ghana and Brazil. People still think Brazil "struggled" against North Korea but let's wait until the other two teams in the group play them. The two goals are probably the two best goals of the tournament too (Maicon's was awesome).

duckula
16-06-2010, 06:55 PM
Spain. O how we laughed.

Hazzle
16-06-2010, 10:09 PM
Spain v Brazil in the next round maybe? Fifa will be livid; one of the two favourites could be out early.

hasselbrad
17-06-2010, 03:11 AM
Spain v Brazil in the next round maybe? Fifa will be livid; one of the two favourites could be out early.

That's assuming that Spain make it out of their group.
There's a lot that has to happen in their favor. If I were Spanish, I wouldn't hold my breath. I see Group H finishing like this:

Switzerland ... 7
Chile ............ 5
Spain ........... 4
Honduras ...... 0

The Swiss beat Honduras and draw with Chile. Spain beats Honduras and draws with Chile as well. Part of me thinks that Chile might just beat Spain though. Chile can get through with a draw, but Spain has to get a win. Seeing how Switzerland was able to take advantage of Spain's defense on the counter-attack, I think Chile may be able to get all three points.

Hazzle
18-06-2010, 07:14 AM
I can see Group H finishing the same way. Spain are taking it for granted that they'll beat Chile but that's by no means a given. Apparently Chile fans are angry at the Swiss result but they shouldn't be.

The Swiss will want to make sure that after their win they don't lose to Chile in the next game. Assuming Spain beat Honduras (they should) they go into the last game on 3, Chile 4 and Switzerland 4. The Swiss will bank (heh) on the victory against Honduras seeing them through top so they can avoid Brazil, who were awesome.

Then it becomes an issue of whether Bielsa's learnt anything since 2002 and can set a team up to soak up pressure and hit teams on the break. He's a manager who likes to attack, but he's also tactically flexible and it wouldn't be a total shock to see them shift from 3-3-1-3 to 4-3-1-2 vs Spain. That would allow them to counter attack.

hasselbrad
23-06-2010, 04:33 PM
Well... well... well. The United States is through to the Round of 16, despite the best efforts of the referees/linesmen. I can't think of another country that has been screwed more in this tournament than the United States.

- Yellow card to Findley for a handball against Slovenia, that he clearly did not commit.
- The obvious bad call to disallow our third goal against Slovenia.
- Another goal disallowed today for offside, when Dempsey was clearly onside.
- Another yellow card for handball to Beasley.
- Altidore gets a yellow card even though there was no contact. Clear dive.
- Dempsey gets punched in the face in the box... no call.

That last foul was committed by their captain, already on a yellow. He missed with an elbow and then caught Dempsey with a balled fist. The intent was clear, and he should have been sent off. I have a feeling that the referee realized this, and that's why he got the second yellow when the Algerians were screaming at the referee toward the end. He appeared to be holding the others back and I was shocked to see him sent off, even though he deserved it for the foul on Dempsey.

Regardless, he deserved a red and the United States deserved a penalty kick. If De Rossi deserved a PK for that dinner theater acting job against New Zealand, Dempsey definitely deserved it for getting punched in the mouth.


Honestly, I'm shocked that the referee didn't disallow the goal by Donovan in the 91st minute for some other "perceived infraction".

I'll be anxiously awaiting the results from Group D. Go Australia and Ghana!
:D

Mandy
23-06-2010, 04:59 PM
I went to my first Fifa party today. We had omelettes and drank beer at 9am when the game started. Gotta love the time difference.

hasselbrad
30-06-2010, 03:28 PM
I have to say, I feel a bit better about the United States loss being chalked up to our own incompetence in central defense, rather than simply getting screwed by the referee the way England and Mexico were. Makes the loss much more digestible. If we could find a way to get through the first ten minutes of a game (or extra time) we'd be damn near unbeatable.

As for the refereeing, I think the problems could be solved pretty simply. An "eye in the sky", fifth official could have contacted the referee in the England - Germany game (through the earpiece he's already wearing) and said "that's a goal" within seconds... probably before the German keeper could have gotten rid of the ball. In the Mexico - Argentina game, the same official could have buzzed down and said "offside... no goal" before Tevez had stopped sliding on his knees. I think when most people hear "instant replay", they think of the onerous system which interrupts NFL games, but it is designed that way because of the constant starts and stops inherent in the game.

Hazzle
01-07-2010, 04:38 PM
England weren't screwed by the ref. They were pummeled silly by the better team, and yes, it should've been 2-2, but it so easily could've been 5-2 to the Germans at half time with better finishing. Germany were miles better, and would probably have still gone on to win from 2-2. Sadly we'll never know giving England fans the perfect excuse.

England fans should remember that if they'd beaten Algeria they'd have topped the group and avoided Germany.

Mexico, on the other hand, got screwed. They were all over Argentina until the goal and then fell apart. Still, can't put the result down to the ref when one of your defenders passes the ball straight to Higuain. That's asking for trouble.

England should think of it this way: concede four goals and you're rarely going to win a game. If they had lost 2-1, or even 3-1, you could put it down to the ref, but 4-1? At 2-1 with 45 minutes left, why throw so many players forward?

At 3-1 why keep it up; you now need two to even get to extra time/pens. Pens against Germany = England out.

As for the goal, yes, it should've been allowed, but I don't think the problem was the lack of technology. It was clear to everyone watching that it had crossed the line. Likewise Tevez' offside, he was miles off. No decent official would have made those mistakes. The problem is FIFA choosing poor officials. Or maybe just a lack of good ones.

hasselbrad
01-07-2010, 08:32 PM
Hello! Welcome to WRITE THE FUTURE - the World Cup 2010 Soccer News Topics text adventure! Who would you like to play as?

>FRANCK RIBERY

[Now playing as FRANCK RIBERY]

You are in a room. There is a young woman.

Please confirm you are over 18 years of age.

>YES

Please confirm the young woman is over 18 years of age.

>CHANGE PLAYER

Who would you like to play as?

>RONALDINHO

[Now playing as RONALDINHO]

You are in a room. There is a television.

>LOOK AT TELEVISION

The World Cup is on. Brazil Soccer News Topics is playing.

>GO TO GAME

You cannot do that.

>LEAVE ROOM

You are in a street in Milan.

>GO TO SOUTH AFRICA

You cannot do that.

>CHANGE PLAYER

Who would you like to play as?

>DIDIER DROGBA

[Now playing as DIDIER DROGBA]

The Ivory Coast Soccer News Topics is playing Portugal Soccer News Topics. You are on the bench.

>LOOK

The game is in progress. You are on the bench.

>PLAY GAME

You cannot do that.

>GET ON FIELD

I don't understand.

>GO TO FIELD

You cannot do that.

>STAND UP

You feel a pain in your arm.

>LOOK AT ARM

Your elbow is broken. You cannot play in this game.

>CHANGE PLAYER

Who would you like to play as?

>FABIO CANNAVARO

[Now playing as FABIO CANNAVARO]

You are in Johannesburg. You are playing a team no one has ever heard of. You are captain of one of the most celebrated defenses in the world.

You hear a dull buzzing hum.

>LOOK

The dull buzzing hum is coming from the crowd.

You see several anonymous men in white shirts. They have scored a goal. Your team is now losing.

>RUN

You are too old to do that.

>PLAY DEFENSE

You are too old to do that.

The dull buzzing hum has been replaced by boos and laughter.

>CHANGE PLAYER

Who would you like to play as?

>WAYNE ROONEY

[Now playing as WAYNE ROONEY]

You are in Bloemfontein.

>LOOK

You are playing Germany. You are wearing a red shirt.

Germany has scored a goal. The score is now 1-0.

>GET BALL

You cannot get the ball.

Germany has scored a goal. The score is now 2-0.

>GET OPEN

You cannot get open.

England has scored a goal. The score is now 2-1.

>YES! PLAY FOOTBALL

England has scored a goal. The score is now 2-1.

>WHAT?

I don't understand.

>WHAT IS THE SCORE?

The score is now 2-1.

>YOU SAID ENGLAND SCORED ANOTHER GOAL!

The score is now 2-1.

>BUT THERE WAS A SECOND GOAL!

The score is now 2-1.

It is now halftime.

>REVIEW FIRST HALF

Germany scored two goals. England scored two goals. The score is now 2-1.

>THE SCORE SHOULD BE 2-2!

The score is now 2-1.

>BUT ENGLAND SCORED TWO GOALS! WE SHOULD BE TIED!

The score is now 2-1.

Germany has scored a goal. The score is now 3-1.

>WAIT! WE STARTED THE SECOND HALF?

Germany has scored a goal. The score is now 4-1.

>THIS GAME SUCKS!

The score is now 4-1.

>CHANGE PLAYER

Who would you like to play as?

>CRISTIANO RONALDO

[Now playing as CRISTIANO RONALDO.]

You are in Cape Town.

>GO NORTH

There is a Spanish person in your way.

>GO EAST

There is a Spanish person in your way.

>GO WEST

There is a Spanish person in your way.

>GO SOUTH

There is a Spanish person in your way.

>SCORE GOAL

You cannot do that.

>DIVE

The referee tells you to get up.

>DIVE

The referee tells you to get up.

>DIVE

The referee tells you to get up.

>DIVE

The referee tells you to get up.

>WRITE THE FUTURE

You visualize a majestic glittering statue. You visualize a glamorous movie premiere of your life story. You visualize international world celebrity.

Spain has scored a goal.

>QUIT

You have decided to quit.

Thank you for playing WORLD CUP 2010 - WRITE THE FUTURE!

>ERASE DISK

Hazzle
01-07-2010, 10:44 PM
Heh. Yeah, that ad has been an utter curse on every one of those players. Hate to say it but thought Cristiano was unlucky against Spain; reputation preceded him and they got away with so many fouls on him it's unreal.

Italy's defence wasn't actually that terrible. Paraguay's goal was from a freekick that should never have been given (Paraguay player handled it) and New Zealand scored thanks to both a foul and an offside. Italy's problem was they lacked a creative spark until Pirlo came on against Slovakia when it was too late. Cannavaro did OK actually.

Ivory Coast got robbed because North Korea decided not to bother turning up for the second half against Portugal. England were just shite. And I wonder if Dunga will live to regret not taking Dinho. With Kaka playing the way he is and it looking increasingly like Elano won't play again (shocking tackle from Tiote) we may yet be short on creativity.

Edit: Called it. 2-1 down and nobody to bring off the bench to change the game. Dinho badly missed.

hasselbrad
02-07-2010, 07:42 PM
Cannavaro may have played fine in the matches you mentioned, but against Slovakia, he (and the entire defense for that matter) was atrocious. That goal on the throw in was the kind of shit you see in a youth league when most of the kids are too busy thinking about what the team mother brought for snacks at halftime.

Good thing Felipe Melo plays for Juve, too. Maybe he can get a flight directly to Turin so he doesn’t wind up like Andreas Escobar. :p I’ve never seen a match where one guy had a hand in every single goal that was scored.

- pass to Robinho… goal Brazil
- Sneidjer set piece off the back of his head… goal Netherlands
- ball watching instead of marking Sneidjer… goal Netherlands

And then he stomps on Robben and gets sent off.

Yeah… he probably doesn’t need to go to Brazil for quite some time.

To be honest, both teams looked like shit for most of the match. The Dutch seemed to be more interested in diving than total football and the Brazilians were too busy screaming about the Dutch to practice any Joga Bonita. I thought that Robinho was going to get himself sent off for screaming at the referee on a couple of occasions.

It’s funny how a few days ago, there was a very real possibility of a semi-final round made up of nothing but South American teams, but now with Brazil out and Ghana up 1 – 0 over Uruguay, I feel like it could be a semi-final round without a single South American team in it. I’ll be interested to see how Argentina’s defense holds up against Germany. Like you said, Mexico was all over them until that first Tevez (non) goal.

Hazzle
03-07-2010, 12:05 PM
Heh, Uruguay cheated their way through, I see. They were your team, weren't they? Now that the US is out? I see they got revenge on Ghana (amazing how they were able to cheat against the US and nobody mentioned it but now that they are the victims everyone's all over it. I suspect a little bit of "poor African country" is going on) for you.

As for Italy, against Slovakia the first goal was De Rossi's fault, but after that they seemed shell-shocked. The funny thing is, the problem for Italy's defence wasn't a lack of pace but a lack of organisation. So out of character for them.

The Dutch got away with murder. Robben is an irritating little fucker who's rivaling Ronaldo in the diving stakes, but that's still no excuse for Melo going crazy. Wait until the match is over and you've won before dishing out revenge.

He'll probably get a violent conduct ban for three games now so hopefully that is the end of his Brazil career.

Think you're being a touch harsh on the Joga Bonita front though. Second half, true, but first half there was that Kaka shot after a beautiful move and also Maicon doing his Carlos Alberto impression. For some reason after half time there was no intensity, backed off the Dutch, allowed them to pass the ball around without pressing them like we did before the break. Letting the Netherlands keep possession is dangerous and they grew into the game. And then at 2-1 there were no game-changing options on the bench. No Pato, Dinho or Diego. At least one of them should've gone.

And why Melo instead of treble winner Thiago Motta, or Gilberto (not Silva, the other one) instead of Marcelo?

There are, in amongst the gloom, reasons for us to have optimism. We're hosting the next one so on top of home advantage, we have plenty of time for friendlies (no qualification) to experiment and give kids a chance. There's the likes of Rafael, Marcelo, Ganso and Neymar coming through, as well as Pato. Robinho will only be 30, Adriano's move to Roma could mean he rekindles his career (he'll still only be 31) and even Kaka might make it at 32.

At the back Maicon and Dani Alves will only be 32 and 31 respectively and in the middle Thiago Silva and David Luiz should mature into top centre backs. At home, with the right coaching set up (either Scolari or Leonardo, possibly a combination of both), with the indignation after two successive failures, it could end up being a case of Brazil going out of their way to hammer teams silly just to prove a point. Maybe I'm grasping at straws but it's all I've got.

hasselbrad
03-07-2010, 04:39 PM
Germany asks its opponent a simple question before each match... you want your bitch-slap forehand or backhand?

Of course, it was only a matter of time before Argentina's defensive shortcomings were exposed.

duckula
03-07-2010, 10:22 PM
Argentina was still in the game at 1-0 but once that second goal went in it was all over. Great football from Germany.

Hazzle
04-07-2010, 06:40 AM
After Brazil went out, Argentina fans paraded a coffin draped in the Brazil flag through the streets of Cape Town.

In response may I just say...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

We lost narrowly to the fourth ranked team in the world, thanks to defensive errors and probably outplayed them on the balance of play. Netherlands may have deserved to win, because Brazil lost their heads, but it was clearly against the run of play. Meanwhile Argentina got spanked by a side ranked outside the top five (albeit only just outside).

Germany should fancy their chances now. Spain have looked distinctly average and were incredibly lucky to beat Paraguay, who had a goal disallowed when it was clearly not offside. They're also too dependent on David Villa.

FIFA will be happy. Having had South American teams outdo European ones all tournament, three of the four semi-finalists are Europeans. Naturally, despite all continental rivalry, I'll be pulling for Uruguay. Fuck Blatter.

duckula
13-07-2010, 07:05 PM
Well, that was fun. Euros in 2 years. That should be fun.

Hazzle
17-07-2010, 07:37 AM
Can't wait to see the rematch between Spain and Germany in two years. Fully expect a very different result when the likes of Ozil and Muller have a bit more experience (and hopefully this time the latter will actually play. They really did miss him, think they may have beaten Spain with him in the side). Germany'll be a force at the next World Cup too.

I'm looking forward to the next World Cup. In South America. After a World Cup in which South American teams did best. All-European final but based on the latest FIFA rankings, CONMEBOL sides in the tournament went up 33 places overall. UEFA were only +12 even Asia did better with +18. On top of that, young Ghana and Germany sides will have matured nicely and should be excellent to watch. Should be an amazing World Cup, especially at the Maracana.

Am I the only one who still thinks that aside from patches of the final (once Navas and Fabregas were both on) Spain looked distinctly average during the tournament? How much luck did they get? Offside goal vs Portugal, a good goal ruled out for Paraguay, that foul on Ozil which should've been a red and even in the final, though the Dutch should've had two men sent off, Spain should've had Puyol sent off for that tackle from behind on Robben when through on goal.

duckula
17-07-2010, 07:27 PM
You have to ride your luck to win a knock out competition. Spain looked much better every time they brought on Fabregas, he should have started.

hasselbrad
20-07-2010, 02:28 AM
No Haz… I thought the same thing. I’ve heard people bitching and moaning about how teams bunkered against them, but I think they bring that kind of play on themselves. Puyol to Piqué… Piqué to Busquets… back to Piqué… back to Puyol… Piqué… Ramos… Piqué. You get the picture. Their style simply compressed teams they played, whereas Germany passed the ball with malicious intent and actually tried to score.

Hazzle
20-07-2010, 07:17 AM
You have to ride your luck to win a knock out competition. Spain looked much better every time they brought on Fabregas, he should have started.

Haven't got a problem with Spain being lucky, just think they were more lucky than good, yet the press are eulogising their playing style. It's a damning indictment that so far I've asked lots of people if they agree that Spain were better in the Euros than the World Cup and so far nobody has disagreed. That Spain side was a beautiful one.

I do agree Spain were better when Fabregas was on, because he brought the sort of directness that Brad talks about which the Germans had and Spain did not. One of my friends suggested Tiki-Taka was the new Catenaccio, as Spain just suffocate the opposition, pass around them until they tire and then latch onto the mistakes. Think that's true.

How often was more than one Spaniard in the box? Hell, how often were more than three in the final third?

Don't get me wrong, the tactic worked, but I'm sick of people saying this Spain side are great to watch or attacking (they're not). Their playing style is primarily defensive; they keep the ball, yes, but the main reason they do this is because without the ball the opposition can't score. There was little of the incisive cut-throat passing that they are capable of, that we've seen from this same bunch of players before, yet everybody's creaming their pants.

Spain won, and congratulations to them. But they didn't play well, nor are they an attacking side.

angelababy
12-11-2010, 06:15 AM
I would be living in South Africa right now!