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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More World Cup

Now for more...

The England game. Rooney should now get better and better the more England progress. He already looks sharp and very close to match fitness. From my time on Football Manager (the child of Championship Manager) this should be the case (anyone who has played this game will know how predictions of future players and certain tactical aspects of the game are very often accurate - in fact if they were C1 I suspect they would be regarded as ex eventu).

As all the tabloids and broadesheets have now have now gleefully pointed out the inclusion of 4 strikers (one untried in the top league, one potentially unfit, one very unfit, and one utterly useless) now looks very suspect. Owen's injury is serious (I actually suffered one similar as a teenager and it is a right [...]). Walcott STILL didn't get a run out so that is looking a weird inclusion. Usually I think there is little method in Sven's madness but this time there might just be. There is a possibility that Sven will go with 5 midfield and 1 up front (Rooney). This will mean a holding midfielder. Hargreaves played well and wouldn't be a bad choice for the role but Carrick is generally a better player.

Not sure about Beckham these days. In fact I'm not sure he has played well for several years. United were right to sell him after two poor seasons. I'm not sure why he has dipped so dramatically but he has. Lennon is useful and unknown to opposition but still needs to work on his crossing. That said some people are convinced that this new ball may lead to great goals but it is very problematical for crossing. (Lehmann may say it's bad for keepers too but I don;t recall him being any better with a normal ball).

Rio needs to be used more and thus play THROUGH the midfield and it might encourange cutting out the long ball to England's 9 foot striker.

And a slight apology to our US friends. After a ever so slightly bad comment on the standard of their national team (come on, you do run the world at least!) they then put up a pretty impressive performance against the Italians in bizarre circumstances.

And will Brazil drop Adriano and Ronaldo? Robinho looks sharper and always does a good job for me on Football Manager (yes, I'm Man United and Brazil manager). He is also good in real life. Actually, there are a few big decisions waitng to be made. Roberto Carlos has been over rated for years, living off one fluke free kick years ago. Cafu is also a bit old these days. Gilberto and Cicinho are waiting... I just wonder if there is any commercial pressure on Brazil (Team Nike?).

Looks like Holland and Portugal in the next round: that's a potential classic.

So far a very good World Cup. Will take some beating to top Spain 82 though (that Brazil team is the only equal to United 99 in my memory).


Blogger Jim said...

If Holland plays like it did today, and Portugal plays like it did against Mexico- Holland will be "smitten mightily".

So- that said- do explain to me the whole "offsides" thing. I can't make any sense of it at all.

And- as an aside- you have yourself and a few others to thank that not only am I watching every game I can- so are my wife and daughter. It really is a great sport.

June 21, 2006

Blogger J. B. Hood said...

A convert!

June 22, 2006

Blogger J. B. Hood said...

This is more like it, James. This is what I was counting on. If England can make it to the quarters, Rooney will rock the house.

There is NO WAY Rooney fails to play up top. I can't remember if I ranted on this here but Sven is a fool for not blooding Walcott last match--10 minutes at least if nothing else.

Good Arsenal slam.

And you're forgiven. We haven't played well two matches in a row since the last two games of WC2002, so I'm not sure tomorrow is a go. I'm going to the doctor before the game, hoping to miss a fair bit of it. I simply can't stand to watch.

All in all a great World Cup, with a few yawners; though even in those Joe Cole or Messi makes it worth your while.

Be sure and tell Jim why we have offside rules...(Beasley's disallowed goal was a great case in point)

June 22, 2006

Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

James: great to have more of your World Cup punditry. Agree with pretty much all of what you say here too. I think Rooney's getting ready to rock this world cup. One of the highlights of the World Cup so far was Rooney's annoyance at being taken off with 20 minutes to go against Sweden -- just look at that passion and desire to perform. Things can only get better.

JB: Sven couldn't have brought on Wallcott for 10 minutes at the end unless he'd brought him on instead of Gerrard. And since Gerrard saved one off the line and scored another, we'd have lost to Sweden and come second in the group and so would have faced Germany next round. I'd rather save up for that one.

Jim: off-side is very simple and most easily explained as follows: (1) You are not off-side if you are behind the ball. (2) You cannot off-side if you are in your own half. (3) You are not off-side if there are two or more players of the opposing team level with / in front of you. If you don't satisfy any of (1) to (3), you are in an off-side position.

June 22, 2006

Blogger Jim said...

Thanks Mark, that makes sense.

June 22, 2006

Blogger J. B. Hood said...


Good point. I forgot Rio was subbed--I was going on the idea that if Sven as manager knew Owen was totally out, he should have sent one of THREE remaining strikers (with one potentially injured and the other unable to play the offside trap against a conference side) onto the pitch for the first time at some point.

June 23, 2006


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