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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

World Cup thoughts

finally i can get to concentrating on the World Cup. And as this blog promises football, but mysteriously stopped once Man United never looked like winning the league, it would seem an obvious time to start that again.

Crouch is not good. Really, not good at all. Stating the obvious I know but the national press went wild after he scored a hatrick again Jamaica. In a friendly. Against players from division below. So what? He shouldn't be at the World Cup and Defoe is infinitely better. The general use of players is also odd. Leaving one up front when one-nil up echoes the last World Cup and the Barzil match. This and Crouch reflects Sven's bizarre combination of being a Serie A manager and a lover of the thankfully outdated (apart from Liverpool) long ball game. but who cares about England, eh? Yet if Rooney does play then at least we will see the World's Greatest Player (for it is he and not the admittedly great Ronaldinho) at the World Cup

The Czech Rep looked pretty good and a very strong midfield. I know some USA fans are a bit displeased but the Czechs have always been a good side and very underrated. Come on America, at least it wasn't Iran this time (for non-football/soccer fans Iran beat the USA in the 1998 World Cup)!

Ronaldo looked poor. It is sad to think that just how good he was when he burst on the scene in the mid 90s.

Argentina look a good bet and Heinze is back! Ayala still looks as tough as ever.

Does anyone care out there?

8 Comments:

Blogger Jim said...

The German match today will be a good one I think. And of course lots of people care! That's why they are all off work and watching....

;-)

June 14, 2006

 
Blogger J. B. Hood said...

ABOUT TIME! I was beginning to think you'd converted to cricket or given up football.

I think Heinze went the full 90, which was a bit scary. Argentina has talent, Brazil looked their usual precocious selves, but Spain looked absolutely riveting this morning. Torres and the Liverpool midfield are a bunch of killers; with Casillas and Puyols in the back they're stacked. I can't stand their coach, but at least he is smart enough to know which strikers should start.

I have German Reading during the middle of the day, so I have to follow some of the matches (like US v Czechs) online...que lastima. I just hope the Czechs don't have to face Brazil in the second round.

Finally, I can't figure England out. Rooney would make all the difference of course (though he is still second to Ronaldinho--and those two only because they roam and boss the center where it matters; otherwise, on their day fleet wingers like Messi and Robben would have at least as much value in terms of being able to change a game).

Let me close by saying that, if Rosicky always plays like that, rumors of Arsenals demise may be greatly exaggerated.

June 14, 2006

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

Good to have the football reflections back on the blog. As a biblioblogging purist, it's nice to be able to inhabit the comments areas of others who say "What the heck?" and blog on the World Cup anyway. Agree about Crouch. He looks to me a bit like the man that gets picked towards the end ahead of the fat kid, on the grounds that he's so tall that he might just manage to plonk his head on the ball by accident. But I'd really love to be proved wrong. Where was Owen the other day? Completely anonymous.

But the fact is that we will not win the World Cup this year, even with Wayne back, because in the knockout stages, sooner or later it will go to penalties and we are now even worse at them than we were in 2004, 1998, 1996, 1990 . . .

June 14, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He's big, he's red..." I think Crouchy brings some real advanatages to the team. Even if you're right (which you are not) England's next game is against a team made up largrely of lower division players. Crouchy will be just the man for the job.

Lots of good games so far in this World Cup. Argentina, Czech Republic, Spain looking very impressive. Surprisingly few terrible performances - France and what about USA.

Don't expect England to win the tournament. Hoping for glorious and memorable defeat in quarter finals.

Come on, England!

Jacob

June 15, 2006

 
Blogger James Crossley said...

Jim, the Germany match was certainly interesting. Poland never really looked like scoring but did look lie they could hold out for a draw.

Jason, Spain did look very good but the penalty was a bit of a, well, non-penalty to say the least. Spain almost always have a good team before failing miserably (though the last World Cup they were cheated). Can they change at this one?

Incidentally, Ronaldinho wasn't as good as Rooney when he was Rooney's age (and even now I still take Rooney).

Rosiky did play very well but, and no offence, it was only against the USA. He now has to do it against a top team (and he might).

Mark, good to hear similar comments on Crouch. As for Owen, he looks completely unfit (not surprising I suppose). This puts Sven in a bit of a problem I reckon. If he wants Rooney and Owen fit he's going to have to give them games and this could backfire if unfit. But the groups stage should be easy enough. But even with Rooney fit I can't see England winning the WC either. I don't think it is the players for once because the first 11 is strong. Sven just seems to get the worst out of them with the style of game he plays (which I personally hate). And psychologically what will happen if a game goes to pens...?

Jacob, now convincing me that Crouch is any good will take a lot. But i fear you may be on to something with him playing against T&T. He will no doubt score 2 and be hailed world class for scoring at the WC (and not against a bunch of largely lower league players). You're right on the quality of the games though. it's been a good one so far.

June 15, 2006

 
Blogger J. B. Hood said...

"and no offence, it was only against the USA."

Well it's your blog so you can say that, but how many times have you seen the US play? It'd be more accurate to say, "...against the USA on one of their worst days." (1) I've never seen a player look that good against them, not for the last six years anyway. That includes Germany last world cup, when we were robbed by the ref. (2) I've never seen them play that poorly. They utterly failed to get on the ball and press, particularly on the flanks where they have some serious speed and skill (starters from Hannover 96, PSV, Leeds and Reading). And the heart of the midfield never got involved to the extent Nedved and co. did. Sad stuff, hard to watch. If they recover emotionally, Italy will have a tough time (though I dont' envision us winning).

June 15, 2006

 
Blogger James Crossley said...

Ok, ok Jason, they aren't so bad but Czech should always have been favourites. I'm not convinced by Leeds players (or Leeds as a club but that's a regional issue going back a long time). Reading? I don't know. Reina? Hmmm. And not taking Freddie Adu seems absurd to me. Now he could be a big, big star. Eddie Johnson looked pretty useful though. He could do some damage.

June 15, 2006

 
Blogger J. B. Hood said...

Adu is way too young, doesn't quite have the right attitude. Their coach (Arena) did the right thing--brought him into camp for experience, but not selecting him (and having everyone know this up front).

He's a far cry from Walcott, who has at least played at U21.

I think Eddie will start up front with Brian McBride (Everton and Fulham). If the midfield can get in gear at all--no small task against Italia--they've got a chance to score some goals with that bunch.

June 15, 2006

 

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