Thursday, June 24, 2010


The finalists of four years ago are gone. One with a whimper, the other with a shrug of their shoulders and national disgrace to face at home. Neither were the best in the world four years ago and neither showed enough to sit at the table of the best 16 teams in world football at the moment.

French football came extremely close to mixing the sport with politics - a big no no with FIFA. It has led to bans for such football luminaries as Greece and Pakistan as FIFA insists that the beautiful game remains an independent, democratic process completely separate from government interference.

Marcello Lippi has already assumed full responsibility of the world champions dismal tournament. Apparently, the team played throughout with a fear and Lippi says this is down to a lack of preparation and only he can take the well as taking questions about Totti from Ugandan journalists.

Argentina may well face the same two knockout opponents they played in Germany four years ago if the footballing Gods make it so. Maxi Rodriguez's impressive strike in extra time against Mexico sent Argentina through to a tempestuous quarter final with Germany in the last World Cup. La Nacion of Buenos Aires is keen to point out that Mexico has faltered against stronger opposition and as a result arranged friendlies with the likes of Argentina. In the last 10 meetings between the two sides, Mexico have won once.

Because of its propensity to submit to more reputable opponents, the Mexicans have thrown the wealth of the Mexican league into meaty ties with South American neighbours in order to gain experience and strength. La Nacion thinks it has failed and it will again. Perhaps, as Mexico showed against Uruguay they may not be up to the task. Tight, intricate passing moves need to be finished off and Argentina have been on form. Both teams lack a bit at the back though.

Looks like the Kaiser thinks England stuffed up their tournament and I'd have to agree with him. I'm sure the English tabloids will want this pinned up in the dressing room as motivation, but if they read Beckenbauer's column carefully, they will see he has a lot of respect but believes they are burnt out from a glut of domestic football. Should be a classic and as Prank said, if Germany play the way they have, England will be in trouble.

Nice to see Ghana made it through. Seems as though plumming for the Africans is natural but they will now face a talented US side. And Uruguay and Paraguay have made it through. Uruguay have a great chance of beating South Korea and reaching the quarters. They have been impressive in their balance. Great defending - have conceded no goals and the forwards of Suarez and Forlan have now both scored in this tournament. South Korea looked shakey against a profligate Nigerian side. Wonder if Lagerback will stay now that their is trouble in the ranks.

Lets see who Paraguay play - either Japan or Denmark. Hard to call. Holland will come up against Slovakia now...great opportunity to get to the quarters.

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