Not really. But what is fascinating is that contrary to reports that the isolated communist nation wouldn't be able to watch their team in action against Brazil is incorrect...it is now...see what I did there link to 1966? Nevermind. It'll make some sort of convoluted sense in a minute.
South Korea had cancelled their feed across the northern part of the peninsula due to the growing tensions after Kim Jong Il denied bombing a naval ship of his southern brothers out of the water, killing many. South Korea insists it was no case of mistaken identity and North Koreans wouldn't have been able to watch this summer's action...but they wouldn't have known that until it started, if they knew where it started. Well, thats all changed now as the filthy Wall Street Journal reports. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704009804575308100983661796.html?mod=WSJ_worldCup_Left_TopStories
Even North Koreans get to watch the World Cup for free. We can't say that for everywhere, even in the developed world. Someone should have a word. Shaz, have a word.
Well, the good news is they get to watch their national team play in the World Cup for the first time since 1966 - now you see the link right? It was the year England won their only World Cup (as if they haven't stopped telling you) that North Korea made a name for themselves, beating Italy and pushing Portugal all the way in a quarter final at Goodison Park. Apparently, all the toffees wanted the Koreans to win because they were the underdog...dog...dog, why does that seem wrong?
Anyway, a filmmaker has made a...well a film about it all....read all about it!
Anyway, its seems as though we have a conservative World Cup on our hands. Not only did David Cameron's party get into some sort of power but now they're affecting the football. Dull, tight affairs all round. Even the skill filled teams of the Ivory Coast and Portugal ruined my predictions of great excitement with a nil nil draw.
I don't know why I'm surprised. Like I said in a recent post, all the coaches and all the teams are now experienced enough to play disciplined organised football. Conditions are harder - pitches are hard, bouncy rubber ball. But at the same time, there has been an unwillingness to venture out of the formation and create chances through the middle. Its just too rigid.
Apart from Germany that is who after the first round (so far) have looked more than impressive. That said it was against an aging, disorganised Socceroo outfit. Mesut Ozil was sublime and the runs from midfield made a difference.
Well, surely Brazil won't make us suffer? They won't? Well, I wouldn't be surprised. They are described as functional and even World Cup legend Carlos Alberto is worried about this Brazil. They are after all in the mould of their coach. Turgid, tough, resilient. I should assume this is a reaction to their showing at the last World Cup when they only reached the Quarter Finals. They were carrying too many ill disciplined players - remember Ronaldinho has been dropped, no Ronaldo and even no place for Pato.
But they do have Robinho and Kaka. Let's hope they bring some delight to the table. Has to be a Brazilian win. 3 nil I say.
North Korea though have been training in some odd Rocky like ways. Carrying each other to build each others strength etc. I'm not joking. I'd prove it if anyone could find them and the Telegraph's Jim White has been hunting for their team. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup-2010/video/7827908/World-Cup-2010-where-are-the-North-Koreans.html
For any insight on to how they will play you need to speak to people who've watched them. That'd be World Soccer then. http://www.worldsoccer.com/news/north_korea_tactics_news_298611.html
Apparently, Hong Yong-Jo provides the dynamism upfront and will play for knock-downs from his out and out striker colleague Jong Tae-Se. 5 at the back? Looks like a dull affair. Like I say, hope Brazil can kick-off some creativity.
3 nil I'll go for.