Early Confessions from the World Cup!
It is not Chelsea so it is not really interesting, but we have a saying here in Sweden that is not translatable so I will invent a new one, inspired by Marie Antoinette. "If you can not get bread you have to eat cake, or vice versa."
So these are my confessions about the World Cup this far. Or maybe the word is impressions. After the first round plus one game.
Early thoughts are that it is the worst World Cup ever played. I have the statistical evidence of it too. It is also the only World Cup ever played where the hosts will be out of it all before the group stage ends.
Thank Zola that Switzerland saved the entire show, this far.
Biggest disappointment, I am a true anglofil so I do root for England with all my heart as Sweden are not in it (did not at all deserve to be either, but next time…). But what England showed after the 40th minute or so in the first game! I have not seen such a poor England team in many years. I will get back to it.
I do not root for Spain though I am, still, totally convinced that they have the best squad and first eleven of all teams. They have experience and talent both on the pitch and bench. And after the first game I am so happy that Chocolate beat Paella every time….to quote a plaque in the stands. Spain needed this lesson in football being a team game. They will either benefit from it, or implode as Spanish teams have done in every championship from the stone age until the Euro 2008. No one doubt their talent, but there can still be questions about heart, will and desire and guts. One thing though, the Fernando Torres that played the last part of the game is absolutely not ever in any dimension worth £50m (the latest figure Chelsea obviously is paying for him!). Please, he was so poor. Then again, he will be better - I hope.
Maicon is the best right back in the world. And a nice guy. That is; he is everything Dani Alves is not. Alves might be a great footballer but one of the five players I want the least to see ever put on a Chelsea blue.
Brazil always start slow. And end….well, I still think Spain are the only ones to stop them and they might play each other in the very first play off game! That is good dramaturgy though FIFA will be flabbergasted! That will totally ruin the horrible gnome`s WC. We all know that the Blatter-gnome will stand there on July 11 and tell us this was the best World Cup ever. Despite the police shooting rubber bullets on security personnell wanting to earn more than £17 for 12-hour days in Cape Town and other places! And all of them getting fired for the audacity to ask for a fair wage! Despite the fact people can only drink Budweiser (and I am not talking about original Budvar but that American liquid so close to water that is is called a canoe). The FIFA even threw out 36 girls for wearing orange at the Holland game. FIFA called it an advertising coup of the Dutch brewery Bavaria, despite them bearing no advertising name, slogans or logos, only orange dresses and surely Dutch football supporters have never worn Orange!? Why do Al Qaida not put a fatwa on FIFA? (I guess you all read that in Somalia many people have been killed for watching the World Cup on TV as football is anti-islam and a christian invention! According to their tribal leaders! What a world!)
I want Mesut Özil to Chelsea ten thousand times more than Kun Agüero. And if you do not understand why after this World Cup, then I have to say - you do not understand footy. Or I don`t! Someone sure don`t!
Vuvuzelas are invented to torture tv-viewers. It might provide some atmosphere to a football game, I do not know, but not a tv broadcast due to the frequency, a flat bess-tone that carries through tv sets like radiation goes through linen. I have begged Merlin to buy Baby Blue one and lock themselves into the bathroom for 90 minutes while Baby Blue tries it out (but please make BB wear ear plugs!). (as Merlin likes them!)
Maradona is maybe amusing, if you are the kind of person that enjoys watching human beings trying to take on train wrecks. He is also intelligent if you believe that abusing everyone is a sign of the ability to put two and two together and making it into twenty-two. Personally I can not stand him, I would gladly swap him for the swine flu again (at least then I met a nice looking nurse while isolated in the hospital). Oh how I wish that Uruguay knock them out in the next round, as I believe South Korea will deliver the man described here as a meatball in a grey suit Friday lunch. Or if you believe himself, God`s gift to man (regardless of religion).
I am not Sven-Göran Eriksson`s biggest supporter but I am starting to have a feeling that even British media will want him back soon. Fabio Capello`s first effort in this World Cup was one of amazing inability. First, choosing his goal keeper two hours before a game. Maybe that works with outfielders being used to that treatment, goalkeepers do not react the same way. We all saw the result. Green tried so hard to prove himself that he could only disprove his abilities. I believe he will start the next game as Capello needs to prove that he made the right choice. I have no problem with that. Green will not be as bad again, but why was he choosen in the first place? James had international experience (and the proven players support), Joe Hart had by all accounts been the by far best goalie in all training up to the WC? Picking Milner, who had been down with a stomach thing for days to play on the left….And pulling him off after 30 minutes. It makes Glenn Hoddle (invalids are punished for horrible deeds in former lifes) seem pensive. Putting SWP on, on the left!. The famed Rooney, was he on the pitch until the last 15 minutes? I blame that performance on Capello too.
Generally Steven Gerrard was believed to be the best English player in a very poor game, and he was - in a way. Like when you pick a 12 year old and put him in a 8-year olds team and tell him that he has to do all the work himself. Gerrard was severely affected by an affliction I call Captainitis.
He wanted to do everything himself, playing right midfield, centre midfield, attack and defence and pushing every other player out of the way. It was not until Gerrard succumbed to fatigue that any other midfield player in England was allowed to touch the ball. Yes, I know that people will think this is my usual distrust of everything pudlian, but it is not. I actually like Gerrard, I just do not like the Cult of Gerrard as the Flawless Footballer. He is a great footballer, but he can not accept to play second string to anything so everyone on the pitch has to bow down to that. He will learn a lot about team play under Mourinho in Real Madrid if he dares to take up that challenge.
Let Lampard play like at Chelsea and England will have a shot of their belief that England is the best football team in the world. After the first game I can not say I fully believe they will survive the group stage. Talk about Capello being caught out as the emperor with his pants down. Still a lot of time to repair the damage though. Remember the Croatian games, the Eriksson game of Münich! Go England. You have five world class players - and sadly not much more. (Please do not hate me, I still have you as my favourite team - I just happen to believe you were a better team in Germany).
North Korea, you have to love them. They play old fashioned football with heart, energy and more energy and when that runs out with a bit more energy. Their star has barely ever been to North Korea but cried during the national anthem, like he would be allowed to drive his Hummer and live his luxuary (Japanese) life under the great chairman and probably best footballer in the world Kim Il Jong. (Jon Tsa Sae is born in Japan to Japanese-South Korean parents and choosing to play for the worst dictatorship in the world! Amazing person!) Still I like the way they fight. And with the biggest standing army compared to population in the world, hope never to see their soldiers do it.
Christina Ronaldo was on his best behaviour, not his best footballing ability. Complaining, whining, diving, cheating and an incredible shot with that strangely angled wrist of his. Now he is appealing against his well deserved yellow card. Portugal have the most Chelsea players outside England (counting ex Joe) and I want them knocked out. Go Ivory Coast!
Forlan, forgive me. I thought you just to be a hairdo at ManU. You are a great player today and hopefully Tottenham will not afford to buy you.
This is so far a very poor World Cup played by 32 teams more afraid of losing than winning. Exceptions Switxerland, New Zealand. Still a lot of time to make amends. Meanwhile I will cheer on the Swiss despite them wearing red, All Whites for their heart (they would not normally even beat my local team here in Sweden!) and England but without belief. I fear this might turn out bad for England has Capello not learned his lesson, from Ancelotti. Build the team around Lamps instead. After all, JT, Ashley, Lamps, Gerrard and Rooney are more than most teams can offer.
Another two months before Chelsea starts the season….
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