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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

World Cup wrap up

Yeah yeah I'm crap at blogging - here's a roundup of the World Cup, (ahem) now we have some perspective.

No progress since Erickson took over - streetwise Scolari had it all over Sven again, but with respect to big Phil, Sven outwitted himself. Walcott was a smokescreen, good for one press conference back before we started, while Lennon was criminally underused. What a shame, England had some great players that would have been better off by:

1. Having no coach - Italia '90 Semifinalists England got together and approached Robson with the system they wanted to play - this England team should have done the same. Surely Lampard and Gerrard could have worked it better (Lampard might have even dropped himself he says hopefully). They couldn't have done worse.

2. Making Rooney spend alternate weeks kipping on Michael Owen and Gary Lineker's couches. Make him eat, drink, help out in the garden and play golf and snooker with them. It's a fate worse than death, but the little twat deserves it, and it should bore some sense into him.

3-6. Dropping Beckham.

Now England need a coach who's willing to take some chances and play the youngsters - that MIGHT be McClaren, but he's just doesn't inspire confidence. They need Klinsmann. I'm just kind of dismayed at how they played, what a waste, the best atmosphere in the pub was for England matches - until the games actually started. A Guardian journo summed it up when picking one word to describe England's effort - Kournikova. I'd have just said Boring.

Best game
It has to be Germany v Italy, doesn't it? France v Brazil was close, that was when Zidane actually played like he used to. Croatia v Australia had comedy goalkeeping, gleeful violence and a rainbow of cards, along with Harry Kewell's redemption - what more can you ask for? Portugal v Holland scored well on the violence front too, while Mexico v Argentina was a minor classic if only for Mexico's coach going through nicotine withdrawal under Germany's smoke-free stadium policy. Italy v Germany, though, was end to end attacking football galore, with a finish reminiscent of Man U's Champions League win - fantastic, schoolboy's own stuff. The Italians REALLY didn't want to go to penalties, did they?

My Fantasy Team
I'm not doing a 'team of the World Cup', just one I think would be fun to watch.

Strikers - Ronaldo, Rooney

Free role - Riquelme

Midfield - Zambrotta, Pirlo, Gerrard

Wing backs - Grosso, that German left back

Centre backs - Cannavaro, Terry

Keeper with dodgy V-neck thing - Buffon

I really liked Riqueleme - a class act, and he looked miserable the whole time, like a proper genius should. Him and Pirlo in the same midfield should keep things ticking over, and provide some great balls to fat boy and Rooney, who can of course create the odd chance himself. Wingers? Bah, you can never have enough Creative Midfielders, I say.

And I just like Ronaldo, OK?.

So that's another thoroughly enjoyable trip to Football Wonderland over, with the usual sleep deprived, baggy eyed, 'if it's 'Thursday it must be Argentina' kind of Zombie existence for the month, so mission accomplished. It doesn't get any easier to do the late nights as I get on though, and South Africa 2010 will be just as hard I reckon. Bring it on.

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