Dirty Dutch a disgrace to football

July 17, 2010 Leave a comment

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/paul-parker/article/26606/

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Defeated Dutch honoured at home with sea of orange

July 17, 2010 Leave a comment

The Dutch team lost 0-1 to Spain in extra time in Johannesburg on Sunday, playing a style of football described by former Dutch superstar Johan Cruyff, a losing finalist at the 1974 World Cup, as “ugly, vulgar, hard.”

But the fans were unconcerned about accusations of negative play.

“On Sunday, we were very, very disappointed, but now we are mostly proud: second in the world is not bad when you think about it,” said Nico Bakker, 23, his cheeks painted in the red, white and blue colours of the Dutch flag.

“Things were convivial,” a police spokeswoman said.

World Cup 2010: No regrets for Howard Webb after final

July 17, 2010 Leave a comment

“We felt satisfied we’d done a tough job in difficult circumstances to the best of our abilities,” Webb insisted.

“We tried to apply some common sense officiating given the magnitude of the occasion for both sides – advising players early on for some of their tackling, sending players away when they were surrounding the officials, and speaking to their senior colleagues to try to calm them down.

“It is one of the toughest games we will ever be involved in and we feel that we worked hard to keep the focus on the football as much as possible.”

“The final was without doubt one of the most difficult games Howard will have ever refereed,” said Riley.

Jonathan Hall, the FA’s director on the PGMO, added: “Nothing should take away from Howard’s achievement and it is hard to imagine many other officials being able to match his performance or handle such a fixture so well.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2010/8817459.stm
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2890/world-cup-2010/2010/07/13/2023949/football-association-officials-praise-2010-world-cup-final

score one for spain in style

July 17, 2010 Leave a comment

New York Times has the best quality of writing among all that I read. Every single time one can just depend on a memorable yet elegantly simple and still not bland read of an event. Always well written.

Regulation had spilled into overtime of this fractious game Sunday. The clock was nearly exhausted, as were the players. Soon, the World Cup final would be decided by its harshest verdict, penalty kicks, and skill would give way to nerve and caprice.

A record 14 yellow cards and a red would be issued by the English referee Howard Webb. A potentially beautiful game between two elegant teams had turned nasty and destructive.

… even if this one will be remembered more for meanness than splendor.

The Dutch intended to take Spain away from its graceful passing game. And they frequently did, sometimes with brutal intent. Still, Spain showed hardness of its own, becoming unnerved at times but never discouraged.

Finally, it prevailed for a fourth consecutive 1-0 victory, displaying resolve, endurance and a flair for white-knuckled theatrics while completing a remarkable turnaround.

or in the stereotypical African safari image

“Freedom will forever remain elusive as long as they continue to witness the rich getting richer while their situation is rapidly deteriorating”

… Nelson Mandela …who will be 92 in a week …

… often strangled Spain’s stylish passing attack by whatever force was necessary …

“It was still our intention to play beautiful football, but we were also facing a very good opponent,” said Bert van Marwijk, the Netherlands coach. “Spain is the best football country the past few years. I think both sides committed fouls. It may be regrettable this happened in a final. That’s not our style. But you do play to win.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/12/sports/soccer/12soccer.html?pagewanted=2&src=mv

The final

July 17, 2010 Leave a comment

July 12, 2:30 AM to 5:00 AM – A Day & Time I will never forget.
 Hong Kong, Lan Kwai Fong

The Dutch coach says very appropriately my sentiments for all those who are criticizing them for their aggressive play. He has said it better than I’d have and I will bold and underline the most important part …

“It was still our intention to play beautiful football, but we were also facing a very good opponent,” said Bert van Marwijk, the Netherlands coach. “Spain is the best football country the past few years. I think both sides committed fouls. It may be regrettable this happened in a final. That’s not our style. But you do play to win.”

absolute-fuckin-ly !! 

 but then I can’t resist my own rant too, can i? …

It was finally the best match of the world cup and quite appropriately the final too. Oh boy, what a contest. No player could keep the ball to himself even for one second and that for the entire 120+ minutes. Why? Because the 11 – each one of those 11 – on the other side won’t let him. It was thrilling to watch this game and an exemplary show of commitment by each of the 22 players and 3 referees. It must be shown as an example of how you get committed to your cause in military schools, to young kids and wherever! Amazing, simply amazing.

The thing about this game is that it does not do justice to read about it. One needs to watch it – the full game – to realize how tough this competition was between a highly skillful side vs another one which just won’t settle for the 2nd place – both the sides deserved to win on 11th July 2010. But it had to be one. That is what was so fuc – k – ing great about this game! I loved it. An experience I’d never forget in my life. It was beyond words. I could not think of any words to express my thrill to my wife after the game and so I just kept quiet about it, talked about other things and walked back home with her. I still get goose bumps when I think about the game.

To put it simply it was a game of football among 2 teams in which the total of 22 men had individually resolved that they’ll go home as winners. This game was a show of how it works out when 11 men on two sides each resolve in equal intensity to get that one thing – that beautiful, very beautiful Jules Rimet Trophy.

My ways in life owe a lot to the way I played football. And this is one of those games I’d remember every time I’ll need an uplift in my resolve for anything I’d go after.

End note – the thing about this game and its lesson though is that one needs to be a long-standing viewer (and a player) of any team contest like football, hockey, cricket etc to know that this was not an ordinary contest of a final in a tournament. This was not the everyday final. This was beyond it. This was very much beyond it. An acute observer of players’ behavior in a team contest will always notice someone slacking off somewhere, someone not running hard enough, someone not paying attention, someone not going after a ball with 110% intent to take it back. That acute observer will not find that moment in this game.

What happened to them!

July 8, 2010 4 comments

Were they drugged? Or was it that they were not drugged (steroids)?
Did they party last night and got tired?
Did they take money to lose (I can’t be serious here, right)?
Did they get bored already? Or were they simply sleepy?
Did somebody tell them that the will of Octopus is the will of God?

Who is “they”? It is the LAZY Germans!

No seriously, what happened today?

Where did the counter attacks go?
Where was the spring in the feet?
Where was the organization and discipline?
Where the heck were the moves?
Where was the enthusiasm? They all looked so sad. Did someone die?

 I did not have any favorites for this game and also I did not really wish for anyone to lose today. But man, I did not expect this performance from the Germans after what they did to Argentina in the previous game. Understood Argentina did not have the defense like the Spanish but Germans did not even seem to try. Germans were clearly stronger and faster vs the English. One could see the age play to their advantage. Youth oozed from every single run they made in that game … where were the runs today??

The way they played looked as if they just didn’t give a damn to the game and all they wanted was to go home!!

No one was willing to run, chase the ball, make a flow, and create a move. It was all so very dull. It was so dull that even though Spain was all into the game, it rubbed over them as well. There were so many moments in the game when the ball was in play and none of the Germans were even bothered chasing it. They were just simply standing.

I have read many blogs on this game before writing as I was wondering maybe it was just my sleepy head that felt like this and true enough I have not read many write on the lethargic nature of German play today but then why did I notice that only with Germans and not the Spanish considering I did not have any one to want to win or lose. Strange … but I find it so strange that the Germans were simply not in the game. They not only played as if they wanted to lose, they in fact played as if they just wanted these 90 mins to be over and done with.

So finally I resort to this overkill of an analysis. I think it was their discipline towards their strategy that did them in. They did not attempt any shots on the goals as they did not get the right openings. There by-the-book attitude made them not realize that attempting half-shots will help build pressure, might make Spain commit a mistake and might give them a lucky break. If nothing else, shooting a few attempts even if not near the target, well and strong, builds confidence, makes the enemy jittery at the back and eventually make it make a mistake. They should have at least made half-attempts at the goal. Things would/might have opened up. They did not even attempt.

They just kept following their goddamn book in the midfield and when they reached an impenetrable wall, they just gave the ball away.

It was boring football. It was sick. It was all freaking European. And to add to the misery of this world cup, the Latin Americans didn’t play like Latin Americans in this tournament.

The only saving grace for this world cup is the two beautiful goals scored yesterday in Dutch vs Uruguay game in a true European fashion – ironic.

What happened today to them? Anyone got any answers????

Argentina vs Germany

July 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Germany Shows Its Strength

Maradona was celebrated for the freedom he gave his forwards, cheered for the blithe way he let his players do as they wished.

In building an ostentatious attack, Maradona neglected to shore up his defense for a day like Saturday, when the goals stopped coming for Argentina and the threats at the other end had to be countered with something other than indifference, lack of speed and disorganization.

Meanwhile, Maradona the coach proved far less able than Maradona the player, and Argentina’s last World Cup title, in 1986, receded further into the rearview mirror.

What began as a World Cup of dominance by South America has swung back toward European pre-eminence. A day after Brazil lost its composure against the Netherlands, Argentina was routed by a German team that had more speed, energy, quickness to the ball, inventiveness, insistence on the counterattack, and cohesion and relentlessness on defense.

Most surprising was not that Brazil and Argentina lost, but that while fearsome in reputation, they proved merely fragile on the field, delicate, brittle and cracking under the first sign of strain. Afterward, Maradona, 49, hinted that he would step down. “I think we made it easy for them,” he said. “They got easy control of the ball. Germany had more ideas, lots of ideas, ideas they didn’t have before.”

Youth Reinvigorates Germany’s Team

All Klose did was ghost into the spaces, lurk and sniff the chances before Argentina’s defense — always its Achilles’ heel — knew danger was afoot.

The word “all” neglects the science of scoring, the antenna that guides a Müller or a Klose to prey on the slenderest of offerings. Klose now has 52 goals for Germany, he has just tied Gerd Müller’s 14 World Cup goals and he is closing in on the record of 15, held by Brazil’s Ronaldo.

That’s all Klose is. A goal scorer who cannot get a game these days for his club, the very same Bayern Munich, in part because its latest coach prefers younger strikers.

To dismantle Argentina in such a fashion has to be about more than the goal men. It is. The German defense is ordered. The midfield, powered by possibly the most athletic player in this tournament, Bastian Schweinsteiger, is relentless. And if goalkeeper Manuel Neuer looks at times a nervous beginner, his team is there for him at awkward times.

That, finally, is the word that defines Germany: team.

Every man works, and runs, for the others. Everyone thinks, if he makes a pass, who will run onto it. No one shirks the tackles, no one shies from the work.

These sound like less romantic traits than Argentina had thrilled us with through the first rounds of this tournament. But denial is part of the game too, and Messi can testify that wherever he moved there were always two men at his heels and two in front of him.

Almost always a group of Germans denied him time and space. He couldn’t be Messi without the ball, and without room to create when he had it.

Messi will awake in the nights and see those Germans closing in. More than anyone, he will see Schweinsteiger muscling in. And when even Messi became demoralized by the German strength, Schweinsteiger had a trick or two of his own.

He moved down the left, outpaced two opponents, deceived a third, Gonzalo Higuaín, with a swift turn, and cut the ball back for Arne Friedrich, a defender, to score his first goal in eight years as a German international.

The only surprise was that Merkel did not get into the goalmouth to take her turn as a striker.