Sunday, July 02, 2006

another dustspeck on the muckheap of world cup commentary

Hard to avoid commenting on the amazing and in some respects disappointing world cup action, which has been keeping me going through a bout of illness and attendant black dogginess.

Brazil and Argentina are shockingly out, France regained its assertiveness, even its hauteur, towards the end of the match against Spain, and hustled and bustled Brazil off its game. At this level, psychology is a major factor, and I do think that France's thumping win in the 98 final had an impact. They have to be my tip now for winning the cup.

England didn't shine in this tournament, aside from a great Joe Cole goal. In fact, both the Coles distinguished themselves throughout. Too much old-fashioned kick it long and hope, and Eriksson seemed clueless.

The Germany-Argentina game provided the biggest surprise though. A lesson, never get into a penalty shoot out with the Germans. I agree largely with Paul Doyle's summary here. It was a tight game in the first half, with Argentina dominating with superb short passing and close control, though they rarely looked like unlocking the German defence. When they scored early in the second half the game unsurprisingly opened up, and when Riquelme was substituted, Argentina's midfield melted away completely. Even worse, the lumbering Julio Cruz was put on instead of the much sharper Messi. It was like wilful sabotage, or is that 20-20 hindsight? A shame, I thought Argentina the best team.


At 8:04 pm , Blogger Nick Blasbeat said...

Hi. I also put some messages on your other blog. Hopefully not tooo annoying. Not annoying as the Australa Vs. Italy game anyway. I came home at 3 last night and saw my mums englsih boyfriend staring morosely at the TV.... Its funny we keep watching this shit because more people seem pissed off than happy. Somone I know also thought Argentina was going to win it. Who do reckon has got it now? France maybe??

Also, you should really check out the blog "Mixing Memory" which is on science blogs, its where I find out half of this shit about CogSci...

At 9:13 pm , Blogger Stewart said...

As to the WC, I think France, but i gave up believing my own predictions long ago. Just as long as Italy don't win (and not because they knocked out Oz). I always prefer the risk-taking attacking teams - in this case that includes everyone except Italy (though Portugal are a bit dirty for me)


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