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b_mardle
(crash course raver)
06/08/06 02:13 PM
Re: World Cup 2006 - Future Is Now [re: Arlequino]  

Well i guess i have to delete my post from the other thread too and move it here!

But it's still unfashionable
To believe in principles

b_mardle
(crash course raver)
06/08/06 02:15 PM
Re: World Cup 2006 - Future Is Now [re: Arlequino]  

In reply to:

Anybody want to take odds on Ghana being 3-0 up on the Ballack-less Germany at this stage?


It's costa rica who germany are playing, ghana is in a totally different group.

In reply to:

got your money on the non-Europeans to cruise?


It's more of a wish then realistic expectations from my part that the non-europeans will triumph, but as football has been very heavily developing in areas outside s-america and western/central europe, so i wouldn't be at all suprised if teams like iran, u.s.a or ivory cost would qualify at the expence of portugal, czech and holland. Here is my fresh estimations of the teams getting 'thru to the second round:
Group A: Germany & costa rica
Costa rica perfomed bloody well 4 years ago (not that it counts anymore), and from what i've seen & heard, they are even better this time around. Poland played an cracking qualifiers, and ecuador is a suprise ready team with a couple of talented strikers and a solid defence. Basically anyone could get thru, but because of germanies home-ground advantage, i say that they will more likely then not qualify. Costa rica and poland will play for the seconth spot.
Group B: England & sweden
It SHOULD be a piece of cake for the three lions, and the biggest threat for them are themselves. If they perfom as they should (or even half of that), then they will cruise to the second round, where hopefully they will meet germany and we could give them a re-visit to the 10/01 outcome...
Sweden are the fav for the seconth position, but paraguay might turn out to be dangerous, and if someone will steel a point from england, i'd say it's going to be paraguay then. Trinidad are mainly spectators.
Group c: Argentina & Ivory cost
I have changed my mind here. After all of those great friendly-match perfomances/results during the winter & spring from ivory cost, i'm convienced that they have what it takes to go as far as... well even as far as the semis, or even the final! If there's a non european/s.american team in the semis, it will be either ivory or mexico. hopefully both
Anyway, again, every team in this group has an real opportunity to succeed, serbia being as good as they were in '98, and holland and argentina being what they are, no need for introducing's...
group d: Mexico & Portugal
Mexico is in my books the clearest candidate as the group-winner, never mind that portugal is hugely over-rated. Iran has a small change to progress, angola has nothing.
Group e: Italy & czech
Again a very tight group, 2 quite clear favourites, but ghana and the states shouldn't be counted out.
Group f: Brazil & japan
Brazil should win all the games, but lucky for japan, they face brazil in their last group-stage game, by when the braziliens have already qualified, so they might play with reserves and the japs might have an change for an draw in that situation. Japan slightly better then the aussies, i'm not too convienced of croatia.
group g: France & south korea
Togo, for me anyway, is an unknown team, so i can't say anything about them really. They might be utterly crap, or they might even go and win the bleeding group, especially when france is in the state they are currently, and cisse's injury couldn't help either! Switzerland and south korea are both on their way of becoming quite strong footballing nations, and the koreans are currently slightly better i reckon. France are the fav to win, but it wouldn't cause me a shock if they'd go home without a victory - again. Keep an close eye on koreas striker park cho-young
group h: Spain & ukraine
I think i got a bit too carried away when i earlier named tunisia as the second qualifier, spain and ukraine should go thru, but suprises are a part of football, there was a fair share of them four years ago and there will be plenty again this time too. Tunisia prehaps has the best-organised defence in africa, and a hell of a lot of player playing in europe (but basically that doesn't count for nothing, don't know why i even brought it up). The saudis were awful 4 years ago, and they were awful 8 years ago. They might be a bit better this time, but they shouldn't have a real change to succeed.

Anyway, this was my little report, i'm personally fucking excited of the forthcoming tournament, i am flying to Frankfurt tomorrow evening (haven't got a clue where i'm sleeping at), and i should be having the time of my life during this trip! Don't have any tickets, but i'll be watching the games from the giant screens they are fitting in major cities centers... CAN'T WAIT


But it's still unfashionable
To believe in principles

Arlequino
(cracked actor)
06/09/06 05:02 AM
Re: World Cup 2006 - Future Is Now [re: b_mardle]  

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...I know it's Costa Rica! Momentary lapses and all that.

I have to say, for entirely English reasons, I'm rather hoping that Germany do well in their group. Meeting a team with home advantage in the second round, particularly one that doesn't seem to underperform in tournaments is a potential slip-up every time. I would expect the English to beat Germany, but with all the other factors involved, I wouldn't bet too far against Germany going far. Poland, on the other hand, have a poor record in World Cup competition and, should England meet them in the second round, it ought to be a fairly easy route to the quarters.

Like you, I'd say watch out for the U.S. and the Ivory Coast. The latter, particularly with Holland falling foul to injuries and some slightly bizarre squad selections.

A very few hours to go now. Even with the dearth of great flair in today's matches, it ought to be exciting stuff.

later,
Chris...

I could stay if you asked me,
So for God's sake don't ask me to stay



Arlequino
(cracked actor)
06/09/06 02:12 PM
Re: World Cup 2006 - Future Is Now [re: EJ]  

Well, EJ, a nice little prediction on a brace for Klose. And Borowski probably deserved one for his performance too.

As for the German defence though...if Paulo Wanchope as a sole frontman can make them look that easy to pick apart, I'd be dreading Grzegorz Rasiak, let alone decent strikers. Having said that, if Friedrich can be taught the offside rule, and Mertesacker somehow locked in the team bus then there's some hope for them yet.

Frings and Lahm certainly made that new 'bendy ball' look a little bit special.

later,
Chris...

I could stay if you asked me,
So for God's sake don't ask me to stay



Dara
(acolyte)
06/10/06 07:24 AM
Re: World Cup 2006 - Future Is Now [re: Arlequino]  

In reply to:

I wouldn't bet too far against Germany going far



I'm growing more convinced that Germany are the most likely winners. The way I look at it, most half decent teams don't lose very often at home. Heck, if they held the World Cup at Lansdowne Road, Ireland might even win it.

This is a considerably better German side than the one that travelled to Japan last time. The one that everyone was predicting wouldn't even make it out of the group but went all the way to the final.

Germany have no glaring weaknesses (the defence will be better from here on in), unlike some of the other "contenders". Add in the German ability to just keep going and not overreact to the twin imposters of success and failure, the German tradition of getting the job done even if it goes to penalties, and I think it'll take a very strong side to stop the jurgenaut.

Slan libh,

Dara

"I could count my friends on one hand, but I'd look like I was giving an invisible friend a hand job." - Shelle

EJ
(byroad singer)
06/10/06 10:13 AM
Germany - Costa Rica [re: Dara]  

The best thing about yesterday's game was that we had three goals by Werder Bremen players and only one by a Bayern guy.

But seriously, the high number of goals only goes to show that we saw two teams that were not very good. Noone expects Costa Rica to be anyway but Germany didn't look top class either. Offensive midfield and attack were quite good but the whole team lacks all souvreignity when it is time to move backwards and stay tight and compact in anticipation of the opposition's forward moves. It's all chaos. And it has been for two years. Under Rudi Völler in 2002 Germany were good at defending all over the field and harmless upfront but since Jürgen Klinsmann took over he has tried intensely to give the Germany team an untypical attacking style of playing. When the ball is in the opposition's half that usually works quite well but things go gloomy vice versa. And I doubt that this will change in the course of the tournament. So as long as Germany keeps scoring 3 or 4 goals per match they have a chance, if not, they might get stuck early.

But seeing England struggle against Paraguay gives me the impression that there are more teams with problems.

And I want to believe that a light's shining through somehow


Arlequino
(cracked actor)
06/10/06 11:09 AM
Eriksson: Coronary Man! [re: EJ]  

Phew.

I bet there's hardly an English soul not glad to see that one out of the way. Prior to the match, and bearing in mind how England are notoriously slow tournament starters, I think most fans would have taken 1-0. After ten minutes, and with England completely dominating the entire field, suddenly 3-0 looked a more likely result. Following that second half, it worth noting that Paraguay were desperately unlucky not to come away with a point.

The scary thing is, even when dominating the English, Paraguay still didn't seem a particularly good side. Eriksson's substitutions were, to put it politely, bizarre. While removing Owen might seem a sensible precaution, replacing him with Downing - an old fashioned winger who trives on putting pinpoint crosses into physical strikers - seemed hopeless. Peter Crouch, while talented with flick-ons and knock-downs is not a one man forward line. He's certainly not the man to profit from powerful, whipped in crosses. My thoughts on Owen Hargreaves are well known and never polite.

One has to question whether or not one might criticise the refusal to introduce Walcott. If he's good enough to be in the squad, he has to have the faith of the coach. And Eriksson's refusal to throw him on to support the increasingly frustrated Crouch spoke volumes about the question marks that hang over his inclusion in the squad. Rather, they would if Eriksson wasn't eternally suspect in his substitutions.

Altogether, England put together 45 minutes of outstanding football. They looked lively, strong, creative and full of flowing, fast-paced danger. Unfortunately, the half-time whistle went and things went quickly downhill. Opening games though - the real test will be England-Sweden.

And, it must be said, the Mexiguayan referee certainly didn't help matters.

later,
Chris...

I could stay if you asked me,
So for God's sake don't ask me to stay



EJ
(byroad singer)
06/10/06 11:47 AM
England almost failed [re: Arlequino]  

I don't think that England's bad start was down to a single player, a single substitution or the referee - it was rather the lack of quality in the whole team today. Every single player (apart from the goalie) is considered a top class player, some even world class. Still neither of them produced anything outstanding. Not at all. Why that was I don't know, maybe it is indeed a matter of nerves.

Anyway, England got the lucky win and with the safe three points against Trinidad & Tobago the next round is secured.

And I want to believe that a light's shining through somehow


b_mardle
(crash course raver)
06/10/06 12:20 PM
But werent actually in any danger... [re: EJ]  

Bloody hot day here in frankfurt, lucky i didn´t die at heat-stroke! I must admit, that england where quite far out from their normal-standarts, but still, the game was won already after 4 minutes i thought... Crouch and lampard were absolutely brilliant! And also i realised during this game that for the first time in over a decade, we have a world class keeper, robinson is a very solid keeper indeed.
Anyway, i´m at a internet-cafe now, and every where i look i can spot english fans upkeeping a terrific athmosphere
Yesterdays results... well i was a bit disapointed that germany won, but boy did ecuador play well!! Basically that game meant, that the only way poland can qualify is by winning the germans.

But it's still unfashionable
To believe in principles

EJ
(byroad singer)
06/10/06 12:56 PM
Too Much Beer And Sun? [re: b_mardle]  

In reply to:

Crouch and lampard were absolutely brilliant! And also i realised during this game that for the first time in over a decade, we have a world class keeper, robinson is a very solid keeper indeed.


Excuse me? Are we talking about the same match here? Apart from the first 15 minutes not a single English player impressed by any means. Crouch in fact was totally pale in the second half, the few times England managed to get into the box. And where exactly was Lampard when in the second half Paraguay had total possession of the midfield? And Robinson? He almost gave away the lucky win by a clumsy touch which gave Paraguay their best chance to score. Apart from that there was little he had to do, nothing spectacular anyway.

Werder Bremen's Nelson Valdez had two good opportunities but just as in Bremen he needs too many chances to get a goal. Furthermore there was that scene in the first half when Valdez broke free and had an open run towards the English goal when he was stopped by the referee for off-side, which it clearly wasn't. So there was enough danger for England to not win or even lose the game. Let alone the fact that the winner came from an own goal by Paraguay.

This was a display by the English which was way below the standard which they think they are at. No doubt about that.Things can only get better.

And I want to believe that a light's shining through somehow



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