World Cup – Monday 5th July

Orange or Blue?

Were you the loser everyone laughed at when you drew Uruguay in the office sweepstake? Are you now enjoying the glum silence from the no-longer-so-cocky Brazilian, Italian, Argentinian and French ticket holders? You probably realise that your smugness ends tomorrow. Or does it? That’s the beauty of football – you never quite know…

Fixtures – Tuesday 5th July

  Semi Final Holland vs Uruguay
Gazza’s Daily Football Factoids
 Holland have a curious World Cup record. They have failed to qualify on 7 of the last 14 occasions while making it all the way to the finals twice and semis twice. This is a very Dutch characteristic due in part to their complex psychological make-up and duality of mindset but predominantly their innate insanity.
Scientific Siegfried’s Rational Assessment Of Football Results
Scientific Siegfried Guten Abend. Hier ist ze prediktions for match Holland vs Uruguay. I haff programmed mein computer mitt ze permutations for zis fixture. Major inputs include absence of players for each side (Alpha factor), form of key players (Beta factor), managerial tactics (Omega factor) and ze variable “law of the sod” (Celebrity X-factor). Now must I press the “any” key for with the program to start…

…it ist processing…

…ach leibe gott – it hast gekrashed! Bill Gates ist ein dumbkopf! Zer ist die “blue screen of death”. Hmmm, since Uruguay play in blue this perhaps meanz zey lose, no? Ja – das ist so. Netherlands to win – piece of cake! Hmmm, cake…

Orange Cake

Vat could be more naturlich – ein grosse portion of Orange Drizzle Cake for mit scoffen, nein?

View from the sofa

Holland against Uruguay. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t have quite the same ring about it as Spain vs Germany. Can’t we just put Holland in the final and get on with it? Holland are going to win after all.

Whoa – hold on! In all probability Holland will win but unless they are 3-0 up in 20 minutes there will be sufficient doubt about the result to hold our attention. Don’t forget how close Paraguay were to putting Spain out of the competition. Even if a shock result is never on the cards there is still the potential drama of a booking putting a player out of the final. Imagine the trauma of a player getting a card 5 minutes from time with their team 2 goals up, with the sudden realisation they are going to miss the final. It’s not life or death but somehow it seems as large.

There’s also the fact that both teams will be desperate to win and unless it’s all square going into the end phase of the match the losing team will be throwing themselves forward leaving great counter-attacking possibilities for their opponents. It could yet turn out to be the game of the tournament. Still feeling 100% confident in Holland?

Uruguay hosted and won the first world cup back in 1930. Apparently they were chosen as hosts because they had won the Olympic tournament and on that basis were deemed to be the best team in the world. Here’s an interesting story I picked up about that tournament from the Buenos Aires Herald…

Uruguay were due to meet Yugolsavia in their first match – the first to feature any of the South American teams. Apparently the Yugoslavs sent spies to the Uruguayan team’s training session but the players noticed this. They began falling over each other and deliberately kicking the ball badly, so much so that the spies reported that these South Americans did not know how to play soccer. On the day of the match, the Uruguayan flag was raised the wrong way round and a Brazilian march was played instead of the Uruguayan national anthem. The third mishap was that Uruguay ran rings around Yugoslavia and beat them 7-0.

It’s a sweet story from an innocent time. Could this also have been Fabio Capello’s plan? Did it backfire when England forgot to stop playing like idiots when they met Germany? Maybe the truth will out in 80 years time in the morning edition of the African Sporting Gazette.

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