World Cup – Saturday 3rd July

Germany Calling

I recently mentioned how well the South American sides were doing compared to Europe and suggested Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay could make up the last four. This from the genious who swapped David Villa into his fantasy world cup squad tonight but contrived not to put him in the team (he scored). Needless to say, my blog is not a betting service…

Results – Friday 2nd July

Germany 4 – 0 Argentina
    Spain 1 – 0 Paraguay
Post Match Review
 If ever a game flattered to deceive. Nobody gave Paraguay a chance in this encounter and who didn’t expect Spain to win comfortably. What we got was a curates egg of a game with long periods of inaction interspersed with short bursts of drama.

Spain dominated the first half without testing the keeper while Paraguay had the ball in the net but were unfortunate to see the offside flag. The second half opened up a little and Paraguay were correctly awarded a penalty after some obvious pulling by Pique. Casillas saved the lame attempt and within a minute Spain were awarded a penalty at the other end. Alonso scored but was forced to take it again. His next attempt was saved and somehow it remained 0-0. Manager Del Bosque must have wondered if had walked under a black cat.

With Paraguay starting to tire Spain started to create chances and they finally took the lead after a shot rebounded off the post to Villa who put it in himself off both posts. Paraguay stormed forward and there were good chances at both ends but ultimately it will be Spain playing Germany for a place in the World Cup Finals. They are going to have to up their game for that one.

World Cup Classifieds
For sale: Small shiny suit. Only worn 5 times. Mostly good condition, just a few white powder marks. Would suit fat child. Ask for Maradona c/o Hotel Ranchos, Cape Town
Lost: Mojo, last seen in Barcelona. Believe I brought it with me to South Africa. Could be somewhere on a Jo’berg training pitch. Phone Lionel.
Found: Tall well built footballer found alone on football pitch in the dark still trying to score a goal. Answers to the name of Emile.

View from the sofa

I checked my mailbox today and thought I had an entrant for my Golden Mullet World Cup competition. I was therefore somewhat taken aback to discover the following message awaiting my attention…

“ i was wondering if there is a retractable clothesline that measures longer than 20 feet.looking for one that would cover at least 25 feet.if so i would appreciate where or how i may purchase one.i am located in
southcoast area of ma.(new bedford) thanking you in advance for any assistance that maybe fourth comming

      jim patraeus”

I haven’t the heart to disappoint Jim about his erroneous choice of message recipient and as such I have suggested the following product…

Clothes Line

Between you and me this baby is only available in the UK so the last laugh is on Jim – revenge for USA’s lucky equaliser against England. Ha ha ha!

A couple of years ago England played Germany in a friendly and the Germans were truly average at best and defensively poor. They were described as a team in transition and they seemed to have no spark. Coming into the world cup you might have upgraded their status to “useful but limited”. Now every time they take the field they seem to do what the great teams do – play seemingly simple effective football that wins matches without too much fuss.

England made it far too easy so that we might have been excused for thinking Germany were handed the match. Argentina looked tremendous going into today’s game and yet they were dispatched in a 4-0 beating. I’ve not seen the stats but I suspect both sides had similar amounts of possession and shots.

The key to Germany’s results has been getting the most out of their players, being tactically astute, disciplined in their play and liberated when going forward. Do you really think striker Klose is better than say Rooney or Messi? Well he has 4 goals this tournament now and the other two failed to score.

Don’t kid yourself, the Germans do have some very good players but the scale of their achievements so far is largely testament to Joachim Lowe’s management and the teams execution of his plans. Germanys results might look a bit exaggerated based on comparison against opposition players but think Lowe vs Capello or Lowe vs Maradona and suddenly it starts to make more sense.

Whatever you think about the players or the managers I think you might agree they are a team you want to watch. They face Spain next for a place in the final. What are you doing on Wednesday evening?

World Cup – Sunday 13th June

Achtung Bruce

The day when you were bound to have something to smile about. Either Germany or Australia were going to lose…

Results – Sunday 13th June

  Group C: Algeria 0 – 1 Slovenia
  Group D: Serbia 0 – 1 Ghana
  Group D: Germany 4 – 0 Australia
Boycott’s Post Match Review
 The Australians only have themselves to blame. The pitch was suited to spin and they packed their attack with pace. My grandmother could have done better tonight. And the marking of the back four was dreadful! You would never have caught Bradman giving so much time and space to the opposition. The score reflects the days play and all they can do is look forward now and get some practise in the nets. They may have lost the match but there’s still a series to win.

Fixtures – Monday 14th June

  Group E: Holland vs Denmark
  Group E: Japan vs Cameroon
  Group F: Italy vs Paraguay
Gazza’s Daily Football Factoids
Bambi Ex-England manager Steve McLaren took over at Dutch side FC Twente in 2008, learned to speak the accent and went on to claim the Dutch title this season.
Mystic Ron’s World Cup Horoscope
Mystic Ron Holland against Denmark is a tasty game for all of you footy fans. It could get quite heated as these countries are astrological neighbours as well as European neighbours. The Dutch will be playing under the sign of the Tulip and the Danish manager was born in the year of the Pig so the odds have to favour a win for Holland. Also in Group E Japan and Cameroon will draw despite their different playing styles. You see there is deadlock in the house of Zen until the new moon on the 15th. Finally the Italians will beat Paraguay who are having a wretched year due to the interaction between Venus and that oh-so naughty Pluto, and the bad news is that it’s going to stay that way until July!.

England Update

Injury Report
Bones The sick bay report that Ledley King has a strained adductor muscle following last nights game. The captain says he will miss Englands next game on Friday against Algeria. It’s crazy, I have medication that will fix Green immediately, not to mention Ferdinand and Beckham but FIFA say I’m not allowed to use 25th century medicine.
Tabloid Roundup
Scum Reporter The Hand Of Clod has to go – keeper Green should never play for England again. Our boys are a national disgrace. We should have beat the yanks 6-0 as is our national right. I blame all of the foreigners in the side – Churchill would be turning in his grave. What we need now is an apology from Capello to all of our boys in Afghanistan. You can read a full impartial match review in todays Sunday Scum where there’s also an exclusive on the WAGs and waxing, including telephoto pictures of the lovelies at play on the beach and in the bathroom.


View from the sofa

I’ve watched a little of each of todays matches – the cooking, washing and ironing fairy failed to turn up again so I got distracted – and it was a real mixed bag. Algeria and Slovenia ran around like headless chickens for 90 minutes but without the entertainment factor. If England don’t win those games they really don’t deserve to go any further.

Serbia and Ghana on the other hand each had a little more about them and aren’t in their group to make up the numbers. Ghana won and I can see them qualifying with Germany who were – Germany. They have been crap for the past few years and yet they turned up with a mixture of new young players and wise old heads to put in an authoritative performance with more than a touch of flair. The only caviat was that Australia’s static defence and lightweight midfield made it all too easy and you wonder whether how Germans will perform against better opposition. One things for sure – they are the best team we have seen so far in the competition and in Oezil may have one of the players of the tournament.

Tomorrow we see Holland and Italy in action so there will be more of the big guns to assess shortly.