WC Musings June 30, 2006Posted by samratsengupta in Football WC, Samrat.
World cup excitement this time has percolated down even to the mainstream media, the airtime and print columns dedicated to soccer this month is unprecedented, I feel it is almost equivalent to that given for the cricket WC.
This has brought football popularity out in the open. Hopefully this would popularize football even more, attract sponsors and lead to some tangible improvement in the local infrastructure and standards. Enough daydreaming.
The new offside rule has caused lots of heartburn for many teams, but I think the rule is a positive move, otherwise most of the defences had perfected the offside traps, now they have something more to think of. I get really irritated to see numerous offside whistles, it breaks the rhythm of the game. Was really surprised to see the African teams playing a high defence line, and getting caught many times by forwards breaking the offside trap. The African teams are not known for their tactical nous, so such trap implementations do not come easily to them, and I feel they should not deploy such tactics. They should rely more on their natural strengths. Play man-to-man or zonal defences. The Ghanian defender John Mensah really impressed me, reminded me of Marcel Desailly in his peak. He got an appropriate moniker of the “Rock Of Gibraltar”.
The Germany Argentina match has all the ingredients of being a classic and I am sure we would not be disappointed and I believe the winner of this match is going to take home the cup.
England surely lack the passion, their players look somewhat flat, and have belied the pre-tournament optimism about them. Portugal has been a revelation , they seem to be the hungriest of all teams to win. Though it seemed the same with Spain and Holland , but unfortunately got knocked out.
Most surprising was that all the previous winners who participated in this edition have qualified for the QFs. My friend Arnold would be pretty pleased that his point of view has been vindicated https://sillypoint.wordpress.com/2006/05/31/the-not-so-glorious-certainties-of-football/
and we can safely say that the winners would be among them, considering a weak Ukraine and a sub-staffed Portugal.
My only wish is that Samba’s cute butt gets kicked and they do not walk away as the winner. French geriatrics or Portuguese streetfighters/English Flat beers, seem to have an uphill task though.