Monday, July 12, 2010

Xavi-Iniesta

I'm glad Spain won the World Cup because they played the best football. It was admirable that they stuck patiently to their 'ticky-tacky' passing to overcome, 1-0 every time, the increasingly efficient spoiler tactics of Portugal, Paraguay, Germany and Holland.

Also, I can't bear the sight of Arjen Robben. It would take a long time indeed to tire of punching that face.

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PS. when Xavi-Iniesta retires, it should go and live in the Himalayan hut with Isner-Mahut.

25 comments:

Willard said...

I had sweepstake money riding on Holland but, after 90 minutes, it was feeling like blood money. Hard to defend Holland's play. Just a shame that they're now attacking Webb who I thought gave the best performance on the pitch. Horrible match to referee and I think he worked had to keep it 11 on 11 for so long.

worm said...

zzzzzzzzzzz..eh? wassat? There was a World Cup on?

malty said...

FIFA has invented a new sport, kick boxing with embedded balls. If that was the pinnacle of world football, shame on it, where was the fluidity, the movement so gracefull Pina Bausch would be envious.
Earlier in the day was the Morzine stage of the tour, five hours of pure magic, grace, spectacle, dizzying tactical play, the nail biting finish, all set in mouthwatering scenery, huge live audience, small television audience. Sporting entertainment of the highest calibre.
Then the football started, a group of blokes dressed in orange hell bent on cheating accompanied by the soundtrack from hell

Brit said...

But at least the goodies won.

I used to enjoy the Tour back in the days of Channel 4 and Pedro Delgado and Miguel Indurain, but got put off by it turning out that everyone I liked (esp Marco Pantani) was cheating. Now I can't get back into it again because I use up all my telly sports allowance on Sky cricket and football.

worm said...

I think this will go down as one of the more boring world cups (along with korea/japan 02 and USA 94) I saw very few exciting games and there were hardly any amazing goals, proper rivalries, or players who really shone. :/

Brit said...

The middle part of the tournament was good.

Othwerwise it was memorable mostly for failures. Gyan's missed penalty, France, Italy, England, all the African nations except Ghana.

The superstars flopped. Torres, Kaka and Drogba didn't get started, Rooney abysmal, Messi crowded out, Ronaldo isolated in a pointlessly negative Portugal team.

Mark said...

Well, prison tats and orange clothing don't help, I guess. I found it a sour and dull match for the most part but perhaps these world sporting events have become so bloated that disappointment is built into them. The viewing last night wasn't helped by some inane commentary, including an excited "Something's brewing in tonight's World Cup tournament". Yer, like a result. The Spanish jolly well deserved to win, anyway.

Blokes on bicycles always remind me of Jacques Tati. I can't help it. But then a world Jacques Tati Cup might well be more entertaining than the footie.

malty said...

You're right of course Brit, mass-start stage racing has become tainted by drugs and the organisers ought to make greater efforts to eradicate or significantly reduce the problem. It's free to watch on ITV4, you can be a roadside spectator only if you have a motorhome and can run alongside the riders totally blathered waving a Basque or German flag.
Getting back to the footie the low point was in a Koln street café howling in protest as I stood in front of the screen, hands held two feet apart indicating to the Krauts how far the ball had been in, the response was, in unison, "revenge for Wembley"

Wot?
Bleedin' Wembley?
Wot happened then?

Some Germans have long memories, it's a good job we don't.

Brit said...

Mark - I wanted a feed that blocked out the commenters so I could only hear the vuvuzelas.

Malty - when I say 'telly sports allowance' I don't refer to cash, I refer to how many hours of sport Mrs Brit will allow me to get away with watching. Left to my own devices I would probably even resort to baseball on ESPN.

Sean said...

Germany played the best football, followed by Brazil, overall Holland had the most balanced side (what do you expect them to do stand there and watch the Spanish pass the ball around and clap?)

Once again, as stated earlier the world cup was won by the side with the best defence. Spain are in no way an attacking pure footballing side.

Overall since 1990 as world football has become more globalised, teams can now counter skill and attack with knowledge, fitness, preparation and tactics.

If you want to see attacking football and attacking footballing sides win (and I include England in this too) then do away with one point for a draw, let draws happen but they should not count for anything. And maybe award an extra point for three goals in a game.

When games goes to extra time, then remove all players with yellow cards, When games go to penalties award 3 kicks as standard to each side, then one extra kick each to the side with the lowest foul count and most corners.

Then we might be able to get back to the pre 1990 era of attacking sides and fair play.

Like Italy in 2006, Spain played one good game, against Germany in the semi.

David said...

"Sky cricket." Now, that could be an interesting game.

Brit said...

Sean - Spain are the best footballing side, which is why all the other teams (including Germany) attempted to spoil with two holding midfielders and then play on the counter.

As a neutral I'm glad that Xavi-Iniesta-Alonso beats Van Bommell-de Jong but I certainly don't blame them for trying to spoil in order to compete because football is not ballet or synchronised swimming with points awards for style.

Holland and all the others thought, as you seem to, that spoiling rather than attacking was the right tactic to beat Spain. Given that Spain now hold both the Euro and World Cup, you and all the others might want to rethink.

Sean said...

Did I miss the classic Spanish performance in this world cup? when was it?

Spain are not a Brazil off 70, and 82 or even an Italy of 82, they are not an Argentina of 86 or a Holland of 74, or 78.

They are a very good team but they are not a great team. Great teams attack and play to attack, as Beglin said "lovely not lethal"

Germany apart from the semi, attacked, Argentina Attacked, Brazil lost becasue they did not attack enough.

Sorry Brit, Spain are a product of the playstation generation, they are the Michael Schumacher or Football, And like my opinion of him, I am unconvinced of Spain.

I saw Pele play as a kid for Santos at Hillbborough, every pass was forward, never sideways, that is how true football is played. You get 2 we will get three.

Brit said...

Fine, that's a personal opinion but the fact is that Spain 2010 doesn't have to play Brazil 1970, it has to play super-fit 2010 professionals.

The Spain team passes sideways and forwards and backwards at about 6x the speed of Brazil 70. Check out how much time they had on the ball in those days to pick out their forward passes, it's almost comic compared to now.

Sean said...

Thats my point why I think the rules need to be changed. we are in the era of defensive play, Spain are a defensive side built on defence a product of the era. As the Swiss proved get in front of them and you will stand a very good chance of winning.

As for 1970, the final was not the greatest game to watch, Italy were knackered after playing one of the greatest games ever played. And I think I right in saying pele had his leg broken three times in his career, hardly the soft football era. The game was slower in Mexico in 70 as 86 because of the heat and altitude, as too other summer football world cups.

Maybe its a midlife yearning for a forgotten era, but in all honesty I can name 12 classic world cup games between 70 and 86, a 3 after including 1990, and ive been to 4 world cups and seen probably 75% of all the games from 1970 onwards.

Spain do not make my toes curl, they are like watching the Carousel at the fair, round and round they go, they will do for football what MS did for F1, make people turn the TV off.

As soon as Spains defense if cracked or ceases to be, that will be that, they will be able to go back to inter nationalist infighting like Scotland.

Sean said...

..and lets not forget they played with heavier balls.

Sean said...

...and film reel makes things seem slower in the olden days. And the frame rate too in early TV broadcasts would also have the same effect, even HD today is not exactly a true representation of the game. At the match it always feels quicker, cricket especially is much quicker in real life than on TV.

Brit said...

Sean, you have this odd commenting knack whereby even your general laments seem directly combative.

Sean said...

At the end of the day, error and error correction however flawed that might be is the only thing we really have.

Thick skins and a sense of humour usually does the trick or watching Roberto Carlos tying his shoelaces while Henry puts Brazil out of the world cup always gets a giggle out of me.

Gaw said...

I agree with Sean.

malty said...

Talking of footballers, Gaza turned up, plastered of course, at the Rothbury cordon, a can of lager in one hand, bag of chips in the other and asked if he could see his mate Moaty. Plod's response was not recorded.
In mitigation he did used to play for Spurs and the lager came from the cash and carry.

Hey Skipper said...

I have several times proven I don't know enough about football to make intelligent comment, so I won't repeat the feat.

However, I will say this with no fear of contradiction: word for word, malty writes the funniest thread comments I have ever seen.

Peter said...

If you want to see attacking football and attacking footballing sides win (and I include England in this too) then do away with one point for a draw, let draws happen but they should not count for anything. And maybe award an extra point for three goals in a game.

When games goes to extra time, then remove all players with yellow cards, When games go to penalties award 3 kicks as standard to each side, then one extra kick each to the side with the lowest foul count and most corners.

My goodness, all we norteamericanos have to do is propose a wider goal and a field of ten and we are dismissed as instrusive yahoos with no culture or conection to the ancestors and no undertsanding of the Beautiful Game. Then along comes Sean to suggest so many rule changes that one thinks of Robespierre and the ancien regime.

Sean: You go, guy, but don't forget that point about how the players should wears skates.

Brit said...

Skipper - yes, Malty has both the Ha-Ha and Peculiar markets covered, but in this instance he's speaking the unbelievable truth.

Hey Skipper said...

Well, I'll be darned.

Who knew reality could out-malty malty?