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Monday, June 26, 2006

WC2006: Day 17

Who would have thunk it. Loyal readers of TDH may recall this passage from the entry of June 8, on the eve of this very tournament:
"...this is where the Sven factor comes in. It's a dead cert that he'll come up with something utterly Martin-Lawrence-esque. He's likely to try, out of nowhere, a 3-6-1..."
We didn't have to wait very long to see it, did we? Sven came out with six midfielders, though one could argue that Har-Greavesy was masquerading as a right-back. And what happened? JT had a nightmare and Robinson kept hoofing it over Wine Hrooney's head, completely ignoring the sextet in midield.

The tactics were downright ridiculous. Sure, if you want to play 4-4-2 with solid players to exhaust the opposition and then put on Lennondowning (cf. yesterday's comment on Messitevez) to finish the job, that's fine. But 3-6-1 to start out with? My oh my.

Anyone who's watched a Manure match will know that Wine works best when he plays off one or two other strikers. Alone he's still powerful, but not half as effective. With Lampard having a Riquelme-esque match (in the negative sense of Saturday's game) and Young Joe apparently sitting in a hermit's cave somewhere in Bavaria, it warn't pretty.

In any case, Ecuador looked lumpen and Becks slammed a goal that made the other nine Englishmen (and one Canadian) irrelevant. Lucky old Sven. With Deco and Costinha missing, he might even beat Portugal.

And that brings TDH to the Battle of Nuremburg. If you thought Italy v US was a war, umm, you hadn't seen a single thing yet. Never has TDH witnessed a match in which moments of beautiful football were so constantly intermingled with instances of shameless violence and utter stupidity.

The alleged referee, Valentin Ivanov, clearly couldn't control what was happening on the pitch. But still, there was enough exciting football that TDH and friends were begging for the Netherlands to send the match into extra time. Alas, a crossbar and a few flubbed chances later, it was over. Thanks to the television director for including so many shots of a ballistic Felipao. The man has enough emotion for a thousand Colombian soap operas.

And finally, so far TDH's Round of 16 forecast is off by a total of only three goals, with all three victors correctly noted and one perfect prediction. Has anyone made any money yet?


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

If England blag their way to winning this cup, I'm never going to watch international football again. Frankly, if every last player was struck by lighthing, I would have danced with joy. I actually treated a bar packed with Englishment to the following sight:

I was sitting at the front of the bar in front of the telly. When England started running to the corner flag like the sorry sorry excuses for footballers they are, I yelled at the screen "you're a fucking disgrace!" and stormed out of the bar, only to return after I heard the final whistle go.

I hear C-Ron might be crocked, and Figo will probably get a retrospective ban for maiming Van Bommel. I hated all four teams I saw yesterday. none of them deserved to progress (storming game, shocking, shocking cheating). Can we not just get Mexico into the next round instead of England, and recall Cote d'Ivoire to take Portugal's place?

The only positive, for me, was that Young Joe had gone off by the time England were hanging on for dear life at the corner flags against mighty Ecuador. Sven should just go home and hang himself.

8:05 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Well, let's be pragmatic here. The first 85 minutes or so were a disgrace, but sending on your young gazelles to kill off a match is a tried and tested football formula. I didn't see anything wrong with that, in fact I wanted to see that pair earlier to inject a little life into the game.

1:38 PM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

i thought lennon should have gone on earlier too, that's not my criticism (though I don't know why he bothered with Carragher).

my criticism was of the general poverty of play; against a decent side, they'd have been 3 goals down by the the 85th minute.

and what is the point of sticking on lennon when your players just run for the corner flag to kill time. They're cowards, and they don't deserve to progress any further. No balls. to play against ecuador in such a fashion is an embarrasment to the nation they supposedly represent.

2:25 PM  

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