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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

WC2006: Withdrawal symptoms

Must...watch...more...football....

It's a difficult day today. Fortunately TDH can still watch Pedro Martinez pitch for the Mets this evening. But back to the important subject at hand: quarterfinals. Here they are, with referees in parentheses:

Germany v Argentina (Lubos Michel, Slovakia): Full of historical significance, with two finals in the countries' past. Argentines are convinced the fix will be in. But TDH thinks Pekerman, always serene, is the right guy to prepare the team. La Seleccion will be focused, and Germany's defense is porous.

Italy v Ukraine (Frank de Bleeckere, Belgium): Well, you have Sheva playing against his former teammates, but otherwise there's not much in this one. It's hard to see Italy losing - the bookies certainly think so - but then again, they've hardly looked dominant. With Nesta missing, anything could happen.

England v Portgual (Horacio Elizondo, Argentina): Come on, an Argentine referee in an England match?! That's like having an English referee in a German match, an American referee in an Iran match, a Mackem referee in a Newcastle match.... And to boot, Elizondo is the very man who sent Becks off in a World Club Championship match against Necaxa. But England will be out for revenge for Euro 2004, and the Portuguese goal machine will be missing a few screws.

Brazil v France (see fruity comment below): Another revenge match, with the 1998 final setting the precedent this time. France will defend hard, but Brazil will finally be operating in high gear. Should be a sight to see.

Finally, TDH would like to call Sepp Blatter a BIG FAT HYPOCRITE for griping about the referees and then letting Marcus F*cking Merk and Luis Mind-of-a Cantaloupe stick around. Both gave extremely dubious penalties that decided previously drawn matches. HOW CAN THEY BE ALLOWED TO STAY?

4 Comments:

Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

first, gotta agree with your comment below, about how the players are suffering from the exec's greed. Milan could conceivably be relegated, but the fact is, with the talent that Milan have always had on our books, if the execs were trying to cheat it was an insult to the players. Milan always had a more talented squad than juve.

the worst final possible would be italy (negative) v. England (crap).

its such a shame that the two most attractive teams in the tournament are meeting in the qf, and yes, I am talking about Germany and Argentina. the Germans have been a joy to watch, much more attacking than the stereotypical beautiful times like Holland and Brazil. For all Brazil field an offensive line-up, the Germans have a much more attacking plan. Klinsmann deserves the credit.

I'm hoping Portugal put an end to the agony that is having to sit through English performances. So disappointing, and the blame isn't just sven's. Too many players are playing with almost tangible fear, terror of keeping the ball and building play up. Inexcusable when you consider that the starting eleven is possibly the most talented left in the tournament.

9:31 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

In retrospect, I had to ask myself whether Pessotto could have had a guilty conscience. As a defender, he was always in a unique position to turn a match by giving up a penalty or deliberately letting a forward go free. There's probably a statistical test to see if he did this more often than other defenders, but who knows if the data exists.

Agreed about England. Huge disappointment. But rather than hoping for them to lose, I'm hoping that they wake up and start playing like they can.

5:46 PM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

I had similar thoughts after the first wave of emotion died down. But I think Pessotto's guilty conscience was more likely to come from drugs or knowing that refs had been bribed. What you say about the unique position of the defender is true, but don't forget, Juve's match fixing was for them to win, not lose.

that said, imagine the emotional cost of having to go through the successes by which you have defined your entire adult life and ask 'were they real?'.

8:00 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Well, I could see a club throwing one game, say early in the season to a team in danger of relegation, in return for other considerations. They'd make a lot of money for someone (because the odds on a loss would be long), and then later, when the race for the scudetto heated up, they'd get their own back. All a big conspiracy theory, of couse, but the counterintuitiveness of it might help them to escape detection.

9:21 PM  

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