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Saturday, June 17, 2006

WC2006: YES, WE CAN PLAY THIS GAME

What a fight. What a battle. What a war.

TDH's gallant Yanks chased every ball. One sending off didn't faze us. Two sendings-off didn't faze us. A goal disallowed didn't faze us. We thoroughly outfought, outran and, to use TDH's favorite American sporting verb, outhustled the Italians.

They didn't know what hit them. Even the entry of Gattuso, who could have bottled up Captain America, didn't turn back the tide of white shirts charging towards the Italian goal until the last five minutes.

We could have finished better, sure. But TDH has never seen us make so many tough tackles in defense, win so many balls in midfield, complete so many neat plays around the edge of the box.

Plenty of folks didn't understand it went Arena went apesh*t on the team after the first match. But we have an American team, and we have American psychology. A good blast of the hairdryer often does the trick - that, and being on the brink of elimination. Take Bill Parcells, Pat Summitt, Scottie Bowman - their players feared and dreaded them, but also respected them... all the way to their respective championships.

Anyway, we could have beaten those Italians (an English writer would probably have said, "like we did on the beaches in Sicily" but TDH is not so uncouth). Yet before the match TDH would have gladly taken a draw, given that we can still advance, as we did in 2002, with 4 points. So we move on, full of confidence, against a Ghana side that will be missing a couple of players. It's must-win, but so is every subsequent match in the Cup. Come on!

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Portugal may have moved on for the first time since 1966, but don't expect them to go much further. Still, loyal readers, did you see Big Phil's reaction after Kiki Ron went top-shelf with his penalty? TDH hasn't seen a large man get so much air since Robert "Tractor" Traylor!

How come the Czechs were so flat against Ghana? With a little more shooting accuracy on both sides, it could have finished 4-1. TDH supposes that without Koller to catch the flak, the Czechs will always lack a little sting. Well, it doesn't matter now. Let's hope that the same form continues against Italy.

3 Comments:

Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

why do you want Italy to beat the czechs?

The Czechs got found out by a team that exploited their absolute lack of pace. Only Rosicky can run when Baros is injured.

I thought the yanks were good, too, but Italy were piss-poor.

Ronaldo is totally over-rated. How many times does he have to waste possession with ridiculous stepovers and flicks? The only times he was effective were when he ran straight and shot hard. He desperately needs a season or two of Jose Mourinho to drum some sense into him.

10:19 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Right now, Italy's got 4 points, and the Czechs have 3. If the Czechs win, they and Italy could go through (Italy on GD) even if we beat Ghana. However, if Italy win, they'll have 7 and the Czechs will have 3 - so if we beat Ghana, we go through.

What do you think Mourinho would do with Ronaldo? It does seem like Drogba has matured under his tutelage. But Ronaldo isn't exactly an unshaped lump of clay, even if he looks like one.

And how about Eidur going to Barca? Big loss for Chelski if you ask me, but I've always been a fan.

4:13 PM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

I wasn't thinking of Didi (who btw is probably the best international captain I've seen; what a warrior! he's so behind his team, gives everything he's got and never complains about crap passes - take note Thierry Crapry).

I was thinking of Joey Cole - Mourinho has prior when it comes to taking showponies who don't play for the team and reforming them. Ronaldo is a burden to his team when he fucks around with the lollipops.

Eidur will suit Barca beautifully if he plays in midfield - he and Xavi would be a dream pairing. I also think he should have been kept, but then with Ballack, Bargearse, Essien and Tripod, where would he play? Instead of Sheva? I think not, and Jose obviously loves Drogba.

7:15 PM  

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