Oh Baby, It’s a Wild World

Trivia time!

1.         According to coach Parreira, who is South Africa’s 12th player?

a.         Nelson Mandela

b.         Shakira

c.         The vuvuzela

2.         Who met Sarkozy post-Cup in the Palais de l’Élysée?

a.         Barack Obama

b.         Silvio Berlusconi

c.         Thierry Henry

3.         As of June 21, who had more puntos than Spain?

a.         Switzerland, regarding its World Cup points.

b.         France, regarding its World Cup veterans.

c.         Gerard Piqué, regarding his stitches.

4.         Who is under this heap of people?

a.         The inventor of the vuvuzela

b.         Raymond Domenech, France

c.         Landon Donovan, USA

5.         Which goalie has made the biggest mistake?

a.         Green of England, vs. USA

b.         Casillas of Spain, vs. Switzerland

c.         Bravo of Chile, vs. Spain

6.         Who is repsonsible for Casillas’ poor performance?

a.         Pelligrini, for leading such a crappy season in Madrid

b.         Valdés, for undermining his role in the Selección

c.         Sara Carbonero, for being so hot and distracting.

7.         What do you think after seeing this photo?

a.         Iker is still a goalkeeper.

b.         Sara is still a sidelines reporter.

c.         Park your tush in the stands with the other WAGs, toots!

8.         Why did Capello strip Terry of England’s captainship?

a.         His advanced age.

b.         His poor lockerroom spirit.

c.         His messy love life.

9.        According to Maradona, who smells of an old museum?

a.         Nelson Mandela, ex-president of South Africa

b.         Joseph Blatter, president of FIFA

c.         Pelé, Brazilian soccer legend

10.       What does ‘waka waka’ mean?

a.         Them hips don’t lie.

b.         Fozzie Bear makes a funny.

c.         Frank Zappa makes a record.

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Written by:

SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


    • ballbeav
      June 27, 2010

      soccermom, thanks for the laughs

  1. vicsoc8
    June 26, 2010

    I always thought British commentators were biased (which, by and large, they are) but the American commentators are much much worse. There isn’t even a veneer of neutrality to their comments. Whoever is commentating right now (John Harkes?) is straight up cheering for the United States from the box. Horrible.

    • Vj
      June 26, 2010

      That goal by Asamoah Gyan should shut him up..

  2. Kari
    June 26, 2010


    Good effort from the Americans though. They really fought hard. You can be proud of your team.

    • vicsoc8
      June 26, 2010

      Congrats. I’m pissed

    • Jnice
      June 26, 2010


  3. Kari
    June 26, 2010

    Here’s something to LOL at: Leo Messi being asked about the Danish team’s chances at the WC.


  4. Miguel
    June 26, 2010

    frank zappa references, awesome!!!

  5. Miguel
    June 26, 2010

    “Hasta los narcotraficantes ‘abusan’ de Messi”


  6. Kxevin
    June 26, 2010

    Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings for U.S. fans, but the best side went through. I wonder if this also means no more Harkes commentary during matches? He’s just horrific. At least have a veneer of neutrality, or try to pretend. The way he was talking, it was going to be a miracle if the U.S. didn’t win the match and the Cup.

    Oh, and knock it off with the “strong” “physical” crap. The U.S. side was, to a man, bigger than their Ghanaian counterparts. Ghana had more skill on the ball, better movement and created more chances. Period. And that was NOT a penalty.

    I thought that the Uruguay/S. Korea match was a much, much better footballing spectacale, and I only have one issue with that match:

    What the HELL will happen to Suarez’ price by the end of this World Cup? That was one hell of a goal. Power, placement in not a ton of space or time. Wow.

    • June 26, 2010

      Come on Kev, you must be watching to many of those fire matches. I am gonna say that the two teams were equal, with the US having many more chances on goal.

    • Kxevin
      June 26, 2010

      Nope. Ghana kept possession better, created more off of their movement and looked more creative and composed with the ball. The U.S. did better in the second half of regular time, then reverted to type in the extra time.

      And for someone as big as he is, Altidore sure does go down a lot/easily.

    • Kxevin
      June 26, 2010

      And the best part about this loss is that now the folks can cover the World Cup, instead of the U.S. team and those other countries. The usually competent Mike Tirico’s first comment was about Ghana’s size, relative to the U.S., as if the size of a nation has anything whatsoever to do with its football. “Hey, my car is bigger! It’s supposed to win!”

      Second Cup that Ghana has knocked out the U.S. I kinda predicted this one, for the reasons cited above. Ghana just has better finishers. Tim Howard didn’t exactly get that first goal right, but it was an audacious strike from Boateng. The second goal was just a monster effort, particularly playing right through the foul.

    • Luna
      June 26, 2010

      Great commentary Kevin. I agree.

    • Jose
      June 26, 2010

      Agree 100%. The USMNT has absolutely no reasons to be ashamed: this tournament has to be considered a success. One in which they can build on.

      Nothing wrong with getting to the knockouts. I just want to see the US soccer program get there more consistently from now on.

    • Jose
      June 26, 2010

      Also, please let this game put to rest the notion that the USMNT is above diving or “gamesmanship”. There were some shocking Altidore dives, and the Dempsey penalty (though by the book a foul) was the “kick the ball away once the defender is sliding for it and draw the foul” type. Very clever from Dempsey, though.

      This was the same ridiculousness that the English used to (and some still do) claim about the Three Lions.

    • Anony
      June 28, 2010

      Altidore was definitely trying to draw some fouls, but he really isn’t that great of a player in my opinion, though he is very physically strong. However the foul on Dempsey was obviously a foul and a deserved penalty. If he would have played the ball forward, he would have given it to the defense. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that play and the defender was 100% at fault for a bad challenge.

    • Museum
      June 27, 2010

      You’re way off. That game was very equal that could have gone either way, at least during the 90. The possession was even, 50/50 at one point late in the game. And Ghana barely created any chances whatsoever aside from their two goals. You sir are incorrect. Except about Harkes.

      Also, that was absolutely a penalty, are you kidding?

  7. Kari
    June 26, 2010

    Agreed on all points, Kxevin.

    Ghana dominated the first half, the US the second and then even-ish in extra time with me giving Ghana the slight advantage since I thought their forwards were attacked much better (I wasn’t impressed with Altidore or Dempsey for that matter).

    When you consistently concede goals within the first 5 or 10 minutes of matches, there is something up with your team.

  8. Kari
    June 26, 2010

    Considering 12 of the previous 13 comments have absolutely nothing to do with this post, I figure I’ll answer the trivia quiz SoMa kindly made for us, answering honestly (and subsequently fail it all, showing off my ignorance to the world).

    1. C – vuvuzela

    2. C – Thierry Henry

    3. B – France 😀

    4. C – Landycakes

    5. A – Green (though it was a tough choice with Casillas…)

    6. D – EE-itis 😀

    7. C – Girlfriend interviewing boyfriend = awkwaaaaard

    8. D – all of the above 😀 (otherwise C – Wayne Bridge-azo)

    9. C – Pele 😛 (Gotta love The Dona)

    10. (eeny, meeny, miny, mo) B – Fozzie Bear

    YES! to SoMa posts! Keep ’em coming!

  9. Kxevin
    June 26, 2010

    So being ignorant, I had to go look up who Sara Carbonero was. Not that impressed, and she needs to start eating. Stat. Looks like the kind of poodle that Casillas would be all about.

    • June 27, 2010

      and reduce the make up

    • Eklavya
      June 27, 2010


  10. Euler
    June 26, 2010

    Ghana was the superior tactical side today and that was a major reason why they won.

    Both the U.S. and England continue to play a 4-4-2 formation and when they come up against 4-3-3 and/or 4-2-3-1 formations they are disadvantaged in midfield and have to play 2 players vs. 3. In turn that makes it easier for teams like Ghana to dominate midfield possession.

    Part of why the U.S. and England give up scoring chances in the final third is because they play in three bands while the opposition is playing in four bands. Without a holding midfielder there is often space in front of the defense and behind the two “box to box” midfielders, particularly if those midfielders are out of position. That’s how the first Ghana score happened. And this problem is made even worse if one of those two midfielders is Ricardo Clark who was awful.

    The other area where Ghana was much better was at the manager level. Bob Bradley is remarkably perplexing. He is given credit for making personnel changes at half time but to start the games he keeps making the same mistakes over and over in terms of fielding players. Why was Clark playing? Why was Feilhber not when the U.S. side has clearly been better with his composure on the ball?

    Ghana was the better organized and more sound squad. Couple that with better finishing and that translates into advancement. They have been impressive this world cup.

    • Kxevin
      June 26, 2010

      Not to mention that was one hell of a golazo. Gyan rode out the hard foul, kept his composure and smoked a shot into the one spot that Howard didn’t have a chance at.

      I keep thinking that Bradley keeps waiting for Altidore to turn the trick on that kind of a speculative ball that Ghana took the lead on. My first thought was “Drogba.”

    • Euler
      June 26, 2010

      It was tremendous individual skill by Gyan. The defenders should have fouled him outside of the box when they could have but that’s another story. Gyan’s finish was remarkable – one of the fines in the entire Cup.

      Altidore – I’m concerned that he’s being shuttled into a very confined, narrow role at a very young age. He is expected to score but at the same time his role is squarely that of a physically imposing target man who’s primary purpose is to hold the ball up. He does that fine, but then the U.S. becomes committed to a 2 striker formation and the other attacking player must be talented and be able to finish. The U.S. hasn’t found that second guy. There seems to be a contradiction in what Altidore is supposed to mean for the program. Him playing in the EPL in certain ways isn’t helping because he’s only going to play that narrow role there and won’t expand his skills.

      Ghana is a very good team. They really are. They are so well organized, cohesive and tactically sound. If Gyan is going to make plays like that they become very dangerous. That match against Uruguay will be terrific.

    • Jnice
      June 26, 2010

      Desailly is calling Gyan the next big thing to come out of Africa. Don’t know about that, but I know that we have several excellent players like Annan, Ayew, and Asamoah who have great potential.

    • Phil
      June 27, 2010

      The relationship between altidore and any forward other than davies is non-existent. A WCQ form gooch and davies would have seen the US do better on defense and less wasted chances and more buildup up front.

    • Jnice
      June 26, 2010

      I love the kind words about Ghana from you, Kxevin, and my buddy, Kari. It makes me smile.

  11. Luna
    June 26, 2010

    1. The vuvuzela
    2. Henry
    3. Pique, pobre!
    4. Landon Donovan
    5. Green
    6. La Sarita, so they say ( I concur with Kevin)
    7. a & b.
    8. he’s a tool
    9. Pelé??
    10. B!!!!

  12. Jnice
    June 26, 2010

    😀 Proud of the boys today. What an achievement. Everyone played well out there, except for maybe young Jonathan at stretches, but that’s okay. Big goals from Prince and Gyan to finally getting us off the mark in open play.

    Prince, Annan, and Gyan will all get offers from several teams, although Annan should have already been at a bigger club by now, he’s immense. Ayew is great too, shame Jozy tripping on himself is what puts him out of the next match. And props to the 20 year old Samuel Inkoom for stepping up in his first WC match out of position and doing a pretty good job. Thank you Rajevac for not starting Tagoe.

    As for Kingson, besides the blunder against Australia, he has been excellent all tournament and he also deserves to go a team where he will get minutes next season.

    Props to the US, you guys gave up and early goal once again, which kind of forces you to chase the game a bit, but I thought in the 2nd half, you guys played well. I thought we lost the game around the time Dempsey won the pk. Felt bad to see my boy Mo Edu, who no question should have started the match, crying at the end. Chin up my dude, you played well.

    I knew we would win!

    Now on to Uruguay. I know they have Forlan and Suarez, but to me, their midfield is nonexistent. Yes they have some tough DMs, but 0 creativity and Ghana can get physical with them as well. Should be interesting…


  13. Miguel
    June 27, 2010

    i’m so fired up for the game tomorrow! i gotta go buy me some green, white & red face paint. my friend & i might look a little out of place @the golf course’s bar where we’ll be watching it, though. here’s an excerpt from a zm article(*http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/06/26/world-cup-second-round-preview-tactics/) previewing the match ups in the second round.
    “Argentina v Mexico

    A fascinating contest, that Mexico might be reasonably well set up for with their fluid defensive system. 2 v 1 at the back against Gonzalo Higuain, Rafael Marquez marking Lionel Messi, the two Mexican full-backs picking up the Argentina wingers – Mexico might be able to blunt Argentina’s attack.

    That’s easier said than done, of course, and the all-Barcelona Marquez v Messi contest might decide things.

    Pace is the key in getting past the Argentina defence, who have maintained a surprisingly high line so far. Getting the ball towards Giovani dos Santos as early as possible will surely be Mexico’s main route of attack. The probable return of Efrain Juarez (after suspension) in the centre of midfield will offer the other driving threat from midfield, and he could get the better of Javier Mascherano, who often becomes isolated in front of his defence.

    In the one game Mexico have won so far, their biggest outlet has been Carlos Salcido, in the left wing-back position. Against France he constantly stormed forward, stretched the play and swung crosses in – but against Uruguay, he was muted because of the presence of either Edinson Cavani or Luis Suarez. Diego Maradona and Carlos Bilardo will look to occupy him, which means Carlos Tevez could revert to the right-sided role he played against Nigeria, rather than the left-sided one he played against South Korea.”


  14. June 27, 2010

    apparently inter rejected inter milan’s offer for mascherano in order to get back at rafa benitez. liverpool would rather sell the player to us.

    and city is offering robinho to us for only 22mill. quite a steal if you ask me.

    • Jim
      June 27, 2010

      Talented player though he is, I’d have big question mark over purchasing him. I do still feel we need a proper LW in case Villa does end up leading the line but there is a big downside to Robinho. He’s not a hard worker, he has been disruptive everywhere he has gone and doesn’t have a lot of goals in him, imo. However, I suppose we can afford to wait till the end of the WC and have a look at his overall performance as he has looked probably the best Brazilian so far ( not saying much, I’m afraid). Nobody else will be interested despite the lower price. Thoughts on how that price might compare to Suarez by the end of the tournament ? To me, Robinho has more talent but Suarez probably more end product.

      Bit worried by the number of players we are being linked with at the moment. I hope it is just silly season because we don’t want or need much for next season given that it will be make or break season for Bojan and Pedro and we’d like them to get at least some time to allow us to make a decision.

    • DontPanic
      June 27, 2010

      Wait a minute. Weren’t we close to buying Robinho in the december, that is before Xavi & Puyol convinced Pep not to because he would disrupt the harmony in the team? If so, then there is no way he comes to Barca, even for 22mill.

    • Vj
      June 27, 2010

      Inter rejecting Inter’s offer is quite a first.. 😛

  15. Euler
    June 27, 2010

    and city is offering robinho to us for only 22mill. quite a steal if you ask me.

    His wages are prohibitively large however given how he’s played. It’s not just the transfer fee with him. Clubs aren’t going to want to pay his wage rate because he’s done very little at the club level and has caused numerous problems.

    One other thing on Robinho – he’s an awful fit for Barca. People often only think about offense when it comes to transfers. But with Barca the wing players and forwards must defend and defend very vigorously on the press. That’s the key to Barca being able playing such a high back line and why Xavi and Iniesta don’t have more demanding roles.

    Part of why Dunga’s has designed Brazil’s system the way he has is because he’s acknowledging that Robinho, Kaka and Fabiano don’t defend – at all. That’s why he has those two holding midfielders that many in Brazil can’t stand.

    Robinho would be a significant problem at Barca. If he was playing on the left wing it would force Iniesta to have to defend much more and to be more physical which would make it even more likely for him to get injured.

    And Liverpool is being crushed by it’s debt and is about to be stripped down of it’s assets to reduce costs and sold. Organizations like that are in no position to dictate who they sell to. Liverpool will sell Torres, Gerard and Mascherano, etc. to the highest bidder.

  16. poipoi
    June 27, 2010

    That luis suarez looks nice, better tham mata to me. he looks like he has got some personality also.

    Each day one more european team will fall down. Today england or germany, tomorrow holland or slovenia and another one in the portugal vs spain match, 3 out of 8. America 4 (if paraguay beats japan) and Africa 1. I pick argentina spain and ghana 😉

    • Jose
      June 27, 2010

      Yes! The quarters could have:

      Europe – 3
      America – 4 (if Paraguay wins)
      Africa – 1

      Still I think Portugal/Spain will be the game of the Round of 16. And Germany/England has been great at the half!

      So excited to see this tournament develop!

  17. Euler
    June 27, 2010

    Terrific match. Germany is the more talented squad but England is the far more experienced. Going down 2 goals England stayed composed and started playing better while Germany fell back on it’s heels some.

    Both teams are united by poor play along the backlines. Defending has been very porous. Germany can’t sit back and absorb pressure with the lead because their defense isn’t good enough. Germany needs to defend via possession but they are trying too many quick strikes to maintain possession.

    That said – England is giving Mueller and Ozil far too much space and time on the ball. Gerrard is moving in centrally and that’s leaving Ashley Cole as the only player on the right flank against Lahm and Mueller. In addition Ozil is moving to the right to link up with Mueller. That was the key to the second goal. Germany should stop playing the ball through the center. There is room for them to get behind both Cole and Johnson.

    England is pressing very well and dispossessing Germany of the ball quickly. Do they have enough energy to do that all 90 minutes? That’s been the key to them getting back in the match.

  18. Jim
    June 27, 2010

    Geez, Germany. Is it too much to ask to defend a two goal lead?

    I worry about the second half 🙁

    • Jim
      June 27, 2010

      . . . . and about a ref looking to even things up.

  19. Euler
    June 27, 2010

    England has had over 60% of the possession so far. That is a great deal of defending for a spotty German backline to do, especially with Friederich now booked.

    Low uses Ozil in a very interesting way – he’s switching positions with Klose and is often the most advanced player on the pitch. But he also drops deeper into midfield and moves from touch line to touchline as a playmaker.

    Ozil’s understanding of space and movement is very impressive. For a 21 year old player to have that much responsibility for a side like Germany is quite something. If Ozil makes the wrong decision in his free role Germany can’t link up play effectively.

    Key thing for England is whether or not they can keep pressing aggressively. Germany is very inexperienced and it’s showing. Pressing will allow England to regain possession up the pitch and get a very advantageous turn over.

    Rooney is being forced to drop very deep for the ball because Gerard and Lampard don’t distribute the ball well.

  20. jordi™
    June 27, 2010

    Typical Enlgand, get outplayed, score a set piece, whinge about decision “We waz robbed” .They do it at every age level. Muller 3-1 😀 .Football wins.

    • poipoi
      June 27, 2010

      it’s 4-1 lol at capello

  21. Dave
    June 27, 2010

    This is what I wanted from this world cup. Awesome football

  22. messi_fan
    June 27, 2010

    Muller’s stock is going to be SKY HIGH after this world cup. I know it’s never going to happen but I wouldn’t mind seeing him playing for us.

    • Vj
      June 27, 2010

      I would.. he was pure SHITE against Inter in the CL final..

  23. Dave
    June 27, 2010


  24. Euler
    June 27, 2010

    England’s lack of pace, poor positioning and lack of effort are embarrassing.

    Ozil just absolutely roasted Gareth Barry. Just blew by him. And then Mueller makes a great run all the way to link up with Ozil on the counter. Ozil stays patient, isn’t selfish and waits for Meuller.

    Just think about this – Ozil and Mueller only one year ago were on Germany’s under 21 team. A year later they are tearing apart England in the world cup.

    Also – Sebastian Schweinteiger is truly one of the world’s best holding midfielders. For him to be able to lead the break and carry the ball out for that long, with that much pace and skill is something very few holding midfielders could do.

    • Dave
      June 27, 2010

      Khedira also has motoring about. very fluid team

    • Dave
      June 27, 2010


    • Euler
      June 27, 2010

      The quality and balance of Germany’s holding midfielders is tremendous. They work so well together because they know how to use space. They don’t just stand deep and watch the play.

      Khedira makes very intelligent runs and is technically adept on the ball. Compare them to Silva and Melo. Rather then being obstacles to fluid play and build up the two German holding plaeyrs are an integral part of it. It’s a huge advantage to Germany.

    • Dave
      June 27, 2010

      So true-so many holding players today do just that-Hold ie act as an obstacle in front of the back four. The real class acts are able to build as well as destroy-think Fernando Redondo

    • Euler
      June 27, 2010

      It’s not going to happen – but I would love to Schweingsteiger play for Barca. His skill set would be great.

  25. poipoi
    June 27, 2010

    england and italy out already!!!! play the ball a little!!!

  26. Dave
    June 27, 2010

    Is Beckham’s role just to pose

  27. Jose
    June 27, 2010

    Beat. Down.

  28. Euler
    June 27, 2010

    What an impressive match from Germany. These are kids ripping apart England. Their movement and use of space is amazing.

    Klose and Freiderich are over 30. But the next oldest player on Germany is Lahm – who is only 26. Schweinsteiger is only 25.

    This squad has a chance this world cup – but how good will the be next world cup?

    Ozil, Mueller, and Neuer are all potentially world class players. Lahm and Schweinsteger already are. Khedira and Boateng also are extremely talented. Their only hole is at central defense.

    And Ozil is a very special player. His vision, movement, pace sense of space and technical qualities on the ball are not something one sees often at all. He is a player who is going to dominate and dictate the rhythm and pace of play for a long time.

  29. Jose
    June 27, 2010

    The ESPN commentator asking the English commentator whether England’s problem is “too many stars in a team”. The English commentator gets it though, and answers: “I just don’t think we’re as good as we think we are!” Not too many stars… not enough.

  30. Stephen
    June 27, 2010

    I shalt answer this trivia, with whats right in MY MIND
    1. Shakira, because that song makes everyone throw up prior to matches.
    2. Henry (because everyone else answered that, I dont really know)
    3. Pique’s upperlip.
    4. Domenech under the man-pile
    6. Casillas poor performance is caused by his merengue-ness
    7. To the stands !!
    8. His love life.
    9. Blatter.
    10. Them hips DO NOT lie. Although theres another version that could say “This song sucks”

    ps: Ghana !Ghana !

  31. Kari
    June 27, 2010

    That. was. awesome!

    After all that talk of tradition, all the chest pumping all the arrogance, the youthful Germans totally outclassed a pitiful English side.


    Talk about lethal.

    (Apologies if there are any English reading this, but the arrogance which the English FA and other fans carried themselves really hit a nerve. How EE-esque.)

    Argentina/Mexico will be in big, big, BIG trouble with the backline they have, especially Argentina (if they get through).

    Hoo boy!

  32. ballbeav
    June 27, 2010

    england got toasted on the counters/long throws. their defense was a shambles. what an overrated team. the EPL is strong only cos of foreign influence ($), sorry to break it to you EPL fans.

  33. Euler
    June 27, 2010

    The old arguments that the players on the England squad being world class players simply because they are “stars” in the EPL is really odd. It completely ignores the idea that football is a team based and systems oriented sport.

    It’s as if some commentators can’t fathom the notion that perhaps Gerrard is good in the EPL because he played in front of Mashcerano and Alonso and behind Torres with Kuyt along side of him. Or that maybe Lampard can get away with being a one dimensional shooter of the ball because he plays in front of Essien and behind Drogba.

    How is it surprising that England is so vulnerable to counter attacks at speed when two of their midfielders are required to play almost no defense on their EPL clubs? Could it be that in the EPL their weaknesses are tactically hidden? You’d think this might sink in by now.

    Much of the commentary is completely disconnected from reality. England’s “Golden Generation” is now through and got sent off by a bunch of kids from Germany. Hard to fix a problem if one is not honest and self-critical about what’s going on.

  34. OhYes
    June 27, 2010

    How can they fix problems when they are going to focus on the goal that was not allowed?

    And I agree with everyone others have said here: England’s players in the NT are good, but they only look world class because their club teammates help them out a lot. That’s not a bad thing; your mates are there to do exactly that, but it’s not a good idea to go around arrogantly claiming that Eng players are the shit. It’s the “your bark is louder than your bite” concept.

    • Jim
      June 27, 2010

      I can now enjoy the competition 🙂 🙂 🙂

  35. Euler
    June 27, 2010

    Maradonna has gone back towards the formation he used in the run up to the Cup with one significant wrinkle.

    No Jonas today. Ottamendi is playing right back again. Argentina is back to playing four defenders on the back line without any true full backs who may go forward.

    Argentina have a five man defensive platform with three attacking players and two midfield runners linking play between the back 5 to the front three.

    Major difference is that Veron is out and Messi is now in the play making role with Tevez up front. Veron has not played particularly well and is very one dimensional so this is a good move by Maradonna.

    Argentina have a clear defensive platform but their defenders aren’t particularly good and they lack pace. Without Samuel that only gets worse.

  36. Vj
    June 27, 2010

    All hell broke loose on that goal which should have been ruled offside.. And the Rafa loses his head and take out Messi.. He’ll be shipped off in no time if he does that again..

  37. Vj
    June 27, 2010

    And Osorio gifts Higuain a goal.. Everything is happening here – Heinze hits the camera during the celebration..

    On course for a mouthwatering tie – Argentina vs Germany on July 3..

  38. Museum
    June 27, 2010

    What a very mature, collected performance from the Mexicans after the Argentine goal.


    • poipoi
      June 27, 2010

      soo dumb… the ref had seen it on the tv!!! wtf? such a disgrace, mexico were doing very very well

    • Museum
      June 27, 2010

      Yeah, it was just an awful, awful call. Doesn’t look like it’ll matter at this point though, you can’t really complain if you 70 minutes or whatever to put it right and you do the opposite. And they were doing really well before that too. If they’d kept their heads, who knows? Disappointing to see then respond by fouling and shoving and trying to fight the Argentine team on the way to the locker room. Though not at all surprising to see them doing that either.

    • Museum
      June 27, 2010

      You do have to wonder why it wasn’t reversed. The two refs talking immediately afterwards makes you think they knew something was wrong.

    • Ramzi
      June 27, 2010

      I think the linesman told the main ref that it was offside. He was going to cancel it but Argentinian players (I noticed they were pointing toward the scream) told the ref that the linesman saw the replay and changed his mind. (reading what I saw), the main ref asked everyone to move away and after few words with the linesman he decided not to reverse the decision (legal goal). Which leads to expect that he asked the linesman if he saw the replay and the answer was yes.

      Going by the book, REf cant change the decision based on the replay. So it was the right decision from that angle. Till they change the law.

      Mexico were really good in this tournament. Inspired some flashbacks to the entertaining team of the nineties. Lot of youth players there so the future is good. Salcido was impressive as well, its a shame he is a bit too old to consider him as a Barca target. Especially those long shots against parked buses: the medicine.

      For the record, still not impressed by the Argentinians’ performance in the world cup.

  39. Eklavya
    June 27, 2010

    Good goal by Mexico there.

  40. Eklavya
    June 27, 2010

    Aw man no Aguero supersub show? 🙁

  41. Eklavya
    June 27, 2010

    Messi will NEVER score hahahaa

    • Tajh
      June 27, 2010

      I believe he will score when his team really needs it.!!!

    • DBarcaMan
      June 27, 2010

      Sad but it really looks like it. He seems destined only to be a provider of goals for others in this world cup 🙁

  42. Ramzi
    June 27, 2010

    Talking about World cup and transfer lists, my world cup short list taking cost-benefit balance in consideration is:

    Alexis Sánchez, Fábio Coentrão, Anthony Annan,and Mesut Özil

    N.B. Its a short list, not transfer targets 😀

    • Eklavya
      June 27, 2010

      Funny I have pretty much the same list.

    • Jnice
      June 27, 2010

      Anthony Annan! I seriously don’t know how he isn’t out of Norway by now. He has been linked with a move to a bigger club since forever.

  43. flyzowee
    June 27, 2010

    i fink those sayin messi has been the best player in this WC need to re-assess things.

    Apart frm da first 2 games, he really hasnt convinced me, i have to be honest.

    Even if he is playing the playmaker role, u jus cnt see dat fire and willingness to get involved and free himself of his markers.

    Ive asked here b4 if hes possibly jaded after a long season, coz so many times i see him jogging in midfield amongst a triangle of markers and i dunno, is he reserving energy?

    It is for dis reason and more that i see Tevez as their best player so far, i jus luv dat guy, the heart and fight hes showing for agentina is incredible

    If he played for us the camp nou wud chant his name over and over again, coz dats the kinda warrior fans lyk to see.

    We all want to see messi succeed but hes gotta step it up a gear imo.

    • Ramzi
      June 27, 2010

      flyzowee, I can see clear instructions from the technical department for Messi to save his energy for offense set up and leave defense for the rest of the group. Thats not the case at Barca.

      That leaves an impact on his work rate exhibition during the match, without leaving any passive impact on his contribution.

      But you said that he impressed you in two games already (they played 4 games with the last group game being calculated after the 6 points earned). Thats not bad at all.

      I see him playing the Maradona role in WC 86 where he was keeping the opponents busy and creating spaces and options for his teammates to score. Maradona boldly mentioned that trick back then, and it seems that Messi is rewinding it now.

      In a similar note, I wonder of those who were telling us that they will wait the world cup to evaluate Messi’s talent based on his team success if they are doing the same with Rooney.

    • Vj
      June 27, 2010

      Last point, same argument: But he plays in the EPL!

    • poipoi
      June 27, 2010

      Argentina to me just hold for the 0-0 and wait for messi to appear, I’m starting to not like them. They don’t even want to carry the pace of the game with that kind of potential. If you have possession with those players (messi tevez agüero milito + mascherano watching after them) nothing can go wrong. They have almost half of the “goal talent” of the championship. And the way they won today, ufff… that offside has to be the most inmense ever, someone has to come up with a name for it. I really wanted mexico to win and that never happened to me watching argentina, except vs Spain of course.

      It may sound crazy but a doble pivote with banega mascherano, agüero 10, messi tevez wings and milito 9 is a dream team to me. I hope Spain has the chance to beat them.

    • Vj
      June 27, 2010

      Yes, it would make far more sense if Messi were to run full speed at defenders who would love to take him down with brutal tackles just for the fun of it, that too when its isn’t required, when his team is ahead by some margin.. makes perfect sense..

      No argument against Tevez’s work rate, good player, scored two goals this outing – wouldn’t have scored the first if it weren’t for Messi, or the incompetent linesman – pretty neat strike that second one, but I distinctly remember one set of fans chanting his name over and over again, only to see him going to their rivals, which he promised he wouldn’t.. Yup that’s the kind of ‘warrior’ fans like to see..

    • ballbeav
      June 27, 2010

      isnt it actually harder to write the way you do, than just writing clear english? can typing “da” or “lyk” be that much easier than typing “the” or “like?” i’ll tell you, it’s annoying to read.

  44. flyzowee
    June 27, 2010

    @ vj
    hey honestly i fink ur being unfair to tevez really, he was forced out of man utd bt lets not get into dat.

    I dnt wnt messi running through defenders and gettin hacked, my concern is his workrate.

    Maybe hes playin under specific instructions lyk ramzi said bt still hes been too immobile and central to take games by storm imo.
    Bt he is doin well.

    And i maintain Tevez as their best player so far

    • ballbeav
      June 27, 2010


  45. Kari
    June 27, 2010

    @flyzowee, I was waiting for someone to ask about Messi’s role. Tim Vickery and Sean Ingle (!) respond to your observations:



    • Blow-Grenade
      June 28, 2010

      Excellent articles!!!

  46. Miguel
    June 27, 2010

    i just regained consciousness. did mexico win???

    some guy @the bar, who had been there since 6am for the england germany game, said something to the effect of, “i’m glad england got their asses kicked. it really took the sting out of that disallowed lampard goal for all my friends who are english fans.”

    tevez scored his first goal and i was like, “i really hope we get our asses kicked, that’d really take the sting out of that tevez goal.”

    and it did. how bout that?

    fuck you aguirre. you had the perfect system to beat argentina & you experiment @the last second by throwing el lovely bofo bautista in the mix? fucking asshole.

    • Luna
      June 27, 2010

      he was so effing slow….all along guille needed to be a little back in the middle, WITH chicharito.

    • lovelymofo
      June 27, 2010

      Shot out!

      The second I saw the line-up I knew it was over. Sad face.

  47. Euler
    June 27, 2010

    I dnt wnt messi running through defenders and gettin hacked, my concern is his workrate.

    Messi’s role on Argentina is completely different than his role on Barca.

    Maradona has set up Argentina to play in three distinct roles. Five players defending. 2 players linking running at the wings. 3 attackers.

    Argentina isn’t particularly playing the contemporary game. Messi doesn’t defend as much because he is distinctly not supposed to. They’ve already committed 5 men to defend – none of whom is going to make many runs forward. Even the two wing runners Di Maria and Rodriguez are primarily defensively oriented/ support players. That’s why DiMaria isn’t doing much of obvious note (this is also why Mourhino likely wants him).

    Argentina doesn’t press. Messi’s job isn’t set up for him to have a high work rate, particularly defending.

    Messi is making a significant sacrifice for his side. Argentina has brilliant attacking strikers – almost too many. But they have almost no creative, attacking midfielders that can play at pace. Veron, Riquelme, etc. are old time playmakers who build play slowly.

    Messi isn’t going to score many goals because he’s playing deeper and in a completely different role. Similarly Tevez has a different role to Messi’s. Messi’s job is to create and occumpy markers. Tevez’s job is to do a lot of the dirty work up front. Higuain is there to poach.

    Messi’s occupying so many markers that it’s opening up enormous amounts of room for other playrs. He’s doing that brilliantly.

    If you want to say he hasn’t been the best overall player there’s a real argument for that. One could say that certain keepers, defenders or holding players have been.

    But of attacking players – Messi or Villa have been the best and I would say it’s Messi.

  48. Luna
    June 27, 2010

    Also Argentina’s goalie can be killed by the long shot. He has a knack for poor positioning when standing there. The post has saved him too too many times.

    • y2k156
      June 28, 2010

      I do not think Romero is great but i also think that he is quite good. Its not just him but lot of other players (Messi, Villa etc) who have hit the post. Looking back at Argentina matches till date, teams have tried taking long distance shots and its not been much success.

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