World Cup Review: Round of 16

32 teams in, 24 teams down. Whereas the First Round proved a fitting, if up-and-down beginning, the Round of 16 have basically held the course with interesting and intense games, but with the favorites winning in nearly every situation. However, this would not be a World Cup without controversy, and we have it in spades. Plus the US going out, Ghana moving forward, and South America still representing. So join me, won’t you?


World Cup Bracket

Uruguay v. South Korea: The South Americans came out looking to score quickly and Luis Suarez was up to the task early on. Chasing down balls and beating South Korea to the punch, he scored in the 8th after awful defense by South Korea, which would become the M.O. for this match. After this, Uruguay had no interest in anything other than possession and playing for the 1-0 win. The game turned dull for large parts before breakdowns in possession led to South Korean chances or counterattacks.

The second half opened the matter up more with Uruguay’s midfield unable to establish strength in possession. They wanted to hold out but simply do not have the control to do it for large periods of time. The Koreans had a few point blank chances before a failed clearance led to Lee Chung-Yong’s equalizer. From then on, the game was wide open with both sides looking dangerous. Finally, Suaurez was able to not waste possession for long enough to move from the edge of the box and put in an absolute beauty to the far post, effectively ending this party. Uruguay 2, South Korea 1

MOTM: Luis Suarez; if only because this match waned for a long time.

Ghana v. United States: It hurts so bad. This game was the epitome of every complaint I (and many others in America and otherwise) ever made about Bob Bradley as a coach and the US Men’s approach as a whole. The Americans came out quickly and looked to try and keep control, but then they realized that almost every ballhandling midfielder they have was sitting on the bench (Edu, Torres, Feilhaber) and they were relying solely on Michael Bradley to fend off all defensive midfield pressure, distribute, pivot, control, and do everything that most teams reserve for 3 players. Ricardo Clark broke down (unsurprisingly), Jay Demerit was late to the ball, and Tim Howard, after being the best keeper through the first 3 games, left the near post wide open. Boteng puts it in during the run of play and the US is on the bad foot after 5 minutes.

Dejection for Edu and Bradley

Of course every American commentator makes hay about the changes Bradley makes, but what about this: WHY NOT MAKE THE FUCKING CHANGE BEFOREHAND! Ugh. Anyway, the US gets a soft-ish penalty and Donovan puts it home. After that, well, wasted American chances take this one into Extra Time and then shockingly, again, the Americans are undone by poor defending and Gyan effectively ends this one 3 minutes minutes in. A couple of chances follow, but it’s not much. Ghana played better, deserved to win, and are only the 3rd African team to move into the Quarterfinals. America is back to the drawing board and almost certainly out with Bradley and in with a foreign manager who understands how the game works now (Klinnsman perhaps?). We can only hope the new manager puts the talent to use because it is there for the taking. Ghana 2, United States 1 (a.e.t.)

MOTM: Kingson; not a ton of chances, but saved everything that he could. Donovan’s penalty was perfectly placed.

Netherlands v. Slovakia: I try to come up with something better but the Oranje just won’t allow it, so, you guessed it, Holland did not play up to their best, but they got the win. They have to be happy to progress, but they should have beaten this Slovakia team much worse if they wanted to prove something. The Dutch had the lion’s share of the chances early on and capitalized through Robben in the 18th with the Slovaks longing for possession and attack, having nothing to feed to perennial goal scorer Robert Vittek. It looked to be another slow death that the Dutch were inflicting as Slovakia had nothing for an hour.

However, some tactical chances started to open up the game and Slovakia began to scare the Oranje. And chances started to pile up with Vittek being given more open looks and Weiss pressing down the left, keeping van der Weil pinned back. However, the Dutch keeper was up to the task, stoning the former Czechoslovakians on numerous occasions before Kuyt set up Sneijder for an easy tap in to make it a two-goal advantage. This was important as Vittek was taken down in the box in added time and he slotted home his penalty well. The referee blew as soon as the ball was in the net and the Dutch escaped, if only barely. Netherlands 2, Slovakia 1

MOTM: Stekelenburg; you know it’s a crazy World Cup when a Dutch keeper is stealing the show, but without his stellar play in net, the Dutch would be at home right now. Kudos.

Brazil v. Chile: If anyone had doubts about Brazil before now, perhaps they would like to reconsider. Go ahead, I’ll give you a moment. After Chile came out trying to score and playing their back line so high we all knew this one was going to be a whitewash. In Bielsa’s defense, it’s what he had to do if he ever wanted to win, but it also allowed Fabiano to run rampant behind the line. However, this game was more about Brazil’s defense setting up the offense than anything. This was Dunga’s game, period. Ramires, Maicon, Lucio, Juan, Bastos, Silva, and Dani Alves all controlled the ball, provided outlets, and made runs on the counter-attack.

Juan scored off a corner in the 34th with Fabiano abusing the Chileans to add another in the 38th and this one was over by the half. Robinho got one in the second half and honestly, they could have gotten 2 or 3 more. Outside of the defense, this game was more telling for how poorly Kaka played. Lazy passing, whining about not being passed to, histrionics, and all the worst parts of his game showed up. If they have anything to worry about, it was this. Chile played well enough, but they just don’t have the height or the control to win this one. Brazil 3, Chile 0

MOTM: Brazil defense and defensive midfield; see above.

Oh Dani Boy

Argentina v. Mexico: What else do you want in a World Cup game? Maradona, Messi, controversy, Aguirre playing dos Santos so deep he was sitting in the stands, you name it. El Tri came out scorching and Rafa Marquez was all over Messi like a rabid dog, attempting the shutdown as best he could. Alas, what Mexico created in terms of Messianic suffocation they caused in open spaces for Tevez and Higuain. And then the ball broke to Lionel who hit an excellent pass that was parried and then played back in to a ridiculously offside Tevez. It must be said that offsides calls will always be missed (just like such calls are missed in other sports) and that is a fact of life with subjective human referees. That being said, this was a total lack of concentration or something, because this call was way off. Suggestions for changing the rules are copious and Deadspin had a good list here. However, you have to deal with the mistakes and Mexico did not.

Mexico were deflated and they allowed the Albiceleste to flourish with solid creation through Tevez and Messi setting up Higuain to run it around the goalkeeper and put one in (ok so Osorio just passed it to him, I thought I’d spare some people here). Tevez put in another on an absolute golazo in the 52nd that nailed the coffin shut. Javi Hernandez, who is proving to be worth Manchester United’s investment, pulled one back in the waning minutes and El Tri put on some pressure toward the end, but this game was never in doubt. Without fail, the talk after the game was all about the offside goal, but Argentina dominated after the first 10 minutes anyway and got a deserved win. Zonal Marking has some excellent analysis on the match and how Mexico failed. Don’t kill the messenger here, because I’m just being honest about it. Argentina 3, Mexico 1

MOTM: Carlos Tevez; not considering his first goal, his work rate was out of this world and his second goal is up there for goal of the Cup.

Germany v. England: Germany are rightly called a machine, because whether Frank Lampard was robbed or not, the English had nothing. In the end, many of us were fooled by England, thinking the defense could hold and Lampard and Gerrard could co-exist, because they cannot and this English team is simply not that talented. The English press went suicidal, but the bigger issue was not expectations, but just how bad these guys were. I can categorically say that John Terry’s performance today was the worst I have seen by a single player all tournament (ok, tied with Onyewu against Slovenia). The Germans owned this one from the get-go, running rampant with Muller eventually finding Klose for the opener before defensive lapses open it up for Podolski to make it 2-0.

Then the Three Lions get one back via Matthew Upson on the header and Lampard plays in a perfect ball that should have been a goal, tying it up before the half. The referees missed it, but this is why we should have technology to show the ball crossed the line and the referee should rule as such. But, like Mexico, you have to move on and England had the advantage at this time. However, they went into a shell. I cannot stress this enough: a bad call does not change who wins or loses the game unless it happens in the last second. That was not the case here and Germany took advantage, holding possession through Ozil for the rest of the half and then watching Muller get a deserved brace in the second. Germany were a mack truck and England were nothing, they deserved to crash out and they only have themselves, their press, and sky-rocketing expectation to blame. Germany 4, England 1

MOTM: Thomas Muller; he was the best player on the pitch, picking up an assist and a brace and looking like the future that German fans are hoping for.

No goal?

Paraguay v. Japan: I will admit, I thought Japan was going to walk away with this one, but both teams were tenuous and very few chances showed up throughout. The Japanese keeper was tested somewhat towards the end of the 90 and during Extra Time. Both teams played hard throughout and looked like they had given everything by the final whistle. However, nothing much happened during the match. A few close chances and obvious misses eventually led to the first penalty situation of this World Cup.

Each penalty was cooly taken with keepers not even coming close on most of them. Komano, a Japanese defender, stepped up and hit a solid strike, but it clanged off the bar by just a hair. After that it was just a question of if Paraguay would falter or could a save be made. Neither happened. Honda slotted one home next but Cardozo stepped up and the Japanese keeper guessed wrong, meaning Paraguay were through to their first Quarterfinal appearance ever, making South America 4 for 5 for the tourney. In the end, the only way this could have been settled was by penalties because another 120 minutes would have produced no goal, and that is why they are used. Paraguay 0, Japan 0 a.e.t. (5-3 pen.)

MOTM: Um, your guess is as good as mine.

Spain v. Portugal: The Battle of Iberia, the game to finally decide who was right about the Line of Demarcation, etc. etc. What was framed as a battle between two flashy sides was actually La Furia Roja attempting to hold possession and slot passes and Portugal wanting nothing to do with playing the game and were looking only for the counter. Spain’s defense held any Portugal attack in check, only to nearly be undone by Casillas twice on silly aerial clearances that led to decent second chances. Fortunately he was bailed out. Iniesta controlled well but the final pass was stymied by consistent efforts of the Portuguese defense, who gave little in the first half. Again del Bosque went with Torres, and again he ruined a lot of build-ups and hurt his own side more than the opponents, he was subbed off for Llorente, which proved the trick.

In the second half, the forwards began to produce and the passes began moving and eventually Xaviniesta strung passes together, found an open Villa moving in from the left flank (again giving us a preview of what we can expect next year) whose first shot was well saved but the follow was a rocket to give the Spaniards the lead, and the game. Portugal resorted to more diving and petulant actions, eventually leading to the send off of Ricardo Costa late in the game for an elbow to the face of Capdevila. The referee was unmoved by Portugal’s diving and was especially wary of Cristiano Ronaldo, who got almost no calls, as it should be. Pique again proved to be the kryptonite for #7. If Spain has one large thing to worry about it is still the issue of Torres, who is not producing. Knowing del Bosque though, he’s going to be starting against Paraguay. Spain 1, Portugal 0

MOTM: Iniesta/Villa; it is too hard to decide between them, so they both get it. Iniesta for possession, Villa for the goal and his beautiful runs


Quarterfinal Fixtures

Netherlands v. Brazil: July 2, 10:00 am EST
Uruguay v. Ghana: July 2, 2:30 pm EST
Argentina v. Germany: July 3, 10:00 am EST
Spain v. Paraguay: July 3, 2:30 pm EST

FC Barcelona Players in the Round of 16

Spain: V. Valdes, Busquets, David Villa, Iniesta, Xavi, Pedro, Puyol, Pique
Brazil: Dani Alves
Argentina: Lionel Messi
Uruguay: Martin Caceres

Golden Boot Leaders (still active):
David Villa: 4
Gonzalo Higuain: 4
Thomas Muller: 3
Luis Fabiano: 3
Asamoah Gyan: 3
Luis Suarez: 3

Golden Ball Candidates (my guess):
Lionel Messi – Argentina
David Villa – Spain
M. Oezil – Germany
T. Muller – Germany
L. Fabiano – Brazil
C. Tevez – Argentina
Andres Iniesta: Spain

First Update
Second Update
Third Update
Fourth Update
Fifth Update

If you like this, feel free to follow me on Twitter, @lukeisamazing

By Luke

We calls 'em likes we sees 'em.


  1. i think tevez or ozil should be our LW signing if it’s needed.
    and if pep doesnt see pedro as a starter by now.

    my prediction;
    brazil KO’s Holland simply because Holland is not deep enough. they rely too heavily on sneijder while they can rely on 15 players in the brazilian team.
    and the argentinian defence better buckle up for ozil, muller, podolski and klose.

    btw should i shout out FIRST???lol
    i dont see anything special in that to be honest.

    1. I would love Ozil, but nooooo Teves. That guy has a a giant attitude and has a history of speaking to the media about matters that should be resolved in a face-to-face with his coach. Pep will not stand for it.

  2. You thought Japan would easily beat Paraguay? lol, Luke, come on… Anyhow, I thought the match would be decided by one goal as both teams came not to lose. It was even worse. After the first 30 minutes, the game had penalty shootout written all over it.

    Quarterfinal thoughts!
    Netherlands v. Brazil: Brazil come in looking much stronger based on their previous performance, but the Netherlands is still better at keeping the ball that any other team Brazil has faced. Brazil needs to make the fewer opportunities it will get in this match count, and hope to handle the Dutch’s long shots.

    Uruguay v. Ghana: Ghana might be better than Uruguay at controlling the midfield. Ghana’s also shown that they have the best defense in the continent, but can they keep out Suarez and Forlan?

    Argentina v. Germany: Wowzers. Germany has already lost a match this World Cup, Argentina has won every match in emphatic fashion. Argentina has proven it can score against resolute defenses (like Greece and Nigeria), and has done well against very different kind of sides (Mexico, Greece, South Korea). This young German team conceded two quick goals against England, so lapses in focus might be an issue. And yet I still can’t see this match as anything other than 50/50. At least, for the simple reason that the German frontline seems to have a telepathic connection with the youth and energy to score against anyone, while Argentina’s defensive system (with 4 CBs!) hasn’t been tested by as lethal an attack as the Germans.

    Spain v. Paraguay: This seems like the easiest match to call. Paraguay could play a perfect game and take Spain to the limit, but I think Spain already passed a tougher match today versus Portugal (good riddance πŸ˜› ). This is the only match I’ll predict: Spain by a >1 goal margin in regular time.

    What do you think?

    1. With Quieroz’s cynical tactics, I’m glad to see Portugal go out to the furiously attacking Reds. I suppose I could understand Q’s 4-4-1 style if he was coaching North Korea (or West Brom), but with CR9, Portugal have got one of the best attacking players in the world, and he hardly got a touch.

  3. Fantasy Cheating league for anyone that’s interested..


  4. silva is officially a city player now.
    i see it as a blessing. as long as its not madrid.
    just in case we need silva later, we can get him.

    1. Yeah, I would love him to play for us, but after we signed Villa, I know he wouldn’t come to Barca. Valencia wouldn’t want to do that.
      As him going to City, I wish him good luck, as I don’t really support any EPL teams so as a neutral it will be really interesting next season at EPL. (and to play FM w/ city. I played them in 2010 , got the best youngsters and they still have a TON of money, Imagine next season, silva, yaya, and probably dzeko, and still more money, it will be fun to play FM and just wreck havoc in the transfers scene) πŸ˜€
      As long as he doesn’t go to EE, I’m happy.
      Now if we could just get some Ozil… πŸ˜€

    2. Naah.. Unless you believe the rumors, gossips, and whatever story the papers are trying to sell, Ibra isn’t going anywhere.

  5. It seems that TourΓ© might not leave us so soon.. Pond Scum Seluk wants to discuss his future with Sandro.. wonder what he’s up to now..

  6. Heatmap of David Villa on the WC. It only confirms his quality on the LW


  7. This Yaya business is nuts. But now that Guardiola is back, expect the rest of our plans to finalize very quickly.

    More rumors:

    We have a 45m take it or leave it offer pending for Hewhowillnotbenamed. If, as expected, it is rejected, then we will move for Ozil, whose keepers at Werder are saying that he is “better than Messi.”

    1. wait i would want to know who “hewhowillnotbenamed” is because there’s too disgusting rumors now… and one beings with a C and the other with a T.. and both can stay in the EPL IMO.

    2. definitely the one that makes this site explode if his name is mentioned. just look at the popular posts. the player is sporting a beard on spain’s bench

  8. I thought Xavi was the MOTM yesterday. Villa was the close second because I thought Xavi dominated the possession and distribution much more effectively than Iniesta. But if you count Xaviniesta as one, then thats great too.

    Villa was such a beast yesterday! Working so hard everywhere! I saw him track back on defense very often, and was active on the left. I can’t help but to think he must be informed by teammates that he will be playing that role for us and thus drifted to the left ALL THE TIME? he lurked around the box more often before, with Iniesta/ Silva shift to the left more than anyone, but yesterday was just the one-man David Villa show on the flanks. Attacking whenever possible, creating troubles and trying to cross or dribble his way to the center and shoot. AMAZING STUFF.

    Silva a Citizen. hmm, i feel kinda sad for him. After all these years working so hard in Valencia, and now they have finally reach the CL, he is outta there, and going to City means he will be out of Champions League football which I think everyone wants. But hey, City is for real this time, huh?! Silva now and then our Yaya. We will see how they build the team, because apparently we are all against whoever that does the very same thing that other spanish team does.

  9. BTW, Coentrao was superb, was a constant thorn in Spain’s side.. He has done his transfer value a world of good..

    1. Back from vacation officially yesterday. Word is that he wants to talk to The Yaya, man-to-man, before any “irreversible” decisions are made. Rosell also wants a part of this discussion.

      It won’t matter. The things that The Yaya wants, we can’t guarantee. So they will talk, then he will leave.

      There’s also a completely unfounded (and BS, I think) rumor that Robinho’s two good matches have convinced us to go for him this summer, as well. That strains credulity, frankly. He still doesn’t play defense, still has the work rate of a striking French union worker, and isn’t in playing shape, which explains his erratic periods during the loooong regular season.

      –As an aside, I am always suspect about World Cup market boosts. Players gear up for this tournament, which often doesn’t reflect reality (as in the case of Robinho or, frankly, Ozil). Sometimes, a player just breaks out on the world stage and becomes what he always was. Usually, however, it’s a temporary thing, fueled by hype, energy and nationalist fervor.

    2. Haha.. that’s a good term, the Senegal Effect. Notably diop and diouf if I’m not mistaken.

    3. Γ–zil was amazing in the U21 European Championship here in Sweden last year, I don’t think he’s just ‘hype’.

    1. Don’t worry. He ain’t staying. He wants playing time guarantees. Guardiola will NEVER agree to such things.

  10. “Germany are rightly called a machine, because whether Frank Lampard was robbed or not, the English had nothing.” Thank you Luke. I am a firm “against technology” person and this is proof. Before anyone bitches about a goal that would’ve changed NOTHING, they should know about futbol. Those of us who believe have a better clue know better. Yeah its unfair, but take it as human error move on.
    Same with the Argentina game, so they don’t play pretty, but they won. That Messi shot was going in, they wouldve scored anyways, Argentina won rightfully so. They were the better side be it by Aguirres mistakes, or their own defenders. and did Maradona tell Messi to backoff the last 15 minutes? Once Veron was in, he disappeared. If Maradona did tell him. Man’s a genius.
    Spain game, well Torres was useless, all of the plays went through the left, and thats good if a cross may happen that can surprise the defense on the right, but that never took place cause Torres was awful. He has one good shot, and then he went godknows where.
    I know we all hate Crynaldo, but to him and to the other big stars out of the running this world cup, I understand. “Big players” cannot do anything without the ball, when they do get it, since no one else was doing anything, they try to do it themselves, and so they get 4 defenders on them, or fouled, and they lose posession. This fantasy that huge players can take teams “the distance” with 10 other mediocre players needs to stop, and it needs to stop now.

    1. its not just about the goal line technology.
      with video technology, it will put a stop to all these diving theatrics that is ruining the game.
      FIFA should take a closer look at American sports

    2. But the problem with implementing new technology is you have to be careful because well no matter what happens eventually someone will find a way around technology, players could be even better at hiding their deceptions and so on, and teams can use action replay as a way to waste time and the list goes on. So its not a matter of when new technology will come in, but a matter of how good they make the system of rules and regulation for the game to restrict cheating.

    3. I think if we took a look at all those “fouls” we’d never finish a game. I think some stuff yes we could look at, a controversial goal, like Lampards or Edu’s, that maybe could be fine in a FIFA sponsored event, not the fouls, too many.
      Also coaches nor the teams should ask “when” to look at it, should be the refs discretion.

    4. if any technology is used it would only be for offsides and goal line. never for fouls. they don’t even do that in the NFL. the difference with american sports is they stop ALL THE TIME.

    5. “Before anyone bitches about a goal that would’ve changed NOTHING, they should know about futbol.”

      I disagree, that call changed a lot in that game. (For the record, I’m absolutely not an england fan and happy germany won) I think that anyone who follows the world cup and football in general knows that teams play differently when they are behind or levelled or leading. In football everything can happen, just look at the game switserland – spain..
      So we can’t know what would’ve happened if the two teams went into the break levelled and had to start all over again when Capello could’ve made some tactical changes. Maybe it would’ve been a game of two halves and england would’ve come out on top, maybe it would’ve been 6-2 for Germany, no one can know..

      Germany was the better team (in the first half) but the best team doesn’t always win, that is football: everything can happen. To deny that is to deny part of it’s beauty.. I do not blame Germany for exploiting the situation but you just can’t deny the (possible) impact of that error from the linesman..

    6. Should a professional team be demoralized when they have been “cheated”?? Absolutely not, in my opinion they should continue to fight. Case in point, Brazil confederations cup against the USA, down by 2, and came back and scored 3… I think that shows that if you are the better squad, you can pull off amazing things.
      But you are right, we won’t ever know. Germany was the rightful winner in my eyes by playing better.

  11. Word is that we would send Bremen Hleb + henrique for Ozil.. where did I read it.. owh πŸ˜€

  12. … … … …

    (At least it’s not EE…or Chelski or Man Utd for that matter, but especially not EE….and he must REALLY REALLY love Valencia to agree to go to a non-CL club. Me thinks he left for the highest bidder so Valencia could get the most out of his transfer and in another country so he wouldn’t have to face his team. It was also a smart move because after a year or two, at the most three, he can ask for a transfer, citing “competitive needs”, and come back to Spain in his prime 3 years later when he’s prime. Sacrificing two years of his footballing career for the sake of the club he joined as a 14 year old…

    This is what I shall delude myself with for the time being. Really, thank god EE got Di Maria and not Silva, for personal and footballing reasons (Di Maria is quite one-dimensional and can’t become a playmaker like Silva IMO). Phewwwww! I won’t slow start to dislike him a la Kaka’… The dream continues, just with a three year hiatus πŸ˜€ )

  13. From Pep of the presidential election blog’s twitter: Barcelona treasurer Sala i Martin has just announced the financial results for 2009-2010: a record 445M revenues and a profit of 11M.

    Barcelona’s record 445M revenues are 16% more than last year and the highest revenues ever of any sports club in the world.

    Here is the Sport link *

    Sala i Martin also stresses that this revenue and profit doesn’t even take into the account the impeding sale of Yaya to City.

    Great job by Laporta, Sala i Martin and co.

  14. I am against technology in football as well, Stephen. In football things even itself with time. England? They are complaining now while they won their single world cup depending on a similar incident.

    Controversial incidents bring more life to the game making it less golf-like. I bet People talked more football after England-Germany game than they would have done if there was nothing unusual about it. Notice, we are still talking about it (and Argentina-Mexico), but not about Brazil game for example.

    Besides, this is historically peoples’ sport. Its not the luxurious tennis. you cant apply a trick in the world cup if its not applicable in the game played in the neighborhood. My club will not be able to afford installing that in our field and games. And it doesn’t worth it. Just an example.
    The game is getting more and more bureaucratically systematic. Pull your socks up and kick the damn ball. Thats what its all about. Soon Giorgio Armani will have to approve the matching of every player’s tie before walking into the field.

    1. True that, Ramzi. Once you let it in, then it begins to encroach. First you’re looking at goals. Then you’re looking at fouls. Then you’re looking at lord knows what. It never ends, and the game doesn’t flow. It must, of necessity, pause while the video is evaluated. Hate, hate, hate.

      Here’s the thing: The bad calls usually aren’t all that bad. Many of them change matches. And this coming from someone who watched his club not make the Champions League final because of an incorrectly judged handball. Without question, England were screwed out of a goal, a goal that would have changed the match. They wouldn’t have had to chase the match, etc, etc.

      But Germany scored that first goal with both teams at even strength. They were just better on that day. That’s life. Would the match have been different? We’ll never know. Yes, the ref blew the handball call on The Yaya, but Krkic also pushed an open header wide of the post, with an open net to look at. So it shouldn’t have come down to the ref.

      Technology is messy. It disrupts the flow of the games in which it is used. In the NFL, it’s terrible. In the NBA, it’s terrible. Humans play the game, humans should call it. Humans make mistakes, but humans usually get it right. That’s life.

  15. Honestly I can see Pep wanting Yaya to stay. If Marquez leaves we could have an issue at center back with Puyol getting up there in age.

    I’m really hoping Chygrynskiy breaks out this coming season, because if he doesn’t he will soon have Cantera kids all over his back.

  16. Yes! To Domenechen astrology! No! To Orwellian technology!
    Let footballers scatter like stars in the African sky!
    I don’t like FIFA censors but I hate strange underground sensors!
    If you want perfection go play your PlayStation.
    ‘Bad’ calls happen every game; it’s just that not every game means so much to so many. Can we see a replay of the ‘close’ ones? The ‘good’ ones? ‘Wow, Bob, I mean he was YARDS offside! What an obvious call from the refs! Let’s watch that one again!’
    Soccer is psychological. When you go down you don’t implode. You don’t whine to the press. You don’t make fancy commercials begging your fans to come home. You do Lakers, Game 6. You set it down.
    This brouhaha is for those who persist in their delusion that by paying some sort of fare (their membership; their ticket; their cable) the forces of the universe are obliged to play fair.
    Ball control is a skill set. Game control is an illusion.
    The whole point of off-side is to trick someone … sometimes it’s the other side, other times it’s your side and still others it’s someone on the sidelines.
    Don’t do to soccer what they’ve done to my hockey!
    No fighting, no tying, no knocking the goal off the posters, no knocking your opponent in the head … everything is a cleaned-up, family-friendly, technology-sensitive replay. And it SUCKS!

    1. Heck, even the PlayStations have bad calls! Damn you glitches!!

      I love your comments, anyone remember where the comment about Mourinho going to EE was? I want to keep it!

    2. lol … underground sensors, hell yeah!

      one should be free to dive in soccer videogames πŸ˜‰

  17. When will he stop being so classy? (Sarcasm directed at ThongBoy)


  18. //

    aguirre steps down. i loved what he did w/mexico up until the argentina game. tactically it was fascinating, but no results. nice run though.

    i think it was that dude roberticus that said he heard of a rumor linking bielsa to el tri. can anyone confirm? would it be more of the same for the mexican national team?

  19. Chicago area peeps, I’ll be hitting The Globe on Saturday for some match action. Rocking a France shirt, natch. They can steal my dignity, but not my heart.

    1. i know, right? i rocked my mexico goal keeper kit proudly after our ass kicking.

  20. I think without sacrificing the pace of the game there are simple ways to check balls over the line using the same technology as tennis and the ref can be alerted in half a second. I’m not calling for replays, but better handling of referees and making sure the best of the best are rated that way and allowed to ref the biggest games. FIFA can avoid some mistakes without going to full blown replay and killing the games.

    1. its not the dthe ref who should call the decisions. its the people at the side watching the monitors.
      no need for replays

    2. But what if the ref said its an offside then the replay showed it is not? Do we ask every player to step back to stand where he initially was and rewind? You just don’t know what kind of monsters you are calling for…Theoretically everything looks promising and easy to upload in the face of what exist. Even damaging the Ref authority on the game (and the payers). Because there is an electronic ref now. Trust me, you don’t want that. I was a player, and I know how players behave when the ref do not have the ultimate authority.

      Some fouls are even more game changing than offside. One that deserve a card (as one of the 2 teams claim). A penalty. A dive. A corner. Tactical foul. You name it. It is impossible not to pause the game when the technology is introduced. Impossible. Ceck any other game with technology (including tennis). With football, taking the field dimensions and the game dynamics, pauses will kill the game.

      Aside of the fact that it is not applicable. You need the ref (if we will keep them after all) to adapt to that change. So as players, coaches, TV broadcasters, etc… To do that, the system should be applied every where the game is played (at least leagues) so everyone get used to it. I can tell that at least 60 % of leagues do not even have proper fields for football, so forget about the rest.

      Not easy as typing it.

    3. Don’t do it for offsides. This is the first time anyone has ever said this, but do it like professional hockey does it. Only check for goals. Offside is always going to be called closely or wrongly sometimes, just like holding and pass interference in American football, balls and strikes in baseball, etc. So instead of stopping for that, only do it for goals, BUT, hold the referees accountable worldwide. Give them ratings based on good/bad offside calls, fouls, touchline, etc. This way no game is ever decided by a wrongly adjudged ball over the line (which is usually ruled a goal) whereas an offside call is not usually going to change the whole game.

    4. Statistically, its safe to say there are much more goals scored after misjudging the offside than the “ball crossed the line” situation (both change the game in the same way). I’ve been watching football since ever, I can barely recall five crucial cases where ball crossed the line without counting a goal. So now that we agree it will not work for offside, its obvious that the rest doesn’t worth all the mess demanded.

    5. if the goalie can pick his ass while he bounces the ball, wasting time for up to six seconds, we can make critical reffing decisions involving potential goals in less than two….

  21. So today is the day we get a new president. The start of a new era. Rosell will have big shoes to fill. Hope he’s capable of it.

  22. The wheels are turning

    “I haven’t said that I will definitely leave Arsenal,” Fabregas said, according to the Mirror. “Everything is possible. Now I have my head and my focus on the World Cup. I am very proud to be captain of Arsenal and I love the club and have respect for them. It gave me much pride to be made captain.”

    1. he realized how it feels like to sit on the bench.
      warming up for xavi and iniesta.

      the only reason why he comes out and says such things is because he knows the deal is off

  23. did anyone ever get a good look on Villa’s goal vs. Portugal? I know it was close to offsides, but they never showed a good angle. was that part of the ‘censorship’?

  24. *

    Byebye to Gai??? Is he following in young Gio’s footsteps?

    Seems to cause as much trouble as him…

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