Today’s footie

June 20, 2014 • 4:53 am

Spain out, England nearly so, and a couple of interesting games today, the least interesting being the one I get to watch:

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Some highlights from yesterday’s victory by Uruguay (I won’t say “defeat for England”): Uruguay 2, England 1

And from the Netherlands/Australia game two days ago: Netherlands 3, Australia 2:

Finally, today’s soccer-themed Google Doodle (click on it to see the animation). I expect these will get more elaborate as the World Cup progresses:

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21 thoughts on “Today’s footie

  1. The usual national inquisition well under way following last night’s dismal performance and result. The general consensus is that the Premier League is bad for the national team as it’s dominated by overseas players. There might be an element of truth in that but it doesn’t expalain why England were rubbish in the 1970’s and 80’s. In fact, bar 1966, they’ve always been rubbish.

    1. Well, its not really a national inquisition, its just a load of idiot journos talking crap on this topic rather than another one.

      And England weren’t rubbish in the 70s, its just that qualification was much harder for tournaments as fewer teams qualified. The only time I’d say they’ve been consistently poor was in 83-84, the post-Keegan, pre-Lineker period.

      1. Also let’s not forget England’s dismal record in penalty shootouts:

        1990 lost to Germany (WC semi)
        1996 ditto (EC semi)
        1998 lost to Argentine (WC 2nd round)
        2004 lost to Portugal (EC ??)
        2006 lost to Germany (again!) (WC qtr-final)
        2012 lost to Italy (EC qtr-final).

        I’ve always reckoned they should employ Derren Brown as a consultant to teach them how to anticipate which way the goalie’s going to dive – or vice versa for our keeper 🙂

  2. I didn’t watch Australia – Netherlands game but from the highlights it looks like Australia was a bit unlucky. The disallowed goal was legit I think and they also missed a very big opportunity. Netherlands last goal was impressive but the goalie had a part in it too. Nonetheless, it must have been a great game to watch!

  3. I find the Doodle poorly designed: There is something indecent with this elephantiasis-affected ‘g’.

    Desnes

  4. I don’t understand England. I know that they don’t have the greatest players in the world, but individually they have some talent, and a fantastic domestic league with some great teams. Yet since 1966, when they won it all, the best they have done is the semis in 1990.

    Here is a list of some teams that made the semis since 1990:

    Sweden Bulgaria Croatia Turkey South Korea Uruguay

    Hardly world beaters here – surely England was capable of at least another semifinal appearance in the last quarter century.

    I’ve heard all of the standard explanations for the World Cup failure, from how the strength of the EPL actually hurts development of English players to blaming the summer weather, but there seems to be some deeper issues as to the reasons for this chronic underachievement.

    What must be even more galling to English fans is that nations like France and Spain, who until recent times were good but not great internationally, have in the past two decades risen to the level of World Cup winners.

    For a nation that loves the sport of football so much, why do they not learn from the lessons of the past and adopt the best practices of nations that have overtaken them? They’re like the slow kids of international football.

    1. There are LOTS of reasons for this, & they start at a junior level as English children play on full sized pitches very often. They do not have close ball control. Lots of great players (Maradonna inter alia) grew up kicking a ball of rags or some such not being able to afford a ball, & they naturally learn close ball control. In England we want to get rid of the ball – in other countries the players want to have the ball! With us the sum is always less than the parts whereas other teams seem to add something to the mix.

      However, more interesting to me is why African teams are still struggling??? They have incredibly skilled players…

      Any WEIT readers from Nigeria or Ghana care to comment?

      1. Great point on the African teams – I have no idea. Technically sound, athletic, and often well-coached. They should do better.

        England did better this time around in terms of possession; they actually had more of it than Uruguay and were even with Italy. Also, when you look at Uruguay’s players, a lot of them can barely cut it in the EPL. Is Coates that much better than Jagielka or Cahill? Yet Uruguay’s players rise to the occasion while England’s do not.

        1. Ball possession means very little in football. Uruguay had less possession in every game during the group stage in South Africa 2010 but topped the group and went on to take 4th place in the final stage. It’s a matter of style and efficiency. Like ‘Maestro’ Tabárez says: “There are infinite ways to obtain a result in football.”
          By the way, keep berating us, keep putting Suárez down, and the harder we’ll play.
          Anyhow, how many countries can boast having an atheist coach besides Uruguay?

          1. “Ball possession means very little in football.”

            I wouldn’t say that it means “very little”. There’s a reason why very few teams adopt the route 1 approach these days. Being able to retain the ball at least some of the time is probably a necessary condition for a successful team, for a number of reasons. But possession alone is not sufficient, and as you point out, you can have less of it but be ruthless with your chances when they come. Especially if you have a Suarez around to take them.

            Anyway, I don’t really see anyone berating Uruguay. One-man teams can go pretty far – just look at Argentina in 86′!

    1. Genius goal that by Cahill… on his ‘wrong’ foot as well! Imagine to ‘calculation’ ones brain makes to work out a trajectory & then hit it so sweetly!

  5. Costa Rica 1 X Italy 0. Wow! Could had been 2 X 0 if Italy’s penalty on Costa Rica had been correctly called. Costa Rica is playing well tactically, especially their offsides line and talented counter attacks. Bye-bye England.

  6. COSTA RICA!!!!

    Representing CONCACAF. England is now out. Italy and Uruguay battle for the remaining spot in Group D. Uruguay must win – Italy moves on with a tie. Uruguay’s goal differential is -1, Italy is 0.

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