Posts Tagged ‘France’

He really was a God among mere mortals.

To Golden Goal or not to Golden Goal?

FIFA can’t seem to be able to make up their mind about the golden goal rule. It was a rule that was introduced at Euro ’96 which meant that that team who scored the 1st goal in extra-time of a knockout game would automatically win the match and advance to the next round. A crude way of losing which Italy found out the hard way in the Euro 2000 final:

By 2004, the golden goal rule was completely scrapped. The reason being that it ‘promoted’ defensive football as both teams would stay safe and avoid being scored on before the penalty shoot-out after 120 minutes.

And now, after 6 years and a sup-bar World Cup in South Africa (during the group stages anyway); Sepp Blatter is considering re-introducing the golden goal rule.

Blatter wants more goals. That is evident. But his view is misrepresented and his plans are untenable. His concern seems to be directed at critics from non-football fans who deem the sport boring. Although the World Cup in South Africa started off quite sluggish, it was transformed dramatically into a tournament of incitement and turmoil.

Aside from being a World Cup which saw a new champion, the tournament will be remembered for its controversy, drama, and bad officiating rather than its aridity. It’s an area of concern which Blatter should focus more on instead of of tinkering with the unbroken rules of the game. We need goal-line technology. It’s time to stop living in Di Stefano’s era and time to start bringing ourselves in line with modern thinking:  Hence taking advantage of technology that is there to be used. It’s much more important to have a fair outcome, than an exciting outcome.

Whether we like it or not, there is absolutely nothing wrong with defensive football. It’s a style of play and a strategy that suits certain teams more than others. The World can’t expect every team to play like Spain, Argentina, and Brazil (my apologies if your country wasn’t on this list). Every team plays to its strengths.  Some are strong in attack, and some are strong at the back. What’s evident is that the game is always changing and tacticians are becoming more masterful at what they do. As much as some people enjoy ‘Tiki-Taka’ Spanish football more than Catenaccio football; I must admit that I always enjoyed the way Nesta and Cannavaro made defending look like an art for Italy.

I’m not particularly against the golden goal rule. However, if Blatter wants to promote attacking football over defensive football, bringing back this rule will not entice teams to come out of their defensive shell just because they have to score first before the penalty shootout.

Raymond Domenech continued his embarrassing run as head coach of France by refusing to shake the hand of South African head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. Read my full article here.

South Africa considers vuvuzela ban:

From BBC:

World Cup 2010: South Africa ponders vuvuzela ban

South Africa’s World Cup organising chief Danny Jordaan may ban vuvuzelas from inside stadiums after complaints from broadcasters and supporters.

The constant sound of the high-pitched horn-like instrument has so far drowned out much of the atmosphere-generating singing usually associated with games.

And Jordaan, when asked if he would get rid of them, told BBC Sport: “If there are grounds to do so, yes.

“We did say that if any land on the pitch in anger we will take action.”

France captain Patrice Evra has already blamed the noise generated by the vuvuzelas, which has been likened to the drone of thousands of bees, for his side’s poor showing in their opening group game against Uruguay, which finished goalless.

He said: “We can’t sleep at night because of the vuvuzelas. People start playing them from 6am.

“We can’t hear one another out on the pitch because of them.”

Jordaan conceded that while the noise was irritating for some people, they were doing all they could to minimise the impact.

“We’ve tried to get some order,” he continued. “We have asked for no vuvuzelas during national anthems or stadium announcements. It’s difficult but we’re trying to manage the best we can.

“We’ve had some broadcasters and individuals [complaining] and it’s something we are evaluating on an on-going basis.”

Jordaan admitted he was not a huge fan of them himself. “I would prefer singing,” he said.

“It’s always been a great generator of a wonderful atmosphere in stadiums and I would try to encourage them to sing.

“In the days of the struggle (against apartheid) we were singing, all through our history it’s our ability to sing that inspired and drove the emotions.”

Online Petitions (because they will clearly make all the difference in the World):

http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/Banthevuvuzela

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/…ela-noise.html

http://www.banvuvuzela.com/

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=125549918734

Opening Ceremony.

A disappointing first day.

4 year countdown: over.

Venue: Johannesburg (Soccer City).

Stadium Capacity: 90, 000

Opening Ceremony: Boring, and presented in front of a half-empty stadium blowing in their vuvuzelas.

Here are highlights from the two matches today. I’m sure it’ll pick up tomorrow with the England – USA match.

South Africa – Mexico (kicked off with a beautiful goal from the host nation):

France – Uruguay

You will see me here everyday for the next month. Make it your home too.

Ramos and co. didn't really try. But it was enough.

 

There are some worries in the Spanish National camp as the reigning European champions don’t look as focused as they did last summer. ‘La Furia Roja’ struggled to beat non-World Cup dwellers Saudi Arabia 3-2 in Innsbruck, Austria  on Saturday.

The Saudi’s surprisingly went up 1-0 in the 16th minute as Osama Hawsawi headed in a corner that Spanish keeper Iker Casillas failed to punch clear. 14 minutes later, Barcelona striker David Villa scored to level the match. At the half, the Saudi’s looked more impressive than the Spanish.

After the half-time break, Spain came out with more sloppy play; and although Xabi Alonso gave Spain the lead in the 57th minute with a precise shot from outside the box, Saudi Arabia leveled the match in the 73rd minute with a freak goal which deflected off of Al Namare and past the helpless Casillas. The game ended with substitute Llorente heading in a Xabi Alonso corner in virtually the last kick of the game to give Spain the 3-2 win.

It’s clear that Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque needs to have his team more focused when the World Cup comes around. Although this Spanish team is much deeper and better on paper than the one that won the Euro (inclusions of Pique, Valdes, Pedro, Llorente and Navas are fantastic) they do not look as sharp. Former Euro winning coach Luis Aragones formed an organized cohesive unit which we haven’t really seen under 2-time Champions League winner Del Bosque. The ‘moustache’ as they call him, is still awaiting the return of 2 of his key players in Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres from injury.

International Friendly results and highlights organized for viewing for your pleasure:

Spain 3-2 Saudi Arabia

Ireland 3-0 Algeria

Slovakia 1-1 Cameroon

Serbia 0-1 New Zealand

Sweden 4-2 Bosnia Herzegovina

Ukraine 3-2 Romania

Hungary 0-3 Germany

USA 2-1 Turkey

England 2-1 Japan

Belarus 1-0 Korea Republic

Paraguay 2-2 Ivory Coast

Gambia 1-5 Mexico

Nigeria 1-1 Colombia

Tunisia 1-1 France

Chile 1-0 Northern Ireland

Other Results:

Norway 2-1 Montenegro

Moldova 2-3 UAE

Poland 0-0 Finland

Iceland 4-0 Andorra

Azerbaijan 1-3 Rep. of Macedonia

Venezuela 1-1 Canada

Never gets old. In my opinion, the smoothest player since Zinedine Zidane.

Sad news for a brilliant footballer.

Real Madrid defensive midfielder Lassana Diarra has been ruled out of the World Cup and possibly ruled out of a career of football altogether as he was diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia by French National team doctors.

Diarra hardly played in the last few months of Real Madrid’s 2009/2010 campaign. And when he did, he didn’t look as sharp as usual.

Not much was known about Lass’ sudden drop in form and lack of appearances, and it is a mystery that his condition went undetected for so long in his career. It is reported that the condition was only found because of the location of where ‘Les Bleus’ were training: 3,000 feet above sea level.

Medical teams are still working on which treatments to use. There is currently no available cure for this disease. Sickle-cell anemia is often found in those of Sub-Saharan African descent and it causes long-term chronic pain and fatigue. Those who are treated properly, can live into their forties or fifties (ttp://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/…CA_WhatIs.html).

On a personal note, I want to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to Lassana and his family. He is a brilliant footballer and one of the best defensive midfielders in the World when healthy. It is sad to see another Ruben De La Red on our hands, but it has to be said that football should be the least of his worries right now.

i Animo Lass !