Leo Messi thinks Barcelona is better than Argentina?

July 4, 2010

Leo Messi talking about his surprise that Fabio Capello left Theo Walcott off the England squad:

If [Theo Walcott] could do that against Barcelona, think what he could have done against Germany and Algeria. Even if he didn’t start, he would still have been very important for England.

Maybe there was something lost in the translation, but Messi seems to imply that he thinks Barcelona is superior to Germany. And after the 4-0 Germany victory, one might conclude he thinks Barcelona is better than Argentina.

A leap perhaps. But perhaps also a message from Messi about what he really thinks about Maradona (or so thinks my Argentine wife).


The managerial shuffle

June 27, 2010

Anyone want to take bets on whether the Brits get rid of Fabio Capello now? Before the World Cup all the talk was about whether he would stay after the World Cup because everyone was hoping he would.

Now…I’m guessing the tone of the conversation will be different.


Jorge Larrionda strikes again!

June 27, 2010

Do we have a new worst call of the World Cup? Yes, Virginia, perhaps we do. England gets victimized by error-prone ref Jorge Larrionda.

In case that link dies, here’s another:

I really don’t understand why Jorge Larrionda continues to get games from FIFA. And yes, certainly his linesman share quite a bit of the blame. But before the replay, I was screaming, “goooooal, wait…what? No way that wasn’t a goal.” How the refs could miss that is beyond me. As the guy just said on Argentine TV “To not call that a goal, it’s not that the refs don’t know anything about reffing. It’s that they don’t know anything about football.”

It goes without saying that that call massively changed the course of the game. With a correct call, it’s 2-2 and Germany is going to find it significantly more difficult to score 2 counter-attack goals to end the game 4-1. One of the least deserving 4-1 results I’ve seen in awhile.


Beckenbauer disses American soccer

June 15, 2010

Franz Beckenbauer:

What I saw of the English against the USA had very little to do with football. It looked to me as if the English have gone backwards into the bad old days of kick and rush.

I am not sure if the England coach Fabio Capello can still change much there. The English are being punished for the fact that there are very few English players in the Premier League as clubs use better foreign players from all over the world.

I don’t think much of Germany’s national team this year, Franz.


US v England thoughts

June 12, 2010

1.  If you were to tell me before the game that the US would get a tie out of this game I’d have been satisfied.

2.  I am not satisfied by the result.

3.  Pobrecito, Robert Green.   That’s not the way anyone wants to get a point, even with an unpredictable ball and a wet field.

4.  England had weaknesses, some of which I mentioned in my preview post.  We knew that coming in.   Glen Johnson is better going forward than defending, central defenders haven’t played together much and Terry is slowing down, Lampard and Gerrard don’t link well, lack of an obvious #1 goaltender, who is the second striker, etc.  One of those bit them in the backside quite painfully.  That said, they do have some phenomenal players.

5.  Capello’s starting lineup.  Emile Heskey assisted the England goal, validating Capello’s choice to start him, and surprising me.  I found it surprising, as I’d have started Peter Crouch against the Americans.   And I remarked to my wife as the game started, “I expected to see James in goal.”

6.  Us Yanks could have had a few goals in the air in the first half.

7.  We were extremely lucky to escape with a point, let’s not forget that.   Yes, there was a long stretch of the first half where we played better, as if we were the favorites and England counter-attacking underdogs.  And yes, we could have won the game.  But all in all, football is a capricious game, decided by who takes their chances, and we were significantly luckier than our elder brothers today.

8.  England will overreact, but they still have a good team.  Italy tied us in group stages in 06 and went on to win the Cup.

9.  I thought this was the worst refereed game of the World Cup to this point; fortunately, it was still a reasonable game for the ref.  I disagreed with several calls, and I think England did experience some luck not to get some red cards pulled out.  Still, given that the Brazilian ref has experienced quite a bit of controversy in the past, we are awfully lucky not to get Jorge Larrionda or Valentin Ivanov, who had the worst two refereeing performances of World Cup 2006.   Larrionda may or may not be biased against the US, but he certainly has had bad performances against them.  I like all the Uruguayans I know, but I don’t like his reffing.

10.  Findley as a starter?  I thought to myself as the game started.  Has to be a tactical move, we’re going to be sending it long alot.  And indeed we did.

11.  I’m happy with the point.  It makes us much more likely to advance.   It still wasn’t very satisfying for me though.


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