Wednesday, July 14, 2010

World Cup 2010

Here's what I thought of the World Cup 2010

Worst XI: Green; Ottamendi, Terry, Cannavaro, Evra; Felipe Melo, Kaita, Lampard; CRonaldo, Rooney, Anelka; coached by Domenech. All for the obvious reasons.

How did he miss that? Yakubu vs South Korea; Higuain missed a sitter (forgot against who); Robben in the final

The ref didn't see that? Lampard non-goal vs Germany; Tevez off-side goal vs Mexico

True fighting spirit: Landon Donovan

Best save: Luis Suarez vs Ghana

He was not missed: Michael Ballack

Trendy formation: 4-2-3-1
Totally uncool formation: 4-4-2

Best entertainer: Diego Armando Maradona

Most talked about during the World Cup: Mark van Bommel, Paul the Octopus, vuvuzelas

Has his head stuck up his own ass: Sepp Blatter (@seppblatter on twitter)

Team spirit: France

A joke: Howard Webb

And finally the best XI with explanation:
GK: Stekelenburg - he had an amazing World Cup. Not very known and lots of people (including the Dutch doubted him) but showed that he is a worthy successor of van der Sar. Only had one dodgy moment (Forlan's goal), but his stops denying Kaka, Fabregas, Forlan, and those Slovaks were world class. He'll be missed at Ajax though (no, he's not officially gone yet but any top team should will want him).

Defense: van der Wiel, Lugano, Pique, Lahm - last season, van der Wiel was the only player to play all Ajax' games and he's been constant, and he's performed amazingly well in the World Cup. Lugano is a true leader in the Uruguayan defense. Pique is probably the best defender with a ball at his feet, he can actually pass the ball properly. And Lahm is one of the best full-backs around and he can play both sides as comfortably.

Defensive midfield (because 4-2-3-1 is trendy): van Bommel, Schweinsteiger - I'll get to van Bommel later, and Schweini played without having to serve Ballack and made German tick. He was at the heart of what was good about Germany.

Attacking midfield: Sneijder, Xavi, Mueller - Sneijder's passing ability is unbelievable, he can pass the ball in almost any situation. Xavi is still the master of the midfield, the king of the ball. And Mueller is a hard working youngster doing everything right.

Attack: Villa - it's a toss-up between Villa and Forlan, but because Villa plays more for the team (whereas Forlan it's all about him), he gets the spot.

Coach: Maradona - but of course.

I hear you say "van Bommel? VAN BOMMEL? why? WHY?". Well, I believe van Bommel was one of the best defending midfielders. Sure he kicks players around, but he does it so well not to get caught. His first yellow was in the semis for dissent! That means he is able to play on the limit and stick to that limit for 90 minutes. No laps of concentration. And is defending ability is actually the less important facet of his game. He can pass the ball around, create openings, and works hard.

At PSV he won 3 Dutch titles and twice Dutch player of the year. At Barcelona he won the Champions league (and played in the final). And last year he was instrumental for Bayern, winning the double and losing in the Champions league final. You don't get all that by just kicking people around!

He's the type of player that any team wants. And he doesn't care about being the most hated player around - another good quality (can't see that in Gerrard or CRonaldo). So for the balance of my best XI, he's in my midfield.

Can't wait for Euro 2012. Hopefully Paul will still be around, I will then bet according to his predictions.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Howard Webb

After last night's final, I am still pissed off. Holland was in the final against Spain and it should have been a great game.

Before I go on, let me clarify these points first:
1. I am a big Holland supporter - having been born and raised there.
2. Spain deservedly won the match, they were the better team.
3. Holland can only blame Robben for not scoring.

However, I am still mightily pissed off at Howar Webb, the English referee. He brandished 15 yellow cards during the game and he never ever had the game under control. Yes, Nigel de Jong should have been sent off. But he didn't because it's the final and if you don't send him off for that challenge (intentional or not), well that just sets the tone. Webb then overcompensates by handing out yellows way to easy for the Dutch and not so much for the Spanish.

Howard Webb was the one who refereed the Spain Switzerland match and after the game the whole of Spain was furious at him. On top of that, all of the English media have been brandishing the Dutch football as thuggish and Mark van Bommel became the most hated man in football (outside of Holland of course). I'm sure those things influenced his decision making during the final, resulting in a poorer final than it could have been.

Basically he should be consistent. Do it according to the rules. You kick somebody in the chest with studs up - RED. You wave your hands asking for a car - YELLOW. The last man tries to stop an attacker with his arms - red. A shot deflected off a defender - corner.

I'm alright now with Holland losing. But I'm still pissed off at Howard Webb.