Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Final Four

Four are left, three beautiful Europeans and a gutsy outsider South American.

Apart from just watching some brilliant teams play do-or-die soccer, the significance of day two of the Quarter Finals was that Jacob and I got to find out who would be the teams we will see live in Durban on the 7th.

Apart from our Socceroos scarves, I have accumulated just two. I bought a German scarf early on in reverence for the team that beat our own so comprehensively and beautifully. Later I bought an Argentina scarf as I succumbed to Maradona's cool and charm. So we negotiated, and I wore the Argentina scarf and Jacob wore Deutschland.

The organised collective defeated the reliance on flair. And Jacob gets the Germany scarf for the Semi.

What really stands out about the Germans is their apparent ability to not just have shots and get some of them in, but two of the four goals were a complete defeat of Argentina's defences. That is, they passed and dribbled their way all the way in to within feet of the goal before the shot. I just haven't seen much of that at this cup.

When it comes to Spain, who barely won the game against Paraguay, their control and passing is sublime, but the ability to actually defeat a defense is what they lack.

So for my money Germany is the only squad at this tournament who has demonstrated a complete mastery of the game in every part of the pitch.

The Irish curse was fulfilled and the Nike curse was fulfilled. The only living god at the tournament, whose team had the privilege of being kissed by a god before entering the pitch, is out, humiliated 4:0 by the masters. And the other random factors have been largely sorted too.

The Vuvuzelas have become background noise, however unfortunate. The ball has been masterd and corrected for. There are no teams who have not had time to prepare, who lack top level gametime, or who are not dealing with any foreign conditions. The four teams have played five top level games each in perfect practice conditions for the competition head.

So The Netherlands will defeat brave Uruguay, Germany will defeat the Spaniards (to my peril I am again ignoring the M&Ms), and, I believe, Germany will win the finals. Third? I think Uruguay will have more to play for, but who knows.



Anonymous JoshTov said...

Looks like your predictions were slightly off! Germany simply ran out of steam against a very well organised Spanish side. Nonetheless it's easy for me to write with the benefit of hindsight. Germany did look fantastic against Argentina.

July 08, 2010 9:55 pm  
Anonymous Liam said...

Sounds like you're having fun. Well the blog hasn't been updated which is a good sign. Thoughts, though, are you, like some people, just a little over tiki taka? Death by a thousand passes as Barry Glendenning put it.

July 09, 2010 1:01 pm  

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