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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How To Do Well At A World Cup

Remember South Korea at the 2002 World Cup Finals? Did well, didn't they? Home advantage; some lucky decisions: yup, these things played their part. But, to my mind, the reason for South Korea's success was clever management on the part of then boss Guus Hiddink.

Realising that the South Koreans were a) awful and b) not going to play a competitive match ahead of the 2002 World Cup, Hiddink organised friendlies against the world's best, including both France and England. Thus, he managed to hone a competitive spirit and turn them into a half decent team.

The reason I bring this up now is because it looks like Mexico boss Javier Aguirre is trying to do the same thing. Mexico have already played 5 friendlies this month and they have a further three still to play ahead of the 2010 World Cup Finals.

They have already played England and have Holland, Gambia and Italy still to play. Indeed, the only reason they are playing Gambia is that their original opponents, Portugal, pulled out.

It seems to me that Aguirre is taking the World Cup very, very seriously and is attempting to turn Mexico into a team that is very comfortable playing together, as opposed to a collection of internationals with no more than a week or two training together before the tournament.

It's going to be interesting to see if he can pull it off, but I for one think Mexico might just be a surprise package at the 2010 World Cup Finals.

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posted by mark_s at 9:41 AM


Anonymous franzwa said...

I guess south African has hope than. Home field is more advantage that people think. I think if they use it, they could go far in world cup 2010

11:13 AM  

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