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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Reflections on Yesterdays Matches

Well, I guess I should start with England vs Algeria. But luckily - due to a winning combination of drunkeness and boredom - I really can't remember anything about it. I think there was the occasional pass that actually reached another England player, but I might have dreamt that. I do remember a forward run, but that could have been Algeria. Let's move on from the paucity of England's performance to the paucity of the refereeing in the Germany v Serbia match.

Referee Alberto Undiano's decision to send off Miroslav Klose for clipping Dejan Stankovic's heel was an absolute shocker and, in effect, turned the game for Serbia.

That is without even mentioning the 7 additional yellow cards he handed out for a variety of offences, including - I'm pretty certain - tackling another player, looking slightly scary and playing in defence.

Seriously, if Undiano gets to referee another match at this World Cup Finals, it would be a scandal. Almost as much as a scandal as England's appalling performance against Algeria. But luckily, I've repressed most of my memories of that one.

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posted by mark_s at 11:05 AM 1 comments

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Highlights So Far

Did anyone else see North Korea's press conference on Monday? For me this has been the highlight of the World Cup so far because, Germany aside, the standard of the matches has been dismal.

It started with a question from a journalist about North Korea.

The response from coach Kim Jong-hun? :

"There's no such country named North Korea.’ Next question."

And it got better. When questioned about naming a striker as the third goalkeeper, Kim Jong-hun tried to claim that the player - Kim Myong-Won - had originally been a goalkeeper and that he decided that he wanted to be a goalkeeper again just before the World Cup Finals.

However, a Guardian journalist who saw them train confirmed that only two players were wearing the goalkeeper's jerseys, while Myong-Won was wearing the same strip as the rest of the outfield players.

I wonder what the 'fearless leader' would have made of that.

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posted by mark_s at 9:44 AM 0 comments

Monday, June 14, 2010

What D'Ya Think Of It So Far?

Legendary British comedians Morecambe and Wise used to have a running gag that went something like this:

Ernie Wise (talking about the show): 'So, what do you think of it so far?'
Eric Morecambe: 'Rubbish!'.

And, frankly, that's how I feel about the 2010 World Cup Finals so far. I'm writing this before Italy play Paraguay, but so far only the opener between South Africa and Mexico and last night's demolition of Australia by Germany have really entertained.

Most of the football so far has been dour, lacking in either technical skill or entertainment value. The non-contest between South Korea and Greece has been the ultimate example of this, but France v Uruguay wasn't far behind.

Surely, when international teams reach the pinnacle of their aspirations, they could at least contrive to play like it.

Anyway, that's my opinion. I'd be interested in hearing yours.

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posted by mark_s at 5:42 PM 1 comments