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World Football + World Cup 2006 Pre-Thread

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yes, I know it's a year until the world cup, but with all of the little cups this summer we're getting a nice preview of things to come. The absence of my usual winter staple (hockey) allowed me to watch a lot more world football than I usually do.

I was very excited with the USA - Cuba result last night (4-1), in that it showed our boys can rebound from a flat start against a lesser team content with a draw. This didn't used to be the case. I think USA will make it to the quarterfinals again.

I think the semifinalists will be England, Germany, Brazil, and Ukraine. Obviously, the draw might not let this be possible, but I think this would also result in the most interesting semis and finals. Ukraine is the wild card, but they have a lot of talent up front even without Shevchenko. Germany is the home nation, and I would expect them to make some tactical changes between now and then to address their recent inability to defend. Their defense was really unimpressive in the Confed cup, but I expect it to mature in a year's time, considering that none of the defensive first-team is older than 22. There's nothing to say about Brazil other than the fact that they have a dominant team that usually underperforms in Europe. I would love to see a final between Brazil and England, who has easily the most stacked midfield of all the national teams, and by then will hopefully have relieved the aging Beckham with the more exciting Shaun Wright-Phillips. And as much as I can't stand John Terry, I hope he can dish it to that punk Ronaldinho as was the case in the Champions League series between Chelsea and Barcelona. You've heard it from me first: Kaka will be bigger in 2006 than Ronaldinho.
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post #2 of 6
Quote:
I would love to see a final between Brazil and England, who has easily the most stacked midfield of all the national teams, and by then will hopefully have relieved the aging Beckham with the more exciting Shaun Wright-Phillips. And as much as I can't stand John Terry, I hope he can dish it to that punk Ronaldinho as was the case in the Champions League series between Chelsea and Barcelona. You've heard it from me first: Kaka will be bigger in 2006 than Ronaldinho.

I would love to see that too...but I would be torn because those are the two teams I follow religiously.

Brazil has "underperformed" in Europe...except for winning the World Cup in Stockholm that is right?

They have the most talented attack in the world in the last 20 years. Their defense is suspect (Roque Jr. is HORRIBLE). Adriano is the next world superstar if he isn't already....he's so good he may push Ronaldo out of the starting line-up. Ronaldinho, Kaká, Robinho, Adriano, Ronaldo. Can you imagine a fresh Ronaldo or Adriano coming fresh as a sub? Awesome.

I am not so sure I share your optimism about England's midfield. Although it is a marked improvement over the last world cup's. Gerrard, Lampard, SWP. And TErry is good but overrated. And in that series in the CL between Barça and Chelski, Barça proved to be a far better team. Chelski was embarrassing in Barcelona and at home they would've been eliminated by them had it not been from a TErry goal in the dying minutes with the signature Mourinho play: block the goalkeeper illegally from a corner kick. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch his credit card commercial.

I'm a huge Liverpool fan. Screw Chelski.

---------Liverpool 2005 Champions of Europe---------

Re: the other powers. Germany is at home and they will be tough to beat. England will be very strong. Argentina will be strong aswell. Spain will disappoint (what's new?) Italy will stink again. The US could go very far. We have a very solid team. I don't know what to think about both Holland and France. They both have young players who need more mileage.

There won't be a whole lot of good teams in the next world cup. Good chance for England and Brazil and Germany.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Gilsch
Brazil has "underperformed" in Europe...

When I refer to underperforming in context with Brazil, I refer to anything other that total domination.

As for the Barcelona - Chelski games, I must have watched a different series. I saw some matches that were very two-sided. It was eerily similar to the Champions League final that I'm sure you saw. In the end, I'd argue that Barcelona was extremely ineffective at Stamford Bridge, and that any disparity in perceived posession time and crispness in passing can be chalked up to the fact that Premiership football is always more terse than the kind from the continent. (It seems like play is always more emphatic in countries where the weather is cold.) Barcelona's offensive progress was pithy aside from the individual talents of Ronaldinho, which I felt were contained about as much as they could be.
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post #4 of 6
You guys missed a team that has been rising up in European football: Czhek Republic. Watch out for them. They play good football.
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
When I refer to underperforming in context with Brazil, I refer to anything other that total domination.

What is "total domination"? Don't recall ever seeing that in world cup soccer. I wouldn't even call arguably the best team ever assembled (Brazil's 1970) "dominant". By the way, didn't Brazil just win the Confederations Crap er Cup in Germany?
Quote:
As for the Barcelona - Chelski games, I must have watched a different series. I saw some matches that were very two-sided. It was eerily similar to the Champions League final that I'm sure you saw.

Not quite. The CL final brought us the biggest comeback in CL history. Didn't see anything of the sort in the Barça-Chelski series.
Quote:
In the end, I'd argue that Barcelona was extremely ineffective at Stamford Bridge, and that any disparity in perceived posession time and crispness in passing can be chalked up to the fact that Premiership football is always more terse than the kind from the continent.

What's "innefective"? Creating chances and not finishing? I would agree...but so what? They were creating chances away from home...something Chelsea did little of compared to Barça. Here's a tidbit from a match report I just Googled.
Quote:
However, after a second half of unrelenting thrills and spills, with Petr Cech performing heroics to hold Barcelona at bay and luck on their side, the inspirational Terry had the final say.

Hmmm, the Chelski goalie performing heroics and Chelski with luck on their side. Sorry, but in CL football when the visiting team scores two goals on the home team, and then the home team holds on for dear life with their goalie needing to "perform heroics"....that's not being innefective as much as it is being unlucky.

And who cares about crispness in passing? They don't award points for that. And yes, Premiership footie is played at a faster pace and is less technical and more physical which makes it greatly entertaining...but the CL is continental football. If Chelski couldn't make the adjustment-even though they did go through- they have no one else to blame. Maybe next year after another £100 million in new players.
Quote:
(It seems like play is always more emphatic in countries where the weather is cold.) Barcelona's offensive progress was pithy aside from the individual talents of Ronaldinho, which I felt were contained about as much as they could be.

WTH is "emphatic" play? You're using terms I have never heard in footie....and I follow it very closely and have for years. And your last statement is way off the mark. Chelsea were scored on twice at home(could've easily been 4 or 5). They needed a "heroic" performance from their goalie and luck on their side to go through because of the Barça pressure. I guess you really were watching another series.

Gene Clean: I agree. I thought they should've won Euro 2004. The Czech Republic -Holland match in October-I think- should be a good one!
post #6 of 6
England will fail again. Argentina is still one of the stongest teams in the world right now, even though they were run over by brazil. Japan has also impressed me lately.
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