Well that’s gonna be different! Cool in Russia, spread over thousands of miles. Very hot in Qatar, small nation. Football spreads its influence further. England sabotages itself before the vote, in several ways. Corruption allegations, but then FIFA reports to no-one, so who could do anything about it anyway.
Unexpected result. Good perhaps for spreading the football market further.
I live in New Zealand but spent the weeks of the World Cup in London. It was a while ago and I was just thinking back on it. I know it was hard for English people to have such disappointment from the England team. But for me it was 30 degree heat, spending the evenings in a sports bar watching wall to wall football on big screens. English pubs, English beer. It was bliss. And I met some great people too. For me, it was one of my favourite World Cups.
But, I wish that the Netherlands had played the final with a different approach. On the other hand it’s also great that Spain won with such skillful football.
They did raise their game, they could have won the World Cup, but the Netherlands disappointed many people with cynical tactics and fouls. It did its job. The aim was to disrupt the Spanish game flow, and it worked. But it is not the way people want the World Cup won.
For Spain to win the World Cup, with flowing, skillful passing and technical skill, is really great for the world game. The winners of the World Cup inspire millions of players and coaches in the way they play and coach. So this will create more respect for skilled players, rather than for strength or aggression. It will create more of those kind of players.
I had both teams as teams I was following, in the final, and it was difficult to choose. So I am happy. I spent the final in a bar with dozens of Spanish, sitting at a table with 2 Dutch women and a Dane. My table was unhappy. The rest of the bar was wild! Lol!
Most neutrals will expect Spain after their semi-final performance. And, if the Netherlands don’t step up a gear, it’s likely. But if they do step up, they are the most incisive of the two teams.
Spain build the attacks beautifully but indirectly, Netherlands are more capable of cutting straight through to score. And, if they do step up, I think they will win. If they don’t, and Spain can repeat the beautiful football of the semi-final, it will be a well deserved win for them.
Let’s make a forecast, for fun.
Netherlands 3 Spain 2
I had two teams left in the World Cup. – And they are both in the final! Fabulous display of technique, passing and football artistry by the Spanish against a solid defence. Their technical skill is so strong they confidently pass the ball to a team mate who is quite closely covered knowing he will control it quickly and pass it on. It allows them to play in a way most teams cannot.
So, my 4 teams England, New Zealand, Netherlands, Spain. 2 in the final, 1 undefeated but out (New Zealand), and the only disappointment, England’s performance.
The final should be great, but these things often don’t work out when it is so important. And who will I want, and expect to win- Netherlands.
I watched the match in bar with lots of fans from both. Uruguay fans were great celebrating their goals, having fun, but most impressive was joyous singing and chanting AFTER they had just lost. Just the celebration of football.
That IS the way to take defeat!
I started this World Cup with 4 teams I was supporting. England, New Zealand, Spain and the Netherlands. If I take a cold look at recent matches, Germany look the best bet. But, I think the Netherlands are going to win.
Most improved of my 4 teams – New Zealand. Great stuff!
I was in London, Oxford Street. I was in Selfridges having Sushi, then I heard commotion outside, I had no idea there was a Gay and Lesbian procession on. Although maybe the guy who passed me on the stairs in Selfridges in silver skin tight hot pants might have tipped me off. All quite funny.
Anyway, the road was blocked by the parade so I went back in to Selfridges and saw a sign to the Nike Stadium. I walked down the dark stairway and ended up in a room full of screens showing football. Not long after that I was there, in the basement of Selfridges, watching the Argentina Germany match, with a couple of hundred Argentinians and Germans. Bizarre place to be but it was good.
They played well but as I watched it, I reflected on how common it is that when a game turns, like when it turned in Netherlands favour, -that the side on top seems to get luckier. The ball seems to fall for them and they win all of the 50/50 balls.
In this post I was trying to be positive. Why? Because the build up to the match was so negative. So much talk about previous failures, penalties. Maybe it’s because I have been living away for so long, but I could not understand all that negative talk. It must have affected the players. They even asked them questions about penalties in interviews. “Will you miss like we always do?”
If you were walking along the top of a wall, what’s most likely to make you fall?- Someone shouting at you “Oh my god don’t fall off that wall!”.
Well that’s what was done to the players “Oh my god don’t lose to the Germans, it always happens!”. So you could see the players freezing with fear when it started to go against them, they were fragile. Capello is an experienced successful manager but he can’t beat an overwhelming fearful media attitude.
The Germans did not have to deal with media like that. It made a difference.
Tonight we will see Maradona who has inspiringly being trying to bring out the devil in Messi, to raise his international game. It seems to be working.