World Cup 2010, World Cup Football

No suffering watching the Kiwis

I suffered watching England in the middle of the Hong Kong night.  Then I had the joy of not having to be up at night to watch New Zealand play Italy. New Zealand time it was starting at 2am. But I watched it in London at a great sports bar with giant screens. The best way. The Kiwis raised their game again, and deserved the draw against the odds. It was heroic football, and they could have won it even. We have seen a lot in New Zealand of Ricki Herbert who also coaches the Wellington Phoenix who play in the Australian A league. And they have been getting amazing average 17,000 attendances which is better than many UK clubs.

With the New Zealand team, it’s a combination of great team organisation and tremendous team spirit! -Something the big teams could learn from with their temperamental stars.

World Cup 2010, World Cup Football

Hong Kong England World Cup no no!

So I was on a stopover in Hong Kong. Just time to catch up some sleep after the flight from New Zealand. A chance to feel fresher before the second leg to London. The sleep was important. But, in the middle of the Hong Kong night, about 3 am, England were due to play Algeria. If I watched it my sleep would be 3 hours, then the football, then 1 hour before traveling again.

Any other team and I would have been grateful for the sleep. But it was England in the World Cup. So I set an alarm, and struggled awake to watch it live.

To watch what? Probably the most frustrating, boring and disappointing England game I have seen in many years!

I should have stayed asleep.

World Cup Football

World Cup- My teams

I have 4 teams in the World Cup Finals. All based on time spent in those places.  England of course, best chance ever (well since 1966). Spain – full of stylish players, and European Champions. Netherlands, always a chance, and of course New Zealand, well success for them will be qualifying for the second round. I reckon I have a good chance of getting 3 teams through the group stage.

Now, should I place some bets??

Football, World Cup Football

Football is the best sport?

Football is a simple game. I think it is the most entertaining sport. What makes it so good? The Premier League is big business, the World Cup is enormous business, which over 1 billion of the world population will typically watch. People say Football brings even warring countries or countries with huge political tension, to play against each other, peacefully. What is is that does this?

It’s fun and easy for people of all shapes and sizes to play. You can play even you are not that fit. It’s a team sport, so you share the load with others.

It doesn’t fight gravity! You don’t have to pick the ball up off the ground to play.

The rules are easy to learn and understand, the only difficult rule is offside, which is not that hard to explain. Rugby, by comparison has got so complicated that you can hear the referee explaining to players what rules are applying during the match!

It flows, it does not stop much. I took a rugby fan who had never seen live football, to a football match, and he was amazed at how continuous the play was.

It’s athletic, skillful, and the movements of the ball are impressive. Skills of the great players are stylish and they look normal, just fit. The players don’t have to develop bulky physiques or ultra thin, just a range on normal.

It requires so little equipment (“jumpers for goalposts”, lol!), that anyone can play it, even when they don’t have a proper ball.

Any climate, surface, or environment can be used.

Those that run the sport, whatever egos are surely involved, make few mistakes in rule changes and the only questionable big challenge is whether TV should be used to help important referee decisions (they could do this).

It’s the people’s sport, loved across the world. The coming World Cup this year will once again display this.

Football, World Cup Football

Thierry Henry and Ireland, is it that hard?

Thierry Henry’s handball cost Ireland a place in the World Cup, the biggest event in Football. No wonder they are angry, and a lot is aimed at Henry. But what about FIFA? I watch Rugby regularly and questionable trys are put to the TV official who can review what happened in slow motion and help get the decision right.

Is it that hard for Football? It’s not even necessary to put the decision onto the already pressured referee. Just give the coaches of each team a certain number of dispute calls, and maybe an extra one for any goal in the last five minutes. The disputes could go to TV for decision. In the big games there are millions of dollars at stake and TV is always there. It is antiquated and backward looking to not use it. It just makes referees into scapegoats. Managers and coaches make mistakes too, but a referee not being able to see all corners of a pitch during a high speed match leads to mistakes that he cannot help. Technology can stop this. It is not that hard to do. Those in power are just refusing to.

As Trapattoni is indicating here, where is the leadership from Sepp Blatter on this?
(Video and Arsene Wenger’s wise reaction on my fanpage)