World Cup 2010, Day 8

Well, what’s left to say? The U.S. got totally hosed by an in-over-his-head referee.  The wave-off of the winning goal was only the most ridiculous of a passel of ridiculous calls made by that idiot. Although I’m clearly biased, I think even neutral observers would agree that the U.S.-Slovenia game was easily the most exciting of the Cup to date.  End-to-end action, big-time momentum shifts, asinine officiating–the game had it all. The Yanks should have impressed the world with its second-half determination and verve, and I have to think that that will carry over into the Algeria game.

And in today’s dog-bites-man story, England choked. What a horrible display. Rooney was a non-factor, the defense continues to appear slow-footed, and Gerrard and Lampard still haven’t figured out how to work together in midfield. If Slovenia plays like it did versus the U.S., the Three Lions will be bounced out of the Cup and will no doubtedly be crucified by Fleet Street.

Other Cup notes:

  • How horrible a coach is Raymond Domenech? In a game crying out for a single goal, he neither started nor subbed Karim Benzema or Thierry Henry–and kept that stiff Nicolas Anelka in for far too long. He’s coaching France for the last time–his successor has already been named–but you think the French Federation might be wondering if they should just cut him loose tonight?
  • What happened to the offense of Germany?  And will it return?
  • By my count, only one Western Hemisphere team has lost so far–and that was Honduras’s loss to Chile, a fellow W. H. compadre.
  • The officiating has generally been good so far–except for the cards.  Cahill (straight red), Klose (two yellows), Findley (yellow), Khune (straight red)–all were exceptionally ridiculous and will have a major impact on the remaining games.
  • The U.S. got hosed.
  • Argentina has won twice, but they’ve got a big problem on defense–one can’t avoid the sense that the Albiceleste thinks it beneath. Talk about a team taking on the personality of it coach. . . .
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2 Responses to World Cup 2010, Day 8

  1. George says:

    Hey Larr,

    Your family won’t read your blog? Shocker! I’m watching the Germany-Serbia match this morning with my boys (they’re uninterested, but at 13 months they’re allowed) while we await the girls (4 years and 30something) to get ready upstairs. Upon their descent they immediately demand that Dora the Explorer be put on. *Sigh* Three of my favorite teams played today (I hope to catch the Dutch tomorrow before Saturday morning cartoons begin) and all three results were disappointing. I really was rooting for the Brits (based on the unfounded notion that they would have a better chance of advancing in the round of 16 than the US – which I now must reconsider) but once it reached the 80 minute mark, I saw the possible silver lining to the day for us in the wake of our draw – a scoreless EN-AL draw.) Beat Algeria and we’re in the next round? Today we were robbed of that, but hopefully we can carry our last 45 mins to the next 90 mins. As for the horns… I honestly thought that I heard more singing today, especially during the German and English matches (of course there were probably 60,000 Brits in that venue to drown out the buzz.) At some point, my friend, I think it would be cool to watch some matches together.

    • Larry says:

      Hey Doc George–

      My problems have less to do with child-like Spanish investigators than with old age: I forgot to DVR the Japan-Netherlands game this morning!! But, of course, I’ve got the Den-Cam and Aus-Gha games: BFD. Speaking of which: what a stupid play by the Danes at the 10 minute mark–a ridiculous giveaway compounded by leaving one of the world’s greatest strikers unmarked at the penalty spot?? It’s literally true that I could’ve scored on that play.

      Imagine my surprise when I found out this afternoon that Nicolas Anelka was “sent home” after criticizing Domenech (apparently in the locker room at halftime of the Mexico game–hence his replacement at the half). Look, Anelka is one of those guys who scores almost at will in the Premier League and then chokes it up when playing for France–but if the French sent home every guy who criticizes Domenech, they won’t have anyone left to play South Africa! And it’s not like he doesn’t deserve the criticism–as I noted in my post, he might well be the worst coach in the Cup (and when one of your competitors for that title is Maradona, that’s quite an accomplishment).

      I would love to get together to watch a game or two—this week is tough, as Amy is graduating on Thursday and we’ll have family in the house on Wednesday; and my Summer-I classes finish up this week as well. So maybe Saturday or Sunday next week??

      Viva l’Oranje!!

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