World Cup, Barca Still Talking Bol…Cesc, Koscielny & Win! Win! Win!

A World Cup which was expected to burst into life suffered a severe bout of flatulence yesterday. Two moments of Brazilian brilliance shone through on a day of deflated expectations following the tedious draw between Portugal and Ivory Coast. It took Ronaldo 5 minutes, 25 seconds to complete his first dive, 10 minutes to repeat the feat and get an opponent booked. Just what the World Cup needed.

The focus so far has been on avoiding defeat with few teams going outright for the opening win which would set them up for the rest of the competition. In Group G that is understandable with Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal all having realistic expectations of qualifying, caution will dominate the matches. But what is the excuse for the rest of them?

Perhaps the second round of fixtures which gets under way tonight with South Africa v Uruguay will provide more openess?

Myong-Guk Ri of North Korea became the latest goalkeeper to fluff his audition for the reportedly vacant position at Arsenal although his claims were not as definitively sunk as others. After all, conceding a goal via a gap at the near post in a big match never did Bob Wilson any harm did it?

The passion of playing for your country shone through Tae-Se Jong’s eyes, a veil of tears and a story to tell his grandchildren of how he almost scored the first of his country’s goals in what would have been their famous draw with Brazil. I wonder if the native media would have proclaimed such as a result as a victory in the same way that New York Post headline writers reflected that the USA! USA! USA! 1-1 draw with England was a win.

On the Arsenal front, despite being told once more by a club spokesman that the captain is not for sale and Gazidis apparently bragging – the term used by the Spanish media – about how once the flats are gone, the club can buy without borrowing money, Laporta still claims that negotiations are ongoing and have an air of ‘tense calm‘, a curious phrase. Possibly the only tension is in his sphincter as he waits for Rosell to run around going, Liar, liar, pants on fire, following their meeting and the subsequent one with Guardiola.

Cesc, meanwhile, spoke about the Spanish World Cup campaign and how he also is not thinking about his own future but took time to acknowledger his debt to Philippe Senderos,

If he hadn’t lent me his Teenage Fanclub CDs, I probably would be stuck listening to Michael Buble. It is only now that I appreciate all that Philippe did for me when I first moved to London.

The Swiss international should be thanked by everyone for that for no man should be trapped in that sort of hell.

Elsewhere, apparently Joe Cole is determined to play Europa League football with Manchester City or Tottenham – you know that they will fall at the first qualifying hurdle. If Wenger is really after signing Joe Cole, perhaps he should consider pulling out all the stops in the same manner that Arsenal did for Aaron Ramsey. I am sure Cole would not mind his holiday being interrupted to watch the World Cup at someone else’s expense…

Laurent Koscielny has decided that the lure of partnering Thomas Vermaelen is too much and has told Lorient that he wants out with £8.3m being just about the best fee they are going to get. His Mr20% has offered to convince Arsenal to include a sell-on clause in the contract. Whilst I am all for helping clubs smooth the way, the inclusion of such a clause at the player’s request hardly smacks of confidence that he will make the grade at The Emirates or shows commitment to the Arsenal cause. Still, if Wenger wants him, the manager’s judgement has to be trusted. After all, it is his neck on the block if things do not work out.


Arsenal Football Club has kindly donated a new home shirt (to be released on July 29th) to the winner of this question:

Which Arsenal managers have played in the World Cup Finals?

Send your entries, along with your name and address, here or to aclfcomps[AT]btinternet[DOT]com, changing the bits in square brackets, with ‘New Home Shirt‘ in the subject line, to have a chance of winning. Closing date is midnight, Sunday 20th June 2010.

Good Luck to all who enter.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 16, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 181 Comments.

  1. Feels so good to be back!

  2. I think PRN played really well. They were very organised and compact. At least they did not roll over and die as everyone expected.

    Portugal were completely out classed by the Ivorians who completely had control of the game and almost reduced the Portuguese to their half. Lack of a good finisher was the only down point to their game.

    When Fab4 keeps talking about thinking about his future. I am sure he means his future after his contract with arsenal is completed.

  3. Yes bb, but where’s your comment?

    Noticed that in a WC played hard but fair, Ronal(not the fat one, the fat-headed one)doh has asked for more ref protection. Wussy!

  4. O.K. Now I see it.

  5. Complete Hattrick! where is every body?

  6. Robinho was man of the match for me! He was at the centre of everything Brazil did, his pass for Elano was sublime AND he even tracked back when the ball was lost!!

  7. NashIsArsenal

    Have you seen how jealous Le Grove is for not getting a shirt to give away. Quite funny.

  8. “after all it is his neck on the block” I like that, you really got me loling…

  9. bit painful to see gilbert there in the world cup for brazil.don’t like criticise arsene but methinks he got that one wrong

  10. Big brovar only says first when he’s actually first. if someone else posts before him, he acts like he’s not around 😛

  11. Very reliable source

    Joe Cole to Arsenal is a DONE DEAL! This is from a very reliable source close to his camp.

  12. @budock

    It seemed that Gilberto had a close to 100% pass rate – but most if not all of them slowed play down by being behind the one he passed to. Not too giood, imo.

  13. -i

  14. Not too good, neither. Wtf does giood mean?

  15. OOOOOOOOOOer Bob Wilson…..someone remembers your howler in the Cup Final v Liverpool!

  16. Hopefully Cesc will show up big time today. That would leave Barca a mountain to climb and Arsenal in a strong driving position.

  17. Ivory coast should have won the game! Portugal was poor and Ronal Doh! was his usual self unhappy that the naughty opposition did not let him do his little tricks!

    Laporta is full of shit and everyone knows it!

  18. Teenage Fanclub?! Hilarious. Footballer in not listening to shite r&b shocker.

    Next thing I’ll find out his favourite film isn’t Scarface.

    I need a lie down.

  19. “We start watching videos of the opposition two or three days before each game. So we know, more or less, who will start for them. Of course there may be the odd change but we basically know almost all there is to know.”

    Cesc says Arsenal do not do this. Why doesn’t Arsenal prepare for their opponents? I would think watching video and breaking things down would only help us?

  20. Jonny… I think I detect some YW poetic licence in that quote.

  21. Love Gilberto, One of my favourite “below the radar” Arsenal players….but he’d lost his pace and acceleration when Wenger sold him. I saw him play for Panathanaikos v Sparta Prague a couple of (pre-)seasons back and he was relying on his intelligent reading of the game rather than his speed! Plus we had Denilson.

  22. Having watched several World cups, and even allowing for caution in the opening games,I find the whole event a complete turn off.Altitude may well come into it, but there was sufficent times to have prepared perhaps instead of pointless friendlies thrown into the domestic fixtures.I am totally convinced that the “new ball” is the major cause of the lack of control,fluid play, and ballooning shots .The germans have been using the ball since february, and they appear to have mastered the strange quirks more than anybody.For those reasons alone we(England) may well have as good a chance as anyone in this under par tournament.

    Hopefully we might get a day without another quote concerning Cesc.

  23. I don’t have a problem believing Maicon meant his goal, as it wasn’t in any way special. It is completely normal to curl the ball slightly when shooting. The same shape of shot executed from another angle would not have attracted any comment at all; and even Adidas have not been accused of developing a ball that is harder to curl from one position than another. The only amazing aspect of the goal was that the Korean keeper allowed himself to be beaten at his near post. If another team had scored Maicon’s goal, nary an eyebrow would have been raised; but when scored by Brazil, it is a moment of brilliance.

  24. An interesting fact:
    FIFA regulations stipulate that footballs must weigh between 420 (some say 410) and 445 grams. The Jabulani ball weighs 440 grams, and is thus towards the upper end of the allowed weights.

  25. PZ

    The only team I would not congratulate on scoring such a goal is Them.


  26. FIFA has shown remarkable intelligence so far in refusing to ban the vuvuzela. They are clearly aware that more people enjoy a good whine than a game of football, so they are loath to remove the foremost occasion for whining at this World Cup.

  27. …plus FIFA might have noticed the cricket world cup in the West Indies fairly recently, where the whole thing was so stripped of any local flava, that it kind of died.

  28. The Jabulani ball was used in the Swiss, Portuguese, American, South African, and Dutch leagues last season.

  29. Pz

    The broadcasters have complained more than anyone else about the vuvuzela. By my reckoning, they should be forced to turn the stadium noise microphones to maximum in the hope that it would drown the noise from the brainless turds who are commentating.


  30. I’ve hardly been aware of the vuvuzela at all – except in France’s match, when it provided the only entertainment.

  31. From Wenger re: Theo “I’ve had a little text exchange with Theo and he will bounce back. In fact I think it will make him even more determined for next season. He is a very level-headed guy and very strong.”

    Exactly. I never thought it would be a tricky piece of Wenger-management and Theo does not seem to be a difficult person to manage.

    The idea of Arsene and Theo texting each other is quite an all-round, amusing image.

  32. I find the vuvuzela quite annoying to be honest. Not because of the actual noise it makes, but because I can’t hear the atmosphere in the stadiums when watching the games.

    You just hear the same constant noise running through the game, takes the buzz out of it for me.

  33. NashIsArsenal

    Have you seen how jealous Le Grove is for not getting a shirt to give away. Quite funny.

    I see it yesterday, LOOOOL. They are truly the scum site of all Arsenal blogs.

    The most hilarious part of their site is the fact that he moderates every single comment… what is the point. If they can’t accept the majorities view, he should fack off.

  34. Read that Rosel will not offer more than 45M€ for cesc as he doesn’t want to do a florentino so I believe cesc saga will soon come to an end!

    It says also that they did a poll among socios and that they believe that he isn’t worth more! I hope cesc see it and realise they don’t really rate him as much as we do and that he would be better off with a club and fan who rate him at his real value!

    I expect them to do their bid, Ivan to refuse it and then Cesc to state that he is happy to stay at Arsenal!

  35. I thought the constant buzz was the problem.

    I’d like to think I’ve managed to zone it out, and can’t imagine what UK viewers expect the BBC to do about noise made by fans in stadiums in a different hemisphere.

    My main complaint is that the drone isn’t loud enough to obliterate Mark Lawrenson’s sneering attempts at humour. He’s such a shit, that guy.

    I mean, what the hell gives football people from this corner of Europe the right to be so condescending; North Korea have put on a better show than England so far. USA, with their unrivalled football heritage, nearly passed us off the park.

  36. Hopefully this is fin de siecle for boring England. Hoofball’s last stand before the Arsenal’s young English stars take over.

    But first they’d probably have to sack every coach from schoolboy level to the first team.


    The vuvuzela does not exactly give a party sound, how about a vuvuzela amnesty and every one handed in receives a kazoo.

    Creating a much happier sound. 🙂

  38. “My main complaint is that the drone isn’t loud enough to obliterate Mark Lawrenson’s sneering attempts at humour. He’s such a shit, that guy.”

    My thoughts also OOU, he is awful.

  39. Delia-----Block 112

    WC entertainment value nil todate, let’s hope this afternoon’s encounter raises the level of play. I suppose we get spoilt at the Emirates.
    I dare say we will have to wait until the knock out stages before the Competition gets off the ground . Meanwhile I’m off to Wimbledon next week which I hope will be a vuvuzela free zone!

  40. I read the story about Robbie Earle selling tickets he has ‘supposedly’ bought for his family and friends. Part of the story was:

    World Cup TV presenters are allowed to buy large numbers of tickets for games on the understanding that they only be used for friends and family and not passed onto unauthorised third parties.

    It’s a shame the real fans are not allowed these tickets.

  41. What a load of tripe on this website? No one blog/link that is enjoyable to read about our beloved ARSENAL? Its very sad that we have to read repetitions and exagerations concocted to raise hits count.

    Very sad indeed

  42. Goonerbeall, no one is forcing you to read it are they?

  43. 1 loose cannon

    Vuvuzela has no character at all. All matches sound the same. In the Past you would hear a variety of African drum sounds combines with chanting,dancing, responds to near misses goals and songs dedicated to a particular player, now all you hear is a flatline of a constant pathetic buzzing noise that has no meaning at all. Lets hope they do not come to premiership.

  44. Goonerbeall

    Some of the comments aren’t up to much either.


  45. Don’t worry everyone, the real La Roja are about to light up the tournament.

  46. 1 loose cannon

    one of us- Gibbs, Wilshere, Eastmond, Walcott, Afobe will be the core of the future England team.

  47. Can’t see vuvuzelas taking over the premier league…there will always be a fat bloke who will threaten to shove it somewhere if they don’t shut up.

    Clubs will be selling them to make a quick buck though.

  48. my solution for the vuvuzela noise, not the computer program, just mute the TV, you won’t have the ennoying buzzing and the horrible commentating and will be able to enjoy the match with some nice music!

  49. gunnerluc I do that too, nowt like a bit of phoenix to watch the world cup with.

  50. Nashis Arsenal

    Thanks for the update on Le Grove. Actually went to visit to see what they said (had to wash my hands afterwards though)

    They are really very funny, although I don’t think this is what they are trying to be. Those guys really think they are clever and important!

    Ah well, keeps them off the streets I suppose.

  51. I like the vuvuzela. We had one in the pub on Saturday. Pretty good for attracting ones attention from across a crowded bar. Especially if yours is the only one in the place.

    The only annoyance for me comes when you see songs being sung by the fans in the stands, but you can’t hear them singing.

    I was also interested to hear ZimPaul’s misgivings on the vuvuzela – regarding it’s design being a cheap corruption of a traditional hunting horn? Something like that… see ZP for details.

  52. Watching Honduras Chile, and co-commentator Craig Burley agreed that it was the Africans’ right to use the vuvuzelas. Can’t wait for the World Cup in Scotland, then.

  53. I agree with 1 loose cannon.

  54. I agree with 1 loose cannon, one of the enjoyable thing at the ANC is to hear all those different songs and see all the dancing, the atmosphere is just brilliant and really coulourful.

    This world cup just don’t have this feeling, I was expecting so much for the atmosphere but was just left gutted.

  55. For a World Cup in which only one of the Home Nations is participating we are being subjected to an awful lot of Welsh, Irish and Scotch talking over the coverage.

  56. More random thoughts…. what with the WC and the qualifying for the Champions League, the Tiny’s are going to be knackered half-way through the coming season.

  57. Lovely stuff now from Chile. If Honduras come and chase the game they should get picked apart.

  58. 1 loose cannon

    Limpar. I have satelite and sometimes I watch them in foreirgn languages. its much more exciting, you don’t have to understand what they say. Can you imagine Lawro shouting with excitemnet like this guy here.

  59. Chile is really good…look for them to go far!

  60. 1 loose cannon

    You might need to double click on the video to watch it outside as I can’t hear the sound on the embeded video.

  61. Ha! I don’t think Lawro could summon that much expression if he mined his entire history of emotional experience.

    Hmm… Lawro and Townsend – two Irish pundits with incongruous accents. Well… cockney and scouse… not that incongruous for Irishmen actually. Shouldn’t complain too much anyway… look at Colin Murray.

  62. 1 loose cannon

    True, they show absolutely no emotion at all they talk like robots. If anything they put a downer on everything.

  63. You boiz got it good…you should hear nigerian commentary…worst sh*t ever. The guy constantly goes…”Umm…and…ummm, and he crosses the ball to the number 10 shirt…umm, the ummm…Kaka…umm”. AT least Lawrence and Townsend speak fluent english and do a decent job of player names!!

  64. re: Gibbs, Afobe, Walcott, Lansbury Wilshere, JET etc…Not only the future English team at Arsenal, one or two of the future Brazil team too.

  65. Limpar:

    Thanks for the shout on Sanchez.
    He looks like a Player!

    There was an article on Untold Arsenal comparing the number of coaches in Germany, Holland, and England. Can’t remember what level coaches, if they were just for kids or not, but the numbers, approximately were:

    20,000 in Germany,
    15,000 in Holland
    1,500 in England.

    That’ll be the PL then,
    richest league in the world…

    Even the ECB has churned out thousands, maybe tens of thousands of cricket coaches in the past decade to compensate for the loss of playing fields, changes in lifestyle etc…it’s essential!

  66. I’m at the stadium, the vibe is great, there was a big cheer when Fabregas’ name was announced!:).
    I might need a coupla ear plugs though!:D

  67. I copied and pasted some quotes from Gilberto Silva after the PRK game.

    “The world of football must no longer expect Brazil to play in the old way and score four or five goals. That Brazil, the embodiment of the beautiful game, is dead. Hail the new Brazil that make few chances and ensure they give the opposition no chances.

    That was the message that Gilberto Silva, the former Arsenal star who now plays for Panathinaikos, proudly conveyed after Brazil’s competent but, by no means, overwhelming victory over a North Korean side making their first appearance in the finals since 1966.”

    “Despite what some people expect, that Brazil will score four or five goals, people must know that football has changed.

    “If you don’t do the right things at the right moments, you have problems. If you play a very open game you can have a problem at the end of the day and in this type of tournament, you may not have chance to recover. We must respect the game and all the circumstances.”

    In support of his argument, Gilberto pointed to the 14 matches in this tournament so far, which has seen just 23 goals. “Football has changed,” he added.”

    Sad statement for all of us. Defending has become much more sophisticated in the last 10 years. May be the pendulum will swing back at some time in the future. However, I doubt we will see any more teams like the old Brazil teams or the old Dutch teams that we so fondly remember. Hope I am wrong.

  68. Hey Finsbury, yeah, he was great fun to watch I thought. Needs to learn to be much more unselfish though.

    Come on Big Phil!

    I hope this referee has the balls to book Xavi when he inevitably throws himself to ground.

  69. Kin, the stadium looks amazing on tv.

  70. But Bill, you watch a team like that every week, don’t you?

    Dunga has his foot on the brake, but that won’t last for long. The country demands samba.

    Socrates knows:

    “Interviewer: Do you like the Brazil squad?

    S: “It is a very bureaucratic team, very conservative… they’ll have problems. There’s a new kid at Santos, Paulo Henrique, who is exceptional. He is already the best player in Brazil. He is playing amazingly well and Dunga [the coach] didn’t want to take him. He didn’t take Ronaldinho; he only chose defensive midfielders, players who mark, players who run. If Kaká isn’t playing well, the team will be badly out of kilter.”

    I: But isn’t Dunga simply being sensible?

    S: “Being sensible isn’t always the best thing. Who says that being sensible is a sign of quality? I don’t think so.”

    I: So who would you have taken?

    S: “Henrique, for a start. Ronaldinho, too. Players with creativity.

    I: Does the “sensibleness” of Dunga’s squad perhaps symbolise the fact that Brazil considers itself a more “sensible” country these days?

    S: “Dunga is a gaúcho – he is from the extreme south of Brazil – and they are the most reactionary Brazilians. His team is very coherent, in terms of coherence with his world view and his background. I understand why he has chosen the team that he has; it’s just that I don’t think it is very Brazilian.”

  71. I don’t think Dunga’s Brazil are half as negative as some commentators have been trying to make out anyway. Yes they play with 2 defensive midfielders… but that essentially releases their fullbacks to become out and out wingers. Maicon and Bastos had an extraordinary amount of possession last night. And Lucio, their centreback, completed more successful dribbles than any other player on the pitch! That all sounds pretty Brasilian to me.

  72. That’s a shocking statistic about English coaching btw, Finsbury.

  73. Nooooooo!! Big Phil!!

  74. Correction:

    There are +2,500 coaches who hold the top three UEFA qualifications in England, as opposed to 23,000 in Spain, 30,000 + in Germany….etc.

  75. Limpar:

    You are very eloquent in your rationalizations. We all hope that football goes back towards it attacking roots but it will always much easier to deny a goal then it is to score. The conclusion that defending continues to improve and “football has changed” is hard to deny. I know you do not care about American sports but all of our major sports went this direction in the last 15 years. Minor rules tweaks have help tip the balance back to the attacking side.

  76. Limpar, it is amazing.My first time at a world cup match…and I’m loving it!
    Hope Cesc comes on in the 2nd half though.

  77. I do like some American sports, Bill. I have a lot of time for the skill level involved in basketball for example, and also for it’s roots in the rather brutal Mesoamerican Tlachtli.

    I find the manufactured nature of spectacle in US sports to be very amusing indeed. So much artifice, so many phoney devices – all to conjure an illusion of drama, to give the watching nation pause… ‘the scores are tied here at the bottom of the ninth…’, ‘two points the difference as we move into overtime’… ‘the bases are loaded… he winds up… here’s the pitch’… All contrivances to force the lazy spectator to the edge of their seat, to drum up some adrenaline.

    Yes, American sports are all very well and good from afar. Just so long as they don’t bring any of that nonsense anywhere near football, we’ll all be fine.

    The rarity of goals in football is one of it’s finest features. It’s the reason why when you talk about examples of truly free-scoring teams… the same few sides will come up again and again.

    It should be hard to score. Just be thankful you’ve picked one of the few sides in recent history that excel magnificently in making it look easy.

  78. Excellent post Limpar – I agree whole-heartedly. Nice one

  79. Nice speech, LimparAssist.
    COme one Switzerland.

  80. Am i going mad or are ‘the best team in the world’ getting beaten by Switzerland???

  81. If only N. Korea had equalised yesterday. I would have been so happy…

  82. SomeRandomGunner

    this is the way to go defend with 10 go for the counter but i wonder what will happen if two teams play like that. If spain draws this match also it will be a great achievement.

  83. Oh yes. we support Attacking Football with the handbrake off.

    (Come on Spain)

  84. Obviously what we think matters to no one else. I love football more then any of the American sports, but I would like to see more reward for attacking compared with defending. You can scoff at the “casual fan” but like all sports today, football is ruled by money. The casual fans bring lots of money to the game. I suspect that if the defending dominant football trends continue that there will be some tweaks made. Time will tell.

    I hope Spain gets a couple of goals quickly and I hope Cesc gets on the pitch.

  85. Oh its spain thats playing, I feel like its Barca!

    Come on Switzerland!!!!

  86. does that mena spain is going home early froma world cup again or it is too early to say?

    Cesc will be rested for the new season! LOL

  87. I agree Bill, things like debatable offsides – giving the attacker the benefit of the doubt rather than defenders etc. Minor tweaks that could help…

    But club football doesn’t seem that defensive. I think people like Mourinho winning the CL with his dirty tactics have just made that style of football look more effective this year. Look at Barca the year before, and Bayern who got to this year’s final etc.

    This WC has just been extremely defensive (as most opening matches are), i dont think we need to worry about it getting out of hand in football as a whole.

    When Arsenal are rinsing out every year by playing free-flowing attacking football, it won’t be an issue.

  88. How didnt that go in!!!

  89. Are Spain all over them? I’m at work… 😦

  90. It was Switzerland who just hit the post Geo. Spain is trying to get the breakthrough but the swiss are defending very well.

  91. Lovely stuff, how’s Big Phil doing?

  92. cheers btw Paul N

  93. happy for big Phil keeping out the Spanish defense no less!

    At least Cesc will be fresh for the new season if they go out early!

  94. SomeRandomGunner

    Hmm it will be a good result for Spain if they draw the game.

  95. SomeRandomGunner

    Looks very much like an Arsenal vs Chelsea after 25 mins :D.

  96. that should be spanish attack LOL

  97. Sendy went off injured in the first half.
    Is it my imagination or is the atmosphere sounding great, sans Vuvuzelas, on the BBc?
    Have they added their own crowd noise?

  98. Geo:

    I agree that club football is not as defensive as the WC has been so far but I think it is clearly going in that direction. Not as fast as we have seen here and hopefully the tide will turn in the near future. The number of goals was up this year in the EPL and Chelsea scored more then any team in the last 46 years which does give hope.

  99. The Swiss look good on the counter, some decent touches and link up play.

  100. I like this swiss team. They defend properly but are in no way afraid to have a go at Spain.

  101. Is that Howard Webb?

  102. SomeRandomGunner

    Torres is totally out of touch. Could have had a hatrick.

  103. Switzerland look tired now. Not that I want Spain/Barca to win, but I can’t understand why they haven’t brought on Fabregas. Picking a hole in a solid defence is bread and butter to him – he does it every week in the PL.

  104. SomeRandomGunner

    I do not think Cesc would have done anything.
    There are 8 players in the middle just out the penalty box and the goal post. Refs have given Spain last chance with 5 mins stoppage time.

  105. Wow, no Cesc?

  106. Well, it seems we have a serious candidate in Benaglio. The guy was class in his first audition.

  107. SomeRandomGunner

    It is over.

  108. Blow wow! Spain get a lick!!

  109. Spain are still one of the favourites, but that’s taken them down a peg or two.

  110. No doity late late tackles miles away from the ball from the Swiss. No excessive grabbing, pulling and pushing (outside the penalty area!) like we see against AFC.

    To my non-football brain, it seems like classic play ‘on the counter’? Nothing new about it. The point above by Bill about tweaking regulations is not crazy. They have been happenning, and will continue. However, they could start with video replay’s and stopwatches, that would be a nice idea.

    More interestingly, the Exile is left on the bench, again! Is he not fully fit?

    Maybe some of his team mates are a little upset with him?

    I wonder why?

  111. Woooow!!!!!!!!!!!


  112. I know you shouldn’t judge a player on one game, but you can understand why AW was interested in Inler a while back – very impressive.

  113. How can Cesc not play in the whole game?

    I agree with FunGun, Cesc is brilliant at unlocking defenses. Not saying he wouldve but how many people have an eye for a pass such as he does?

    This is puzzling.

  114. well as far as afc is concerned, the less the plays, the fresher!

  115. RVP and the dutch it was always for me and Germany is about to replace Spain as my second finalist.

    Was waiting for how the first match teurned out for spain before deciding… maybe i should waut for the second?

  116. Spain get what they deserve for leaving Cesc on the bench.

  117. RVP and the dutch it was always for me and Germany is about to replace Spain as my second finalist.

    Was waiting for how the first match turned out for Spain before deciding… maybe i should wait for the second?

  118. Euro 2008 was a feast of attacking football.

    In 2004 every bloody team was playing 4-5-1 and we all thought football was going to hell, but 09-10 and 07-08 were the goal-heavy premier league seasons in the last decade or so (I only had a casual glance btw).

    I had a feeling that this WC was going to be a bit dull because of the coaches in charge of the top sides, but I don’t agree that there’s any permanent shift towards negative tactics.

    Gilberto Silva’s bound to defend his manager – and the reason he’s made these comments is because he’s probably being challenged about Brazil’s style when ever he meets the press.

  119. …the most goal heavy.

    And of course, we are dealing with a d-fense fetishist in Bill here.

  120. shaking my head at spain, y didnt cesc play……….what was the use of basquets in the team

  121. Enjoyable game and I thought the Swiss deserved to nick it. Good defending, great counter-attacking. Not bad goalkeeping too.

    Impressive Limpar at 4.12 too.

  122. Great news to come home to, Spain 0 – 1 Switzerland and Cesc gets a rest on the bench.

  123. For me that was definitely the best day of the tournament so far. Chile played some great footy in the early game, and Spain managed to lose against the Swiss. Wonderful! I wouldn’t want to wish ill on Cesc (even after all this Barca business) and probably would have felt sorry for him if he was on the pitch; but thankfully that’s not something I have to worry about! 🙂

    There isn’t a single Spanish player (barring Cesc) that I want to see do well. That goes doubly so for their Catalan contingent! Rooting for the Swiss win has been the highlight of the tournament for me, so far. Feeling for Big Phil mind. Hope he’s OK for the rest of the tournament.

  124. The world cup has really started; an upset in the 1st round.

    Now Bill will get his heart’s desire – Spain will have to be more attacking to get out of this group. No more 4-2-3-1. Why do they need two holding midfielders for the Swiss. That was an abomination.

  125. Everone hates the vuvuzela, yet every one from evert different country blows it. It comes in all the WC countries flag clolours and absolutley all fans blow it.

    How weird is that?? Everyone hates the sound and everyone wants to ban it, yet everyon buys it and blows it in matches, making themselves the horrid noise they hate…

  126. Re: Spain – Almost certainly no 4-2-3-1 for Honduras. If they can’t roll Honduras then they don’t deserve to go to the next stage.

  127. Shotta

    They would be better off dropping Busquets and bringing in Torres, replacing Xavi with Fabregas and going 4-1-3-2.

    Arseblogger summed up Xavi’s performance today on Twitter:

    Stats confirm Xavi’s DNA was 93% Djemba-Djemba today


  128. Finsbury @ 4:54:

    Video replays seem like a no brainer to me. I would also love to see the existing rules regarding tackling enforced consistantly. That would certainly help.

  129. Wow…I just saw the result, what the hell happened to Spain?

  130. Stats confirm Xavi’s DNA was 93% Djemba-Djemba today


    So much for the Barca DNA heh?

    Cesc Come Home! Am happy he wasnt in that game!

  131. YW – I only saw the 2nd half but the problem is Xavi prefers playing as a deep lying playmaker but this space is occupied by Busquets and Xabi. He is not as effective playing close to the striker. A-blogger is right, being out of position, he played like a donkey. Cesc is better playing close to the striker(s) just as he does at Arsenal.

    Now the fun has begun. This is really when the w/c gets interesting.

  132. Bill

    The only time FIFA chose to use a video replay was in the last WC final. Not on any dodgy tackles, but for a blatent headbutt. You could say that’s sensible. But why then, and never again? Very odd.
    However, I don’t want to start a fight, again, with my good friend and collegue who sits next to me, she gloriously failed the Tebbit Test sometime around 1982 (Italy won). Time to change the topic!

    So, Xavi is now offically rubbish when compared to Cesc?

    About time. Another €15M on to the price tag?

  133. Shotta

    I don’t understand having two defensive midfielders today. If Torres wasn’t fully fit then they needed more directness from midfield.

    Very pretty to watch but pass, pass, pass needs an end product. If you get it right then it is the best tactic in the world. If you get banks of four in front of you, two sitting in front of your own back four is a waste of a player.


  134. golin, speak for yourself. I really don’t understand all the moaning about the vuvuzelas. I think some people just need something to moan about. It’s just background noise that I have no problem tuning out. I don’t even notice it anymore. I also think the games are not as bad as some are suggesting. They are not representative of the highest attacking quality, but when the prize is so big, a bit of apprehension is to be expected. I’m sure things will ramp up as teams have to go for wins in later group games and in the knockout stages.

  135. Hitzfeld outfoxed Del Bosque. Putting in Hakan Yakin late in the game was a very good move by him. Inler was good. Wouldn’t mind it a bit if Arsene signed him from Udinese. He’s miles better than Melo.

    The English commentators we have on US tele are idiots. Ian Darke can do nothing but remind viewers how war ravaged and poverty stricken the African and Latin American countries are. It’s like they’re reading the script from Argentina 78′ or something. They’re so awful that I prefer the Mexican commentators, who are the worst in Latin America, over them.

  136. I find the vuvuzelas quite amusing, I mean it sounds like the sound of a million bees throughout the whole game. Its pretty kool.

    Like you Passanel, I cannot see the problem. I never realized they were “annoying” until the media started with this crap story.

  137. Yes Paul, and now everyone is jumping on the bandwagon! I’ve just seen Archbishop Tutu telling them where they can stick their criticism of the vuvuzelas and I thought good on you Des, you tell ’em!

  138. G69, what about the American commentators? No disrespect to any of the American Gooners on this site but geez, BORING!

  139. Well, well, well.

  140. No feeling for Senderos. He was crap that’s why Arsene got rid of him. Know what? He warmed the bench even at Everton.

  141. I’m usualy fond of the Spanish team; but with all those Barce-holes playing, I can only laugh at them.

  142. You’re a psychopath, Howard. You don’t have feeling for anyone.

  143. The Daily Dose Headline: “F*ck Off Howard”

  144. I feel the exact same way PZ. I wanted spain to well until all of this foolishness.

  145. Did Fabregas really criticize Arsene’s training and preparation for games? or was it taken out of context?

    Of course league games preparation is different from playing in the world cup where you normally don’t know anything about the other club. In the league you pretty much know everything about the other team you will play. I don’t see how you can compare the two?

  146. So Fabregas, today got a taste of what awaits him if he decides to move to Tapalona. Sometimes you feel a coach is bent on losing a game irrespective of the talents available to him. Basquet over Fab, and with all due respect why play two Holding Midfielders against a Swiss team.

    Lesson Learnt;Refuse to play Arsenal Stars at your own Peril!!

  147. Is Fabregas in a condition to play following the cynical manipulation by his “friends” from Barcelona? If he perceives how they have attempted to exploit him, does he want to play alongside them? What do the Spanish players who are not Barce-holes think about their World Cup preparations being disrupted? What do Fabregas’s genuine friends think about the behaviour of the Barce-holes?

  148. Senderos got injured kicking his own teammate. Crap is the word. Any Arsenal player that can’t get a game at clubs like Everton is not fit to wear the shirt. As proved by Senderos, I believe the following players can’t get games at Goodison.


  149. I believe you are an idiot Maturks (Howard)

  150. G4E, Cesc’s comments have been wilfully misrepresented in order to create a negative impression. I watched the interview – he was asked how the preparations of both coaches differed and he commented without suggesting that one method was superior to the other. I’ve seen several headlines trying to make a meal out of this, but there was really nothing in it.

  151. Thanks Passenal, I didn’t see the interview and this is why I was asking.

    I just found it hard for someone in Fabregas’ vision and understanding of the game to compare the two. I had a feeling it was a manipulation from the press to add some fuel to the fire.

    (Since the fire was dying down a bit)

  152. I see Uruguay have reverted to type

  153. I’d feel bad for SA if they go out so early. This is a game they need to win.

  154. SA are putting on some good pressure though G4E. Hope they can atleast get a draw.

  155. Oh damn!

  156. I really feel for South Africa, such a shame. A deflected goal and a penalty!

  157. The GK looked like he wanted to get his foot out of the way, I think.

  158. YW,

    I would venture the reason Del Bosque played 2 deep lying midfielders today was because he knew just how poor the spanish defense is. Ottmar knew too – and played a very defensive game ala inter to get the points.

    Del Bosque was a defender himself when he played and in the galactico period as RM manager he only played with one deep lying midfielder (Makele) but then again the back four had players like Hierro and Helguera at the helm. Puyol and Pique are average and would be exposed playing in the English league (in fact Pique couldn’t even make the Utd team!). And Ramos is a very poor defender (see how long he lasts with Mourinho – I bet the first player he buys will be Maicon!).

    That said I thought Spain created chances but just didn’t take them. Torres doesn’t appear to be match fit and Iniesta looked totally out of form. Even begs more questions as to why Cesc was on the bench.

  159. Poor South Africa!

  160. What is it with these commentators and this obsession with the fact that Forlan once played for manure? His current performances have absolutely nothing to do with slur alex. If anything, it was probably due to getting away from the stifling influence of old red nose that allowed him to express his true quality.

  161. True, i dont remember Forlan being great at United.

  162. Spot on about Forlan Passenal.

    Too bad for SA now, they need to beat France and wait on other results to go in their favor too.

  163. He cut a forlan figure at man utd.

  164. He used to look quite chap forlan.

  165. 1 loose cannon

    South Africa should collect those Vuvuzellas and bury them far far far away in the desert.
    South Africa should have benefited from having the 12 th man their own fan should be booing the shit out of Uruguay and support their team by chanting singing something like Tchabalala lalla in the tune of ” the way to Amarillo” or something like that instead all you hear is Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. They had the home advantage but did not capitalise on it.

    2 years ago I was cheering on Fabregas and Spain. Today as i started watching the game, I did not decide who to support, as I started hearing Pique to Xavi, Xavi to Iniesta, Iniesta to Laporta….. I found myself desperately supporting the Swiss.
    Can anyone get that snapshot of some Gonners holding a banner saying “Fabregas is always a Gunner”

  166. Very good point about the Vuvuzellas 1LC, what’s the point of them really? they’re unrecognized noise and do not really support the team, or any team in particular.

    Players get encouraged by the roars of their fans not their weird whistles.

    I even think drums would have been more scary to opposition teams than Vuvuzellas.

  167. 1lc, Yogi posted it earlier

  168. The twelfth man, with vuvuzuela certainly got them the point against Mexico, but clearly it wasn’t enough tonight. Had Uruguay been a bit more adventurous against France, they could have been qualified for the knockout phase by now.

  169. Hopefully he saw it too dupsffokcuf!

  170. Let’s hope so Passenal.

  171. 1 loose cannon

    Fabregas’s comments before the swiss game:
    “Here they give us much more information than they do at Arsenal, definitely.
    “At Arsenal we don’t really look at anything from the other team, we look for ourselves and that’s it.

    “Here, maybe two three days before the game, we start looking at some videos, we know more or less the starting eleven that is going to play… we know nearly everything about them.

    “You just have to have your group of friends here, you play cards, you play Playstation, you have fun. We train morning, afternoon, go to sleep early … you don’t have much time to think about it really.”

    Cesc mate your group of friends got beat by the cuckoo clock makers and they also snubed you and left you on the bench. Its about time you said something nice about Arsenal who love you more, its been a while now. Come on you can do it.

  172. “I wonder if the native media would have proclaimed such as a result as a victory in the same way that New York Post headline writers reflected that the USA! USA! USA! 1-1 draw with England was a win.”

    That really cracked me up!

  173. “Possibly the only tension is in his sphincter”

    Lappet needs to do some Kegel exercises.

    Squeezing and contracting your PC muscles, holding this for a few seconds, then release. Repeat around 5-10 times.

    Its quite easy, in fact im doing it right now.

  174. USA drawing 1-1 with England is a win for us. Now there’s a good chance we can win the group if we score more goals, and therefore avoid that round-of-16 clash with Germany.

  175. 1lc, if you are in the UK, watch the interview on the BBC online and you will see that there was no criticism of Arsenal in his comment. The papers have chosen to give it that spin in order to make mischief.

  176. Fab.should not be sold he is still important for Arsenal

  177. 240.202

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