World Cup Round-Up With No Free Spirits & Ramsey

This World Cup may yet prove to be a problem for Wenger although France’s exit has reduced his psychological workload by one. For whilst he has to lift Abou Diaby, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna – we’ll assume Gallas is someone else’s problem – Samir Nasri will feel a whole lot better for missing out on the French debacle, his spirits lifted as he realises the great escape he had from Domenech’s lunacy.

The manager capped it off by apparently blaming Carlos Alberto Perreira for the red card shown to Gorcuff in the first half, refusing to shake his hand at the final whistle. That image is going to be the lasting one of his reign, the ignominy of this World Cup exit on a par with that in South Korea / Japan 2002. Perhaps this was worse for the strike which took place.

The goals conceded by France were symptomatic of their problems this summer. Hugo Lloris knocked about €10m off his price tag with an absolute gem of a howler in totally missing the cross for the South Africans first whilst the whole of the French back four will never want to see the second again. Ever. Not even to see what went wrong.

The South Africans were left to rue wayward finishing in the second half, chances squandered that would have rendered Malouda’s consolation goal irrelevant. They became the first hosts to exit at the group phase, a not unexpected outcome given the nations they were drawn with although that is of scant comfort to their supporters.

Their regrets may well match those of the Nigerians. Yakubu’s miss is horrendous, perhaps getting worse every time you see it, and proved to be extraordinarily costly. Had he scored and the match finished 3 – 2, they would be looking forward to facing Uruguay in the Round of 16, instead of packing their cases for summer holidays to begin.

Greece were true to type with a dour display, creating sporadic danger but lacking conviction. Otto, the seventh Marx brother, at one point waved his team forward, realised that he was confused over the direction they were attacking and waved them all back again. All he needed was a greasepaint moustache and eyebrows, cigar to hand, for the episode to be complete.

Whilst this has dominated the World Cup, the English laughter at France’s discomfort may yet prove hollow. So desperate are the FA for England to progress that they have given the team an all-red kit to wear, one that the Daily Mail took great delight in telling the world, England have never lost in. Well, except the home defeat to Brazil before Euro96 but you see, that did not count because it was ‘wine’ colour – dark red to you and me – and it had a blue collar. Well, that’s alright then.

Arsene observed that England need to express themselves to gain the required win tonight:

I think England at the moment is not at their best but they still should go through. They looked inhibited against Algeria and they played against a team that tried to defend very well. I don’t know if they peaked in qualifying and certainly they need to play with a little bit more freedom. But any team who does well at the World Cup, none of them peaks in the group stage.

The Sun reckons he was demanding they would play with ‘free spirit‘. Sadly for this nation, the only free spirit English players are interested in is the one that comes as a freebie in their local bar. There has been enough shame dumped on football by drunken antics of members of this squad for Arsene to know better than that.

The team I would put out is:

James; Johnson, Dawson, Terry, A Cole; Barry; Lampard, Gerrard, J Cole; Rooney, Defoe

There is no place for either of the ‘lumps’ up front nor for the failed wide men of Lennon and Wright-Phillips. Dawson has had a better season than Upson with Ferdinand and King’s absences keeping Terry in the team.

This World Cup is reminiscent of 1990; two turgid draws following by an equally turgid win in the final group match. I’d settle for that this afternoon just to get the group phase out of the way. A rousing performance and handsome win would go down equally well, and be preferrable, but qualification is all that matters right now.

Their potential opponents in the second round will be known this evening in the tightest of the groups. Any two of the four in Group D can qualify. Australia may need to wipe the floor with Serbia to retrieve the goal difference deficit but potentially they can go through.

Their cause may be aided by a comfortable German win over Ghana but even that cannot be taken for granted. Ghana has performed most admirably of the African nations, although their lack of finishing may yet prove costly. I suspect that when the final whistle goes, Germany and Serbia will occupy the top two places.

Nicklas Bendtner will be ‘distraught’ if Denmark fail to beat Japan, a result which should happen and give them the runners-up spot in their group, a second round place against Paraguay is not the toughest of matches for either side at this point in the competition with potential quarter-finalists being Chile or Portugal. The route to the final on this side of the draw appears less arduous.

Aaron Ramsey provides the only Arsenal news worth talking of this morning with Dean Saunders telling the world that he has started running again. Ramsey that is, not Saunders, with only the pin in his leg to be removed. That would seemingly put him on course for an Autumnal return to the first team squad which can only be considered good news. Oh, and despite ‘Appy ‘Arry’s insistence, it seems Joe Cole is not going to Manchester United. Which must have dampened ‘Arry’s spirits somewhat.

Which is a good way to end a post: Tottenham upset with Arsenal having good news. Now, C’mon England to finish the day on a high.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 23, 2010, in Arsenal. Bookmark the permalink. 133 Comments.

  1. i don’t think Germany will have it easy against Ghana, i predict a Ghana upset, and my home country to fly the flag for Africa

  2. YW, now that France are out of the w/c, do we expect AW back or will he continue with his meadia work in South Africa?

  3. French defence looked exactly like Arsenal’s. Except Sagna, both Gallas and Clichy showed the weakness of the Arsenal’s defence with Clichy allowing the South African forward to beat him for the second.

    Unlike the era of Vieira and Henry, the current Frenchie players at Arsenal are the main cause of the club’s downward trend. No desire, average competence and cabalism has become the life of the new Frenchie click.

    Its time to look inside England especially in the mid table clubs and the championship to look for players. The Frenchie players have also become as expensive as the English, evidenced by the price of Nasri and the ‘difficult to pronounce’ new Frenchie defender at Lorient.

    Arsene should begin to throw out his average countrymen and the foreign mercenaries and buy English.

    Winning one WC on home soil don’t make you a great football nation. England did same.

  4. Hhhmmm!! There is one pag and 4 holes, circular, triangular, square and rectangular, so far, the pag has refused to go in any of square, rectangular and triangular…… Welcome to the Emirates Joe Cole!!

  5. kukayagunner

    Its pretty irrelevant, he will return when the players return from holiday. Wenger is working on a signing or 2 at the World Cup anyways!

  6. BB’s Imap idle client must be really idle tonight?

  7. And a very good f*ck off morning to you Howard.

  8. come on ghana,come on algeria,come on africa

  9. Oh! Is it true what I’ve heard? Colin Lewin has taken up a huge loan with his income as security, for some reason, the banks think he will be very busy come next season!!

  10. We cannot judge the performances of the 4 Arsenal players (soon to be 3) while playing in a team which was organised by Domenech.

    How selfish on the ball was Ribery by the way!

  11. I expected more from the French for some reason.. ohh well, at least our lads can go on their holidays and come back sooner. Wenger must have told them to play poorly before the game!

  12. I have to agree with Maturks regarding the Arsenal players performance yesterday. Clichy was true to form, had a pretty decent game with the customary lapse in concentration thrown in. Diaby I though was quite poor his passes hardly finding team mates, and altough the goal was primarily lloris’s fault Diaby was the one who was suppose to be marking the attacker who scored he should have done a much better job then he did. Lastly, when the hell did Sagna learn how to cross, he had some good deliveries into box which more then he did for us the whole season!!!

  13. james mc daid

    they did not play poorly,that was them at their best.

  14. On the subject of the French players going on strike. Can we assume Evra got the idea from his Man IOU team-mate, Gary Neville?

  15. If that was them at their best we would have been relegated last season spud boy

  16. james mc daid

    you would know a lot about being a boy,boy.

  17. Ramsey’s progress is good news, strange also as I just asked Yogi the other day when the lad will be back. I doubt we can put him through a full pre-season so soon after the injury, so we may have to wait until december time to see him pick up an Arsenal shirt once again.

  18. Domenech is far too gentle a charcter to handle the scum in the French national team, but I think he’s managed this situation very shrewdly. He obviously realised well before the World Cup started that the bad attitude of some of his players made humiliation in the tournament inevitable. He must also have foreseen the consequences of this humiliation: the French public and French media would look for a sacrifice, and would settle immediately on the manager, while the deeper problems in the team would be swept under the carpet. Domenech therefore decided to announce his retirement before the tournament started. This would have a double effect. First, he would no longer make a suitable scapegoat, since he could not be forced to resign. Second, the reduction in his authority would tempt the rogue elements in the French squad to make a move. I doubt he could have foreseen the incredible stupidity of Evra and co. They wandered into the trap, and for several days they didn’t even realise they had been caught. They thought they could just pass the blame on to the manager, as they had always done before. Only now are they beginning to understand the reality of their situation. Anelka, indeed, has kept silence: his international career is over; but Malodour and Evra have begun to try to disentangle themselves from the consequences of their actions. Too late. Many of the ugly secrets of the French squad will be revealed in the coming weeks. Domenech, meanwhile, has done a noble service for French football, without having to make accusations himself.

  19. Today is the day! Hopefully everything will be great today.

  20. I like your theory, Poliziano. It might very well be true.

    Maturks and co, please do not compare the performances of the French national team to Arsenal. Two completely different things entirely, especially given the state of the French squad. And I’d wait until England qualify before I start recommending ‘buying English’ as so far they have not been any better.

    Stop bashing the (Arsenal) players you claim to support. Exactly what do you have against the French anyway?

  21. As a manager Domenech couldn’t control the French players personalities and he had no respect from the players.

    This is not solely his fault, we know many players have bigger pay packets and bigger egos than common sense, but as a manager of such a nation with so many players in the top leagues he must be able to handle that.. they were expected to do well, be professional (at least) and represent their country. Many of these players played 4 years ago at a World Cup Final so they know what it takes. So the players are to blame, and the manager is hugely to blame for not handling the situation.

    Dropping Nasri and Benzema just because of their personalities proves his incompetence as the manager of France. Its hard to see where they go from here, as I imagine more bad press and revelations will come from the events in the World Cup

  22. Maturks

    There’s no place for such provincialismin our game.

  23. @maturks

    wats with the foriegners dig.. it doesnt matter which country you are from as long as u fight for the club.. a la .. drogba, essien, vidic, van der saar etc..

  24. We need to switch from that french lot to more players from South America and Spain. Although my heart knows he’s gone, please god we don’t lose Cesc else it will put us back at least 2 years of rebuilding.
    If we had won a trpopy of two in the last six years then perhaps not only would Cesc have stayed but he may tempted his colleagues e.g. Torres, Villa etc to join our cuase. Instead sorry but wenger has blown it by choosing to mostly go shopping in ‘Aldi & Lidl’ rather than getting the cheque book out for some proven high class talent. Sort it wenger or else no man is greater than the club!!

  25. Gunster – those players wouldnt come to arsenal because we dont pay ridiculous wages that would see us getting into debt. They can go and get as much money as they want at the financially fucked clubs if they want. Intelligent players with the ambition to drive the club forward are the types of players Arsenal need. Villa looks like a complete knob anyway and van Persie’s as good as Torres. Players like that will always look down at the rest of the team because they’re younger and less experioenced. We dont need that. Our style of play relies on complete team harmony and Wenger is the king of buying players that are unlikely to upset that balance.

    If Cesc goes, it will give the team a different direction and we wont start over-relying on one player (a la Henry).

  26. I EXPECT ENGLAND TO WIN TODAY AND go on… not too suere algeria will beat USA, likely a draw although in that case, am not too sure if its slovenia or USA that will pregress?

  27. Geo – what amazes me is this line about financial fucked that most supporters have been fed and seem to believe.

    1) wenger underspent on transfers for over 10 years and so we have plenty of reserves if we need them (if the directors haven’t stuffed their pockets that is). plus when you get out a mortgage (like we have for the new ground + redevelopment of the old site into flats) you pay it back over 20 years like most regular people. Instead we are trying to pay these off in less than 10. So what gives? Its the investment in the team. Yes we save some interest payments what good is a big bank balance without any trophies?

    2) When we want to … we have paid big salaries e.g. Sol Campbell .. whose wages when you add on signing on fees and bonuses was huge (over 100k).

  28. chrisGoona – What about him dropping Mexes too? Arguably their best CB! He has to be one of the strangest managers in history. Fair enough, the egos would be hard to manage whoever you were, but surely someone could get them playing to at least 50% of their capacity. On paper they have an excellent team – even with his random selections and should have easliy progressed through the group stage.

    INGERLAND!! INGERLAND!!

    Let’s see how it pans out today… interesting stuff

  29. Gunster

    Are you copying and pasting your same doomer comments from the other day?

    Selling Cesc will take us 2 years back? How does that work out when all the other players are 2 years ahead? Mystic Meg

  30. Geo

    I forgot about Mexes, didn’t realise he was still performing. Domenech has truly fucked it, I just hope Capello hasn’t also. I know Theo said he wished the team well, I just imagine him sitting there on a beach watching a tv screen with his girlfriend thinking, “serves you right for not taking me Crapello!!”

  31. CG Capello hasnt fucked up.It the players who have.Once they step on that pitch its down to the players.Lumpard and Rooney have been awful.England may get through today.But as soon as they face real opposition they are dead meat.The English national team have never been able to keep possesion of the ball.

  32. A manager deflecting criticism onto his players is the same as the players deflecting criticism onto the manager. If England go out, it is both parties fault, same as with the French situation. Capello chose them players, he knew their characteristics, so why blame them now?

    If some ain’t that good, he already knew it from ages ago.

    Hatrick Croatian killer and fastest lad in England Theo was a 10000 times better option than some of the shite we have had to watch.

  33. Anyway fingers crossed no blaming will need to be done, and the players come out with a point to prove. As much as I may dislike some of them, they are beter than this, and England is better than this

  34. Evra as France Captain?

    Am still totally baffled… Is he the oldest player in the squad after henry, is he the most popular? Am seriously baffled!

  35. Team Spirit

    I know for sure hes one of the biggest cu*ts of the squad, and that is a hard ask.

  36. Evra has promised he will soon come out and try and deflect as much criticism off himself, in the attempt to try save his reputation back in France. You gotta love him, don’t ya!

  37. CG, u pulling my legs?

    Where exactly is there to deflect blame or criticism to? he should better take responsibility!

    needing a win for your final group game to at least have hope of progressin, they felt it was more urgent to react to a tema mate being sent home?

    If a press conference had been called to state the players backing and they got on with the game, would that not have been better, maybe they still would have lost but certainly not under this cloud of not being bothered at all and serious lack of respect for the country they represent

  38. it’s going to be an aim and shoot contest from the French players and staff! Now that everything went overboard I’d like to hear what everyone has to say!

  39. Domenech has more loose pebbles knocking around then upon the slopes of Crazy Horse memorial.

    From Le Parisien (not my translation!):

    “the manager leaves his post after six years with one highlight – a World Cup final appearance in 2006 for which stalwarts such as Zidane, Vieira and Makele deserve more credit than him ….. Laurent Blanc will arrive in a few days on to a field of ruins. What a waste.”

    Was Crouchy’s run alongside the touchline, the only bit of Skill by an England player in the last game? I have a suspicion, that he can actually play, but unfortunately, whenever he comes on, most teams aim for his head, and not his feet.

    Hopefully they’ll do better, but Defoe has been out of form, I think he barely started towards the end of the season. I hope he can ‘raise his game’.

    Milner in for Cole, and Upson for Dawson, otherwise Capello has gone for YW’s line up.

    So, one less Sp*d, but no J.Cole…and two ex-Gunners in the line up!

  40. So many things were wrong in the last game, a combination of tactics, poor individual performances, lack of direction and spirit, add to that a team somehow unable to press the restart button. I think having to focus on more than one thing is always going to make it difficult, i mean if you focus on not conceeding its harder to score and visa versa, you know what they say about men and the inabillity to focus on more than one thing. The psycological effects can be as trying as the physical. Lets focus on winning, and tonight we are left with no choice so i am optomistic. I say it a lot, there are too many pundits in this country who given the chance would prefer to see ‘old fashioned British football’ Quote from John Barnes re getting high balls up to crouch, now i know that we can only do what we can with the players we have but please Mr Barns stop it. As a football nation it is my belief that we have not improved one bit since the invention of the beutifull game, the world caught up, some moved on but we stayed imo. We have the players, what we dont have is the phillosophy, anyone for Arsen as next England manager. (not just yet though)

  41. Team Spirit

    I think you have not understood my comments

  42. Gunster – what an idiot. Yeah of course the ‘bigwigs’ at arsenal are pocketing the income, that’s exactly the kind of corrupt club that we are…

    Investment in the team has not ‘given’ overall, we have had a couple of seasons where Wenger (the best manager in the world at unearthing young, cheap talent) has had to spend a little less than normal. And this is all for long term gain.

    The ‘financially fucked’ clubs are thos who have been spending beyond their means every year (Man U, Chelsea, City, Spurs etc etc) and will have a huge backlash in the next couple of years. We are one of the most financially sound clubs in the world – and it’ll be that way for years to come.

    I doubt very much if Villa or Torres would accept similar wages to Sol Campbell when they can get nearly double that, playing for the financially fucked clubs.

    Have you not read the rule that are coming in this season about spending beyond clubs’ means?

  43. French president Nicolas Sarkozy will chair a government meeting to look into the failure of Les Bleus at the World Cup and will meet team captain Thierry Henry a day later.

  44. Geo

    He lives in a dream world, I doubt he is aware of the rule. Oh yeah, to all the people saying Wenger don’t buy… Alex Ferguson has already said he will not be buying nobody this summer.

  45. I read something about Man U’s finances recently which explained where all their money is going. Here’s an example, after they sold Ronaldo for £80mil, they had a one off bank charge of £50mil to pay in order to re-structure their debts!!!! That’s just one example of how buggered they are. The same season as selling Ronaldo. they could only afford a free Owen and an overrated Valencia (although they managed to find 16 mil for him).

    So I’m not suprised they’re not buying anyone this summer!

  46. Sorry was in a random paper so can’t give a link…

  47. Geo

    It is rather funny listening to the screaming doomer gooner brigade call for players year after year when we have more players coming through than any other club, as well as with the transfer market being as it is there is nobody worth buying who posesss value for money. Unless of course you are Arsene Wenger who can pick out a piece of gold from an abandoned mine!

    The likes of Ramsey, Wilshire, Lansbury, Gibbs alone will win us a league in a few seasons.. until then we have the likes of Robin Vab Persie, Cesc, Nasri, Chamakh, Theo and Arshavin to keep us entertained and win a few titles.

  48. agreed chrisGoona – gotta go to another office… back soon

  49. @CG 1:50 – It will indeed be interesting what Arsene has planned for Lansbury. I for one like the kid. Will he replace Merida in the squad? i.e. Carling cup & FA cup regular with a few sub apps in the league or will he do a Ramsey and be pushing for a starting berth come the winter. All very interesting & exciting. Our academy has a lot of good British kids coming through & most of them will not make it at Arsenal as a result of either genuine quality ahead of them in the pecking order or being not good enough for Arsenal. No doubt that will give the xenophobes some more ammo to fire at Arsene.

  50. I did expect more from the French seeing as they have quite a number of Arsenal players. I felt very proud with Diaby’s performance in their first game against Uruguay, even though the rest of the team played poorly.

    He has been disappointing since then of course, so there is some truth to the main criticism he suffers from i.e. all the talent in the world, but no consistency. Can he still be suffering from the after effects of the leg break? I would still keep him at arsenal though, as I really do like his style and no one else we have can offer what he does when he is on form.

    Sagna and clichy didn’t do much wrong imo. Yes the made mistakes for the goals, as they’ve done playing for arsenal but

  51. CG, my response was not to fault your comments in anyway, rather just baffled that evra as captain is thinking of deflecting criticism…

  52. Manu are definitely buggered, and so are the scousers, but I’m not sure it was so much due to overspending as it was the fact that they were taken over by leveraged buyouts from their USA! USA! owners.

    I don’t think our current board will let things go down that route, especially now, with the benefit of hindsight provided by them two soon-to be-known-as-formerly-great clubs.

  53. England will beat Slovenia… No probs!

  54. Team Spirit

    Evra is willing and ready to spill the beans, he is under fire and was dropped from the team. I am pretty sure he wants to shine a bit of light on the situation to save some pride. Even if it is putting the whole French World Cup shambles out there once again. They shouldn’t have stopped training, Evra shouldn’t have picked a fight with the fitness coach… so there is a lot of blame on the players here, as well as the manager. This is why he will want to file his excuses when he returns. Evra being dropped by Domenech is another indication to his involvement in this circus.

  55. I would laugh if Slovenia absolutely battered England.

    Especially if they also managed at the same time to get Rooney and JT sent off injured ofcause for the coming season.

    Stevie G, to punch Cashley Cole if it comes out he was out on the brawl for late night sessions with cheap chavy South African hookers.

  56. Evra always did strike me as a pyscho.

    Those bulging eyes are creepy as hell!!

  57. +1 Maria.
    Can anyone really take any pleasure watching a Spurs player score, regardless of what shirt he’s wearing?

  58. That’s a hell nah, from me.

  59. Is it normal that everything I see Defoe, I instantly picture Rednapp.

  60. Yep, Rooney/Red Nose – it’s the same thing.

  61. oh well England are through. It would not suprise me if they won the whole wc now.

  62. Yeah golin, Blackpool finished above the likes of Doncaster and QPR last term. It wouldn’t surprise me if they won the PL next season.

  63. OOU LOL.

    Won the World cup indeed! LOL

  64. US through also

  65. maybe they will win the World Cup now

  66. USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA
    etc etc etc

  67. Woohoo USA made it top of the group too 🙂

    Good job England, we would not hear the end of it from the media if England didn’t qualify, so I’m happy they did.

  68. fucking usa

  69. fuck my life

  70. Sorry Zap

  71. any team im supporting, i always end up depressed…..FUCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKk SAKE

  72. G4E

    You wouldn’t hear the end of it from any Englishmen if they had not qualified!

    So, Ghana, Germany or Serbia it is.

    YW

  73. I am upset for Zap and algeria. But that epic against eygpt was their final.

  74. That’s true YW 🙂 for now, we have a little break from all the miserable drama.

  75. USA!

  76. Sorry Zap:

    Got a little overly enthusiastic about that one. Did not know any one on the blog was specifically supporting Algeria rather then just against the USA. Both teams played their hearts out. Great game.

  77. Maria, you’re right. I think Algeria set their goal on qualifying for the WC but nothing after that.

    I still think they have very good individual players, I really like the guy that plays for Portsmouth.

  78. Solid victory by Santa Jorge.

  79. Yogi’s Warrior on June 23, 2010
    at 5:06 pm

    Australia can still qualify.

  80. Looks like Sagna, along with Lloris and Gourcouf tried to stop the training ground strike. I always liked Barcari. Gallas not so much. If we can get Gourcouff and Lloris, that’d be nice.

  81. Damien

    They can but they cannot top the group so will not be England’s next opponents.

    YW

  82. Too much mathematics for me at this time of day.

    Carry on.

    D

  83. beating egypt was great, but you are wrong in saying we never held any ambition after that. November 18th 2009 will always be one of the best nights of my life though. Of course we had ambition. We should have beaten slovenia, we drew against england, and had we have had 4 points by today who knows. But thats gone. So ill be supporting england and denmark and looking forward to 2010/11 with arsenal….

  84. USA!USA!USA!
    Im so happy (nigerian american living in london)

  85. I didn’t say ambition Zap, maybe a plan or reaching the WC and going through the Egyptian experience was so mentally exhausting that once you reach the midpoint (Qualifying for WC) you automatically take a mental break.

    I think Algeria could have done better or with the current group of players they were capable of more. I still think they represented their country and themselves well.

  86. USA! USA!

    i do feel for you though zap.

    Still buzz’n from that game

  87. SomeRandomGunner

    For tennis followers a marathon 7 hr match
    2 set all and 37 all in fifth set still going on …………………………..
    http://atdhe.net/20580/watch-wimbledon-mahut-vs-isner

  88. haha, yeah Im watching it. Its crazy!

  89. Isner now has 81 aces

  90. SomeRandomGunner

    i think the players should just stop the match. Anyways they cannot play the next round after this match 😀

  91. Gallas’ agent confirms he is in talks with Juve for a move acording to Skysports
    Surprise Surprise

  92. So am I the only one cheering Ghana and Serbia?

  93. Ghana look real strong!

  94. It is now 50-50 (and I mean 50 games all) in the final set at Wimbledon between Mahut and Isner. I bet they are both wishing they had opted for the hot pins in their eyes earlier.

  95. Should have been a penalty and a red card. Damn I’m agreeing with Tyldesley

  96. argentina argentina argentina

  97. Granted the first round of matches was crap, but this tournament has been getting better and better. Even England looked half decent today.

    It’s far better than I thought it would be, and it’s good to see that it’s mostly attacking sides that are making it through. High time people start to give this WC its due.

  98. I agree OOU. I also like how the fans are all mixing together at this WC and enjoying themselves.

  99. this is where england get our hopes up.

    They played very well today. Could have had a hatfull.

    i even warmed a tiny bit to Capello at the end. Very strange.

    This Ghana v Germany game is full of quality. The tidiest game I’ve seen this tournament so far.

  100. most of the teams had to win if they were to go progress so they couldnt keep up the bull.

    come on Ghana!

  101. what a goal.

  102. Agree Deano, the Ghana/Germany match is the deal, total football being played.

  103. Yeh the kid struck the ball really sweet

  104. Mark Schwarzer makes another mistake.

  105. Just can’t see Ghana scoring.

  106. I hope Ghana go through. fingers crossed.

  107. Both Germany & Ghana through

  108. Ghana through! I’m going to put money on them caining the USA.

    Exciting young team…

    Then theres the small matter of England-Germany.
    That should be a great game.

  109. It’s a small stadium to host an England v Germany match.

  110. Dude commenting on the game said the US has better players than Ghana, is that so?

    Ghana look like they have all the talent in the world, not sure why they cant score apart from penalties?

  111. I like the look of Germany. England will have to make a massive improvement to give themselves a chance.

  112. England v Germany….that should be a good one 🙂

    I believe Ghana beat us once before in a world cup, so Ghana v USA should be interesting game as well.

  113. Paul N

    I dont know about that. I think USA has more celebrated individuals and an extraordinary self belief which compensates for alot.

    But Ghana should have scored a couple against a great German side today. Ghana are a tidy young team with great talent, I was even impressed with them when they were well beaten 4-1 by the dutch. I fancy them to progress against the US of A.

  114. The Ghanaian government is apparently trying to persuade Barack Obama to give the American team talk before the match.

  115. Oh no, Yes We Can again? 🙂

  116. I agree Deano.

    The Ghanian team look like they could do some serious damage and I hope they do. All they have to do is be composed in front of goal and they could possibly shock the world. Great talent.

    I think the USA are decent but I cant see them giving the bigger teams too much of hard time. They are getting there but not just yet in my opinion.

  117. G4E, who are you supporting again? is it the Yanks or the Brits?

  118. Paul, first choice and my national team is USA. After that, I’m a supporter of a good game, then after that I will support teams to stand with my friends, and so on….Why? 🙂

  119. YEEESSSSS!!!! GO GHANA!!oh yeah, thank u australia. we owe you one

  120. Ozil is pretty good, isn’t he? Too bad that just added another 5M to his price tag, eh!

  121. We don’t need Ozil. We have…Fabregas!

  122. It’s complicated, G4E, isn’t it? Having spent so much time in England, I feel obliged to give them some support; but Germany have been one of my favourite teams in this World Cup. It’s a shame they have to meet so soon.

  123. It is difficult Poliziano, I too feel obligated since I lived there and loved it. Most people here would think, I don’t like the England team or players, but I actually want them to do good, leave the hype behind and listen to some people who know football outside of England.

    No one can deny they invented the game, but sometimes you have to change how you play it if it’s for the better.

    I really have no specific preference after Arsenal, USA, England in that order…after that, any one who plays good attacking football.

  124. We do have Cesc, but he’d be a great addition. Only question is, would he stunt the development of Wilshire/Ramsey? I guess not if they’re good enough.

  125. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Good on the Yanks. They almost got robbed blind again as Dempsey’s goal was completely 100 percent legit. That’s becoming a recurring theme with the US and the WC. I’m very proud of the boys and their never say die attitude.

  126. Yes NJN…you have teams their players juggle the ball with their hands on the way to score and they count, and the US score two legitimate goals in two different games with two different referees and they get disallowed. What’s up with that? Borderline conspiracy there 🙂 but I’m glad we didn’t have to go that route.

  127. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Yeah, it’s been quite depressing, G4E. We’re used to it by now. We’ve been getting robbed as far as back as 2002 which is about as far back as my WC memory goes. As Arsenal fans, we’re used to getting the short end of the stick by the refs. you just have to roll with the punches. But it is worrysome. Kudos to the Frenchman Pierre Barrieu for having the lads in tip top shape. I’ve been impressed with Bob Bradley’s tinkering as well.

  128. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Poliziano @ 11:26…Don’t forget about Arsenal’s number 8 and the inspiration of my namesake!

  129. USA 1st, justice served!

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