Dutch Get Melo, Theo Gets Ready & Gossip

The World Cup sprang back into life yesterday with two absorbing matches. Everyone’s Favourite Football Nation (© the media) exited as a porous defence failed dismally against a solid Dutch team who underlined their credentials as one of the pre-tournament favourites whilst Uruguay proved cheats do prosper but at some cost, defeating Ghana as last minute nerves sent a penalty onto the crossbar and broke a nation’s hearts.

Brazil were a pale shadow of their more flamboyant predecessors. Robinho scored a simple goal, highlighting the Dutch weaknesses at the back whilst the midfield and attack of their European opponents were stifled for the opening quarter of the game. After that, it was the limitations of the Brazilians which were exposed, culminating in a Felipe Melo own goal, a deft header into the net.

The afternoon got worse for Melo, a senseless red card for stamping on Robben. His temperament was questionable beforehand but to be so easy to wind-up raises serious doubts about him. To counter that, he is one of the few from Brazil who prior to yesterday had enhanced his reptutation with his performances. His pass to Robinho for the goal was exquisite.

Robin van Persie had a busy afternoon; hard work with little individual reward, a fair summary of his World Cup thus far. To be honest, I doubt that it is bothering him unduly. He is playing reasonably well, lacking goals for his endeavours but that is the only thing missing from his game. The feeling I have is that he will be the one to pop up in the Final, whilst attention is devoted to Messi or Villa, to be the difference.

In the evening match, Suarez committed handball in the final minute of a mistake-strewn match, giving his team a lifeline. Gyan hammered the ball onto the bar, penalties ensued. Nerves steadied, Gyan scored Ghana’s first but some of the rest of his colleagues lost theirs with awful penalties. Abreu’s final kick showed steel and experience with cojones the size of watermelons to drift the ball into the centre of the net. Fantastic if you score, beyond humiliation if you miss.

So to Suarez. His punishment is to miss the semi-final and in his absence much rests on Forlan’s shoulders. He scored a cracking freekick but for Uruguay to win, they needed their best player at their disposal. To the neutral his actions are worthy of condemnation to a degree, highlighting the inherent hypocrisy of us all as football supporters. If I were Uruguayan, Suarez did what I would have expected of him. Were I Ghanaian, it is utterly rephrensible, cheating. Such is the life of a football fan.

Onto Arsenal, Theo Walcott has told ATVO that he is targetting an injury-free season to get over his miserable time last campaign:

Hopefully I can have an injury-free season – that is my first target, and to try and help this team win something. I think it is difficult to have a whole season without any injuries, but that is football and we have got to live with that. I will just be trying to concentrate on having a better season than last year, because it was a disappointment not to play as much as I wanted to. Hopefully I can give something more to the fans this year.

Enough people are suggesting he should move so to give less would be the flimiest of excuses that they need to become more vitriolic. Yet Walcott does need to deliver more; he needs to be fitter than ever to do so. Competition for the right side of attack is as strong as it has ever been at Arsenal with Bendtner maturing and the chance to have left-footed players cutting in from the right to provide a different potency to the attack.

There is a case to play Walcott on the left, to develop that part of his game to allow him to fulfil his own aim of being a central striker. He is some way off that aim at the moment and Wenger could help that by playing him centrally in FA Cup games, fitness permitting.

Theo observed of the team:

We want to win something now instead of using the excuse that we are young players. We were very close [to winning a trophy]. We always tend to be that touching distance, but we have dropped quite a lot of points where we should not have.

Wenger has a great deal of faith in his players. It has not yet been fully repaid. Last season, like 2007-08, indicated that the potential is on the verge of being realised with the final step to be taken. However, key to this is not repeating the step back of 2008-09. That is the nature of a team which is evolving; steps forward are accompanied by a step back.

Criticism of the squad is going to emerge possibly from the opening day if defeat arises at Anfield. It is the toughest away trip on the opening day since well, last season’s was deemed to be. A positive result gives the team something to thrive upon, a chance to instil some confidence in clashes with teams deemed to be ‘top four’ although the Liverpool claim to be in that clique is tarnished.

Meanwhile, Sandro Rosell is trying to prove he is ‘THE MAN’ by engaging the Arsenal board in a game of chicken, telling the world that they will not pay daft money for Cesc. It’s like panto season; the big villain – Laporta – has left the scene and now one of his minnions is picking up the reins. A shame that no-one at Arsenal is listening to the Catalan twaddle which is being spouted.

How transfer rumours build and circulate was highlighted yesterday. Real Madrid were identified as suitors for Robin van Persie, an English-based sports site reported that this story was in Marca. Except the story in Marca was that part of the Sportingo network reported that £35m would be enough for Arsenal to sell the Dutchman. This morning, Marca reports that Real Madrid – unnamed source, of course – thought £35m too much so would not be following up the bid unless Arsenal dropped their asking price…

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 3, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010. Bookmark the permalink. 108 Comments.

  1. Silver

  2. I think Suarez did what he had to do. If there is a reason a player should ever get a red card for? It has to be what he did. It was a sacrifice and a gamble. and it paid off. The biggest problem many african teams have at this stage of the Tourney is the killer instinct and the winning mentality. from Cameroon to Senegal and now Ghana, It seems when we get to this stage of the world cup we just lack the nerve and winning mentality to give us that final push. That said what happened with Gyan could have happened with any player. And it is commendable that he choose to be the first to take the spot kick. Its not an easy thing be something that was needed to raise the moral of his squad. In the end Football is a team spot and he did his bit unfortunately not many of his squad members had the nerve to finish the game. Ghana has made africa proud with such a young team (the youngest in this wc? ) the cloud would only be their limit. They would be back in 2014. stronger and much more experienced.

  3. Collins Walcott Kasembeli

    For real it has bn a world cup of surprise

  4. Watching the World Cup is more interesting by running the rule over players linked with Arsenal. A bit parochial but it adds to the game as a spectator. Felipe Melo is a player linked with Arsenal. He was very dismissive last year of Arsenal even though Gilberto Silva recommended us. Looking at his completely undisciplined behaviour and the fact he has been a failure in Italy I think he would be a disaster at the Emirates. Schneider on the other hand, I would break the Bank for, fantastic player!

  5. Suarez decreased a chance of a 100% goal to 50% .

  6. Paulie Walnuts

    Excellent round up as usual YW.

    Theo talks a mature game & I`m sure an injury free season would make a huge difference to his own performances.

    The concern I have is that we`re still not getting the best from him. He doesn`t appear to be a natural wide man , yet doesn`t have the physical presence or touch to play up top in a 4-3-3.

    Over to you Arsene

  7. the infuriating thing about Schneider is it was widely circulated he was going to be available that summer, everyone knew he and Real had fallen out, it was no mystery…

    from what i read Inter got him simply be being persistent, hanging around and repeating their hard interest…

    and in these inflationary days the fee was a steal – something in the high teens??

    so what it had to boil down to was that other top teams had lost their confidence in him after his poor time in Madrid…i would love to know if AW was one of those, at the time.

  8. Suarez did cheat, and he was given the red card he deserved. One has to laugh at the craziness of football fans. When their favoured team loses a match, they immediately want the rules to be changed. An England fan was telling me the other day that the offside rule should be abolished, as it takes the attention of the linesmen, and stops them from doing their proper job, which is to tell when a goal has been scored.

  9. PW

    I agree. Does Walcott sell alot of Jerseys?

  10. what Suarez did shouldnt looked upon as what he had to do.

    If this is the case, I would instruct my players to hand the ball at the end of all matches if it looks like a goal may be scored, what would that do for football? anyone in their right mind would take the chance of having a penalty against them in this situation.

    To me it just doesnt sit right that the player is a hero. The ball was as good as in the net.

    Henry is no hero for what he did against Ireland and I would hope that no supporter of the French would see it that way.

    Gyan shouldve won the game still, no doubt about that.

  11. Kevin muriuki, kenya

    Melo is a good his disciplane is questionable.He can still improve in England

  12. Flint McCullough

    Suarez did what anyone would do instinctively. The answer is to take away the benefit gained by awarding a penalty goal, similar to rugby, & a yellow card.

    This is a much better way of getting true justice & keeping players on the pitch.

    Another example would be Jems in the CL final. Just give the goal.

  13. Paul N

    Last minute of the Champions League, Arsenal lead 2 – 1 or it is all square. The situation last night arises; what do you want an Arsenal player to do?

    There is no heroism and winning comes at a personal cost but the club benefits. How quickly are these things forgotten? Only the sins committed by the highest profile players are remembered.


  14. I take offence at the assumptions made by the media that we are all a bunch of complete dimwits.

    Today’s reports about Rosell continuing the pursuit of Cesc claimed that he is going to make a final offer of 40 million euros/pounds or whatever and that we are expected to give way, because Barcelona have expressed an interest in Ozil. The only way that could make sense is if we were desperate to offload Cesc and are afriad that they may withdraw their interest. ?????? They clearly don’t get it! Everyone at Arsenal would be delighted if they just bugger off and harass someone else.

    The discussion on Sneijder is interesting. Arsene did say a few months ago that he may spend the summer sitting at the Bernebau gates, waiting to see who would be coming out. Cool!

  15. The Dutch team isn’t working to create goals for Van Persie.

  16. Suarez did what he had to do; no doubt! I hate it, but as a Ghana fan, but even if we flip the sides, Ghana wouldnt have complained if one of their own had done that. I wld support a rule change for such a deliberate hand ball at the goal line to count for goal. As for transfers, Wenger shld add Kevin Prince Boateng to his midfield alongside Song & Fabregas

  17. Ironically- this might be the time to get Melo. Yes his temperament is suspect and yes he’d get sent off a few times- but didn’t Vieira and he was a very similar player?
    Does this team get sufficient protection from English referees?
    Do you think we can win anything with a team of pussies?

  18. aj

    Sneider and Van the Man cant play together for more than 10 games – that’s well documented. They are both trouble and we know wenger – how ever good you are if you have no manners then ship off. so for that reason alone we are better off with just one Dutch trouble maker.

  19. ‘Cheat’ has become a meaningless word in football. Suarez handled the ball on the line but how does that make him a cheat anymore than any player who’s offside, who handles the ball, claims a throw-in that’s not his, pulls the opponent, fouls the opponent etc etc et fucking c?

  20. What Suarez did was brilliant and saved his Country in the end. Melo on the other hand cost his Country the game and the Cup. He is undiciplined and erratic. Not for Arsenal!

  21. Gerry

    The difference between the two was that even a a younger man, Vieira was more controlled in his agression – the question would be whether Wenger believes Melo can be curbed. I suspect Melo is going to mirror Yaya Toure; constantly linked but never signing.


  22. OG

    And there fucking in is the conundrum. Cheating is inherent in any sport as an advantage is sought, no matter how small, through any means.

    As I mentioned in the post, if he were playing for a team I followed, I would expect him to do what he did to retain a chance of going through.


  23. With the exception of being offside (which is largely accidental), I would say all those actions are cheating.

  24. Paulie Walnuts

    I`d back the `penalty goal` suggestion but there`s as much chance of that as a harmonious Dutch squad. Oh, hang on.

    The strange thing was that Suarez could probably have got his head on it & blocked but he was so deaperate to prevent the goal at any cost that instinct took over.

    As for Melo, I wouldn`t touch him with a barge pole & Sneijder could be high maintenance despite his talent.

  25. The other difference between the two is that Vieira could play football. Did Vieira ever single-handedly cause a team to drop 5 places in the league?

  26. Yogi, I would want the team to lose with dignity. I wouldnt want Arsenal to win the CL like this, its not all about winning for me.

    You cannot claim all to be hypocrites as all dont see it the same way.

    Do we like players rolling around, getting players sent off. Though it may give a team an advantage, I would hate to see the day when an Arsenal player does that, even if we won the match.

    These are his quotes:

    “I think I made the best save of the World Cup,” he said.

    Asked if this had been another “hand of God” moment similar to Diego Maradona’s famous 1986 goal, he said it was the “hand of Suarez.”

    “It’s difficult to be sent off at a World Cup. It’s complicated,” said the high-scoring Suarez, who left the field in tears. “But the way in which I was sent off today — truth is, it was worth it.”

    And I guess most think this is acceptable for him to say this.

  27. In that case, all footballers are cheats and the label cheat confirms nothing about the target other than that such a person has done something that’s the stock-in-trade of his profession.

  28. Theo we don’t always seem to be in touching distance, but we are always touching cloth

  29. OG

    It applies to all sports, not just football, at all levels. That is human nature.


  30. Penalty goal? I think the rules should be changed such that when a player deliberately handles the ball to stop a sure goal, the goal is given anyway.

  31. Paul N

    We have seen dubious incidents at Arsenal for years, offside goals, handballs, etc. What makes this any different from Suarez’s actions?


  32. LimparAssist

    Happy Saturday, ACLF.

    Suarez is a cheating scumbag.

  33. The arm scan for RVP is for a tendon in his elbow that gives him some trouble but should not bother him in playing.

  34. YW,

    Absolutely. I was gutted for Ghana but they could have scored from that passage of play at the start of which they had 2 players offside.

    I wish people would stop throwing labels around, and just accept that maybe the rules should be changed since the referee did his job correctly and the outcome was still sub-optimal.

  35. YW, if you can tell me of something such as what Suarez did, I will tell you straight and plain that I dont agree.

    I dont think offside is cheating, its a judgment call. The individual is not trying to be offside, they are trying to score a goal. Its up to refs to make that judgment.

    What we are dealing with is a definate goal being chalked off for a deliberate handball in the goal mnouth. Suarez couldve just instictively put his hand up, I understand that but when he makes comments like he did, something should be done. What we dont want is players having the mindset “lets do what we have to do be” in a situation like this, so they will handle the ball in such a manner. Thats bull and a very slippery slope.

    As it is Gyan is the reason for the loss. He shouldve settled himself and placed the penalty as he did in the prior matches.

    All in all we are all the losers apart from Uraguay because the better team is out.



  36. Kitchen Sink

    Suarez said: “The ‘Hand of God’ now belongs to me. Mine is the real ‘Hand Of God’. I made the best save of the tournament. Sometimes in training I play as a goalkeeper so it was worth it.

  37. How was that a handball?

  38. Mario Kempes made a diving save in the 1978 wc. Luckly for him the rules were more lenient then and he only received a yellow card. The keeper saved the resultant penalty. Argentina went on to win the wc with Kempes topping the scoring charts. So there is a South American precedent to Suarez’s action.

  39. Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    My german Dutch final is firmly on track!

    Common Germany, show the argies now its done!

  40. SomeRandomGunner

    Germans should have had the game in the bag by now. They missed it . I feel Argentines will equalize……

  41. I agree with you to some extent, Paul N. Cheating diminishes the pleasure of victory, and increases the bitterness of defeat. I don’t believe those who try to sweep it under the carpet are working to the benefit of the game. It’s probably true that most footballers are cheats – one reason among many why most of them are not particularly attractive. Few sports (if any) have as much cheating as football, and some have almost none at all. It’s easy for the sophists to claim that it’s all just part of the game – just the players’ stock in trade. The problem with that attitude is that it allows the domain of cheating to increase. Look at the number of feigned head injuries in this World Cup, which have resulted in at least two red cards so far. They have happened in the past, but not as often as now. One innovation of this World Cup is the jerking of legs as a player lies on the ground pretending to be injured. Just their stock in trade, I suppose. In a couple of years, no doubt, leg jerking will be regarded as just another manifestation of ever-changing human nature; but I can’t help wondering whether their human nature might not be better guided along a different path.

  42. Pz

    >Few sports (if any) have as much cheating as football

    Football has fewer cheats resorting to drugs than other sports. Other sports may not present any many opportunities to cheat but it is naive to believe that rules are not broken to the same extent. Every sport has participants willing to break rules to gain an advantage and frankly, to believe otherwise is well, sophism.

    > some have almost none at all

    Such as?


  43. England dont look so poor afterall.

    No doubt Germany is the best team I have watched.

    They are brilliant!

  44. Doubt that either Uruguay or Paraguay can make the finals so looks like another all European final. I’d blame on Brazil and Argentina’s choice of coaches.

  45. Paul N it seems the Duestch have learnt the lesson of being outplayed by Spain two years ago. They appear to have a very good football federation. The progress in two years is amazing.

  46. @ YW 3:43 No Mueller. Stuck to the TV since. BTW how far behind fat ronaldo is Klose in terms of goals scored at WCs

  47. ok I got it he’s one behind Ronaldo at 12

  48. SO the world cup Messi was supposed to set alight sees him leave without scoring. I’d like to believe thats his comeuppance for the Cesc’s DNA comments. Now lets see Paraguay beat the Barca scum and it will be wonderful day.

  49. Amazing they are KenGun!

    I am shocked, never would i have imagined they would deal with Argentina like this.

  50. 1 loose cannon

    England haven’t done so badly after all. Argentina were simply battered. Diego looked like a man who has done a dirty in his pants. He is obviously tactically naive and had no answer for the Germans who were simply like a Mercedes benz. Efficient. If Spain make it through they simply cannot play with their attacking football i can see the germans hitting them hard on the counter they are brilliant at it.

  51. I thought Germany had a good chance of beating Argentina, but I didn’t predict a 4-0 drubbing. Maybe it’s time to accept that one or two German players could get into the England team after all. Germany seemed to lose their composure for a period in the middle of the match, but their admirable industriousness kept the Argentinians at bay. No prima donna’s in that team. Does anyone know why Messi wasn’t playing?

  52. 1LC

    The difference is that Argentina can point to tactical naivete on the point of their coach; England were just bloody awful. Either way, it diminishes from the German performance. They were excellent as a team and that is crucial at this stage of a tournament.


  53. 1lc efficient AND beautiful.

    The football that Germany is playing is simply astonishing. They are starting to become the international Arsenal — a team full of youth that simply plays the most beautiful football. It’s a joy to watch and I hope Germany can progress to the final. Would love to see them beat Spain in the semi-final (and maybe kick the living shit out of Xavi in the process, too!).

  54. 1 loose cannon

    YW- Holland Germany in the final ?
    Holland are due a world cup trophy as a reward for their entertaining football they gave us over the years which lately the Catalans have claimed as their DNA. Messi run out of the DNA thingy that he keeped going on about when comes to Fabregas.

  55. I really hope Cesc does not start in a possible semi-final tie against Germany. I just want to spare him the humilation.

  56. Well done by Germany but I still think Holland are the best team at the tournament.

    Are Arsenal thinking of buying any of the Germans?

  57. 1 loose cannon

    EF- yes its just fantastic, they make it look easy. Attacking minded team will struggle against the germans.The germans are a very balanced team, they defend in number and when they attack they destroy everything on their way. I think they will beat the spanish if they make it through.
    holland Germany will be the final. I hope.

  58. guess we wont be seeing a naked maradona afterall.

  59. Trugunn

    See there’s a silver lining to every cloud…


  60. paul n you said you’d hate to see the day when an arsenal player rolls aroun d in agony to get another player sent off.

    where have you been?

    eduardo, rvp, eboue, fabregas, vieira, gilberto, henry, pires, lauren, sagna, song, wilshere just off the top of my head. these are all players where i specifically remember them diving on at least one occasion. out of interest were you cheering when campbell scored in the cl final for us? how did we earn the freekick that it came from? eboue dive.

    i like you hate to see any form of cheating, i just hope you aren’t pretending that arsenal players don’t do it on a regular basis. all of the above players have clearly dived at least once when i’ve been watching, most of them countless times. i just hope you are prepared to accept that that shit happens all the time with our players. i expoect someone will mention how eddie’s had his leg broken as an excuse for him to dive these days, but if you notice, he was diving for penalties long before he got his leg broken.

    and yes, i really am an arsenal fan. but i can’t just pretend i’m not seeing cheating and shit in front of me when i most certainly am

  61. Guess who’s NOT starting for Spain…again!

  62. haha, no doubt this is a sensible blog.

    the first thing i read here was melo is an idiot (essentially)

    the first thing i read on le grove was that melo is a god for that simple through ball and that denilson is trash. they didn’t even mention the own goal or the stomp

    i’m not the biggest fan of denilson, but sometimes i wonder if those morons even watch a whole 90 minutes!

  63. evilflek, the better to havehim back fresh. only suffering from jetlag

    you complaining? Am not!

    Paraguay complete the making of my day which Germany started! Even at my most optimistic, i thought that would be 3 – 0 LOL

  64. Oh man. That wasn’t offside. 😦 Too bad! Paraguay could’ve been in the lead!

  65. Spain look like they could do with some extra roughage.

  66. Paul N

    England don’t look so poor after the trashing of the Argentines. It also shows how tactically great Ghana were. The German team manager described their game with the Ghana team as their toughest and that luck was on their side.

    England has a long time to go to be successful on the international scene. The approach to the game has to be reviewed otherwise I can’t see England winning anything in the near term. Same as France.

  67. @TS
    Hell no! I believe that sitting on the bench while watching Busquets, Iniesta and Xavi play will help Cesc to get into the right mindset and prevent him from having foolish ideas (like moving to Barca). But from a tactical standpoint it is just pure stupidity to keep playing Iniesta from the start, when he is absolutely useless. Cesc would offer so much more to the team.

    Anyway, good first half and Paraguay had the better chances! I hope they kick Spain out of the competition.

  68. crafty bison

    The Spanish tactics massively militate against their success. If they win tonight, it will be despite, rather than because of, their tactics.

  69. Now Cesc has shaven his beard off. Lets speculate, what does that mean? Has his future finally been sorted out? Or did his beard just start to itch?

  70. “The Dutch team isn’t working to create goals for Van Persie.”

    This is so true. I’ve been watching as much football as I can, but haven’t kept up with the punditry at all during this world cup.

    That Dutch front line is so dysfunctional. It’s amazing they’ve got so far. Neither Robben nor Kuyt knows the first thing about link-up play, while Sneijder’s a egotist -and it hurts the team.

    I’ve really tried to love them, but they haven’t once looked anything more impressive than a solid team in holding midfield and defence. Going forward they’re a mess, and it’s admirable how RvP’s kept his cool. The only guy on his wavelength was Vad der Vaart.

    Germany on the other hand. They’ve been almost perfect. Easily the best team so far.

  71. David “Diving Cheat” Villa!

  72. Wow. Spectacular. Three penalties and two saves!

  73. The Canadian commentator on CBC is a cunt. “There are six Barcelona players playing for the Spanish team right now…seven, if you include Cesc Fabregas.”

  74. Emperor Gooner

    @ EvilFiek

    he’s not canadian….Dave Woods.. British

  75. A goal for Spain is better than having to watch another 30 minutes of this rubbish.

  76. A goal for Paraguay would have been even better

  77. I agree with Passenal. I’ll watch another 30 mins, if I get to see biscuits sob like a little bitch, that he is. I hate him more than lesser ronaldo, and that is saying alot.

  78. Well I’m happy that Paraguay are going out. They’re the last of the really boring teams to go.

  79. “They’re the last of the really boring teams to go.”

    – apart from Spain.

  80. Awwwwww…………………hahahahaha. Sucker. SHouldnt have missed the penalty.

  81. Spain hasn’t been interesting at all, themselves. They’ve bored the other team by keeping the ball, without much chances being created. And biscuits plays for them.

  82. I think it was a bit like watching Arsenal when we’re cancelled out by sides that close us down. It can be very dull viewing, but at least Spain intend to attack. They just haven’t been playing very well, partly because the guy from the forest seems to have a problem with Cesc.

  83. Hopefully Germany will knock them out in the semi-final

  84. If Inspector Clouseau plays La Muchacha against Germany, he ought to be put in a straight-jacket.

  85. Passenal

    Unless Spain get their act together, thet will receive a similar pasting to Argentina and England. How they got away with it tonight is a football mystery!


  86. I agree wit PZ about Spain. Good to see a clean shaven Cesc though.

  87. It’s called a fair slice of luck YW.

  88. Is Valdez moving to Wigan next season?

  89. Skywatchingmug

    Cesc fate will have to wait another week.
    Was kind of looking forward to us telling the Barca scum where to go again.

    Felt sorry for Rammos getting kicked in face was hoping one of those Barca shit bag players had taken it. That would have put a smile on my face.

  90. I agree with u skywatching smug. I’m sure we all know who that Barcehole we would like to see get kicked most and worst?

  91. 1 loose cannon

    Not impressed with the spaniards at all. they had a little bit of luck and a Paraguay team that does everything except scoring to thank. Paraguay were really terrible with their finishing. If Spain play like that against Germany they will be exposed very badly. they seem to play the same pattern over and over, when teams get their tactics right the Barca DNA seems to evaporate in the lab. Bunch of idiots I can’t wait for those German machines to bulldozed them to the ground. And never hear anything about Barca DNA won the world cup.

  92. Guys – Don’t let our merited hate of the Barca-scum cloud our judgement. Spain was good value for their win especially after they were forced to sub a clearly unfit Torres with Cesc and thus became more penetrative in the final-third. I have vacillated about del Bosque’s tactics but I suspect that their ball retention skills will help them to counter Germany’s tendency to counter-attack

    YW @ 5:03 pm: Agred 100%. Argentina was tactically clueless, England was just poor.

  93. Shotta why then were they playing Torres when he clearly is not fit. There seems to be some sort of stubborn streak in football managers (maybe necessarily in some cases). I really cannot understand it in this case.

  94. silver gunner

    YW how Uruguay got away with it against Ghana for me is the football mystery or as Garth Crooks put it sheer bad luck.

    I am still feeling for the black stars lady luck was just not in their corner……

    Spain are are good team with an exceptional forward that can literally play anywhere in the front line to lethal effect they were actually a better team in the euros 2 years ago when Torres was on his game but the germans just look in a different league to everyone else.

  95. Paraguay was robbed. Had they been given that Valdez goal Spain would’ve been forced to attack and they would’ve opened themselves up much, much more. Personally, I think Germany is going to mop the floor with Spain. The way they drop back and defend is going to make it almost impossible for Spain’s non-penetrative offense to score on them.

    As far as Holland goes, ever since Robben came back into the team Van Persie’s role has changed. He’s no longer a striker. His main job is to keep the central defenders busy and make runs to draw defenders away from Robben. In the midfield, I wish it was Van Bommel and not De Jong that gets to miss the next game. I much rather watch Van der Vaart distributing the ball to the front three than that plank Van Bommel. The Dutch have been super lucky thus far but if Van Marwijk doesn’t losen up and stop being so cautious, Holland will not win this world cup.

    Shotta, Argentina were tactically inept ever since the tournament began. The only reason why they were able to mask their deficiencies is because their opponents showed them too much respect. It was apparent from minute zero that the way to stop Argentina was by covering Messi. But Diego, being the stubborn idiot that he is, persisted without a playmaker that could link up the defense and the attack. One Esteban Cambiasso would’ve been perfect in that role, but he omitted him and one of the best right backs in the game for god knows what reason.

  96. I hope Wenger is making the German WC matches a must watch for our players. Their defensive discipline is just remarkable. As soon as the opposition gets the ball everybody drops back and starts defending. That’s something we used to do, too, at the start of the 09/10 season!

    Btw. Pique looks to me like a poor man’s Vermaelen. His runs forward are so tame and practically useless, but he still does it time and time again.

  97. “Ironically- this might be the time to get Melo. Yes his temperament is suspect and yes he’d get sent off a few times- but didn’t Vieira and he was a very similar player?
    Does this team get sufficient protection from English referees?
    Do you think we can win anything with a team of pussies?”

    This has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen posted on here. First of all, Melo is no more a strong man than Alex Song. Second, Viera was an offensive powerhouse. That you even mention Melo’s name and his in the same breath is borderline blasphemy. Third, no hard man is going to prevent us from getting kicked up and down the pitch. That’s the ref’s job. If you think that Melo’s menacing figure is going to prevent the Taylors and Shawcrosses of this world to target our players, you’re abso-fucking-lutely dreaming. The reason why our players are targeted as opposed to the Man U players or Chelsea players getting the same treatment is because most of our players are foreign and young. If these sma e bastards were to kick lumps out of Rooney’s legs there would be a national outcry and they would never, ever, ever get into the England set up. So fuck you, you fucking idiot.

  98. Evil:

    “I hope Wenger is making the German WC matches a must watch for our players. Their defensive discipline is just remarkable. As soon as the opposition gets the ball everybody drops back and starts defending. That’s something we used to do, too, at the start of the 09/10 season!”

    I was thinking the exact same thing. I hope Arshavin in particular is made to view Germany’s victory over England over and over again.

  99. @Gainsbourg69 on July 4, 2010 – at 12:33 am

    I could not agree more.

    Some twat sent an e-mail (or text) to slysports saying:

    England need to bring in more young players like Ryan Shawcross

    The mind boggles at such idiocy.

  100. Anyone fancy Stekelenberg in our goal for the next 10 seasons?

    I do right now!

  101. What is bizarre for me is how this is shaping up to be a rerun of ’74 but with Holland playing pragmatical efficient footy and Germany the young exciting free-flowing team that everyone loves. I love them. and I started out supporting Holland.

  102. Del bosque has to bench torres and start cesc against the germans or else, they would be destroyed. But I hope he dosnt, then cesc gets angry at spain and the barca scum and wants to come back to arsenal….lol

  103. fu*k Pique
    fu*k Xavi
    fu*k Barcelona

    That is all I have to say today. Arsenal do something about them wa*kers because this has gone too too far.

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