Sunday, June 20, 2010

Say Goodbye to some of the supposed best in the world

With Italy fizzling out against New Zealand that leaves only Brazil, Argentina and The Netherlands performing up to the standards people expect from the best teams in the world. And even then, Argentina only managed a single goal against Nigeria. However, they came back with fury, scoring 4 on South Korea. Brazil were unspectacular in their 2-1 defeat of North Korea, but were back to their old selves in a 3-1 drubbing of Ivory Coast.

England, like Italy, have only managed 2 points from 2 matches. Like Italy, the second of those came against a team (Algeria) that everyone expected to go out with zero points from 3 matches. I don't think Algeria were particularly good against England, they certainly weren't much good against Slovenia and they were awful in a pre-tournament friendly with Ireland. But England couldn't connect on passes, they couldn't string decent plays together in the box. They just kept giving the ball away. It was hardly the result of any brilliant defending on the part of Algeria, but of the lackluster performance of England. Their third match against Slovenia is going to be tough. I have a feeling they're going to lose and bust out of the tournament.

France are almost finished, too. They're sitting on 1 point after a scoreless draw with Uruguay and a loss to Mexico. They have yet to score a goal. They have some of the best players in the world on their squad but the talent has been squandered by the bizarre habits of their useless manager, who (rumor has it) left someone off the squad because of his star sign. Anelka has been sent packing after reportedly criticizing the manager during halftime of their loss to Mexico. Then the team refused to show up to training in protest. They should defeat South Africa, who are a dreadful team, but they're engulfed in inner turmoil, going down in flames. Has there ever been another country that, in four World Cups, made it to the final twice (winning once) and failed to advance from the first round twice? France could be that country this week. Even if France defeat the host nation on Tuesday, they have to make up a 5 goal deficit to advance.

Wouldn't it be exciting to see a second round with no England, Germany, France or Italy?


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