This message is now buried in another thread so I moved it here. To be clear, the league is free so bragging rights is all you win. There is even a cheat sheet for people like me who figure Brazil will win because Pele is the best damn soccer player in the world. The more the merrier.
Still time to join the league linked at the top of the page. The standings that Mig showed did not change after the second match so whoever joins now has the small disadvantage of trying to catch me who is accurately named I Know Nothing.
First two games were ok today, didn’t expect much from Greece and well they delivered that, the Koreans looked well in control of the first match (or at least the last twenty minutes of which I saw I guess)
The second one was interesting, I imagine that Nigeria’s defence must keep their coach up late at nights, sheesh no ability to clear the ball beyond the penalty zone. Offensively they looked good, more than a few good chances to score just missed a couple of them.
Argentina looked a little discombobulated in the second half, they had a good first but Nigeria seemed to be coming on in the second.
Mr. Messi seems to have a serious case of performance anxiety on this world stage, I lost count of the clear chances he had and fired high, wide or bounced the ball off a defender, be interesting to see if he can adjust to the pressure as the tournament moves forward, Argentina was fortunate to keep the 1-0 lead, a few bounces the right way and it would have been a very different and panic inducing decision.
I think a more disciplined team would have shredded Argentina to bits. 5 Center-forwards on the field at one time, 3 strikers. Messi taking corners. No defensive midfield, and 3 defenders at the back. Maradona is nuts.
The fact that Nigeria was obsessing over Messi (4 defenders on him at one point!) meant that they didn’t have the manpower for quick counter-attacks. But any team with players that have faced Messi before will kick the crap out of Argentina.
Great match today! Serbia lost the match as much as Ghana won it! Great to see the two Wigan Athletic keepers on opposite sides of the pitch!
Messi gets a heck of a lot more press than Maradona.
The best thing Maradona could have done (too late) is decide on a team and then train and play as a team. Instead, he called up all kinds of players, mixing and matching, juggling them and even surprising some players who were called up.
Some could say that it is a different strategy. Lots of “call-ups” for sure but maybe he was looking for the right combination. The players that beat Germany 1-0 on March 3rd are all on the squad so they have played at least one game together against a serious opponent. (They also beat Canada 5-0 )
When Maradona played, he didn’t follow what others did. Would you expect him to change that as a coach? He’s got lots of thing to prove as a coach but he had lots of things to prove as a player. Imagine, a 5’4" pro soccer player raised in a slum, making it to the top of the world and scoring the goal of the century. Don’t you think he was told many times that he was too small, too slow, too weak?
Sure, he became quite a character after his rise to fame. But he isn’t the first and will not be the last. He is now 50 and maybe his many experience have made him wiser.
Well, I guess the French players could cover their ears with their hands … but then how would they score goals?
Oh, and I’m totally revising my thoughts on Germany. Without Ballack, they’re even better. I had them as winning 3-0 today, but they had to go and screw up my point in the pool by scoring another goal!