Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some World Cup Observations

Saturday June 19, 2010

Some observations from the World Cup so far:

The Adidas Jabulani ball is having a disastrous effect on the tournament. Players are regularly shooting over because it is too light, and hardly any decent free-kicks have been taken. It's not a coincidence.

Wayne Rooney's inept performance for England versus Algeria makes me think he may be carrying an injury.

Cameroon were the first team to go out of the World Cup after a spirited 2-1 loss to Denmark. Coach Paul Le Guen blew it in the 1-0 defeat to Japan when he left Alex Song and Achille Emana on the bench, and put star striker Samuel Eto'o on the right of midfield.

Eto'o's claim before the tournament that Cameroon could win the World Cup always looked a little optimistic.

The Netherlands have been unimpressive in beating Denmark and Japan. They lack pace withoutArjen Robben and will look a different team when he returns from injury. Still, they were the first team to book their place in the second round.

Referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco ruined the Serbia versus Germany match by giving a ridiculous first-half red card to Miroslav Klose and booking nine other players. The Spaniard backed himself into a corner and set a precedent by booking several players for minor fouls early on.

Young Germany midfielder Sami Khedira looks quite a player.

Chile have been one of the best teams on show so far and are arguably the most interesting tactically, with their lack of full backs. Winger Alexis Sanchez produced one of the most exciting performances of the tournament so far against Honduras on Thursday.

Ghana were lazy in the second-half of their 1-1 draw with Australia. They played against 10 men for over an hour but lacked urgency, and a defeat to Germany next week is likely to see them eliminated.

There is a genuine chance that no African team will reach the second round. They have won just one game between them so far.

(Stewart's World Soccer Blog)