Monday, 14 June 2010

Monday 14 June 2010 – WORLD CUP DAY FOUR

The news today is that Ledley King looks all but finished for the World Cup. His latest injury looks likely to keep him out for three weeks at which point it is debatable as to whether England will still actually be in the competition or not. In all my years of watching football I have never heard of such a pathetic individual, surely one of the key requirements of a professional at the highest level of any industry is that they be fit and reliable. In a normal walk of life a person would not be able to take this amount of time of and be allowed to let their organization down.

Also in the news today are reports of crowd trouble after the Australia v Germany game last night. It wasn’t trouble involving supporters but in fact apparently match marshals running riot in protest at their poor payment for work.

On the Honey Is Funny blog I come across a pretty decent rant at the ITV coverage of England games. I don’t have the words that Chris does.

There are also calls to ban the vuvuzela today. This was on the Daily Mail website.

Today begins my own favourite group with the first two encounters in Group E. These are four footballing nations I have always loved watching and even though these days they don’t have the form of the teams in Group G they still possess the ability to be very entertaining.

This will always be a great fixture. Unfortunately as with these things the first half fails to live up to expectations as the Dutch get described as “underwhelming.” 33 seconds into the second half Simon Poulsen accidentally heads the ball of Daniel Agger and puts the ball into his own net. As the half continues neither team displays any spark or inspiration with the Dutch ruffling most feathers and working most opportunities. All the way through Van Persie suggests a threat and when Denmark pull off Bendtner it feels like some kind of moral victory for Holland which comes with a sense of the Danish throwing the towel in. On the 81st minute Sneider takes a shot that bounces off the bar. A few minutes later Kuyt knocks home a soft rebound off the far post to make the score 2-0, which is how the game ends.

In another match distinctly lacking spark, despite Samuel Eto’o being on the field (albeit seemingly out of position) both Cameroon and Japan snuff each other out for the majority of the first half until in the 38th minute some slack slack defending from Cameroon allows Honda in at the far post to tap the ball in from a cross. Unfortunately in the second half things fail to pick up with the only genuine moment of excitement coming when M’bia pounds a shot against the crossbar for Cameroon. The victory is the first time Japan have won a World Cup finals match that wasn’t on their own soil and, for me, represents something of a major shock.

Before the game during the national anthems Italy sound in good voice as they barely scrape together an audible note. It does however suggest pride and hopefully that they are up for it. In Villar Paraguay appear to be continuing in a proud line of goalkeeping captains Chilavert style. I wonder if this guy takes penalties also. This evening in South Africa it is pissing down. For a third game running things are far from classic and just as the lack of urgency in proceedings being highlighted Paraguay snatch a surprise lead as Alcaraz rises quickest to head home from a free kick. Thankfully the game picks up in the second half as Paraguay appear to gain in confidence and the game opens up. Eventually though Italy who manage to remain in the match finally take advantage of Villar looking ropey on crosses all game as De Rossi slots the ball in from a corner. From here the game plays out and ends at 1-1.

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