We’ve discussed the red cards and yellow cards from the USA-Italy match to death, but the overall booking situation needs to be addressed by FIFA. My thinking is that if FIFA is going to insist on issuing yellow cards in place of warnings for the referee about play, then FIFA needs to change the rule about missing a third match with two yellows. Create a point system to score discipline much like the EPL and MLS do. If not instruct your officials to warn players about rough play or accumulation of fouls before issuing a yellow card.
Brazil has looked fairly ordinary thus far in this World Cup. Nonetheless they remain one of the favorites and the back line led by Cafu and Roberto Carlos, have looked excellent despite their advanced age.
France is going to have beat Togo without Zidane. Togo may have less talent than any nation in Germany and all sort of external issues to deal with but I believe they looked about as good versus South Korea as France did. So that is a bad sign for the French.
Portugal looks less than sharp inspite of having 6 points. The same can be said for England who plays Sweden in its final group game. The Three Lions haven’t beaten Sweden since 1968 a span (and we checked this) of 12 games! From my perspective that is one of the most remarkable and dubious streaks in all of sports. Sweden has beaten England or drawn with them in friendlies, World Cup Qualifiers, European championship matches, Euro Qualifiers and smaller tournaments, while England has been unable to beat Sweden under any circumstance. And England is perceived by most to be the better Footballing nation!
We’ve heard a great deal about Argentina, but I’m not going to annoit them a championship caliber team until we see them against Holland. Regarding the Dutch, I need to eat crow for assuming Marco Van Basten was building for the future with all these young guns. His team is young, hungry and dangerous, perhaps the most lethal combination in Germany!
Sweden has created so many scoring chances in its first two matches, that if they improve their finishing they could be a real dark horse. This is of course assuming they get a result again England, a pretty safe assumption given history (see above)