The World Cup Gets Turned Upside Down


Oscar of Brazil

So, England and Brazil’s World Cup dreams are over. In both matches, the favorites were outplayed, conservative and uninspiring.

England’s demise falls to Wayne Rooney. The idiotic kick by Rooney was the turning point in the match. From that point on, England had to change its tactics and the harsh, cruel defeat by penalties seemed to be inevitable. England should, yet again, study how Germany takes penalty kicks.

Brazil, meanwhile, were impotent in front of goal and its midfield was unable to play due to excellent French defending. Let’s just hope that France thrashes Portugal. Scolari’s men don’t deserve to be in the position they’re in after a physical and uninspiring display against England.

4 thoughts on “The World Cup Gets Turned Upside Down”

  1. I don’t think it was the kick that got Rooney sent off. That was an accident in my opinion. But the push on Ronaldo was unnecessary and I believe that was the reason for the sending off.

    In all fairness I think England played well under the circumstances of being a man down. And in the end Portugal made the most of their penalties. It’s an unfortunate loss after fighting so hard but that’s how the game goes. But that’s just my opinion.

    As for Brazil, France clearly played the better game. Good goal by Henry and excellent game for Zidane and france on a whole.

  2. Rooney disappointed, but I thought Lampard’s pathetic attempt and Carragher’s goofing around on his penalty deserve some blame as well. With Ronaldo waiting in the wings you MUST make that shot.

  3. My comments on the English team’s performance at the World Cup:

    # On-the-field leadership: Beckham is not and should not be expected to be the leader. He can resolve a match with one free kick, but England requires leaders to lead by example, and that has to be provided for the entire length of a match. Scoring wins matches but is not enough to build leadership. Steven Gerrard’s performance against AC Milan in the Champions League final was the perfect hint to Sven: need a new Bryan Robson? You found him! Alas, the hint was not taken. If Beckham had Martin Keown’s beauty (no offence MK, but Beckham is generally considered more handsome than you), and if he had not married Posh Spice, would we be talking about him as a leader? The media made a leader, in this case, and their requirements are different from those of a football team. If not Gerrard, Terry is a good candidate to leadership.

    # Frantic run for the goal: Eriksson (or the current Zeitgeist in the Premiership) has introduced a partial change in the attitude and expectations of the England team. The traditional game we like to watch is based on the attempt to get the ball and score a goal immediately. Good or bad, the Swede has introduced a different approach, in which the team controls the ball a bit more, looking for a gap in the opponent’s defence. This is a step towards the “latin” approach to football that won 13 World Cups out of 17 (I’m including France in the list of countries playing “Latin-style football”. To proceed in this direction, one further step is necessary (and it’s not diving or rolling on the ground) …

    # Individual skills and ball control: weeks ago I found an article about the poor balls skills on English players. yesterday I found another one (both on national press, so it’s not foreigners talking). I am glad to see that the press acknowledge the problem: it does not take France-Brazil to see players treating the ball like a friend; Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Dutch are good examples of teams with better individual ball control. Some teams might need to send their players to learn fair play in England, but England would definitely benefit from having more of its players competing in any of the foreign championships mentioned above. Look at Beckham: he’s probably the player with the best foot in the English team, but when he plays for Real Madrid, he plays as a central midfielder trying to break the other team’s play and to recoved the ball, to then pass it to other players (with even better ball control) to build up the action.

  4. You brits are truly ridiculous… Who’s playing a dirty game now?? Of course, Carvalho should have never placed his ball under Rooney’s feet…
    By the way, did you ever win a WC? Yes you did!! At home, with a goal that never got in… Way to go!!
    And when was the last time an English team beat a Portuguese one?? Benfica, Porto, Sporting, not to mention the national team, have been playing with the brits for a long time

    (and to show that you are all good sports, you will not censor this comment)

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