World Cup Group C Preview: World Cup Buzz Podcast

We left the most anticipated to the end, with today’s episode of the World Cup Buzz Podcast breaking down Group C. In that group England is the seed, and they are joined by Algeria, Slovenia, and a United States team that will look to conjure the same magic used on their last trip to South Africa. I am joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer to look at each team’s strengths and weakness and, going match-by-match, look at how they match up against each other.

Tomorrow, we convene for our final preview show, look at the brackets we’ve build over the last two weeks, and make our predictions for the tournament’s knock-out phase.

26 thoughts on “World Cup Group C Preview: World Cup Buzz Podcast”

  1. Kartic has lost the plot, I got the impression he had steam coming out of his ears when he was laughed at. (if it makes you feel any better Kartic, I was laughing too). Maybe the Gaffer should have him checked out, I think he may have some mental health problems.

    P.S I enjoyed your 5 minute rant when you were trying to convince yourself and everyone else that the U.S were going to beat England. That made me laugh too. I might even listen to this again as good comedy value.

  2. I’m not sure which was more bizarre – Kartic suggesting Nadir Belhadj would play on the right for England or that, simply due to tournament experience, Bob Bradley had the edge over Fabio Capello. Comparing the England and US squads, as an Englishman, I’d take Howard over Green, Donovan over SWP and maybe Bradley ahead of an off-form Carrick but ultimately that’s a 20-3 disparity.

  3. Kartic was very very very funny. Completely lost the plot i’m afraid. I thought presenter did well to bring him back in line. I agree NO ONE is underestimating the USA team. They will be difficult, but no more than that. They are not a team that England should at least currently be overly concerned about as long as they turn up and play.

  4. Kartik’s obsession with experience in tournaments he (and in some cases only he) finds worthy is very funny. Bob Bradley has coach gold cups, so he is more experienced than Capello? For nearly every positive at the Confederations Cup there was a negative. I love his enthusiasm, but his bias against England clouds his judgement.

    I don’t think England are world beaters and if we can sure up the back line I very well think we could beat them. But, his constant ridicule of the England team just makes him look foolish, which he clearly isn’t if you listen to him all the time. The guy knows soccer, but comes off looking like a raving lunatic in this pod and on twitter with all his hate spewing towards England. One of the worst cases of trying to overcome an inferiority complex that I have ever witnessed.

    I understand his point that Richard and Laurence came off as unprofessional in laughing/scoffing at his pick, but I really feel they were only laughing because of how he has been banging on over the last few weeks. There was no way he would ever pick England to win the match after his attacks on the English press and fans. Most of his venom seems to stem from his perception that the media over there is disrespecting us. Even if that is true what exactly does that have to do with a match on the field?

  5. Everybody:

    Thank you for the feedback. Obviously, this show was different, and although I monitor all feedback for any way we can improve the show, this show I will be interacting in a more direct way with everybody as we try to determine how to move forward and (as always) improve.

    To the team, I have noted that I don’t think this was a bad show. It’s just different than the show we normally produce.

    1. Richard: I want to thank you, Kartik and Laurence for all the podcasts. I am a night owl and typically found myself listening to the pods about 1 in the morning soon after they were posted. I truly feel that I am going in to this World Cup more aware of the lesser known teams than ever before, and much of that is due to your work. Having guests on with expertise in all of the confederations was great, and all of the group specific podcasts were very informative.

      1. Thanks, Kevin. It’s been fun, and hopefully we can keep interacting with each other throughout the tournament. The guests have been … well, spectacular.

  6. Can I just re-iterate that most England fans will be taking the USA very seriously, but don’t judge us on our pathetic jingoistic media. Goodness me.
    I have the upmost respect for USA as a football team, I just feel that England will be too strong. What’s wrong with that? What does annoy me is when people use Englands friendlies as a reason for why they are poor, but then refuse to accept the points about USA’s friendly performances in the same year. That’s not on at all, it’s downright hypocritical.

    The Lampard debate astounds me, for me, he’s been one of Englands most consistent players over the last few years. He’s Englands 4th highest scoring midfielder with more goals than Beckham and Gerrard and played in less games than them. He’s scored 20 or more goals in the last 6 seasons. That’s not luck, it’s skill. I don’t like Ashley Cole as a person, but he’s a damn fine player. Do I have to like him, no, but I appreciate his abilities as a player, without doubt.

    The points in regard to Capello’s lack of experience are unusual, surely if World Cup experience was the key, then Bora Mujatovic should have won a cup by now seen as he’s been at 5 world cups with 5 different teams. Experience counts for nothing if you don’t have the tools at your disposal. I’ll be glad when it’s out of the way because I’m fed up of reading some quite nasty, blinkered and downright mad comments on both sides.

    1. Completely agree, Paul.

      Look, I don’t want to belabor this too much, but through my work on this show and at other plays, there are very few prominent English journalists I have not talked to since the draw.

      None have shown the U.S. chances anything but respect.

  7. Today was horrible, but it doesn’t take away the great job that you’ve all done the last 3-4 weeks. I feel so much more informed before this world cup than previous and that’s thanks to the podcasts.

    1. Thanks, BBC. I really appreciate the feedback. If there’s anything more you (or anybody) can add, feel free to email me (richardfarley aht gmail doht com). Worst case scenario: we talk some football.

  8. Haven’t listened yet but based on the comments above, this should be a good one! :)

    I remember Kartik tweeting recently that the US have half-a-dozen central midfielders better than Huddlestone, so I was already looking forward to the diatribe. Sounds like a beauty. I’ll go and make a cuppa.

    1. Ah, this wasn’t as bad as I feared based on the reaction on here.

      I think the trap Kartik has fallen into is over-analysis – the idea that the more you think about the game, the better your prediction will be. USA will beat England because USA hold a high line and Capello has never coached in tournament. Slovenia will beat the USA because they have a strong defence. Algeria would have won the group but because of one player’s absence, they won’t get a point.

      Does that make sense to ANYONE?

      It’s much simpler than that in my book. England will win the group because they’re the best team. It will be tight between USA and Slovenia but USA will prevail because they are the better team. Finally will come Algeria, because they are the worst team.

      With just six games to play, any slight upset might change this outcome, but by-and-large I think that’s what we can expect out of this group.

  9. It is laughable the comments here from the English fans. I thought it completely absurd that some of these podcasts have featured support of the likes Japan and North Korea while ripping Italy, Argentina, Cote D’Ivore etc yet it is a pick being made by many seasoned football observers that gets everyone angry. Those very controversial and ill advised picks made by Krishnaiyer and Farley did not conjure up this much emotion and anger.

    Krishnaiyer is not alone in picking the US. I think his long history of reasoned criticism of the US program and analysis of the national team gives him the credibility few of you have.

    I quite frankly am appalled by the typical English fanboy reaction and it is no wonder he felt so disrespected on the show itself.

    1. Thanks, Jeff. I personally don’t think it’s far-fetched to see the U.S. beating England. I didn’t pick that, but the USMNT is very capable and sit firmly in that next tier of nation below England – a group of nations that can beat the Englands of the world.

      The podcast is a bit misleading because … well, this edition of the show has a distinct momentum, dynamic. I assure you both Laurence and I think the United States are capable of beating England (and most anybody).

      Perhaps there is, was a reaction to how Kartik’s prediction was made or came about, but Laurence and I both feel bad for how we reacted to it.

    2. So you think it’s fair to say England are rubbish because they didn’t play well in 3 friendlies they won, but completely ignore USA’s 3 defeats to poorer opposition this year? Honestly, you think that’s fair?

      It’s not balanced, it’s not objective and that’s my problem. I have nothing but respect for the USA as a team as my articles have shown. It’s a shame some other people are simply viewing things entirely from a biased perspective.

      Disagreeing with that is hardly fanboy criticism is it.

  10. Kartic is out of his mind. I would have laughed too and I’m a U.S. fan. This idea that just because we’re a semi decent side means we have to command all the respect in the world is stupid. A team like England doesn’t have to respect us because you know why? They’re better and they’re going to win.

    I’d also like to point out that everyone in England is saying the U.S. is the hardest opponent and while England should still win they are worried. It’s exactly where they should be at.

    Seriously Kartic you have a serious napoleon complex going on. We aren’t as good as England, not even close. England 2 – 0 USA

  11. To be fair I think Kartik brings it on himself. I personally think the U.S could beat England, I don’t think they will, but they could.
    If England fail to perform and let the pressure get to them and the U.S plays at the top of their game then we could see an upset.

    The problem with Kartik is he doesn’t say things like this, he would rather go on a rant about how Bradley is a better coach than Fabio, or how apart from rooney, most of the english players are not very good.

    I think the people who come to this site should know better than most what the quality of the English players is like as you spend every weekend watching the prem. You should know how they stack up against the American players. When you compare the two, England should win, but it doesn’t mean they will. All I ask is that people be realistic and enjoy what should be a very good game

  12. Everyone who listens to this pod knows Kartik has a strong passion for U.S. Soccer, and thats great. He did go a bit far today in his England rant. Football is everything over there and we all know they over-hype every little detail of there team. The US team is capable of beating England, but realistically England will be favorites. A 2-0 US win is a bit of a reach, and given Kartik’s England rant a snicker was exactly what I did as well….but not a disrespectful one. Tell Kartik my father-in-law is from Scotland, believe me, I’ve heard it alll before! keep up the great pods! cheers

    1. James: Great point. Kartik’s passion is unmatched, and it’s great. The show is obviously a contentious one, but I think there’s a part of Kartik’s passion that we all admire.

  13. The most compelling argument Krishnaiyer made and was repeated by Eric A. was that England has not played a single competitive match against a World Cup qualifer since 2006. That is remarkable and some very good research and a very valid point. Problem is, he did not mention his best point of all on this show. Why not? No clue, but I’d like an explanation for him as to why he didn’t say anything of the sort.

  14. I’d rate the chances as:

    England win – 60%
    Draw – 20%
    USA win – 20%

    Is that reasonable? Would anyone argue that I’m way off base?

  15. Good job with the podcast overall!!

    I actually enjoyed this one. I’m convinced of two things:

    1) Kartik watches a lot of football and knows a bit about the players involved.

    2) Kartik tries to hide this fact behind some of the most bizarre rants I have ever heard. I don’t know how to react to the comments about Capello’s lack of experience???? I’m all for unique points of view but that defies logic.

    Can’t get behind all the love for Slovenia. The whole panel agreed they were one of the most talent challenged teams in the tourney and then gushed about how great they are?????? I know their organized but I think you guys are a little over impressed.

    I appreciate the break from Chula and the Gaffer constantly re-hashing “who should I support, the US or England?”

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