Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Here's hoping for a France vs. Germany final.


Thankfully, France beat Brazil. My hopes are now on a France-Germany final. As long as Italy and Portugal don't win the competition I don't mind. Both It and Port play stiflingly boring football, marked only by its gamesmanship and occasional moments of skill. I hope France and Germany's players have more sense than to respond to their theatrics than Rooney did.

Brazil's team has been a disgrace. One of the most egotistical I can remember. Nike shoves the myth of 'Joga Bonita' down our throat for months on end before the world cup as it makes money, regardless of how Brazil play. Ronaldinho, by the end of the France game, greedily grabbed the ball at any dead ball opportunity. He was only concerned with making his mark on the tournament, regardless of the team. Ronaldo only cared about getting his record. I don’t know what Roberto Carlos cared about but it certainly wasn’t helping his team-mates.

That Henry patiently waited and built himself into the team shows why he is the better player than Ronaldinho. It was particularly gratifying to see Roberto Carlos's nemesis moment as he failed to bother tracking Henry back at the Zidane Freekick when France scored, allowing Zizou to link with Henry for the first time in an International. That Henry and Zidane are clicking is a joy to see, and obviously ominous for the rest of the tournament. I have to admit that when I read anti’s column [on Arsenal, wtf] on why France would win the world cup, I thought he was just over-egging his customary ‘Vieira is lord’ position, but it seems he might have hit the nail on the head. France only have one weak link in their team – Barthez. Aside from that, their team is both solid, yet breathtakingly skilful. Gallas and Thuram have been wonderful at c-b. Vieira has returned to the heights he previously reached with us, giving France, with Makele, two midfielders who can both hold and win the ball, yet also attack. [ has any else noticed Makele attacking far more for France that Chelsea?] Against France, the attacking foursome of Malouda, Zidane, Ribery, and Henry was terrific. Ribery has seriously improved over the tournament, and Henry has settled in to playing up front on his own. Yet it has been Zidane’s stunning form which has propelled France through the matches against Spain and Brazil. As per usual, his breathtaking skills were met with Tyldesley’s cries of ‘oh, its Zidane playing like a Brazilian now!’ Why is this comparison necessary? Zidane is better than any player from Brazil’s winning teams of 94 or 2002. Why can’t players play skillfully and be recognized as such on their own merits, instead of the tenuous assertion that all skilful, exciting play is somehow Brazil is origin? Maybe in 1970, or 1982, but not necessarily since.

France have a balanced team with bite and skill. They can effortlessly stroke the ball around. The manner of their win made up for the disappointment of England’s departure, not least because England would have been hammered by France in the semi-final. After the disappointing, boring, turgid game that was England Portugal, came the beauty that was Zidane and co. Watching them play real football, hammered home my disgust at the manner of England’s performance.

On balance I hope France win, but I would hate to see Jens upset again. Him and Klinsmann are the only real reasons I’m supporting Germany. I love the way he’s made his team play football, and organized a fair few average players into near world beaters. If anyone can tell me what the hell the debacle after the Arg-Germ penalty shoot out was about please tell me. Also, to German readers, are you taught penalties at school? Is it part of your national curriculum? Four world cup penalty shoot outs. One miss. That is staggering.

I hope Germany beat Italy. Italy, after going 1-0 up against Ukraine, already had 9 men behind the ball half-way through the first half. Fair enough, but I don’t like the defensive mindset, and the out and out cheating I’ve seen from Italy so far.

A Germany France final would not only be laden with history, it’d be a delightful spectacle, and a showpiece worthy of our game. I dread to think of a Portugal Italy final.


jobby said...

Goonerboy, I like your blog and have done for a while, but lately it seems like your liking the sound of your own voice a bit.
Keep the blogs short and sweet mate.

Goonerboy said...

Sorry Jobby mate.

My rational was that if i hadn't posted for a while, I'd post lots in one go to make up for it.

I think when the season starts again, I'll go back to the older formula.

And its not so much liking the sound of my own voice as being a terrible editor.

Anonymous said...

Dont know if its true but apparently, the Argie subs were chirping the German players walking up to take the penalties. After the shoot out some of the Germand players and Bierhoff then confronted them for it. Thats what kicked it off.

spike said...

I completely agree. Germany and France are the only two sides I've truly been excited to see, well and Argentina in group play. I hadn't seen much of France before the Brazil match, Zidane still has it. They were just unbelievable to watch, I loved every minute of it.

A Portugal/Italy final... all 22 players writhing on the ground in pain at once, please.