Sunday, December 11, 2005

World Cup Analysis

I gotta open up my blog by opening a bottle of champagne and talking about my favorite sport, soccer, and probably the thing on every soccer fan's mouth is next year's World Cup in Germany. If you have never seen this event, it is truly worth watching plus the matches will be during the summer between 9am-1pm so it is a convenient time for everyone to watch (Unlike 2002 one held in Korea/Japan where most games were between midnight and 6am, and yes I stayed up and watched every mnute of it)

After some hundred and some teams played tons of matches, 32 came out on top and qualified for the finals next year. This past Friday the 32 teams were placed in a pot and split into 8 teams, where only the to two in each time will move on to the knock out stages.

I could list all teams and the groups, but it has been 4 days already so I assume you have memorized them by now....just in case here is the link

I'll just give you a run down of the important stuff you need to know:

Who is going to win:
Well if you are going to put money on it you probably want to go with Brazil. They probably look like the best team on paper, they finally have a solid goalkeeper in Dida who has showed some skill playing for AC Milan. Their midfield is stacked with solid players in Rhonaldinho (Just named best player of the year) and Kaka who can really cause danger on the outside, alos watch out for a kid named Junhinho Pernambucano (currently plays for Olympic Lyon) even though he won't start he is really good coming off the bench. Up front is never a question for Brazil, Robinho, even though he is not experiencd the kid can play and has a bright future ahead, he'll cause danger with some good feeds from the middies. Finally
the big question is in their D, can Parreira (coach) depend on a very aging Cafu/Roberto Carlos leadership or do you go with the young Luisao/ze Roberto combination?

So I just gave you plenty of reasons why Brazil is good, but yet they are not pick to in it all...why? last time they looked this good and were such a favorite was in '98, and they got ridiculed by France in the France.

My pick is going to be Italy, they have a very good team from their GK in Buffon, through their D in Nesta/Zaccardo/Cannavaro, into the best free kick kicker in Gatusso finishing with a deadly forward combination in Totti/Toni and look for Gilardino coming of the bench. This bunch is led by a coach who knows about wining in Marcello put on your puma shows, your blue puma track jacket and all you have to say is Forza Azzurri

Toughest group:
Evey year there is a group that stands out as the toughest one t be in, this WC it is two. First we start with group C, obviously the favorites to come out of the group are Argentina and Netherlands, well not so fast. First question is can Argentina put their porblems aside and focus on the job at hand? Last time the Netherlands played in a WC they made it to the semis, but that was about 8 years ago, they struggled and missed the WC and 2002 and now make this WC, it is uncertain what will see. Then who is Serbia and Montenegro? Formerly known as Yugoslavia, this team played very well last time in '98, until being knocked out by ......oh yes Netherlands. And finally Cote D' Ivory, unless you have been watching U-17/U-21 World Cup the past few years you cannot even name a player on this quad. The fact is that Cote D' Ivory has been a dominant team, going far into the tournament for the past few years and it is no surprise to see this team playing at this level, so watch out for the African teams. The other tough group being considered is group E. seriously I think USA is overrated and will not get past teh group stages, Ghana is like Cote D' Ivory so they could surprise...but I truly think both Italy and Czech Republic will cruise through and by the time they meet on the last matchday of the group both will be qualified and be resting their stars for the kncout stage, the god thing to watch for this match is who gets second in the group, why? because there is a very good chance they will face the winner of group F (probably Brazil)

Biggest Choke:
I think Argentina will be the dissapointment for two WC in a row, not only are they in a tough group they also have a lot of internal problem. They have problems between the coach, Pekerman, and the media, as soon as the team is not performing they media gets critical. Their Keeper, Pato, makes some stupid mistakes when playing for his club team in Boca. Up front you have El Apache Tevez and Riquelme that are very individual players and do not play as a team. And Walter Samuel is probably the worst defender I have ever seen he just makes stupid fouls and when he goes up to attack he is slow coming back. It is sad to say this because I really like this team but I think this team is going to dissappoint a whole nation for the second WC in a row

Surprise team:
The surprise team this year is going to be Australia and that is because of the master mind they have at the coaching position which is Guus Hiddink. Thsi guy has the ability to make teams from pretenders into contenders. Such is the case with South Korea who he lead in 2002 to the semis, similar with the Netherlands in 1998....So make sure you have Australia winning a few.

Finally I'd like to say that this is just a bunch of crap that came out of my head....truly it does not matter...why?...well lets look at the past WC in 2002 where so many of the favorites were left out in the firtst truly this is an unpredictable tournamnet that will bring the best in some teams and the worst in others

Sport's guy out

Soon to come: my take on the BCS, College Bball, MLB/Cubbies, ohh yeah and why Venezuela is going to win the Baseball Classic


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