Monday, June 28, 2010

the matter of having plans

its so funny i could die?

i've been watching the world cup without making much in the way of comments.

but the anglo-german match last night really pushes the boundary.

so, in a group consisting of slovenia, usa and algeria, nobody showed up the weaknesses of the english, and they were able to essentially bully their way past slovenia for their knockout round qualification, scoring their 2 goals(1 against usa, the other against slovenia) of the group stage from 2 moments of individual quality.

but otherwise, if one looked at their match against algeria, it was rather plain to see - they have no clue. only individuals, some with talent, some with endeavor, and sometimes both, but all rarely exhibited.

there was a heskey-gerrard moment against usa...a simple lay off from heskey followed by gerrard doing everything else on his own. and then there was a milner-defoe moment against slovenia...a good cross from milner and a fantastic bit of play attacking the cross from defoe. and nothing else.

and then they met the germans last night, the germans who found the key to unlock the australians(didnt know what hit them), persevered against the ghanians(more physical, but less tactical awareness), and did not possess enough quality to score against the serbs(check out the all-star serb defense!).

for a summary of what happened, this is from the horse's mouth :

Low also revealed the tactics he used to exploit England's weaknesses. "We knew that the midfielders - Gerrard and Lampard - always support the forwards and that their midfield would be open," he said. "We knew there would be spaces.

"Our objective was to set Terry up with Klose to force him to come out of the defence. We knew the full-backs would be very much to the side, and that would create space that we could penetrate. We could have been 3-0 up in the first half because we did penetrate them.

"We knew that we would have to try and tackle the English early on in midfield and take away any space they would have beyond midfield. We knew they might become impatient and lose their discipline. We did that successfully, but Fabio Capello is very experienced and extremely knowledgeable. I bow down to him."

i don't really know what the last bit is for, since nothing capello did during the match changed a thing. only gerrard's burst of action, igniting some of his teammates, late in the first half, saw england make a mark on the match.. half time and the linesman saved the germans from that and when the match restarted in the 2nd half, gerrard was no longer in that mood.

for the record, germany could have been 4-0 up by the time gerrard rallied his troops, whereupon they pulled one goal back, and saw another not credited(it bounced over the line and then out of the goal again, but the linesman failed to spot it). then the germans sat back in the second half but managed to score 2 more on the counter anyway..and started to substitute key players out to let other squad players have game time from as early as 70 min...

just a btw...theres also the japanese..who gave me the strongest impression of "having a plan" yet from watching the matches thus far..more so than the germans...they'll be playing paraguay soon in the knock out stage. i hope they get through. their single mindedness has me chuffed to bits...the multi layered defending, the measured long balls, and the % crosses, and the freekicks..all things that a team with a plan and single minded dedication to it can do...which they do need to get anything out of this competition, since they're obviously physically and technically nowhere near even the paraguayans, nevermind the spainish or argentinians...