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Author Topic: FIFA World Cup 2014  (Read 12712 times)

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Offline Deamonbane

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #450 on: July 02, 2014, 12:54:35 PM »
The fact of the matter is that Robben is their main play maker. Without him, they have virtually no link between defense and attack, relying on long passes and lobbing the ball into the area. But it is hard to cover Robben effectively. The man Is as fast as a fifteen year old on his first date, and very slippery to boot..
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 12:57:11 PM by Deamonbane »

Offline Kitsunetsuki

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #451 on: July 02, 2014, 01:50:21 PM »
The fact of the matter is that Robben is their main play maker. Without him, they have virtually no link between defense and attack, relying on long passes and lobbing the ball into the area. But it is hard to cover Robben effectively. The man Is as fast as a fifteen year old on his first date, and very slippery to boot..
This had me laughing so hard, my boss looked at me like I had lost my mind. ;D

Oh, and I totally agree!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 01:51:22 PM by Kitsunetsuki »

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #452 on: July 02, 2014, 07:14:11 PM »
So we're quite a way into the World Cup now and it seems like a decent time to revisit my early predictions and see how (badly) I did.

Likely winners and dark horses (from here)

Spain

Well... I got this one badly wrong didn't I?

In fairness, I did point out that it looked like the end of an era before the tournament and that the more direct approach hadn't worked when attempted in the Confederations Cup but really, did anyone expect Spain to go out in the group phase? Why did it happen? Mourinho being proven right about Casillas (and frankly he was awful in the Champions League final just to reinforce the point), the midfield being slightly off the pace and the Costa experiment failing horribly. It was always going to be a challenge to turn a team based on tika-taka possession and a forward who was basically part of a midfield (hell, Fabregas often appeared as the nominal striker) into a team focused around a direct target man... and doing it with an unfit Costa under immense pressure was just making it even more difficult.

Brazil, Germany, Argentina

I'm lumping these together because they're all basically in the same position; in the semi-finals, haven't lost a match but haven't looked entirely convincing either. Brazil struggled in their opener, struggled more in the draw with Mexico and had to really ride their luck against Chile but between some steel in midfield, Neymar's exuberance and a great penalty shootout they've made it. Germany looked stunning against Portugal, underwhelming against Ghana, limited against the USA and workmanlike at best against Algeria but, to use a stereotype, they've been efficient with what chances they do have. Argentina have looked a mess, with Messi largely carrying an underperforming team of superstars who look pretty woeful forward.

In truth, none have impressed, but they're all still here and all still have the quality to push on. If Argentina's selection of attacking players outside of Messi finally hit their stride they could cause chaos, if Germany can put it all together they combine silky skill and cold steel and if Brazil can find someone other than Neymar to actually take on a creative role things should open up for them.

Uruguay

I had them as dark horses and I'm sort of content with that pick. I gave them that pick largely on the strength of Cavani and Suarez... while Cavani's been pretty underwhelming, when Suarez has played they beat England and Italy... when he wasn't they lost comfortably to Costa Rica and Columbia. Suarez' madness cost them their attacking threat and thus cost them their best chance of winning.

Belgium

It still hasn't quite clicked for this young and talented squad... but they're still doing enough to win. They keep coming, break opponents down, score late and use their squad incredibly well; the art of making the right substitution at the right time is something even good managers sometimes struggle with; Wilmots has been excellent at it. Can they win it? I'm not sure; Argentina and then likely the Netherlands is a tough ask to make the final... but they've certainly got a shot.

The Netherlands

Even with Strootman missing the Netherlands have got to be seen as contenders right now. They might not have quite hit the brilliance of that first match against Spain and their defence may still have real questions hanging over it but with Robben tormenting one flank, RVP driving through the middle and the erratic Schneider capable of brilliance even after having a poor match they've got the attacking threat to win any game. On paper they should beat Costa Rica... but you could have said that about pretty much all of Costa Rica's games so far.

Chile

Again, I'm pretty happy with this dark horse pick. A triumph of the team over the individual they may have been out-thought by the Dutch but they outfought Spain and were desperately unlucky to go out against Brazil. Hard work, hard running, hard pressing and enough skill to hurt teams when it mattered carried them through and but for a few inches of crossbar they'd be looking at a quarter final birth.

Ivory Coast

Yeah... I got this one badly wrong. I thought their attacking talent and driving midfield would be enough to make up for a poor defence (both individually and collectively) but it wasn't. This has been another poor competition for African teams and while Ghana and Cameroon have taken the most blows to their reputation (despite a strong performance by Ghana against Germany), the Ivory Coast have seen a Golden GenerationTM come and go with very little to show for it.

France

Arguably the team to have looked the strongest throughout the tournament (although Colombia make a strong case the other way), France destroyed Honduras and Switzerland before breaking down Nigeria. The only match they struggled in against Ecuador saw France put out a pretty clear reserve 11. Their midfield is seemingly perfectly balanced with Matudi and Pogba taking turns to make hard driving box-to-box runs while the other sits back and breaks up counters and Cabaye sitting slightly deeper pulling the strings,  Benzema's been excellent when played as a striker and their wingers have added a touch of class and magic to proceedings. If one was being harsh than Giroud's hit and miss form and a few questions about the defence may make one hesitate but to me this looks like a France side which has found its feet after a difficult four years or so. Their match with Germany looks mouthwatering on paper... and I don't think it would be a foolish prediction to say the winner of that match wins the whole thing.

Overall Predictions (from here)

Group A

I was right in seeing Brazil as the group winners and got my pick wrong in edging Croatia over Mexico. It's a pity for a Croatian team that is packed with talent but at the same time I don't think anyone can dispute the Mexican performances.

Group B

Spain being so awful completely ruined by prediction but even not taking that into account I thought that Chile would edge a Dutch team that lacks the talent of four years ago. How wrong I was; the Dutch performed brilliantly, the Chileans slightly less so and Spain pretty dreadfully. A word of praise for Australia; despite losing all their matches, this young team did themselves proud and gave a real scare to the Ditch.

Group C


Man, I was awful at this. I thought Colombia would miss Falcao; arguably they've been better without him and have to be seen as strong contenders. I thought Japan had the skill to unlock defences; they didn't. I thought Ivory Coast would have the drive to carry them through; they didn't. I thought Greece would be too defensive; they sort of were but made their chances count (at one point they were going to get through the group with only one goal).

Group D

Another one I got badly wrong. No-one saw Costa Rica coming... least of all the Uruguayans and Italians... and Suarez made the difference when he played, even if not directly being involved in the goal against Italy. I should have stuck to the courage of my convictions with Italy; I repeatedly said how bad they were in the buildup but thought they still had the nous and defensive solidarity to get out of the group. As for England, there were promising moments but if you're playing a 4-2-4 formation (as we essentially were) you need a lot of goals scored to make up for your exposed defence. Two goals in three games considering the chances we created simply wasn't good enough and Gerrard's role as defensive midfielder failed miserably... in the Uruguay game in particular both of the goals we conceded had his direct involvement.

Group E

I was right that France would walk it if they bothered to show up. I was wrong that Ecuador would outlast a more talented Swiss team on account of the conditions. Not too unhappy with my prediction here.

Group F

Again I was right about the winners, again I was wrong about which team would win a narrow battle for second place. Again I'm not too disappointed here, especially when you consider Dzeko's goal incorrectly being ruled out for offside... on such fine margins group runner's up (and a prediction) are won and lost.

Group G

Germany, as expected, won. But Portugal were rubbish... a half-fit Ronaldo tried as hard as he could but even his talents couldn't drag the rest of his team with him. I think there was an over-reliance on the class of 2012 here; that strong Euro campaign was the swansong for this group. The USA impressed; hard working, tactically astute, dedicated and with enough talent and belief to make their chances count. If they can keep that attitude while adding in some quality they could make a real push soon... the issue may be who can replace the likes of Dempsey and Howard in four year time.

Group H

Right on the winner, wrong on everything else. South Korea were awful, Russia were little better (more fool me for picking a Capello side) and Algeria were excellent.

Offline kylie

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #453 on: July 03, 2014, 03:23:15 PM »
         I am a little surprised at how much fun I'm having watching France.  They have a good deal of energy and they can spread things around the field.  Nigeria at least managed to keep the ball more on the ground shooting at them.  Now if only the Nigerians had managed to put anyone at the connecting end of all those breakneck crosses into the penalty area, they might also have been rather dangerous.  The Nigerian goalie put in a very good showing though, probably softening the otherwise unbalanced direction of the game.

         The Belgian defense against the US reminded me more of how Germany used to play...  Packing the center like mad.  Jones somehow had a rather terrible day against them, flipping stuff off Air Nigeria style and just generally not managing to get quite the right facing in at the right moment.  The US built reasonably well in midfield for the lesser possession it had, but too often they got caught making the wrong decision on whether to go for quick potshots or settle down and work the offense more gradually.  It's great if/when you can get all the one-touches and volleys, but some of those opportunities might have worked out with a little more settling the ball too.  That and raw bad luck in the crunch of overtime.  The Belgians had better handling overall and they certainly deserved their points, but it could quite conceivably still have ended differently.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 03:25:55 PM by kylie »

Offline Nicholas

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #454 on: July 04, 2014, 10:44:12 AM »
Germany for the win!

Enuff said. ;D

Offline Falanor

Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #455 on: July 04, 2014, 11:25:48 AM »
Germany for the win!

Enuff said. ;D
This does not surprise me.  XD

Offline Lirliel

Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #456 on: July 04, 2014, 11:26:13 AM »
Let's go germany!

Online Dashenka

Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #457 on: July 04, 2014, 11:33:54 AM »
God... if you thought Robben was a diver and acting... Klose beats him on that...

Offline Kitsunetsuki

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #458 on: July 04, 2014, 11:40:30 AM »
Germany for the win!

Enuff said. ;D
Considering that's the other side of my heritage, I'll go along with that :D

(at least for this match! Brazil is always #1 in my heart!)

Offline Nicholas

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #459 on: July 04, 2014, 11:53:03 AM »
So far, so good. ;D

Offline Nicholas

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #460 on: July 04, 2014, 12:56:43 PM »
Yes! ;D

~dances~

Online Remiel

Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #461 on: July 04, 2014, 01:12:28 PM »
Hey, I have a question for Consortium or CastorTroy or anyone else who fancies himself/herself a football expert -- hopefully you can help settle an argument for me.  Did you watch the US / Belgium game (or any of the US games for that matter)?  If so, how would you rate the overall quality of the US  defense (not counting Tim Howard)?

Is the fact that Belgium had 39 shots compared to our 17, and 17 shots on target compared to our 5 indicative of poor defending, or was it our inability to keep the ball in the midfield?  Or both?

Offline Kitsunetsuki

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #462 on: July 04, 2014, 01:20:24 PM »
Yes! ;D

~dances~
*wishes she could have danced with him ~ or at least watched* ;D

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #463 on: July 04, 2014, 04:17:38 PM »
SOU BRASILEIRO! COM MUITO ORGULHO! COM MUITO AMOOOOOOOOOOR!

Go Brasil! Be Agressive!

Offline Kitsunetsuki

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #464 on: July 04, 2014, 04:58:57 PM »
OMG!! *blasts samba & dances around the house* ;D I'm all teary eyed again, I'm so happy!! Vai Brasil!! 💛💚💙

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #465 on: July 04, 2014, 05:03:33 PM »
*dances with Kitsu* YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!

Offline kylie

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #466 on: July 04, 2014, 05:04:19 PM »
          Getting a little underwhelmed with this year overall...  Besides often being able to (usually compelled to) see the scores before I'm able to see the games...

          The rather low number of goals in many games is not grabbing me very well.  I'd like to see a few more of the France- Switzerland level.   :P   

           And so far, the  finalist roster is sort of boiling down toward the same old favorites all over again.  I'm running out of lovable underdogs.  Pooh.   ::)  Does Holland or Belgium really count?  I don't know their history all that well.  I just feel like it's too "easy" to assume Brazil might win.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #467 on: July 04, 2014, 05:12:50 PM »
Easy? Do you call what Brazil pulled off today easy in any way?

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #468 on: July 04, 2014, 05:31:07 PM »
So far this tournament has been, to me and most people I've talked to, way more exciting than South Africa four years ago. More dynamic playing, more goals and attacks - and wonderful, vibrant crowds watching (and no blearing vuvuzelas, yay!!) Better tv production, too, better camerawork, it feels like it's easier to follow and less intrusive football logos. On some matches back in 2010 it felt as if there was a big ball logo coming in across the screen once every minute or more - here those logos mostly just come in at the tail end of slow-motion repeats of a goal or a tight situation, or when there's a quick break in the game anyway.


Brazil vs Germany is going to be a very tight fight, that's for sure. A draw after ninety minutes is a good bet, moving the match to a gruelling therty-minutes extension and perhaps penalty shots.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 05:32:40 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #469 on: July 04, 2014, 06:06:59 PM »
Normally World Cup's sort of build to a crescendo; the group stages are somewhat underwhelming with either tight, narrow matches that teams are more interested in not losing then winning or one-sided blowouts as clearly superior teams demolish minnows before the quality starts to appear in the knockout rounds.

This tournament hasn't been like that... almost all the group games were excellent with either highly entertaining matches where both teams really went for it or those minnows putting up heroic defences against the superior opposition. We were essentially spoiled by how many good games we got to see so early... and I also think several of the teams got a bit of the scare in those high-scoring, end to end group matches and decided to tighten up for the knockout rounds. Hence the two games today.

Quick note on the Brazil match; terrible refereeing. I don't think it was deliberate bias so much as incompetence but the referee failing to control the game meant that Brazil could basically kick the hell out of Colombia's star me... notably Rodriguez... without any real consequences. Not that Colombia were that much better... Zuniga deserved about three yellows and a straight red himself.

And so far, the  finalist roster is sort of boiling down toward the same old favorites all over again.  I'm running out of lovable underdogs.  Pooh.   ::)  Does Holland or Belgium really count?  I don't know their history all that well.  I just feel like it's too "easy" to assume Brazil might win.

Costa Rica are still in it and they're the obvious underdogs... few people expected them to win a game (hell, some thought they'd lose all three) in the group, even less thought they'd win the group and fewer still thought they'd get past the first knockout round.

As for Belgium/Netherlands, I think both do count as underdogs.

Belgium have a wonderfully talented young team but coming into the tournament their results weren't great, they hadn't qualified for a World Cup since 2002, they haven't qualified for the Euros since 2000 (where they went out in the group stage) and there was a sense that for all the talent much of it was a bit too raw and a bit too unnurtured.

The Dutch are the perennial bridesmaids of world football... undoubtedly a footballing powerhouse with a deep history and legacy of wonderful players and teams but never quite able to win anything (outside of a single Euros in 1988). They've been to three world cup finals (including two back to back) and lost them all. Moreover, this isn't considered a vintage Dutch team by any means and is missing one of its star players in Strootman. Robben and RVP are clearly excellent... but they were four years ago as well. Behind them it's not a pretty picture... Schneider is nowhere near as good as he was in 2010, de Jong's past it as well (and injured), Kuyt's four years older and certainly no better while they lost one of their defensive midfield enforcers in Van Bommell and lost key defensive players in Giovanni van Bronckhorst and John Heitinga. Many people suspected they'd struggle to get out a group that also contained Spain and Chile (me, for one).

Online Remiel

Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #470 on: July 04, 2014, 06:37:05 PM »
I picked Colombia to win against Brazil and I'm happy to say that I was wrong.  Brazil seemed to dominate the first half, with some excellent defending and snappy possession.  I don't know whether they just got lazy in the second or just wilted in the heat, but I can't help but feel that Colombia would have scored again if they had thirty more minutes to play.

Credit David Luiz again for coming up with a couple of huge blocks (and one hell of a free kick goal!) but Thiago Silva's foul on the goalie was just the essence of stupidity.   If Neymar is out as well (the injury didn't seem to look that bad on camera, but reports said he was taken directly to the hospital!), that could be the death knell for the Brazilians.


Offline Deamonbane

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #471 on: July 04, 2014, 07:05:55 PM »
He had a fracture in the third vertebrate. He will be immobilized for the next four weeks, and effectively out of the Cup. All I can say is...

Fuck the Colombians. Like seriously. I hope they burn in hell, even their pretty boy James... I hope they get lynched as a group by their own people and murdered.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #472 on: July 04, 2014, 07:16:32 PM »
He had a fracture in the third vertebrate. He will be immobilized for the next four weeks, and effectively out of the Cup. All I can say is...

Fuck the Colombians. Like seriously. I hope they burn in hell, even their pretty boy James... I hope they get lynched as a group by their own people and murdered.

Honestly... blame the ref.

He lost control of the match about 10 minutes in (if not sooner) and never got close to getting it under control. James may not have suffered anything as serious as Neymar but he took a damn kicking as well. With the ref refusing to hand out cards (and not dealing out serious enough cards when he did) both sides had free reign to kick, push, shove, crash into and generally abuse each other... and with each side getting progressively worse with their fouling they fed off each other.

People sometimes complain that early cards (especially a red) ruins the spectacle of a match. But just like Howard Webb in the final last time around, not giving early cards is just asking for the game to descend into chaos.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #473 on: July 04, 2014, 08:50:19 PM »
Sorry... I shouldn't have said that... I just have issues with intentionally injuring players... Personal issues.

But yeah... from what I read, they were both hitting each other pretty hard, with the main players from both sides taking the brunt of the punishment...

Offline CastorTroy

Re: FIFA World Cup 2014
« Reply #474 on: July 04, 2014, 09:31:11 PM »
Hey, I have a question for Consortium or CastorTroy or anyone else who fancies himself/herself a football expert -- hopefully you can help settle an argument for me.  Did you watch the US / Belgium game (or any of the US games for that matter)?  If so, how would you rate the overall quality of the US  defense (not counting Tim Howard)?

Is the fact that Belgium had 39 shots compared to our 17, and 17 shots on target compared to our 5 indicative of poor defending, or was it our inability to keep the ball in the midfield?  Or both?

I thought defensively you guys were really good collectively. As you're one of the 'underdog' sides, the best way to play is to pack your team as a defensive unit, sit deep and hit teams on the counter-attack - that involves moving the ball quickly and choosing the right pass, but Bradley's passing was off throughout the tournament, so I don't think your tactics were executed to their full potential.

Anyway, the problem with such a defensive/risk-averse tactic is that once you concede a goal (as you did early in extra time) your tactics go out of the window and you have to play more ambitious, expansive football as you go in search of a goal.

As a result, Belgium suddenly started finding more space (a fact exacerbated by players also being very tired) and they started to create chances almost at will.

I wouldn't say it was bad defending per se, it was just that circumstances meant you had to attack and leave yourselves open at the back; you had to take risks.

In summary, defending was good - but there is a reason sides like USA/Switzerland/Algeria sit deep when they play v sides with great firepower: if they didn't, they'd be ripped to shreds. You were lucky to have a goalkeeper in good form (though I thought Belgium's finishing was quite awful). Give guys like Hazard/Lukaku/De Bruyne, etc, space and they'll do filthy things to you!