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Familiar guff from Messi, and a word on England fans/Rooney

So yesterday some journalist — for the 43406th time — asked Lionel Messi who his favourite footballers were. And Messi listed out familiar names — among them, to our interest, was Wayne Rooney.

“At the moment, there are maybe Ronaldo, Rooney, Xavi and one or two more – but I can’t think of one that plays with the desire of Rooney,” he said, conveniently forgetting his Argentine team-mate and resident grafter — or in Ferguson’s words, trier — Carlos Tevez. We actually like this slight, however inadvertent it might have been.

“It would be a dream to play with Rooney if Manchester United ever came to the point where they needed to sell him,” Messi told the Daily Star.

You know what Lionel; here’s an idea. You love the game a lot. Rooney loves the game a lot. Money is not a factor for you. You love playing with Rooney. So why don’t you come to Manchester, have a kickabout with Rooney, or better still: buy out your contract with Barcelona, and come play for us at Manchester United for £100 (yes, not million) a week, you know, because we can’t really afford you right now? I’m sure Rooney would love to play alongside you too.

Anyway, he goes on and on, and it’s a bit odd, seeing him go on and on about it in the midst of the world cup. We’ll let out a collective groan, a sigh, and move on to other things.

* * *

We all know about the Wayne Rooney outburst: “Nice to see your own fans booing you. If that’s what loyal support is.”

There’s been a predictable media storm over Rooney and it’s been tied with his piss-poor performances for England. Of course, they are also demonizing Capello — the same manager who presided over a fairly successful qualification campaign for England. [There have been some glaring blunders by Capello, over the past two matches, but that’s a discussion for another day.]

The issues at hand here are two-fold. One: the booing of the players in the dying minutes of the game by England fans, and two: Rooney losing it in front of camera, taking a shot at said fans for said behaviour.

I’ve always held the view that booing one’s own players is very counterproductive and retarded. Especially on the pitch, during the match. As it is players are down, and if you’re booing them, you are sucking out the very remnants of confidence they may have left in them. In club football, in England, fans of almost all clubs have been tolerant of their players. United fans, I know have had very few instances of actual booing in stadiums. There were a few isolated incidents in the past when Nani and Berbatov got stick. But even when that’s happened it’s been largely muted. As Scott pointed out, in his article yesterday that during the 1-4 defeat at OT against Liverpool, fans chanted, “We love United, we do.” And I’m glad we see that level of support with not only United fans, but by and large, most clubs in the league.

With England fans I have little sympathy, especially the kind we see at Wembley, where instances of booing have been much more frequent. United fans have justifiably — however irrational it might be — a lot of reasons to not show any sympathy for England fans given the history with Beckham, Neville, Rooney et al. But after the Algeria draw, I felt, even in my moment of schadenfreude at another England failure, a sense of sympathy for those fans who either quit their job, or took time off their lives, for an expensive trip to South Africa for the privilege of having to see — in Valdano’s words — shit served on sticks. A sober man would be livid to be in the midst of this madness — a nightmare, surely. What of 10,000 inebriated supporters then?

So, I can understand where they’re coming from (England, of course, but that’s not what I meant, obviously) and I can make an exception on this occasion. However — there is a ‘however’, but you have to read what I have to say about Rooney first.

Just as the crowd’s boos were from a raving-mad, angry mob, Rooney’s outburst was the result of a player’s reaction to a no-confidence vote from his own fans. That and Rooney’s own temperament, which has been reigned in under the Capello regime. [Now there’s a debate on whether Capello should have allowed Rooney to be himself, but it’s not a debate I am interested to get into, because that’s once again digressing from the points I want to make here.]

But just as the crowd’s boos are perfectly understandable, so is Rooney’s reaction.

We could revert to the cliched argument that players are paid by the millions and are supposed to reign themselves in even if a crowd insults his entire family lineage. But that argument is really not meant to be applied to every scenario involving a player. Yes, Rooney and co deserved every bit of blame for such an insipid performance, but let’s not forget the context. He’s not used to repeated failures at United. Even in moments of abject failure, as some matches last season have been, he’s got the undying support of his fans. And he’s used to playing in a system with players of arguably higher calibre and technical skill for much of his United career than he’s with England. All things considered, it’s perhaps liberating for someone like him to vent when tempers were frayed. And, guess what, he apologized the next day. Most players are supposed to do this anyway.

Sure, he might not have meant it. Or maybe he might have. But publicly he’s offered something, as players usually end up doing, to the fans, and one hopes England fans in South Africa understand that and move on to giving them the full support they will need.

But will they understand? Will the English tabloids understand?

Oh wait, who are we kidding here? News of the World are already doing their bit. “ROONEY OUT OF CONTROL!” apparently. Sigh.

The article is a bit unclear because it seems to talk more about general player dissent over Capello’s attitude than a few throwaway lines that Rooney is behaving like a spoilt-brat.

As United fans we know that despite the red mist that envelopes him, he’s usually been a selfless player for his side, often to his own detriment. Unless there’s been a team-wide unrest among players, I find it odd Rooney would be acting like a prick.

There’s little good about this England side anyway. I don’t really care if they beat Slovenia. They aren’t going that far if they put out the same side. Right now it’s begging for someone creative. But then there are many other articles offering expert advice to Capello on how to put out a decent side. So I’ll pass.

506 Comments

506 Comments

  1. Grognard

    July 2, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    @ROOOOONEY: There is no excuse for it because with more money they bought Smalling and Hernandez. Now with all respect to both those players, I’d take Schneijder over them in a second, not just because he is better and a world class player, but because he is just what this team needs as opposed to strikers and three hundred wingers.

  2. Grognard

    July 2, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I can’t help it but whenever i watch Diego Forlan play either for his country or Atletico, I think back to his failure at United. My question is simple, did he fail here or is the failure Fergie’s? I think most of you know where I am leaning. 😀

  3. tonymontanna4united

    July 2, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    @Grognard: The thing with forlan aswell was in his last season with us he started to improve quite a bit. He really did start to score for us. I could be wrong but i remember him getting atleast 5 prem goals and a good few in the champions league (including a peach against rangers). Must have got a good 10 goals in his last season with us.
    Not alot i know but when you consider the guy was a bench warmer most of the time i dont think its that bad.
    I really think he always had the potential to do well and tbh i look back at him quite fondly. I think he should have been given more time and the £2.5m we got for him quite frankly was pathetic.
    Definitely should have been given more time, and i think fergie was way too hasty in getting rid. He would easily walk into our team right now. Shows how much we have declined if a player considered 5th choice striker 6 years ago would now walk into our team doesnt it.

  4. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 2, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I’m heartbroken, this is the cruel side of football! </3 😥

    <3 For Gyan!! <3 😥 😥

  5. Traverse

    July 2, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    @Grognard: No he couldn’t handle the pressure at United. He went to Athletico, and there was a weight lifted.. he was a big fish in a small pond and was the top scorer in Europe in his first season there.

  6. Traverse

    July 2, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    @tonymontanna4united: I don’t think any Germans actually give a rats about Fergies ‘Typical Germans’ comment that they wouldn’t move to United. Ozil is clearly considering it, based on his comments. Chelsea have just signed Benayoun from Liverpool for £6mil, so they again have quite a packed midfield. I hope Argentina win tomorrow, so we can get on with signing him.

    If we got Ozil and Benzema I’d be a very very happy man.

  7. tonymontanna4united

    July 3, 2010 at 12:30 am

    @Traverse: I agree mate i dont think that remark would put off any germans coming here, i meant that remark from fergie to me says he just doesnt do germans, so even if he had £30m burning a hole in his pocket ozil wouldnt be on his list.
    I dont know why, its just with fergie now he seems to like going for the more workman like players over the genuinely class, skilled ones. No idea why this maybe just after berbatov he was ut off by those kinds of players i dont know.
    The main reason we wont see ozil though of course is because we are skint but also as i mentioned sadly fergie just doesnt like germans. Says it all when in 20+ years weve never signed one.
    I have my own theories why this is but to know for sure we would have to ask fergie himself.
    I would absolutely love ozil though. Would be a great signing, sadly its just a dream i guess. In an ideal world though ozil and benzema added to the team would improve us 10 fold. Sadly its the rauls, and henrys of this world we will now have to do with.

  8. gator

    July 3, 2010 at 12:34 am

    @Traverse: id like to see a midfielder come in and Ozil seems to be a gem but i want maridona to loose as soon as possible. 👿

  9. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 3:27 am

    @tonymontanna4united: There could be an exception to the rule. I have a few German friends here in Vancouver and one is very hard core old school German. Not a Nazi but pretty close. Anyway, both of them refer to players like Ozil, Tasci, Khedira, Cacau etc as not real Germans. They may represent Germany in their eyes but to them they are not real Germans because they are eithe rnot born in Germany or they are born there but not of true German or Aryan blood.

    As far as I can see, these new generation of Germans are perfect pickings for Fergie. They certainly hold no resemblance to the old school Germans Fergie has hated all his life and so you never know, he could go after an Ozil, if indeed he had money to spend which, of course we know he doesn’t. He may move bridges and mountains to come up with the money to buy his boy Benzema but he hasn’t got the kind of money to buy an Ozil.

  10. Redrich

    July 3, 2010 at 4:12 am

    @Grognard: If anything, we’re in a post-modern era, an unexplainable time when all that has past and all that could proceed us, has little to do with the way the game is being played now.
    Mediocrity is the “in thing” and the players (who have wallowed in their own self-righteousness for the last few years) have really bought into it. Regardless of the league, country, continent, the impact of “player power” has now come to roost upon their own shoulders.
    The game has evolved, for them, into an elitist soiree – an exclusive get-together for the foot-fancy royalty – in which they kiss, cuddle, and generally agree to under perform. A union of the malcontents that exclude the very seed that they evolve from – us the paying public!!

    While I’m desperately disappointed, I’m not at all surprised, and when hearing the adulation’s of their adoring fans, I can’t help but leave a lot in reserve!

  11. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 6:02 am

    @Redrich: Very well said mate. I wonder if we will ever get the old game back.

  12. Redrich

    July 3, 2010 at 6:45 am

    @Grognard: There is an element of conservatism in United’s direction too. And while I am far from a conservative, the idea of hanging on to players with simple ideals does appeal to me. Scholes, Giggs, Neville all offer me conflicting emotions.
    While I do believe their time has come and, perhaps gone, I’m very wary of those that might follow them!
    Ferguson has given us a glimpse of the next generation – we have mostly rejected it – the alternatives in the form of marquee players do not satisfy our core needs also!!

    Ronaldo, our best player in decades, heralded massive derision from his own fans. His overwhelming ego excelled his ability to wow the faithful.
    Shocking as it might be, my own selfishness, spurred by his excellence, was not overwhelmed by his “his-ness” . I liked the way he played, but that was as far as it went!

  13. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 8:51 am

    @Redrich: When you watch the game as long as you and I have you get to see a lot of players come and go. It’s part of the game and it’s part of life. So seeing players like Scholes, Giggs and Neville as well as EVDS finally retire is something that doesn’t bother me, when the day comes. All of them were great servants for the club but I am a believer of the old shark theory that one has to keep moving or they will die. That is where united has really dropped the ball. Fergie never used to let sentimentality and his respect for these players ideals get the better of him and I for one think he and those players have done a disservice to the team’s development of their youth.

    A lot of our young players seem inadequate or not ready to step up but part of the problem there is that they have not given the time to develop at the highest level due to the old four always sticking around and hogging playing time. Bu then again, more playing time might not have made a bit of difference with some of these players like Foster and Anderson who are just simply useless gits. I blame Fergie and his scouting group for selecting such useless players and constantly avoiding or ignoring the kind of players who could have made a big difference well before they were overpriced. Hernandez hopefully will be a breath of fresh air and a change in the right direction but I was making noise about players like Schneijder, Huntelaar, Ozil, Marin, Neier, Adler, Melo, Bastos, Hernanes, Rodwell, Arshavin, Aguero, Di Maria, and others for over two years now. Some like Arshavin, Huntelaar and Aguero I have been going on about for over three years. Back then they were all way cheaper and much more affordable and yet we went after none of them. Instead Fergie thought he was smarter than me, you and the rest of the world and the world wide media that studies and monitors all these players and instead, he went and signed complete nobody’s and underachievers like Tosic, Manucho, Foster etc etc.

    Enough already. Fergie and his staff are class “A” idiots when it comes to talent evaluation. Add to that the fact they have little money to do much, they seem incapable of spending what little money they are allocated wisely. And here lies the problem. Had they spent on better players than the majority of the stiffs who have shown up over the past four years, they we would now be looking at the old four as the retired four. Fergie would have shown them the door. But our lack of talent or underachieving nature of the youth brigade has left him no other option but to keep these old birds around. And I for one am sick and tired of them and bored of the same old boring squad choices.

  14. Owen

    July 3, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Any new updates about White Heskey’s new contract talk?
    Is he ready to take a major pay cut?

  15. Traverse

    July 3, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Today seven new first year academy kidss have joined up with us. They are all 16.

    Tyler Blackett, Defender
    Joe Coll, Goalkeeper
    Charni Ekangamene, Forward (also wanted by Chelsea, Arsenal and Ajax)
    Luke Hendrie, Midfielder
    Liam Jacob, Goalkeeper
    Tom Lawrence, Forward
    Luke McCullough, Defender

  16. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 3, 2010 at 10:49 am

    @Traverse: Lawrence is gonna become a great here

  17. Traverse

    July 3, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Stupidest news story of the week alert. Manchester United are offering £62.2 Million to Madrid for Benzema, Higuain and Diarra. http://football-talk.co.uk/5995/uniteds-e75m-madrid-raid/

    Nonsense.

  18. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    UP YOURS MARADONA! 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

  19. Johnsom33

    July 3, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Something tells me a certain Canadian is loving this match right now 🙂

  20. Johnsom33

    July 3, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    @EduardoDaVinci4: Is he from Norway? Or have you just played against him?

  21. colver

    July 3, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Haha if Germany beat Spain as well I will gladly forgive them for knocking out England.

    This World Cup is going to end with a lot of big names nursing bruised egos. It just goes to show that if a team is well-organised, tactically savvy and plays to their strengths they can punch well above their weight.

  22. Owen

    July 3, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Swap Schweinsteiger with Anderson 😆

  23. Redrich

    July 3, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    @colver: I totally agreee, mate.

  24. ROOOOONEY

    July 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    argentina is useless against a good team, they dont know the word tactics they just hope messi can do a maradona every game. and watching tevez running like chicken was priceless.

  25. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    “I got a feeling….that tonight’s gonna be a good good night….yah a feeling.” The Black Eyed Peas

    OH HOW SWEET IT IS!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 Today was total justice and above all total vindication for me as well as my beloved Mannschaft. I so wanted them not only to beat Argentina but to embarrass them and their criminal no mind Maradona. Talk about being completely overmatched. Maradona’s pea sized brain could not compete with Joachim Lowe’s mastermind strategy which was scooped right out of the Jose Mourinho playbook on how to defeat Barcelona and Lio Messi. I thought i was watching Mourinho’s Inter Milan today as they ploughed through Barcelona at the San Siro. But they were even better than that.

    To all of those who have come on this blog during the regular season and who not only argue with me over who is better Ronaldo or Messi, well let me say two things. Neither of them are up to the standards right now of Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil, Bastien Schweinsteiger, Wesley Schneijder and Arjen Robben, but also Messie confirmed to me during the whole tournament (and especially today) that he is nowhere near the real legends of the game. Sure he has a long career ahead of him but I said before the tournament started that he would implode and he certainly did. He was a shadow and Germany made him look positively feeble. I said months ago when people were proclaiming him the best player ever, that he should not even be mentioned in the same breath with the best ten to fifteen who have ever played this game. I remember saying that in order to be considered up there, you had to do it at crunch time and you had to do it for your country, even if the trophy’s never come, at least if you show up and play well, you have a chance of making the honour role. Well for Ronaldo, Messi and Rooney who arguably the three best the world has to offer, I have these observations. First, you have to bring it to the world’s biggest tournament and perform on that stage. None of them did. That playing for your nation ultimately is what puts you in that top ten list. Pele, Maradona, Mueller, Beckenbauer, Mattheus, Zidane, Platini, Charlton, Cruyff have all delivered for their nation, not just their club. Did all of them win major silverware? Well only Cruyff didn’t. Platini won a European Championship and the rest have won the World Cup at least once. But they also played great in those situations.

    I said from the beginning that Messi would have to rise to the occasion but that I didn’t think he would. For his national team he almost seems and looks like an outsider. He is there in the peripherals, not really a major influence and not the go to man. Even in Argentina he is not mentioned all that much because they consider him more of Spaniard because he left his home at 12. Messi is an enigma but above all he lacks the special quality in his game to make up for his lack of physicality. He cannot will himself into a game because his size will not allow him to do so. He is just to easily marked out of a game if a good manager puts a guy in front of him and behind him and cuts off his supply.

    I give Mourinho great credit for knowing how to shut him down but then so did Chelsea and especially Man Utd in 07/08 where he did nothing in two matches. Sure he is a great player and one of the best but my argument was simply for all of you to stop lumping him there with the true greats because frankly he has done nothing to warrant it. Even Ronaldo has done more when you consider Ronny had a great 06 World Cup and an even better 04 Euros. JUSTIFIED!. 😀

    Now as for the Argentines in general and their useless muppet for manager Melanoma, let me just say that some teams and some people get their just deserts. Maradona should never have ever been named manager of Argentina. He was a great player in his day but he is also a terrible role model, a drug addict, a criminal and a terrible sportsman. He also takes things far too personally and allows his personal feelings to dictate business. So mistake number one after he got the job was to can the great Riqueleme. I have said for a year now that the exclusion of Riquelme would cripple the creative edge that Argentina needed to open the door for the likes of Messi. I was proven right. You cannot exclude the maestro and magician of Argentine football over personal jealousies and differences. Yet he did, and to quote Tony Montana from the movie ‘Scarface’, “Look at you now, big fucking shot”. 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    Secondly, you do not got to South Africa without Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso. What was he thinking? And to further complicate things by not having a truly great RB or LB and to play the whole tournament with a back four of CB’s is just mental illness. “Look at you now”. 🙄 🙄

    Next, you do not go to the media conferences and bad mouth your opponents knowing full well that they can kick your ass. And so what happens? You get your ass royally kicked. Making fun of their players like mueller and mistaking him for the ball boy? Well it seems to me that the ball boy paid you back in full today. In fact he made the nation of Argentina look like they were being managed by the ball boy. Actually more like the pool boy or Cabana Boy. 😆 😆 😆 Really smart to make fun of Bastien Schweinsteiger’s correct comments by mimicking him in a German accent. Well here is me making fun of you now Melanoma in German. Eins, TswEI, Drei, Fier sie Shweinhundt. For those not familiar with German that’s 1, 2, 3, 4 you Pig Dog. Like I said, justice is served. My team clobbers Argentina and embarrasses Maradona and justice is served for not including one of my favourite players in Riquelme. Diego Melanoma, it must SUCK BEING YOU. 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

  26. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    @ROOOOONEY: 😆 😆 😆 😆 Actually that’s what I thought about Tevez. I was saying to myself that he looked like a chicken running with his head cut off right into the Berlin Wall. 😛 😛

  27. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    @Owen: Who wouldn’t love Scewiney but not if it means Anderson ends up on my other favourite team Bayern. 😀 😀 Schweinsteiger was frakken awesome today. Just a master lesson in midfield generalship. Great playmaking, defending and leading the group in a fantastic example of Mourinho like team defence. Both Schweinsteiger and Mueller had reason to show up today because of Maradona and both rose to the occasion. A shame that Mueller misses out on the Semi Final due to the ridiculous two yellow card rule which has struck again and destroyed German hopes. It happened to Ballack in 2002 and now it happens to Muller just before the semi. And we all know that team will be Spain.

    I despise Spain but they are truly a great team and this one will be the ultimate test. No Mueller really hurts the germans because he makes them faster, not just better. Spain has not even showed up yet for this tournament and so you get the feeling they are due. But here’s the thing. An inferior German team only lost 1-0 to them in the EURO final when Spain was for me a better team clicking on all cylinders. This time around Germany is a true powerhouse and much faster and Spain is not at peak form. Above all, the man who scored the winning goal against them Fernando Torres has been a shadow of himself. So what gives this time? I think Germany could win and i would say the would have definitely won with Mueller in the game. Now I am not too sure. Will Torres end up waking up in the manner of Paolo Rossi? God I hope not. In Philip Lahm Germany have the weapon that can nullify David Villa on the left side. It’s just about Schweinsteiger and Khedira doing a job on Iniesta and Xavi. Christ, for the first time in the World Cup, I am afraid for my German Machine because the Spaniards are truly a formidable side despite their fagginess

  28. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    To Sir Alex Ferguson I have just one thing to say.

    “TYPICAL GERMANS”

  29. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    LOVE GERMANS – HATE FERGIE 😀 😀

  30. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    rape… 😆

  31. Traverse

    July 3, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    beer much? 🙄

  32. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 3, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Blitz fussball!!! :mrgreen:

    It’s like me playing FIFA

    —-

    Honestly! 😀

  33. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 3, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    @Johnsom33: Have no idea who he is, but his name is like really English so… 😆

  34. Owen

    July 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    @Grognard: Germany will have no chance against Spain.Remember the Barca-Bayern CL Match where Schweinsteiger looked like a Pompey midfielder against Xavi and Iniesta.
    Khadeira is no match for limiting Iniesta and Lahm will be busy all time against Villa.Torres is a big game player and will be back to his best in semi.

  35. Taehr

    July 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Just fucking sign Ozil, but no doubt our manager will say theres no fucking value, yea 31 million Berbatov was fucking value fergie?Just spend the money even 40 million, Ozil is amazing what a cross

  36. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    @EduardoDaVinci4: 😆 😆 😆 😆 Actually that was what I was thinking. Although I am probably not in your league in FIFA, I am pretty damned good at the highest setting. I was playing the game yesterday and beat Argentina 2-0 in an exhibition game. The last time I actually played Germany in a tournament mode and met Argentina I beat them 1-0. But then I beat Spain 3-0 and then beat the Dutch 5-1 in the final. When I play Germany at the ‘Professional’ setting I get results like the game vs England and today and then I say to myself that they aren’t realistic enough. Boy was I wrong. ‘Blitz Fussball’ is the real deal mate. 😀

  37. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    @Owen: First off mate, Bayern Munich is not the german national team. They may have a number of their players but then they are supplkied by other players too and are managed by true genius. In the CL final vs Milan the two main reasons for Bayern’s loss were van Buyten and Demichekis in the middle of the defence. They are not Germans. As for when Bayern were playing Barcelona two years ago, well mate if thats what you are going to use to base your theory on, then I truly feel sorry for you grasping at straws. That team was managed by Klinsmann who was failing miserably at Bayern because the team was not open to grand changes. Also missing from that team were Mueller, Badstuber, an injured at the time Podolski and all the other great young players that are presently making up this German team. At the Euros Germany only lost to the same Spanish team minus Senna by 1-0 and they never had Mueller, Ozil, Khedira, Boateng, Neuer, a healthy Friedrich starting, etc. Not even comparable in personnel or in tactical makeup. Sorry mate but that is weak argument. Sure Spain can win but the difference is they are not that much better than they were two years ago when they won 1-0 while Germany are a thousand times better. In fact Spain are nowhere close to being as good as they were back then. Just look at the tough time they are having with Paraguay as I write this.

  38. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    That Parguay vs Spain match is really turning into something. Amazing that both teams missed penalties. THat 12 yards seems like 20 when you are at the World Cup. WOW! Some how I knew Casillas was going to come up money on Paraguay’s attempt though.

  39. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    @Taehr: Which cross are you talking about mate? The first goal that Mueller scored was crossed in by Schweinsteiger. Schweiny was 10/10 today. Amazing.

  40. Traverse

    July 3, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Seems that Everton forgot to off Dan Gosling a new contract, and he is available now on a free! Bit of a cock up methinks! We should be right in there.

  41. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I’ll tel you all right now that based on what I saw in both games today, Germany will beat Spain in the semi-final. Spain were so lucky to win today and in fact deserved to lose. Once again they escape thanks to the lucky streak of good fortune and to David Villa always seemingly getting the right bounce of the ball at his feet.

    Spain are just doing enough to get by far inferior opposition and in many ways their performance in this World Cup reminds me of so many past German teams who would plod away and then get a late winner and hang on. The German teams would steal win after win until they would finally meet up with a team that was better and they would run out of miracles. 1982, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2002 are perfect examples of German teams that played like Spain has in this tournament. In all those scenarios Germany finally lost to a team that was better and on three occasions to the eventual champion in the final.

    Spain is going to run out of miracles against Germany because the German midfield will not collapse they way Paraguay’s did to allow Iniesta that faggot the room to create that winning goal with his run. Simply put, Khedira and Schweinsteiger will have none of that. That’s not to say that I don’t fear Spain because I do. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t. A lot of faggy weapons and that oh so boring ball control and faggy short passing is enough to nauseate the best of opponents. But Spain will have to dig deep and find some class from somebody other than David Villa because i believe Philip Lahm will be all over Villa like white on rice. Torres is going to have to wake the Hell up or some midfielder is going to have to find his shooting boots. And really, is Spain good enough based on their current form to beat Manuel Neuer more than once? I don’t think so and that is what they are going to need because German is not going to get shutout this time. At least I pray they don’t.

    Germany has so many weapons and so many players in great form and that their confidence level and Joachim Low’s genius will boost them over Spain. If there is justice at this World Cup Lord, please let it be a Germany vs Holland World Cup because they are the two best teams in this tournament and the most deserving. It will be a battle but I predict a 2-1 win for Germany with Klose getting his 15th World Cup goal to tie Ronaldo as the winner. Germany will play well but they will find that the Spanish defence will be a much tougher nut to crack than England or Argentina. I see this game possibly going to penalties but I am predicting 2-1 in extra time.

  42. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    @Traverse: I think his injury was really bad and they may know more about than any of us. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole as that was a bad injury.

  43. Traverse

    July 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    @Grognard: Everton said they gave him a new contract ‘verbally’ but nothing in writing, so he’s saying he can go and they say he can’t. The FA are making a ruling on who’s right. Nothing to do with his injury.

  44. colver

    July 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Spain have to be the team I hate the most in the World Cup. I dislike every single one of their players except Fabregas.

    I rejoiced when both Barcelona and Real Madrid got their comeuppance in the Champions League.

    Spain more than any other team seem to be resting on their laurels. Id love to see them humbled by the Germans or the Dutch.

    Every time I see Xavi I want to strangle him. I really hate Spaniards.

  45. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    @Traverse: Perhaps not but I would be concerned about that injury as it was serious.

  46. Grognard

    July 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    @colver: Heck mate you sound like me. Actually Spain is the team I hate the second most after Italy. The Italians are the antichrists of football and i was elated to see them get humiliated and finish last in their group. Justice and comeuppance of the first order. I know how you feel about Spain though. They are good but God do they grate on the nerves. Something about them just makes you want to go have a shower and wash off the filth after having watched them. 😀

  47. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 4, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Cristiano Ronaldo has become a father!!! 😮 😯 😯 Huge shock here, the mother of the child would like to stay confidential. He says he’ll take full guardianship for his firstborn, so good for him. 🙂 Congrats Ronny, I’m sure you’ll do a great job!

  48. Grognard

    July 4, 2010 at 2:07 am

    @EduardoDaVinci4: First thing he is going to do with the little toddler is to show him how to cry like a baby. Then it’s off to diving lessons and dressing in pink followed by spitting and winking lessons. That kid is going to be fully developed in all the necessary skills. 😀 😀

  49. Redrich

    July 4, 2010 at 3:20 am

    The game is very, very simple. Pass the ball accurately, defend with discipline, and attack with precision and ruthlessness.

    The Germans have figured out how to make their players do all of the above – they will probably go on to win this competition handily.

    The Spanish performance was very similar to the Argentine’s, very poor in their execution and looking very much like an expansion team in the MSL.
    Perhaps if all these teams played a dozen or more games prior to the tournament, they could well look as polished as the Germans.

  50. Grognard

    July 4, 2010 at 7:06 am

    @Redrich: I think the Spanish were better than the score indicated. I thought Xavi and especially Iniesta were super but I just hate the buggers and that little antichrist David Villa. Christ is that guy lucky. Well he’s lucky and good.

    I think there are specific reasons for Germany’s success.

    1. All the german players play in one league and they all played with the Jubalani ball for the whole Bundesliga season.

    2. The Bundesliga takes two months off and this has got to do wonders for their recuperative powers as they all just look fresher than the rest.

    3. The English, Spanish and italian seasons are to gruelling and too long and with no breaks. It has really taken a toll on all the major players when you consider multiple domestic cup competitions and the Champions League. It’s just all too much and their bodies and minds are just physically exhausted.

    4. Too many friendly games played for preparation just brought on more fatigue after the domestic season ended. Train them and have one game and that’s it. If they aren’t ready after two years of friendlies and qualifiers, they never will be.

    5. Many superstars are simply overrated and over billed and that pressure has become too much in these days of extra exposure, the Internet with Twitter, and Facebook and all that shit. Players are looking for a hole they can go hide in for some peace.

    6. Germany is that much greater than the rest because they have a truly gifted genius in charge. Joachim Low is right up there with Mourinho when it comes to strategy and tactics and getting the attention and trust of his players. His regime is not the army like Capello’s and not the crack house as is Maradona’s. Will he beat Spain, yes I think he well even though that will be a severe test. I just think he has his players believing but above all, they are just physically and mentally prepared.

    6. And Finally, this is going to hurt me to admit it but Ballack’s injury was a blessing in disguise for Germany. Ballack was part of the old school regime and although a great player, he had slowed down and for me would have slowed down the German counter and overall attack. Khedira is not as gifted as Ballack but he is younger and is completely dedicated to his defensive tasks where Ballack could occasionally stray.

    7. One more thing. Credit to the manager for having the courage to say up yours to all those who criticized him for selecting so many young players. I have been a proponent of drafting more of the young players Germany was developing because I had watched many of them with their clubs and with the Under 21 and under 19 teams which won their respective Euros. These kids were super impressive and I just felt that now was the time to bring them in because Germany had nothing to lose. The team that was would not have won the cup and this one may just do the job. A well taken risk that really wasn’t that risky at all as this World Cup exposed something that I have disagreed with Fergie over for years, experience at this level is overrated. Talent, speed and energy is everything.

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