Something Great

Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

TwoType of B!$ches

"You got bitches who will and bitches who won't.
Bitches who do and bitches who don't.
Man you got bitches who can and bitches who can't.
You got bitches who know they are and bitches know that they ain't."

Don't be surprised to see Bernard Freeman in South Africa supporting the United States with his ties to Clint Dempsey. I'm just saying.

Why they can - No team has played better than Spain in the past 2 years. They won the Euro's and they didn't lose a qualifying game in Europe. Spain also has the most proven talent on their roster from a club perspective. It is not difficult to find reasons why they can win it.

Why they can'
t - A simply stunning history of under-achieving. In 2006 they lost in the Round of16. In 2002 they lost to South Korea in the quarters. In 1998 they didn't get out of their group! The list goes on and on culminated by historically the biggest poop sandwich in 1982 when the host nation didn't make it to the knock-out stages.
And who does Spain have waiting for them after the group stages? Only the 2nd place (or 1st place) team from the pundit proclaimed Group of Death! Brasil, Portugal or the Ivory Coast. Have fun with that Spain. It's another Round o' 16 exit for the Red Fury... or they'll make the final. Probably one of those two.

Why they can - Joga Bonito and Luis Fabiano, who I have winning the Golden Boot.

Why they can
't - The only player in that video that still plays for Brasil is Robinho. Which touches upon a more important reason why they can't - why change a good thing? Before Dunga arrived Brasil had won 5 titles by scandalizing goal-keepers and not returning phone calls (I apologize for the language, very NSFW). Now they want to focus on defense. Huh? Their goals in qualifying are only slightly down but they don't play like they used to. And the omission of Ronaldinho from a squad that kept Josue and Gilberto is glaring. The boo-birds were out in Brasil and not on one occasion. If there are two things Brasilians know well its unprotected sexual intercourse, and good soccer. So if the fans don't believe in this team then neither do I.

hy they can - The British have an easy group and one of the easiest roads to go deep in the tournament. Wayne Rooney has shown he is capable of carrying a team and who knows, maybe even Lampard and Gerrard will play like it's 2001. Add John Terry and Rio Ferdinand to that list as well. They have the players, albeit a bit worn, and they have the balance.

Why they can't - Lampard and Gerrard. Watch Gerrard's reaction (:36) to when Lampard misses and guess the outcome of his PK. That game against Portugal typified pretty much all of England's struggles. I'll ignore Wayne Rooney's complete loss of composure since he's four years older now and surely more mature. But I can't ignore their anguish before they've lost. The weight of the world, whether real or not, crushes them. The fans heap on the pressure, the unrealistic expectations and the media leverages that 50-fold. There simply isn't an atmosphere to succeed on that rainy island. It's a terrible relationship the players have with their media and it reminds me of a bad divorce that keeps getting delayed to save the children. Nobody wins and the children end up bitter and jaded.

Why they can - Lionel. Messi.

Why they can't - The last time Lionel played well for Argentina a certain dope-fiend was in the stands watching, not on the bench. Maradona may have butchered um, well everything about Argentina but I don't think Diego is to blame for the odd lack of depth in the midfield. Everyone also seems be ignoring their back four. It's easy to do because they're so top heavy, but still, after Gabriele Heinze you can't name another defender on that team. And Heinze isn't good anymore. The line-up for Argentina after their forwards and Mr. Messi is surprisingly without star-power, that's all I'm saying. They're in a tricky group and I can't say I'll be shocked if they finish 2nd place in that group.

Why they can - The Dutch didn't lose a game qualifying in Europe and there aren't enough murmurs about a team that has Van Persie, Robben, Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Kuyt, De Jong, Ooijer, Huntelaar, and Babel. Not to mention their easy group and the 2nd place team from Group F(ail) in the round o' 16. They may not play a team until the Semi-finals and then anything can happen. Like this. The Lands are one of 3 teams I can see winning the whole thing.

Why they can't - Apparently Van Persie and Sneijder hate each other, which is just stupid, and their keeper is outrageously not Edwin Van Der Saar. Whether the VP and Sneijder beef is true or not the Dutch have some large, just massive egos to keep in check. This team hates adversity and if they were a boxer they'd have a weak chin - ask Arshavin.

Why they can - Five out of the past nine World Cup finals have included Germany. Thus, when Germany is the second of three teams I like to win the whole thing it is not bold at all. The Ballack injury will hopefully galvanize them and Ze Germans still have Podolski, Klose, Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Gomez, Jansen and eighty years of German discipline and focus. Before Essien got hurt Ze Germans would have been in a very tricky group but Ghana just won't be the same without him. Not to mention that Germany gets the 2nd place team in Group USA.

Why they can't - I could be wrong about the Ballack injury and the Germans themselves seem worried about their goal-scoring drought since they ran up the score in a meaningless scrimmage. Also, two inexplicable draws against Finland may pay homage to that phrase: their is never just one cockroach. Their jerseys are ugly this year.

and finally

Why they can - Forlan and Suarez are the third best strike-duo in the world and the center-backs have been playing together for 8 years. Sprinkle in midfielders who know their role (Pereira, Gargano), a super sub who bagged 6 goals in Conmebol qualifying (Abreu) and a young, creative midfielder who has no idea the magnitude of what's happening around him (Lodeiro) and you've got a balanced bunch that can make some noise. The team overcame unbelievable pressure to qualify in dramatic fashion so they're battle-tested. Uruguay has an easy group and a great road to the finals.

Why they can't - Their mascot, a terrifying blue duck. But really because Uruguay is the most inconsistent team with regards to volatility in the tournament. Meaning, when they're on they can poop at Brasil but when they're off they can lose to the Cayman Islands. Admittedly it's very difficult to write about this team objectively because I just watched that Ecuador video and started crying a little bit. But it's important to note that they're favorites to win Group A and ranked 10th in the world by Nate Silver. So at the very least there are two people who know Uruguay are the type that can.


Ben said...

You're dead-on for Spain, England, and the Dutch. I think you're riding a little high on the Germans. I think that despite Brazil's worst team in years, they are the only ones to win outside of their home continent (Argentina in Mexico excluded).

Ivory Coast baby, Ivory Coast.

Jim said...

Burdisso and Samuel! But I started watching the Serie A again... Also, Heinze is indeed old as balls.

The Lampard/Gerrard video is spot-on. Honestly, I had never noticed that before. And I'd forgotten what a chokefest those penalties were - they had so many chances to get back in it.

But I think they might actually be good this time around... Lampard has been fantastic and it looked to me like Gerrard took his foot off the gas instead of killing himself once Pool were out of things. I expect him to be well-rested.

Jim said...

Also, the Germany picture is the winner until you can find me a hot Uruguayan instead of that stupid duck (does he have a name?).

JuanSuarez said...

she has a tongue ring dude. There is no way i'm topping that

Ben said...

So apparently everyone is injured. The only top teams without major injuries are Spain, Brazil, Argentina, and Netherlands. If Uruguay wins their group, I entirely believe they can make it to the Semis over that england squad. UNLESS they play the US. Which won't happen because of Jozy's injury. Sprains don't heal that quickly.