Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Spain up 2-0 at halftime.

It's halftime and the Spaniards have a two goal lead. So far they've looked as impressive as anyone else in the tournament. They are controlling the ball and passing it well in tight spaces. The Ukrainians seem to have your typical 'happy to be here' demeanor of first times in the World Cup. The Spaniards had 60% of the possession and whenever they had it they always looked likely to score. Their first goal came on a corner from Xavi that was put in by Xabi Alonso. Spain's second came on a deflected David Villa free kick and just like that they were up 2-0 and bossing the game.

Right now the Ukrainians only job is to keep the score down and not end up getting embarassed like the Americans who currently are in last place in the World Cup. So much for that top five ranking by FIFA.(You don't prepare for the Czechs and Italians by playing Panama and Barbados).

(Spaniards awarded a very dubious penalty to start the second half and suddenly they are up 3-0)

Random Thoughts....

Am I the only one tired of ESPN's announcers' lack of knowledge about the game? Instead of analyzing all they do is cheerlead. In yesterday's Brazil game you could hear the announcer's saying "the ball is like a yo yo to the Brazilians." That it may be but it sure didn't look like it yesterday when the Croats packed the midfield with five players and slowed the game down considerably.

When will an African team finally get a poin in this world cup? Pele said by 2000 an African team would win the World Cup. Needless to say he was woefully wrong and there are a slew of reasons this hasn't happened yet but would it be too much to ask for one of them to show up and play well? My guess is Tunisia will take three points off Saudi Arabia today.

Will everyone stop bashing the U.S. for getting crushed by a superior team? It's not like they lost to Togo. They lost to the Czechs who by an large had a better player at every position than the U.S. did. To lose 3-0 is embarassing but no objective observer that I spoke with gave the U.S. any chance to win this game. Ditto for their game against Italy.

Is it just me or does Ronaldo look woefully out of place on a soccer field recently? It's not just yesterday's game but all through this past season for Real Madrid. I thought he would turn it on for the Cup but he's continued his dismal display in Germany. What's worse is that there's no adequate replacement for a player of his talents so he may end up playing in all three games in the group phase.

With France failing to score a World Cup goal in 360 minutes, isn't it time to shake the squad up a little bit. The old gang, Zidane, Thuram and Makelele should all be benched. Domenech is probably kicking himself for not bringing Ludovic Giuly to the World Cup. Aragones had the balls to bench Raul and the Spaniards are currently doing the Flamenco all over the Ukrainians. Maybe Domenech should look to bench some of his stars who are beyond their prime.


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