Talking points from the first weekend

14 Jun

Top Goals: South Africa’s first was a cannon – This is how you finish properly. I loved Park Ji-Sung’s goal as well, fighting off two bigger defenders and finishing with the slightest of touches. Thomas Müller schooled Australia’s defenders with this little guy.

Referees: They’ve been the talk of the tournament, but thankfully in a positive way. Credit must be given to these guys who have been spot on with all of their calls. Especially the disallowed goal in the Mexico v South Africa match. Worried about diving? Don’t be. Yellow cards to Ozil and Cacao for Germany were completely deserving. The best referees in the game have lived up to that billing. Kudos to them.
Vuvuzelas: FML. FML. The beauty of the World Cup is seeing, but more importantly, hearing the thousands of fans that have travelled around the world to see their team play. They are singing, dancing, and jumping. We of course wouldn’t know that because of the constant drone of what sounds like an army of bees. If I paid thousands of dollars to see my team play and some guy next to me blew that horn for 90 minutes? I’d shove it up his ass. Supposedly they are considering a ban on these things. But it ain’t gonna happen. Here’s what needs to happen though to get rid of them: SOMEBODY PLEASE THROW ONE OF THESE THINGS ONTO THE FIELD!!!! With all do respect to South Africa and their culture, these horns are ruining the tournament and FIFA needs to act.

ESPN: May God bless ESPN. They have FINALLY gotten it right and proved many of its doubters (a’hem) wrong. Ok so John Harkes snuck his way into the rotation and will do the U.S. games. His presence has become a comedy routine for me with all the crap that comes out of his mouth. Ever notice how no matter what game he’s doing, every instant replay involves USA. Show German fan with big tits jumping up and down, John may say something like “Aaah of course the German fans are both male and female. Let’s also remember that the USA has many male and female fans as well.” But in all seriousness, an all-star cast of Martin Tyler, Efan Ekoku, Derrick Rae, Ian Darke, Ally McCoist, Ruud Gullit, Roberto Martinez, and so much more is just priceless. It’s music to our ears to watch these games.

Best Name: Siphiwe Tshabalala. Nuff said.

Quote of the weekend: “Space never scored a goal. Why mark it?” – Martin Tyler trying to explain Germany’s use of zonal marking on corner kicks. Couldn’t have put it any better.

Jubilani Ball: I noticed in the opening matches that players and goalies alike had trouble judging the bounce of the ball, often times going over players’ heads. And we’ve already heard some people blame the ball for those goalkeeping blunders. Gimme a break. This ball hasn’t shown to move anywhere close to how it was being talked up. Looks fine to me.

Goalkeeping:  Outside of the refs, goalkeeping has been the story so far in good and bad ways. Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama was flawless in preventing Argentina from scoring about 25 goals, while Tim Howard came to the rescue vs England with a number of stops. As for the lows, there was Mr. Green of course (his face is priceless when he sees it inch over the line). Faouzi Chaouchi also did his best to show up the England keeper (28 seconds in).

Defense: Through 8 games in 2006 there were 18 goals scored. This year only 13 (4 of which came from Germany). We saw a lot of team defense this weekend and a ton of poor finishing.

First “Fuck off”: Everyone made a big deal of the Brazilian referees learning English cuss words for the USA v England match. However it was Craig Moore for Australia who saw the first yellow for telling the linesman to fuck off. Congrats!

Bloody Sunday: We saw lots of red on Sunday, luckily no blood. Cahill was wrongly sent away for a late challenge. And two idiots couldn’t control themselves. Aleksandar Lukovic for Serbia saw 2 yellows for 2 terrible tackles. And of course Abdelkader Ghezzal who tried catching the ball (54 seconds in) to get his 2nd.

Empty seats: Happen to watch Korea vs Greece? Looked like a third of the stadium was empty and FIFA will investigate to see what happened. This is so embarrassing. I turn on the game and it looks like Giants Stadium when the Red Bulls used to play there. Give away free tickets if you have to but fill the damn stadiums!

David Beckham: Seriously, what the fuck is he doing on the bench other than looking good. Don’t get me wrong, he looks great out there. But it’s a joke that his purpose is camera time and Capello allows it. Maybe an actual coach could take his seat and find out a way for England to not suck.

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