Archive for the ‘World Cup '10’ Category

Spain: Robotic?, Germany: Enjoyable?

Love reading the comments on The Shin Guardian.

Great question and follow-ups today on the style of soccer employed by Spain and Germany being almost inverse to their historical way of playing.

I’ll republish it here for discussion.

Ozil: Playing with panache....

T-Muck: Germany is just so enjoyable to watch, not that Spain isn’t, but they just refuse to live life on the edge and just go for it. They’re almost like robots.

Matt Mathai: It’s very interesting that you characterize the Spanish as robotic and the Germans as enjoyable to watch. That’s a complete turnaround from the usual descriptions of those sides.

I happen to agree with you completely.

T-Muck: Now the question is what is the reason behind the turnaround? Is it the coaching? The youth of German team who weren’t supposed to get this far? Or the massive expectations of the Spanish team to where they’re playing very carefully almost a don’t screw up mindset?

Shaun, TSG: I would say its a combination of the first two. Youthful exuberance with good coaching. In past years, Germany have always gotten the efficient, robotic “boring” style of play tag, but i think that’s a little unfair.

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Quarterfinal – Spain versus Paraguay

Larissa Riquelme said she would run naked through the streets if Paraguay win it all...Go PARAGUAY!

PEEEEEEP PEEEP PEEP and Spain are through.

90:00 - Spain break with a 3-3. Pedro crosses to Villa who traps and shoots but it is masterfully saved by Villar.

88:00 – Casillas fumbles a routine shot and Santa Cruz is there for the rebound and Casillas makes amends by blocking it well.

83:00 – GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL. VILLA. Wow. Iniesta waltzes through the midfield from Iniesta, lays it off to Pedro whose shot hits the post but bounces out to an on rushing Villa, whose shot hits both posts before going in. That was lucky but how exciting. Spain 1 – Paraguay 0

77:00 – I think this game needs to go to penalties…just for fun.

75:00 – Xavi comes close with an outside shot. They need to do more of that. Pedro on for Spain.

73:00 – Internet seems to be singing (way to Jinx myself). Spain need to change it up some. Draw out the defenders with some outside shooting.

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Quarterfinal – Argentina versus Germany

Muller already scored the first goal in three minutes

PEEEEEEP PEEEEP PEEP. Game over. The streets of Buenos Aires are safe from short naked men and Germany were rampant. Can they be beat?

89:00 – GOOOOOOAAAALLL - Klose scores his second. Germany pick them apart for the upteenth time. Cross comes in and Klose takes his time and taps it in. He becomes the second most prolific goal scorer in world cup history, right behind the fat one. Germany 4 – Argentina 0

87:00 - Messi has a shot on goal but it is at Neuer. Not going his way as we all thought might happen.

85:00 - Low looks like he should be in art gallery reviewing the latest work from some post bauhaus hipster.

83:00 – Argentina keep trying but the uphill climb is too steep.

77:00 – Merkel is overjoyed. Love it. Heads of state rooting on their players!

74:00 – GOOOOOOOAAAALLL. Friedrich bundles the ball over as Schweinstieger does all the work ad he dribbles through people and around the Pillars of cement that are masking as Argentine defenders and then lays it off to the defender for his first ever international goal. Germany 3 – Argentina 0

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Quarterfinals – Brazil versus Holland

Not only is he wearing his shirt on backwards but he looks like one of those "girls" men buy. Thanks Kickette!

PEEEEP PEEEP PEEP. Well that’s quite an upset. How many pools are ruined? Brazil’s cockiness were their undoing as the Dutch put in a workmanlike effort mixed in with some great skill and are deserved semi-finalists. Sneijder will challenge Messi as the best player in the world. Maicon who?

3 minutes of extra time

89:00 - Dani Alves calls upon all of creation to supplement him with power but his free kick hits the wall.

88:00 – Kuyt showing that he does possess fine ball skills as he waltzes through the Brazilian defense. A slight hesitation is his undoing as he is finally tackled at the edge of the box.

85:00 – RVP off Huntelaar on

84:00 - A lovely bit of passing and skill from RVP and Sneijder almost makes it 3-1 but Julio Cesar does well to save.

82:00 - Corners from Brazil are giving them opportunities. Some go agonizingly wide.

80:00 - Jubalani 3 – RVP 0

77:00 – Nilmar on, Fabiano off. This is shaping up to be an exciting 13 minutes… SECOND BLOODY MARY DOWN AND DUSTED

76:00 - AWESOME. Ref accidentally pulled out the wrong card but caught himself and apologized. Yellow card to a dutch defender. Should have eaten proper food today.

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Quick Thoughts: NED vs. BRA

San Francisco resident and Dutch national Ben Oude Kamphuis with "Ol Nellie" has a nail-biter tomorrow. (Yes, he knows, Hulk Hogan, no relation)

TSG is fired up for this game.

TSG’s got Hollish friends and we’ve got Brazilian friends.

Going into this tournament, the one team I thought might give Brazil a run for the money before the ultimate match would be the Netherlands. Beyond Spain and Argentina, who were destined to only walk the tunnel with Dunga’s squad in the finale, Netherlands possess just enough toughness through Van Bommel and cheap shot artist Nigel DeJong to accompany firepower to rival Brazil and, perhaps, threaten what has become some serious lockdown defense by Brazil.

Further, the mix of the Netherlands attacking arsenal which hasn’t really gotten their full swerve on, looked diverse enough to find the right recipe of aerial, speed and link play to create some worthy chances.

Will Lucio crush the Oranje's World Cup Finals dream?

In Robin Van Persie, the Dutch have a striker just physical enough, just headcase enough, and just aloof enough to not be thrown of his game by Lucio (and Juan).

In Arjen Robben, the Oranje have a winger who lives for the big game, the dagger play. In Elerjo Elia, a precocious flanker with the confidence of Allen Iverson in his heyday to attack Bastos or Maicon if called for.

And finally, the Dutch have a little bit of lunchpail in Dirk Kuyt–the key Liverpool man is always depositing loose change back in the net, doesn’t get phased by the magnitude of the situation–and in a nod to his responsibilities tomorrow–smart enough to know how to “move” against Maicon and choose his runs.

Sure I’ve got Brazil winning it, but frankly, before the Final, this is Brazil’s biggest test.

Here are some things TSG is looking for:

• Can Bastos defend?

Just like the United States–until the revelation that is Jonathan Bornstein, kidding, was inserted–Brazil have long had trouble filling their leftback occupancy.

Dunga was smart and, in a move that smacked of Florent Malouda’s similar chores at Chelsea, choose to employ Lyon left winger Michel Bastos there, betting that speed, guile, and the threat of the counter would deter teams from continually asking the question of that flank.

Bastos has collected plaudits this World Cup and many have championed his abilities at left back however, if you’ve watched the games, you know Bastos going forward has been his primary defense, not shutdown adhesion-type stuff.

On the day, the Lyon man will need to contend with Arjen Robben who seems to find a way off the right flank with his left foot. He’s like the Latrell Sprewell of the World Cup using his left whether going left or right.

Robben must force Bastos to show his technical ability or expose his lack thereof for Holland to be successful. If Robben is succesful Felipe Melo will need to provide cover for Bastos and the Dutch will get a little morsel of space to work the midfield and maybe some valuable time on the ball.

The Dutch hope Wesley can navigate the Pit of Despair in the midfield...

• Wesley Sneijder goes 1-on-2

No doubt that Sneijder–a TSG fave–has a critical role here in this one, certainly more than any game thus far.

Van Bommel and DeJong are going to play their customary CDM roles in the Oranje’s 4-2-3-1 system. They are going to rip up the foundation, jackhammer a hole and plant themselves in front of the Dutch backline. Both will come out to challenge Kaka at the top of the offensive third or Robinho floating in. However, even if they come forward in defense, they’ll be retarded in their ability to get forward on the attack.

Wesley Sneijder alone will be the Dutch conduit through the midfield.

It will be up to Sniejder to choose the tempo of the game when the Dutch earn possession, maintain possession in the face of challenges from Gilberto and Melo (like Elano, Melo is much better for the national team) and create opportunities in front of him.

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World Cup Chatting At The Shin Guardian

Thirsty, very....

TSG is pleased to announce a World Cup chat sponsored by Jarritos.

If you’ve been to any taqueria in the Western Hemisphere, you’ve likely guzzled one of their drinks.

Just click the link here and the chat will pop-up live. You may need to disable a pop-up blocker.

We’ll be live in just about 15 minutes here at 2pm EDT, 11am PDT. CHAT LINK HERE

If you’re so inclined our sponsor Jarritos is also offering some giveaway prizes:


10 Jarritos t-shirts
10 Jarritos flavor “samplers” (11 bottles of Jarritos + a t-shirt
1 x $250 gift card to

How To Play

·        Use a Twitter tracking service like, with the #JarritosNation tag, which will help you follow the giveaway in real time

·        Join the giveaway with the hashtag #JarritosNation

·        Follow host @shinguardian and @JarritosNation for discussion questions and a chance to win prizes!


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