03 julio 2010

obligatory World Cup post

Picture 136

I thought that because I spent the evening changing the layout of this blog that I would use it with a bit more regularity though I don't think it will ever compare to my usage for LiveJournal or even Twitter.

Ni modo, what's important for the purpose of this post is the World Cup. I just finished watching the last game of the quarter finals, Spain beat out Paraguay 1-0 & though I'm generally cheering on the teams of the Americas, I love Spain so much. I would love to see them win a Cup - it would make me so happy.

But I am also realistic. Though Torres has improved steadily over the course of the Cup, his knee surgery & missed time practicing has made a visible difference in his playing. He's not yet fit to play - at least at the level to which he & his team are accustomed, that level that was so explosive it made everyone turn their heads. But it's not simply on Torres, Iniesta's playing has left much to be desired; he refuses to take chances and push it through. In these last Spanish games, the team has been overly cautious, rarely pushing the ball forward, playing the hot potato passing game in the mid-field. Iker Casillas is amazing, as always. He's unquestionably one of the best goalkeepers out there, but San Iker cannot hold off the German team alone and that team is dangerously good. What I would like to see is Llorente placed up there on the pitch and given a chance to score a goal because there just hasn't been enough offense in these last games.

At the moment, the people really holding their own have been: Casillas (obviously), Puyol's worked hard at defending, Ramos who has been really aggressive in the mid-field and who has been one of the few people to rush it forward, and Villa who has popped in for the goal. That's a very small handful of players who cannot hold their own, alone, against Germany.

I can't say with confidence that they really stand a great chance against Germany. I love them, I'm optimistic, I'm almost religiously hopeful (aka praying for a miracle), but what they can do so as not to get slaughtered like Argentina did today is to make sure that they really push it forward and make more attempts to strike rather than waiting for all of the German defense to make it to the box and close up any possible openings. What does work in Spain's favour, that ESPN has just called to my attention, is that Mueller has earned a 2nd yellow card causing him to be benched for the game against Spain.

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