Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spain Win

The team that wanted to play soccer today defeated the team that wanted to destroy it.

What the heck Netherlands? Trying to intimidate as a means to victory isn't something I really see much of in soccer (maybe I just don't watch enough). I know it happens, but never was it so blatant this year during a game. In any sport it is usually the tactic of a less skilled team, but I did not think going in that Holland was much less skilled then Spain. I don't get it. The English ref could have tossed up two red cards in the first half against Holland. What made matters worse for them later in the game is that Spain has no problem flopping.

Spain controlled the game very early on but Holland did really turn the game into a mess towards the end of the first half and it went on from there till extra time. So maybe the tactic did almost work. Holland did have a couple great chances. Had they gotten a goal I do think I would have been disappointed because of the way they played the game. I am saying this from a fairly neutral point of view (maybe even a little slant towards Holland at the start). As the game dragged on I unwillingly started pulling for Spain because of the way Holland played. I even started to think that the ref knew what was going on and started dishing out yellows to just about everyone on Hollands side. He did so fairly and did everything in his power not to send off anyone early so as to "ruin" the game.

Soccer can be cruel and unfair but I think I now have an understanding when someone who follows the sport says "the right team won".

Ultimately (in my most humble voice); Cesc Fábregas came on late for Spain and really made a difference. In just looking at the Spanish team from a distance I would seem they have firepower to spare, but they won their last few games this year with 1-0 score lines and loads of possession. 63% possession in this game. That's a FIFA 10 like possession on the "amateur" skill level while controlling Barcelona against the Kaiser Chiefs. Pretty incredible.


So the 2010 World Cup is over. I have to say I enjoy this one quite a bit. I feel a little bad for the Nederlands. Not just for the way they lost today but for how I all but avoided mentioning them here. Even going so far as using x instead of their country name. More of a luck thing, that.

Congratulations to Spain. A new World Cup winner!!! I was satisfied in that because of the fact that I was writing so much before the tournament about how leagues have so few winners. Go new winners.

I would have said the same for Holland had they won. Maybe they can get one in the next European Championship or in Brazil 2014. Preferably by keeping their cleats on the ground and not in someones chest.


Howard Webb. Referee to a difficult game.

The English fans (myself included) were gushing with pride that he was chosen to call the final. And those same English fans are lining up in defense of him. I remember after England got knocked out, Martin Tyler mentioned that Webb may be called upon to do it. He offered that as a comfort to the fans. Sort of sad but I have to say there was a since of pride there. Along with Webb were assistants, Darren Cann, from Poringland, Norfolk, and Michael Mullarkey, from Exeter.

Is Mullarkey an unfortunate name for a ref? Only in England.

Also, when speaking of English pride... I'll try not to over do it because it should be noted that the only four referees that are paid full-time refs at the WC, officiated the final.

What?! Says me after finding that out.

Needless to say; FIFA is looking into that for the next World Cup. A least, let's hope so.

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