Tag: Greece

World Cup 2010: Argentina 2-0 Greece

No-one has done it single-handedly before. And whatever Lionel Messi achieves during the rest of his football career, nothing will surpass his transformation of Argentina – and one managed by “dirty” Diego to boot – into the good guys in the English media. One unfortunate side-effect of this astonishing volte face is that there’s only one team around when Argentina play – Maradona’s tactical deficiencies serve as the opposition. And on the BBC, “is it a case of how many?” is a rhetorical question about Argentina v. Greece, even though it’s virtually an Argentine second-string. Greece don’t even get a mention until Hansen announces that after they played Nigeria they were declared “officially” useless. And this was a game Greece won. The suggestion was made during Argentina/South Korea that somebody might try to man-mark Messi. But that game was live on ITV, and Shearer and Hansen obviously weren’t watching, while new boy on the panel Harry Redknapp didn’t even know what country he was in – referring to last year’s South African Confederations Cup as being played “out there.” And to be fair, it is six whole years since Greece employed the tactics they use tonight to… WIN… THE…EUROPEAN… CHAMPIONSHIPS… “They’ve killed the game,” notes Hansen, clearly not a fan of defending when it’s done against the lovely Lionel (another landmark achievement). The panel tell us at half-time that...

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World Cup 2010: Greece 2-1 Nigeria

Finally the tournament has come to life. In the twenty four hours before this game we’ve had some fine football played by Switzerland, Uruguay and Argentina, some drama and a proper upset in the first of thesse games. We’ve even ahd some controversy going on off-the-field too. If we needed a reminder that behind this celebration of world football lies a grubby marketing exercise then there’s the faintly scandalous decision to prosecute two of the women involved in Monday’s ambush marketing stunt (which seemed, in any case, not to break any of FIFA’s strict rules) at the Holland v Denmark game. If you feel the need to tie your World Cup into a deal for an exclusive “official beer”, let alone one that tastes like muck, then you deserve to have your tournament ambush marketed. I applaud it and encourage it, even if I don’t applaud or encourage media pundits cashing in on the exercise.

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World Cup 2010: South Korea 2-0 Greece

Statistics are often as misleading as they are informative. On one hand this game is between the 2004 European Championship winners and the 2002 World Cup Semi-Finalists. Another way of describing the game is between a side whose World Cup finals record outside their own country is just one win in seventeen games (and that over African minnows Togo) and the only European nation ever to play at a World Cup without scoring. At the outset, that may be harsh, as the South Koreans are showing that the co-hosting of the Cup in 2002 has been beneficial in the long-term as the 1994 World Cup was for the United States.

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World Cup Preview: Group B

The 19th FIFA World Cup kicks off in eight weeks today, and as such Dotmund continues his almost-in-depth look ahead to this summer’s festivities. Today he continues his preview of each of the eight groups, having been sent foraging for facts on the internet with only his trusty big pencil for company. Up for examination in this week’s post, Group B.

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The World Cup Of National Anthems (Part One)

For many people, major sports tournaments are the only occasion that national anthems are heard. These peculiar tunes have become a genre of their own, transcending the mere hymns that many of them were in first place, and they range from the gloriously uplifting to mournful dirges. The selection of words has, in many countries, brought about national debate that has been all-encompassing. In the case of Spain, it was decided that it would probably be for the best just to not bother having any for the sake of national unity. Still, one of the distinguishing moments of excitement of any World Cup is to see the two teams line up and have a bash at singing the national anthem. Who belts it out at top volume, utterly out of tune but blissfully unaware of their atonality? Who is standing there silently with the look of a dead man walking? Who doesn’t know the words? Coaches could do worse that scan their opposition for signs of the mental state of their opposition and call their players back in. You can almost imagine Fabio Capello in the middle of a huddle of England players, explaining that they should push the ball wide early on because the opposing full-backs stood like rabbits caught in the glare of a car’s headlamps throughout the duration of, “O Greenland, Land Of Ice & Mellow...

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