Tag: Serbia

World Cup Preview: Group D

The 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in five weeks today, close enough to feel the disappointment. Today we continue our preview of this summer’s tournament with a look at the prospects for the teams in Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia and Ghana. No doubt drawing numerous questionable conclusions along the way will be your regular guide, the increasingly excitable Dotmund.

Read More

The World Cup Of National Anthems (Part Two)

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.

Read More

Dutch Courage

Argentina 0-0 Holland / Ivory Coast 3-2 Serbia May I just be the first person to say… WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? As some of you may remember, in Euro 2000, Holland and France had qualified before their final match, against each other. They were amongst the favourites to win the competition, and, released from the worry of whether they’d make it through or not, they played out one of the matches of the tournament (Holland edged it 3-2), and everybody was happy. Skip forward six years, and what do we find? Argentina (suberb, albeit against a Serbia team that would struggle to get into the Premiership at present) and Holland (workmanlike against Serbia, somewhat fortunate against Ivory Coast) play out a turgid 0-0 draw – one of the worst matches of the tournament. It was if neither of them want to miss out on the bonanza of possibly playing England in the quarter-finals. Holland created more or less nothing in the first half, and only a couple of shots that even half tested Abbondanzieri, whilst Argentina weren’t much better – a couple of shots from Riquelme that flashed just wide, and a low shot that was deflected onto the post. As it was, Argentina take on Mexico in the second round (a tricker game than one might imagine, if the Mexicans show up with their “positive sombreros” on,...

Read More

Simply The Best

Argentina 6-0 Serbia There’s so much that I could say about this performance, and it wouldn’t be enough at the same time. We’ve just witnessed the performance of the World Cup, eleven individuals playing the game of their lives. On this form, as I have suggested on here before, there isn’t a team in the world that can match Argentina and, most significantly of all, it will strike fear into the hearts of everybody that they have to play for the remainder of the tournament. But first, a quick word about Serbia & Montenegro, because it would be shoddy reporting on my part if I didn’t mention them. They were atrocious. Absolutely terrible. They appeared to have no game-plan short of putting as many players as they could behind the ball. When Argentina scored after five minutes, there was no Plan B. They fell to pieces. When Kezman was sent off in the second half, the floodgates opened. All of this, though would be doing the Argentinians a disservice. There were no mitigating circumstances. The excellence that Argentina had threatened during their match against the Ivory Coast shone through brilliantly. If they had been played England on this sort of some form, one dreads to think what they might have done to them. Take, for example, the second goal, which will be repeated and repeated for the remainder of...

Read More

Going Dutch

Holland 1-0 Serbia & Montenegro We’re always going to feel to down by the Dutch. You see the luminous orange shirts on a football pitch, and instantly your mind turns back to Cruyff & Neeskens in 1974, Arie Haan and his fabulous long-range strike in 1978, and Marco Van Basten coming from nowhere to become, briefly, one of the greatest strikers that Europe has ever seen, before injury robbed us all of his best. The Dutch allowed us to dream. In 1974, they played “total football”, the nearest that the game has ever embracing hippiedom. In 1978, they allowed the story to circulate that Johann Cruyff was boycotting the tournament on account of the Argentinian military junta, although popular belief now has it that his wife insisted in him staying at home after his extra-curricular activities four years prior. As recently as 1998, Dennis Bergkamp brought about a near-universal gasp with a goal of sublime individual brilliance in the last minute of their quarter-final against Argentina. Nowadays though, they’re just the same as everybody else. Workmanlike, solid, and, on this display, not playing to their full strength. Robben looks as impresssive as he does in the Premiership but is, as I understand it, flakey. They can’t depend on that level of performance from him in every match. Van Nistelrooy just looks bored with football full-stop. Having said that, Serbia...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2