It is my Inaugural turn to write the post for Day 18 of the World Cup. Now I know nothing about Football, and by the looks of it, neither do the England team, but I don't think it's time to give my national team a hard time, like the rest of the armchair enthusiasts will be doing.
Today there will be two matches, with teams from the same Continents, playing each other.
The first match pitches two European teams against each other. The second match is between two South American teams.
- Match 53 - Durban - Netherlands vs Slovakia 16:00 Local Time, 15:00 BST
- Match 54 - Johannesburg - Brazil vs Chile 20:30 Local Time, 19:30 BST
The winners from each match will play each other on Friday 2nd July.
I have only watched the two England matches and a small amount of the first South Africa game this year. Despite this, I would highly recommend all of you to go see a live football game, in the flesh as it were.
About 11 and a half years ago, my local team, Huddersfield Town, were drawn in the FA Cup to play Liverpool at home. I managed to get a ticket to this match, and ITV picked it as one of their Live Matches.
We saw the Liverpool team leave the team bus and make their way into the stadium, and were surprised at how short Michael Owen was. He was tiny!
Entering the stadium, seeing the pitch, and hearing the crowd, will live with me forever. You could see the Tiny box ITV had in the corner of the pitch, which housed Desmond Lynam, Terry Venables, and, I think, Jimmy Hill.
I can't deny, that watching a match at home, has it's benefits. You get to see every foul, every goal kick, every offside decision as it is replayed ad infinitum, that was my main thought as I could see the ITV crew look away from the pitch to watch the replays. You miss all that. But to sit there, watching a piece of history, hearing chants from the crowds in the opposite stand, feeling every kick of the ball, soaking in the atmosphere, feeling the exhilaration, then utter disappointment as goal scoring opportunities appear, then disappear. You really have to try it. I totally recommend it.
Huddersfield lost 2-0 to Liverpool that day. My most abiding memory on leaving the stadium, was that I was quite pleased at the performance of Huddersfield, despite the score, but obviously the regular home fans were not of the same opinion, and there were glum faces everywhere.
I still am shocked that there are highlights are on You Tube. My mind hasn't blown though, that can be left to Lukeh!
Please join us in the comments as we watch these interesting matches. On a personal level, I'll be rooting for the Netherlands, as one of my podcasting friends, Rob, lives in Groningen. He's on tour at the moment, doing acrobatics and breathing fire for a living.
Here's hoping for some enthralling football.
time to repeat the obvious - it was nice having Holland at this world cup, but this is the end of the road :-)
I remember being mascot for Spurs back in '05. I was small then so it came as a bit of a shock when I was eye level with Robbie Keane.
Annoyingly, Edgar Davids was injured because that woulda been awesome.
Good set of games today, expect a good Dutch win (sorry F1Wolf) and Chile to show Brazil how to play football.
whatever happens we already achieved our goals and in any case we will go home after England or Mexico :-) Dutch on the other hand are still 4 wins away from their target ...
True, but we still haven't seen the proper Dutch yet... might unleash it today perhaps?
I knew the sport wouldn't catch on in the US: http://twitpic.com/20obok
proper Dutch fail in play-off games, so yes, I want to see proper tournament Ducth today :-)
1) Holland will win 2-0 today
2) Chile will take a shock lead against Brazil, who will then equalise in the second half and go on to win in extra time.
Which leads us to todays bet... I will go for fewer than five goals in regular play...
Holland and Brazil will win I reckon. BTW Fabio Capello is blaming England's poor performance on 'tiredness' - as if English players are the only ones to suffer from it?
I'm getting more concerned 'Arrys gonna take over from him and I don't want that.
From the Guardian Football blog: "I think Redknapp as manager would be excellent, with his track record he would bankrupt the FA in a couple of years and then we could start again."
'Arry's great at Spurs, but I can't see him doing anything different for England. It's not the coaches - it's a whole lot of other things...
I'm not arguing with that at all, totally great. But can see the FA taking the easy way out.
I think they probably want Roy Hodgson, but they couldn't do anything until we got knocked out by which time he's almost certainly off to Liverpool...
How would Roy be better BTW?
They've said they're going to think about his future in the next two weeks, so Hodgson will have probably gone by then if Liverpool act fast
International experience at least, Switzerland, Finland and someone else I think
And has took an average team to the final of a European competiiton...
Exactly, he knows how to get the best out of a slightly thrown together group of players - no disrespect to Fulham :)
As opposed to the current manager who has had success in a team full of megastars (similar to England).
Sorry, i just don't buy it... changing the coach does not solve the problem of a lack of talent development...
Holland and Slovakia kick off.
Arjen Robben scores a cracker of a goal, some run and some finish outside the box.
Arjen Robben scores a belter: Holland 1-0
Hehe the flag got injured!
Oookay, a subsitution for the linesmans flag. Was having a shaky game, seemed to have picked up an injury too.
Haaalf time, Holland 1-0 Slovakia.
Holland, I want the good old Holland back please.
For those watching BBC right now, this is exactly how my brother in law's family was before they moved to NZ....
Ooooh Robben is very good, good run equalled by a good save.
He just tried to walk it in...
Holland beautiful atm, point blank save, right off his face.
"I'm from Holland ... Isn't that weeeerd?"
Oooh, nasty ol whack to the ankle. Magic sponge is on.
No it doesn't, but until that talent comes through, perhaps you need a coach who is comfortable with getting more from a team than the sum of its parts.
I do agree that we need a much better youth scheme - from some stats flying around today we have the fewest top-level FIFA coaches of all the major European footballing nations, by some distance. So that needs addressing, somewhat.
Also, I'd be interested to see how many teams have won the World Cup (and European Championship, for that matter) with a coach of a different nationality to the players. Bet it's not many.
Denmark got a German coach in who was a disciplinarian like Capello is, but ultimately he left the job and a hapless Dane ended up coaching the team for Euro 92...
Last one I think, was Otto Rehagler for Greece in Euro 2004, when hes German.
The problem, I reckon stems from the fact that the Premiership feels it is more important than the national game. Maybe it is more important than the national game... But you probably can't have it both ways.
The clubs only care about making money - sucking everyone dry for an extra buck. The League should be obliged to siphon off some of these greedy profits back into the development of talent, instead of travelling to Europe or Africa and telling 16 year olds who cannot legally sign contrracts to come over to England with them.
Sadly none of this will happen as those in charge are too busy with the 'Prawn Sandwich Brigade', so all that will happen will be that the coach will get sacked, an English coach will take his place, and we carry on as before...
Oooh, Stekeleneneberg with a great save
And another one, Vittek shoulda scored
Last, and in fact, only time the winning country in either the World Cup or the European Championship has been managed by a foreigner.
Wow, didn't think that.
I was surprised too - a handful of others have made the final but ultimately failed to lift the trophy.
2-0 Sneijder. Game over.
Awesome. Can't Dutch this!
How crap were Italy if Slovakia beat them then?
Penalty to Slovakia. Stekeleleeleneeburg with a yellow card.
Penalty. Boo. I said 2-0 all the way back up at comment #8.
Vittek scores 4 goals from 4 games, joint top scorer, but Slovakia are out.
Stupid way to finish the game.
Holland will get killed if they face Brazil I reckon...
I love how BBC were massively bigging up England before the game and are now playing Monday Morning Quarterback!
Now they are trying to annoy me into not watching the World Cup by showing all the referee fails!
Ahhh more English post-mortems...
Dear ITV, two of the best teams in South America are playing and you are focusing on a event which has already been covered by the BBC. You lost.
Hate to think what they'll talk about instead.
Just heard it - it all seems a little silly. Surely if the players aren't good enough, then they're not good enough...
I had to argue with my colleague today that in fact not all of England expected them to win the world cup - ITV are not helping!
I expected that they'd loose spectacularly, and got some quite horrible comments back, one saying that people had been hung for less counts of treason....hmmm
I have yet to talk to anyone who thought we would win.
None of my friends believed me when I said they'd lose to Serbia.
They would have if only Serbia hadn't failed as well.
I have found out that outside of the UK the perception of the English fan is sadly different...
The last Chile vs. Brazil matchup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JogHiSR5P4
I just imagined a dodgy penalty decision going against the Brazilians
Thank Christ for that......
C'mon Chile, don't let my adopted team be knocked out either. 3-2 win
Y'know, if it annoys you, you could just do what I do and only turn it on at kickoff, and turn it off at the final whistle.
Oooh look whos in charge, Howard Webb, the only Englishman happy that England got knocked out.
Hey Mr Steven
I think I will. It's started to get a bit silly!
Wow, Chile have copied the F1 national anthem ;)
Mark Bright has spent the day defending his 'Messi was crap' comment - I thought he played well last night...
Messi played well. Mark Bright is an idiot
I saw a comment like this the other night 'How many brilliant matches has Messi played? How many brilliant matches has Mark Bright played?"
His quote was something like "I've seen Messi play 3 times this year and he was crap"...
Funny, I've seen him play a few times this year and he was awesome. He was always the best player in my Fantasy Football team...
That was an awful shot... keeper had left too much of a gap at his far fot too.
The only reason anyone knows anything about Mark Bright's playing career was because his name rhymes with Ian Wright's and the two of them played up front for Crystal Palace so the commentators made a play of the names
But it's nice to hear things about the match that's actually going on....
I was a kid when he was playing and I don't remember him doing anything special.
Was that player for Barcelona who scored four against Arsenal... that.. small chap from Argentina, whats his name again Mr Bright?
On ITV?? :D
Why doesn't he just say "I am totally unqualified for my job as an expert commentator because I have not seen enough football to know what I am talking about" How can anyone in his position only have seen Messi three times?
Exactly. That's why I said it. I don't want to watch the buildup in Danish or German, so i try and watch it in English...
He did absolutely nothing special. Absolutely nothing
Good save from the Chile keeper.
A lot of the pundits have been awful TBH. I love how Kevin Keegan has been asked to comment about the managers, especially when he was asked how he would beat Germany...
Mark Bright's career. Strangely he never played in a team that won a major European trophy, or any trophy for that matter
I think I only saw him play 3 times. He was crap each time...
Ahh yes, but are we talking Grade 3 crapness or Grade 5?
Now I read about it, i do remember the cup final and the elbow thing though...
"What this game needs is a goal"
Mark Bright replied: http://twitter.com/MarkBrighty/status/17272132123
Not sure how to respond to that?
Nooooooo, 1-0 Brazil :(
Great goal. Not traditional Brazilian goal though
Good goal though.
Ask him how it is possible for a football expert only to have seen him 3 times? If that is all he has seen of Messi what can he possibly know about the majority of players at this tournament? What is the point on him offering an opinion on England's chances for example when he knows nothing about the top teams?
That's a Brazilian goal
He just tried to walk it in...
That was just like watching Brazil
I already asked him how come he only saw him three times... The other stuff I can't ask without sounding like a troll ;)
That Darren Cann fella is a rather good linesman
Just phrase it nicely
You know, you could ask too ;)
You asked how you should respond. I think he is clueless and not worth talking to.
Looks like Chile are planning a substitution already
Half Time: Chile 0-2 Brazil
Its Someone Else to Blaem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arfUBkPOK3w&feature=youtu.be
Chile making 2 substitutions
Robinho makes it 3-0.
That was closer than I thought at first
May have got too excited about a Chile chance there...
Robinho has a goal disallowed, still 3-0
FT: Brazil 3-0 Chile. Chile deserved about 10 goals but oh well.
Brazi v Holland QF now, should be a cracker.
Awesome. I do hope when I go to my friends house for a BBQ for it my Dutch friend is there, because I'm going to miss Germany vs. Argentina...