World Cup 2010 - Round of 4

Tue 6th July 19:30
Holland v Uruguay

Wed 7th July 19:30
Germany v Spain

Going with the Dutch and the Germans.

Uruguay and Germany for me.

Insight Of The Weekend
“Pele said an African team would win the World Cup by the year 2000. But I think it’s going to take a bit longer than that” - Alan Shearer spots that the millennium passed some time ago.


Wesley Sneijder:

“After a difficult first-half against Brazil we managed to stay calm. I’d rather have someone like Van Marwijk as coach rather than two idiots like Maradona and Dunga.”


Uruguay to win 2-1 in the dirtiest, most spiteful game of the tournament where Arjen Robben will be sent off. The Uruguay winner will unquestionably be offside. Sepp Blatter will go awol, too scared to offer an apology for this one.

Spain 1-0 over Der Germans. Jesus Navas.

Holland and Spain for me Bill. No extra time no penalties. Holland 1-0. Spain 2-0. Think Holland Uruguay will be tricky alright, get the feeling the Dutch will be a touch over confident but Suarez is a huge loss for the U’s.

Some quotes from the WC so far. Spare a thought for Diego, our beautiful Diego. :frowning:

“It feels like I have been punched by Muhammad Ali”
•Diego Maradona reacts to Argentina’s World Cup exit.

“I prefer a calm coach on the bench like Van Marwijk, rather than an idiot like Maradona or Dunga.”
•Dutch striker Wesley Sneijder.

“There’s no reason to fear England.”
•So says Lukas Podolski. So might have said just about any player at the tournament.

“What’s apartheid?”
•Spain’s Joan Capdevila really gets to grips with the history of the hosts.

“I can’t say what my granny said about the referee when he sent me off but they were some harsh words”
•Kaka’s granny is not one for a simple “that’s nice dear.” But she probably did wipe his face clean with spit on a hankie.

“I’m not in favour of technology in football or a chip in the ball. The best thing about football is the controversy. But as for that England goal [against Germany] … even my granny could see that it was in. And she wears super-thick glasses.”
•Luis Fabiano can’t believe that the referee didn’t see Frank Lampard’s shot sneak over the German line. No one else could believe that the referee didn’t see his spot of impromptu volleyball. And, anyway, what is it with Brazilians and their grannies?

“God never sleeps, he knows who deserves success.”
•Indeed he does, Cristiano Ronaldo, indeed he does.

“I have a girlfriend. She is blonde, 31 and very pretty.”
•Asked if the “love” between him and his players, who he is seen constantly hugging and kissing, is the key to Argentina’s early success, Diego Maradona protests a little too much.

“I like the Jabulani it’s very pretty.”
•FIFA boss Sepp Blatter really doesn’t get it, does he?

“It’s going to take us 25 years to win again if we carry on like this.”
•Fabio Cannavaro doesn’t like the look of Italy’s future and immediately rushes off to play in the Middle East. Where he says it has “always been my dream to play.” Sure it has.

“Ozil chose the wrong passport.”
•Says Guus Hiddink of the German playmaker with Turkish roots. It really doesn’t look that way, Guus. In fact, it looks like he chose very much the right passport.

“Maradona is a nice guy but he can be a bit pesado [a pain, boring] . And I mean pesado in the nicest possible way.”
•Vicente del Bosque gets just a little tired of Maradona’s constant griping.

“Luis Suarez’s hand was the Hand of God … and the Virgin Mary.”
•Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has no doubt which side of the cheat/hero debate he’s on.

“What I saw from the English in their 1-1 draw against the United States had very little to do with football. English have gone backwards into the bad old times of kick and rush.”
•Let’s face it, Franz Beckenbauer is not wrong.

“It’s going to take us 25 years to win again if we carry on like this.”
•Fabio Cannavaro doesn’t like the look of Italy’s future and immediately rushes off to play in the Middle East. Where he says it has “always been my dream to play.” Sure it has.

Outside of the fact it will take either 24 or 28 years. As long as they keep having the WC every 4 years Fabio.

365 reviews the Pundits from this World Cup

Jurgen Klinsmann
More proficient in English than most of his English colleagues, Jurgen is the most relaxed and happy of men. He wears his millionaire Malibu lifestyle very lightly, in a nice soft plain shirt always, with a t-shirt underneath. He doesn’t look a day older than he did in 1990 and his warm personality has been a pleasure all month. His opinion that “England spent too much time thinking about what everyone was saying about them,” was among the most apposite. And he was nice when his side thrashed us too. We love Jurgen. Why are England’s biggest stars never this urbane and intelligent?

Clarence Seedorf
Some men do the pundit job with a furrowed brow and narrowed eyes. Not Clarence. His beaming smile and general bonhomie have entertained us throughout, and we were impressed by his very, non-football, PC description of “the differently abled”. Al would have probably called them “spackers” or something. One of those men who just makes you feel happier for having seen him. The fact that he was also cogent and expressive only adds to his new star-status.

Roy Hodgson
So good he got a big club job out of his appearances. A great communicator who, unlike many in this gig, doesn’t seem to be in love with the sound of his own voice. Which is fair, because he does have a silly voice. Showed fantastic knowledge, and explained concisely and clearly what had happened on the pitch. Presumably took one look at England and thought: “Sod that, I’m not ruining my life’s work and reputation getting shafted by those losers.”

John Motson
Turns up, chuntering, looking slightly bewildered. Excellent. We like this version of Motty, who is there to be a silly old buffer - and not in a bad way. So much better than having some thrusting media Johnny-come-lately trying to impress you with his shirt and haircut. Old skool.

Jonathan Pearce
Our favoured man-on-the-mike, TV-wise. At least you know it’s him and he has a distinct voice and attitude. We can’t say the same for Guy Mowbray and all the others whose names we can barely even remember. They all sound the same to us. No distinctive characteristics. Not bad, but not great. Just functional. Time was, you knew your Barry Davies from your Gerald Sinstadt. But not any more. It seems they all come from the same big media house. Why no accents, why no character? 5live has this in abundance - could it not have a go on the TV?

Mick McCarthy
We love Mick. He’s blunt and gruff. He called a defender “a big tart” for making a meal of a foul. We like to imagine he’s wearing a string vest and pulling on a pipe while gently fondling a whippet’s ears. He brings much colour and no little knowledge to his co-commentary gig.

Gabby Logan
Was the inside woman in the England camp and did lots of swanning around the Veldt looking somehow airbrushed and lovely with just a hint of frostiness that we like a great deal. All fair enough and her Fabio interviews were amongst the best, but we’d have liked her to sit in for Lineker a bit. Seemed wasted talent to us in what was often little more than a window dressing role.

Colin Murray
Constantly wore a s**te-eating grin that said he’d pulled such a great summer freebie and was getting paid for it too. Does his gig well and to those who don’t like his accent, we say: you are narrow-minded fools. Makes the presenting gig look deceptively easy. Or maybe it really is easy, who knows? We’ve said it before, we like Murray and his fresh enthusiasm is a big asset in a studio of old farts.

Gareth Southgate
Possibly one of the nicest men on earth, Gareth dresses and talks like an eager sixth former in a school debate. This is charming enough in its own way, but does start to grate after a bit. The feeling that he lacks grit pervades. Is he just too nice? Good on the art of defending - and excellent on England’s Germany disasters - he was ITV’s best pundit. We appreciate this is not a prestigious accolade.

Edgar Davids
Arms folded, mouth turned down and sour, Edgar has been a miserable old sod. But we rather like that. We’ve had a gut full of happy, smiley people who pretend the world isn’t one big heartbreak hotel. We also liked the fact that he was prepared to disagree totally with others present. This almost never happens in UK TV football. If anyone else liked something, Edgar disliked it. Good on him. Not that he had that much to say. But his brooding presence made everyone feel uncomfortable and we liked that too. Good entertainment value. As a pundit, though? S**te, to be fair.

Lee Dixon
Quiet and unassuming, did not get up our pipe too much. Neither one thing nor the other, really.

Chris Coleman
Chris looks like he wants to fight you. He bloody would, too. In our more homoerotic moments, we can see him stripped to the waist, fighting on a slag heap in some bleak South Wales valley town in an early 1960s black and white film. We find him convincing, though are prepared to believe he knows almost nothing at all and is only there to plead for a job.

Jim Beglin
ITV’s Mr Steady. Gets his names and numbers right. Not massively characterful or entertaining but does the job.

Martin Keown
When you’re not sure who the co-commentator is, it’s always Keown. We find him plausible and he seems to have possession of a brain.

Clive Tyldesley and Peter Drury
We suspect they’re the same person just putting on a different coat and picking up two men’s wages. I tell you what, Clive, at least they’re not as bland as the BBC lot, but spotter’s badge for all their annoying ticks, such as shouting the striker’s name in full before he shoots the ball at the goal and the “I’m trying to say something profound as the teams walk out,” bits. But you know, they’re alright. “A GOAL FOR ALL OF AFRICA,” etc aside.

Kelly Cates
Like a breathless student just away from home for the first time, her girl-next-doorness never quite leaves her. If you like that sort of thing, it’s quite an asset, we suppose. However, we like dirty women and Kelly ain’t one of those. She did her roving reporter bit as though it was kids’ TV, but you couldn’t hate her for it.

Mark Lawrenson
He made one film about the Battle of Spion Kop and the Liverpool FC stand it inspired that was fantastic, as Lawro scrambled around the scree and bush doing pieces to camera. It was like he was a professional broadcaster or something. The rest of the time it was the usual array of crap jokes, hideous puns and general cod-misery. He’s often churlish, calling the German management team “a boy band,” apparently because they wear long-sleeve V-neck shirts and decent suits. He is distinctive, you have to give him that and he is better, much better on the radio than TV. But the heart still sinks a little when you know you’ve got 90 TV minutes with him in your ear.

Harry Redknapp
Turned up to remind the phone-in idiots that he is English, and a manager…so, therefore, should be England Manager. Looked sleepy. Made some half-hearted jokes and said nothing apart from generalisations such as “they’ll be tough to beat,” and platitudes like “he’s a 'triffic player.”

Andy Townsend
We have been critical of Andy before. It seems pointless to go over the problems again. We suspect he’s actually just very bored - he looks and sounds bored and can’t be arsed to do much. Nice work if you can get it. We’re starting to admire him for just doing so little and keeping a job but his lack of energy and enthusiasm drags every session down.

Marcel Desailly
We remember Marcel being a really good pundit four years ago but he’s less impressive this time around. Quite why ITV thought it was good/funny to show his reactions to a Ghana goal time and again remains a mystery. It was the most mild and restrained of celebrations, after all, and that’s a description which could apply to his punditry work, too.

Mark Bright
Mark is a likeable boy, but he talks too much. When he gets going he talks more than the commentator, seemingly unable to edit his thoughts, leading to verbal streams of observations without much purpose or aim. This makes him seem a bit amateurish, really.

Kevin Keegan
The only reason to have KK on is for one of his “I’d like to be a mole on the wall in the dressing room,” lines but he didn’t deliver anything of note this tournament. Looked like a man at a wedding. Nice blue hair.

Patrick Vieira
Mild to the point of dullness. Seems like a nice guy and all, but didn’t do it for us. Sorry.

Alan Hansen
Too often smug and self-satisfied, his disparaging of ‘lowly’ teams such as New Zealand ahead of even seeing them was unprofessional and narrow-minded. His description of Apartheid we have covered before and was purest Partridge, but let’s stick to the football.

As lead pundit, it’s his job to dissect the games. The annoying thing is he can do it really well when he tries. His “forward as a unit, back as a unit” analysis of the Argentine defence for the first German goal was exemplary. We feel he could be much better if was forced by management to do more work. His pre-German game comment that England had the better players and if they played well would win was typical of this, not least because, had he done some research into the Germans, this view was unsustainable.

It was the Slovakia preview, though, that most enraged. When Lee Dixon had the affront to suggest that Slovakia’s Marek Hamsik - their captain, for crying out loud - was one to watch, Hansen sneered “Someone’s gie you him, by the way,” like a school bully threatening to pummel Cuthbert for putting his hand up in geography. Has football punditry really become such a sinecure that even the most perfunctory bit of research is somehow considered a bit rum?

Alan Shearer
For someone who has played the game at the highest level for so long he seems remarkably unable to offer insight, even after a couple of years of trying. It’s all the sort of stuff anyone who has picked up a book of football cliches could reiterate. When called on to comment on the Argentina v Germany game, the best he could come up with was “With the quality Argentina has, you know they’ll get a chance in the second half.” Rubbish.

His attempt to lay off some of the England players’ guilt for being woeful onto Capello by saying, “it looks like the players don’t like him,” before adding “obviously we don’t know what’s going on in the camp” insulted the viewer’s intelligence on many levels. You’re a recently retired ex-pro, your cachet is based on “knowing how the players think.” So give us some insight. He must be on texting terms with, say, Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard. How about some sort of clue as to what they might be thinking and why? Or even something from your own undeniably deep experience of being a pro footballer. Something. Anything.

He squints, he grins, he picks up a lot of money and goes home; that’s the gig for not so Big Al. Public money wasted.

Robbie Earle
We had sympathy for the Robbie. Anyone who gets saucy Dutch chicks to the party is alright with us. Sadly for Robbie, his absence from ITV’s team made not one jot of difference. Did anyone watch and say “Good God, what this World Cup needs is Robbie Earle to give us his unique insight?” No.

Emmanuel Adebayor
Some found him incomprehensible, but as we have a long experience of conversing with Scotsmen and Geordies, we had no problem understanding his allthewordsarespokenasiftheyreallpartofoneword style. Indeed, we thought it quite charming. Offered decent insight into the African perspective. Amusing mobile phone incident.

Danny Baker
Restricted to radio except for one brief, stellar TV appearance which made everyone else look so lacklustre, so totally ten watt, that he wasn’t allowed on again. A professional broadcaster and communicator who knows about football, talking about football, on a TV football programme shouldn’t be a radical idea, but we sat and watched Baker and realised just how damn left-field this notion has become. Radio show brilliant as always.

NOTE: We covered Adrian Chiles v Gary Lineker in some depth a few weeks ago so will not go over that again other than to say both have had decent tournaments, although Gary’s chippy, pre-prepared jingoistic asides have grated on occasion. “Americans: that’s why soccer is exciting,” after the 2-2 Slovenia robbery had the Mericans with whom we were watching hurling abuse at the TV - and joyfully shouting “English: that’s why soccer is exciting,” back at the screen come the 0-0 with Algeria horrorshow. Also: all this “Zee Germans” thing is very out of date now, old boy. Just be nice Gary, that’s your strong suit. Chiles: likeable, decent, unable to spin gold from the base metal of the ITV punditocracy.

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Wonder will Eamo’s confident pre tournament prediction be proved right tomorrow night? :smiley:

That World Cup ended with a whimper, didn’t it?

The World Cup ended when they hounded Diego out of it.

holland 4
uruguay 0

It’s over for me anyway. I just don’t care anymore.

Hey Scumpot…

Go fuck yourself!

Uruguay on penalties.

Eamo has just had a verbal wank over Kuyt. ‘He’s just an amazing player’ was the gist of it. I know its part of his act but this lad’s u turns are unreal at this stage. The amount of abuse he has given Kuyt over the years in the Champions League and elsewhere I’d love if someone could pull out the quotes. At least Giles has the honesty to nearly admit it there.
Great article here from a lad called Larry Ryan who writes in the examiner.

All superheroes eventually face a pivotal moment where it could all unravel. In Superman III, tar-laced kryptonite turned Clark Kent on himself. In the Dark Knight, the Joker forced Batman to confront everything he once believed in and source some fancy new weapons.
The pillars of guff are no different and on Friday night the unthinkable happened; Eamon Dunphy caught himself in mid-contradiction – swung off the road in mid-u-turn.
As is the way with the lads, a post-match discussion of Uruguay-Ghana had evolved into general ramblings about the lack of a “youth structure” in English football.
Eamo was busily berating English clubs for “solving their problems with a large cheque,” when he perhaps caught a glimpse of Liam Brady smirking beside him and suddenly had total recall of several winters spent mocking Professor Fawlty for his frugality and faith in youth.
“This is the irony of what I’m arguing. I’ve criticised Arsene Wenger for not spending money…” What excellent value that summer house in Damascus is proving.
Already this tournament Thomas Meuller, the kid “who looks like he won a competition in Tesco to play in the Champions League” has produced his Clubcard again to emerge during this tournament as a “truly outstanding player.”
Brazilians Juan and Robinho earned temporary promotions to the ranks of “real players” having previously been regarded with deepest suspicion. Stevie G has lurched from zero to hero and back more often than Michael Portillo, while David Silva, the donkey getting in Cesc Fabregas’s way in Euro 2008, is the solution to all Spain’s problems now that he’s out of the side.
And the Netherlands’ passage this far means Arjen Robben hasn’t yet been confirmed as “a birdbrain”.
Eamo’s great super-power, of course, is the delivery, on demand, of entertaining, if wildly exaggerated, snap judgments. The weatherman who dismisses global warming every time a wind blows up from the North. So there was a real worry that this moment of introspection might decommission the conveyor belt of invective that makes RTE’s coverage so watchable.
We need not have concerned ourselves. Before long, Eamo had conceived of the silver bullet that renews for good his licence to shrill.
“History is there to be disproved and changed, that’s why we have it.” A line that ought to be forever tattooed in rubber on his costume.
And so it was business as usual on Saturday night. Spain defended more shambolically that “any team in the Leinster Senior League and that’s no disrespect to the Leinster Senior League.” Gerard Pique was simply “an awful chancer.”
“You’re exaggerating again, Eamon,” rebuked Brady, but Eamo, his life’s work freshly enshrined in a motto, knows now that Spain could go ten years without conceding a goal and not diminish his theory. “I’m prone to that,” he beamed proudly. Would we have it any other way?
Gilesy, meanwhile, spent most of Saturday working on his own evil master plan to take over the World Cup with a team of organically fused super-defenders. “Bertstuber” and “Bertesacker” went straight from the lab into the German side. They could be just the men to take care of that dangerous amalgam of Spanish attackers from the ages that Eamo has dreamed up; “Llorientes.”
Much of RTE’s quarter-final grousing was aimed at the refereeing, with Billo particularly furious that officials should be appointed from such dubious “jurisdictions” as the Seychelles and, er, Japan.
Defending the rogue Japanese, Darragh Moloney pointed out that with South American and European sides involved, FIFA may have wanted a neutral. A red rag to Euro-sceptic Ronnie Whelan; “Well, what about an English one?”
If we’re looking to improve the standard of punditry, we could do a lot worse than heed the example set by Gernot Bauer, host of Eurosport’s marvellously eccentric World Cup magazine show Soccer City Live. A study in sobriety on the outside, within Gernot bubbles some of that “Ja, for sure, a little bit crazy” spirit that has made Germany great. “Let’s see what some of you guys back in the Internet are discussing.”
With Gernot however, a pundit must earn his corn. So while Aaron Winter received a warm welcome when he arrived on the show to discuss the Netherlands’ progress, Gernot ensured there was no danger he would get ideas above his station. “Of course we also have Patrick Kluivert here who is still our main expert on the matter.”
The English have learned a fair bit from the Germans already during this tournament and maybe it’s time Gary Lineker adopted the Bauer approach with some of his under-performing panel, where exaggeration is rarely the problem and history requires no revisiting.
Reflecting on Ghana’s sad exit, Shearer set this weekend’s standard: “Pele did say an African team would win the World Cup before 2000 – I think it’s going to be longer.”
This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner

Really don’t give Uruguay any chance here. They’ve had an easy path to this stage - which was flagged from the group stages and didn’t exactly cruise it. Missing a goal threat in Suarez and possibly tired from the other night.

Holland to win comfortably.

You reckoned Uruguay wouldnt get out of their group. In fact you pretty well slated them from the outset. Oh well.

Some strike from the legend that is Gio…really hope he gets to lift the world cup, very much an alright sort

FFS. Was just in the middle of putting 50 on the dutch @ 5/6 and the price changed and only got a tenner matched, submitted it again and the dutch smash in a goal will it was “processing”. FFS.