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Thread: World Cup Discussion Thread

  1. #781
    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM
    Another thing would be to have some kind of requirement that only a certain number of players could be on a certain side of the field. That would stop teams from putting their entire team back in their box once they have a goal.
    That's the rule in lacrosse and there's tons of offense in that game. I think that would be a better option than adjusting offsides.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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  3. #782
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Actually, yeah. I think Roberto Gotta is putting some heavy gilding on that lily.

    I'll give Italy some credit. When it chose to attack during the tournament, it pushed more players forward than in previous years, but outside of 12 minutes today and the overtime against Germany, they showed darn little of it in the last two games. They were fun against Ukraine, but Ukraine was just about the most porous, overmatched final eight team you're likely to see.



    What game were you watching? Italy spent the last 90 minutes of the game almost never crossing the midfield line. How can a team that mounts no attack be getting defenders into the attack? Sagnol and Ribery were working the right and Abidal and Malouda were working the left all game long, pulling frequent switches.

    The coaches may have both deployed a 4-5-1 on paper, but the French clearly sent more players forward. They were winning the overwhelming bulk of the balls in the midfield and their transition from defense to offense was light years ahead of the Italians. Meanwhile, the Italians played what amounted to a six- or seven-man backline for the bulk of the game. Like I said, they do it to perfection. Teams can break themselves running at the stone wall the Italians construct. It won them a World Cup, but don't tell me they don't construct that wall or that they're playing attacking football. I'm fully cognizant of what the Italians do well and they certainly deserve their due for it, but outside of winning it's a style that just about no one wants to emulate.
    I won't argue the second half. It was quite obvious that the Italians were worn out and were losing the game badly in the midfield. They couldn't play an attacking style at that point.

    But in earlier games I felt they played a more pressing style and even the first half yesterday. Obviously they had to pretty early on.
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  4. #783
    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM
    Another thing would be to have some kind of requirement that only a certain number of players could be on a certain side of the field. That would stop teams from putting their entire team back in their box once they have a goal.
    That's the rule in lacrosse and there's tons of offense in that game. I think that would be a better option than adjusting offsides.

    If you have a requirement that 2-3 players must stay on the offensive side of the field at all times, gone are the days of the 4-5-1 formations. And that, is a very good thing.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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  5. #784
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Honestly, the lack of scoring doesn't bother me in and of itself. I like the action with or without the goals. The problem I have with the lack of scoring is that it allows teams who handily outplay the other team to walk away with loss far too often. I'm fine with that every once in a while, but it happens regularly because it's just so extremely difficult to actually get one in the net. Preventing that is the only reason I think a little more scoring would be a good thing.

    ONe of the best rule changes ever was not allowing keepers to use their hands for balls from their own players' feet. That change was in the midst of my playing days and it certainly changed the way we played the game on the defensive side of the ball.
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM
    How about making a line at about 25 yards where there would be no offsides if the BALL was inside this line when passed? Or just extending the 18 yard line would work.
    I would actually have no problem with extending the 18 and saying offsides could not be called if the ball was played from inside the new line. I hate when a goal is waved off because of an unlucky bounce that created an offside position.

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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    I don't have so much problem with the current rules its more the tactics used by the power nations which is strangling games. They all now play with a holding midfielder and try to break teams down through the flanks are with high balls to the centre striker. The problem here is that it relies on certain types of players and unfortunately a good winger with the ball at his feet and is able to cross is difficult to find. Also the easiest way to combat this tactic is to flood the midfield so that's what we saw from the Italians, the French, the Portuguese, the Argentines, the Spanish and the English. That's why I applaud the Germans and Brazilians who were looking to combat this. Unfortunately Cafu and Carlos can no longer play at the elite level for Brazil and the Germans were really lost without a midfield ball winner. In 4 years time hopefully managers will have worked out a better style of play and move on from the 4-5-1.

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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    read today on the net that rumors are circling that matarazzi called zidane and dirty terrorist just before the retaliation head butt from zidane matarazzi denies it but zidanes agent says that he defiantely said something to zidane but zidane wouldnt' tell him what if so classless act by matarazzi if he did say that he deserved to get planted into the ground not necessarily during the game but afterwards he should got a beat down

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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by captainmorgan07
    read today on the net that rumors are circling that matarazzi called zidane and dirty terrorist just before the retaliation head butt from zidane matarazzi denies it but zidanes agent says that he defiantely said something to zidane but zidane wouldnt' tell him what if so classless act by matarazzi if he did say that he deserved to get planted into the ground not necessarily during the game but afterwards he should got a beat down

    It's all hearsay. Zidane's made no claims. Matarazzi denied the 'terrorist' claim. I even saw a French report that a lipreader claims Matarazzi called him the "son of a terrorist hoar" -- but if it was something that set him of so badly, then after the headbut, he would've continued the attack. Another report said Matarazzi said something negative about ZZ's friend - a former coach who died of cancer. Another report said that ZZ said something about Matarazzi's mother, and he replied w/a comment about ZZ's sister.

    It's like two kids on a playground, if you ask me.

    What's being lost is that ZZ has a history of being a hothead, and in the past has had other incidents including a headbut and one time he slapped a player in the face.

    If the trash-talking got to him, good thing he doesn't play in the NBA.

  10. #789
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/st...373723&cc=5901

    Marco Materazzi acknowledged he insulted Zinedine Zidane before the French captain head-butted him in the World Cup final, but repeated his denial that he called Zidane a "terrorist."

    "I did insult him, it's true," Materazzi said in Tuesday's Gazzetta dello Sport. "But I categorically did not call him a terrorist. I'm not cultured and I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is."
    How Ozzie Guillen of him to claim ignorance.

  11. #790
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Want more scoring? Two words...No Goalkeepers.
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    There's always more to the story.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/zirin07112006.html

    Why I Wear My Zidane Jersey
    By DAVE ZIRIN

    Imagine Michael Jordan in his last game, with the score tied in overtime, knocking out his defender with a punch to the throat. Imagine Derek Jeter in game seven of the World Series, at bat with the bases loaded, thrashing the opposing team's catcher over the head with his bat. Our collective shock would only be exceeded by disappointment. No one, fan or foe, would want to a see a great player end their career in an act that speaks to the worst impulses of sports: when hard competition spills over into violence.

    Now imagine if Jordan and Jeter claimed they were provoked with a racial slur. Does their violence become understandable? Even excusable? Herein lies the case of French National team captain, the great Zinedine Zidane. Zidane, competing in his last professional match, was kicked out of the World Cup final in overtime for flattening Italian player Marco Materazzi with the head-butt heard around the world. Zidane, or Zissou as he is known, became the first captain ever ejected from a World Cup championship match. The announcers denounced Zissou for committing a "classless act and the French team withered, eventually losing to a demonstrably inferior Italian squad in overtime. The following morning the international tabloids with their typical grace, gave Zissou a new nickname: "butt-head. Less examined was the fact that Zissou was literally carrying a lightly regarded French team to the finals. Less examined was the fact that Zissou had been grabbed, kicked, and fouled all game by the vaunted Italian defense. Less examined was the fact that Zissou had almost left minutes earlier due to injury, his arm wilting off his shoulder like a wet leaf of spinach. This unholy amount of pressure is the primary reason the 34-year-old veteran snapped and planted Materazzi into the pitch.

    Now the great mystery is what set Zissou off. What could Materazzi have possibly said to send him over the edge? Answers are beginning to filter out. According to a FIFA employee transcribing what was said during the match, Materazzi,s called Zissou a "big Algerian ****. A Brazilian television program that claims to have used a lip-reader said Materazzi called Zissou,s sister "a *****. The highly respected French anti-racist coalition SOS Racisme issued a press release stating, "According to several very well informed sources from the world of football, it would seem [Materazzi] called Zissou a 'dirty terrorist'."

    Materazzi, in an answer that can only be called Clintonian, said, "It is absolutely not true. I didn't call him a terrorist. Of course he didn,t comment on what he did call him. Zissou himself has only said cryptically that he would reveal what Materazzi said "in the coming days."

    Right now, we do not know beyond a shadow of a doubt what was said but all the circumstantial evidence points at least toward a variant of SOS Racisme's claim. Zissou is the son of Algerian immigrants who has sparred verbally with Europe's far-right political machine for more than a decade. He is an outspoken anti-racist on a team that has defined itself by its multiculturalism and stubborn insistence to stand up against bigotry both inside and outside the sport. Materazzi on the other hand, will be playing this year for the Italian team Lazio, where his father was the former coach. Lazio's fan club, The Ultras, are notorious for their Fascist-friendly politics. Lazio's hardcore Ultras, known as the "Irriducibili," have members in Italy's extra-parliamentary far right and try to use the club to recruit. The group has frequently uses racist and anti-Semitic banners, one time hanging a 50-foot banner that said their opponents were a "team of ******s."

    It,s wrong to taint Materazzi for the actions of Lazio,s fans, but there is more. Earlier this season in a match that pitted Messina against Inter in Sicily, Messina's star African player Marc Zoro famously picked up the ball and walked off the pitch in protest of the monkey chants rained upon him by Inter supporters. In a stirring act of solidarity, many of the Inter players immediately showed support for Zoro's actions. But one opponent yelled, "Stop that, Zoro, you're just trying to make a name for yourself." That opponent's name was Marco Materazzi.

    At the start of this tournament I wrote a soccer column with my colleague John Cox, called Racism Stalks the Cup. We expressed our concern that the monkey chants, banana peels, and peanuts raining down on African players this year would continue on the sport's grandest stage. This largely did not occur. But then in the final act, at the moment of most exquisite tension, it seems racism may have actually emerged from the shadows. I, for one, am damn glad that when it did, it ran smack into Zissou's beautiful head.

    We don,t know with iron certainty what Materazzi said, but if it turns out to be more of the anti-Black, anti-Muslim, garbage that has infected soccer like a virus, the Italian team should forfeit the cup. They should voluntarily give the greatest trophy of them all back to FIFA as a statement that some things in this world are more important than sports. Racism will be the death of soccer if things don,t change. Italy can set the sport back on course, with one simple, stunning gesture. Give the damn thing back.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  13. #792
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    We don,t know with iron certainty what Materazzi said, but if it turns out to be more of the anti-Black, anti-Muslim, garbage that has infected soccer like a virus, the Italian team should forfeit the cup. They should voluntarily give the greatest trophy of them all back to FIFA as a statement that some things in this world are more important than sports. Racism will be the death of soccer if things don,t change. Italy can set the sport back on course, with one simple, stunning gesture. Give the damn thing back.
    Wow. I'm all for rooting out racism in sports, but that's crazy talk. Italy should give back the cup for one players biggoted comments? If that's the case, every team that's ever won the thing should probably hand it back.

  14. #793
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Sounds like an immature, emotion filled article based on nothing but hearsay. Not worth the time.

    People are always trying to put blame on anyone else but the responsible party anymore, it's sad. No matter what was said you are a moron for saying someone should be patted on the back for headbutting another human being.

    I particularly like the "it's wrong to taint Materazzi for lazio's fans". But yet the guy did it before and he continues on in the next paragraph lol.
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    There's a lot of reported/rumours/lipreading experts commentary going on about what Materazzi said to Zidane. In any event it is clear that Materazzi has said something derogatory (more than likely about a female member of Zidane's family) and Zidane has reacted in a way that was neither within the laws of the game nor in manner comensurate with his status in football. However, I am sure no one would condone any "trash talking" that was racists or derogatory about someone other than the players involved. Indeed it would run in the face of the FIFA edict (although many things would seem to have done so during this world cup). I mean if FIFA was serious about stamping out racism in the sport, rather than getting the players to read out a pithy speech before a game and posing for a photo, if Materazzi were found to have abused Zidane or his family racially then he too should face the consequences.

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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedric
    Sounds like an immature, emotion filled article based on nothing but hearsay. Not worth the time.

    People are always trying to put blame on anyone else but the responsible party anymore, it's sad. No matter what was said you are a moron for saying someone should be patted on the back for headbutting another human being.

    I particularly like the "it's wrong to taint Materazzi for lazio's fans". But yet the guy did it before and he continues on in the next paragraph lol.
    He may have unfairly tainted Matterazi by association but his story is not based on hearsay.

    Check out this Franklin Foer article from, gulp, 9/11/01. Foer recently published the bestseller "How Soccer Explains the World".

    http://www.slate.com/id/115070/

    Mussolini's Team
    By Franklin Foer
    Posted Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, at 3:00 AM ET

    The Shalom Cup, held last week, was the most unlikely soccer tournament in the world. Not because it showcased Jewish soccer players, including Maccabi Haifa, one of the few stellar Israeli sides. What made the Shalom Cup truly unlikely was its host: the Roman club S.S. Lazio.

    Although the S.S. stands for societá sportiva, Lazio merits the abbreviation's worst connotations. Of all the clubs in Europe, each with its own goon squad of skinhead supporters, Lazio fans are easily the most racist, anti-Semitic, pro-fascist, and despicable of the bunch. The management of Lazio intended the Shalom Cup to be both an act of reparations and public relations. But even in the club's moment of contrition, Lazio's fans couldn't suppress their hate. Four days before the tournament, the team's anti-Semitic fan clubs (called ultras) announced they would boycott the pro-Semitic cup. When a relatively mediocre Ivory Coast club beat mighty Lazio to hoist the Shalom trophy, a pathetic crowd of 10,000 fans bothered to show up.

    Lazio has always had unsavory connections and a spot on the brownshirts' end of the political spectrum. Mussolini adored the team, frequently appearing in the stands. Il Duce even built Lazio's current stadium, replacing the old Stadio del Partito Nazionale Fascista. In part, Mussolini was drawn to Silvio Piola, the team's unstoppable striker. But the fascists had a deeper attraction to the club. Founded in 1900 by Italian army officers, the club shrouded itself in a martial ethos. The team's logo, a strident-looking eagle, looks as if it could have been ripped off of one of Mussolini's caps. And with its north Rome fan base, Lazio attracted the conservative shopkeepers and bumpkins who constituted fascism's rank and file.

    As the memory of Mussolini has grown distant, Lazio's affection for fascism has increased. Rightist parties like the old Alleanza Nazionale treated the team's stadium as their recruiting grounds. In the '80s, the ultras' politics acquired a racist, xenophobic bent as Italy attracted immigrants and Italian soccer attracted Brazilian and African players. New venomous slogans and banners began appearing in the Curva Nord, the ultra section of Lazio's stadium. Before one game last year, police seized 60 different racist and anti-Semitic banners but missed several large ones, including a 50-meter-long banner that taunted fans from a cross-town rival by declaring that they had a "Black Squad, Jewish Home End." At another match against Roma, the opponents were greeted with a sign that told them, "Auschwitz is your town, the ovens your houses." The ultras have been known to appropriate the Nazi font when spelling the "S.S." in S.S. Lazio. And when watching Lazio's matches on the Fox Sports World cable network, you can still catch glimpses of Mussolini's visage adoringly displayed by the crowd.

    The ultras aren't merely making political statements. They like to put their slogans into action. During the previous two seasons, police tied Lazio's ultras to several acts of domestic terrorism. One planted a bomb at a museum dedicated to Italy's World War II resistance. Rome police also defused a Lazio bomb at a theater showing a documentary on Adolf Eichmann. On other occasions, Lazio fans have desecrated Jewish cemeteries and beaten players from opposing teams. Even by the appalling standards of European soccer, Lazio fans are object lessons in amorality.

    Remarkably, Lazio reflects its fans' sentiments. Unlike Roma or almost every other team in the Series A, Lazio's roster is devoid of black players. When it once imported one, Dutchman Aron Winter, he quickly left after the team's fans hounded him with chants of "****** Jew." Rather suspiciously, nearly all of Lazio's current foreign imports hail from countries with fascist pasts—Chile, Argentina, and Serbia. The team's defender, Sinisa Mihajlovic, unabashedly trumpets his devotion to Slobodan Milosevic and his friendship with the Serbian paramilitary leader Arkan, whose band of thugs raped and pillaged their way across Bosnia. When Arkan was killed, Mihajlovic placed a wistful memorial notice in a Belgrade daily.

    If that didn't convince Lazio's management to distance themselves from Mihajlovic—or, better yet, ship him back to Belgrade—his behavior on the field should have. Last season, a player of Senegalese descent accused Mihajlovic of calling him a "****ing black monkey." (Asked about the allegations, he replied: "I called him black ****. I didn't call him black monkey.") Alas, Lazio's punishment of Mihajlovic amounted to little more than a forced public apology. His coach even defended him: "I don't know whether you can call it racism. It's just making fun of someone." And moments after Mihajlovic made the apology, at a home game, fans began making monkey noises every time a Nigerian player touched the ball.

    For a time, the embarrassment of Lazio could be hidden. The team wallowed in the middle of the Italian table. But in the late '90s it emerged as a European powerhouse, winning the UEFA Cup and lo scudetto, the national championship. Lazio's rise has come at the expense of the league's health, and the club's ethos has infected the entire culture of Italian soccer. Some of Italy's best players, including Zinedine Zidane, have fled to the better behaved, higher quality Spanish league. Others, like the magnificent Brazilian Cafu, have bemoaned the racism and openly considered leaving Italy behind. Even Lazio's President Sergio Cragnotti talks about his club in tones of disgust, calling its fans "imbeciles," and frequently threatens resignation. After handing the Africans the Shalom cup, however, he briefly cheered up and even described the moment as a "sign of civilization." It was Lazio's first.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle


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