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Thread: Is the World Cup too big?

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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Is the World Cup too big?

    Guardian blogger Jonathan Wilson makes the argument for scaling the World Cup back to 16 teams.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog...tion-world-cup

    His biggest complaint is the lack of matchups between the top teams in the tournament. My response would be, 1) top teams still rose the the top, with 3 of the final four being traditional powers Spain, Netherlands, and Germany, and 2) Maybe the so-called "top teams" weren't able to roll over the "minnows" because the quality of "minnows" in the tournament relative to the traditional powers has risen ever since they expanded the field. In fact, I would argue that some of the worst games were put in not by the "minnows," but rather teams like France and Italy. In fact, I would say that, in addition to those two, England, Brazil, and Portugal all put in disappointing efforts.
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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    Horrible idea, IMO.

    World football is getting better, not worse. Reducing the number of teams would devastate the growth of emerging soccer nations worldwide.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    Might be interesting if they had a larger play-in pool that pits teams against one another before the actual World Cup begins, much like the league tournament and championship games in American Football.

    But problems where those games might be played and who would play whom might cause difficulties as well.
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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    32 is the perfect size. The English press better be careful what they wish for.

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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    Yes, the World Cup is too big. A good start would be cutting 32 teams.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    I think 32's perfect. It would be a better tournament if some of the so-called major powers gave better effort--France, Italy, England etc. And some of those will--watch Italy put it back together for 2014, for instance. One problem with matching the supposedly very best teams early on is that you'll get extremely conservative games and lots of draws. That, to me, is still the cup's biggest problem--i.e. that in group play, you've got to avoid losing the first game at all costs (Spain notwithstanding).

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    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    Why don't we just make MLB smaller by reducing it to the AL East while we're at it.
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    Yes, the World Cup is too big. A good start would be cutting 32 teams.
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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    Yes, the World Cup is too big. A good start would be cutting 32 teams.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    I think 32's perfect. It would be a better tournament if some of the so-called major powers gave better effort--France, Italy, England etc. And some of those will--watch Italy put it back together for 2014, for instance. One problem with matching the supposedly very best teams early on is that you'll get extremely conservative games and lots of draws. That, to me, is still the cup's biggest problem--i.e. that in group play, you've got to avoid losing the first game at all costs (Spain notwithstanding).
    I'll reiterate my feelings from the World Cup thread, that better games will come about when FIFA works harder to train refs to call the games consistently and take a stronger stand on cynical play. Refs shouldn't be afraid to pull out a red card in the first half for blatant dangerous play, and I think FIFA needs to start reviewing tapes and issuing suspensions for cynical fouls and obvious playacting that the ref missed.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    I'll reiterate my feelings from the World Cup thread, that better games will come about when FIFA works harder to train refs to call the games consistently and take a stronger stand on cynical play. Refs shouldn't be afraid to pull out a red card in the first half for blatant dangerous play, and I think FIFA needs to start reviewing tapes and issuing suspensions for cynical fouls and obvious playacting that the ref missed.

    I'd agree with this but it would help the games too if there weren't sometimes over-calling of yellows so that you get somebody like Muller eliminated from the German semi-final game for two extremely weak, IMO, yellows in the quarter final game.

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    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    A couple of thoughts from the casual fan:

    * 32 seems right. Small enough that a team has to be good to make the field out of its qualifying group, big enough to represent all corners of the globe, big enough that every team with a measurable chance of being the champion is in it.

    * On the cards -- I really think they'd benefit from having an "in between" card (orange?) that is more punitive than a yellow, which really is no deterrent unless a player is already in the book, and less punitive than a red, which is such a match-changing penalty that refs are often reluctant to pull it out even when clearly deserved, especially early -- and amounts to a huge injustice when handed out undeservedly. Whether it's using the "penalty box" concept (play shorthanded for a certain period but then the player can go back on) or the "foul out" concept (player has to come off, but he can be subbed for if the team hasn't used them all), or something else, I don't know.
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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    I think one of the most laughable of his suggestions is having teams travel all over the world just to qualify. I could imagine the uproar of the English managers and press when some of their best players have to sit out a week and a half to two weeks to deal with having to play a WCQ match in Tokyo. I also can't imagine the UEFA teams dealing well with some of the garbage the USMNT has to put up with when playing away games in places like Azteca or Saprissa, where fans try to keep them up all night making noise outside the hotel and then throw garbage and excrement at them and their supporters during the game.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    Part of me would take such delight in watching European teams forced into playing at Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala... they would be shocked at what they had to deal with, absolutely shocked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Is the World Cup too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by WMR View Post
    Part of me would take such delight in watching European teams forced into playing at Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala... they would be shocked at what they had to deal with, absolutely shocked.
    Yep. They don't have to worry about whether the Federal Police will be there to escort them back to the hotel. They just have to deal with cold weather in Moscow and finding places to take the WAGS out to dinner in the Faroe Islands.

    The one suggestion I thought somewhat interesting was merging CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, which would work out to have about the same number of teams as UEFA. It would give the US better teams to play in order to better prep them for the World Cup (if they qualify). I guess the problem would be dealing with the headaches of certain government leaders using World Cup qualifying into a political statement. I would like to see the US participate in the Copa America more often, but I guess the South Americans were pissed last time when we sent a bunch of scrubs and youngsters down. Never mind that some of them ended up making a good showing in South Africa.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.


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