Devang Desai, James Bigg and pod newcomer Gianluca Nesci sit down to talk about Jack Wilshere’s injury, Brazil’s sterling performance and Mesut Ozil’s rough 2014.
Archive for the ‘World Cup 2014’ Category
Posted by Devang Desai under Counter Attack Podcast, World Cup 2014 on Mar 06, 2014
Blatter’s violent mic-grabs, a dancing armadillo, and a bad day for England and the USA—How the World Cup Draw Unfolded
Posted by Richard Whittall under FIFA, World Cup 2014 on Dec 06, 2013
So! The draw! It happened! The World Cup is an event that is happening! With teams! Thirty-two of them!
First, the presentation. Things began in very FIFA-like fashion with no audio, then suddenly the booming, familiar world feed voice of John Helm (who’s reigned in his sniffing over the years) giving us badly timed English translation over the pretty Portuguese speaking faces of Fernanda Lima and her husband Rodrigo Hilbert, a choice that might turn out to be racist. The sound production was awful pretty much throughout, though this is a visual exercise.
Things kicked off with a well-put together tribute to the late Nelson Mandela and his long association with football, although there was a choice, long cut of Mandela embracing FIFA president Sepp Blatter. This was cancelled out a little by a lovely shot of Pele kissing Mandiba, which was the only earnestly moving moment of the day.
Then what followed for the next hour or so was vintage FIFA. Awkward transitions. Musical numbers with a lack of choreography. Unfortunate choices in dress. Poor audio (did I mention the sound production?).
And of course bumbling old Blatter himself, strutting out out after a short tourism video, violently grabbing the mic out of Lima’s lovely hands while avoiding eye contact, only to aggressively exhort the audience to “applaud, please!” The Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff added some words on Brazil’s multicultural make up, and the Blatter was back doing his “football builds bridges” and making a barely disguised plea to the Brazilian people to play nicey nice next summer.
Then a montage featuring a little kid wearing his dad’s blazer or something, running through World Cup history in a kind of high school production only to literally pick up an hour glass at the end to represent the passage of time. That happened. No I don’t have a GIF of it.
Del Bosque came out to threaten the other 31 nations with annihilation, and then more creepy dancing with poor audio featuring a man in a white suit gesturing for his mic to be turned up because of the poor audio, and then Ronaldo! RONALDO! Thank the Lord! And he promised us the best World Cup ever, for which we should be grateful.
— Rodrigo Beilfuss (@RBeilfuss) December 6, 2013
As if that wasn’t good enough, the giant furry Armadillo came out! And don’t sniff at the jittery Fuleco—his Wikipedia page is longer than some dead English kings. This preceded a pretty neat dance choreography thing with attractive people moving their bodies, wearing short shorts.
Then Pele! I don’t know what he said though: poor audio and Helm’s booming voice. After a quick panorama featuring the stadiums, Jerome Valcke walked on, which is the best way to know that this was all about to go down.
Geoff Hurst. Mario Kempes, Fabio Cannavaro, Lothar Matthaus, Zidane, Cafu…lovely. After a completely, utterly bewildering explanation of the existence of something called Pot X, we got into it in earnest, and…well…it was quick. The highlight of the night? Geoff Hurst grabbing one of the few remaining European nations in the pot, smirked, nodded his head confidently, and then brought it over to Valcke. The man who scored a World Cup final hat-trick, winning England the World Cup, drew them in Group D alongside Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Italy. Anyway, this is how the draw unfolded:
— Dave's Lounge (@daveslounge) December 6, 2013
And the USA…oh the USA. At first it was funny, and things got sick. Group G with Portugal and Ronaldo, with Ghana and a history of failure against Ghana, with Germany, a World Cup favourite. They will pray for some of this:
For the neutral though, there is a LOT to like in the early stages. Group B could be a blockbuster, and an opportunity for Chile to cause a major upset. Group C is a very interesting prospect, with a potential barnstormer in Colombia vs Ivory Coast, and a good chance for Japan to do some real damage. Group H is a good a group as Belgium could have wished for, and France will be counting their blessings having drawn Group E for easy.
And we also talked about the draw on the podcast!
Posted by Richard Whittall under World Cup, World Cup 2014 on Jul 12, 2013
Eric Beard Tweeted this earlier:
— Eric Beard (@BeardEric) July 12, 2013
Here’s the scoop from Ad Age:
Setting up its own version of an upfront market, Twitter will be conducting a blind auction overseen by PricewaterhouseCoopers to sell promoted trends later this month, according to a sales deck obtained by Ad Age. It’s the first time Twitter has set up an auction specifically for a tentpole event and an indication of how it will sell scarce inventory connected to events like the Olympics, the Oscars or the Super Bowl in the future.
Because promoted trends are viewed by an entire nation, and globally during the World Cup, the money on offer should be pretty good. The article claims the base rate per promoted trend will be $600,000 US. The “reserve” price for the Gold package is $3.06 million. Long gone it seems are the days when we’d all joke about how football “broke Twitter.” Social media FTW.
The auction is set for July 25th, which only gives the enterprising activist thirteen days to Kickstart a grassroots promoted Twitter trend campaign.
Please leave yours. We’ve got less than two weeks people!
Horncastle: Despite Brazil’s Confederations Cup triumph, there is work to be done ahead of the World Cup
Posted by James Horncastle under Brazil, Confederations Cup, Spain, World Cup 2014 on Jul 02, 2013
Prior to Sunday night’s Confederations Cup final against World and European champions Spain at the Maracanã, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari anticipated that victory for his team “would regain a lot of credibility and respect from our fans.”
It’s worth remembering, more so than ever in the afterglow of their astonishing 3-0 win, what state the Seleção were in as they approached the competition a month ago. Confidence wasn’t high. People around the world were sceptical about the team and its individual components.
The received wisdom was that this Brazil side wasn’t up to the high standards set by its predecessors. They had slipped to 22nd in the FIFA rankings, an imperfect and often derided metric, but an indicator nonetheless of how a country rates.
After their elimination in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup by the Netherlands, Dunga was replaced as head coach with Mano Menezes. It was supposedly a move away from a counter-attacking, un-Brazilian style of play, in which the physical appeared to take the priority over the technical, to one that was closer to their traditions of flair, seizing the initiative and entertaining the crowd.
There was a transition from one generation to another too. The old guard was more or less done away with and a new breed brought through in order to prepare them for the 2014 World Cup. So Brazil went from one extreme to the other. Many of the players weren’t ready. For the most part, they were based at home and so lacked international experience. It would take time to make the adjustment.
In the meantime, Brazil looked like a soft touch. They lost some of their aura. Paraguay knocked them out in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Copa America on penalties. Mexico beat them in the final of 2012 Olympic football tournament.
If Menezes had been sacked there and then few would have been surprised. Ironically, his dismissal came a few months later just as Brazil had started to show signs of real progress under his management. Were they shooting themselves in the foot?
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Dustin Parkes under Brazil, Confederations Cup, World Cup 2014 on Jun 20, 2013
It took 21-year-old Brazilian striker Neymar all of three minutes to collect the first goal of the 2013 Confederations Cup. After his one-touch volley hit the corner of the net, the home crowd in Brasilia flooded the stands with the white noise of an applauding ocean, forcing an unorchestrated wave of yellow and green shirts.
The tournament is little more than a dress rehearsal for hosting next year’s World Cup, but strikes like that – so refined as to appear natural – have a way of making fans huddled in a stadium forget about context and embrace the moment in and of itself. For the Brazilians outside the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha on Saturday, the conditions that surround their country hosting this tournament and the 2014 FIFA World Cup weren’t so easily escaped.
Posted by admin under South America, World Cup 2014 on Mar 25, 2013
By Carlo Campo
The seemingly endless cycle of South American qualifiers is back underway and, believe it or not, it’s finally approaching the final stages. After Tuesday’s fixtures are completed, no team will have more than six fixtures remaining. There should be a clearer picture as to what nations will reach Brazil 2014 and what nations will miss out.
Not surprisingly, Argentina’s lethal offence has the country leading the supergrupo. With 23 goals in 10 matches and the best goal difference on the continent, a win away to Bolivia on Tuesday would give La Albiceleste a total of 26 points, a number many believe is already good enough to qualify them for next year’s World Cup.
And if there’s one team that’s making a lot of noise in the region, it’s Colombia. After a sketchy start that included a draw at home to Venezuela followed up by a 2-1 home loss to Argentina, Los Cafeteros are on a four-game winning streak that has seen them tear apart Uruguay 4-0, snatch an important 3-1 away win against Chile, and humiliate Bolivia 5-0 last Friday. Some believe Colombia’s current crop of players is the best generation of players their national team has ever had.
Against this backdrop, there is a third team whose campaign is also in cruise control and who is quietly sitting in third place in South American qualifying: Ecuador.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Devang Desai under CONCACAF, World Cup 2014 on Mar 23, 2013
Both teams pleaded with referee Joel Aguilar to keep the match going. At least that’s what the commentators on the ESPN broadcast led us to believe. While it did look as though the visitors did want to continue as they began to carry play in the second half, apparently, that wasn’t the case.
Ten minutes into the second half, Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto wanted referee Joel Aguilar of El Salvador and match commissioner Victor Daniel of Grenada to suspend the game, but U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann made a case for playing on. Play continued after some heated discussion. Pinto was angry during and after the game. “I asked them to stop. They should suspend the ref,” Pinto said. “It was an embarrassment. It was an insult to Costa Rica and people coming in here.”
More from midfielder Cristian Bolanos:
“Honestly, it was robbery, a disgrace, I’ve never played a game in these conditions,” midfielder Cristian Bolanos told Reuters. “You couldn’t see the ball … if we had played without snow, we would have won, I am sure.”
Reuters reports Costa Rica plans to file an official protest with FIFA. Something tells me this won’t be the last we’ve heard of this.