Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Italy and Germany show us the way

Last night I watched the best match of the 2006 World Cup. It seems I'm not the only one who thought so.

The quality of the football between Italy and Germany was so demonstrably superior to anything we saw from England in this tournament that afterwards I felt a little less sore about our elimination.

The point is that up until last Saturday, we were told - by Sven Goran Eriksson and by a mainly compliant media desperate to talk up our chances - that we were somehow in the same league as these guys. In truth though we never were.

Do we know how to thread passes together, maintain posesession, or even how to defend like the Germans and the Italians do? No, we don't, although briefly, under Terry Venables and Glenn Hoddle in the 90s, we did aspire to play like that.

It was the right result too. Italy were marginally the better side all night and it was great to see Grosso diplaying a touch of the Tardellis at the end in his goal celebration.

As I said at the start of the World Cup, I will always support the Italians against all other teams apart from England, so I'm with Marcello Lippi's men all the way now.

That said, I won't be too sad if Zidane and Co walk off with the prize for France. It would be one of the great sporting comebacks of all time, and it would be the kind of story that gives hope to old gits everywhere.

Just so long as it isn't Portugal....

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1 comment:

BondWoman said...

"Just so long as it isn't Portugal...." I agree. I thought they were disgraceful in the Netherlands match (although not quite so disgraceful as the Dutch and they deserved to go through there). But they were pathetic in their attempts to score on Saturday and are completely dependent for midfield creativity upon Deco.