Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Friday to forget: a prelude to a new Rocroi or St. Quentin

Let's see if there is anything salvageable from tomorrow's games. After today's excitement (Bravo Oz! Viva Ghana!) it is difficult to get excited about tomorrow, in particular if you are a dispirited French supporter. So let's start with France. It needs to win by three just in case Korea and Switzerland tie. It should be able to do it against the smallest African country in the tournament, Togo. And perhaps face Ukraine. But the best hopes are for France to qualify is to win by 1 and either Korea or the Swiss to win. In this case France will meet its maker in the guise of Spain that will take a wicked pleasure in trashing the hell out of France. I might root for Spain then...

Spain should sail free, and Ukraine undeservedly should qualify. The only question is whether Spain will score at least twice to become the top scoring team in the first round of the World Cup. A little bit of trivia that will go a long way with the ardent Spanish fan base in Venezuela (I shiver about the next four years if Spain wins the Cup!). Unfortunately it should be a piece of cake for Spain to score at least 4 times against the Saudis... I am doomed to avoid any futbol discussion with a Spaniard for the next 4 years (and run away from them if they win the Cup).

PS: the title refers to my childays history books when these things were still important. Rocroi was a the great French victory against Habsburg Spain. But a couple of decades before Phillip II had won at Saint Quentin a battle that justified the construction of the Escorial convent. In those days futbol had not bee invented to settle national differences. Then we got convents now we get fabulous stadiums. Progress!

2 Comments:

Blogger Francisco said...

I for one am SALIVATING over the prospect of a France-Spain match in the second round. Should be a delicious thrashing...

Though, having said that, I think you're being a bit too negative about France. Sure the team has been awful so far. But - though I hate to admit it - the reality is that they have at least two really top-flight players, like Fifa-player-of-the-year-contender quality: Henry and Vieira. They also have Trezeguet, who could do a lot of damage if they just put him on the field now and then (WHY do they play Wiltord ahead of him!??!??)

Obviously something is not working in midfield for the French. They're not finding each other, not really playing as a team. But individual class counts for a lot in some games - you only need Vieira and Henry to make two or three really inspired plays in 90 minutes to get a result.

So you shouldn't totally dismiss their chances to get to the quarters yet. Mostly dismiss them? Sure. Totally? No.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Quico

French fans can also be as mean an vindictive as Italian, or even Scotish, fans when their teams do not do well :)

But you are right, the miedfield is not working out, Zidane does nto have the act together. IT will be interesting to see today how France will do without a benched Zidane.

8:03 AM  

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