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Speaker: KICK IT! The Wee Fella

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  • Tom Semmens,

    I, for one, welcome our new tentacled overlord.

    This planet isn't big enough for more than one sentient species, which is why Matilda the particularly smart pig is in the freezer, flipper is in a can and there is a paella with Paul's name on it. Either that or his tank will be in pride of place on the team bus during the victory parade if he gets it right again - but that would be a mistake. A BIG mistake.

    Looks like the German's have done an All Blacks - looked mighty impressive against those of a standard below them, but unable to unlock a determined defense at the business end of the tournament.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2152 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    You could paint a lifesize portrait of Puyol, he's so slow.

    Just be sure to get the ball coming off his head and into the German goal in that painting :P.

    Really impressive the way the Spanish denied the Germans. All that speed and raw talent snuffed out but smart slow spaniards. And that German defense coming apart slowly, piece by piece.

    So can the Dutch learn from that match and avoid being taken apart as well?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    another thing, I think the play-off will be a better game for having the Chermans in it - they'll still have a crack I reckon.

    and when do they decide who's playing at home? someone will have to change strip, my telly will explode if orange is playing red.

    can't see the dutchies being so polite in midfield in the final, I kept expecting a steaming shin-splitting challenge...it never happened.

    Patience is all very well, but the game ain't endless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 428 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    The Spanish did an excellent job of neutralising Schweinsteiger (mainly by just not giving him the ball it must be said) and Iniesta's threat tied up Khedira (who had an excellent game on defence today I thought) leaving Ozil on his own up front to make things happen.

    An excellent, intelligent display by the Spanish today and they did it pretty much without Torres. Spain, Germany and Netherlands are really packed with class players at the moment. England, Italy, Brazil are all some distance behind.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 942 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I have to say the game today was really neat to watch. Full of really great skills with the ball and off the ball. But you really got to see that football is tactical and not just about physical skill.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    It's funny how the naive press is praising Paul as a psychic rather than condemning him as a match-fixer. Can't they google "La Piovra"?

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca,

    I thought it was a terrible game to be honest and a Spain v Netherlands final will not be as exciting as Germany v Netherlands. Nevermind.
    I just hope if Spain win they are able to score more than one goal and it will be before half time at least. Call me a moron but I like open and expansive football like the Germans had played up until now.
    Having said that it is nice that a team will win the world cup than never has before.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Hollywood,

    While Giovanni was correct to point out Puyol’s lack of pace, it has to be said that he did a superb job in dealing with the threat of Klose. This flaw in Puyol’s game is nothing new, and while having all the speed of an arthritic sloth with a particularly bad hangover is obviously not a good thing at that level, his reading of the game and sound positional sense more than makes up for it. He remains one of the most consistent defenders in the game (and has been for the best part of a decade).
    I note Klose’s decent form at the WC has now virtually ruled him out of a cosy semi retirement move to West Ham. Probably not a bad thing as Klose has been rather hit and miss *at club level* for a while now.

    Since May 2009 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    To play football, first you must have the ball.

    Actually, no, you don't. Argentina had more of the ball against Germany and lost by 4. Bayern had much more of the ball than Inter in the Champions League final but Inter was in firm control of the game throughout. Spain played effective possession football, and while it was an intensely boring game to watch you have to be impressed. They went in it second favourite but gave themselves the very best chance, and they did it by being smart. Great stuff.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Also: am a big fan of Puyol. He's slow, but he knows where he needs to be. I was just picturing him with Germans coming at him with speed, he would have looked as bad as Terry. But Germany was never allowed to play their game.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Okay, make that almost as bad as Terry.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    I note Klose’s decent form at the WC has now virtually ruled him out of a cosy semi retirement move to West Ham.

    Klose's style wouldn't really fit in with the West Ham way.

    His 3 goals a season haul is pretty much right on the money though...

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 942 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I thought it was a terrible game to be honest ... but I like open and expansive football

    I know what you mean, it is great to watch incredible athletes (like the Germans) running end to end. But I found the control and tactical way the spanish played incredibly fascinating. It was so neat to watch the way they closed down the front three of the Germans and as a result Klose never saw the ball. And on offense all that boring passing back and forth slowly and very cleverly dragged the German defense out of alignment.

    Not exciting no, but absorbing.

    I have no idea what the final will be like.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    It was pretty absorbing, IMhO, and I still don't think Spain has peaked. What the hell was Pedro doing with Torres unmarked outside? Playing with himself? Anyway, he would have looked pretty bad had Germany come back and equalised.

    Villa needed to be 6 inches taller too. Apart from that, the control shown by Spain at times made the German's frustration palpable.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I have no idea what the final will be like.

    Spain has played within themselves so far. The Dutch, at times, beside themselves. Spain ought to take it with ease.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Hollywood,

    As Bart says the control and tactical nous of the Spaniards was impressive and key to nullifying the German threat. Del Bosque deserves great credit for getting it spot on (is this the same guy who was sacked by Real Madrid after winning the Champions League quite a few years back?) ... I suspect the two Finalists are so evenly matched in terms of playing personnel it'll come down to how well each coach has done his homework.

    That said, I'm really looking forward to the midfield tussle - van Bommel and Sneijdervs Xavi and Iniesta. Sneijder is looking like the player of the tournament for my money (though Schweinsteiger was surely running him close before today, and Robben could still clinch it if he turns it on in the Final). And then of course there's the battle for top scorer between Sneijder and Villa.

    Since May 2009 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Spain ought to take it with ease.

    Fighting words there Gio. I may have to slap you with something pickled.

    My heart wants Holland to triumph. I think the Dutch will be less predictable than the Germans and that may make it harder for the Spanish to shut them down. But the Dutch defense has shown horrible lapses that the Spanish will punish. The spanish defense has also shown that they can control a very talented offense and I just don't think the Dutch offense is that much better than the Germans.

    Much as I hate to admit it I think the Spanish are the better bet for the final but I just feel like the Dutch could cause havoc with the pretty Spanish play in a way that the Germans couldn't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    what impressed me was how the Spanish defence pushed forward and compressed the play. the germans got caught up in a mire of players and seldom got the space to generate any forward momentus through long passes. it didn't help that as soon as they lost possession, every spanish player became a defender and either harried whoever had the ball or tracked a marker. it was impressive and skilful even if the result was rather stolid

    as for what the final will look like, I don't expect anything to change. the spanish have done much the same thing in every game. but I think the Dutch will put themselves about a bit more and take it to them physically.

    but what then? no more world cup, I'll eventually even have to take down me wall chart...woe betide.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 428 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    but what then? no more world cup, I'll eventually even have to take down me wall chart...woe betide.

    Man I hate that. There can't be many things in life worse than taking down the wallchart. It always sucks.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 942 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Fighting words there Gio. I may have to slap you with something pickled.

    That would be more than fair enough. Tell you what, I'll eat a smal jar of pickled gherkins (which I hate) if the Netherlands win. Least I can do after that wanton piece of punditry.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Hollywood,

    @ Peter - go on, own up, I bet you've still got Shoot! magazine's (colourful and wonderful) cardboard tabbed League tables from 1985/86 up on your wall.

    Since May 2009 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    @ Peter - go on, own up, I bet you've still got Shoot! magazine's (colourful and wonderful) cardboard tabbed League tables from 1985/86 up on your wall.

    Frankie Mac!

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 942 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    TAB is offering $1.57 for 'NZ will be only unbeaten team at WC 2010', and $1.75 for 'Paul the octopus will guess the final result correctly'.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't both results predicated on a Spain victory? Why then the difference?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Odds are affected by who bets on what. So if you think that NZ will be the only unbeaten team at WC 2010, currently you're better off betting for a Spain win.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Odds are affected by who bets on what. So if you think that NZ will be the only unbeaten team at WC 2010, currently you're better off betting for a Spain win.

    So if you bet a lot on the latter and enough against the former to break even (or is it the other way 'round?; I'm busy, okay?) then you can't lose?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

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