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the game of life: pre-tournament ramblings PART 1 May 26, 2010

Posted by youppe in football, personal.

it’s getting near. ‘the greatest show on earth’ – as they say – is upon us again, and i’m already sweating in the fever. add that with the ongoing Roland Garros 2010 and the NBA Conference Finals coming to an explosive end, June is going to be a sweaty month!

and traditionally with every FIFA World Cup, it’s prediction time. the time to be a smart-ass for a while.. wait, i am already that all the time. hmmm. ahh.. remember those days when we got all our World Cup charts ready and jot down every team and match and record every result? those were the days!

i’ve already made my prediction a while back, here, responding to Smoque’s own prediction. some of the guys have their say as well. i guess this time around, there will be only slight changes, i guess. we’ll see.

where to start? ok, here.

Maradona, the idiot

oh my, oh my. what a blunder. who the fuck is Ariel Garce? and Mario Bolatti??!?! not taking Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso – two extremely vital players in a glorious season for treble-winning Inter – may just be the final nail in the coffin for Diego Maradona, who might be (arguably) the best footballer the world has ever seen, but as coach he will just take an extraordinarily-talented Argentina squad to ruins. after a disastrous qualifying campaign that saw them sneak in at the last minute by the skin of their teeth by some miracle/divine intervention/pure ol’ bastard luck, i can’t believe there’s some quarters saying that Argentina will win the World Cup. the same idiot coach is still the one helming them, and he hasn’t learn anything! or incapable or learning, whatever. there’s no doubting the quality of the Argentina squad (i’ve termed it ‘extraordinarily-talented’ earlier), and with that squad they should qualify effortlessly from South America, but the unlimited incompetence of Ser Diego has even threatened us with the prospect of not having Argentina at a World Cup. the brilliance of the team has saved him, but nevertheless exposed him as far out of his depth as a coach, tactician and manager. those who criticized Lionel Messi for not turning up for Argentina as he did for Barcelona should be asking the questions to Diego instead, because apparently he could not make full use of the little magician and make him play to his full potential.

well, the players. also from Inter’s all-conquering side, Walter Samuel and Diego Milito have had a strong season, as well as Carlos Tevez, who has been surpassing all expectations at Manchester City. Milito, especially, has shown a penchant for the big goals in the big games, as he delivered the deciding goals that won Serie A, Coppa Italia and the Champions’ League for Inter, quite a feat. Gonzalo Higuain concluded another magnificent top-scoring season at Real Madrid on the trot, which i hope will earn him the galactico recognition he deserved, especially since – like last year – the other supposedly galacticos have not been delivering the goods at Bernabeu. throw in Messi and Kun Aguero in the mix, as well as Benfica’s Angel Di Maria for unpredictability, you’ll get the picture. these are the players who could somehow bail out Maradona out of his utter incompetence – rather undeservingly, i must say – and drag Argentina to maybe, the semis.

Maradona's heir-apparent: can he save the old master?

Martin Demichelis might have been ever-present in the Bayern side that went all to way to the Champions’ League final and won the domestic double, but he can’t defend and is prone to big costly blunders at the back, which we have seen on many occasions in the Champions’ League. Javier Mascherano, the captain of this Maradona side, is also coming back from a miserable season at Liverpool, by a mile his worst season ever. these two are important players in Diego’s plans, and will need to elevate themselves another notch come the big kickoff.

add Zanetti and Cambiasso in the mix with all those names mentioned above, Argentina will go places. top that with a half-decent coach/tactician in Maradona’s place, the Argentines are certain semi-finalists with a legitimate shot of winning it all. but as it is, i see Argentina not winning their group (Nigeria will top Group B), so therefore will be drawn against France (who will win Group A) in the Second Round, where they will bow out. ouch! i hope Ariel Garce score an own goal.


speaking of France, Raymond Domenech is another dumbass manager (out of three – another one coming up) who should just be called a clown, who could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Maradona, idiocy-wise. well, i know that already, you say? despite this general knowledge known the world over, the French FA seems clueless to this matter of fact, which is why it must be stressed time and again. you just feel like punching his face, don’t you?

domenech the clown

well how then, i could put his French team winning in Group A and eliminating Argentina in the Second Round? let’s see.

well, he’s real damn lucky. he inherited a mature, established French side and made no blunders in his World Cup selection. yes, Karim Benzema is a great striker, but barely kicked a ball in his first season with Real Madrid, and that Andre-Pierre Gignac from Toulouse has been in lethal form in Ligue 1, he’s not that bad. Djibril Cisse? i prefer not to go there. tough luck though on Lassana Diarra, another unsung, real galactico for Real Madrid this season, who will set to miss the tournament due to sickness. him and the underrated passmaster Jeremy Toulalan could have form a formidable midfield duo to match anybody. Chelsea’s Florent Malouda has had his best season ever in London, and the usual names of Franck Ribery and Nic Anelka will be there. but all eyes however, will be on Bordeaux’s Yohan Gourcuff, the latest in the long, looong line of ‘the new Zinedine Zidane’. will he be the real deal and deliver at the biggest stage of them all?

Ribery and Gourcuff: the past 'new Zidane' and the current one will be the difference-makers for France.

i could see them having enough to scrap through past less-organized (but not less-talented) Argentina side, but will meet Fabio Capello’s England (winner of Group C) in the quarter-final. Domenech’s dumbness won’t be of much help here, as you might imagine. so as they say, bon voyage, monsieur!


who is the third and last of the trio of dumbass manager to unfortunately grace this World Cup? i’d say he’s the worst of the lot, but surely no one could be worse than Maradona and Domenech, right? wrong.




to be continued…



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