Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Quarter-Final is gonna a boring 2 nights for me. No football action. Nothing to rush home to. No headache of wondering if the mamak will be full for the 11pm matches (damned astro...taking all the early games and England games and making people like me suffering...not fair) and hoping Sherie faham and ask me to come over to waych the game with her family..hehehehe. least me and a few other people who were not as clever as Javard to schedule their sleeping and waking up time to catch the much needed sleep...normal human being sleep.

Well, now to the the last 8..the Quarter Finals... 3 games away for one of this team to hold aloft the Cup of Life on June 9. Will it be England with their ugly game(I'm having tears in my eyes)? Will Brazil samba their way to win it for a record 6th time? Will the Argentina win it without the hands of god? Will Ukraine did a Greece and go all the way? Will Italy tackle their way (or bribe....) to bring it back and maybe salvage whatever dignity Italian football have (FYI-When Italy last won it in 1982, Italian football was also in humiliation when top players and officials are involve with bribery. Rossi was banned for 2 or 3 years from football because was found guilty and he became the golden boot winner that WC)? Will German with their ungerman like defense win it for the home team? Will France with their aging squad prove that experience will prevail? And...will Portugal act, dive, elbow, tackle and waste time to win it? Well, we have two days to wait before the first QF match kick off....

England V Portugal

The Prediction - England to win and Rooney will prove to Portugal he will is ready for a me. You don't want Rooney angry. Even he is not angry he is a scary 20 year old.

The Score - England 1 Portugal 0

The Reason - Cos I am an England fan and I want them to win. Kalau tak puas hati, like Leen Ashburn said, you have a problem with that? Pergi turun car park lah kita settle. They have not played well(they suck I know) but they are in the QF but Ghana is packing their bag Leen.


Brazil V France

The Prediction - Brazil to win lah...c'mon lah. Ronaldo gonna score and France will be wishing Laurent Blanc is still around to kiss Barthez head.

The Score - Brazil 2 France 1

Reason - It is Brazil. Ronaldo is 95kg but he makes me believe I can score in the futsal game every Tuesday nite and beside, Ronaldinho will make sure he will not suck like he did in the last 4 games...Don't you think. He is really making you asking "Ronaldinho ke Ronaldikin is on the pitch.

Thanks for the memory Zizou

Germany V Argentina

The Prediction - Aiyo...susah nya nak predict this one. Hmmm.. I want Argentina to win so that its. Well, on more professional opinion, I do think Argentina will win this exciting and hard fought game

The Score - Argentina 2 Germany 1

The Reason -This is because although Germany is great upfront but anyone who has been following football knows that the German defence is below the par they have always set for themselves. Lahm tedency to attack will give more room for Riquelme to expose a shaky German defense and it could be a Messi affair.


Italy V Ukraine

The Prediction - Italy to win it.

The Score - Italy 1 Ukraine 0

The Reason - Not enough threat in the Ukraine team except for Svechenko. Italy are short on central defenders but I think they will bring in someone to replace the injured Nesta and Matterazzi who is not available after the red card. Hopefully Toni and Gillardino will find their mark and if not, you got Pippo Inzaghi on the bench. Unleash him and let him fly.

And take note, no cut and paste from Words here. I hope the disaster that day will be the last and if you can read this, meaning I manage to not do any stupid things. Javard is writing a review for the imagine that. Javard turning his AF blog(in the midst of AF season) into a football blog. And he is doing, if you find my WC review is not up to your got Javard's blog to go to or maybe my fellow mancunian, Des (sorry about the Oranje exit dude).

Well, enjoy your 2 days rest for all football fans..sleep, eat and rest properly. To the spouses, girlfriends, partners..... take the opportunity to tell your love one what has been happening around the world or even around the house while the WC was on (utilities bills, baby's milk, shaving maybe).


Saturday, June 24, 2006



All the predicitions and pictures and funny things( way to find out if it is funny now kan) are gone. I don't know what I did but the main thing is...IT IS ALL GONE!!! Ah...crap..i just write the prediction of the matches for the last 16. Malas want to think and write whatever I wrote. It was so beautiful.... 2 weeks of World Cup reviews.....the teams reviews...ALL GONE!!!!!

Germany 2 Sweden 0
Argentina 3 Mexico 0
England 2 Ecuador 1
Portugal 0 Netherlands 0 ( Netherlands go through after penalty shoot out)
Italy 2 Australia 0
Switzerland 0 Ukraine 1
Brazil 2 Ghana 0
Spain 2 France 1

There....I am so frustrated...I wrote all those things and it is gone.. that should have help my application to ESPN and Star Sports for that football pundit vacancy.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Group D-H

I didn’t have time to review Group D to Group H…I am sorry. Work and time didn’t permit me to do so but I think I want to see how accurate am I and does my knowledge about world football can actually help me predict the correct team that will progress to the 2nd round from group D to H. So here goes….

Group D: Portugal will top the group. Too much quality and they have not been beaten under Scolari since that Euro 04 final against Greece. Mexico will accompany them in 2nd place. Angola and Iran might give Mexico a run for their pesos but just not good enough.

Group E: I think this will be a very interesting group. In my opinion, another group of death in this WC edition and will certainly be the most interesting outcome. I think the Czech Republic will be the group champion and Ghana might sneak in above Italy for that 2nd spot. Why don’t I think Italy will make it? Because The Azzuris this time around does not have a quality side to give a good challenge and couple with the bribery controversy back home and also injury to important players like Gattuso and Totti who is still recovering.

Group F: Anyone wanna bet that Brazil will not top this group? Only the brave and crazy will do that I guess. Of course Brazil will samba their way to the top of the group. Australia and Japan had shown in recent friendly matches that they are ready for a battle. Japan might nick that 2nd spot but Australia do have a shout if Kewell is injury free.

Group G: France will top the group. After that disastrous WC 02, the whole squad would want to erase that painful memory. South Korea will be there with France in the 2nd round at 2nd spot. Togo might be a surprise package if they can recover from losing their coach.

Group H: Spain will be the top dog in this group and a Shevchenko inspired Ukraine will accompany them.

Well, that’s my prediction. And to be fair, football is a strange game. You can’t really base the winner of the game on paper…with a bit of luck…with a bit of spirit….anything can happen at the end of the 90 minutes plus injury time.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Group C

I wish I had time on my hand to review each team in each group but I realize I am not blessed with that option. Come to think of it, I might have if only I have my own PC or laptop at home for me to work on it. So, I don’t have any other option but to review the group in general and not each team as I would have loved to do. I mean, I have to be realistic lah kan… 3 more days before the greatest football show on earth start and I still have 5 more groups to go.

Group C

The so-call Group of Death in this WC edition. Two teams with a lot of tradition, history and success in WC grouped with two teams with a lot of potential and coming to Germany with an impressive and convincing qualifying round. Argentina and Netherlands are the obvious favourites in this group with the wealth of talent in their squad but nobody is going to write off Ivory Coast and Serbia & Montenegro before the ball is kick.

Argentina are coming to Germany with an exciting, young and talented attacking players like Tevez, Aimar, Saviola and the apparent heir to Maradona, Lionel Messi would definitely want to come out of this group on top. After being knocked out from the competition so early in the group stages in the last WC in another group of death, Argentina will definitely want to do better. Other than the young talents, veterans like Ayala, Sorin and Crespo will bring the experience to an otherwise young squad to face the other teams in the group. Pekerman’s tactics and strategies on the field are carried out by his trusted man on the field, Riquelme. The main target for United this summer, his performance this season had helped Villarreal to the CL semi-final. His vision and performance this summer will be important to Argentina push to their 3rd title. The problem with the squad is they are becoming too dependent with Riquelme. When Riquelme is out or under performing, the whole team ceases to function. Will young players like Messi be able to step up or one of the veterans can take over?

The Netherlands is one of the major under achievers in the WC other than Spain. Bless with talented players like Cruyft, Van Basten, Gullit, the De Boers twins and the current Barca coach, Rijkaard throughout the years, the Oranje failed to live up to expectations and to deliver when it matters. After the 4th place finish in France 98, Oranje failed to qualify to Korea/Japan 02 and would want to show the world that they are still a football powerhouse. A dark horse to win the title, the squad is filled with exceptional talents on every position especially in attack. The out of favor striker at United, Van Nistelrooy is still the main threat upfront and supported the exciting Robben with his pace and trickery. Should be able to claim the other spot to qualify for the last 16.

Serbia and Montenegro had showed their defensive qualities in the qualifying round which included Spain. With an impressive record of only letting in one goal in 10 matches, it would be interesting to see if they can hold off the attacks from two of the best attacking team like Argentina and Netherlands. If they can do that, Serbia would have a very good chance to create an upset in this group. Upfront, the deadly finishing of Kezman is the main concerned for any opponents. He had done well with Atletico Madrid after a disastrous season with Chelsea. He would want to prove to Chelsea that he is better than the three current Chelsea’s strikers; Drogba with Ivory Coast, Crespo with Argentina and Robben with Netherlands; and that it was a mistake to let him leave.

Ivory Coast booked their place in Germany at the expense of African football powers such as Cameroon and Egypt. The Elephants will want to prove that their qualification is not just pure luck but base on merit. Being grouped with strong opponents such as Argentina and Netherlands will give them the chance to show that. The squad are largely made up of players who are plying their trade in the French League but the main forces in the squad are base in London. Chelsea’s Drogba is the main threat upfront while Arsenal’s Toure is the rock at the back.

This is a hard group to predict and every game is important and promise excitement but I am putting myself out there and predict Argentina and Netherlands to come out tops in this group. The last game between Argentina and Netherlands will determine who tops the group. Ivory Coast and Serbia will push to the end but the other two teams have a lot of quality and talents in depth. On the other hand, Ivory Coast might be the dark horse in this group and might…might squeeze through at the expense of Netherlands

Main Man

Argentina – Riquelme

Ivory Coast – Drogba

Netherlands – Van Bommel

Serbia – Stankovic

Player to Watch

Argentina – Messi

Ivory Coast – Fae

Netherlands – Robben

Serbia – Zigic

Babe Magnet of the Group (if you have to watch it with ur man)

Argentina – Crespo, Aimar

Netherlands – Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie

Serbia – Kezman

Ivory Coast – a hard one here….

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Group B


England is coming to Germany with a squad dubbed as the most talented assembled bunch of players in recent times. Each player wearing the England jersey on the pitch is among the best in the world in their respective position. If England are to win the World Cup again after 40 years, this is the squad to do it. The only problem is, can the players lift up their performance and fulfill the promise everyone sees in the team?

When Rooney crumble down after the tackle from Ferreira at the Bridge, everyone believes England chance to be a real contender for the WC crumble with him. Rooney is indeed a special player and it would be a task to replace him but I do believe England still have a lot of players who can step up and propel England further into the competition. England midfield is considered as the best in the world with the likes of Beckham, Cole, Gerrard and Lampard operating the team’s engine. Gerrard performance had been spectacular especially in big games and can be exemplify in last season CL’s final and this season FA cup final while Lampard is the top scorer for Chelsea in winning their 2nr consecutive EPL crown. The only concern is if he can actually transfer his club performance into international games. Hopefully with his experience playing in the CL would help his confidence. He might be the star player for England this WC. The partnership of Terry and Ferdinand in the centre of defence looks solid with Neville and Cole on the right and left of the defence who can also provides the attackers with their crosses. Without Rooney unfit, Crouch is the front runner to partner Owen, who is still regaining his fitness after the same injury Rooney is suffering now. His height would be a plus point in set pieces but at the same time he does have a good touch for such a tall man.

England does look like a solid team on all areas but the most important factor is if the players can step up and prove that they can actually be a world class team. Sven would definitely love to win the WC as his last assignment with England and that would help him to get more coaching offers when he becomes available after the WC.

Main Man: I would love to say Beckham but I don’t think he is the player he was once before. I would love to say Rooney but as of now, he would likely be a spectator in this WC edition. For me personally, I think Gerrard would be England’s main force this time around. As I have mentioned before, he definitely showed he is a man for big games. A future England captain, his relentless work rate in the middle of the field and the ability to read the game would take England through before Rooney is fit enough to take part.

Player to Watch: He was bought from Southampton by Arsenal and didn’t even play in the EPL yet so his inclusion into the England squad was a surprise to everyone. Theo Walcott is only 18 but everyone is raving about him. I can’t say much about him because I have never seen him play before and to be honest, I doubt anyone else have to. He might be use late in the game when the other team is tired and his pace would definitely trouble the defence.


This is Paraguay 3rd straight appearance in the WC and definitely establishes them as South American football powerhouse with Brazil and Argentina. They qualified 4th behind Ecuador but with the same amount of points, they were struggling in the early stages of their qualifying round. They picked up their rhythm later and manage to secure the last qualification place with a game in hand and even losing the last home game against Colombia did not deny their place.

With a defence packed with experience players such as Caniza, Caceres and Gamarra would be a tough assignment for the opponents attacking players to crack down but the only worry is with age not on their side; a fast attack would probably catch them off guard. In midfield, Acuna and Paredes will definitely be the link to change from defence to attack while Dos Santos and Barreto will be creating havoc and opportunities for the forwards. Santa Cruz has showed to Germans his instinct for goals when playing for Bayern Munich while Cardoza might be an old hand but he is the top scorer for Paraguay in the qualifying round. If Santa Cruz is still not fit for the WC, Nelson Valdez who is playing for Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga had already shown he is a capable player to replace the Bayern Munich ace.

Main Man: Germany 2006 would be Acuna’s 3rd appearance in the WC and his experience would definitely help the young players in the squad such as Dos Santos and Barreto. This should be his last WC so he would want to lead his team past the last 16 after 2 WC failing to do it.

Player to Watch: Dos Santos is considered as the best young player in Paraguay and he has made his marked in Germany already. He is Santa Cruz teammate at Bayern Munich and he is usually given a free role in the middle of the field by the coach to use his creativity to carve an opening for the front two.

Trinidad & Tobago

T&T is one of the countries that will be making its debut in this WC edition and also the smallest among the 32 teams. The Socca Warriors, as they are known, qualified after beating Bahrain in a play-off. Being grouped with England would be a blessing in disguise for T&T as most of the players are plying their trade in the English league.

It would be an achievement for T&T if they can even win one game at this edition. There is not much quality in the team as most players are playing in the lower leagues in England. Their biggest star is obviously Captain Yorke, who played for Aston Villa before helping Manchester United to that famous treble in 1999. Now playing in the Australian League with Sydney FC, he is still a major threat. Latapy is one of the oldest player at 38 had come out of retirement to help the team would be the supplier from midfield with Birchall. T&T defence is not highly rated with their lack of pace but with a 201cm tall Lawrence in the centre, it would be hard to get a cross over him and he would definitely be a threat in set pieces at the other end of the penalty box.

Main Man: Dwight Yorke is the most successful player from T&T and had made an impact in the EPL with the Villains and United. He might not be as fast as he was before but he’s experience and his deadly finishing is still a threat. He would be the major key to T&T performance in the WC

Player to Watch: Christopher Birchall was born and raised in England but have the right to play for T&T because of his grandparents. He is the creative spark in the team and he would want to perform well in the WC to earn a transfer to an EPL club. He is currently playing for Port Vale.


For a 2nd consecutive time, Sweden is being drawn together with Sweden but they are not complaining. Sweden has a good record against England…the English have not won against the Swedish in 11 meetings since 1968. The game in Korea/Japan 2002 ended in a draw but both team got through to the last 16.

Sweden is blessed with a strong line of attacking players. Henrik Larsson was impressive coming from the bench for Barcelona in the CL final when he created both goals for them. Partnering Larsson up front is Ibrahimovic who is an imposing figure at 192cm. For a tall man, he is fast and use his height well in set pieces as he proves with his team Juventus (hmm... would Juventus be relegated to Serie B for that bribery allegations?). He scored 8 goals in 8 qualifying games for Sweden and that is a goal a game ratio. Ljungberg fitness had limited his first team action early in the season with Arsenal but he played a significant role in helping Arsenal to the CL’s final and also securing the 4th spot in the EPL. Team captain Mellberg give that reliability and assurance at the back with his partner in the centre of defence Lucic who would be playing in his 3rd WC.

Main Man: No doubt it is the veteran Larsson. He is a smart player with a deadly finishing but at the same can create an opening for others to score. He has been a very important in Sweden football for a decade and he has been voted as “the greatest player in Swedish football”.

Player to Watch: With a goal a game ratio, Ibrahimovic would be a tough customer for any defenders. He uses his strength to dominate the ball and for a big man he is quite fast. He is always lurking for that special pass from Larsson or Ljungberg to score. His height means he would be a handful in set pieces situation.


I think the other three team managers in this group were actually giving a huge sigh of relief when Rooney is deemed not fit for the group stages. One less headache for them and they can actually concentrate on beating England rather than stopping Rooney. But I still think England still have a lot of quality in dept and claim the top spot. Assuming Germany would top Group A, England wouldn’t want to finish as group runner-up because it would set up a meeting in the last 16 against the host nation. Sweden is England major threat in this group and would likely accompany England to the last 16. Paraguay would be the dark horse in this group but with Santa Cruz still recovering and has not been playing regularly, it does not look good for Paraguay. Trinidad should be the points giver in this group and we just hope Yorkie will keep on smiling when they have to pack their bags after their last game on the 20th June against Paraguay.