The 2010 World Cup On Twohundredpercent

June 7, 2010

Homeless people in Cape Town
“The 2010 World Cup will undoubtedly inspire a good deal of comment – some of it outstanding, some of it appalling – in the media. Here at Twohundredpercent, we’re not going to make any bold claims about the quality of what we’re putting up, only that we will do what we can to provide a build-up to and coverage of the tournament that follows the basic guideline that we always try to apply – to offer an alternative to the World Cup coverage elsewhere on the internet.” (twohundredpercent)

World Cup Tales: Eleven Goals In Strasbourg, 1938
“As the entrants lined up for the 1938 World Cup finals in France, storm clouds were building up the horizon, and the tournament itself wasn’t exempt from such global concerns. Three months prior to the start of it, German tanks had marched into Austria, annexing the country through the Anschlüss agreement. Within a couple of months, the Austrian national football team, which had got to the semi-finals of the previous tournament in Italy and was one of the favourites for this one, was no more.” (twohundredpercent)

Shepherd in the Valley of Darkness

June 7, 2010

“When I heard the news of the broken arm, the confession to Kolo Touré, the ‘for him, he said, the World Cup is finished,’ I did not know what to do. I sat down. I was so flustered that even my thoughts stuttered a little. ‘It’s, it’s n-n-not f-fair’ I thought. This was his World Cup. Even though ESPN is force-feeding Messi to the American public, Didier Drogba was the real face of the tournament. He wasn’t just playing for his country, he was playing for all of Africa; that’s what he’d said. Now the Ivory Coast’s chances were dashed and their matchup with Brazil in the group stage had gone from the most exciting game of the first round to another stepping stone on the seleção’s path to #6. This turn of events was tragic.” (Run of Play)

Switzerland 1-1 Italy – Video Highlights and Recap – Friendly – 5 June 2010

June 7, 2010

“Italy looked to rebound from a disappointing friendly loss against Mexico with a match against Italy on June 5, 2010. The Swiss qualified for their second consecutive World Cup and have been a nation on the rise in the last few years. Italy remains one of the top teams in the world but many don’t give them a realistic shot to repeat as World Cup champions.” (The 90th Minute)

Netherlands 6-1 Hungary – Video Highlights and Recap – Friendly – 5 June 2010
“The Dutch continued their World Cup preparations with a friendly match against Hungary on Saturday, June 5, 2010. They are a side that is often overlooked but talented enough to make a deep run in the tournament. Hungary did not qualify for the World Cup and are focusing on the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifying matches in the fall.” (The 90th Minute)

United States 3-1 Australia – Video Highlights and Recap – Friendly – 5 June 2010
“The United States and Australia played a friendly about a week before both sides were to begin the FIFA 2010 World Cup Group Stage. The Socceroos have high hopes to make it out of the group stage while the USA will consider the 2010 World Cup a disappointment if they don’t make it out of the group stage. The two teams met on Saturday, June 5, 2010.” (The 90th Minute)

France unpredictable with new formation

June 7, 2010

“As you might recall, France qualified for this tournament in rather controversial circumstances, squeezing past Ireland in the playoff after finishing behind Serbia in the group phase. The Thierry Henry handball may have slightly taken away from the wider issue at hand – the fact that France were very poor throughout qualification. Coming second in the group was not a disgrace – they only lost once, they were seven points clear of third-placed Austria, and they were up against a Serbia side that was far better than expected. But even when France won, they failed to convince. Two 1-0 wins against Lithuania and another against the Faroe Islands tells the story of the campaign.” (Zonal Marking)

Disorganised Cameroon hope Eto’o shines
“You might think, without watching Cameroon play and only judging them by their team sheet, that this team is all about Samuel Eto’o. When you see them in action, you realise that this is exactly the case. Eto’o recently threatened to quit the national side after criticism from Cameroon legend Roger Milla, who accused the Inter forward of failing to reproduce his club form at international level. It’s probably true, but hardly surprising considering the relative mediocrity of the players Eto’o is alongside for his country, and the fact that he plays a role that it’s difficult to dominate games from.” (Zonal Marking)

A defensive-minded 4-2-3-1 for Australia
“Australia got to the first round in their first World Cup, the second round in their second World Cup, so is a quarter-final spot the natural outcome for their third World Cup? Most of the world hasn’t seen much of Australia since 2006, and the positive for those who chose not to watch the Asian Group 1 qualifying section is that the side has changed little in the past four years. Of the expected starting XI, only Hull winger Richard Garcia was not in the squad for 2006.” (Zonal Marking)

Some Housecleaning, a Small Rant About Why World Cup Advertizers Prove Capitalism Isn’t Brilliant

June 7, 2010

“First, sorry for what are becoming all-too routine pauses on A More Splendid Life; my own less than splendid life has this sorry habit of getting in the way. So, some fun announcements. Second, one of the reasons it has been a bit quiet around here is because Brooks at Dirty Tackle has lost his mind and let me post up various bits and bobs on his esteemed site over the next five weeks for the World Cup. So you can see the nice, clean, North American-wide version of what I do.” (A More Splendid Life)

For World Cup Stars, So Many Games, and So Many Pains

June 7, 2010

“Some of the world’s most accomplished and explosive players are limping into the World Cup, if they have made it here at all, and few are as bruised and battered as the stars of the English Premier League, where the physical nature of play is particularly unforgiving.” (NYT)

Uruguay have case for local support at World Cup

June 7, 2010

Francisco “Pancho” Varallo
“Once the World Cup hosts have got the action under way in South Africa on Friday afternoon the drone of the vuvuzelas might die down and the sound of drums should come through as the second game kicks off in Cape Town. They might sound straight out of Africa but the drums will be pounding for Uruguay, telling a tale that stretches across oceans, religions and races.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

South Africa Stadium Stampede is No Reason for World Cup Pessimism

June 7, 2010

“I like to think that World Cup Blog has been very positive about South Africa hosting World Cup 2010. For example, when the whole thing was a little questionable in early 2009 we shared our 10 reasons to be optimistic about South Africa hosting the World Cup. There will possibly be a few problems along the way, but the whole thing will hopefully be worth the tradeoff.” (World Cup Blog)

Season in Holland reviewed

June 7, 2010

“Ajax may have had the league’s most prolific attack, its best defence, the competition’s top scorer and an impressive run of 14 consecutive matches without dropping a single point, but it still wasn’t enough to land their first championship since 2004.” (World Soccer)

Germany coach Joachim Low interviewed
World Soccer: How confident are you of Germany’s chances at the World Cup? Joachim Low: It’s always stimulating to be in charge of a national team with such a great World Cup heritage. Time and time again we have shown a fantastic capacity to get it right in major tournaments. A positive history can help psychologically but it must not be a crutch. We have to deliver in the here and now. We’re probably not among the top favourites for the title, but we certainly have the wherewithal to go a long way, to make a good impact.” (World Soccer)

Nigeria coach Lars Lagerback interviewed
World Soccer: You were appointed in late February. How much of an impact can you realistically expect to make in just a few months? Of course time is short but there is enough for me to assess the players available and have my philosophy accepted by the squad. In warm-up games and a pre-World Cup training camp much can be achieved, believe me. I would like to think I proved myself a competent coach during a decade in charge of Sweden. I led them to five consecutive World Cups and European Championships and I’ve a name for team building, for making the most of the personnel at my disposal. I know international football.” (World Soccer)