End of the road for Soccer Nation, Brazil

Who could have thought Five time World Cup Champion Brazil would lose to Netherlands (Holland)? In my opinion, this is one of the biggest, if not The biggest upsets in this year’s World Cup. Brazil spotted a defensive and ‘impenetrable’ formation early during the group stages, banging on their defense and counterattack for the win.

All that paid off until they met the Dutch. Brazil and their coach, Dunga was and is still being hit by waves of criticisms from critics and fans prior to today’s match upset when Dunga allegedly did not add FIFA World Player of the year (2004) Ronaldinho to his squad. Many believed it was due to differences of some sort. But I personally feel that personal opinions should always make way when it comes to looking at the bigger picture, for the greater good.

Dunga was also heavily criticized by fans all over the world for turning Brazil from the beautiful attack-styled strategy to a poorly supported defense strategy. While it has shown its potency in the previous matches, the formation and strategy has clearly shown the deficit: ‘A tiger without his teeth’. Everyone knows Brazilian players, even the normal Brazilian you find on the streets of Brazil live and breathe football. They don’t just play football, they dance football, many say. The risk taken by Dunga have finally cause Brazil to pay the ultimate price.

Even with Robinho’s brilliance (in scoring at the 11th minute) and with Kaka in the team, that was far from sufficient to make up for the loss, not just in scoring the equalizer, but in creating the space to score. Without Ronaldinho’s creativity and with a strategy doomed right from the start, Brazil was doomed to oblivion from 53rd minute onwards when Felipe Melo scored an own goal, showing the mess of their disrupted formation, ingeniously broken through by Holland. It was all over when Sneijder scored at the 68th minute.

My thoughts? Brazil was a letdown, not because of an incompetent coach, but a coach with the wrong strategy. Never take a fish out of the water and expect it to walk and breathe on land. In this case, never make a mess out of Brazil’s natural flair for their mesmerizing attacks, especially when the hope of an entire nation rest upon your shoulders. All you would get is the opposite of the desired outcome; end of the road.

One thing’s for sure, Coach Dunga won’t just be ridiculed for his ‘uncool’ name, but also ridiculed for his failed strategy. Prepare to face the firing squad (Press and media) after today, Mr Dunga. Looks like his career would take a dive?

Try again four years later, Brazil. This time, bring Ronaldinho back, even if he is 34 years old by then.

In any case, my bets for the win would be Argentina in tomorrow’s match between Argentina vs Germany. Though my heart wants Argentina to win, my mind reasons that Germany would win! Gosh! Argentina please win! C’mon Messi! C’mon Argentinians!

Yours Sincerely,
Reuel Eugene

Photos:
http://www.soomaalidamaanta.com/sm/images/stories/2009/04/A4/dunga_brasil.jpg
http://brasilsoccer.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/ronaldinho.jpg

Argentina FTW!

Hello all! I’m back from my Bintan trip and I am glad to say that I did not miss much of the FIFA World Cup action because it is being shown over at Indonesia on National Television for free! So, I could enjoy the football matches at the comfort of my villa. Anyway, I caught the 2nd half of the match where Argentina destroyed South Korea 4 -1, adding 2 more goals to their 1 goal lead.

Although Messi didn’t score any goals throughout despite coming that close to scoring one at the 91st minute, I must say I am totally rooting for this fella! Meanwhile, the 2 goals by Gonzalo Higuain was quite ‘tyco’. For the non-Singaporean visitors of my blog, the word ‘tyco’ is a Singaporean slang for lucky or by chance. It just so happened that the shots by Messi missed and the ball after the rebound from the upright found its way to Higuain, whom himself (with a confused and shocked look) kicked the ball into an entirely open net. But I must still give credit to him for being at the right place, at the right time! Haha!

I went back to review the own goal scored by Park Chu Young on youtube, and I must say, I feel for that Korean. I mean, there was no way he could have foretold his leg’s position would deflect the ball into the net. I am also rooting for Korea! But my apologies to any Korean here, I am a bigger Argentinian fan!

I also managed to catch the last 10 minutes of the match between Germany and Serbia. I’m at a loss for words by how Germany lost 1-0 to Serbia. Apparently, the whole German formation crumbled when their key striker, Miroslav Klose was sent off on the 36th minute. Serbia, capitalizing on that went in for the kill, sending the ball into the net at the 37th minute. The future of the Germans seem bleak unless they win the key match against Ghana if they hope to keep their World Cup dreams alive. Meanwhile Serbia, a relatively unknown team have shown the world that they are very determined to leave their mark in the World Cup 2010.

Following that, more upsets of the favorites as France takes an embarrassing 2-0 defeat with Mexico while favorites England continues to disappoint when they fails to break the Algerian defense, causing the match to head to a goalless draw.

How much longer would the goalless drought endure for the heavyweights? Only time will tell (not the girls scandal for goodness sake!) Meanwhile, I’m glad that Argentina got their act together! My guess is Argentina should be able to reach the Finals, or the Semi-Finals for least. Argentina FTW!

Yours Sincerely,
Reuel Eugene

South Korea’s own goal vid:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR9SUnBOwRk

Photo:
http://www.soccer360.co.uk/images/Uruguay_Vs_Argentina_Live_Streaming.jpg

FIFA World Cup 2010, Love the game but remember your loved ones!

How’s staying up to watch FIFA World Cup 2010 so far? As we all know, the matches are in the 3 following timings (S’pore time): 7.30 pm, 10 pm and 2.30 pm. So far, in my opinion some of the heavyweights aren’t performing to their best or are still asleep.

Argentina’s coach, Football Legend Diego Macadona have alot to prove to critics – that he can coach the winning team. Lionel Messi – prove his ability in World Cup in order to add his name into the list of Football Legends. Argentina’s Gabriel Heinze scored an early goal at the 5th minute, setting expectations that they would thrash Nigeria in the next 85 minutes. But it was to be a goalless match in the next 85 minutes, with FIFA World Player of the year 2009 Lionel Messi (or Leo Messi) missing the goal several times or deflected by Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

England drew with USA, to both score 1 goal. Many say England’s Robert Green was responsible for the draw, but I feel it’s a team thing. Even if Robert Green did made a mistake and allowed that goal, England could have scored another with a lineup consisting of several star players. So perhaps the downplay of their opponents cost them the draw? Well, I’m glad I did not stay up to catch that match!

On the other hand, Germany did the spectacular literally by being the first team to score 4 goals to nothing in the match against Australia, pulverizing the team from down under. It was an exciting match right from the beginning and Australia put up a good fight but was no match to the young German team. This team would be one to look out for this World Cup.

German Striker, Miroslav Klose

South Korea, representing all of Asia in a sense, did us Asians proud by defeating a European country, Greece 2 to nothing. Credits goes to Lee Jung Soo (2nd International Goal) and Manchester United’s Park Ji Sung. The South Korean team displayed a fine play of football and lots of vigor. They could be one of the dark horses in this World Cup.

Well, the sleeping Defending Champion Italy managed to stay afloat, scoring a draw with Paraguay. I’m glad I did not stay up to watch this match!

In any case, the companies are expecting a sharp rise in employees taking off-days and leaves so that they can catch the World Cup matches. And needless to say, this will be a challenging time for spouses, girlfriends or loved ones as most girls  would find no meaning in watching 22 man running around for a ball. I was amused to watch Channel 8 news a few days back to listen to the news anchor advising the men not to neglect their girlfriends and spouses or force them to watch soccer together with them during the World Cup season.

Personally, I think that girls who watch soccer and participate in LAN gaming are kinda cool, but I feel that we are all entitled to our own recreational preferences, likes and dislikes. So, to the girls who don’t watch soccer, we still love you. However, please do consider this crucial moment (month) of our lives! As a guy, I would also advise us to try our best not to neglect our girlfriends or spouses during this season. A month of Ecstasy can’t really substantiate to years of relationship!

Yours Sincerely,
Reuel Eugene

Photos:
http://blogenclasse.crdp-limousin.fr/classes/23/ime-grand-bourg/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/diego-maradona.jpg
http://onelion.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/leo_messi.jpg
http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2006/06/21/470_klose,0.jpg
http://zaskelawoffice.com/imgs/home/sub-header-sad-lady.jpg
http://sorin.droopy.ro/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/watching_football.jpg

World Cup FEVER is ON!

It’s Day 2 of FIFA World Cup 2010! I’m totally excited! As of now, we are just minutes away from the match between Argentina vs Nigeria. I can’t wait to see Leo Messi in action! Lets see if Football legend Diego Maradona’s tactic would lift Argentina to the top, or bring Argentina to its knees.

More updates in coming days!

Yours Sincerely,
Reuel Eugene.

Chelsea secures Barclays Premier League Title

After last night’s (dawn) game, Chelsea fans worldwide have something to celebrate about as the Blues thrashed Wigan Athletic 8 to nothing to claim the English Premier League title. Chelsea was off to a good start as Anelka scored just 6 minutes into the game and took home the title when Drogba scored the hat-tick at the 80th minute. Man U took control of the game and beat Stoke City 4-nil but was forced to take second place by 1 point difference. Despite [Chelsea] being strong contenders for the title, Man U was clearly the favorites to win the title up until now after key matches; last month’s home defeat to Chelsea and draw at Blackburn, which ultimately led to their defeat.

But the Blues can’t rest just yet as they prepare for the final frontier, FA Cup Finals against Portsmouth at Wembley on 15 May 2010. So get the Blues Anthem ready and head on to the Blues gathering spots on the 15th!

Yours Sincerely,
Reuel Eugene.

Chealsea FC Supporters Club Singapore:
http://sgchelseafc.com/

Related Articles:
http://www.premierleague.com/page/Headlines/0,,12306~2047519,00.html
http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/chelsea-secure-english-premier-league-title-20100510-um0z.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_prem/default.stm
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20100509/tsp-fbl-eng-pr-win-47c0590.html

World Cup on SG TV Screens, Go or No Go?

News is out. As everybody know, Singtel and Starhub has finally secured the rights to broadcast all 64 football matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup live on both their TV channels. The early bird subscription (until 31 May) for the World Cup package would be priced at SGD$66 ($70.52 w/GST) and $88 ($94.16 w/GST) thereafter.

 This is a significant increase from the S$15 early bird price and S$25 subsequently that StarHub charged in 2006. – quoted from Yahoo News

Seeing such a sharp jump in price as compared to previous years is enough to deter any mediocre football fan from taking up the package. But before you make up your decision, let’s do some analysis. Applying math, assuming the subscriber takes up the early bird package;

$70.52 / 64 football matches = $1.10 /football match

If you factor that in, then the package is not really that expensive anymore huh. About Singtel and StarHub securing the rights for the benefit of Singaporeans, I guess they don’t really have a choice since they have to recup the millions they spent or are going to spend to broadcast the football matches. As for the profits, c’mon Singtel and StarHub are not NPOs (Non-Profit Organizations) right? I don’t think there’s anything wrong if they want to try to earn abit from this deal since so much time and company resources has been spent working on this collaboration for months and since time to a corporation equals money.

In any case, for those of us who find that sum of money a pinch, there are always many other alternatives such as catching them at pubs, tuning in to Malaysia’s RTM channels or joining the crowd at the kopitiams and coffeeshops (the owners would most likely absorb the charges since selling drinks to the football fanatics is so much more profitable and could help them recup their ‘losses’ in no time).

But personally, I don’t really find the price tag that much of problem per say, since its [World Cup] is just a quadrennial (once every 4 years) event. One can take this as a recreational investment. But one thing’s for sure, Singaporeans islandwide would definitely by all means, try their best to tune in to catch the 64 football matches for the love of the game.

Anyway, my favorites would be Spain! Spain FTW! But Argentina has Messi. It will be good to see the clash of the titans in the quarter final matches and above.

What’s your take? Feel free to comment.

Yours Sincerely,
Reuel Eugene.

Related Articles:
http://info.singtel.com/node/7152

Reference:
http://sg.yfittopostblog.com/2010/05/07/singapore-finally-attains-world-cup-broadcasting-rights/