Posts Tagged world cup
There is the recurring theme of chaos in the World Cup, and seems to appear every four years and every other match or so. The causes of the chaos seem to range from the huge (Maradona’s hand of God) to the less so (Lampard’s disallowed goal), but they all have great significance, and the officials int he game are there to help shepherd this chaos, and for the most part they do a great job. But every so often they make a mistake and this is what makes it one of the most pressured jobs in the world, especially as the world is watching.
It is so easy to criticise the referee, and sometimes this criticism is deserved, as what is a yellow to one referee is not to another (eg. in the Germany, Serbia match when Alberto Undiano; the referee, gave Miroslav Klose two yellow’s where most other referees would have just given fouls), which gives teams an unfair advantage over other ones simply because of irresponsible decision-making, and the consequences can leave a team crashing out the world cup.
The referees are handpicked from around the world, and just as the players are the best in the world at their jobs, the officials are at theres. Although it can be said that there are very few referees nowadays who don’t have some controversy or another to their name, as it is in people’s nature to make mistakes. Many people have asked whether we can keep allowing the officials human error to rule the game and, in some cases, pick out the winner with their mistakes, but I feel we have no other choice. I do believe we should bring in goal line technology and the opportunity for referees to view video replays so we can get as close as we can to honest football as possible. But I also believe that no machine could ever replace a referee on the pitch as there is always human judgement involved, like the playing advantage rule and the choice of giving a card and which card to give, no machine could ever say whether a tackle had malice involved in it.
Most of the time, the referees do a great job, but every now and again they slip up just as the rest of us do. Unfortunately this can not only alter the scoreline by disallowing a goal, or allowing one which might be offside (the apparent offside against Uruguay last night, as Van Persie tried to play Robben’s ball before it went in the back of the net), but also the mentality and momentum of the teams, as they lose focus and feel outraged falling out of contest, and unable to scramble back into the match.
Whilst the perfect referee is an ideal, you have to realise that the game of football, as with any sport, is decided by far more than just referring, and ultimately quality will shine through. Germany beat England because they had the pace and the passing precision to beat a faltering defence on the counter. And Uruguay, whilst being a very good team, couldn’t keep up with the Dutch and the likes of Robben and Sneijder. But who knows what the refereeing of the future will be like, lets hope that it’s not too perfect so there is still a little bit of hidden drama that goes beyond the players, besides I have to blame someone other than the players for England losing..
Since the world cup has been going on I have noticed a massive rivalry between any American and English sport, especially by the refusal to give football its proper name. When I turn my attention to the American sports and English sports, I can’t help but think of the similarities between them; rugby and NFL, cricket and baseball, Nascar and Formula 1 etc.. But it leaves me speculating, if England played America at every sport using their best team from the similar sport, then who would come out on top?
This would mean England Rugby vs. NFL all-star team in one game of NFL and one game of rugby, the cricket team play baseball and vice versa, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton races whoever the hell is King Nascar. And basketball could do the same with football as, lets face it, we wouldn’t want to leave the most important ones out.
I’m not saying the standard would be amazing, but it would be great entertainment, not to mention that it is very commercially viable for sponsorship deals. Not to mention the fact that it would settle a few arguments, and perhaps create a few more across the Atlantic. I know the team that is specialised in their sport is likely to triumph, but it is just another chance for competition, another chance for underdogs and another chance for victory.
With Capello, I am in two minds. On the one hand he has done England well and produced a flawless qualifying campaign, on the other, he left us to flop out of the world cup with our worst performance ever.
It leaves me wondering whether the qualifying was a fluke on his behalf, his reputation as an international manager shown by players that were still in premiership form, not yet tired from the season, and not roused by the Italian’s old-fashioned tactics. As, let’s be honest, if you can’t get the world-class players that England possess to perform then you are not up to your job as manager. He was left playing the same 4-4-2 formation throughout, as though he knew nothing else and didn’t want to know that Rooney could play on his own up front. Although in his current form Rooney did not deserve this amount of trust put in him to deliver the winner.
Which brings me on to the fact that it could have been the players fault, and instead of keeping on the man who deserved all the credit for actually scraping us through to the knockout stages we are prepared to scapegoat him and exile him from English football. Capello’s job with the FA looks like it might be over, and as his opportunity ends there will be a space for someone else to take the reins and try to end 48 years of hurt (by 2014 world cup in Brazil). Personally I like to think Harry Redknapp might step up to the plate, after doing wonders for every team that he has managed. But, as we all have come to know, managing international football is a world apart. I feel that the limits of Capello’s grasp of the English language hindered the complete comprehension from our players, something that would not be a challenge for Redknapp.
We can’t know what Capello will do in the future, we can only look back on the past. Before the world cup I believed he had done enough to keep the job for four more years. Now, I believe he has done enough to lose it and take responsibility for the team.
As I write, I write in mourning. In mourning of what could have been, of what might have been and heavily reminded of the fact that we aim too high. Cast aside by a young German side that, it pains me to say this but, deserved their victory. Matthew Upson and John Terry failing to resemble anything that starts to look like a defence. Throwing ball after ball away for German goal kicks. Before the game it was said that due to the lack of experience Germany would be the more wasteful team with possession and it’s just not the case.
Just like a lover looking back on a failed relationship I can just about struggle to see the positives, and with them heavily being outweighed by the damning negatives like the defence and the score line.
Like a lover I see where things could have changed, the point where we lost our way (Frank Lampard’s beautiful strike crossing the line and being disallowed by the South American linesman), and as I sit with my tub of ice cream I can see where we can learn from these mistakes; finally bring in goal line technology, change to a modern, more adaptable manager one who isn’t afraid to try something other than 4-4-2.
Change is the most important thing England, as it’s not me it’s you, it really is and you have the potential to win these tournaments and make other teams cower at your presence. Now, like a recently single man I will have to set my sights on something lower as we have been divorced from the World Cup, maybe the Euro, although Germany will still be there.