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Old 06-13-2013, 01:46 AM   #376
wxwax
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What's the one constant when you see trouble in Spanish football? Iker Casillas and his reporter girlfriend.

First, the trouble at Real Madrid, where Casillas undermined his own team and head coach.

Now, he's making trouble on the Spain team. After Mourinho left Madrid, Arbeloa defended Mourinho using a Spanish expression for hard work: "Mourinho broke his face for Real Madrid. Not all the players can say the same thing."

Spain's on tour and heading to Brazil for the Confederations Cup, and Casilla's butthurt has forced national teammate Arbeloa to say he wasn't referring to Casillas. When he was, of course, because Casillas was a negative influence on the team.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:20 AM   #377
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What's the one constant when you see trouble in Spanish football? Iker Casillas and his reporter girlfriend.

First, the trouble at Real Madrid, where Casillas undermined his own team and head coach.

Now, he's making trouble on the Spain team. After Mourinho left Madrid, Arbeloa defended Mourinho using a Spanish expression for hard work: "Mourinho broke his face for Real Madrid. Not all the players can say the same thing."

Spain's on tour and heading to Brazil for the Confederations Cup, and Casilla's butthurt has forced national teammate Arbeloa to say he wasn't referring to Casillas. When he was, of course, because Casillas was a negative influence on the team.
I think there was more off in this Real Madrid team. Mourinho seems to be the Magath of international football. He can get his players to give their best for a time and success can plaster over the breaks, but later it all breaks apart. Then Mourinho leaves for fresher pastures.

It may be the same in the spanish team. Success plastered over the breaks. With the team not really showing their best for a while now, the cracks show.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:10 PM   #378
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I agree, Mourinho has to prove he can endure more than three seasons at a club. That being said, the problems with Casillas began last year. There was a famously publicized confrontation on the training ground. Basically, some of Madrid's players thought they were bigger than the manager and they destroyed their own team. For me, it all started with Casillas. His attitude and his leaks.

Also, Mourinho never lost the players at Porto, Chelsea or Inter. Only Madrid, the most conceited club in the world.

Have I thrown enough grenades?
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:04 PM   #379
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Madrid has been a vipers nest since the days of Franco (if not before).

Two games caught my eye this week. The USA - Panama game and what an appalling state the pitch was in. But well done the US although you still look pretty third rate, individual performances not withstanding.

And the Spain - Germany U21. If you want to see the skill gap of the US team (or a dozen others countries ) watch the Spanish youth team. The Germans were not too shabby either but the Spanish, asombroso.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:44 PM   #380
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All things considered, I thought the Seattle pitch was pretty good. It didn't cut up like most temporary grass fields. The bounce was a bit weird and players sometimes slipped, but I've seen far, far worse. I'd go so far as to call it a success. I've seen players slip more often on wet, modern, European pitches. (Frankly, I think they must not like wearing longer studs.)

The ESPN soccer show (2am ET on the ESPN News channel) had an interesting insight on Spanish soccer vis-a-vis the youth team. The worse la Liga gets, the better the Spain sides get.

Sid Lowe said that the more La Liga clubs are strapped for money, the more they have to rely on cheap, young Spanish players to fill their ranks. The consequence of that is that the national youth teams are filled with young men who get regular play at a high level, something not true in most other European countries. Additionally, they tend to have been trained with similar playing philosophies, which helps.

The English are working towards the latter like a blind man who's lost his cane. But as long as the Premier League prospers, they're unlikely to achieve the former.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:27 AM   #381
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Madrid has been a vipers nest since the days of Franco (if not before).

Two games caught my eye this week. The USA - Panama game and what an appalling state the pitch was in. But well done the US although you still look pretty third rate, individual performances not withstanding.

And the Spain - Germany U21. If you want to see the skill gap of the US team (or a dozen others countries ) watch the Spanish youth team. The Germans were not too shabby either but the Spanish, asombroso.
I think the relative failure of the German U21 also stems from filling the ranks of the main team. With these players being the first to have finished the revamped academy system in full, the quality raises and players jump over the U21. This problem will reduce with the first team having enough quality that these younger players can't usurp them before completing their time in the U21. Schürrle and Draxler for example are still eligible for the U21, as are Toni Kroos and Mario Götze (in theory at least, since both are inujured).
Lewis Holtby is a good example of what quality his experience brings to the team.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:13 AM   #382
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I think the relative failure of the German U21 also stems from filling the ranks of the main team. With these players being the first to have finished the revamped academy system in full, the quality raises and players jump over the U21. This problem will reduce with the first team having enough quality that these younger players can't usurp them before completing their time in the U21. Schürrle and Draxler for example are still eligible for the U21, as are Toni Kroos and Mario Götze (in theory at least, since both are inujured).
Lewis Holtby is a good example of what quality his experience brings to the team.
Oh, sure. I think the German model is bearing fruit and there is technique in depth. The Spanish model just doesn't seem to be running out of steam and those two nations are going to continue to be powers in International football.

Given the current state of Brazil and Argentina right now, I'd be optimistic that a European nation could win the World Cup next year (until the refs get involved )
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:59 AM   #383
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Japan didn't look up for it. Too easy for Brazil. I suspect it may turn out this way for the whole tourny. The European teams don't really care either. That just leaves Mexico, who have their own problems to sort out.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:06 PM   #384
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Mexico looked dismal. Can't move the ball out of the back. Can scarcely defend. Virtually no service for the strikers.

Italy toyed with them, looked pretty good. Mario Balotelli may single-handedly eradicate racism in his country. He scores so often for Italy that even the most ultra of bigots has to embrace him. Well taken, physical goal.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:33 PM   #385
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I can't wait until Spain lose and get kicked around. Their diving and play acting is disgusting.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:18 PM   #386
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I can't wait until Spain lose and get kicked around. Their diving and play acting is disgusting.
It would take the whole Spanish squad to collectively throw themselves on the ground to come close to matching the Italian or German teams of the 70's/80's. Actually, just matching Klinsmann's diving record alone would be an effort in futility.

I seriously wonder if you're confusing Football with Rugby when you're watching.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:43 PM   #387
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It would take the whole Spanish squad to collectively throw themselves on the ground to come close to matching the Italian or German teams of the 70's/80's. Actually, just matching Klinsmann's diving record alone would be an effort in futility.

I seriously wonder if you're confusing Football with Rugby when you're watching.

Well, there had to be one person in the whole wide world who likes players diving, acting like they've been shot and crowding the ref. I guess you're him.

For the World and European champions to resort to those kind of tactics is disgusting. A pox on them. I wish them all the ill in the world. Completely without class. And a fine example for all the kids who admire them.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:43 PM   #388
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Well, there had to be one person in the whole wide world who likes players diving, acting like they've been shot and crowding the ref. I guess you're him.
You're exagerating as usual.

Watched the final of the U21's Spain vs Italy. Wonderfully entertaining and Spain deservedly win it 4-2. I'll be shocked if Spain don't win another World Cup in my lifetime if this is the quality of players coming through their youth team.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:45 AM   #389
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A slog through Honduras tonight. For the first 2/3rds of the match the visitors were first to every ball and were more physical. They denied the US room to play and stayed in the game, with a few flourishes of Spain-like diving and delaying tactics.

Two US players who really catch the eye are Zusi and especially Fabian Johnson, who is a keeper. It was his cross to Altidore that gave the big man his 4th goal in 4 consecutive games. That ties a US record and is a sign of how perky the US attack is these days.

(I can't help but think that if Charlie Davies had stayed in his hotel room that fateful night in 2009, he and Altidore would have become one of the world's most dangerous strike forces. Davies was that good.)

Another shutout for the US, but not without some moments that remind us that the center-halves are a work in progress. Jermaine Jones was back after his suspension, but I wish Cameron had been given a chance to show whether or not the last match was the real deal.

This time last year pretty much everyone in CONCACAF thought Mexico had risen to a level above everyone else in the region and were becoming a world power. Fast forward to this year and Mexico trails the US by 5 points and have played one more game than 2nd place Costa Rica. They'll probably qualify, but they're looking terrible in midfield.

Who'd a thunk Jurgen Klinsmann's United States team would be the class of the Hex?
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:18 PM   #390
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Very entertaining Italy vs Japan - with a couple of suspect penalties. Has Balotelli ever missed one? Talking of which how does he get away with his stutter run up? I thought that was against the rules?

p.s. 3-3 and what a lovely player Honda is. In fact, for pure technical skills the nips are very, very good.
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