Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Can Brazil save the world from tedium?
Despite the Germans’ impressive performance, I don’t think that we’ve seen potential winners yet. Australia are an aging team, reliant on the muscular skills (aka foul play) of Tim Cahill and Lucas Neill. Germany were simply relatively comfortable passing around the Aussies’ busy pressing game.
Although Serbia were defeated by an unknown quantity, Ghana, in their first game, they might be on surer territory playing the Germans.
Italy, meanwhile, look a shadow of the team which tasted victory four years ago. No Del Piero, no Totti and Pirlo consigned to the bench. Much was made of the entrance of Camoranesi, who did improve the Italians’ performance against Paraguay, but he is too inconsistent to power a team into the latter stages.
Among the other contenders, who have played, Argentina were probably the pick. Clearly they have some talented players and they might have scored more against Nigeria. But despite Maradona’s animated touchline antics, there was no spark which suggested potential champions.
As for England, they will still comfortably win a substandard group, but their build-up play against the USA was sloooooww. If they had worn red, and you squinted a little, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching Benitez’ Liverpool.
The task of saving the tournament from tedium rests with the Brazilians, who tonight face North Korea, and Spain, whose mercurial talents will, hopefully, destroy the plodding, goal-shy Swiss.