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June 16, 2006


Paul McClean

What about England though? ENGLAND! The best football team in the world! Gather ye 'roud and I shall tell ye a tale of a summers afternoon in 1966...


NIR 1-0 ENG, yea England are great.


Gather round and I will tell you of a day when the greatest wee country in the world beat England. Remember though, we're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland


(Looks above) And they say US fans are insufferable. Still gloating about a trophy won 40 years ago. USA 1-0 England in Brazil '50. Let me go on for a few minutes about that....



A little bit better from the US today, eh? Told you it was simply a horrible performance against the Czechs.

Frank McGahon

Much better from the US and Italy were very disappointing - I reckon they just thought they'd stroll to victory over the Americans - I still think they will probably finish bottom because Ghana were pretty good yesterday against the Czechs and I don't see USA beating them, but then who knows...


Brazil was okay against the Aussies. Strangely enough, I dont see Ghana beating the USA; and I think the Italians are going to go home very soon. But I hedge my bets...

Frank McGahon

Brazil were very diappointing against the Aussies - the 2-0 scoreline is no less flattering than the same result achieved by England against T&T. Italy showed against Ghana that they have the skill to go far, but the US game showed that they don't take too well to rough treatment and others will try the same tactic. As for Ghana/US, somehow I reckon players like Essien will be able to handle any physical game the Yanks attempt.


Frank,I dont think that Brazilian socccer should be or is as flairish as Argentinian soccer. The Brazilians are a rocksteady, solid, win oriented team with an eye on the long term, thats why 2-0 against Australia - eh, not so bad. As for Italy, their dismal outing against the Americans is such a *huge* red flag - that I dont think that their dominance of the game against Ghana is of much consequence. Ghana vs. The Czechs? Put it down to a fluke for now. England vs. T&T = Brazil vs. Oz? Dont think so. Australia was good against Japan while T&T is yet to show aggressive play surpassing that of a rock (at least they had a chance to do so against the Swedes).

Frank McGahon

Australia are better than T&T no doubt, but then Brazil are better than England and for each game you're looking at a similar gulf in class between the teams. In neither case was the game wrapped up until the last few minutes. As for your contention that Brazilian soccer should be or is less flair-orientated than Argentine, sorry but that's pretty much the reverse of the case. Argentina certainly have the figure of Maradona looming large in their history but Argentines have always been known as tough, effective players and have much less of a reputation for flair than Brazil. The whole ethos of Brazilian "futebol", at least hitherto, has been about attacking and outrageous skill, and not at all about "win-orientated" or "rocksteady" football - it's only in recent years that they have had a fairly decent goalkeeper and even now "defenders" like Roberto Carlos or Cafu generally spend too much of their time in the opposition half to get round to actual defending.

By their own standards Brazil have been just as disappointing as England and will need to shake things up and drop a few fixtures from the team if they want to retain their trophy.


Didnt see much of that Brazilian ethos in the match against France, Frank. Hardly any sustained attack, dismal defence and tepid skill. By the way, I dont buy your contention that Brazilian soccer has centered mosly on attacking. Defensive innovation has always been part of the Brazilian tradition.

Frank McGahon

No, Brazil didn't live up to their image against France, but then they have been coasting so far and France were the first decent team they came across and I guess they just thought they had to turn up against the "has-beens" and finally get revenge for 98. Zidane and co. had other ideas. But none of that negates the Brazilian tradition for attacking football, nor does it suggest that Brazil has any tradition for "defensive innovation" unless by that you mean that it's innovative for defenders to attack instead of defend - which is what Cafu and Roberto Carlos tried (but failed) to do against France and what the entire back four have been trying (and succeeding) to do against the weaker teams. The main defensive tactic on display last night was to push up for offside - hardly an innovation, and the French attack, particularly Ribery, tore them apart.

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