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What has the World Cup shown us?

by   |   07/07/2014  Comments (67)  jump

In my eyes, the World Cup has more or less mirrored last season’s Premier League in that the usual teams are still at the head of affairs, though not as strong as perhaps as they used to be.

I think this World Cup has shown that you can build a team around mostly average players, to challenge at the top... but to go that final bit extra, you really need either one or two superstars.

This leads me to believe that, if Roberto Martinez brings in a few decent players with the right qualities, and can also build on and improve our play tactically, then we could challenge for either the third or fourth Champions League spot.

However, I think it has also shown that, to succeed at the top level, you need either a couple of star players or maybe a single superstar. If we wish wish to challenge for the title, we will either need to sign one or two world class players or sign one and hope Ross develops into the player he has always promised to be.

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Trevor Lynes
1 Posted 07/07/2014 at 14:14:57
I agree, the World Cup showed all the so-called small nations (football-wise) are the equal of the better-equipped ones. It showed that Costa Rica, Colombia and the USA are very competitive and just lack a superstar striker or playmaker.

This in a way mirrors Everton and I just hope that we can buy a top striker and playmaker plus loan in some Premier League standard squad members to really shake up the big boys. In our first six matches, we play three of the contenders; I hope that Roberto has his targets bought in in good time to bed them in before the season begins.

It will be good to see our long term injured players back available as our squad is too small to carry passengers for long periods. With Kone, Gibson, Pienaar, Oviedo and hopefully top additions all fit and firing, I look forward to a decent season with aspirations of a trophy at the end.

I would love to see Lukaku back with us plus a playmaker of top quality owned by EFC. Then we just need three or four decent loans to ensure our bench is always strong enough to fulfil all our domestic and European fixtures competitively. If young Garbutt continues the promise he has shown, then that would be a major bonus.

Jay Harris
2 Posted 07/07/2014 at 15:03:08
I understand your point but I don't think you can compare the World Cup to the Premier League. The World Cup is only a handful of games, even for the strongest squads, whereas the Premier League is a marathon. You make your own luck over a season but in most cup competitions you can get lucky.

Your point is well made about star players though and that is why we constantly hit the glass ceiling. Good tactics and teamwork will only get you so far but without top strikers in particular we will fall short.

We are struggling to get Lukaku who is not the finished article by any stretch of the imagination while other clubs are buying the likes of Aguero, Dzeko, Di Costa & Mandzukic.

Until the financial fair play means what it says, or we get a board with means and vision, we will struggle to make the top 4.

Brian Williams
3 Posted 07/07/2014 at 15:27:00
The World Cup's shown me more of what I already knew and that's that England are technically inferior to even teams from so called third world countries.
The difference in individual control etc is unbelievable.
Steavey Buckley
4 Posted 07/07/2014 at 17:55:47
World Cup has shown that teams, such as England, with negative tactics, inability to hit the target and slow buildups don't progress very far, irrespective of how many over rated players are in their teams, such as England's Gerrard and Rooney.

Trevor Lynes
5 Posted 07/07/2014 at 18:53:41
Yes, we have never been the equal of foreign players at basic ball control and as professionals it is an indictment of our coaching etc. We are usually physically strong and forceful but cannot compete with 'real' ball players. Our game has to be direct and quick to get the opposing teams out of their comfort zone; otherwise, we struggle to maintain possession.

Geoffrey Caveney
6 Posted 07/07/2014 at 18:48:31
Trevor #1, I agree in general, but the USA is lacking more than a superstar striker or playmaker. The biggest weakness of American football is still lack of skill in defense and possession. That's why Belgium spent 105 minutes taking target practice at Tim Howard's goal. In my opinion, it is also why American goalkeepers like Howard have become so good: They spend their whole young careers behind poor defensive back lines and midfielders, so they get loads of practice making great saves because they have to.
Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 07/07/2014 at 19:08:47
The USA's weakness is lack of overall talent, period. There has never been an American player, outside of goalkeepers, who would have been considered among the top 100 players in the world. Our best athletes play other sports.

In most of their games at this World Cup, not one US field player would have cracked the starting lineup on the other team. Not one. That makes the US success all the more impressive.

Bill Gall
8 Posted 07/07/2014 at 19:15:31
These comments about needing a star player to improve Everton so they can break the mythical glass ceiling is just stating that BK and his board do not seem to realise how close Everton come to do this by not providing funds especially in January to help the manager get to the next level.
Ray Robinson
9 Posted 07/07/2014 at 19:31:11
Mike #7. Clint Dempsey? That Bradley looked useful too.
Colin Glassar
10 Posted 07/07/2014 at 19:33:34
Mike#7, I think you're being a bit harsh on your fellow yanks. Some of them like Jones and Johnson looked more than decent. With Klinsmann in charge for another 4 years, I can see the USA becoming a major force on the world stage.
Geoffrey Caveney
11 Posted 07/07/2014 at 19:36:55
Mike #7, Landon Donovan at his peak was not among the top 100 players in the world? I'd love to see your top 100 list for 2009-10.
Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 07/07/2014 at 19:37:57
Ray #9, Dempsey was a solid professional for years in the EPL, but never close to a star. Bradley was one of the better players at a mid-table Italian team. Both have now come to MLS. Nothing remotely resembling superstardom, which I calculate as being a starter for one of the world's top sides.

As far as I can recall (and senility is creeping in, so feel free to correct me), the only American field player EVER pursued and signed by a major European side was Oguchi Onyewu with AC Milan, and he blew out his knee – never played in Serie A.

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 07/07/2014 at 19:49:03
Geoffrey (#11), that's Yank pride talking, not reality. Donovan failed miserably in Germany three times. His only success outside the USA was in his two stints with us, and he certainly didn't burn through the EPL. Two goals in 22 appearances for us I believe.

I don't recall Real Madrid or Barca or Bayern ever coming in for him either. When I say 'superstar', that's the level I'm talking about.

Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 07/07/2014 at 19:57:37
Colin, you've inadvertently made my point. Jones and Johnson are German-born and bred, sons of US servicemen, recruited by Klinsmann only because they couldn't get a sniff from the German national team.

But I actually agree with you that the US may have the capability of cracking the elite in future. Youngsters like Besler and Yedlin show the development is coming.

Lenny Kingman
15 Posted 07/07/2014 at 19:41:55
That no matter what year it may be and the perceived quality and comparisons to teams of yesteryear, Brazil are still the greatest.

First half against Chile and Colombia was magic to watch and stimulated a rather bored old sod on the couch.

Even Hulk looked impressive in the last game and is coming good at the crucial time. Brazil to beat Argentina in the final. Possibly on pens.

Can we reunite the Brazil fans with their bongos, tambourines et al they left in disgust at Goodison back in 1966 after being kicked out of the tournament by Portugal's bully-boy tactics?

That magical sound that came from the Bullens Road stand that summer, still lives on in my mind to this day.

It has been curiously absent in their home stadiums in 2014. Over-the-top security guidelines no doubt.

Brin Williams
16 Posted 07/07/2014 at 20:12:51
The question was 'What has the World Cup shown us?' The answer to my mind is, as I stated sometime before the competition started, that Brazil are a rough bunch who don't mind putting it about and because of home advantage the refs will not dare show them any red cards.

I really hope they don't win – in fact, I don't think they will.

Darren Hind
17 Posted 07/07/2014 at 20:01:37
I thought the Yanks and the Ticos showed all the qualities lacking in the English team.

Not many of them would have been considered good enough for the England squad, but both teams showed they had spirit, determination and bravery in spades and were miles ahead of us.

Agree with OP though, Top class players win big games, unfortunately, the chances of Kenwright giving Robbie one of those for his birtday are non existent

Lenny Kingman
18 Posted 07/07/2014 at 20:24:13

And the answer as stated is Brazil are still the greatest.

I really hope they do win - in fact I think they will.

Ray Robinson
20 Posted 07/07/2014 at 20:47:05
What the World Cup has shown me:

One, as already stated, it helps to have a real superstar to produce those game changing moments - Neymar, Messi, Robben. Not sure who's Germany is so far but Neuer, if required.

Secondly, pure tika taka has gone out of fashion with the Spanish team. Lots of teams still play short passing, patient games but now mix it up with the occasional long ball. Which only goes to prove that here's no wholly right way to play - it's whatever suits the personnel available.

Thirdly, organisation and perspiration can get you further than you think - e.g. USA and Algeria but is never quite enough to win the top prizes - unless you happen to have the necessary game-changer.

Fourthly, Romelu is nowhere near the standard that he thinks that he's at.

Duncan McDine
21 Posted 07/07/2014 at 21:02:21
Its proved to me that the Premier League is far more exciting... certainly more so than when the world cup reaches knock out stages. This might be partly due to the sapping conditions, but mainly down to the fact that you can progress via penalties, hence the fact that many teams play to draw.
Patrick Murphy
22 Posted 07/07/2014 at 21:21:01
Lenny (18) This Brazilian team are what Howard Kendall's 1998 Everton team were to the Everton 1970 side. Brazil haven't been quite a Brazil team for the past 20 odd years in fact only the 1982 team got close to Pele's side of 1958-1970.

I too always enjoyed watching the creative Brazil teams of the past but this current side are not worthy of playing in the same colour kit as their predecessors - I hope they prove me wrong in the next two matches and Samba their way to the trophy - but if Brazil end up winning the whole competition playing the way they have done thus far I can't think of a worse team to become World Champions in my lifetime.

Duncan McDine
23 Posted 07/07/2014 at 21:29:25
What about Italy in 2006? Dreadful WC that was
Patrick Murphy
24 Posted 07/07/2014 at 21:33:51
Fair point Duncan but they never had the benefit of the partisan crowds that Brazil have enjoyed and in their own back-yard I would have expected the Brazil team to want to give 'an exhibition' however, to be fair to them, political pressure has probably added a greater need to win rather than entertain and win.
Colin Glassar
25 Posted 07/07/2014 at 21:37:41
I think it showed us that fantasy football died in 1982 when Brasil were mugged by the Italians.
Tony J Williams
26 Posted 07/07/2014 at 21:32:32
It's shown me that the usual suspects will be there in the end stages. usual....juat like most leagues
Andrew Clare
27 Posted 07/07/2014 at 21:42:22
This Brazil team are dirty with some very average players.

Germany are their usual powerful and resilient selves.

England are a very poor team peppered with very over-rated players.

Lastly, there are few truly great players in the world today.

Colin Glassar
28 Posted 07/07/2014 at 23:29:09
That despite all the advances in sport science and the vast amounts of money involved the amount of truly gifted players has been on a downward spiral ever since the early 70's when there was an abundance of truly world class players.
Phil Sammon
29 Posted 07/07/2014 at 23:50:10

That is such nostalgic bollocks mate! I have been watching repeats of World Cups from that era and while there were some fantastic players, there were also plenty of bang average ones. The same applies today and will probably apply for the rest of eternity.

Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 08/07/2014 at 01:48:04
Slightly off-topic, don't know if you guys saw this, but Alfredo Di Stefano passed today at 88.

I once played under an old Argentine coach who shook his head whenever somebody wanted to talk about Maradona. He thought Di Stefano was his country's greatest ever. Hard to argue with him. Five straight European Cups, and he scored in every final.

I hope Argentina properly honors him before the semi on Wednesday.

Ajay Gopal
31 Posted 08/07/2014 at 08:57:47
The World Cup has clearly showed that the referee is still the most influential person on the football pitch. And the referee is influenced by the reputation of the country - that is why we always see the same countries in the Final 4 or 8. This is as true of the World Cup as it is of the Premier League. Sad, but true I am afraid.
Andrew Ellams
32 Posted 08/07/2014 at 09:11:10
Spot on, Ajay, and also interesting to see that the Japanese referee who was so blatantly biased towards Brazil in the opening game is one of those on the retained list as a possible for semi-finals and final.
James Lauwervine
33 Posted 08/07/2014 at 09:49:42
The semi-final line up depresses the bollocks off me. This World Cup has shown that, despite some exciting and scintillating matches and fantastic underdog performances, the same old bastards get through in the end (well, pretty much). Bit like the Premier League in that sense.

If I had to pick who I want to win now, it would be Netherlands, best of a bad bunch though. I see them as the Jimmy White of football.

Paul Burns
34 Posted 08/07/2014 at 11:58:56
What stood out for me was the sheer pace and energy displayed by most of the teams, even the so-called lesser nations. They also seemed able to maintain this for two hours in some cases.

EnglandÂ’s play seemed dilatory and over-thought in most cases, a sharp contrast to the way the Premier League is contested. Our players looked rusty and clumpy travelling over the ground, either tired after a hard season or with a head full of over-complicated tactics served up by our "coaches" and media.

Even countries with relatively weak leagues, like Australia, USA etc, had players brimming with energy – Tim Cahill for example looked fitter than when he played for us. Is this down to diet, training methods, lifestyle, coaching or a mix of this, who knows?

Tony J Williams
35 Posted 08/07/2014 at 12:27:02
I would prefer to see Holland win out of the 4. Apart from Robben they have the fewest divers on the field.

Watching the Germany game made me puke, Brazil....fuck me! They have also changed from the 'kick anything first' routine from 4 years ago and are actually good to watch again.

Argentina are boring with Messi trying to single-handedly win it for them. And Germany!!!.... well are Germany

Colin Glassar
36 Posted 08/07/2014 at 13:52:43
I'm sorry, Phil, but if you look at the squads of some of the teams in the '70 and '74 World Cups, there's no comparison to today. The Brazilian team of 1970 would've beaten any of today's teams. Only Thiago Silva and Julio Cesar would've made it into that team (Neymar as a sub).

Then you had the Germans (Beckenbauer, Maier, Muller, Breitner etc...); the Italians (Fachetti, Rivera, Mazzola, Boninsegna etc...); England (Moore, Ball, Charlton, Banks etc...); Holland (Cruyff, Rep, Haan, Neeskens etc...); Poland (Ladocha, Lato, Tomascewski etc...) Peru (Cubillas, Chumpitaz). Plus the likes of George Best and Pat Jennings who never made it to a World Cup.

There were so many outstanding players at the time, they are too many to mention.

The 80s saw a bit of a revival with the likes of Zico and Co for Brasil, Platini and a great French team, and Maradonna, Boniek and our own great players of the time.

Love them or hate them, Messi and Ronaldo are up there with the best but, apart from them, how many more of today's players can be truly classed as world class? It's not sentimental bollocks, just a fact.

Andrew Ellams
37 Posted 08/07/2014 at 14:19:30
And Colin, those from the 60s, 70s and 80s played in an age when a player could tackle right through them with very little chance of being sent off. Nobody in modern football has to deal with players like Gentile or Cabrini when bearing down on goal.
Micky Norman
38 Posted 08/07/2014 at 13:11:28
The World Cup has shown me......... nothing new.

● England are still miles behind;
● One or two star players still need to be in a team which is well run and tactically astute to win the competition;
● Refs are still human and open to persuasion and fallibility;
● Well organised athletic teams will make the last eight but no further;
● And as to the Ratboy and Cameroon affairs, FIFA is still a toothless organisation who are more interested in money and the personal standing of its representatives than they are in the actual playing of the game.

Phil Sammon
39 Posted 08/07/2014 at 14:13:11

It's impossible to compare across generations. The game evolves and different attributes become more important. How many do you think Dixie Dean would score in this upcoming season? I'd rather have Kone up front today than Dean in his prime.

Many of those players you mention were a pleasure to watch... but many of them weren't even 'world class' in their day. The Dutch team in the '70s was something special but, other than Cruyff, I don't think any of the players were all that special, relatively speaking. The De Boer's, Blind, Overmars, Kluivert, Bergkamp... I'd say that Dutch generation was equally as gifted as the Total Football lot.

In 20 years, people with look back at the Barcelona and Spain teams that have dominated recently. They will be viewed in similar esteem to anything that went on in the '70s.

Anyway, we likely won't agree on this one no matter how long it is discussed.

Colin Glassar
40 Posted 08/07/2014 at 14:26:08
Not only that, Andrew, the pitches they played on, the heavy leather caseys, no shin pads etc..... I know a lot of people look at the old black-and-white, grainy images and think those players wouldn't have made it in today's game. Bullshit!! They'd be worth an absolute fortune today as they possessed all the skills that today's lot have without the resources and comforts we enjoy today.

Another two nations who gave us great players, and I forgot to mention, are Scotland (yes, Scotland) who produced fantastic players like Lennox, Johnstone, McGrain, McQueen and yes, KD. And Ireland with O'Brady, Giles, O'Leary etc... Most of the decent-sized countries could boast at least two top, top players. So the quality was far more widespread than it is today.

Andrew Ellams
41 Posted 08/07/2014 at 14:35:08
Sorry Phil but none of those players equalled Krol, Neeskens, Rensenbrink or Rep.
Colin Glassar
42 Posted 08/07/2014 at 14:36:45
We agree to disagree, Phil. Like I said in my last post, there have always been great players around but I just think that in those 4 years between 1970 and 1974 we were privileged to see the likes of Pele, Cruyff and Beckenbauer play at the pinnacle of their careers (plus all the other great players mentioned). In my opinion, there was a greater spread of talent in teams than there is today.

I do believe sports have their golden years eg, Boxing in the '30s, '70s and '80s; Baseball in the '20s, '40s and '90s; athletics in the '70s (before drug abuse started) etc... Football, for me, was at its best in the '70s.

Duncan McDine
43 Posted 08/07/2014 at 14:43:33
It's pretty much impossible to guage how players from years ago would fair in today's game, so probably best not to compare. All you can do is compare how good these players were/are in comparison to the rest of the footballers in their era. Going by that logic, Maradonna is my all time best player, but at the age of 34, I cannot comment on anyone pre-80s.

When looking at Messi and Ronaldho in today's game, you just need to look at the amount of goals they score year on year in comparison to everyone else... it's probably as impressive as anyone before them.

Colin Glassar
44 Posted 08/07/2014 at 15:13:15
That's precisely my point, Duncan, Maradonna and Platini in the '80s and Ronaldo and Messi today are the standout players of their generation. In the '70s there were so many more playing, more or less at the same time. Anyone have a stand out player in the '90s? Gazza could've been but injuries and booze stopped him short.
Paul Andrews
45 Posted 08/07/2014 at 15:26:38

This is an old argument. Do you not think the footballers, boxers etc of yesteryear would have been as good given the difference in training, sports science and diet?

Andrew Ellams
46 Posted 08/07/2014 at 15:26:23
Baggio, Stoichkov, Hagi, Bergkamp and Zidane, Gullit and Van Basten. All European which is a rarity.
Steve Pugh
47 Posted 08/07/2014 at 15:12:22
What the World Cup has taught us is that globalisation has spoiled football. When I first started watching the World Cup, you didn't have a clue what to expect from most of the European teams – let alone the South Americans and the odd little team from elsewhere.

Nowadays, the coaches coach all over the world, a large majority of the players play in Europe, so it all becomes a bit obvious. The English don't play the English game anymore, the Brazilians don't play the Brazilian game anymore, and the Africans don't play the African game anymore; it's all merging into one very similar style of play.

The only difference is, as stated above, a few star players and attitude. Did you notice how the teams that couldn't be bothered to sing their anthems went out really early. (Yes, England, that includes you.)

Colin Glassar
48 Posted 08/07/2014 at 15:46:41
Spot on, Steve. I don't want to keep going on about this but, as a kid, there was always an air of excitement when the European draws were made. Just the names like Dynamo Dresden, Ujpest Djoza, Red Star Belgrade, Ferencvaros, St Etienne, Standard Liege, Young Boys Berne etc... conjured up images of exotic places and players.

I remember when Liverpool got drawn against Dynamo Tbilisi in the 70s and they thought it was going to be a doddle but they got battered over there. Same as Ajax in the 60s when a young kid called Johann Cruyff tore them apart (6-0 I think it was), no-one had ever heard of Ajax or Cruyff at the time.

With saturation TV coverage, it's brilliant but it's all become a bit bland. The Champions League being a case in point as I find the early rounds to be quite boring and predictable.

Andrew Ellams
49 Posted 08/07/2014 at 16:01:35
When you know what all the players look like before you get them in your Panini sticker book, the magic is dying.
Gavin Ramejkis
50 Posted 08/07/2014 at 16:22:08
Jogi Low's statement regards England was damning, they simply will never win another World Cup because they refuse to evolve, it's the same old shite year in year out.

Germany changed from the ground upwards, forcing clubs to have a youth development policy or not have a league licence. Yes, you can go and buy instant talent but do you seriously think German kids are naturally more gifted or rather just coached and developed differently?

Uruguay is tiny compared to England but has more World Cups. Without change, the Union Jack waving wallopers will be destined to regular disappointments at every major tournament. Better to feel the pain now and reap long-term rewards...

Andrew Ellams
51 Posted 08/07/2014 at 16:39:12
The Germans made those decisions after a poor performance in Euro 2000. Since then, they have reached four semi-finals and two finals in the seven major tournaments and still don't consider it success as they have won nothing.

If that was England, they would be handing out knighthoods all over the place and having open-top parades. That is the difference between England and Germany.

Christopher Kelly
52 Posted 08/07/2014 at 16:38:41
The World Cup (through the first round) has shown me that parity is the way to go in this sport (National heritage being the great equalizer vs purchased manpower).

By Week One of the domestic league we are pretty much assured of what three teams could win the league and which teams will take the Champions League places. If for only 2 weeks, it seemed football was "pure" again to a certain degree and that anything could and would happen and that’s why this tournament has been such a classic...

Then the refs happened and now we have the 4 left that we all expected....

(Atletico Madrid, 2014, not withstanding from post.)

Ciaran Duff
53 Posted 09/07/2014 at 03:41:31
We all know that there are major issues with the development of players in England, technical skills, coaching etc. England are not in the same class as the top teams and will not win the World Cup in the foreseeable future unless the whole system & culture changes.

Having said that, I still think that England majorly under-performed in this World Cup (and others too). I don't mean this in a patronising way but, on paper, England have better quality than many other teams who qualified from Round 16 (eg, Costa Rica, USA, Greece, Algeria, etc). The difference is that all of those teams (a) play with pride; (b) play as a team; and (c) are well organised tactically. Even looking at the Dutch team, a lot of them play in the Eredivisie, a defender from Villa and a keeper from Newcastle.

Okay, the big difference (backing up the star player theory above) is that they have Robben and RvP. Still, their overall team play has been great. England, on the other hand, seem to play with the organisation of a pub team (no shape/structure, square pegs in round holes, no savy etc).

Andy Meighan
54 Posted 09/07/2014 at 12:04:18
Colin 37, Pat Jennings played in Spain 1982.
Damian Halligan
55 Posted 09/07/2014 at 16:04:21
The evidence to date is that, to compete at the top of the Premier League, I think you need a bit more than a team of average players with a couple of stars. I would hardly call Man City or Chelsea teams with mainly average players. City have class in nearly every position. However, and hopefully without contradicting myself, Atlético Madrid have proved that it is possible to build a quality team without spending like City.
Eugene Ruane
56 Posted 09/07/2014 at 18:18:50
Today, looking through a recent Private Eye, I learned that some of ’our’ ’top’ England players (Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard) are so patriotic, they’ll ’do a Barlow’ to avoid paying their taxes.


Dave Owen
57 Posted 09/07/2014 at 18:37:47
Doesn't surprise me Eugene.
Did you know that 100.000 + Brazilians were evicted to make way for the World Cup?
Colin Glassar
58 Posted 09/07/2014 at 18:50:13
Dave, the govt in Brasil will probably lose the elections in October thanks to the fiasco last night. The majority of Brazilians were/are against spending billions of pounds on the World Cup and Olympics and the only thing keeping them quiet was the progress of the 'Selecao'. Now that they're out, all hell will break lose.
Ray Said
59 Posted 09/07/2014 at 18:48:47
It showed that 4-2-3-1 may have finally had its day. The system that was developed by Brazil years ago became adopted across the world and especially in the Premier League.

This World Cup has seen teams playing a wider variety of systems: 3-5-2 and 4-3-3 with varying degrees of success. I think Martinez is flexible in his system/tactics and will have noted the various systems.

I would love us to try out 3-5-2 as Baines and Coleman seem natural wing backs, Stones would seem suited to the middle of the three at the back and Barry, McCarthy and Barkley seem the right mix for a well balanced middle three. A front two of Mirallas and Naismith would be mobile and each one would be able to provide natural width.

Eugene Ruane
60 Posted 09/07/2014 at 19:00:21
Ok...well....were you aware of.....THIS? (explains a lot)


Patrick Murphy
61 Posted 09/07/2014 at 19:05:19
Eugene - That truly was shocking! But extremely funny.
Shane Corcoran
62 Posted 09/07/2014 at 19:07:35
That no matter how much football there is to distract you, you can't get away from Garth Fucking Brooks.
Mike Allison
63 Posted 09/07/2014 at 19:04:08
There's so much nonsense on this thread, it's hilarious, but hard to know where to begin.

So I'll just suggest that anyone who has used the word 'fact' looks it up in a dictionary, then looks up the word 'opinion'.

Write me a paragraph on the difference between the two, due tomorrow.

Patrick Murphy
64 Posted 09/07/2014 at 19:13:34
I am of the opinion that most facts are indeed opinion, unless it is of course my opinion – in which case my opinion should always be treated as fact... unless of course you don't agree with my opinion which illustrates that you have got your facts wrong. :)

Ian Hams
65 Posted 09/07/2014 at 19:22:18
Referring to the original statements on a single superstar being the difference in a team, I give you Brazil minus Naymar 7-1.
Mike Allison
66 Posted 09/07/2014 at 19:41:49
That seems to be the most common interpretation Patrick.

The word 'fact' gets used to clearly define something that is obviously not a 'fact', ie, someone's opinion which they hold so strongly they can't abide someone disagreeing with it. No matter how strongly you hold an opinion, it stays an opinion. It is not even a fact that Pele is a better footballer than Carlton Palmer.

Paul Burns
67 Posted 11/07/2014 at 18:25:06
I can't agree with people who go on about old teams and matches.

In recent months, I've watched all the old World Cup tournaments and can't believe how bad, slow and downright amateurish the previous tournaments have been, even games I remember with fondness being nowhere near the quality I thought they were.

But the biggest shock was the 1970 World Cup and Brazil in particular. I watched the full 90 minutes of the now legendary final and was amazed and disturbed at just how even and ordinary it was. I think people look at the Carlos Alberto goal and think it was all like that but it certainly wasn't.

It is impossible to compare different areas of great teams and players but one thing is sure - none of old teams had a cat in hells chance with the fitness and sheer athleticism of todays footballers and there is no guarantee that even the best players in the old days would be capable of getting to that level.

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