It's all about Amelioration

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Of Vuvuzelas, Jabulanis & Tshabalalas

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Ah yes, after 1 month of football decadence, the 2010 World Cup has finally reached the penultimate stage. Spain vs Netherlands it is.

An observation from this world cup and recent football tournaments. One thing is apparent in modern football, successful teams are built from the bottom up. Gone were the days where we witness the likes of Maradona or Eusebio running through the entire defence of the opposition and scoring a classic goal. Teams of today are more tactically and defensively shrewd and that is one of the reasons why the stars of football like Messi, Rooney and Ronaldo went missing. To say that their performances were ordinary is an overstatement. Games nowadays are mostly won not so much by attacking flamboyance, but by organized defence, which forms a strong backbone of any team. I really thought that it was going to be a year of the South Americans, with most of them making it through to the knockout phases and playing pretty attractive football. However, they were brought back to reality when faced with more astute European opponents who exposed the fragility of their defence. Quite shocking at times really. Dunga tried to emulate the qualities of modern football by sacrificing a bit of the samba magic that Brazil once possessed with a more complete all round team, but as we all know they failed.

One of the let downs I thought was the performances of the African teams. I really enjoyed watching the likes of Gyan from Ghana sprinting down the touchline or Tshabalala from South Africa… well mostly because of his name. But you got to admit that these African teams epitomizes the unpredictability and heart-ware of the game. It’s like a “Kinder Surprise” every time you watch them play.

On the lighter side of things, like every World Cup tournament there are the  infamous oracles and jinxes. Paul the Octopus who was born in England predicted all 6 of Germany matches correctly. Amazing. Sometimes, it’s such unexplained phenomena that defies all logic that captures our imagination. How about jinxes? Apparently one reporter claimed that the remaining world cup teams playing has politely dissuaded Mick Jagger from attending the matches and supporting his favorite teams. Well, The US team which lost to Ghana and England team which was pitiful against the Germans were victims of his curse I guess. And who could forget all the pre tournament hype surrounding the Nike football advertisement? The likes of Ribery, Canavaro, Rooney, Ronaldo, Drogba mesmerized audiences in the advertisement, but not on the pitch sadly. And of course, the forgotten man, Ronaldihno who starred in the advertisements as well. Nike could not have picked a more perfect lineup of World Cup duds.

How about the controversies surrounding the Jabulani balls? The Europeans despise it, evident from the number of free-kicks and long range goals they scored with it. Regardless, I never understand the need to launch a new ball design with every major tournament. Yes, despite the need for branding, marketing revenue, blah blah, but at the cost of the quality of football? Come on…

Finally, who can forget the sounds of the Vuvuzelas? Loads of complaints in the beginning of the tournament, but I guess all of our ears have been so accustomed with the sound, the next time we catch an English Premier League match, we’ll find something amiss.

So yes,  it has been a rather colorful tournament in all, certainly worth the late nights. Kudos to South Africa for hosting the world spectacle, and if there is one World Cup winner, it should be them. As a country that has progressed from a history of apartheid and poverty, I certainly hope that the financial and intangible benefits of hosting the World Cup will alleviate some of the socioeconomic factors plaguing the country for years.

Till then, see you at the finals…

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Written by Nabs

July 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Posted in BODY

2 Responses

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  1. […] the universe and everything – It’s all about Amelioration: Of Vuvuzelas, Jabulanis & Tshabalalas – Otterman speaks: My first floppy diskette – a single-sided, double density 5.25″ […]

  2. […] A Singaporean Mind: Soccer ….Fooled by Randomness… – It’s all about Amelioration: Of Vuvuzelas, Jabulanis & Tshabalalas – Otterman speaks: My first floppy diskette – a single-sided, double density 5.25″ […]


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