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Strategies for a discontinuous future.












Sunday, July 02, 2006
 
Allez Les Vieux

So it ended in tears for England. Unfortunate, but I think losing Sven and his seeming inability to do anything strategically valuable with hugely gifted players will be a huge boon (finally) for England. This loss, I think, was more Sven's than the team's - it was a failure to think strategically.

And, yes, Ronaldo's gamesmanship and Rooney's sending off was incredibly lame - but I don't think it had much to do with England losing. If anything, England played hugely better with ten men. Which lends weight to the theory that Rooney just doesn't have the character to be a truly great player - he costs the team more than he benefits it; not in terms of getting sent off in a single match, but in terms of coherence across all the matches.

But the real story, I think was Les Bleus.

Sometimes, you are in the presence of genius - that was Zidane last night. Incredible, magical, phenomenal stuff. I could barely believe it. At one point, the ITV guy said something like "please don't retire - please". I couldn't agree more - this was transcendent, sublime, the real thing - a real creative genius at work, painting the canvas of the beautiful game in front of the world again.

Amazing stuff - Zizou president indeed. If there's anything I will remember from this world cup so far, it is France knocking Brazil not just with confidence - but with grace, elegance, and beauty.

-- umair // 2:05 PM //


Comments:

I completely disagree with your comments on Rooney. You seem to forget (or overlook) Zidane's many clashes with the footballing law, his fiery footbally fury and at times filthy behaviour which let him and his team mates down over the years. Rooney is an astonishing talent. Yes he is raw but incoherence is the strategic concern which you refer to as Sven's responsibility. Remember also that Rooney had no match fitness coming in to this cup. I am not a Man Utd fan, but England's future features a magnificent Rooney.
// Will McInnes // 7:24 PM
 

Umair, I do agree with you, that England played better with 10 players than Portugal with 11. Actually, England played better with 10 than will 11 player on its side in this game... pretty sad the game had to be decided in the penalties again.

France team, "les Bleus", played a splendid football... Being French and living in Rio de Janeiro... I couldn't help but feel sad for all my Brazilian friends and colleagues... but France played so well, so elegantly.

I hope we'll play with the same quality in the semis!

Back to work now :-) And thanks for the great posts and great ideas you expose on this blog.
// Julien // 3:32 AM
 

Umair,

I'm a french fan of your blog and I feel happy reading such beautiful things about the french team among your great insights on media industry.
I think Zidane was playing 2.0 football:liquidity and plasticity...
// Guillaume // 3:32 PM
 

Cannot agree more.

Baris Karadogan
http://baris.typepad.com
// Anonymous // 10:21 PM
 

rip n mix, who'll be first to post a video of the red-card headbutt (or is but-head?), what a way to be remembered :(
// Anonymous // 9:25 PM
 
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