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The World Cup draw has happened. My thoughts:

GROUP A

Looking at this group makes me happy. Not that France is in - I hate the French, and hate that they had to cheat to finish off IRELAND of all teams - but there's a very real chance they don't advance out of this group.

Mexico is a strong side, but I don't think they're necessarily the class of the group. Watch out for Uruguay, who are better than casual fans think. They can definitely advance if France continue their recent tradition of sucking cock.

This is obviously a three team race - I hate that they gave South Africa a seed - but I think France has enough raw talent to advance along with Mexico, who I think will probably scrape the group title on goals.

ADVANCING: MEXICO AND FRANCE

GROUP B

Someone please explain to me how a team that needed theatrics was seeded?

Argentina is the perfect example right now of how not to play football. At the moment, they're a group of individuals who don't know how to play as a team. This is thanks to Diego Maradona, quite possibly the worst manager in football not named Graeme Souness. He's not only a bad manager who almost caused his team to not even qualify; he's am embarrassment to his team and country.

That's why I'm picking Argentina to be left out of the round of 16. That, and I think Nigeria is strong, and is going to be buoyed by a crowd totally behind them. With that, the second seed is down to South Korea and Greece. Though I think Korea's dangerous, I think Greece will ultimately advance, much to the chagrin of anyone who wants to watch entertaining football. Greece could be the first team to win the tournament without ever scoring a full-time goal. They're fucking brutal.

ADVANCING: NIGERIA AND GREECE

GROUP C

Well... it could have been worse.

The US and England have to be favoured out of this group. Algeria and Slovenia, compared to some of the other teams here, are relatively weak, and the US can beat them; the best chance of the US getting knocked out is Slovenia. With that said, for anyone thinking the US was impressive in beating Spain and coming close against Brazil: the Spain match was amazing, but the US couldn't hold off Brazil's B team. Let's not start sucking each other's dicks just yet.

But watch England. Normally, I would pick them to win the whole thing - I think they have the talent and coaching - but it's hard to play when you're choking so hard that you can't breathe, which is pretty much what will happen should England see an upset brewing. Their fans are very, very hard on them, and you can see via their body language in big games that they don't believe in themselves. Maybe Cappello's a miracle worker in that regard, and can erase 46 years of English failures, but that's a lot of history, self-loathing and tabloid assholes to negate.

ADVANCING: ENGLAND AND USA

GROUP D

Anyone who doesn't think Germany will advance, raise your hand... yeah. Didn't think so.

After that, it's a clusterfuck. Austrailia is probably the unluckiest team in the tournament outside of Group G, because they get a Serbia team that is more or less the same that blew England away in Euro '08 qualifying - watch for Luka Modric, who's like a more well-rounded Beckham - and even Ghana has to be taken seriously; only Serbia match up well with them (Ghana's back-end is weak).

Ultimately, I think it's the two European teams advancing.

ADVANCING: GERMANY AND SERBIA

GROUP E

Holland got almost as easy a ride as Germany did; only Cameroon is in their league, and Cameroon isn't very good on defence or in goal (like every other African team). Don't believe the hype on Denmark; yes, they won their group convincingly in qualifying, but it was a bad group with a French team falling apart at the seams. And Japan not only sucks, they're too small to compete on this stage.

This will probably be the best group to watch for the neutrals other than Group G. There Will Be Goals.

ADVANCING: HOLLAND AND CAMEROON

GROUP F

Italy doesn't have this group as wrapped up as people think. Yes, New Zealand sucks. But Slovenia plays Italy very tough - they beat them in 2006 World Cup qualifying - and even Paraguay is a tough draw, though they're weak in goal. Italy will probably sigh very deeply about getting out of this group intact, and will welcome Cameroon with open arms.

ADVANCING: ITALY AND SLOVENIA

GROUP G

If you're going to have a Group of Death, have a fucking Group of Death. Holy FUCK.

The unluckiest team in this group is Ivory Coast. They were Africa's best chance to go deep into this tournament, and they got stuck in a group with Brazil and Portugal. Doesn't get much worse than that. I don't think that's surmountable; Portugal is good (I don't buy the Ewing Theory ideas about how Portugal plays without Ronaldo), and Brazil is Brazil.

And anyone wanting to see a charged atmosphere should watch Brazil and Portugal play. These countries hate each other.

This is the perfect group. Brazil! Portugal! Ivory Coast (an awesome team to watch, if you can pretend Drogba is someone you can actually cheer for)! And North Korea getting blown out in every game! Perfect! Enjoy, neutrals!

ADVANCING: BRAZIL AND PORTUGAL

GROUP H

This group is so weak, even Spain should pull off advancing without somehow choking their way out of the tournament. Just when you see them do something good (Euro '08!), they do something that makes you ask what the fuck is wrong (2-0 against the US in the Confederations Cup!). They're maddeningly talented, but maddeningly flaky.

With that said, considering they've got three weak teams, they should finish the group with nine points. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Honduras squeaks into the second round, likely on goal differential. Chile has done well recently, but I don't buy them as a threat yet.

ADVANCING: SPAIN AND HONDURAS

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
samuraiter
Dec. 5th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
*cheers for Greece to beat the Internet Scam Capital of the World ™*

I may not be a footy fan, but I can root for that.
burning_phoneix
Dec. 6th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
Nigeria is also the football scam capital of the world.
sam767
Dec. 6th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
Where can I watch footballz?
burning_phoneix
Dec. 6th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
Like the world cup or football in general?
sam767
Dec. 6th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
World Cup
burning_phoneix
Dec. 7th, 2009 09:08 am (UTC)
Well call me back in 6 months :P
sam767
Dec. 7th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah ill call you. XD
burning_phoneix
Dec. 6th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
The unluckiest team in the world is not Ivory Coast. It's North Korea..holy fuck I'm glad they knocked us out of qualifying now.

Also here are my thoughts on the groups relative to yours:

Group A: Raymond Domenech is the worst coach in the world not Maradona. Uruguay and Mexico make it through for me.

Group B: FIFA determines seedings based on the team's rank in the FIFA rankings so Argentina were seeded.

Nigeria may be strong but they had a sub standard qualification record and even with Maradona, Argentina are still a decent side. so Argentina and Greece to go through.

Group C: England won't win the world cup but they'll top their group. Second place is a toss up between USA and Algeria.

Group D: eRRR....Luca Modric is Croatian not Serbian. 0_o Serbia are good at parking the bus and nothing else. Germany and Ghana are my picks to proceed.

Group E: Agree with you here. I don't think Japan sucks btw and they're not really out of their league but they'll find the going tough.

Group F: Italy and Paraguay for me. Slovenia has no great players outside Marik Hamsik and Paraguay impressed me during the 2006 WC and were unlucky to go out in the group stages.

Group G: North Korea are going to be fucked. I hope they lose 8-0 every game so people will stop acting like dicks towards Saudi Arabia (I hope every Asian team loses 8-0 actually) and thank god we didn't qualify. Brazil are a given but Portugal have been playing like shit so I expect Ivory Coast to squeeze into second place.

Group H: Other than switzerland this is a group with fully spanish speaking countries! They will all bow down to their former colonial overlords though. Chile have been mightily impressive in qualifying so I'll pick them as well.
superbus
Dec. 6th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
North Korea wouldn't have done well in any group; they're down there with New Zealand and South Africa in the "Here Are Your Parting Gifts" group that are going to be playing for pride come game three. On the bright side, they'll probably be executed for not winning.

Domenech is bad, but he's no Graeme Souness, who has helped bring entire clubs to their knees. And I'm not 100% sure I want to doubt the French just yet. They're good, just having a rough spell.

In my game of FM '10, Maradona was fired after the World Cup. I like that; it's telling. Of course, England bombed out and Ireland made the final (!!!!!!), but hey. My feeling is that they're lucky to even be here - their talent got them in - but I'm not sleeping on Nigeria. I stand by that one.

I don't stand by getting Luca Modric confused for being Serbian. Whoops. Totally inexcusable. The flags confused me. But I still am not sold on Ghana, who are atrocious in the back.

Japan can't handle the bigger European teams. Rule #1, in my book: when your best player is a dead ball specialist, you're not going far, and their best player is Nakamura (who I have a man-crush on, but still). They're fast, but if you put Japan against a bigger European team - or hell, even put them against the USA - they'll get battered around.

Hamsik is an amazing player; not the best DM in the world, but very, very good. I was waffling between Paraguay and Slovenia, and essentially flipped a coin.

Portugal have been playing like shit, but they're also going to have Ronaldo back. I don't buy all the "THEY'RE BETTER WITHOUT RONALDO" bullshit that the press has been spewing; I remember that he single-handedly beat England in '06 (mostly by being awesome, partially by being the faggot that he is). And without Ronaldo, they did qualify. I want to root for Ivory Coast to advance and drive that continent wild until I remember that their biggest star is Didier "I'm A Fucking Disgrace" Drogba, who I loathe.

I know Chile's looked good in qualifying, but I want to see them keep that form. Form is temporary, class is permanent. I don't think they have the class.
burning_phoneix
Dec. 6th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
So Honduras are "class" and Chile are not? 0_o
(Deleted comment)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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