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Winners and Losers Day 2

June 13, 2010

After exciting day 2 of the tournament, which surprisingly had no 0-0 draws (always a plus when Greece is involved), we have painstakingly compiled a list of winners and losers for you.

Winners:

Diego Maradona – Not only did he win in the literal sense, but you got the feeling that he (or at least someone on the coaching staff) actually knew what he was doing. The starting XI was well picked, and all of the players justified their selection. Admittedly, playing Gutierrez at right back could have had some consequences in the first half, but Nigeria luckily had no idea how to get the ball into a scoring position.

Vincent Enyeama – He was the only thing standing in between the Nigerians and a resounding defeat. With Nigeria’s defense frequently taken apart, Enyeama had an outstanding game. The pick of the saves had to have been the two saves from Messi’s curling strikes. He played outstanding.

Nigerian substitutes – There is no question that Nigeria looked much more dangerous with their subs on the field. Sure, none of the actually scored, but they almost did, so that counts, right?

US/England – Sure, neither performance is going to be termed a classic, but it wasn’t a morale sapping defeat either (unless you are Robert Green). There were positives and negatives on both sides of the ball, which we will look at more closely tomorrow.

Ruud Gullit – His neutrality paid off, and his 1-1 prediction was spot on. It is refreshing to see the ESPN commentators sound intelligent for once.

Losers:

Argentine Strikers – A team with Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain, Diego Milito, and Angel DiMaria had to have Gabriel Heinze score for them? I lost count of the number of times Higuain was put through on goal, only to shoot straight at the keeper. At least he managed to get some shots off, which is more than Tevez or Milito could claim. Messi did well enough, but for some reason it just wasn’t going in for him. Altogether, despite an amazing array of talent, there was a shocking dearth of goals.

Robert Green – For obvious reasons.

Set piece defending – Of the 7 goals in this year’s World Cup, 3 of them have come from set pieces. Again and again defences are falling apart on corners and the like, and it begs the question as to exactly how organized the defenses are. Luckily for both South Africa and Nigeria, they had goal keepers who performed exquisitely and managed to keep them in the game despite their frailties.

Steve McManaman – I don’t even know if that is the proper way to spell his name, and I don’t care. He was an absolute prick all through coverage today. Get off your ass and give us some respect. We just held your precious England to a draw, and it was well deserved. Quit making your fucking excuses and get down off the damned high horse you have been riding all week. England are human, and honestly don’t play all that well. Oh, and get a real name, one that I can look at without laughing. Seriously, its like you just threw a bunch of m’s and a’s together with a judicious sprinkling of n’s.Rant over.

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