Football in Sickness (and In Health)

So my health has finally caught up with me. I started showing symptoms of the flu last Monday and here I am wheezing, sneezing, snorting and sniffing my way through the day. Having caught the flu though, my wife has now kicked me out of the bedroom lest I infect her and the 2 kids. So behold my new mistress: football. Here are a couple of thoughts on the last 2 matches: . . Belgium 2 – Algeria 1 If they’re not going to entertain us with their football, they should at least do it with their hair. Come on Mark Wilmots: play the all-afro midfield of Witsel and Fellaini!

I looked forward to seeing the hipster’s choice for the tournament. They have the best young goalkeeper in the world (Courtois), one of the best CBs (Kompany) and 2 of the best young attacking players in the world (Hazard, Lukaku). They were in turn surrounded by plenty of great players whom almost much every nation would like to have in their team (Witsel, Fellaini, De Bruyne, etc.). What Belgium don’t have however are fullbacks, and it is this weakness of theirs that I think will be exposed… and that’s exactly what happened More >

Weekday World Cup Musings – June 16

You can also download the podcast here: Spain 1 – Netherlands 5: The ‘Roja’ Wedding It’s painful to see Iker like this. This would be perhaps the most shocking result of the WC thus far. The shock does not come from the fact that the Dutch won, but from how badly they destroyed Spain. For the few who don’t follow the HBO series Game of Thrones, the ‘Red Wedding’ is an infamous scene in the series that sees major protagonists get massacred whilst attending a wedding. Well, we were all geared up and in a festive mood to kick off the events for Group B in the world cup until we saw the World and European Champions get butchered. . I had predicted a 2-1 Spain win but advised a friend (who gets the betting man’s disease when the WC rolls around) that the odds for a draw would probably be good and that would be worth a punt. So, when Van Persie equalized with his ‘salmon leap’ header, I thought that 45 minutes would be plenty of time for my anticipated result to pan out. . And then it happened. . Let me say this: all the goals that Spain conceded More >

Merengue Bites World Cup edition – Episode 2

Kaushik, Mark and Rahul discuss all things World Cup, and look back at the first few days of action. This episode was recorded on Sunday June 15, before the France-Honduras and Argentina-BiH games were played. Access the podcast here or listen to it using the Soundcloud player below:

 

Pre-Weekend World Cup Ramblings, etc. (Brazil 3 – Croatia 1)

Now come on. That was NOT a penalty. I took in the game (4am Singapore time) whilst ironing a pile of dried laundry that consisted of my clothes, my wife’s, my son’s, my daughter’s and my in-laws’. I didn’t manage to finish the entire pile (the other half will be left for tonight’s Spain-Netherlands match, 3am tomorrow early morning). . I managed to download an excel file where you plug the scorelines of the matches of the tournament, which in turn update the rankings in the group tables and eventually fill up the brackets in the elimination rounds. In filling it up and exchanging notes with some colleagues in the office, I was startled by how the groupings allow Brazil a very good chance of making it into the finals and winning it all. In my ‘excel simulation’, they reach the final to face either Spain or Argentina. . Opening matches tend not to be great contests (I didn’t watch South Africa’s opening match in the last WC, and saw Germany steamroll Costa Rica in 2006). Brazil-Croatia was a proper contest though. Croatia had enough quality players to bother the hosts and it really looked like that when the match started. More >