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Played 27 This Week…

2 Sep

Balboa nine mid-week: didn’t play especially well (= played horrible), but made a big stride forward in that I used the driver on every long hole. Never done that before: I’ve always used it once, shanked it off like nobody’s business, then put it away. Had an old guy I don’t know giving me advice on every hole, which was kinda annoying.

Eighteen today at Carmel Mountain was my first ever 18 on a big course. First hole was 553 yards long, which was a bit of a shock to the system (the courses I usually play are 3000 or so total, nevermind the first hole). Was quite pleased with myself, especially over the first six. Sunk a couple of decent putts, hit a couple of decent drives, but got tired kinda quickly and was flagging pretty badly by 12. Perfectly happy with my first round on a big course, especially my driving. Had a young guy I don’t know giving me advice this time. I guess it’s my curse.

Forza Azzurri! Italy Show Their Class…

4 Jul

Wow. Game of the tournament, goals of the tournament. That was absolutely brilliant.

I’ve criticised Italy for their negative play, but they shut their critics up today. Cool, calm & collected, Grosso’s goal was just perfect. Del Piero’s was nice too, but Grosso was the real hero today. Absolutely brilliant, and what the WC should be about. Here’s hoping they keep it up in the final: I’ll be supporting them, for sure.

Feel bad for Germany and Jurgen, but this game was alll about Italy. First performance from anyone that’s been really worthy of a world champion.

Forza Azzurri!

Now that the dust has settled…

2 Jul

Some observations on the competition so far:

  • Something needs to be done about the standard of officiating. Way too many cards, way too many bad decisions. Personally I think the modern game at this level, on this stage, is too much for one man to officiate without any sort of technical help. Replays for key moments, an eye in the sky (guy in the stands watching a video monitor)… something needs to be done, ‘cos it’s been a joke this tournament.
  • England failed to pull together as a team. Being honest, they never looked like they deserved to be there. One good half (against Sweden), in a sea of mediocrity. Not unlike Brazil (but without the flair), they never really clicked.
  • An African team still hasn’t won the tournament (sorry Pele), but they’re definitely improving. Ghana were excellent.
  • That said, Australia are my team of the tournament. They should be very proud, and if England had shown a fraction of the drive and commitment the Aussies did we’d be getting ready to play France now. Fair play lads.
  • Blatter is still an absolute buffoon, the Italians and Portuguese still love to roll around on the floor like they’ve been shot, and DB07 still aint all that.
  • The Spanish & Dutch are still able to self-destruct like nobody’s business. It’s absolutely incredible, and I really can’t explain it. Any Spaniards or Dutch folks care to enlighten me?
  • The World Cup is still the best thing going. England v Trinidad, Portugal v Angola… and yes, England’s capitulation. Only the WC can deliver drama like this. Brilliant.

France through then. Oh, the irony

1 Jul

Everyone (myself included) optimistically said that England playing shit the first few games was a good omen (team playing bad but still winning and all that), and that France were on their way home after their terrible showing in the first group games.

Oops.

I still don’t rate this France team though, honestly. Zidane is obviously pure class, but the rest leave me cold. Henry scored in a big game today (well done you), but in fairness David May would have put that one away. Plus he was offside.

Brazil just believed their own hype and waltzed into the game thinking they were going to walk all over them. A bigger letdown than England (for the neutral) given the expectations of them. Definite similarities with us though… where was Ronaldinho? Kaka? Robinho? Lots of big stars failing to perform.

The only real positive for me was Ronaldo, who defied his critics (me included) to become the highest scorer in World Cup history. The goal that broke the record was pure class, too… cheeky little shimmy to send the keeper the wrong way. I’ve always liked his approach: usually has a smile on his face, definitely has the right attitude. Only opposition player I’ve ever seen get a standing ovation at Old Trafford. Fair play.

Both Brazil & England clearly deserved to go out, for different reasons. A real shame, as I was very much looking forward to playing the samba boys in the semi.

Such is life.

Auzzie! Auzzie! Auzzie!

22 Jun

Oi! Oi! Oi!

That's my new favorite game of the tournament… absolutely brilliant. Terrible football most of the time, but superb entertainment. Calamity goalkeeping, loads of near misses… a croatian getting three yellow cards… an insane final 20 minutes. Brilliant, brilliant stuff. I'm stoked for the Aussies…. they get screwed every time in qualifying, so it's nice to see them get through now that they finally made it. Absolutely deserved, too.

Italy next for them… second game in row I'll be supporting Italy's opposition 🙂

Goal of the tournament?

19 Jun

Got to be up there… my man Fernando Torres (&*#$ I'd love to see him in a United shirt). He really is ridiculously good… that finish was just out of this world. Shame he fluffed the one-on-one with the keeper a few minutes later, but let's not be too picky, eh? Wonderful piece of finishing. Spain showing a bit of heart here too, coming back from 1-0 down to win 3-1… nice to see. Raul look pleased to score too, did he not?

Ukraine evidently took the beating Spain gave 'em to heart, and administered one of their own to the Saudis (same 4-0 scoreline). Good work. Lastly the Togolese were put out of their misery by an uninspiring Swiss squad.

Back to that Torres goal though. Wub.

Anyone got a video link?

Many laughs this weekend…

18 Jun

Starting with the US/Italy game. That was proper rubbish, that. Three red cards, Italy scoring twice (once at each end) blood all over McBride's face… probably the most exciting terrible game of football I've ever seen. Much improved performance from Team USA, but was it the Italians being terrible, or were they really better? Bit of both, I guess.

Elsewhere Ghana easily beat the Czechs (right after I tipped them to win the tournament – good work fella), and a Ronaldo fired Portugal made it through to the next round. Nice.

Today Croatia drew with Japan (penalty saved), Brazil secured the next round by beating the Aussies, and France hahahaha.