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Who will win the World Cup?
England 23%
France 0%
Germany 5%
Argentina 29%
Spain 5%
Italy 23%
Brazil 5%
Portugal 0%
Uruguay 0%
Mexico 5%

Votes: 17

 World Cup Update #1

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jun 02, 2002
In the first installment of an ongoing series, I give you the lowdown on the important events in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, hosted jointly by Japan and South Korea.

Today: A round-up of days 1-3 of the tournament.


More diaries by iat
Review: Linux Mandrake 8.2
Mandrake 8.2 : "a fucking disaster"
World Cup Update #2
World Cup Update #3
In the biggest upset of the World Cup so far, pre-tournament favourites England slumped to a miserable 1-1 victory at the hands of Sweden. England horrified the worldwide audience with a Jekyll and Hyde performance of mediocrity in the first half, followed by total incompetence after the interval. In contrast, the Swedes compensated well for their talent deficit by managing to contain England's star players with a sublime display of negative football. England's forward line of Heskey and Owen did well to replicate their miserable club form at international level and looked impotent for much of the second half. Only a stunning performance by the venerable David Seaman spared England further embarrassment. If England wish to regain the Jules Rimet Cup, it is imperative that the ne'er-do-wells Vassell, Hargreaves and Heskey are replaced by Sheringham, Butt and Dyer in the starting lineup.

In comparison, the outcome of the France vs Senegal match was somewhat less surprising. World Champions France continued their distastrous run of form which has seen them fail to win a single competitive FIFA match in almost four years. The French are obviously missing their defensive linchpin Laurent Blanc and even the mercurial genius of goalkeeper Fabien Barthez is insufficient to shore up their leaky defence. Further disappointment awaits France so long as they continue to base their attack around the negligible talents of Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord. France could benefit from the addition of talented youngster Mikael Silvestre into their forward line: Silvestre's unrivalled pace and ability to run with the ball would bring a new dimension to France's lacklustre attack.

Elsewhere, Germany demonstrated that they are still suffering from their humiliating 5-1 qualifying defeat to England, by scraping past underdogs Saudi Arabia with the slenderest of margins. A great German side (such as that of the 1966 tournament) could be expected to punish the Saudi Arabian whipping boys with a 15-0 thrashing. In contrast, the current German team were lucky to manage their hard-fought 8-0 victory.

Other results:

Group A
Uruguay 1 - 2 Denmark

Group B
Paraguay 2 - 2 South Africa
Spain 3 - 1 Slovenia

Group F
Argentina 1 - 0 Nigeria

Finally, a request for the tournament organisers. I am rather concerned by the large number of matches with 7:30 am kick-offs. Having taken the whole of June off work to enjoy this festival of world football, I am most displeased at being forced to get up so early in the morning. I would therefore be grateful if you could reschedule 7:30 am kickoffs to the more usual time of 3:30 pm, for the benefit of your English audience. Thank you.


Correction. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
by hauntedattics on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 07:48:46 AM PST
That Group A score should read:

Uruguay 1 - 2 Denmark

Otherwise, great job. Keep it up.

Whoops (none / 0) (#2)
by iat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 08:05:34 AM PST
Thanks for spotting that, I've now corrected the diary. I apologise to any Adequacy readers who have spoiled their World Cup wallcharts by filling in an incorrect result based on my careless reporting. I promise to pay more attention to detail in future. In the meantime, I'll lend you my Tippex. - love it or leave it.

What are you talking about ? (none / 0) (#5)
by dmg on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 03:16:14 PM PST
And why should this be of any interest to a Normal American ? We prefer more masculine sports. And by the way, its "Soccer", Football is a whole different (and more heterosexual) game.

I chatted to an English friend of mine, and he thought Vassell was quite impressive. The problem was that the Swede Ericsson had obviously tipped the Swedish manager off about his tactics in an effort to sabotage England's chances.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Vassell (none / 0) (#6)
by iat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 03:55:48 PM PST
Vassell was more impressive than most of the England players, but that says more about how dire England were than about Vasell's ability. Vassell failed to score a goal or even create many serious chances, so I'd prefer to see Teddy Sheringham's sublime skill in the Argentina match. - love it or leave it.

France (none / 0) (#3)
by FifthChild on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 09:58:56 AM PST
Without Zidane, France = nothing.

Otherwise everyone has been highly unconvincing. Especially England.

I disagree with your comment on the Germany - Saudi Arabia game. It was a testament to the progress of Asian Soccer that the Saudis were able to restrain the German thugs to a mere eight goals. They have come a long way indeed. But bear in mind the Germans are currently undermanned.

And I do hope you'll all join me in jeering the Italians tonight as they play Ecuador.
Let's Napalm George W. Bush

I shudder... (none / 0) (#4)
by tkatchev on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 10:36:50 AM PST think of what will happen when our team plays.

What a shameful disgrace.

Peace and much love...

FIFA World Rankings never lie (none / 0) (#7)
by iat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 04:05:07 PM PST
According to the FIFA World Rankings, Russia (#27) will narrowly beat Tunisia (#30=) in their next match. Group H is full of closely matched (but not particularly good) teams: Japan are ranked at #32 and Belgium at #23. I predict that Belgium will win the group, with Russia finishing as runners-up. - love it or leave it.

I should add... (none / 0) (#8)
by iat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 04:09:05 PM PST
... that although the FIFA Rankings are scientifically proven, and thus unquestionably correct, they do rate Colombia (who didn't qualify for the World Cup) as the fourth best team in the world. - love it or leave it.

Time zone (none / 0) (#9)
by First Incision on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 05:52:20 PM PST
You mean Parliment didn't change your time zone to match Japan's? Or was that Ireland?
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.

Minor niggle. No offense intended. (none / 0) (#12)
by because it isnt on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 08:24:32 PM PST
For future reference: "Parliament". -- because it isn't

Argentina (none / 0) (#10)
by doofus on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 06:31:49 PM PST
I hope Argentina goes the whole way because I really enjoy saying "Batistuta."

Mexico (none / 0) (#11)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Jun 2nd, 2002 at 07:04:49 PM PST
What is Mexico doing between the strong teams?

Hell will freeze before Mexico wins a World Cup.

Mexico is the "cowboyneal" poll option, right?

Mexico (none / 0) (#13)
by iat on Mon Jun 3rd, 2002 at 03:33:32 AM PST
What is Mexico doing between the strong teams?

Read the FIFA World Rankings. Mexico are the 7th bst team in the world based on their recent form, and are thus more likely to win the Jules Rimet Cup than 26 of the lesser competing teams.

Hell will freeze before Mexico wins a World Cup.

Let me guess: You're an American who's angry that Mexicans are sneaking across the border and stealing "your" jobs. Twisted by your hatred, you can't accept that Mexico is better than the USA at football so you come out with stupid comments like that. Stop trolling.

Mexico is the "cowboyneal" poll option, right?

I don't understand what you mean. Who's "Cowboy Neil"? - love it or leave it.


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