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Even Ottoman geography doesn’t make sense of Capello’s five-Turk claim December 30, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in English soccer, German soccer, The World Cup.
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Fabio Capello’s recent tirade about “player threft” is so surreally bizarre it’s difficult to know where even to begin with it.

Capello apparently said regarding the last World Cup, “Germany had five of Turkish origin who opted to represent them and we all know what happened.”

That’s not true. Germany had only two, Serdar Tasci and Mesut Ozil, at the last World Cup. The Soccernet article quoting Capello makes the very gentle assumption that, when Capello said “Germany,” what he meant was “Germany and Switzerland,” meaning that the three Swiss players of Turkish origin could be counted as well.

It’s bizarre enough that Capello can’t keep the distinction between Central European countries clear in his head. Did he even know what players Germany was fielding against him in the World Cup round of 16? Which five did he think were Turkish, or did he assume he was facing the combined national team of Germany and Switzerland? Is he using a bizarre, outdated definition of “Turkish”? If we define Turkey as “the former Ottoman Empire,” we can squeeze in only two more “players of Turkish origin” (Sami Khedira and Marko Marin).

News Break: Australia really…really stinks. June 15, 2010

Posted by michaeltomlinson in World Cup 2010.
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An astute mathematical point was made about every 7 minutes during ESPN’s pre-game coverage of Brazil vs North Korea. The token Americans and former players fiddling around the studio noticed that Brazil, the highest ranked team in the world was to meet North Korea, the lowest seeded qualifier at 105. Unlike my my friend Alex my knowledge of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is slim like most of the world. One thing that can be said is that they are six kangaroos and one 3 foot tyrant better than the shit storm that is Australia.

Germany is certainly not Brazil, on any level. Yet if you tuned in the team deemed a world cup away from greatness toyed with the Australians. Time after time the Germans sent through balls whizzing past the hopeless high line of the Ausie back four. When it was said and done the youngsters from Germany completed over 90 percent of their passes and made it look easy. I’m not attempting to take anything away from a German side who bagged 4, but a group of 30 something defenders playing the offside trap against Thomas Müller and Lukas Podolski running down the wings seemed to trying adamantly to commit tactical suicide.

It isn’t just that I believe Australia’s coaching or positioning is terrible (ie: Tim Cahill, their one midfield play maker starting ALONE at striker.) They too are just less talented and have a skill on the ball that is envied by few. The only thing this really says is that those 85 places that separate Australia and North Korea in the Fifa ratings is that it is about as useful as college football pre season rankings and probably just as absurdly biased.