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WORLD CUP: WINNERS?

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  • #3836
    Interested Academic
    Member
    • Total Posts 37

    Several things make France stand out at 14/1 :soccer:

    The general stuff first:

    Bar 1958, every time the tournament has been hosted by a European nation, a European team has won the trophy. Solid form.<br>Teams can retain the trophy but haven’t since 1962; 44 years of hurt for defending champions. Unlucky.<br>Brazil (twice 62 & 70 / 94 & 02) and Argentina (78 & 86) won it, couldn’t defend it, then won it again. Cue France this year. (W. Germany runners-up 66, won 74.)<br>France has a similar profile to the W. Germans of the 70s. They won the tournament they hosted (74), pulled up short in the next, then hit the final losing to Italy (82). <br>Argentina won the tournament they hosted in 78, blanked the next, then won in 86, in Mexico – the continent is important seemingly as France have done the first bit and now try again on European soil.<br>France look set for a relatively gentle group stage:<br>Question – In the 2nd round would you like a bag full of confidence with your hurt pride from 2002?

    More Specific:

    Many believe France is an ageing team with old stars giving it one last shot. There’s a kernel of truth in that; Zidane, Makelele, Thuram spring to mind. But their presence is essential; they have a superb team. Ludovic Guily was in many people’s eyes one of the best right wingers in the world this season; not even in the squad. Cisse was not too highly regarded early in the season at Liverpool but was France’s top scorer in qualifying [updated – broken leg and out]. The pace and ability of Henry, Trezeguet (am not his biggest fan effort-wise…) and Cisse (most likely off the bench, or out wide a-la-Liverpool) [update – Guily would come in here] is close to world-class.

    Viera remains a world-class defensive midfielder and they are likely to have another ‘sitter’ in there. Roeder has been a saving grace for Boumsong. His and even Titus Bramble’s positional play has improved markedly with proper coaching and Gallas rarely puts a foot wrong at Chelsea. Silvestre, if he plays, isn’t the most solid choice but he’s good enough in this team. Chimbonda is an exciting addition to cover/replace Thuram, and he’ll be looking to continue his excellent form he attained in the Premiership.

    The weakness is on the flanks; Guily’s absence is a mystery, but that supposes France need to play with ‘wingers’. They don’t. Neither do Brazil, for example. France have bite in the right areas, albeit a nutter of a keeper in Barthez but then Brazil’s Dida is hardly top drawer reliability. Keepers shmeepers, France look over-priced at 14s to win and contribute to a pattern which has been seen many times before in the world cup.

    <br>(Edited by Interested Academic at 11:51 pm on May 24, 2006)

    <br>(Edited by Interested Academic at 9:59 am on May 26, 2006)<br>

    (Edited by Interested Academic at 10:13 pm on June 7, 2006)

    #89308
    stevedvg
    Member
    • Total Posts 1137

    France look over-priced at 14s to win and contribute to a pattern which has been seen many times before in the world cup.

    On paper, it looks a good price:

    2 high class strikers in top form.<br>Zidane – surely he can’t be crap now.<br>Viera and, if selected, Makalele.<br>Thuram – surely he can’t be crap now.<br>Barthez who’s still an excellent keeper with Coupet as a capable backup if he hasn’t walked out on the squad.  

    But the reality just doesn’t match up to the club form.

    And it hasn’t for the last 4 years (or possibly since Euro 2000). I can’t think of a really good result France have had in that time.

    Personally, I just don’t think the French are up for it these days.

    The self-belief, discipline and desire that Jacquet instilled in them in 1998, which they took (along with the confidence from winning the WC) into 2000 has gone.  

    It’s hard to win the WC without being able to "battle".

    And, to me, France look like a team that lack that quality.

    Steve

    #89309
    Interested Academic
    Member
    • Total Posts 37

    True, Steve, that’s a point  I didn’t deal with: France’s best result for a while was a 1:0 away against Ireland, hardly scary form, but that should be tempered by the fact that Brazil, for example, have been all over the show in qualifiers before and strolled to World Cup success. The "battle" or "fight" the team has remains to be seen, I’d like to think they are still embarassed by being done over in 2002. But that’s in the price, of course.

    The only other team I liked is… England, but to me they are regressing (especially tactically) and for all their fitness and team-spirit, still look likely to get walloped off one of the big boys in the later stages. If Sven gets it right they could win it, but I wouldn’t count on that at all.

    I’d like to see a case made for another team…

    #89310
    Interested Academic
    Member
    • Total Posts 37

    …and with none forthcoming I’ll stick rather than twist, they may meet England in the latter stages and despite some reservations I may wade into the 40-year wait boys…:cheesy:

    #89311
    Born Slippy
    Member
    • Total Posts 7

    Frances problem at the moment seems to be inhouse bickering, Giuly isnt in the squad because the manager has fallen out with him, he even preferred Govou above Giuly as a replacement for Cisse.<br>The manager has his old favourites, like Barthez, and a lot of the youngsters are put out by this.  He also persists in playing Vieira at the right side of a diamond, which Vieira hates, and his making his displeasure known.<br>All in all the French camp is not a happy place, but who knows, the shock of Cisse breaking his leg may bring them together and strengthen their resolve.

    #89312
    IRSHEYEZ
    Member
    • Total Posts 223

    I think Holland Will get better and Better as the tournament goes on, I think they will win all 3 of there group matches and will be at around 6/1 when they come outta the group stages. I have backed them quite heavily pre tournament at 17/1 to win it and at 7.2 to reach the final with no real view to trade. They will also be alot better side when Rafael Van Der Vaart returns from injury.

    #89313
    Born Slippy
    Member
    • Total Posts 7

    I like the look of Italy, the way they celebrated that 2nd goal last night says to me that they have a good team spirit and that they are up for this big time, not that the others arent of course, but I think you tell a lot about how happy a team is by how they celebrate.

    #89314
    Interested Academic
    Member
    • Total Posts 37

    My selection is still on and looks okay to me, I was quite happy with them in the group even if others weren’t; acid test against Brazil, but I thought France snuffed out all the fuss being made about Spain rather easily. I’m hopeful that France will concentrate just as well against Brazil- looking forward to it; could do with a t.henry hat-trick though!

    #89315
    stevedvg
    Member
    • Total Posts 1137

    Maybe I’m just a pessimist, but I don’t think France can win it.

    Defensively, they’re decent, but they give away chances.

    However, the problem is in the attack. The 4 attacking players look like they’ve never met, far less played together.

    Riberry had a couple of good moments yesterday, but was poor in the first 3 games and I’d predict that he’ll never be that much of a player.

    Malouda’s a good player in the French league, but below the level required to be a strong player in a decent international side.

    Zidane’s still the attacking star, but his legs no longer work at the speed of his brain.

    And Henry just doesn’t seem to connect with any of them.

    If I was the coach, I’d move Henry to the supporting 3 and play Trez up front.

    But, if was the coach, I’d have Guily in the squad playing with Zizou and Henry behind the Juve man.

    Steve

    #89316
    davidbrady
    Member
    • Total Posts 3901

    I think that Trezegeut should be dropped and Saha or Wiltord brought in. Agree with Steve about Ribery who looks a shade below international standard and don’t understand why Pires was left at home. I don’t think Brazil will cause them too many problems though and can see them in a semi-final aginst England or Portugal, which looks winnable. I’d be surprised if the winner didn’t come from the other half of the draw though (Ger, Arg, & Ita)

    #89317
    IRSHEYEZ
    Member
    • Total Posts 223

    Will be a Italy France final imo repeat of the euro 2000 final. I hope so anyway because i am very green on Italy and France so if 1 reaches the final i can lay off but i also have bet Italy at 4.4 to reach the final.

    #89318
    Interested Academic
    Member
    • Total Posts 37

    What I need now is a comfortable victory over a distinctly average Portugal side, but Henry needs to knock in a couple…imo ;)  

    France were outstanding vs Spain and Brazil and it is fair to say they have met all my pre-tournament expectations!

    Less of an acid test, more of Ph 5.5 test against Brazil, who were snuffed out as easily as the young spaniards.<br>Still obstacles in the way, but i remain hopeful that they will keep their concentration levels very high. Here’s hoping…

    #89319
    Interested Academic
    Member
    • Total Posts 37

    Day of reckoning for that pattern.

    Fingers crossed.

    #89320
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8798

    Interested Acadamic – great shout on the first post here. I hope they do it for you.

    ‘The weakness is on the flanks’ – Ribery solved that one for them!

    One to remember for the next World Cup everyone, for those who like to bet on who the finalists will be, 16 of the last 17 finals have involved either Brazil, Germany or Italy. Bet you’ll all forget that by 2010!!

    #89321
    Interested Academic
    Member
    • Total Posts 37

    Thank you Cormack, that was very kind of you pre-match. :)

    It wasn’t to be with the outright win, and for now I’ll leave others to dissect the match as I didn’t see it all!!

    I laid off, "went green", "traded" and all the other things that betting involves these days to make a profit but still had plenty riding on the outright win, so a little gutted to be honest :(

    All in all happy with the analysis, but look at that pattern for  2010—- lay Italy, lay lay lay!! :biggrin:

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