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Tangerine Romanista

Confederations Cup 2013

Enjoyed the Italy - Mexico match last night, Pirlo was as imperious as ever and to score a goal like his freekick was fitting on the night he won his 100th cap.

Balotelli showed he'll always be a threat when his head's right and (not having seen him play that often) I was very impressed by De Sciglio at LB. He looks like he could be a fixture in the side for years if he improves as expected.

Spain were impressive last night by all accounts, and Brazil will be very hard to beat on their own turf, but would expect Italy to do okay this time round and gain some valuable experience ahead of next year's finals.
Myles

Nothing can be read into any of the games. The Confed cup is a bunch of friendlies with a trophy at the end of it and it's started two weeks later than it needs to be. The U21 championship is much better.
Liam

I enjoyed Italy v Mexico as well.  Pirlo's display was extraordinary.  One pass which he hit 60 yards to Abate whilst facing the wrong way was incredible.

Spain were dominant, but Uruguay set up very cautiously, which led to long spells of Spain passing cautiously.

The intriguing element about Tahiti is whether teams will try to score as many as they can against them, or whether they'll ease off.  I think it's in Nigeria's interest to score as many as they can because goal difference could be important between them and Uruguay.
Duncan!

Why is Tahiti in this tourney?

Anyways,  Italy looked pretty good yesterday.   I thought Barzagli had some shaky moments and wonder if Bonucci would do better.

Pirlo was just world class.    Key to the Italian attack

I also agree that De sceglio looked really at home as well.


Hope to keep it going against Japan!
Dave

They won the Oceania Football Conference Nations' Cup. This always used to be the route for Australia or New Zealand to get to the Confed Cup, although New Zealand had a penchant for the odd shock result and leaving the Aussies with a final against the likes of Vanuatu or the Solomon Islands.

The problem for the OFC was that it had half a World Cup qualifying spot - i.e. the winner of that Confederation's qualification had to play off to get into the World Cup proper. Unfortunately for the Aussies, this meant that they'd find themselves playing either a South American side or one from the Asian Confederation more often than not, and they'd go out.

As well as this irritation, the Aussie football league sides had a problem in that only teams from New Zealand presented any real competition in the regional equivalent to the Champions League.

So the Aussies left and joined the Asian Confederation - which puts their league sides into a much stronger regional competition and which should aid their development. And apart from New Zealand, the other sides, with years of being beaten 20 or 30-nil by the Aussies (and with similar scores against New Zealand) were happy since it meant that they had a chance to develop without knowing that they'd rarely, if ever, win, since one of the Aussies or the Kiwis would beat them if they got through to a final.

This meant that New Zealand were - in theory - going to be the Confederations Cup representatives for years to come.

But in 2012, they lost in the OFC Nations' Cup semi-final to New Caledonia; Tahiti were the other finalists and won. Which is why they're demonstrating the lack of depth in Oceania at the moment.

The end result of this in truth is likely to be New Zealand have a pretty much guaranteed slot at the Confederations Cup for some time to come, bar the occasional shock. But not this year.
Sir George

Excellent knowledge of the Oceanic football scene Dave.  How up to speed are you on Qualification for the Confed Cup?  My understanding is that the World Cup winners qualify as well as hosts and winners of 6 confederation tournaments.  

Why is that Holland (as World Cup runners up) didn't qualify ahead of Italy (Euros runners up)?  Surely the World Cup trumps the Euros in importance?  Maybe the Dutch couldn't be arsed, but I didn't think not being arsed was regarded as a legitmate reason in international football any more.
Dave

Sir George wrote:
Excellent knowledge of the Oceanic football scene Dave.  How up to speed are you on Qualification for the Confed Cup?  My understanding is that the World Cup winners qualify as well as hosts and winners of 6 confederation tournaments.  

Why is that Holland (as World Cup runners up) didn't qualify ahead of Italy (Euros runners up)?  Surely the World Cup trumps the Euros in importance?  Maybe the Dutch couldn't be arsed, but I didn't think not being arsed was regarded as a legitmate reason in international football any more.


I'm not an expert on this, but know that the qualification is a little odd; it's a mixture of being there as the winners of something, or by a sort of invitation. There have been instances of nations getting through and turning down their place (ISTR that the Germans had a 'This is tedious. We are not coming' approach in the early years of the tournament).

At a guess either: a. The Dutch were asked and turned down the invitation, or b. - and I suspect it's this - the Spanish were there already as World Champions, so the UEFA representation had to come from the European Championships (the fact that the Dutch are UEFA members not being relevant in that model).
Dels

I haven't really paid this all that much attention, I was only interested in the times that the games would take place because I figure the games will be held at the same time at  the world cup next year, 8pm and 11pm won't be too bad.

I did catch the Italy and Mexico match, it was a so so match but Pirlo's freekick was worth watching alone. The Bearded One is peerless.
Myles

Isn't it the winners and runner's-up of the European Championships and equivalent in each confederation, hence the "Confederation's Cup" and hence why Holland don't qualify.
Dave

The qualifiers are the World Cup holders, the six Confederation championship winners and the host nation.

It's now the plan for the host nation for the Confederations Cup to be the same nation as is to host the World Cup  following - so in 2017 it's Russia and in 2021 (and this could be interesting) it'll be Qatar, with the risk of the tournament being held smack in the middle of the European season rather than in the summer...

The tournament went from being every two years to every four with the 2005 tournament.

In 2003 - and I am going by google here rather than memory before anyone gets too impressed - you had France as the hosts and reigning  European champions. This left a vacancy.

The Germans  - World Cup runners up - declined to take part, so the invitation went to Italy (Euro 2000 runners-up). FIGC declined as well, and FIFA then invited the Spanish, who were 2nd in the FIFA rankings at the time. They also declined, and FIFA's fourth choice replacements - Turkey (3rd in the 2002 World Cup) finally took the berth.

This was a more convoluted variant of what'd happened in 1999, when the French turned down their invitation to the tournament and the Brazilians were invited as the runners-up in the 1998 World Cup.

So originally, the World Cup runners-up were invited rather than the 2nd placed side in the Confederation to which the World Cup winners belonged.

The next time round, though, Argentina went to the 2005 tournament as runners-up in their Confederation's championships (Brazil were the holders of that as well as being the World Cup holders). I wonder - but have no evidence for this - if FIFA now works on the premise that the first reserves in this scenario should be the runners up in the Confederation Championship rather than the World Cup runners up.

It'll be interesting to see whether any national FAs decline their place in Qatar if this tournament takes place in the winter and clashes with league seasons - and if they do, just how far down the list FIFA has to go to get a team to participate.
Sir George

A chap on Yahoo says Italy qualified ahead of Holland because the Euros was the most recent tournament.  That answer actually carries quite a bit of weight because it was voted "best answer" by the voting public (with 2 votes - which is a surprisingly high number unless the person answering the question can vote).
Duncan!

Looked like typical Italian effort in a tourney second game for awhile in the game today, but I did like the fightback shown by Gli Azzurri!

But the defense?
Dels

It was a cracking match. That first penalty decision though
Tangerine Romanista

Yep, was a great fightback from Italy against an impressive Japan team who really needed to go for all 3 points.

Fell asleep at 1-0, but enjoyed the extensive goals round up afterwards!  
Liam

It was almost as if Italy knew they couldn't outrun a fresher Japan, and so sat off a lot more compared to previous games.

In the end it was the extra attacking quality which told for Italy.  I feel sorry for Japan.  They'd have caused Brazil far bigger problems if they'd had more rest between their last World Cup qualifier and that game.

For Italy the main positive has to be the team spirit from shown.  That matters a lot, especially when the technical side isn't so great.
Guest

Can anyone explain how come Cavani appears so useless for Uruguay at the Confed cup, especially when compared to his stellar form at Napoli?
Liam

Yeah, Cavani wasn't great, and Suarez didn't look at his best either.

Uruguay are struggling a bit right now, so perhaps that's affecting them.  Perhaps with Cavani there's the different role he plays for Uruguay.  With Napoli he's the main striker, but Uruguay tend to move him around the forward line a bit.

He was similar in the Olympics last year as well.

I enjoyed Spain v Tahiti as well.  I thought Spain played it correctly.  They didn't bust a gut to score as many as possible, but still played with sufficient professionalism and quality to get a win which reflects the gap between the 2 teams.  It was nice to see the respect between the 2 teams at the end, as opposed to the theatrics and controversy seen in so many games.
fantas1sta

Sigh. Neymar was meant to play for Barcelona, with his constant fouling.
howsaboutno

Well that was a flattering score for Brazil, should have ended 3-2 or 3-3 in fact!  Crazy criticism of Buffon by BBC, yes he made a mess of the last goal but the rest weren't his fault.  Midfield did much better with Montolivo off, its no use Aquilani cant play with Monto or Pirlo on!
kaka22

Funny how the Beeb commentary team miss how cynical the brazil team are, but manage to say the italians would take it turns to kick neymar within 2 mins of kick-off.

Like to post above, neymar is made for barca, cheating t--t.
Liam

"Lawro" sneering at Abate and implying he was faking injury, when he in fact had a dislocated shoulder.  I wish someone would dislocate his vocal chords.

The BBC have a downer on any non-English goalkeeper.  They've been having digs at Muslera and Julio Cesar as well in the tournament.  It's a pattern very noticeable in the past as well, especially when the regular mistakes made by their beloved Joe Hart are often glossed over on MOTD.
Duncan!

Where is the Italian defense ???

Now no Balotelli also?

I am really starting to work up a good France-style hatred for Spagna!
Liam

I must say Barzagli has been poor so far.  A huge contrast to his club form over the last 2 years.  Perhaps a move to a back 3, as has been rumoured, will help him.
Duncan!

It's fine for Prandelli to try to play a more attacking style of calcio, but a good Italian team is always based on a solid defense.  

Please find one!
Guest

Hopefully balotelli will explode in the semi and really show his class.I wouldn't mind seeing El Shar get a good 90 minutes in, his partnership with super Mario is pretty good
Liam

Balotelli is injured for the rest of the tournament.  I'm not his greatest fan, but he's been very effective in the games he's played.
Dels

I really wanted Italy to win that one.

That moment at the end between Buffon and Casillas was nice.
Duncan!

In my lifetime,   i wonder how many freakin PK shootouts I have had to watch Italy lose...

I am tired of losing to Spagna.   I don't like them, I find their play boring and tedious, and I am going to have a major behavior in a minute.

BUT,  Italy shored up the defense quite a bit and looked to have improved since last facing Spain.   And without our best forward to boot.

I think this was a good experience for Prandelli and the boys and I am optimistic as of now for a semifinal appearance in the World Cup.

I just wish Italia and a true number 10 ala Baggio, ADP, or Totti to give that little bit of creativity in the final third
Dels

It was a really good match, so much better than the two Euros games they played last season. I think Italy should take the positives from this match and build on it. Also, they could so with gradually bringing in some of the U21's like Verrati and Destro.
Tangerine Romanista

Yep, a hard one to take, but considering the talent Spain have in their squad (the 'subs' they brought on play for CL winners Bayern Munich, Europa League winners Chelsea and Navas has just signed for Man City) it was a great performance by Italy to run them so close, without their main attacking threat.

Great experience for next year, and as Dels says with a few young talents hopefully breaking into the squad in the coming months the team will be just as strong if not stronger by the time of the Finals.
verno

Duncan! wrote:
I am going to have a major behavior in a minute.

Does that mean you're going to chuck a wobbler ?

There were positives for Italy. The main one being they didn't get beaten 4 - 0 like last time. Just needed a bit more in attack last night.
Liam

Italy did well.  Tight at the back, and a constant threat going forward before the onset of extreme tiredness.

Potency was lacking unfortunately.

Spain aren't invincible.  They're a great side, too often playing within themselves because the opposition show them too much respect and sit behind the ball thinking they won't be able to do anything in possession.

The possession stat last night that came up near the end of normal time showed the possession was a lot closer than normal with Spain.  I also remember Italy had more possession in the Euro 2012 final before Thiago Motta went off injured.

You can get at them, and Italy have shown that last night, and in the first game of Euro 2012.  The rest just need to start doing that, and Spain will slip up.

The back 3 was a great move from Prandelli as well.  It suits playing Spain with their narrow attacking play, and reliance on the full backs for width.
Duncan!

What is 'chuck a wobbler"?
Lupo Pazzesco

Duncan! wrote:
What is 'chuck a wobbler"?


 
Mezz

Duncan! wrote:
What is 'chuck a wobbler"?

Why, it's a small town in Australia of course!
verno

Duncan! wrote:
What is 'chuck a wobbler"?

Had a tantrum, chucked a mental, had a hissy fit or spewed (for any Australians out there).
Dels

Mezz wrote:
Duncan! wrote:
What is 'chuck a wobbler"?

Why, it's a small town in Australia of course!


Lupo Pazzesco

Dels wrote:
Mezz wrote:
Duncan! wrote:
What is 'chuck a wobbler"?

Why, it's a small town in Australia of course!




Classic!
Lupo Pazzesco

I didn't see Italia's match this evening but a win on penalties is something to be proud of! Duncan, you must be happy at last?
Dels

I sat down to watch the Italy game at 8pm and it had already been played!
Duncan!

Good news and bad news
Good news?   Italia won a freakin PK shootout!!!

Bad news?  It was for 3 rd place

Good news?    Brasil kicked Spagna's arse!    I think Italy would have won if we would have had Balotelli

If Italy can tighten up a bit in the defense and have one of the CB's besides the rock that is Chiellini step forward, it would help.

My early prediction for Final Four of World Cup?

Brasil, Italia, Argentina, and Germany
Tangerine Romanista

Good to see Italy winning, just a shame like Dels I completely forgot the match was an early ko!  

Was surprised at how easily Brazil beat against Spain in the end, and have to say the atmosphere at the Maracana was incredible and almost certainly had an influence on the result.

It bodes well for the seleção next year, though it was probably a bit of a one off, as you'd imagine the games played in the later stages of the tournament proper will have a lot more neutral/corporate/opposition fans.
Liam

The myth of Spain being invincible has atleast been destroyed now.  The deep and defensive nature of a lot of Spain's opponents was allowing Spain to play in a comfort zone, which helped create this myth, and brought about a lot of the "Spain are boring" opinions.

Italy showed last year what could be done against them, and continued that this year.  Brazil went a step better and beat them.

That will do Spain a favour though, as they're now out of that comfort zone, and should have learnt that they're going to have to step up.

Italy played pretty well against Uruguay, although seemed to run out of steam again as the match wore on.  Nice to see Buffon stop 3 penalties.
Ray

Neymar is a whole reason to watch football. Like Baggio and Del Piero.
Dels

I have this irrational dislike of Brazil and Argentina, so I wanted Spain to win. But they didn't deserve it. If Italy had an out and out striker/goal scorer they would have beaten Spain easily. Brazil will now be favourites for the world cup but it would still be foolish to write Spain off. My money's on Germany though.
Duncan!

Fact   ha

I am really hoping Balotelli matures even a bit more this year and becomes that player to lead the forward line.    

If he does, and that's a big if, and Pirlo is still in top shape, Italy might bring back that 5th star

I am still hoping for one more CB to make his mark this season as well
Tangerine Romanista

Ray wrote:
Neymar is a whole reason to watch football. Like Baggio and Del Piero.
But with added rolling around and knee clutching.  

Agree that he's a class player Ray, but he needs to cut out the over-exaggerating when he's been tackled. Hopefully he'll be picked up for it more in European club football anyway.
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