Greetings Dearest Mates,
Since beholding the one-man-majesty that was Neymar is last Summer’s Confederations Cup, we’ve now had eleven matches to observe his form at the Camp Nou. Though he’s tallied only four goals in comparison with Messi’s eight, he’s by all accounts off to a cracking start. With respect to the Trillion Dollar Question—will he surpass Messi by season’s end—the tealeaves haven’t even had time to be snipped, let alone read. Nevertheless, he’s shown glimpses of historically unrivaled brilliance with a gorgeous assist in the Champions League and an absolute stunner in his La Liga debut.
The latest incarnation of the Blue Samurai continues to gather momentum. With a record FOURTEEN players assiduously honing their skills in various high-profile foreign leagues, one can expect that Zaccheroni’s “Zac Japan” stands a reasonable chance of punching through to the quarterfinals.
Even a transfer to the AFC couldn’t keep the Socceroos out. Timmy Cahill would appear to still have plenty of juice left…that is until one considers that he plays for the New York Red Bulls in MLS. Sorry people, but that still doesn’t count.
“The Tigers of Asia”, “The Taeguk Warriors”, THE RED DEVILS! Even the most casual of Syndicate observers know of my unyielding love these Asian pearls. Legendary Dutchmen Gus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat (Schwanz Befürwörter) led them out of obscurity and into the knockout stages.
Airtight Shadow Scholar precedents preclude me from sharing with you in full some of my recent writings on the latest rounds of nuclear negotiations taking place between the Iranians and the P-5 (+1). This notwithstanding, I do believe I’m permitted to reveal the general gist of my thoughts on the matter:
The current version of “Clockwork Orange” has left Bert van Marwijk’s 2012 Embarrassment in the dust. Louis van Gaal (how us Germans miss him) obviously didn’t need to tinker with the talent. He simply had to find a more effective means of motivating them. By all accounts the strategy worked. The most talented European team headed to Brazil fell one draw shy of taking maximum points from the qualifying stages. Gentlemen, I give you the UNDEFEATED Flying Dutchmen.
The Azzuri also cruised through the qualifying rounds undefeated. Admittedly, six wins and four draws doesn’t engender the same level of respect I have for Holland. Nevertheless, I stand in fear of the recent uptick in form provided by such veterans as Thiago Motta, Alessandro Diamanti, Andrea Pirlo, and Alberto Gilhardino.
Great news all around, Yanks! Key members of your team are set to obtain valuable international experience in the lead up to next Summer’s festivities. Yes, yes. Your highly predictable friendly bookie cannot compose something on U.S. Soccer without outright dissing MLS. Sorry, but it must be said. It must be emphasized.
“Los Ticos” tore up CONCACAF, finishing only behind the United States to clinch a solid qualifying berth before we last convened. The squad itself remains an awkward hodgepodge of domestic league players, a few Scandinavian second stringers, some Aussie League experiments and a pair of Premiership starters (Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz and Everton’s Bryan Oviedo) who might provide us with a Wanachope-style moment of magic. Nothing much more to say here other than these Central Americans a “Mexclamation Style Welcome”
The hosts aren’t the only country fiercely hoping to reclaim faded international glory. La Albiclesete are turning into more dourly predictable underachieving flops than the Spanish teams of old. They haven’t even made the semis since 1990. This in spite of being the best talent factory in all of football. Once again, their talent pool swells larger than Christina Fernandez de Kirchner’s protruding botoxed lips. If they can’t at least make the Semis with Higuain, Mascherano, Maxi, Messi, Tevez, and Aguero in their current form….I shudder at the innocent loss of life that will transpire in the subsequent riots..Ugh.
More perplexing than the fact that this bizarre dysfunctional amalgam of a county still exists, they’ve SOMEHOW wormed their way into the WM! Even more shocking, they cruised through at the top of their group UNDEFEATED. What the wallooning fuck is going on?
As predicted, “The Coffee Growers” took care of business and now hold the (however dubious) distinction of being one of two “Syndicate Debutantes”. The people of Columbia haven’t had the joy of rooting for their national side for sixteen long years. As such their supporters will undoubtedly be among the liveliest and most fun to be around. Can’t wait to meet them, just as I can’t wait to watch Fredy Guarin tear in up in yellow ; )
The RFU Eleven held on against the Navigators…by their bloody fingernails no less. Who clinches a World Cup berth with a 1-1 tie against Azerbaijan? Evidently, that’s just how the Ruskies roll. Kerzhakov, Shirokov, Ingashevich, Zhirkov, Denisov, and Berzutski (combined age 184) apparently aren’t done yet.
“It weren’t pretty”, but they did it. Hodgson’s much maligned eleven dug deep, pulled together and rallied for convincing victories against Poland and Montenegro. The margin of victory against the Montenegrins proved crucial, allowing the Three Lions to relax a bit in their final match secure in the knowledge that the would at least best the Ukrainians on goal differential.
On the topic of teams I’m nowhere near ready to make predictions about, we arrive at potentially the greatest international football force in the history of ever. That, at least, happens to be the question on everyone’s mind. Will La Roja achieve the unprecedented “Four-Peat”? I don’t know. I can tell you what I think of Villa’s comeback, of Iniesta’s latest form, of Michu’s and Negredo’s maturation. I just can’t answer that question. Check back with me in a few months. It’s simply too early. We’ll have to leave it there.
All around sturdy and stable team effort from the “Red Slivers”, who now return for their second consecutive trip to the World Cup Finals. Didn’t really get a chance to see this team in action until last round’s nifty little victory over Ecuador. I absolutely loved the defensive directorship of Cardiff City center-back Gary Medel…..but that may more be a result of my quirky intrigue with the two Welsh teams now playing in the Premiership. At any rate, nice goal there, Senior Soto ; )
Speak of the devil, it’s nice to have “La Tri” back after an eight-year absence. United’s Antonio Valencia will have a statement or two to make before the tournament concludes.
La Bicolor found themselves the primary beneficiaries of the Mexican catastrophe during CONCACAF qualifying. They’ve much to prove in the wake of a disastrous showing in 2010. Seriously, amigos. I’ve no desire to unearth some of those old lawn care jokes.
It was a great pleasure to welcome Petrovic and his pets to the 2010 World Cup as a newly cleaved independent nation. Regrettably, we won’t be welcoming them back this time.
Since coming within a whisker of qualification back in 2008, the Scots haven’t come close to a berth. Won’t someone please appoint Kenny Dalglish head coach already? He’s the Brian Clough of Scotland. Someone needs to give these wankers a shot in the arm!!
Da-da-Danes are Da-de-dead. Olsen’s eleven fell tragically short of a chance at a playoff, narrowly eclipsed by the French and the Icelandic. What a debilitating end for a talented team. Too morose to discuss this further. Let’s move on.
The Czechs can’t figure out what sort of government they want…let alone figure out a future for their football team. Settle in for months of horse-trading as we attempt to find a replacement for Necas’s reluctant choice. Also, Josef Pesice will last six months at best. That’s that. Welcome to the “Era of Czech Soul Searching”. This should be fun.
At least I FINALLY got it right this time. Damn shame that Trappatoni had to leave, but Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will get the Micks back on track.
Jordan vs. Uruguay (Uruguay leads 5-0 on Aggregate)
Mexico vs. New Zealand (Mexico leads 5-1 on Aggregate)
Cote d’Ivoire vs. Senegal (Cote d’Ivoire leads 3-1 on Aggregate)
I’m afraid that the “Lions of Teranga” have little hope of making up this difference. Les Elephants reign supreme once more.
A draw counts as a victory for The Indomitable Lions…or so I’m prepared to bet.
As I’ve already remarked several hundred times, there simply wasn’t a fugly face on this [American] team. We surely won’t get away with covering one single player this time, not with a predominantly American readership. Not entirely sure I would wish to focus on one of them anyway. Much like the presenter of the AVN Award for “Best Anal Sex Scene”, I simply feel too bad that if can’t give all the girls their due credit. They’ve all worked so hard! Hence, we shall blitz out a compilation that touches em’ all. Er…that it to say….well you know what I mean.
She’s the type of girl you’d be content just to cuddle with, holding her tight all night long. But…wait a second…she’s not satisfied merely lying in your arms while you kiss her neck. She’s got a surprise for you….
A complete joke. A parody upon itself. The Croats will demolish the “s’sons”.