April 11, 2002

World Cup odds for England?: With Beckham's broken foot and the ever worrisome state of Michael Owen's health, how do you view England's odds in the World cup? After I saw them take apart Germany on German soil, I put them right up there. Now I'm not sure they'll be able to advance out of the group of death.

posted by trox to soccer at 10:08 AM - 10 comments

Well i don't think England's chances are any less without Beckham. He hasn't impressed me the last few years. All he does is send balls up field or make crosses...and his free kicks!? Please, if i took 50 fucking free kicks and made one goal, would i be a hero!? I would be more worried about Owen's health. Or Gerrard, Fowler.... And is there any consensus on who the goalie is going to be? My money is on Poland actually, they have really impressed in the qualifiers...i think they can surprise everyone.

posted by StarFucker at 10:28 AM on April 11, 2002

Must. Not. Make. "Polish Surprise" Joke. *gasp*

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:27 PM on April 11, 2002

One thing's for certain: it'll raise the question of whether English players (or rather, players in the English Premier League) play too many matches. With two cup competitions (one, frankly, a joke) and two group stages in the Champions League, Owen and Beckham have played a god-awful amount of football this year, much of it compressed into the last couple of months. It doesn't help that the last matches of the league season and the European Cup final will be played only weeks before the kick-off in Japan/S. Korea. Then again, the toll of the English season probably won't stop France (ie Arsenal and a few others) from going all the way.

posted by etagloh at 11:08 PM on April 11, 2002

Yeah, I'm going to have to go with France too. Barthez in the net is just sooooo lethal.

posted by catatonic at 11:13 PM on April 11, 2002

Unless, of course, Barthez is facing Henry and the rest of Aresenal (where he is lethal to ManU).

posted by trox at 09:22 AM on April 12, 2002

Don't you guys think that playing all those matches is beneficial? I think it keeps them in shape...i mean, if i myself play every other day for a long time, my performance increases with each game. Whereas, if i played once a week or less, my performance does not improve or gets worse...

posted by StarFucker at 04:18 PM on April 12, 2002

It's not just the playing, StarFucker: it's also the travelling. So if you're at a top club you've got at least two days' full training a week, plus fitness work in between times, then on top of a weekend match, perhaps a late game mid-week, or a trip to Europe, and it really does build up. Compare the English Premiership to, say, Serie A, where there's a smaller league, no reserve football and a much less intensive cup competition. In Italy, a team would have to win the Coppa and the Champions League to play 60 matches; in England, plenty of teams have already in the mid-60s.

posted by etagloh at 05:31 AM on April 13, 2002

Beckham will be going to the World Cup, even if he doesn't play in the first game and isn't fully fit for the Argentina match. Sven just can't do without the fella.

posted by Ben at 07:07 AM on April 13, 2002

etagloh....well whatever the reason is....i would give my left nad to be able to play soccer...travel around the world and get laid in every city...and get paid outrageous amounts for it.....

posted by StarFucker at 10:13 AM on April 15, 2002

Bloody Hell we needed Beckham last night. Okay, so we won 4-0 but we played the long ball game - back to the old days of giving away posession every other pass. Come back Bex!

posted by Ben at 06:36 AM on April 18, 2002

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