Archive for the ‘World Cup’ Category

Weekly Photoshop – World Cup Bidding

08/12/2010

So apparently England didn’t win the right to host the 2018 World Cup. Did you hear about that? I must have missed it… Lots of people weren’t very happy with Mr Blatter and his buddies at FIFA. To be honest I don’t really have a problem with Russia getting 2018; Qatar in 2022 will be the issue. Anyway, it’s difficult not to be libellous in this situation so best keep it clean I suppose.

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Blatter was the master of deception - the process of secretly extracting valuable commercial information from the unconscious mind of his targets while they dreamt of hosting the World Cup.

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Lost amid the furore of the 2018 decision was the announcement that the 2026 tournament will be held on Sepp Blatter's giant ego. Rumours that the 2030 World Cup will be held up his arse are however currently unsubstantiated...

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More here (not many this week).

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Archive.

Weekly Photoshop – Mark van Bommel

20/07/2010

Dutch midfield destroyer Nigel de Jong Mark van Bommel is this week’s theme.

He left a trail of bad fouls, late tackling and all round nastiness whilst helping Holland reach the World Cup final. What was most impressive was that he basically got away with most of it, only getting booked in the semi-final (for kicking the ball away of all things) and the final (where everyone got booked).

That said, he’s a very effective player though one who is hard to like if he doesn’t play for you (and that’s understating it somewhat!) . Anyway, as promised we have the one being held back from last week as well as a second one I came up with.

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mark van bommel holland usual suspects

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the ref that it wasn't a booking.

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van bommel ninja foul

Using advanced stealth tactics, van Bommel Ninja Training can teach anyone how to leave a trail of destruction with no consequences.

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More here.

T.

Archive.

World Cup Roundup

14/07/2010

So suggesting a bet on Holland in the final meant the bet of the day running total ended 0.77 units down, which isn’t awful considering two-thirds of the group stage were missed. In better punditry many of the pre-tournament tips came off. Of the more impressive ideas, I suggested Germany to reach the semi-finals @ 12/5, Argentina to get nine points in their group @ 12/5, Uruguay and Mexico to go through in group A @ 13/1 and Uruguay as an each way bet @ 66/1.

I wrote that England could well suffer a second round knock-out, while tipping Holland @ 9/1 almost came off. The goalscorer tips were a touch unlucky too with each way suggestions Klose (33/1) and Suarez (100/1) just missing out on the top four.  Enough gloating (there were plenty of dud tips too after all) and time for a few highlights and lowlights.

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Best Game: England vs Germany had controversy, some great football, good goals and it dispelled the hype surrounding so many of England’s stars.

Worst Game: Most of the ones in the first week.

Best Goal: Tshabalala’s in the opening match was great for the moment and Van Bronckhorst in the semi-final was great for the pureness of the strike but I think Villa’s first against Honduras tops both.

Worst Miss: Yakubu vs South Korea. Dear oh dear.

Most Dramatic 5 Minutes: Spain vs Paraguay gave it a good try, with three penalties in the space of a few minutes, but you can’t beat the end of extra-time in the Uruguay vs Ghana match. Goalmouth scramble, handball on the line and red card, missed penalty with a semi-final place up for grabs, undignified celebrations by the man sent off and then a penalty shoot-out shortly after. Wow.

Best Pundit: Clarence Seedorf. There weren’t many to choose from but he was insightful and refreshing. Some good features too.

Hero: Paul the psychic octopus.

Villain: Take your pick from Suarez, the Jabulani ball or the French team going on strike. Oh and James Corden too.

Best XI Of The Tournament: Casillas; Lahm, Puyol, Lugano, Coentrao; Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Sneijder; Mueller, Forlan, Villa.

Worst XI Of The Tournament: Green; Otamendi, Terry, Cannavaro, Evra; Melo, Kaka, Ribery; Anelka, Rooney, Torres.

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T.

Weekly Photoshop – World Cup Memories

13/07/2010

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a Photoshop entry but  it’s back to normal now. This week the theme was memories of the World Cup. There’s this Ronaldo effort, which is nothing to write home about and there’s also a Mark van Bommel one which I’m now going to hold back as it has become next week’s theme.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Nike Write The Future

Someone may want to update that Ronaldo statue now that little Cristiano is upon us.

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More here.

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Archive.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – The Final

11/07/2010

Running Total: +0.23 units

The news that Klose was out injured for yesterday’s 3rd/4th playoff meant another bet had to be found. The simple option of over 2.5 goals was taken meaning this column is back in profit just in time for the end of the finals.

I do feel a bit sorry for Klose not getting at least the chance to equal Ronaldo’s record. Say what you want about him being not as good but at the end of the day he’s produced in three World Cups.

Anyway, on to today’s game which should hopefully be a classic between Holland and Spain.

Spain are heavy favourites to win this and you can get 14/5 on a Holland victory in 90 minutes which seems very high. While the Dutch haven’t been as impressive I get the feeling it’s partly because people still associate them with the more attacking styles of days gone by and think that because they’re not scoring three or four a game they’re not playing well.

This Dutch team is unbeaten in 24 and is more than capable of causing a so called upset. However, despite this you can’t deny Spain should be favourites and the 11/10 on them to win in 90 minutes is not terrible value given how in control they’ve been in all their matches.

In terms of the scorers I have a hunch van Persie might finally get another goal to go with his good performances and he’s 5/2 to score anytime which seems generous. Change it to first goalscorer and you can get as high 8/1. Lastly, him to score and Holland to win is 6/1.

David Villa is 6/5 to score anytime while Dutch form man (and top scorer rival) Wesley Sneijder is 10/3 – again very generous.

There’s been some talk that Spain may have to come from behind to win this and that wouldn’t surprise me, though the one time they went behind in this tournament they lost. You can get as high as 28/1 on a Holland HT/Spain FT result but perhaps the more likely scenario is Draw HT/Spain FT which is 7/2 in most places but as high as 4/1 in Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.

Finally Howard Webb is in charge which means there’ll be a few yellow cards. Mark van Bommel is 8/1 to be first booked while fellow hatchet man Nigel de Jong is 9/1. Take your pick and fill your boots. It might be prudent to bet on some of the full-backs getting booked too. I could see Robben getting either Capdevilla and/or Ramos booked while the Dutch full backs will also be at risk when facing the likes of Pedro and Iniesta.

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Bets of the day:

Robin van Persie to score anytime @ 5/2

Holland to win in 90 minutes @ 14/5

Basically you can go with the aforementioned combined bet at 6/1 but I’d rather split it and increase my chances. I’m going with heart over head with these selections but I just have a hunch that Holland are going to do it. Alternatively just bet on Spain to win in 90 and double your money.

T.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 30

10/07/2010

Running Total: -0.57 units

Spain put in their best performance of the finals so far in beating Germany on Wednesday and it means we’re almost back in profit. I was looking through the betting post I wrote before the finals started and there’s plenty which has come true. I’ll do a full write-up after the final.

Tonight we see the 3rd/4th place playoff between the losing semi-finalists Germany and Uruguay. These games are traditionally very open as neither team cares that much, having fallen so close to the final. Indeed Germany will be looking to finish third for the second straight World Cup having beating Portugal 3-1 in 2006.

Betting on over 2.5 goals should be a given – the last playoff to feature under three goals was way back in 1974 when my Polish brothers beat Brazil 1-0 with a goal from top scorer Grzegorz Lato. Justifiably the odds on this are only around 4/5. Over 3.5 goals is about 15/8.

Uruguay do have a reputation as quite a defensive team but with Diego Forlan and to a lesser extent Luis Suarez still technically in the running to be top-scorer you’d have to think they’ll come out and play. Germany of course are the top scorers in the tournament and themselves have two players after the Golden Boot; Miroslav Klose and the returning Thomas Mueller.

As much as I’d like Suarez to get a couple of goals and win my bet on him to be in the top four goalscorers @18/1 I think it will be a bit of a stretch. On the flip side, Klose needs just two goals to be all time record top goalscorer ahead of Ronaldo and I think Germany will be doing all they can to ensure he gets it. He’s 6/1 with BlueSq to score twice and beat the record (quite tempting) while he’s 6/5 to equal it.

Bet of the day:

Miroslav Klose to score two (or more) goals vs Uruguay @ 6/1

Edit: Klose isn’t starting due to an injured back so let’s go with over 2.5 goals at 4/5.

T.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 27

07/07/2010

Running Total: -2.2 units

Bit unlucky last night as Uruguay’s late second goal ruined the handicap bet on Holland to win -1 goal. At least the stake was returned though.

I’m finding it really hard to call tonight’s second semi between Spain and Germany but I think ultimately the Spanish will have a bit too much for Jogi Low’s side. Spain have played lots of quite defensive teams so far while against England and Argentina Germany could do as they pleased. That’s not to say Germany can’t beat Spain but I just think they’ll find it more difficult against a more tactically organised side. I could spend ages previewing this but I’d rather just enjoy the game!

Bet of the day:

Spain to beat Germany @ 13/8

T.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 26

06/07/2010

Running Total: -2.2 units

Hurrah! A tip came through. Once again Miroslav Klose deserves thanks as his two goals helped Germany score the four that were needed to win our bet of over 3.5 goals in the Germany v Argentina match. The running total is still in the red but looks a bit healthier.

Today sees the first semi final between Holland and Uruguay with the South Americans a massive 6/1 to win the match in 90 minutes. Even them qualifying is a generous 3/1. The bookies obviously feel that the suspended Suarez and injured Lodeiro will not be adequatley replaced. Captain Lugano is also a doubt.

Holland are no real value at 4/6 but I’ve seen worse odds this World Cup. It’s also very difficult to work out exactly how good the Dutch are, as I wouldn’t say they’ve been at their absolute best in any of the games so far. The handicap bet could be interesting with Holland -1 goal at 11/8. This still isn’t that good and you may be better off trying to forecast the score.

In that regard, I think there’s a good chance of it ending either 1-0 or 2-0 to Holland (5/1 & 13/2) – I think Uruguay will struggle to score without Suarez but their defence has only conceded twice all tournament.

Can Sneijder score again? 13/5 says he can. You can get 13/8 on Van Persie too, despite his relatively lean tournament thus far.

All in all I’m a bit stuck but I think Holland will have too much for Uruguay so will go with the -1 goal handicap bet. At least if they only win by one we don’t lose any money.

Bet of the day:

Holland -1 goal to beat Uruguay @ 11/8

T.

The FA Get Something Right

05/07/2010

Just a quick thought on Capello remaining England manager for the next two years. For once the FA have made the right decision and gone for a bit of long term thinking instead of just following what the media tell them.

While Capello must hold some of the blame for England’s World Cup exit (mistakes with his squad picks, tactical stubbornness), it’s good to see the hyperbole surrounding the so called golden generation of England players has been put to rest. It was telling that despite the technical limitations of the England squad being there for all to see, first port of call was to blame it on the foreign manager.

Fabio Capello

Not his fault, well a little bit but not as much as the players.

Some of the suggestions of who could replace Capello were ridiculous, and perhaps that’s partly why he’s kept the job – the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. First off the idea that David Beckham could be the next to have a go. Really? A man with no managerial experience whatsoever and someone who last time I checked was still playing.

Just because it worked for Germany with Klinsmann and is kind of working for Argentina with Maradona doesn’t make it right. I have a lot of time for Becks but thankfully this idea was soon dismissed.

Next up we had the genius suggestion by Mark Bright of giving Glenn Hoddle another chance. Glenn Hoddle?! Ok, he was half decent 12 years ago as England manager but that doesn’t make him right in 2010. This is a man who had been completely out of the game since 2006 and last managed a top flight club in 2003. Next thing I know, someone will be suggesting his Sky colleague Jamie Redknapp!

Just stop, it's getting embarrassing now.

Sam Allardyce ensured his media mates put him forward. He needs to realise it’s never going to happen. His thuggish, unattractive style of football will never win any major tournament. Harry Redknapp can do likewise but whilst he has the style of football which appeals, the fact that his business dealings are even dodgier than El Tel Venables’ says all it needs to.

A few other names were floating about with the best option Roy Hodgson wisely deciding that the Liverpool job was far more appealing. As the week went on, everyone began to come to their senses and started disecting the overblown reputations of the players instead. Who’s have thought the likes of the Neviller and Roy Keane would be calling it right?

Overrated as a player, overrated as a human being.

So, partly due to the massive contract the FA tied themselves down with, and partly due to the realisation that John Terry et al are not nearly as good as everyone thinks they are, Capello hangs around till 2012. Credit to the FA for realising that for once it wasn’t entirely the manager’s fault. Here’s hoping that he now fulfils his promise of bringing a fresh approach.

T.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 23

03/07/2010

Running Total: -4.8 units

New tactic if you want to win money. I suggest a bet, you bet on the opposite. You’ll soon find you’ll be quids in. Unfortunately there weren’t odds on Luis Suarez to cheat anytime and while playing well (in many respects…) he didn’t get a goal to win our bet.

I was gutted not to have put money on Holland. All week I’ve been thinking that their 7/2 price to beat Brazil was too high but never went through with it.

Spain should beat Paraguay if you fancy some free money but 1/2 is very skinny. Maybe go with David Villa scoring at evens instead.

The big game is the afternoon clash between Argentina and Germany. Argentina are favourites but this is very tough to call in my opinion. It’s tempting to place a small side bet on Germany if they’re as high as 5/2 but I think the value lies in looking at the goals market.

This should be quite an open, attacking game with both teams playing expansive, creative football. Ozil and Messi have been two of the best players so far this tournament and while the latter has yet to score, his all round play has been excellent. Germany have nine goals so far while Argentina have ten which gives hope to an entertaining game. I’m usually one to go for over 2.5 goals but let’s be ambitious and try over 3.5 goals.

Bet of the day:

Germany vs Argentina to have over 3.5 goals @ 13/5.

T.


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