I’m just a lowly youth league president. My biggest problem are hooligan parents (joke – mostly). But even I know that you don’t talk about the performance of teams in a tournament, at least until it’s over. But maybe that’s just me. FIFA President Sepp Blatter is at it again, complaining about England’s offensive strategy so far. Via the WorldCupBlog, we see he isn’t happy:
"I am happy that play is very offensive. The only exception is England, who fielded just one striker in their second-round match," Blatter said Thursday. "That’s not the kind of offensive football you would expect from a title contender."
Maybe I was watching a different tournament, but my recollection is most of the matches have not been offensive and exciting. A few have for sure, but England is not the only one playing less than exciting soccer. If anything was offensive about England’s performance it was this. Just kidding.
Have there been utterly boring matches this World Cup? Sure. But that’s bound to happen in a tournament with the best teams from around the world. Don’t forget there are teams who played beautifully who are on flights home. If a team has played ‘boring’, but it’s been enough to advance – how can you question that? Exciting soccer often means risky soccer and needless risks can end in early flights home. I know FIFA wants exciting matches to draw more viewers and make the sponsors happy, but sometimes the ugliest of matches can be the most exciting or intense to watch. Bob at WorldCupBlog notes:
While Mr. Blatter, Nike and those who profit off the World Cup would love nothing more than to be able to sell a product that is beautiful, the reality of football is that it is often times not. There’s nothing wrong with that. The Portugal and Netherlands card-fest in the Round of 16 was not a Picasso, but if you are like me you were still glued to the television, watching ugly, yet compelling World Cup football.