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The Final: Spain v Italy

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  • Gangster Octopus
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Sam Kelly wrote: As for them being able to, 'walk to both World Cups they won,' come on. Europe might look enormous and every other continent tiny on the map projection you've got on your wall, but Montevideo to Rio de Janeiro is further than Rome to Madrid (1982) (or to Paris, with the political machinations of Italy's '30s wins set aside for a second), Berlin to Bern (1954), Berlin to Rome (1990), or Rome to Berlin (2006). So how impressive do Italy's and Germany's wins all look now, hey? HEY? And that's before we even start on the fact that the 1950 winners didn't exactly have the overwhelming support of the home crowd willing on the plucky underdogs.
    You have to remember that for Colm, it's a long way to Tipperary...

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  • Sam
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Thank you, TG (although I wasn't saying it's 'as impressive' - I think Spain's run now is more impressive. I'm just saying that three consecutive major tournament wins has been done before).

    Jah Womble wrote:
    Unarguably unique? Sorry to sound like a broken record, but Uruguay beat them to it by 88 years (1923 and '24 South American championships, 1924 Olympics).
    Uruguay's achievement was a very good one indeed, but I'm afraid the Olympics (even back then) doesn't stand up to a World Cup.

    In any case, my entire point was that I don't think Spain 2012 are 'the best ever'.
    Fine on the second point (though it's not really the point I was arguing with), but of course the Olympics back then stand up to a World Cup. The OFTs of the decade leading up to the first World Cup are directly comparable to the first World Cup itself.

    The Awesome Berbaslug!!! wrote: Actually when I was reading about niels bohr, I found out that he and his brother were handy footballers, and harald played at the 1908 olympics. There were only 6 entrants so some countries fielded two teams, and denmark beat france B 9-0 and France A 17-1 in the semis before losing 2-0 to Team GB in the final. Does that look like a world cup to you?
    No, but it's the competition they played in, it was the 'world championship' of its day, and they won it. Would you take Preston North End's titles away from them on the basis that they weren't playing in the modern Premier League? Would you run into the Crucible next April and tell everyone to stop playing snooker because so few nations are represented that they can't possibly call their poxy little event a true 'World Championship'? (I very much like snooker, for the record.)

    As for them being able to, 'walk to both World Cups they won,' come on. Europe might look enormous and every other continent tiny on the map projection you've got on your wall, but Montevideo to Rio de Janeiro is further than Rome to Madrid (1982) (or to Paris, with the political machinations of Italy's '30s wins set aside for a second), Berlin to Bern (1954), Berlin to Rome (1990), or Rome to Berlin (2006). So how impressive do Italy's and Germany's wins all look now, hey? HEY? And that's before we even start on the fact that the 1950 winners didn't exactly have the overwhelming support of the home crowd willing on the plucky underdogs.

    satchmo76 wrote: Sam, I will concede my ground here because I didn't know that there was no Olympic football in 1932 so Uruguay could not defend the trophy. That would have been 3 Olympics and probably a feat that no modern side could match.
    I'm not sure about counting post-1930 OFTs, precisely because by that point there was a competing football world championship going on. Perhaps if there had been one in '32 it would have been of a similar standard to the '28 one, but as I hinted at earlier I suspect that by '36 it was starting to fall by the wayside (although as I said, Wiki's not too clear on how strong the squads really were).

    We would then have to decide if pre-1950s football has the same competitive value as football in 1954-2012, which is subjective. I don't think one could dispute that Germany's three World Cups in that era beats Italy, Uruguay and Argentina irrespective of the continental trophies, which may be a red herring either way because Euros and Copa Americas simply were not in the same conversation as World Cups until the 1980s, and since the 80s there's no doubt that South America except Brazil has underachieved in the WC.
    To tackle from the start; I think it does have the same value. Not in terms of believing that competition was as strong, but in terms of the title being up for grabs and being won. Cf my comment to Berbaslug above regarding Preston. The discussion at hand - as I understood Hof's comment, at least - is about trophies won, not about weighting those trophies individually so that no two World Cups are exactly equal in value.

    None of Germany's World Cup wins were aided politically, as far as I can ever remember reading at least, so all other things being equal I'd prefer to place them at least level with Italy's, given what went on in '34, but doing away with Uruguay's trophies on the basis that things weren't as competitive because it was a very long time ago seems harsh, to me.

    It's an attitude I see here (by which I mean in Argentina, not on OTF) in other respects, too. In Argentina, if you read about all-time records of trophies won by clubs, it never says so, but it's almost always merely their professional era record (the pro era here began in 1930). So River Plate have won 32 championships, for instance - only they've not, it's actually 33. And Boca Juniors are the second most successful side, with 24 league titles - except they've actually won 30, because 6 were pre-1930.

    The most infuriating one is Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, who are probably the oldest football club in South America, and who all and sundry will tell you have never been champions of Argentina in all their history. You can say this to supporters of them, and they'll nod sadly and agree with you. They won the Primera División in 1929, but because it was before professionalism officially came in (even though it came in the following year and it's not as if standards and competitions suddenly changed into something unrecognisable overnight), it's almost entirely ignored. To my mind, that's just dismissing their title on the basis that it happened a very long time ago, and it infuriates me. As you can probably tell from this discussion!

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  • Tactical Genius
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Flynnie wrote: Uruguay's win in 1924 is slightly ropey, in that the competition wasn't that great. That said, the South Americans did have to travel by boat and then trousered the competition, including beating France 5-1.

    The 1928 win is unquestionable, IMO. All of Europe's leading teams were there, the Argentinians were there, there were stars all over the place, and they won. It was basically a proto-World Cup. They're more than entitled to count that if you ask me. The Brits weren't there, but pig-headed insularity shouldn't be held against the Uruguayans.
    Didn't the British flounce after 1920 when they lost the first round under the thinly vieled excuse of professionalism in the tournament.

    There seemed to be alot of teams entered in 1924 and Uruguay came over and beat the Europeans in their own back yard which is as impressive as Brazil's world cup win in 1958.

    The world cup of 1930 was set up mainly because the football was going to be dropped for the 1932 Olympics.
    Olympic wins of 24,28 and the world cup of 30 is as impressive as Spains achievement.

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  • Satchmo Distel
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Sam, I will concede my ground here because I didn't know that there was no Olympic football in 1932 so Uruguay could not defend the trophy. That would have been 3 Olympics and probably a feat that no modern side could match.

    We would then have to decide if pre-1950s football has the same competitive value as football in 1954-2012, which is subjective. I don't think one could dispute that Germany's three World Cups in that era beats Italy, Uruguay and Argentina irrespective of the continental trophies, which may be a red herring either way because Euros and Copa Americas simply were not in the same conversation as World Cups until the 1980s, and since the 80s there's no doubt that South America except Brazil has underachieved in the WC.

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  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Pirlo was fantastic in all of Italy's games up to tonight, and would still be my pick for man of the tournament -- no Spanish or German midfielder or forward excelled consistently for as long in the competition as he did
    Yes, I reckon he should have got player of the tournament over Iniesta

    I agree with jv over Casillas as well

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  • Satchmo Distel
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    The Awesome Berbaslug!!! wrote: You have a more coloured view of these players than most though which perhaps explains your struggle to understand why they have been so good.

    Dalliance, real madrid and barcelona just don't keep as many clean sheets as you'd think. the point is that these players aren't iron-willed clean sheet monsters. For instance this season real madrid conceded the first goal 10 times, coming back to win 9 times. Frequently by a huge number of goals. That's very different to what spain are like.

    This season real madrid kept 14 clean sheets in the league. The average number of clean sheets they keep every season for the six years of spain's dominance is 14. Barcelona have managed an average of 17. The Comparative figures for Man utd are 19, chelsea 18, liverpool 17. and it has to be pointed out that those chelsea and liverpool numbers are seriously depressed by two unimpressive seasons. But even last season Liverpool managed real madrid's 14 clean sheets.

    Basically it's quite a leap for players who keep clean sheets 37% of the time (real madrid) and 45% of the time (barcelona) to the 13 clean sheets in 19 championship games (68%) and 10 out of 10 in knockouts.
    Real Madrid and Barcelona can 100% guarantee that, even if they play totally open, they will score more goals than the opposition. With Spain in knock-out football this figure might drop to only 90%. Hence the change of strategy.

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  • Flynnie
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Uruguay's win in 1924 is slightly ropey, in that the competition wasn't that great. That said, the South Americans did have to travel by boat and then trousered the competition, including beating France 5-1.

    The 1928 win is unquestionable, IMO. All of Europe's leading teams were there, the Argentinians were there, there were stars all over the place, and they won. It was basically a proto-World Cup. They're more than entitled to count that if you ask me. The Brits weren't there, but pig-headed insularity shouldn't be held against the Uruguayans.

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Casillas wasn't patronising.

    He didn't know the cameras were on him.

    Almost every Italian comment was appreciative.

    'Respect for Italia' does sound like a AOR Indie Rock Band, however:

    48 Year Old Dad Who Grew Up On The Clash Fest:

    Arctic Monkeys
    Radiohead
    Respeto por Italia

    Leave a comment:


  • G-Man
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    In that case we might as well go the whole hog and strip Italy of their two pre-war titles. Let's start counting in 1954.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Awesome Berbaslug!!!
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    I think it's only really the pre world cup ones that are up for discussion dalliance, but even they're a bit ropy. it's very difficult to make any comparisons with international tournaments in the past where some teams would bring a barrel of citrus fruit with them so they wouldn't get scurvy on the voyage to the game.

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  • dalliance
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    You can question elements about earlier World Cup wins and how nations might be advantaged or disadvantaged, but I think it's a lot harder to make the case for Olympic titles being especially relevant and deserving to be treated as anything valuable in the broader sense.

    I mean the amateur player qualification criteria was so abstract and the whole thing was abused by the eastern Europeans for whom officially all players were amateurs. Even the ones who played successfully against western professionals in European club competition.

    In the 8 Olympics from 1952 through to 1980, 21 of the 24 medals available including all the golds were won by Eastern European nations.

    There have now been 7 further Olympics since they permitted professional players to play and Eastern European sides have won just 3 medals.

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  • The Awesome Berbaslug!!!
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Hang on here, on the AVB thread you ignored clean sheets to quote actual goals conceded but here you want to use clean sheets as the barometer?

    Because here we're talking about how likely it is that a player is going to be involved in keeping a clean sheet. In the other instance we were comparing the relative success of different tactical systems. Different measures are appropriate, like goals conceded, goals scored, points won etc.

    The point here is that When casillas, arbeloa and ramos play for real madrid, they lose concentration and leak the odd goal in games that they frequently go on to win by large amounts. This was also true of barcelona in the recent past.

    However when they play for spain, the likelihood that they will keep a clean sheet soars.

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  • dalliance
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Dalliance, real madrid and barcelona just don't keep as many clean sheets as you'd think. the point is that these players aren't iron-willed clean sheet monsters. For instance this season real madrid conceded the first goal 10 times, coming back to win 9 times. Frequently by a huge number of goals. That's very different to what spain are like.

    This season real madrid kept 14 clean sheets in the league. The average number of clean sheets they keep every season for the six years of spain's dominance is 14. Barcelona have managed an average of 17. The Comparative figures for Man utd are 19, chelsea 18, liverpool 17. and it has to be pointed out that those chelsea and liverpool numbers are seriously depressed by two unimpressive seasons. But even last season Liverpool managed real madrid's 14 clean sheets.
    Hang on here, on the AVB thread you ignored clean sheets to quote actual goals conceded but here you want to use clean sheets as the barometer?

    In the past 3 seasons from the same number of League games Real Madrid conceded 100 goals, Man United 98 and Barcelona a mere 74.

    I think that suggests that the Madrid defence is pretty good and the Barcelona defence has been fantastic.

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  • The Awesome Berbaslug!!!
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    uruguay's tournament record for a country with the population of the republic of Ireland is extraordinary. But they could have walked to the two world cups they won, when everyone else took weeks to arrive. Winning the olympics was also a fairly big deal at the time, but you should be a little careful about inferring too much from that.

    If you were to look at the first six olympic games, you'd think that the irish were the most dominant athletic race in the world, as they made up a huge part of the USA and british teams, and they dominated the throwing and the jumping events. (seven out of nine gold medals for the hammer between 1900 and 1932 and in 1908 they won gold, silver and bronze)

    Actually when I was reading about niels bohr, I found out that he and his brother were handy footballers, and harald played at the 1908 olympics. There were only 6 entrants so some countries fielded two teams, and denmark beat france B 9-0 and France A 17-1 in the semis before losing 2-0 to Team GB in the final. Does that look like a world cup to you?

    Then again Italy's first two world cups were, er, government assisted. But I think that Uruguay's current position as the best of the rest after spain seems fair enough to me. Fair dues to them. They are a tiny country, but they are very good at the whole international football thing.

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  • Jah Womble
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Unarguably unique? Sorry to sound like a broken record, but Uruguay beat them to it by 88 years (1923 and '24 South American championships, 1924 Olympics).
    Uruguay's achievement was a very good one indeed, but I'm afraid the Olympics (even back then) doesn't stand up to a World Cup.

    In any case, my entire point was that I don't think Spain 2012 are 'the best ever'.

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  • Sam
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Jah Tomaszewski wrote: Their securing of three successive trophies is a remarkable (and unarguably unique) achievement
    Unarguably unique? Sorry to sound like a broken record, but Uruguay beat them to it by 88 years (1923 and '24 South American championships, 1924 Olympics). Here at least, the fact that there's a cycle of four years rather than one between the first and third wins makes it more impressive (as does the fact that both the '23 and '24 Sudamericanos were held in Uruguay).

    satchmo76 wrote:
    saying Italy, had they won on Sunday, would have been clearly more successful than Uruguay (also world champions on four occasions, and 15-times champions of their continent) is incredibly Euro-centric.
    Uruguay have only won the World Cup twice. I qualified my original post by saying that "prior to 2010", Uruguay's last significant World Cup was 1970. I don't dispute their current 2nd place (I believe they would give a tough game to anyone except Spain, so fair enough) but it comes after 40 years of being below the top flight.
    None of which changes the fact that the discussion was about things teams have won in their history. Italy would have had four world championships and two continental ones if they'd won yesterday*. That's less impressive than four world championships and fifteen continental ones. Even if weighting's applied to take into account the sheer greater number of South American championships that have been played, I'm still unconvinced that one Euro is worth seven-and-a-half Campeonatos Sudamericanos/Copas América.

    *I'm not sure where Italy's 1936 Olympic win fits into this. The World Cup was very much the world championship by this point, so I think giving Italy five world championships on that basis would be daft, but I'd assume that the OFT was still being taken seriously at that stage, although Wikipedia's not very clear on how strong squads were.

    ursus arctos wrote: Iker is pretty cool.

    Casillas convinces ref to cut injury time short out of "respect for Italy".
    Patronising.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Awesome Berbaslug!!!
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    You have a more coloured view of these players than most though which perhaps explains your struggle to understand why they have been so good.

    Dalliance, real madrid and barcelona just don't keep as many clean sheets as you'd think. the point is that these players aren't iron-willed clean sheet monsters. For instance this season real madrid conceded the first goal 10 times, coming back to win 9 times. Frequently by a huge number of goals. That's very different to what spain are like.

    This season real madrid kept 14 clean sheets in the league. The average number of clean sheets they keep every season for the six years of spain's dominance is 14. Barcelona have managed an average of 17. The Comparative figures for Man utd are 19, chelsea 18, liverpool 17. and it has to be pointed out that those chelsea and liverpool numbers are seriously depressed by two unimpressive seasons. But even last season Liverpool managed real madrid's 14 clean sheets.

    Basically it's quite a leap for players who keep clean sheets 37% of the time (real madrid) and 45% of the time (barcelona) to the 13 clean sheets in 19 championship games (68%) and 10 out of 10 in knockouts.

    Leave a comment:


  • scratchmonkey
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Oh yeah, Cox also agrees with Harry on here in that maybe switching back to a 3-5-2 might have been a good idea as that would have also pushed Balzaretti and Abate forward and closed down Spain's fullbacks, who were largely their only source of width, as well having caused Harry to have a spontaneous orgasm when the announcer said "it appears that Italy have switched to a 3-5-2 with De Rossi as the sweeper".

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  • dalliance
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    There was a subtle difference between the two games though. In the first when Italy played with a five man midfield you had Pirlo and De Rossi both in front of the defence and thus two option to bring the ball out.

    In the Final the midfield was the diamond four and De Rossi was the sort of shuttle player on the left hand side. He was playing ahead of Pirlo and this put much more onus on Pirlo as the creative hub. Spain nailed him, Xavi did a good job on him which was maybe overlooked when you generally rave about Xavi's more creative side.

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  • scratchmonkey
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    RE: Pirlo, Michael Cox included an illuminating graphic in his match report over at Zonal Marking.

    The gist of it is that Pirlo actually attempted and completed more passes against Spain in the final than he did in the match in the group stage. However, he did so from much deeper positions and they were almost entirely square-balls. In the group stage match he had 4 long diagonal balls into the final third, including the assist to Di Natale. In the final, he didn't play a single ball into the final third.

    Spain did a really good job closing him down -- I noticed Xavi was taking most of the responsibility, playing a bit higher than he had previously and harrying him whenever he got the ball; the rest of the Spanish midfielders also took their turns coming out and marking him whenever he got the ball and obviously the instructions were to press Pirlo and only Pirlo, especially in the case of the fullbacks, they were happy to let Abate have all the possession in the world.

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  • dalliance
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    When I was growing up a player gaining 100 caps for his country was a semi-mythical occurrence. It is much more common these days certainly, I never thought we would see the day that a player could have 100 wins at international level.

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  • Ray de Galles
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    That and the Del Bosque quotes,also above, are excellent.

    Casillas also seemed to console every single Italian player before joining any celebratory huddle.

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  • ursus arctos
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Iker is pretty cool.

    Casillas convinces ref to cut injury time short out of "respect for Italy".

    Leave a comment:


  • Tony C
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    [b]"Analogue Bubblebath II"

    Originally posted by Tony C wrote:[/b
    Well, you could say the same about Pirlo.
    No, you could not. Pirlo was fantastic in all of Italy's games up to tonight, and would still be my pick for man of the tournament -- no Spanish or German midfielder or forward excelled consistently for as long in the competition as he did. Balotelli managed one good display in the entire tournament, and his two goals against Germany (which he stuck away with real style) were both very straightforward chances. If he'd squandered the second one, in particular, heads would have been buried in hands all over the continent.
    Indeed, as you say, Pirlo was fantastic in all Italy's games up to tonight.

    The context of my post was that both Pirlo and Balotelli had underperformed in the final when set against their semi-final showing. I wasn't talking about the tournament in general.

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  • dalliance
    replied
    The Final: Spain v Italy

    I must say though, I am rather amazed that a defence that has frequently featured casillas, ramos, pique, and arbeloa etc has managed to keep 10 clean sheets in 10 knockout games over the last three tournaments. The teams they play for usually leak one goal somewhere along the line, and they keep fewer clean sheets than you'd think
    You have a more coloured view of these players than most though which perhaps explains your struggle to understand why they have been so good.

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