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Messages - Zoologic

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Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 16-07-2018, 07:07:37 »
Yes, at least this is exciting, because the last 3 world cups went through extra time. Yeah the game concluded convincingly for the France. But I hate that the so-called "pragmatic" mentality. There is a reason why football rules such as golden goal and silver goals were added. The backpass rule too were made for the same reason: to discourage passive plays and sleazy game-destroying exploits.

Football is still a show to keep the populace calm. When pitting man against animals are no longer okay, football became the alternative crowd control measure. But, with the ever increasing cost and footballer's lavish lifestyle, can the show business sustain itself when all they did is exploiting the game mechanism just to win the game? I mean in the spirit of sportsmanship, that is perfectly fine. But how many revenue generating casual audience will be steered away by such boring show?

Look at Formula 1, it is struggling, it is very boring now with too much technical things going on. But then Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull will be happy to go on with their dominance. Like Deschamps and Mourinho, they don't care about the dwindling number of audience. But until it hits them, nobody will react other than the organisers.

The finals should be the likes of France vs. Argentina, Brazil vs. Belgium match. It is super entertaining. This finals clearly shows that France wants nothing to do other than winning, sometimes through dubious means. That is not encouraging.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 15-07-2018, 18:07:53 »
What a bad show by France, very undeserving and pretty much helped by those 2 scandalous goals. Griezmann dived, which lead to Mandzukić's own goal. Then a VAR penalty kick that is still debatable.

Thankfully, Pogba and Mbappé answered back for the illegitimacy of their win.

Also, big thank you for Croatia, without their attacking play, this final will be a boring one to watch. Maybe this will be the last world cup where the number of audience beats every other sports, given how French and Deschamps' style of play are allowed to reign supreme in soccer tournaments, in addition to all the dives and theatrics.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 15-07-2018, 04:07:22 »
Well, England, you have been measured, and found wanting by real contenders.

Forward? Lame.
Midfield? Awful.
Defense? Lacking.

The only good thing about this team is the goal keeper Jordan Pickford. He is excellent, although needs a bit more penalty box area control and initiative like Courtois has shown.

Don't put your expectations too high for 2022. Can EPL really produce good players? Well, only 3 out of 11 Belgian starters yesterday played outside England. All of their key players, played for the same team that the main English players played for. Vertonghen and Alderweireld played in the same club as Harry Kane, no wonder his moves are all predictable for them. Kompany and De Bruyne played in the same club as Sterling, Stones, Delph, and friends. Eden Hazard and Courtois played for Chelsea, and become the star players there. See? EPL can indeed produce great world winning players.

It is just the English team that is not only unproven, but lacking in measure. Belgium simply outclassed them alright. While they are seeking weird and one-off opportunity to broke off the quite disciplined defense. It is not a real winning game plan. When they have a chance to counter attack, they relented, scared, reluctant, and eventually got pushed back into their own half. What happened? Do they admitted that they aren't that good enough to outrun those scrambling Belgian defenses? England still have a mountain to climb if they truly want to win the world cup, even with this "young" squad.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 14-07-2018, 05:07:29 »
Back then they had Scholes. After that they relied on deep defensive midfielders like Lampard and Gerard, which played far too deep in the back to make an effective attacks, England was very unproductive at scoring goals. Rooney was too traditional as a striker to play as a false 10.

Today, they have Kieran Trippeir, I think he could be the modern day Scholes.
Dele Ali was physically limited in this tournament, he was great in England's first game, but then after contacting that thigh injury, his pace was greatly affected.
Raheem Sterling, despite his matured age, still lacks in vision, which is why despite his dangeorus and imposing presence, his contribution to goal is minimal.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another surprisingly good player. He is big, solid, can dribble, and have all the unique passing skills necessary to play English attacking style. He could be a playmaker.

For English defense, I agree with you, they are full of holes. They often play too much risk with their dangerously close passing when the enemy is still pressing. But then, they are always like that since the day I first watch football with Sol Campbell, Paul Ince, Southgate himself, and Neville days.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 11-07-2018, 21:07:33 »
What a win by Croatia, that is determination vs. complancency by England. But Croatia is still hardly convincing though. It is going to be a very hard pressed boring final if they played like today's first 90 minutes.

Might as well congratulate France for their second world cup. With similar playing style but inferior squad, Croatia really needs to dig out more of their strengths. I still hope they can avenge Šuker and Boban 20 years ago.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 11-07-2018, 11:07:37 »
Still, Umtiti's header was as a result of a set piece. Throughout the game, the mighty French midfield and duo Mbappé-Giroud at the front still couldn't find a score. Which is why I consider them to be "lucky". Their performance against Argentina was great though, I believe they should play like that: losing and under pressure, extracting the best out of them. They are absolutely the world's best squad that doesn't play like a good team. I will resent any credit that Deschamps received for French success. It is his superior individual team member's quality, not his briliant strategy or tactics. It was like that too in the Euro 2016, and they lost to Portugal in the final.

Sure the weaker English defense will be greatly tested against Mbappé's speed and Griezmann's vision. But let's see how well they fare against Mandzukic, Modric, and friends first.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 11-07-2018, 06:07:44 »
Yeah, France was lucky. Their performance, although good, is still unconvincing. Both Belgium and France clearly shows a couple of weakness in their defense, luckily both of them have good goalkeepers, Lloris and Courtois are surely among the world's greatest goalkeepers. They will disappoint whoever gets through the semifinal, Mandzukic or Kane.

Mbappé already did that kind of nonsense when he faced Uruguay. His teammate's attitude, especially Pogba's is also awful.

Croatia is yet to prove that their top class talents will work as a team.

England is facing their hardest test yet, especially if Croatia managed to get their talents to work together.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 08-07-2018, 16:07:14 »
Nah, England is fine, but this squad is hardly a convincing world winner. Their defense is weak, their goals are almost 80% set pieces, meaning they prey and steal on every opponent's few first seconds chaotic moments to score opportunists goal. Yet, they tried to dominate possessions. But, hey, at least it is a winning gameplan.

The other "good team" in this tournament so far are:
Brazil, they have good attacking form, they are comfortable inside the enemy's penalty box. Their very fast tempo is entertaining to watch, but they still can't connect everytime and quite wasteful.

Belgium, the best team so far. World class players and world class teamwork. Any team that commit mistakes will be swiftly, efficiently, and ruthlessly punished by de Bruyne, Hazard, and Lukaku with their superb accuracy. I don't really support them, but won't be surprised if they lift the trophy this year.

That's all. The rest of them are so-so to "meh".

France has the best team in the world, but they cannot find a rythm to make it work. Deschamps is just sitting there, because every football team needs a manager, whether they are useful or not. They are very awful to watch sometimes, but when they are at it, they could show something very briliant. If they can perform like how they beat Argentina, minus the sloppy defense, they could win the cup. However, they are really lacking in gameplan here, it could be good and bad for them, as it makes their performance wildly unpredictable.

Croatia, probably overrated after a fluke victory over Argentina. Yes, I said that this is their second golden generation after that glorious Boban-Suker era, and I thought that they could be the next champion. But, the Croatia I saw last night against Russia was disappointing, just like the one facing Denmark, the word "overrated" immediately comes to my mind. Probably I expected too much out of them. They probably would face a lot of difficulties going against weird and unusual team like England.

Uruguay, only when they have Cavani and Suarez. Without one or another, they are simply non-threatening. If only they could play in every game, Uruguay could have been a real contender.

The most disappointing award should go to
Argentina - played with their hearts, which is fine, but without any real plan.
Colombia - they loved debating more than playing, Falcao is a disappointment, and James Rodriguez couldn't play every game.

Germany, well, nothing changed about Germany since Euro 2016. They are the same toothless team. Played a good football, but with 0 attacking plan.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 07-07-2018, 05:07:21 »
Since one of my favourites are out, we are in the same book here. I do hope football really came back home.

But then, I have gut feeling that this Belgium golden generation is going to win the World Cup. Brazil has a kind of curse when going against France in World Cup tournaments. So Belgium should be up to the win. Their duel against Brazil was like the final in itself. Brazil with their fast tempo and Belgium with their equally lightning counter attack and not content with the comfortable 2-0 lead they had. Thankfully, Neymar didn't resort into too much theatrics besides taking a dive once or twice (one of which should earn him a card).

Then we have Croatia, the stronger slavic brother of Russia, their Modric, Mandzukic, Rakitic, Perisic, Lovren reminiscent of Boban-Šuker, Prosinecki, and friends era.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 05-07-2018, 11:07:54 »
I believe that before the ball is played, anything can happen, but then you shouldn't body slam another player down so blatantly, especially in front of referee and VAR cameras.

I was actually rooting for Colombia too. My British bias vibe doesn't impede me from supporting their opponent. But Sanchez somehow thought he need to sacrifice himself in the first 5 minute. What the hell? You got superior team, let the Japanese score, and you'll have all the time in the world to get back. Then they resorted to dirty play and mobbing the referees to make up for their 1 man deficit. They rinse and repeat the same style against England, just because they can't have Rodriguez. These lot are the unluckiest team in the entire tournament, and I am very very sad for them:

In 2014, I was ecstatic to see Falcao in action for Colombia, but he got injured and cannot make it. However, they presented us with magnificent James Rodríguez. I was wowed and they become instant favourite. Brazil's win over them was dirty and unwatchable. That 1-7 loss after they undeservedly knocked Colombia out was probably karma.

In 2018, I was expecting Falcao-Rodríguez duo one a great veteran, the other an aspiring superstar in his prime demolishing the tourney's big teams. Yet what I saw is completely different: Rodríguez is recovering from his injury, and Falcao never really show something that remind us of his glorious days. Falcao becomes a cheeky sneering coward, who exchanged his now gone skills with diving theatrics, incessant referee provokings, and numerous wasted chances. The rest of the team simply gave up and decided played dirty when they can't win clean against Japan. I feel bad for James. He should have risen to the level of Forlán, Batistuta, Suárez, Kaká, and replaced Valderrama as Colombian legend, but life is very unfair towards him.

Now the only Latin American representatives left are Uruguay and Brazil. I hope Uruguay will survive the upcoming onslaught from the world's most expensive football team. I know the odds are heavily unfavourable towards them. But the French needs to be solid too, as they are

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 03-07-2018, 22:07:33 »
What a disappointing show from Colombia.

I was expecting Rodriguez - Falcao show, but that doggone James' injury won't let it happen. Fine!

Then they resorted to dirty play, just as they did with Japan. WTF? I thought Falcao is skilled enough, but apparently after that massive injury in 2014, he is just a husk of his former glory now, resorting to cheap theatrics, debating, and provocative behaviour to win the game.

Have they learned about VAR, replays and all? Why did Sanchez keep handing out cheap penalties? First to Japan, and now to England. And why all the arguing? I thought people in that continent from Panama down to Uruguay loved to play football no? It was a clear foul, which luckily wasn't punished with a red card.

England and their cool captain deserved to go through. Somebody must put an end to Sweden's lucky run.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 03-07-2018, 05:07:09 »
I was expecting a walk in the park for Belgium. But their "open" playstyle spread their defense too thin, and somehow the tenacious Japan was able to capitalise from it first before the Belgians woke up from their slumber.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 02-07-2018, 21:07:17 »
Holy cow, Japan really gave Belgium a run for its money.

For a moment they were about to be eliminated from the World Cup, trailing the other country which flag has similar colours. Almost unexpected from the full team Belgium and the previously lethargic Japan at the group stage. Somehow the Japanese managed to summon up Samurai spirit and carved through that Belgium not-so-solid defense. They might want to patch it up before going against Brazil.

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 02-07-2018, 17:07:46 »
Rio Ferdinand on Spain: They have more than 80% of possession and did nothing, they don't take the risk and play the ball, how could you score? The enemy certainly will be tenacious and refuse to give openings. Spain deserve to lose for dominating the possession by doing nothing with the ball.

Cesc Fabregas nodded and Alan Shearer too.

BTW, amazing attacking football from both Brazil and Mexico. Too bad we have to see Neymar Jr. wiggling like his routine. Layun could have been red carded if Neymar didn't overdo it. It makes it hard to see whether he was legitimately fouled or simply did his "selling" the mild contact.

(selling = a pro wrestling term for the wrestler to try to make the opponent's attack appears more powerful and serious)

Off-Topic / Re: The World Cup 2018
« on: 01-07-2018, 05:07:37 »

Yeah I thought Rojo did foul him by pushing from outside the box. But then he continued with second push that brought him down inside the box. So I think the penalty is fine.

That game has produced 2 fantastic goals, which can easily be the best goals of this tournament. Di María's goal and Pavard's amazing volley.

Congrats to Uruguay. All the team in this last-16 matches did produce great shows. Never knew Portugal could work so hard and aggressive. The first Suárez-Cavani goal is a classic show to demonstrate how two of the world's most dangerous strikers work together to bring down opponent's defense.

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