We have not been treated to a feast of football by any stretch of the imagination. Who would have thought that Germany would produce far and away the most impressive performance of the tournament so far? Admittedly Australia were extremely poor and their high line defense was a bit of a joke but the Germans were absolutely fantastic. Other than that though, dull, Jose Mourinho type football has been the standard fare.
This is not to say that great defending is not outstanding to watch at times, but football fans would rather see end to end matches and there has not been one of those so far. Not one of the 16 matches we have seen so far have had two sides playing top class football. Indeed, besides Germany, only Argentina have been really impressive. Alas, with Jonas Gutierrez doing Ďbambi on iceí impersonations itís only a matter of time before Argentina pay the penalty.
So what are peopleís thoughts on this? Do you think that the new football being used is one of the reasons the games have been so poor? Certainly, long range shooting has been abysmal which has played into the hands of defensive teams. They can allow players to shoot from distance knowing that there is almost no chance of the player being able to control the shot. Yet can the ball be blamed for shocking first touches and awful passing? The standard needs to pick up because right now I donít feel like I am watching a carnival of football.
Yet criticism of teams so early on is folly. Both Argentina in 1990 and Italy in 1994 lost their opening games and made the final. Spain have work to do as do Brazil but England, Italy, Holland, Germany and Argentina look like they will be ok to make the last 16. The African countries have been disappointing though South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast still have a chance to make it into the knockout stages. Although surprise results like Switzerland beating Spain are welcome, dull football is not. So letís hope that the next round of matches heats things up and that we finally see a classic World Cup match.