Archive by Author

Vuvuzela Hero: the Game!

18 Jun

Thank god this isn’t real…. [ Via Gizmodo]. If it was real I’m sure Nolan would buy a copy given his obsession with Rock band/Guitar Hero games:)

Will apparantluy be playable with the new PS3 Motion controller...

Advertisements

No more epic McKain own goals:(

17 Jun

Sad news for fans of the Wellington Phoenix, Jon McKain is off to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr. McKain is fondly remembered amongst the Vuvuzela Venting crew for his epic own goals as well as occasionally putting the ball in the back of the correct net. In fact, he scored one more goals (2) than attacking midfielder Michael Ferrante (1), not that this is much of an achievement! Interesting tid bit, he will be one of only 3 non Saudi Arabians in the Al-Nassr squad.

We all wish McKain well in this endeavour since he played awesomely for us and isn’t going to another A-League club, unlike Shane Smeltz who deserted us for the warm weather and big pay packet on the Gold Coast. We don’t hold grudges…honestly…

Ahh McKain, you've done it again! Farewell!

Holy Shit balls New Zealand got a point!!!

16 Jun

The Result

In case you have been dead or don’t care about New Zealand football, the All Whites drew 1-1 with Slovakia last night. This is a historic moment for New Zealand football as it is our first point ever at a world cup tournament.

In the dying minutes of the game, central defender Winston Reid scored a header from a Shane Smeltz cross in open play to equalise (striker crossing to a central defender…). This guy only started playing for New Zealand this year after previously playing for Danish youth teams, yet he will now be immortalised in New Zealand football folklore. As you can see below he was a very happy camper and quite aware of how much his goal meant.

ZOMG, I just made history!

Reid arguably was at fault for Slovakia’s goal so he will be even more happy that he will be remembered as the hero from this game.

I’m very sleep deprived and have already had my first of many coffees for the day, I wonder how long the euphoria of last night’s result will stave off exhaustion??

NZ formation/Tactics

Note: the following is my attempt at discussing tactics and therefore is likely an utter load of crap. You probably shouldn’t even read this…

On a more serious note, I do worry about the tactical rigidity of Ricki Herbert. The Slovakians were running circles around us in midfield which is unsurprising given our formation is effectively a 5-2-3. This leaves a black hole in the mid field (It bothers me that the NZ press like to call it a 3-4-3). In the second half the Slovakians were quite content to sit back which forced us to try to play a passing game and have a more patient build up (as opposed to our usual counter attack/bang it up field strategy). Pretty much every time we got the ball in midfield, we were isolated and didn’t know what to do with the ball so we ended up passing it backwards all the time. The same thing happened against Australia in the second half. This was frustrating to watch, and even more frustrating that when Ricki did make substitutions they were simply like for like swaps.

I worry that a better side will expose us tactically….then again we did score, so Ricki is probably a tactical genius, lol.

UPDATE: Winston Reid was not under orders to get forward which confirms my suspicion that the goal was not a result of Herbert’s tactical genius. From this article about the Reid:

He admitted that it was not a tactical ploy to join Rory Fallon in the frontline for the final minutes, but that he just happened to be lingering. ”I was going up for a free-kick but the ball was going back and forward so I just decided to stay up there.” With devastating results.

FIFA World Cup: Group H analysis

8 Jun

Group H (May FIFA rankings):

  • Spain (2)
  • Switzerland (24)
  • Honduras (38)
  • Chile (18)

Group H is the “Latin” group, with 3 of the teams being from Spanish speaking nations and thus is one I will watch with interest since I claim to be half Spanish.

European champions Spain (aka La Furia Roja) are an easy pick to top the group as well as many pundit’s pick to take the tournament (more importantly, Economists think they will win which is the best barometer of success). I am heavily biased, but you would be crazy to pick anything else for this group. Other than maybe left back, they have a world class player in basically every position.  Xavi, Silva, Alonso, Iniesta, Cesc and Mata present some pretty ridiculous options in the midfield. Torres and Villa is arguably the most lethal strike partnership at the cup. Expect to see lots of scenes like this during the tournament after Torres/Villa rip the opposition to pieces.

Man love moment

Honduras will be most pundit’s pick for bottom of the group. The only squad member most people will have heard of will be Wilson Palacios, and then only if you are a Spurs fan.  There is also an injury cloud hanging over Palacios and their other best player Suazo, though apparantly they are ok. Their key results in qualification was beating Mexico 3-1 and losing to the USA 3-2, so arguably they shouldn’t be written off. However, I am writing them off for qualifying from the group.

The battle for second here will be quite interesting. Chile will probably be favorites. They qualified ahead of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay in the CONMEBOL which is not to be frowned at. Although they drew against Uruguay and lost 3-0 against Paraguay.  I also found this photo of some of their fans….

Chile: best supporters ever...

Switzerland on the other hand had arguably the easiest qualifying group being paired against heavyweights  Greece, Latvia, Israel, Luxembourg and Moldova. Neither team has many stars and both have relatively young squads. I’m going with Chile based upon a much tougher lead in and  that South American flair.

Who do you think will top Group H?

The real reason Jammie Carragher made the England Squad…

3 Jun

Every member of the squad had to submit an online dating style photo so that Fabio could get a feel for how they would gel with the squad.

Jamie’s effort is below and apparantly his was the best..

Irresistible

On a more serious note, as a heavily biased Liverpool fan, I think he deserves his spot.

Phoenix Vs Boca Juniors: July 23

27 May

Our beloved Wellington Phoenix have just announced that they are going to play a friendly against South American heavy weights Boca Juniors.

Date: July 23, 2010
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kickoff: 7.30pm NZT

I will definitely make the trip down from Auckland for the game.  Unfortunately goonix will be in Europe drinking red wine and eating cheese since he likes to pretend he’s French.  So it will just be me and Nolan flying the flag.

I doubt the crowd will be as big as what we got for Beckham, Boca just don’t have the same profile as golden balls. Riquelme is an amazing player but I doubt the average fair weather football fan (who are needed for a sell out) will have heard of him.  In this regard it’s good to hear that the Phoenix are realistic about crowd numbers (Tony P reckons 20k) and also don’t face any financial risk.

I think ideally we need to get a big European team (Nolan:  LFC) to come here to really raise the profile of the Phoenix to the next level.