Posted on: November 14, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 11:28 pm

England Sweden, Draw I think.

England has an advantage, playing these games at home.

Historically, I've seen the figures before head to head, it's rather equal, many draws so without further elaboration, I'd predict a draw again. They are friendlies afterall and the two teams may meet again in the Euro Cup. I really think Sweden wants to get off the floor of a rather long downtime in International play for them at least. Hey, Norway has played in a recent World Cup. Denmark? They were in South Africa and they will be in Poland/Ukraine so the Scandinavians do fairly well in football.

In fact, check head to head, it's actually been decades since England defeated Sweden! Eh, 1923? England beat Sweden, surely a number of times subsequent to that. I'd seen the head to head going back to 1969 and Sweden often played England evenly. http://www.eloratings.net/England.h


In fact, I'm not sure how far the soccerway info goes back but at least since 1988, England has not defeated Sweden, 10 games, Sweden has won 3 times, the rest draws. So, those thinking England will walk this....?? We do need to consider though that Sweden lost to Denmark Friday in a friendly and probably won't be highly inspired to win this one either. In fact, comparatively, USA does just as well vs. Sweden but that is without the major trophy tournaments for the most part.  I don't readily see where we have played Sweden in the World Cup yet, check it out, historically, we, the USA, have faced Italy a number of times.

I'll stick with a draw and if that happens, expectations for the 3 Lions come back down to earth.

Interestingly, check out the history of USA soccer, Sweden was our 1st International that was NOT against Canada. http://www.eloratings.net/USA.htm . "Soccer in a football world", one of the best soccer books out there and that is about the history of the sport in the US makes this clear, 1916 basically saw the USA's first international soccer match and it was against Sweden. We did play Canada twice back in the 1880s.


The other game we will be watching the result for, USA plays Slovenia.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: November 12, 2011 11:54 am
Edited on: November 12, 2011 11:59 am

Upset in the cards for the 3 Lions??

Here, 30 minutes before game time, I say England can get a draw at least against the vaunted World Champions, really, England should be able to get something.

Franky Lampard has been having a good year with Chelsea and has been there top scorer, at the least, I don't think Spain will absolutely maul the 3 Lions. Verdict, 1-1 draw.

As for who should be a striker for England, I'd go with Darren Bent 1st then consider Jermaine Defore before everyone else. I believe he was let outside of the National Team that went to South Africa. Bent seems like a good fellow too, on and off the field. He may not be great but as of recent years, I believe England would have a 'chance' with him in there against everyone except perhaps your top-notch teams like Spain, Netherlands and Brazil.

While on this topic, if the Euro qualifiers were still going on,  Wales is one of the hottest teams around, their last coach stood down and in came Gary Speed. Wales topping Norway today, 4-1 and granted, a friendly.


Sammy Vokes getting goals in the 88th and 89th minutes.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:06 am
Edited on: November 10, 2011 9:13 am

International Week coming up.

Internationals Week is coming Friday though Tuesday... the last 4 places of the Euro Cup to be decided.

Let's get to it. http://www.soccerway.com/internatio

ELO rating first in parenthesis after country's name. http://www.eloratings.net/world.htm
, FIFA afterwards.

Republic of Ireland (24 25) vs. Estonia (80 59)  Obviously, one would think Ireland would win, double if Robbie Keane is in good health and I'd say he's key as to why the LA Galaxy should be able to defeat Houston in the MLS Cup. http://www.soccerway.com/news/2011/
     Ireland.  Estonia's ranking of 80th has to be misleading, weren't they in Italy's, Serbia's and Slovenia's group? Serbia lost 3 points for their fans antics.

And at the same time, the USA will play vs. France there. One can't help but remember how Ireland got such a bad deal against France 2 years ago.

Montenegro (50 39) vs. Czech Republic (30 48) The Czechs should be a cagey opponent and could take this but I'd favor Montenegro.

Bosnia (39 21) vs. Portugal (8 9) Well, one of Man City's big guns is Dzeko, one of the scoring leaders in the PL, a Bosnian. I think Bosnia has a good chance here but again, Portugal has been one of the best teams in the world for the past decade, constantly in the top 10. Even. By the way, I don't quite understand the betting odds at times but it seems the oddsmakers give Bosnia a good chance in the first game.

Turkey (29 26) Croatia (12 12) Hoping the Croats can win this, on paper I think they are the better team but Turkey has had two powerful performances in major tournaments over the past decade. Even.

I always thought ELO ratings were better but I question some of these rankings a bit.

More to write about, people call me naive to say it but as for England, but at times, you can't think that English players from the heavily British teams like Wolves, Swansea, Norwich and the Championship Clubs http://www.soccerway.com/national/e
(check out the scorers) just might do better than the millionaires we always see out there and who often disappoint. Heck, crazy as it sounds, Beckham might even do well as well though in international play, let's not forget he'd been a prat as well, red carded vs. Argentina, failing to make a tackle against Brazil.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: May 1, 2011 12:03 pm

Cruising around the World Rankings.

For those that are unfamiliar with them, the ELO ratings http://www.eloratings.net/world.htm

Here for comparison are the Fifa rankings: http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/r

I think the Elo ratings are slightly better.

Our United States is at #27 currently. That doesn't seem quite right. We defeated Spain in the Confederations Cup it seems not too long ago. Mexico is over a hundred points better than our 1735 and Mexico is with Italy, 10th in the rankings. Mexico obviously has some very good players playing for the big teams in Europe such as the case of Chicharito at Manchester United but there seems to be a fair number all over. The US is number 22 in the Fifa rankings, Mexico is actually below us at #26.

It's always worth checking out ELO ratings and in turn to look up every match a country has played. Of course, I don't think they are able to get every single one but they make the effort.

The ELO current rankings see:

1. Spain 2099 points (FIFA, 1857 points)
2. Netherlands 2089 points (FIFA, 1702 points)
3. Brazil 2061 points (FIFA, 1452 points)

And from there, one can look at the rest of the rankings.

Posted on: May 1, 2011 11:45 am

A look around the World Leagues at Soccerway.

One reason, I like Soccerway.com a lot is because one can look at leagues around the world, anywhere, Egypt, China, USA or anywhere, thought we could do a quick peek today.

Let's look at the Dutch league: http://www.soccerway.com/national/n

Steve McLaren's former club where he was manager, now Martin Jol(?), not sure but FC Twente heads the Eredvisie but only a point ahead of Ajax and PSV Einhoven. If I were a millionaire, yes, it'd be nice to get computer coverage through livestreams of many leagues. Feyernoord of Rotterdam, probably the 2nd best known club in Netherlands is smack dab in the middle at #10.

We'll cross the channel and see a league we often don't hear about, Ireland. Clearly all of Ireland's best quality players go to play in England and Ireland. Wales is the same way. I actually consider Ireland basically to be a "home country" for purposes of talking about international players. It's hard to call an Irishman in England a 'foreigner'. To a lesser extent, that works with Canadiens, Jamaicans, Australians and to an extent, Americans. PL is full of Frenchmen, difficult to call them 'foreigners' as well really, being just across the Channel.

Shamrock Rovers and Derry City are 1st and 2nd: http://www.soccerway.com/national/i

One thing is for sure, when International games happen, whether one be Irish or not, I cheer for Ireland and of course, Ireland was largely 'cheated out' even by some French commentators of being at the 2010 World Cup. The boys in green always add a lot to the World Cup.

In this article, we are mainly just going to touch on the '4 corners' of the world, we can't go much into depth: however Soccerway just ran an article on the Chinese Super League so I thought I'd bring that one up.

  Not much to add on to this in the way of a logical analysis

Here we see Egypt's league: http://www.soccerway.com/national/e
Play was halted when they had their government protests. Al Ahly currently 3rd in the table is the most successful professional team in all of Egypt. The Egyptians definitely play some fine soccer.

Not long ago, I looked at the Libyan league, no doubt, they have totally halted play there.

And speaking of halting play, God Bless Japan, I even have a book "Japan Rules" on soccer in Japan. Anyway, it looks like the great nuclear/earthquake/tsunami damage is not stopping their play.


It looks like a full schedule of games are being played.

Let's not forget, Japan's J-League is formidable, Zico and Leonardo played there and Arsene Wenger managed there. It makes you wonder if Arsene still has a Japanese diet meaning fish, rice and vegetables, seeing how basically he looks so trim. Fox soccer use to have a show that would update the goings on in the J-League. They may still have it.

And that is just for a short check around at the world's different leagues. One can access them all at Soccerway.com.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: April 19, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 11:43 am

"The Game of their lives"/"Miracle Match" Movie

I once wrote this review of the movie depicting the game between the USA and England at the 1950 World Cup where of course, the USA won. 'Hoosiers' the basketball movie is one of the greatest sports movies ever if not the best one of all. The producers of that came up with this movie too but I personally think the movie is a sham. I probably even gave it too high of a rating.

By the way, there is also a movie called "The game of their lives" about North Korea's 1966 World Cup effort. It is viewable in full at youtube. The link speaking about this movie with the same name is here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0354594
. Most countries are probably somewhat enemies to the oppressive Communistic regime of North Korea, however, I don't fault the players for where they come from and it is still a good story. The BBC aired the documentary. The film on North Korea will likely be enjoyed by all football fans especially how the City of Middlesbrough largely adopted the team as their own as NK were playing in that city.

Here is the Internet Movie Data base's discussion of the American movie "The game of their lives."

Suffice it to say, the story of the USA defeating England in the World Cup in 1950 is a great story. Unfortunately, this movie was highly inaccurate. The movie is based on a book. That book is recommended and not too long at around 200 pages I'd say.

As an action soccer/football movie: 5 stars
As a movie in general: 4 stars
As a historically accurate movie: 3 stars

This is quite a bit different than the book and in most ways the book is better. I had some quibbles about the storyline being faithful to the original event, then I read what a few others found faults with the motion picture fact-wise and now, I'm not sure if this movie should even be recommended. For example, the movie seems to state Sir Stanley Matthews did not play in this game because he went on holiday in Rio...yet, I believe Sir Stan's own book The Way it Was: My Autobiography says simply that he was not picked to play and after this debacle, yes, he got to play for England subsequently but the tourney seemed to be a bust for the 3 Lions. Natthews was not in the prior starting lineups for England in games England won. This is the simple reason he was not picked to play in the game vs. the USA. We all know we would not see such a player having a 'flippant' attitude about sunning himself on the beach while his team faces the stars and stripes. It does count against a movie if its portrayal of events seems to play fast and loose with the actual facts.

This film has some of the best action scenes of any football movie made, the movie moves along rather smooth and harmoniously in regards to how it is written and plot development.

Still, I must say, I do believe the screenplay writer might have had a bit of a personal agenda as to his outlook of this movie, I believe the slant is a bit emphatic on the St. Louis end of the team, so on that basis, you could give it a 4 star rating. I think the book itself has the St. Louis slant too but in a fair and balanced manner. I'm not sure if historically, he's fair to the England team at that and if historically, the presentation is truly factual in other aspects as well. Players in England at that time struggled and did not make great wages yet, I think this movie portrays them as arrogant. Is the speech by Stanley Mortensen fact or fiction?? I don't believe it's in the book. In a way, you could compare it to Braveheart, good action movie but is it truly an honest account of the history in question? Maybe not.

It's definitely a Rah-Rah feel-good movie for USA fans of which I count myself but I do believe there are some glaring errors in how this story is told and that disappoints me.

Posted on: April 5, 2011 1:16 pm

Carlos Quieroz Hired Coach of Iran

It always seems in Great Britain, the "Gaffer" is called a manager not coach. Here Soccerway which comes out of the Netherlands is saying "Coach" so hereafter, I will feel comfortable calling a Manager Coach but still not in English company, feel free to call football soccer. Anyway, Quieroz is the guy many Americans wanted to coach team USA. I believe he has had connections with the USA team and indeed, helped Sir Alex manage Manchester Utd.

Elsewhere at Soccerway, Japan has withdrawn from playing in the Copa America. Japan United are some t-shirts I have seen for sale to aid the Earthquake victims. May the good people of Japan overcome this hardship they have been dealt. We should all pray for them.
Category: Soccer
Posted on: April 2, 2011 12:36 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2011 10:58 pm

Wazza's Cuss-0-Rama

What is the play on a well known expression they say about Rooney? "You can take the boy out of Everton (or Merseyside) but you can't take the Everton (Merseyside) out of the boy". Gee, the blog post on Roy Hodgson showed up twice so this is a sort of spontaneous article to replace it, however, it definitely merits an article. Per the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/fo
all.html , Wayne Rooney after the game where he scored a hat trick versus West Ham, cussed on National TV in England. Deplorable and I know for a fact, in England that really is a big deal, being a role model, being an honorable individual if you are the Captain of the England team and such. Also, this just goes to show that Wayne Rooney, sorry, the guy is not responsible or mature. There are surely, many players who act with integrity, er, no most of them are playboys, well, I always held up Peter Crouch as being well behaved but even he's made the papers a few times, maybe look to foreigners like Chicharito?  Sorry Wayne, you are unpredictable, this is the reason why you aren't trusted to not do something stupid like you did against Portugal in the '06 World Cup and Yes Wayne, children look up to you and you should be better behaved. 

Category: Soccer
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