Monday, July 12, 2010

The Reign of Spain comes mainly off the Plain

I didn't get a chance to get on here to post a prediction, but the world already had that octopus. Nobody needed to hear it from Bokolis.

I was especially happy that it was Andres Iniesta who scored. He has been a personal favorite of Bokolis for a few years, despite that he plays for a club side that I don't support.

The consensus feedback from the pundits was that this was a drab, horrible Final. Such an assessment is expected, as they cater to the stupid and the marginal fan. While Bokolis would certainly agree that it wasn't pretty, I've told y'all plenty of times that pretty doesn't win. While my opinions may have the bias that comes with my preference for a physical game (I very rarely get called for fouls in real life, but it's mostly because I'm usually the strongest guy on the pitch and I am fast enough, my positioning and game reading good enough that I don't need to hack down the opposition), I think a player would appreciate what it takes to win the ball, settle yourself and create a game while people are trying to kick the shit out of's kind of like real life. It may have been the logical extension, but I was still surprised that such gifted players were making wrong decisions an the ball and were generally not as technically sound.

The hacking, diving and flopping is for another discussion.

The discussion with a buddy of mine- who picked the Dutch- was about the Iberian Heart. I explained to him what I've posited here; that Spain overcame it, so it's considered conquered. Spain won the World Cup by grinding out four 1-0 victories in the knockout stages and doing it with 8 goals for the entire tournament...what is the world coming to? They had a solid spine; tough play from two not that great center halves, great goalkeeping and the incomparable little general Iniesta in the middle.

For all the fuss about the Dutch hacking, they had it. Sneijder sprung Robben and Robben was all alone on Casillas. It was his world cup to take and he let Casillas get the better of him by making a tip of the boot save. To compound the failure, he had another chance late in regulation and was held back by Puyol. The one time he needed to dive, which surely would have gotten Puyol sent off, he chose to stay on his feet. The ref probably still should have sent off Puyol for the last-man challenge, especially considering that he sent off the Dutch player Heitinga (second yellow) for virtually the same challenge. In any event, Casillas once again got the better of him.

In the end, patience and perseverance win the day. To my Spanish friends, savor the flavor.

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