Monday, June 28, 2010

Ladbrokes and Hill must be ;-) part II

Yes, they are smiling, perhaps until tomorrow or even 11th of July for the biggest ever haul in the W-Cup.

Back to the game, now you can see how sloppy the English defenders are. This is where you need scientific approach to measure where the defenders stand. If you just measure by their pays, obviously they are among the finest in the world, but when you do agility test, you see how easy Ozil, Schweinsteiger, Mueller and gang run pass them. Just like my famous sales pitch, "Coaches always say they played a good game when they win, and they played a bad game when they loose." Really? How can you judge when you have never measure anything? The same with the English defenders, John Terry is excellent, Johnson and Cole are the finest in the world. How do you measure that? By how much they make every week? German is very much advance in this field, and this is why their performance is very stable over so many W-Cups!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

First goaless....

This is their first goaless group match since 1978. During the match, I texted my friend saying that Brazil is not going to score a goal if they keep coming that way.
Corner flag penetration is a primitive way of approaching the goal, the English love it so much, that it took an Italian to change that.

That's the different between England under McLaren and the one under Capello. Same players, but with different penetration strategies, England topped its qualifiers. The same with Brazil, a few days before, they looked so convincing but once the Knight is out, they are all misplaced at the right time! So this proves that Dunga is not the strategist, he depends on his players to create the game, the game was not on the drawing board before.

And the outcome will be a showdown between Spain and Portugal, unlucky Spain as obviously Portugal is a more lethal team to play with. Their goal allowed record is excellent, they let in 0 goal in the group matches! Their tight marking and go for every ball approach proved effective with Brazil.

Whatever it is, Argentina is at the top spot in the latest World Cup ranking;-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Italy is out!

Italy who is always a no hoper at the beginning of any World Cup is out. The only problem with them is that they are a late bloomer, they stabilized very late into the pressure. Teams like Spain, England and Portugal were also a late bloomer, but not as late as Italy. They needed 2 matches and being behind by 2 goals to wake them up. And that is just toooooooo late!

They can play like a champion once they are awake. Both goals showed their penetration skills, composure and experience. But another factor is the goalie. Buffon doesnt easily let balls like that in. But if nothing goes in, I doubt the outfielders are going to play like that.

Bringing out the best of the players right from the first game is the utmost critical factor in managing talents in a short span of championship like this. And so far Maradona is doing just that, and he is doing it like no other manager, hugging every single player after the match, having fun with the players during training, fielding all players to get them warmed up etc. The players really need all these fun & trust so that they can forget about the pressure, focus on having fun on the field and you will see a lot of excellent moves from these players.

Take one match at a time, focus to excel with every pass and you will win!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How about this!

What a fixture! England vs Germany and perhaps Brazil vs Spain as well as Netherland vs Itay as early as G16!

Normally these teams wouldnt be meeting each other as early as G16 as they are supposed to top their groups.

Cards and injuries will be crucial at this stage.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Reliable old horse

Martin Palermo proved a point last night, and that was the reason why Maradona takes him along to South Africa. You can always expect something from him, always at the right place to finish it off. I was hoping Maradona to relief Messi, just to ease his frustration, avoid injury, gather himself and get ready for next round. Heinze was relieved, that was a good one, and Veron and Di Maria were given another chance and Argentina still wins!

The best thing about last night was that they were enjoying the game, kept coming back with more tricks. To win you have to be able to produce everything you got, and to produce everything, you have to enjoy the game, and you will work like magic. So far Maradona understands that to bring out the best out of the players, they need encouragement, understanding, fun, leadership etc. And so far, the teams mood has been very, very ,very positive, no hiccup yet!

Mexico shouldnt be a big problem!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No more jitters....

Regardless of how strong the team is, the first match will always be difficult. The fastest team to stabilize themselves will have a better chance. Beside injuries, cards is another significant factor to manage in order to continuously perform well in this only 7 matches tournament.

Brazil is through to the 2nd round but they will have to play G16 match against perhaps Spain, without KAKA! Cant wait to watch this match. Germany will play the last group match without Klose, and they definitely dont want to lose the match, as it will decide who their next opponent will be, whether USA, England or Slovenia or book the flight home.Cant wait to watch this either.

As for Argentina, no injury, no cards and probably will play Mexico. Mexico will feel honored to be kicked out of the tourney by a great team like Argentina;-)

Spain and Portugal have stabilized their game, and from now onwards we can expect a good performance from these 2 teams, and perhaps England will show their class tomorrow.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Men In Black...well not anymore

Personally I think its difficult to practice the offside rule, as I've seen many local matches with lousy calls by the referees. But in this world cup, the calls have been very very very accurate, as if they are using some sort of electronic gadgets to measure the offside line. The most impressive one was the judgment on the USA's third goal vs Slovenia, only a quarter of a body afront, but they managed to catch it. Histerically accurate!

But last night there were some sloppy calls, Luis Fabiano hand balled twice for the second goal, and yet the goal was allowed. Kaka didnt do anything serious to deserve a red card, and he'll be out for 2 matches. (I think this is big, Brazil might not be performing normally without him.) But on the overall the match officials calls' were good. Good job!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Germany missed a penalty!

Lineker might have made an overstatement, but for Germany to miss a penalty is like expecting a train to be late in Japan, it would not happen in your lifetime. It just would not happen, believe me! So Podolski must have made history tonight;-)

Hills and Ladbroke must be smiling again...Wang besar, wang besar...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gary Lineker...

"If you play Germany, you will play a better game, but you'll definitely loose. If you play penalty, definitely you are going to loose." Quoting Andreas Brehme of Germany, quoting Gary Lineker.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

From strength to strength

Argentina has improved tremendously from their first match. Jitters disappeared and they are enjoying the game. You wouldnt be able to bring out the best of you unless you are enjoying it. Looks like all the goals were very easily scored, acccurately struck and well placed.

Maradona understands and completely plugged the loop hole, but thats how they normally describe exclusion, "due to injury" will always be the statement to save face. And this line up is the best line up for any match, except for Guti and Demechelis who are too huge to be agile, they are going to have a lot of trouble if they play teams with agile attackers like the South Koreans.

Nevertheless, they are building up the team from strength to strength and they are only going to get better with every match!

Hills & Ladbrokes must be ;-)

With the biggest upset last night, I bet the bookies are still celebrating, imagine the team ranked 1st. lost a match, many must have changed their bets today...

That's world cup. Most of the teams are competitive, with a good coach, their fate can change just like last night.

Who's next? Hope Maradona learned a lot from the first match.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Penetration 101

By now I believe we have seen a lot of football. And the game Brazil vs DPR shows the technical aspect of penetration in all 3 goals.

Rules no1. Never go to the corner flag.
Rules no2. The widest you should go is the edge of the penalty box.
Rule no3. Dont wait there, but run for the ball into the box.
Rule no4. Incision pass should be short, sharp and grounded
Rule no5. Just give your best blast

Portugal failed because they werent trying hard enough through the middle, Ivory Coast tried very hard into the corner flag.

German is very good at this discipline. South Africa is mastering this approach and Argentina failed because Messi didnt have a good partner.

Enjoy world cup!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Clinical Germany, goal shy Japanese

Germany as usual,and very obvious playing to their game plan as if there were maps of where to go to on the field. Very clinical, repeating their effort accurately as if they were programmed to execute the plans. Nothing much to say, the players played to the game plan accurately, but of course they do have their own weaknesses.
No need to put it here, their weaknesses will be obvious when they play teams like South Korea, North Korea or Argentina. Teams of opposite skills and characters.

Japanese managed to score one for the time being, but still the penetration was due to defends error. Like I always stress you shouldnt make a living out of your opponent's errors. You have to improve the repeatabiity, then only you can make a living out of it. They lack the incisive burst like Ji Sung and Messi used to repeat like replays. If they can do this, then they can be a real contender!

On a more relax note, enjoy this...

Hills, Ladbrokes & ...

In my previous writing, I've decribed how bookies can transfer the center of gravity in deciding the winner. In ESPN during the weekend, both of the above told the viewers that if England win the World Cup, the pay out is going to be somewhere around 300mil pound!

So Green's blunder can be seen from a different perspective now...

That's the risk coaches have to take when fielding not so rich goalkeepers, you know like when Brazil 86 fielded Valdir Perez last time...If I were them, I wouldn't mind to pay even 20mil pound to allow a goal;-)

Guess who said this,"Credit default swaps, which aim to protect bondholders against the risk of a default, are dangerous and a “license to kill,” .CDSs should only be allowed if there is an insurable interest, he said." read more here.

I thought as the champion of Open Society, everything goes, and it is the resposibility of the authority to competitively managing the economy, not by regulating any new game. He sounds very much like what we did in 98 remember no naked shorting. Sorry but you are 12 years late. I thought in democracy, the interest of majority should be the priority, not some high net worths.

This kind of lethal error can create a massive damage to economies. And he has no resposibility to his ideas. He can persuade us to accept his ideas, but if it failed, he will not be there even to console us, but finish us off when we are bleeding badly.

Moral of the story, never listen to carnivores like him as well as his side kicks like "Crook"Man etc. because their advises are not insured!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Cup - Interesting outcomes

After 2 days, so far I have seen some interesting matches. South Africa which qualified as a host, finished lower than 4th place in the African Nation, showed some potential in the match against Mexico who had just won a friendly against Italy a few days earlier. With players like Vela, Dos Santos & Hernandes, nobody gave South Africa a chance. But obviously in second half, we can see that they understand what Carlos Alberto trying to instill and the managed to get a goal, damn a good one. I got the feeling they are going to pass by France unscathe! Their penetration is very Brazil, but need a meaner, tougher forward to finish it off.

South Korea was another excellent show. If you watch how they scored against Italy in 2002, you will realize, that South Korea is already world class. And Ji Sung proved it, hung on to the ball with 3 players challenging him and finished it off neatly. However, they are still playing Asian football, harnessing their speed, but take note both goals originated from defensive error, which something you shouldnt be hanging on for, if you really want to win. You have to have a good penetration repeatability to win!

And that was what Argentina good at. Again and again they burst into shooting range but Messi wasted many curling shots, perhaps lacking power as the goalie was always on time to push the ball out. Argentina penetrations were good but need more participation for better angle to finish it off! That was perhaps Higuain was not working and Di Maria was always nowhere near the ball. In the next match definitely Maradona will field a better line up perhaps can start with Maxi Rodriguez & Milito.

Obviously South Africa, Korea and Argentina is off to the next round!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Now NGO entering the frame...

I never thought NGO in Malaysia would launch any struggle against any sports association in Malaysia, and today I saw one. We have been very responsive off late, but dont just ask people to step down, but better come up with your own more convincing ideas. Else we are going to throw away the expensive lessons we've learned, by mounting a very weak challenge last month.

For me I was not frustrated with the lost, but more with the poor judgement of the head coach who were so confident of beating the Chinese. No matter how you look at the game, even if you look through between your legs, I didnt see any chance of Malaysia winning, perhaps only the 2nd double had a better chance of winning, and will only happen if we got 2 wins in earlier matches. The poor judgement shows that before the match, they didnt know what it takes to beat the Chinese, and that is a BIG problem.

Just like weeks earlier, when the gov announced our Q1 10 GDP result, not that I am not happy with the result, but the fact that Bank Negara's forecast, issued in May10 of 5%++ was totally missed by 100%, made me wonder how can they missed the performance,
1) by 100%
2) even in May, 2 months after cut off period.
Luckily the result was favorable to the economy, imagine if the numbers went south? and Bank Negara only knew about it when the actual result came out in May!

In both cases, the results were not so important, more important were whether the operatives knew what was going on! Obviously they where in the dark until the day! And by then everything was already gone!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Football Match Analysis 101

In our approach of analyzing a football match, the game is breakdown into 5 processes. Namely defends, dead ball, build up, penetration and finishing. Mind you, this is our original approach, other people calls them differently. We'd done some benchmarking on the processes with other teams, mostly from the EPL. From there you can clearly see the differences between our football as compare to the benchmarking subject.

For instance, in the build up process we compare the ball holding time, passing distance, passing achievements etc. The gap as compare to the EPL top notch team, is big, but for the first time we knew the level! Feels like walking on the moon the first time, excellente!

Knowing the gap is important and beside knowing the overall gap, we also have the individual data, so we know who is the hero and who is the culprit...From there we can proceed into improvement program.

So using the same approach we will be able to benchmark the world cup teams, and rate them so we can guess who is better than who. For instance, without this understanding, we wouldnt understand why Capello left out Walcott. But with the data, we can see that he doesnt match the game plan, he is still playing English football, while Capello want them to play his brand of football, which is similar to Mourinho's approach as well as the Brazillian.

Understanding these analysis will make clear of what's happening on the field and we can strive towards improvement. Very soon we will change the team's game level!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Who's gonna win it this time...World Cup 2010

The most important factor in guessing who is going to win the world cup, is perhap understanding how bookies operate. Some people will put in statements like, this team will win because it has a lot of good players, the coach is fantastic, home ground advantage, venue advantage, continent advantage, familiarity with the new ball, etc. But rarely people factor in the bookies factor, which to me carries a lot of weight.

What make me think the significance of this factor is the fact that the favorite rarely wins. Another reason is that the business is getting bigger by tens of billions in this coming championship, therefor rather than skills, team work, excellent managers etc, money will be the fulcrum deciding the champion.

Favorites will not win, because if they win, bookies will make less in this once in four years huge opportunity. Remember 2006, Italy was a no hoper! Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, England were the favorites...damn the bookies made tonnes of monies last time.

This time hot favorites again will be Brazil, because the venue is ooutside Europe, Spain as the reigning European champion, England with beacon of hope manager, Italy as always can come from nowhere. Andddddd my favorite is, Argentina.

Remember, bookies make more when the lest expected happens;-)