Group of Death - World Cup

Yahoo has the following written about group E:

I though “Group of Death” didn’t mean really tough group, but that all the teams are very equally matched and that any could move on or be eliminated.

Is Yahoo using the term correctly?

Calm down man, It’s just football.

Yahoo are using it correctly. It’s just that this year there is a split between those who think Group C: Holland (No. 3 in the FIFA world rankings), Argentina (9), the Ivory Coast (32) and Serbia & Montenegro (44) or Group E: Czech Republic (2), U.S.A. (tie-5), Italy (13) and Ghana (48) are the “Group of Death”.

Since the USA, while not worthy of 5th ranking, are clearly better than Ivory Coast and Serbia & Montenegro, Group E is the GoD.

How exactly is “really tough group” different from “group where any team could advance”? To me, those are pretty much interchangeable.

I’d agree with you on S&M (and also Serbia and Montenegro! drum riff) but I’d say the Ivory Coast team was at least on a par with the USA. They’ve got some decent players.

S&M conceded just one goal in qalifying… they’re no pushovers.

Actually Ivory Coast and S&M, having both lost already, should eliminate their group as the GoD.

I hate those rankings. They’re pretty much meaningless.

Focus instead on who the bookies pick. Put another way, follow the money.

The US has a very hard group. It’s all depend on how tough Ghana play and which Italian team show up.

S&M played well today against a poor Dutch side but they are probably out.

Huh? Holland were fantastic in the first half, completely outplaying S&M and dictating the tempo throughout. In the second half S&M came out and played better, creating a few chances, but both sides eventually wore down in the heat. But Holland never really looked like they were in trouble, they controlled and moved the ball with ease, and S&M simply had no answer at all for Robben’s speed. It was a very good first game for the Dutch side, and I expect they’ll do well. Their ball control/movement is easily the best of the World Cup thus far. Compare their classy ball movement to England’s close-your-eyes-and-give-it-a-lash-and-hope-for-something-lucky approach to the game.

You’re right, Holland did well but for some poor finishing. The faltered near the end though and seemed to run out of gas. Robben was the best played on the pitch.

Robben was the beneficiary of Van Nistelrooy drawing the defense to him in the center. However, Robben can be a bit of a black hole with the ball sometimes, and that has the obvious potential not to fit well with Holland’s team play. But as long as Van Nistelrooy is marked out of the game, Robben’s dominance on the ball may be an asset. We’ll see.

Evidently there has been some complaints in the Dutch camps that Robben was seeing too much of the ball.

The thing is the Dutch should not rely on Van Nistelrooy to actually drop past the box and pick up the ball. He’s not that type of player. He is, however, one of the greatest poachers I have ever seen. With that in mind, the Dutch need to exploit both flanks a little more in order to get better service to RVN.

And to think, this is the team that left Kluivert and Seedorf back home (Davids was poor this season and undeserving of a place). The depth they have is amazing.

Instead of starting a new thread: Does Beckam’s shot against Paraguay count as a goal on his international stats? A defender actually headed it into the goal accidentaly. How is that recorded?

An own goal to the defender.

Cardinal, that was recorded as an “own goal,” I believe. “Own goal” is the term when a player puts the ball into his own goal, scoring for the opponents.

sorry, I missed Rysto’s post.

Is poaching the same thing as cherry-picking?

Yeah. He doesn’t create goals, just stands around waiting for the ball to be passed to him so he can put it in. Knowing the right place to be is still something, though, just not as valued.

Absolutely disagree.

Anyone who can score 20+ goals in the Premiership on a consistent basis is as valued as highly as any striker in the world.

RVN can score from even the slightest chance. He can hold the ball up and creates tremendous space for oncoming midfielders and his fellow striker. He’s great in the air as well.

RVN is one of the best strikers on the planet. He is not as valued as who exactly?

Downplaying Van Nistelrooy’s value as a striker is just plain ridiculous. The man is a goal-scoring machine. I’ve been a Chelsea supporter for thirty years, and I hate Manchester United, but Ruud is one of the best strikers I’ve ever seen. And Lochdale is right—Van Nistelrooy can score from the slightest chance, in large part because he can turn on the ball better than just about anyone who has ever played the game, and can seemingly produce a deadly-accurate shot from any angle. Also, he’s a great cherry-picker because his anticipation is superb. Great players create chances in a multitude of ways, one of which is knowing how to read the run of play and react to mistakes already anticipated. Nobody does that better than Ruud.