Feb 7, 1994 England success (Marcelo Weinberger) Mar ?, 1994 World Cup Allotments (Marcelo Weinberger) early 1994 Unattractive South Americans? (Marcelo Weinberger) Aug 2, 1995 Futbol quality (Ariel Mazzarelli) Nov 6, 1995 On the other hand (Ariel Mazzarelli) =================================================== From email@example.com (Marcelo Weinberger) Subject: Re: England success (was: Re: MARADONA *SACKED*) Date: Mon, 7 Feb 1994 20:04:14 GMT firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave du Vergier) writes: > (Marcelo Weinberger) writes: > > Does this mean that England had some success in the pre-war era? > > I don't want to start a flame war, but could you please spell this > > alleged pre-war success for me? > > Of course ! In the early part of this century England regularly > racked up huge scorelines (9-0, 12-1 and better) against other > national sides, but there was no FIFA or UEFA in those days and hence > no European Championships or World Cups to be won. This is true regarding pre-war I, not pre-war II! |> England were still ahead of other European sides in the 30's, but out |> of arrogance and stupidity the FA declined to send an English team to |> the first few World Cup tournaments, which they might well have won. How do you know that "they might well have won"? They probably thought the same just before WC'50! Anyway, the fact that they might still be ahead of other European sides in the 30's says nothing to me. In the 20's and 30's the best soccer was not exactly played in that side of the Atlantic ocean. BTW, Uruguayans say that "they might well have won" WC'34 and WC'38 had they sent a team. Argentinians say that "they might well have won" WC'50 and WC'54 had they sent a team. In both cases the reason was not arrogance. |> So in short yes, England had plenty of success in pre-war |> internationals, but sadly this was exclusively in friendlies |> and meaningless ad-hoc tournaments. |> DdV As you said, "meaningless tournaments". I grant you that they didn't need to demonstrate an obvious superiority before, say, World War I. But since then, non-participation in worlwide competitions is not an excuse. Nothing proves that they wouldn't have lost in the twenties or thirties the way they lost in the fifties. In fact, I would say that during the twenties and thirties the best soccer was already played very far away from the British Islands. Across the ocean and all the way south, then stop at the Rio de la Plata. ======================================================= From: email@example.com (Marcelo Weinberger) Subject: Re: F.I.F.A UNJUST TO LESSER NATIONS Date: March 1994 Robert J. Krawiec writes: > Of course, in Snr Adeff's opinion, South American participation in > the World Cup should be maintained at its current level (surprised he > didn't want it increased actually). Apparently, for no better reason > than Snr Adeff is from that part of the world. Want better reasons? "Reasonable" people should be able to understand this one: Claim: If as a result of a consistent performance criterion, based on ^^^^^ recent WC performances ('86 and '90), the South American (SA) representation is reduced from 4 to 3 teams, then the same criterion will yield a reduction of European (E) representation from 14 to, at most, 10 teams. (Note: WC'86 and WC'90 are chosen since, due to the continental swap, any fair comparison must be based on an even number of past WC's) Proof: First, we establish Fact (1). ^^^^^ Fact (1): In both WC's all 4 SA teams performed better than at least 4 E teams. Indeed, in both WC's all SA teams advanced to the second round, while 4 out of 14 E teams did not. Since these WC's are assumed to be a good predictor of future performances, this is also the estimated ranking for WC'94. Now, by the consistency of the criterion, if a SA team is eliminated (i.e., should not be a WC participant), then all worse teams should be eliminated as well. Hence, by Fact (1), the proof is complete. ------------------------------------------------------- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Marcelo Weinberger) Subject: Re: F.I.F.A UNJUST TO LESSER NATIONS Date: Thu, 24 Mar 1994 20:22:55 GMT email@example.com (Frank Schaapherder) writes: > firstname.lastname@example.org (Marcelo Weinberger) writes: > > >I was only trying to contradict European posters that insist on > >their assumption that many European teams that don't qualify are > >better than some South American teams that do qualify. [irrefutable proof deleted] > I still think this can be the case. It often is the case. What also > happens is that weaker (European) countries qualify, while stronger > ones must stay home [....] > > As usual, and to try to get groups of more or less the same strength, > the countries are divided into different categories. In which > category a country is placed, depends on results in the past for the > tournament. [....] > > Of course, this can also be the case for South America. But I think > the smaller number of countries trying to qualify there will make the > odds for it to happen smaller. Occasionally, it will happen, though > less frequent than in Europe. This is funny my friend. You among other posters started by making an argument about some European teams that do not qualify being better than South American teams that do qualify. You tried to base your claim on actual WC results. I contradicted completely your thesis (well, an easy task I must admit, with teams like Scotland qualifying 5 consecutive times and failing each time to go through the first round...). So you choose to employ arguments that, by definition, cannot be contradicted since they are based on subjective grounds. In fact you can always prove in this way whatever you want: take the European teams that showed a lousy level in the WC, and then argue that in fact there were far better teams that stayed home due to the lottery. Fortunately, you are not silly so you realize that one can make the same argument with South America. So at that point you offer your master piece: this is more likely to happen in Europe because there are more countries. I asked myself whether I should try to contradict this argument too, and I decided that I don't want to insult the intelligent reader who can derive many trivial contradicting proofs by himself. So African friends, here you have it: next time your teams lose just say that with so many countries and only three representatives, two of them just went through due to the lottery. Finally, my friend, I guess you will have some trouble with this: 4 European representatives didn't make it to the second round in WC'86 and WC'90 (no South Americans, BTW). In all cases, they came from 4 different European qualification groups, which are 6 in total. If you want to argue that there were 4 better teams that didn't qualify, they should be in the two remaining groups. I will conclude that people in UEFA tried hard to screw up their own teams! Extremely amused, --Marcelo ======================================================= From: email@example.com (Marcelo Weinberger) Subject: Re: Unattractive South Americans? was: Re: AFRICAN TEAMS IN Date: early 1994 Jesper Lauridsen writes: |> In '86, both Brazil and Argentina played some interesting football. |> Paraguay wasn't very good, but those 4 matches I saw with them were |> very entertaining. Too bad they didn't made it to Italy. Uruguay was ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ |> a disgrace, though their second match was fun to watch ... ^^^^^^^^^^ Jesper, this is a good example of the distorsion caused by the fact that Europeans sample the South American teams every 4 years at the World Cup, and have no idea about them in the meantime. Of course, I agree that Uruguay was even worse than a disgrace in '86, despite its 1-1 tie with Germany (that could easily have been a victory), and then playing its worst game in 100 years of soccer history (yes, the one you referred to...). I may not have the same relatively good impression about Paraguay as you have (after all, they lost 0-3 to England), but let's assume I also agree for the sake of argument. Now, you infer that you would have wanted to see Paraguay in WC'90. Assuming you don't want 5 South American teams in a WC, you have to take someone out. Not Colombia, which precisely eliminated Paraguay in the qualifyings and played attractive soccer. So, maybe Uruguay? Well, here comes my argument regarding this 4-year sampling: take a look to SA teams in the meantime. Uruguay won the Copa America in '87 (playing in Argentina and beating the local team, the world champions with Maradona, in semifinals), was second in Copa America '89 behind Brasil (played in Brasil), and on the way to the final it crashed Paraguay 3-0, being absolutely superior at that time (BTW, it also beat Argentina 2-0). Of course, I agree that the WC is by far the most important measure, but overlooking the 4 years in between may lead to that kind of distortions. Put it the other way around, and suppose that we South Americans looked at Europeans only in World Cups. Well, in the same period the mighty Dutch team would be considered by us as a second or third degree lousy European team, unable to qualify to WC'86 and that played a quite poor soccer in WC'90 and didn't go through the second round. And of course, this would be ridiculous. In the South American arena, you must admit that when those countries, including Argentina and Brasil, compete BETWEEN THEM, both in the level of national teams and clubs, there are no big differences. As a beautiful example we can take Argentina in WC'86, the uncontestable world champion. Well, one year before in the qualifyings, that team was ONLY 8 MINUTES FROM ELIMINATION! They were loosing 0-1 at home against Peru and being eliminated (after loosing in Peru), and tied at the 82-nd minute! Not having full teams neither is a reason: this applies, only sometimes, to Brasil and, mostly, to Uruguay. ============================================= From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ariel Mazzarelli) Subject: Futbol quality (was: Re: Does Europe=Western Europe?) Date: Aug 2, 1995 email@example.com (Gabriele Marcotti) wrote: >Ariel Mazzarelli wrote: >> Of course one nice thing about such sites is that FIFA will not order teams to >> play at high noon in order to accomodate the European TV audience. Hmmm... >> something awful circular about all this, eh? >Actually World Cups have also been held in Sweden and Switzerland. And >Holland/Belgium are trying to get a joint World Cup. Now you know very well why a world cup was held in such vanilla countries as the Sw's. That spat from 1939 to 1945, no? Since then, we have seen repeat hostings in Italia and now France. My main point on the geography thing was that it has never been seriously considered to hold the tournament in USSR/Russia, Chckoslovakia, Poland, or Hungary, where there is a great amount of tradition in the game. So to call it "Europe" is a bit disingenous, when it actually means "Western Europe" and also, more or less, one of the big five that I mentioned (Deutschland, England, Espa~a, France, Italia). It is only a war that altered the hegemony of these countries over the world cup site, namely the "every other cup" tradition. >As for the high noon game time, consider this: we (Europeans) pay for the >World Cup, because Europe provides the highest TV ratings and revenue >(check it out for yourself). I don't think so. There are far less than a billion people in Western Europe. In fact it is probably half that. The remaining 5.5 billion live elsewhere. Host the tournament at optimum playing conditions, and watch world wide ratings rise, as the interest is very much proportional to the quality of play. Europesos are not everything, you know. >Therefore it is understandable that >organizers try to accomodate Europeans. Besides, South America is behind >Europe, so even if our matches start a ten p.m., you can still watch them >at four p.m. (or around that time). If your matches started at ten pm., >Europeans would have to stay up until four o'clock in the morning. This is where you miss my point altogether. I do not care about having to alter my schedule (or, madre de dios, tape a game) if it means that the game will be played under optimum conditions. I would feel rather queasy about the fact that the players are placed under the high noon sun with 35+ Celsius and 75%+ humidity, so that I can get to bed by midnight. I was in Washington last summer and together with some friends we played under such conditions, as a show of empathy perhaps. That was very painful, and I freely exercised the static approach to the last half hour of play. You cannot do that in the cup, in fact you have to push your body to the fullest if it is a decisive game. Now you have an Italian surname, suppose that the final had been played at 8 pm. I was in LA that day, so I can tell you that the smog would have cleared and the temperature would have been 18 degrees, with about 40% humidity. Perfect conditions. The game would have been much better, and who knows, maybe it would have not ended 0-0. But nooooooooooooooooooooo! We have to watch that pathetic display so that 500 million butts across Western Europe can sit comfortably and not worry about the time at which the game is played. So it is all a matter of priorities. I want a world cup that maximizes its worth from a strictly futbol perspective. I want to see the best players at their best and the bureaucrats out of the way. If that means that I'll need to program a vcr, or drink four cappuccinos at work, so be it. It is the world cup. You want the best, nothing less is satisfactory. They only take place once every four years, and you will watch it all because it is the world cup, so you want it to be the best. Right now, what do you remember about the world cup: whether you had sleeping problems or not after a month of full time futbol, or whether Baggio scores that gol if he is not dead on his feet? E chiaro. So what is the importance of quality in futbol... The issue of having a frequent Mundialito has been brought up. A little tournament among all the former champions. Invite two others to make it eight (Netherlands and the African champion?). Two groups of four, round robin, top two qualify to the semis. Imagine a tournament: Group A: Argentina, England, Italia, Netherlands Group B: African champ, Brasil, Deutschland, Uruguay The issue of where to host this tournament is simple: each team gets to host it. Uruguay had one, so now one of the other eight would be next, etc. This would be a nice tournament. The world cup should be even better than it. So we must not have games like Mexico-Bulgaria or Norway-Ireland or about forty others. In fact it is worthwhile to point out the games that would live up to the level of the Mundialito, in no particular order: Argentina-Greece Argentina-Nigeria Argentina-Rumania Brasil-Cameroon Brasil-Netherlands Brasil-Italia Netherlands-Saudi Arabia US-Colombia Colombia-Rumania Bulgaria-Nigeria Italia-Mexico Mexico-Ireland Saudi Arabia-Belgium Sweden-Saudi Arabia Bulgaria-Deutschland Deutschland-South Korea Espa~a-South Korea Espa~a-Italia Although I feel I have been generous, this is only a third of all the games that were played. It is also only three more than the total number of games in the Mundialito, although it has three times as many teams. There is a long way to go yet. ============================================= From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ariel Mazzarelli) Subject: On the other hand (was Re: EUROPEAN SOCCER - SUPERIOR!?) Date: Nov 6, 1995 Arthur Mandel
wrote: >Luiz Monteiro Franca Neto wrote: >>But, if you want an amazing tiny country outplaying others, go look at >>Argentina, twice WC champion with only 30 million inhabitants!!!!!! > I trust that most RSS readers are knowledgeable enough 8^) that >this hardly needs to be said , but "if you want an amazing tiny country >outplaying others", you really have to admire the paisito nestled >in between Argentina and Brasil. Three million inhabitants, twice >WC champions, 14 times Copa America champions (tying Argentina for >the lead), and with two of the best club teams in South America for >most of this century. The point that both of you overlook is that it is not the total size of the population that matters. It is the total size of the knowledgeable futbol population that matters. This group consists of great players, intelligent coaches, and the occasional media analyst to explain the game to the masses. I am afraid that when you count up these specialized populations in Argentina and Uruguay, you get a much larger number than when you count up all of Europe. On a per capita basis, the boys (less so for the girls) in Argentina and Uruguay are routinely taught a dozen gambetas by the time that their third walking anniversary comes about. The fight is fierce as early as the first grade, age six, for the various positions on the field. The number 10 is particularly tricky, and either goes to a very talented individual or to a popular player. The goalkeeper is routinely abused, yet it is understood that sometimes he cannot be expected to stop a shot. Compare that with Europe. About the only places where there would even be a chance for the above scenarios would be Italia. In Germany their approach is entirely different, and it works for them, but nonetheless they have been fortunate, twice winning world cups against teams that were better, and the other time they got a suspicious gift from the referee. We need not discuss the English. Netherlands is nice, and in fact it may be closest, except that they run too much and do not think enough when they play; these are not minor exceptions.