• Thursday, 17 June 2010

    No accident

    Everyone has played once each in the World Cup now and there are just two results that really stand out. First, there was Germany's demolition job on Australia then Switzerland beating pre-tournament favourites Spain. These results have one thing in common.

    The one constant throughout the tournament is the ball. This happens every time, but excuses of this nature are the last resting place of the scoundrel. Goalkeepers can't hold it or read it, outfield players can't control it. Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and company seemed to have little problem. Euroballs favourite Diego Benaglio seemed to have little trouble plucking it out of the air in an inspired display against the Spaniards. All the German side play in the Bundesliga, as do the majority of the Swiss side and the Bundesliga have been using the much-maligned Jabulani ball since January. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. That's the mantra and it's only used so often because it's true.

    Oh, but the Bundesliga is sponsored by adidas so they've an advantage is the traditional retort. FIFA unveiled the ball back in January. Teams at club and national level have had it available and if they've not used it, that's their issue. If they have exclusive contracts with other ball manufacturers, tough. Why weren't those manufacturers instructed to deliver something similar? Excuses, excuses, excuses. Germany and Switzerland did their homework better than anyone else, hence they've stood out in the first round of fixtures.

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