Saturday, 3 March 2012

Things to Keep Your Eyes on leading up to WCP - David Brown Edition

Alright here is the first attempt with a guest blogger. Today's guest, David Brown, and myself sat down and both listed 5 things to keep an eye on leading up to or during the WCP Cup. Here is goes.

Mike's List

1. Powerhouse Poland - Poland is this years France. A relentless juggernaut that crushes anything that gets in its way. As long as this team doesn't have to play Afghanistan they will roll through this tournament. Mark my words.

2. Prohibition - The #1 concern of every soccer fan is will there be alcohol? Where will it be allowed? Where will it be served? These are all very important questions. Let's face it some of these games require multiple drinks to be watchable.

3. The new teams - There are 4 new teams entering into the tournament. Somalia, South Korea, Hungary and Vietnam. What do these team have to offer - if anything? Will any have a Sudan-esque run. I sure hope so.

4. Player Integration - Always interesting to see how the new players react to this type of tournament. Its also fun to see a new acquisition on a new squad and how those acquisitions are utilized by the team. The new players ability to quickly integrate into their teams style of play may prove pivotal to a teams success.
5. Julio Hatred/Love? - Last year everyone was hating on Julio because of his blogging, (over?)confidence and style of play. I was more than a little surprised when the blog community began grumbling that the blogs weren't the same without him. Will be interesting to see if the perception of him has changed. Cheers or Jeers for Julio?

David's List

1. Group D - We get to see "Julio" square off against Greece and Norway! This promises to be entertaining. There has been a lot of banter over the past couple years and we will finally get to see it happen on the field. I see these being being high paced with some hard tackles being dished out.

2. Group B - Laos, Jamaica, Canada Afghanistan. Any 2 of these teams could make it out of this group. Although Columbia and Northern Ireland are known to cause the occasional upset I do not see them being able to make it out of this tough group. This group promises some of the best games in the round robin. I expect Laos to go through along with the winner of Jamaica vs Canada.

3. Who will win the golden boot? - My top three picks are Nathan Reis, Mike Collins and Jay Tomchuk. With an easy group I expect ROI to put away many goals with Mike and Reis leading the way. I don't see Poland scoring too many goals but all the goals they do get will be coming through Jay.

4. Keep an eye on the blog  - The blog is just starting to take off, and it's only going to get better. As the games get closer and as they happen there is a lot of entertaining opinions on here! Although the majority of them are anonymous they still provide quite a few laughs.

5. The Fans - Whether its the Laos and Poland fans, the Ireland fans and their obnoxiousness, or the Chile fans and that damn drum its the fans who make this tournament. The atmosphere they create gives the out of town players, such as myself, the desire to play. Disappointed to be missing out this year!


Anonymous said...

Say what you will about "Julio". I am neither a fan or a hater. I never bought into the Julio hype till last year's semi finals against ROI. I had seen Julio play a bunch of times in previous tournaments, mainly a drunken fool, BUT I was surprisingly impressed by his performance vs ROI. Its undeniable the guy has a lot of talent but it all depends what Julio comes out to play as some days it looks like the effort level is just not there.

Greece vs Norway will be a bigger game than the ES game, but I expect non stop excitement out of this pool.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous post. I remember watching Julio vs. Germany and I was waiting to see a red card for the dirty two foots he attempted and somehow got away with. On the other hand I did play with him on the Huskies and watched the ROI game, and Julio is "mercurial" too say the least. (Noticed Julio had previously described himself as that and thought it'd to be fitting)
I would say that when he wants to be the best player on the field he can, but when his head is up his ass he just instead the same.

Anonymous said...

Mike, i'm disappointed in your attitude towards Poland after their fans graciously came out and cheered you guys on in the final.

Anonymous said...

I want to put this out right now... as some people read comments about the Poland team and then take offense to it for the fans... It's great to see that Poland has such great fans and community that supports them... in my opinion is Poland filled with a bunch of extremely talented players? I can't say yes to that... they have a bunch of decent players who work hard, a recipe that is fitting to do alright in the World Cup in Regina. When some people read some posts they instantly jump to conclusions... as my comments about Bart have some merit behind them; they may be more than what Bart bargained for when he started to beak me... but it is what it is. They are directed towards Bart, not the Poland fans.

Seeing as I gave David Brown the idea for this thread I have a top 5 exciting list that I felt would be interesting:

1. Norway vs Greece, Norway vs ES: Sorry Greeks I will most likely not be able to make the match between ES vs Hellas... I would have more than welcomed to play in such a hostile atmosphere against you Spartans but unfortunately that may not happen. I was prepared to dine in Hell... but it's a mid week game and those are always a challenge.

Norway's chief and commander Dufus has picked a fight with Greece for awhile now, so I am excited to see what unfolds. As for ES, well I personally don't like Dufus and Norway has beaten us twice due to being a bigger, and more physical team. I want to turn the tides on Norway and get a win, or at least have an opportunity to go 1 v 1 with Dufus.

2. Mascot Battle: I would love to see a mascot duel between the Scottish guy in the kilt vs Bart in his little skirt and make up! I can see this being a tough battle to decide mascot of the tournament.

3. Sudan: I never got an opportunity to watch Sudan play last year. I want to see how flying they really are.

4. Golden Boot: No offense Collins, but I just don't see you as big as a threat as Brett Levis, or Jay Tomchuk to win the boot... I also want to mention a forgotten striker... Jerson. I know he hasn't performed much in the last two years, hopefully there's a better performance this year and he challenges for the boot.

5. The Fans: I am looking forward to an intense atmosphere that seemed to be lacking last year! Not enough chants, not enough drums and not enough boos in the crowd last year as to previous years. I think Bart needs to set the tone and rally the Poland troops with that flag... kinda like Mel Gibson did on Braveheart.


Anonymous said...

Poland fans graciously came out to cheer on Ireland in the final???? I hope you don't mean the 2011 final. I was in the stand at that game and from what I saw, the Poland fnas were there not to cheer on Ireland, but to specifically cheer against Laos. They didn't do it very graciously either as so much of what they were saying to the Laos players and fans were disgraceful to hear, which was sad coming from what I had previously though was an amazing group of fans.

I will be clear that it was not the entire Poland group that was doing this at the final, but enough of them to turn me off of cheering for Poland this year.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

The one thing that bothers me about this tourney is the Saskatoon players think there gods/better than everyone else, what a bunch of drags

Anonymous said...

Julio, you still havent truly come out and talked about why the hatred towards barty and his polish figure. whats the deal.

Anonymous said...

To answer your question about the Polish Prince and icon of the Polish nation.... Bart was running his mouth last year on the blogs; whether as on anon or under Bart, he was chirping away... And then all third place match all did was talk smack! I know Bart follows the blogs and posts, so if Bart could chirp as an anon last year I thought I'd give him the chance to step up and running his mouth again this year.... But this time under his own name. I thought Bart was going to bring more heat; but thus far it has been quite lackluster.

For the comment about Saskatoon players think they are better, why don't you make an argument stating which Regina players are good... Your comment is bland and doesn't lead to further discussion... Yet it has potential to create some chitter chatter if you were to elaborate.


Anonymous said...

Mike, Do you see the women's competition getting better and more competitive or is it going to be the same outcome again this year??

Anonymous said...

Julio I agree there/most Regina players aren't good, your comment stating "what/who good players " is a an indication of ignorance which Saskatoon players think about Regina players, ya the huskie players would beat any Regina team, but given any day a regina team of allstatrs can compete against them or beat them, I'm not saying they would beat them everytime but I think they would give them a good game, and let's face it your no good :)

Anonymous said...

I don't see much reasoning behind your argument? I was inquiring where your opinion was generated from and I think I used the word "which" not what/who.
I am little confused by the merit of your post as it doesn't say much. You have no examples really to back your argument.

For a few years Regina did have an all- star in the PSL... Ultimately they earned a birth to nationals once beating a Huskie summer team in extra time. At the time Saskatoon had a few teams competing whilst Regina had one all-star team. Fast forward a few years... Regina still fielded a all-star team and Huskie Alumni was compromised of what you could consider to be a Saskatoon All-star team. The score in the final of that was 4-1, in reality a close contest at first.... But not a highly contested match.
Looking at present day the Saskatoon all star team is still field and Regina didn't field a team last year... Saskatoon has improved and won nationals, what has the Regina done other than fold?

I am not saying every Regina player sucks as Collins and JArvis were part of that medal winning squad, but a difference in quality is present. I have a hard time seeing your point as you show very little evidence or reasoning to your argument.... But sure I also suck! Whoopie doo what else is new? Did you know that Bart and I have been asked by access 7 to do the skills challenge for the worst player of the tournament? I heard the winner gets be the captain of the next Regina team that will be formed in 2025 when Regina will once again be able to compete vs Saskatoon.


Mike Collins said...

Let's start with the question about the women's tournament. Again I don't have as much information as I do do for men's but here is my take. Last year I thought Ukraine was the top team by a measurable amount. Then there was a large drop off down to England and Chile and then an even larger drop off to the other teams. So do I see the tournament going differently? I haven't heard of any teams making any significant moves so til I do I have Ukraine as ! and Germany as 2.

As for the Regina vs Saskatoon talent debate I wouldn't really say its much of a debate. Where to Regina players go to play a higher level of soccer? Saskatoon. Regina is severely hindered by there lack of a university program as something for a player to aspire to. Until there is something higher than Div 2 mens to play in in Regina, Saskatoon prevails in this debate.

Mike Collins said...

Forgot to address the anonymous who was concerned about my attitude towards Poland. Here are a couple points toward that thought. 1) I am grateful for any support we get and I said as much when I thanked the fans after the final last year. 2) I graciously signed over the best player on your team for free. 3) You need to take a hard look at your team. If they are going to walk around acting like they are god's gift to soccer then that is how I am going to treat them. Not saying its everyone but a couple guys. 4) This might be the most important point. This blog is for entertainment purposes. My job is to CREATE entertainment. If I just say the same things about every team it would be a pretty dull read.

Hopefully this helps you understand where I am coming from. Feel free to voice anymore concerns.

Anonymous said...

2) I graciously signed over the best player on your team for free.


Anonymous said...

It's weird how people comment on Poland and all they do is go on about how mediocre a lineup they have. And if they ever, perchance, go on a limb to list one or two good players from the team, all they can mention is those from the huskies (Don't get me wrong, their saskatoon players do deserve a lot of praise). But Poland had a friendly against what was essentially a "WCP select team" that Holness put together before the afghan friendly. They lost a close 1-0 or 2-1 game with ONLY Regina players. Now yes, they did spend a large amount of the game defending, however, their offense mainly comes from saskatoon players.

But I really don't understand why no Poland player from Regina gets any mention let alone any credit (other than Bart who seems to be pretty famous on the forums). Sure, last year they didn't have any superstars, and that's why it's so amazing they made it as far as they did. The main thing they were lacking last year was a strong offensive presence, and this year they have acquired that. If they can incorporate their new additions into the team instead of making them "the only offensive option", and if they play as well defensively (goalkeeping included) as they did last year, and continue to play with as much heart as they always have, then I'm sure Brett and Jay can carry the load up front to make this squad a serious competitor.

I doubt the draw against afghanistan is what Poland were looking for. But lets be honest, they had something like 8 or 9 players who were in the RSA Adult tournament that weekend. They were playing a meaningless friendly less than an hour before the tournament final. The lack of effort and heart seems understandable. Yes they probably should've done better, and the soccer quality wasn't up to par, but I wouldn't take too much from it.

Anonymous said...

I quite enjoyed reading that post about Poland... and the subtle Bart reference.

Finally someone who agrees that Poland isn't stacked with SUPERSTARS! I am not saying Poland is bad... I am hoping they go deep in the tournament, I am just saying they are all superstars with the exception of a few... and defintely not you Bart, you are a SUPERSUCK bud.. don't get me wrong on that.

Good post though. Got to respect that.


Anonymous said...

Julio, poland has no superstars, and yet they beat you in the 3/4 game last year.

Says alot about teams with superstars. Granted your keeper was a seive but quite a poor showing for the es fans there.