Blog template Rock the Crossbar: Back from Deutschland

Rock the Crossbar

Sunday, June 25

Back from Deutschland

Apologies for the prolonged absence. I'm sure GAC and Ian have been waiting to heap all sorts of abuse on me. When I left for Germany, I had the misguided notion that I would want to find Internet cafes wherever I was rather than, oh I dunno, watch three matches a day surrounded by knowledgable fans who were shocked to run across Americans with reasoned opinions. The Czech match was, of course, shocking. It felt so much like watching us play Poland in 2002 - boys v. men - and from the fourth row off the corner flag it wasn't pretty. I do think if Reyna scores early in that game it's a very different story, but that's football. He didn't, we were listless, and two very disturbing things emerged: Donovan's lack of leadership (although he did shout a bunch during the first half) and Beasley's listlessness (due, in part, perhaps, to being switched back and forth). Only Convey left me encouraged. Between that game and the Italy match, we made our way to my ancestral home in the heart of Luxembourg's industrial south (all of 15 minutes from the nation's capital). Sadly JESUS will have to wait. Turns out the club is basically a knock-off of a far more famous one from Turin. Jeunesse? Juventus? Duh. From there it was off to Zurich, and all I can say is "Hello, Euro 2008!" What a great city. And from there it was on to Kaiserslautern. While there are questions to be asked of players and Arena from that match, and I remain upset with the referee, this represented a step forward for us as a football nation. Our fans put Italy's to shame, and our boys won the respect of many, many neutrals that night. Donovan showed up, for once, Reyna pushed the ball, and even Beasley looked like he cared. He still looked far too tentative, however, and left supporters wondering what he was waiting for. After the match, Eddie Lewis came out to say hello and on his way back across to the dressing room was nearly tackled by an over-zealous security guy who mistook him for a pitch invader. Can only imagine the international incident that would have followed. From there it was on to Munich before the Ghana match. The penalty call was absolutely horrible. I don't believe I've seen a World Cup with more matches ruined by - or at least unduly determined by - poor officiating. Still, Donovan failed to take the game, Beasley was tentative, and we played with questionable tactics. There's more to say, but that's it for now. If you haven't read it already, check out the column below from Ives Galarcep. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=372268&root=worldcup&cc=5901

5 Comments:

  • Thieving Esch - I already put that link out there!

    Glad you are back in one piece Tom and I hope you had a great time with it. The US found the reffing tough but no matter how bad it may have been in that Italy match, it made for a heck of a game. Whats your thoughts on mastroeni? I would have shot him.

    England play in 3 hours and we are all gearing up for it.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 8:16 AM  

  • Haven't got heaps of abuse for you Esch, your boys just confirmed what we've all been saying for ages.

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 9:03 AM  

  • Welcome back Tom. Simon had already posted that article about Donovan after all the hate posted here. I hope you will join us in hating him. You stated he showed up against Italy but what about the other two matches? What did you think about his run into the box late in the game only to pass to Ben "look like Tarbox Ramblers fan" Olsen who immediately lost possession?

    I think we should all get behind England and hope Cole has more stunning goals (only England player in my fantasy team).

    By Blogger Chris P, at 10:42 AM  

  • yes come on Joe Cole, if only for Chris...

    7 mins till kick off - rooney up top by himself - dont get sent off Wayne!

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 10:57 AM  

  • Excellent reporting! I thought Lewis faired well in the match with Ghana. You've missed a lot of fun here - we are getting many random hits from fans who hope to expand their futbol educations.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 3:59 PM  

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