Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meet Your World Cup Groups: Group A


Who'd have thought that South Africa of all places would be holding a FIFA World Cup. A guy I knew got mugged not five seconds after he'd stepped outside the terminal at Johannesburg airport. You wouldn't under any circumstance consider stopping at a red light over there. In fact, you might even want to speed up. A guy seriously invented this as a solution to car-jackings:

Rape is so common that women carry condoms to offer to their attacker. But other than all that, it's a beautiful country...Sepp Blatter loves the place. Everywhere he goes there, he gets his balls rubbed.

As a footballing nation, South Africa makes a great rugby and cricketing nation. They greatfully accepted automatic entry as hosts from Blatter in exchange for some under-the-table action. If you look back over the years, home crowds make a massive difference in World Cups, so we can expect the Jaapies to greatly over-perform. This will probably be mostly due to soft-cock refereeing in the form of lop-sided foul counts and a couple of ludicrous penalties. But will it be enough for them to make the knockout stages? Most of their squad will come from South Africa's national league which obviously pales into insignificance compared to the leagues in Europe. Their only real star player is Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar. Up front, Benni McCarthy can be a bit hot and cold, but is dangerous and needs to be respected. He'll likely be very busy with the urgings of the home crowd, as I'm sure the referees will be too, but he'll need a few of his mates to lift. This is a tough group, and I would say that while not impossible, it's very unlikely they'll advance.


With the ugly time zone difference between Australia and South Africa, matches will be at 9:30pm, midnight and 4:30am, i.e. all freakin' night. So there'll be no sleep, but plenty of alcohol, and plenty of my favourite midnight snack:

I'm gonna murder me some of this come June/July...

Mexico were in genuine danger of not qualifying for the World Cup during the short and ill-fated reign of Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager. The second coming of Javier Aguirre turned around the confidence and form of the players dramatically. Aguirre knows how to get the best out of individuals and is not afraid to give the boys some lessons in sneaky tackles:

The team has strung together a nice string of results, winning 14 of 18 matches under Aguirre and I like the schedule of friendlies they have leading into South Africa 2010. They play other WC qualified teams in Chile, England, Netherlands and Italy as their final lead-up games...and that is how you prepare for a World Cup right there. Key players include Barcelona's Rafa Marquez in central defence, the dos Santos brothers, Jonathon (Barcelona) and Giovani (Galatasary), and Mexico being Mexico, they have a whole horde of players who can get on the scoresheet. I'm expecting a strong showing and I think they'll definitely fancy their chances of going through, despite a tough and open group.

URUGUAY (you-are-gay)(FIFA Ranking: 18)

Australia's old nemesis had a better time qualifying for the World Cup against Costa Rica in their 2010 playoff, after once again finishing 5th in CONMEBOL qualifying. That doesn't sound all that impressive but we all know the strength of competition in South America. It's hard to believe that Uruguay have a population of just 4 million people and continue to qualify for the WC Finals, 2006 aside! Anyway, Uruguay is located here:

Shenanigans aside, Uruguay have players scattered all over the world, none at the really big clubs, but it's a very capable squad nonetheless. They have a pair of formidable strikers in Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid) and Luis Suarez (Ajax), and another player to watch is talented young midfielder/winger Nicolas Lodeiro (Ajax), who was man of the match in the 2nd leg of the playoff against Costa Rica. They are definitely in with a shot to qualify for the knockout stages, and the more you look at this group, the key match seems to be Uruguay's match against Mexico.

FRANCE (FIFA Ranking: 10)

Qualifying for South Africa in the dodgiest possible fashion, with Thierry Henry celebrating his clear hand-ball goal assist, it's hard to know what to expect from the Frenchy Fag-Nasties sometimes. They were uninspiring throughout the whole qualification process but one gets the feeling that, with the talent and depth at their disposal, and with a history of strong World Cup showings, that they'll have their shit together come June. Most of their squad play in teams that were in the last 8 of the Champions League, so there is a multitude of options for their manager. Unfortunately for the players and fans, Raymond Domenech is a weirdo, prone to erratic selections/tactical decisions, and refuses to explain said erratic selections/tactical decisions, and doesn't trust Scorpios. That said, he somehow got them to the 2006 Final. Henry, Anelka, Malouda, Sagna, Evra, Gallas, Ribery, Diarra, Diarra, Gourcuff...do I really need to go on? They should top the group if they bring their A game...and leave all the Scorpios at home.

Group A

Match Date Venue Team 1 Team 2 Kick-off (AEST)
1 12 June Johannesburg South Africa Mexico 00:00
2 12 June Cape Town Uruguay France 04:30
17 17 June Tshwane/Pretoria South Africa Uruguay 04:30
18 18 June Polokwane France Mexico 04:30
33 23 June Rustenburg Mexico Uruguay 00:00
34 23 June Mangaung/Bloemfontein France South Africa 00:00

PREDICTION: My early tip is France and Mexico to progress to the round of 16.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Between Gould Rantings And Gallop Reasoning

After listening to Gould do his nut on the Sunday Roast, I have concluded four things. That Brian Waldron is a cheating spin doctor of the highest order. That Gould, despite frothing at the mouth with spittle, put forth a very good argument. An argument which most fans would find it hard to disagree with. But, as usual with Gus, an argument that offers no solution. Gallop, when allowed to get a couple of words in between Gould diatribes, also presented a sound argument. The fact is that the clubs have all agreed to a salary cap. There is only one way to move forward both logically and legally, without scrapping/significantly raising the salary cap, to provide the compromise between the two arguments. A player draft. That keeps the NRL happy by distributing the talent evenly amongst the teams and also prevents a team, let's call them the Storm, who clearly have the best recruiting staff in the NRL, from accumulating a squad which down the track they are unable to legally keep together. Plus, it's simply a good idea. It works for the AFL. It works in the NBA where they even have a draft lottery, so tanking games doesn't guarantee you the first pick. I don't really know why the NRL has never even considered it. Perhaps it's time they did.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Storm Demise

I've been watching the news all night so I'm pretty much over the Storm losing their Premierships and Minor Premierships. It's sad for the players and coaching staff, providing they knew nothing of the dodgy dealings. And hopefully those responsible are strung up by their balls for this as it just might well prove to be the beginning of the end for the Melbourne Storm. But how is it supposed to work with them unable to score any points for the 2010 season? Why should they even bother turning up? And if they do turn up, who's to say they won't have ploughed through the better half of a carton the night before when they've got a care factor close to zero? It's all well and good for Bellamy to say that they're going to stick together and overcome this challenge, but the reality is that there is absolutely no motivation for them to play out the season. Maybe this weekend, emotions might be high and they might put in a brave performance, but I can't see them sustaining this. Particularly with the likelihood that a number of their players may finish the season at other clubs. And how is it fair on the Sharks, Knights, Panthers and Dragons who've already played and lost to the Storm when the two points were on offer for both sides? It just makes one eighth of the matches for the rest of the year farcical.

And to the referees...don't for a second think that with all the Storm drama I've forgotten about you guys.....

Sunday, April 18, 2010


The award for deadshit fucktard homo assclown of the week is shared for this week:

"I'm Ben Cummins...you can have ten in the bin 'cause I'm a complete fuckwit."

And I'm Gerard Sutton...when I'm not completely fucking up NRL games, I'm the editor of some shitty local newspaper."

So take your trophies for biggest dropkick motherfuckers of the week...and plough them right up your assholes. STOP FUCKING UP THE GAME YOU FUCKERS!!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Brett Lee Interview

With the news that the ACB have kept Brett Lee's contract, throwing out those of Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken and David Hussey, we thought we'd catch up with the Bollywood superstar, guitar hero, Ashes legend and former fastest-ever-recorded-bowler-ever.

WHAB: So Brett, you must be very, very, very, very, very pleased that the ACB have renewed your contract...

BL: Yeah, I'm mega-stoked. I thought that considering I've done sweet FA for the past couple of years, they might want to go in a new direction. But I guess nothing can replace bowling really, really fast. With myself and Taity, that's some serious heat right there...

WHAB: So you were as surprised as the rest of us?

BL: Yeah. But I guess that the ACB has looked backed upon my illustrious career and shown me the loyalty that my mega-fast bowling deserves.

WHAB: Yeah...right.....so what are your goals for the coming year?

BL: I'd like to just get back into the first XI for Australia in all forms of cricket. Obviously I'd like to play more than 3 matches this year, injuries permitting. I'm a bit older now, so I'll leave the ultra-mega-fast-bowling to Taity. I'd like to think of myself as a bit of a role model for Taity, so I'll definitely focus some energy there...as Taity's personal coach, I reckon he can bowl 165km/h...Outside of that, I'd like some more Bollywood action and I have a new side-project called "Caught Behind", so things are looking good.

WHAB: Do you feel that Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken and David Hussey have been hard done by?

BL: Not really. I've always had the edge on Sarfraz as a bowler, he just bowls too slow quite frankly. So does Nathan Bracken. Sure he changes up his pace in the limited overs form of the game, but nothing can substitute for raw pace. And David Hussey, well Adam Voges is clearly the man in the middle order for the Aussies, in all forms of the game. His output has been seriously huge for us. He has been just awesome for us in the last couple of years, particularly in the pressure situations. I mean, it's easy to score runs when we're cruising to victory. Anyone can do that. But it's how you lift yourself when you're under the pump, that's what's impressed me with David Hussey, I mean, Adam Voges in recent times. Seriously, what has D. Hussey done for Australian Cricket that A. Voges can't do?

WHAB: Well, best of luck for the coming year champ...you're definitely going to need it...

BL: C'mon champ, don't be such a negative Nellie! I'll be sweet, maybe not as fast as Taity, maybe not taking any wickets, but, if nothing else, check out the smooth sounds of "Caught Behind".

WHAB: I'll be sure to do so. Really. Thanks for your time dickw-....I mean cheers pal...

Assclowns Of The Week

All NRL refs, video refs and touch judges. You are all fucking rubbish. The more you get paid, the worse you get. Fuck you all. An 80 year old Mick Stone or Greg McCallum would make you guys look shithouse. And they were probably only on a couple of hundred bucks a game. The fans have had enough. Over-officiating, under-officiating, bizarre interpretations of the rules, getting scared of nasty home crowds, pulling penalties out of your fucking assholes, and general blindness and shiteness...seriously, you are all shit human beings. Fuck you all.

Ah, that's been eating me up for some time...I feel much better.....serenity now.