I didn't know where to put this. I figured I'd start a thread for the world cup in its own, not the qualifiers. I will post general articles about it, and I'll start with an article about my favourite team Germany. I totally agree with this author and I think that's why German has a chance:
Behind The Wall: Mediocrity ‹ber Alles
4/1/2005 10:41:00 PM
Iím often asked about Germanyís chances as host nation at the next World Cup finals. People seem genuinely fascinated at the possibility of Europeís great superpower falling flat on their Teutonic noses at their own party in the summer of 2006. Well, forget it, folks. It ainít going to happen.
Why praytell, I hear you ask? Well, for a number of reasons. First and foremost itís the World Cup not the European Championship. This German side could host the next ten Euros and fail to even reach one decider. The fact of the matter is, the World Cup is a less intense event.
Think back to the last World Cup. Mediocre, tottering, redoubtable Germany made the final and lost bravely to Brazil in one of the better World Cup showpieces. At both Euro 2000 and Euro 2004, this same discredited generation crashed out at the first stage in embarrassing fashion. Why? Simply because the standard of opposition in the group stages is far higher in the continental event than it is in the inter-continental jamboree that produces more hype than quality in its current bloated form.
Germanyís Euro opponents over the last two events have been Romania, England, Portugal, Holland, Latvia, and the Czech Republic. At the last World Cup, they faced Saudi Arabia, Ireland, and Cameroon. At the next World Cup, theyíll face probably only one European opponent - which is just as well given their recent record. No doubt an Asian representative will find their way into the same group, with possibly Mexico or the USA for good measure. In essence, Germany are going to stroll through to round two. No early exits here.
Then comes the tricky part, but also, as previous generations can testify, the time when the Germans become somewhat unbeatable for reasons best known to themselves. While I donít think the Germans have a squad capable of winning the World Cup in any country other than their own, I do believe that home advantage, historical precedent, and sheer bloodymindedness will ensure an extended stay in their own tournament. Can they win it? Normally I'd say no, but the Germans on home turf usually take some stopping. Even allowing for the fact that this is a poor German side in comparison to previous generations, the opposition is hardly stellar. Let's face it, we're not living in a golden age of football. Or silver. Or even tin. We're living in the alu-foil era when organisation triumphs over ability...I mean, posturing.
Greece, the current European champions won't beat the Germans in Berlin. Or Hamburg. Or Stuttgart. Or anywhere in 2006. France are in terminal decline, and will do well to even qualify with their dismal mix of has-beens and never-will-bes. Spain deliver only in a parallel universe - . Italy have forgotten the lessons of 1982, that to win a World Cup you've got to enter opposition territory. Argentina have never played a decent World Cup outside of Latin America (no, 1990 wasn't decent - it was brutal troglodytic anti-football laced with cynicism if not quite cyanide in Branco's water bottle). England will be crushed under the weight of their own ludicrously hilarious expectations. That leaves Brazil and Holland and one of the outsiders to make an impact. Hardly intimidtaing for a nation like Germany, so assured of their own abilities when the belief flows.
Indeed, that is what Klinsmann's real task is: to instill the self-belief, inculcate that familar certainty of superiority in his German players. If he does it, they'll compete to the last few days. If he doesn't, he's always got that American residence he holds so dear...