11 July, 2010

On-Field Matchups

A few matchups I will be watching on the field

Sergio Ramos vs. Dirk Kuyt - I was absolutely fascinated watching the end-to-end battle between Maicon and Kuyt in the quarterfinal. Maicon is the greatest attacking back, and forced Kuyt to defend (and defend very well) which took him out of the offense. Now Kuyt is matched against the other greatest attacking back, Sergio Ramos, who will likely take Kuyt out of the offense but on the other hand, Kuyt will shut down Ramos' attacks just like he did Maicon's.

David Villa vs. John Heitinga - Heitinga has played like crap in the last two rounds. Joris Mathijsen was nearly flawless, but Heitinga was vulnerable. No one can exploit vulnerabilities in the central defense like David Villa. The question is who will start alongside Villa at forward, the answer is, who cares? David Villa will light up Heitinga like a Christmas tree. Or will Heitinga find his game and shut him down? Or will Mathijsen bail out Heitinga like he has all tournament long?

Xavi vs. Mark Van Bommel - No one has been able to stop Xavi. Just when it seems like someone is about to hold Spain without a goal, Xavi makes things happen. No one has been able to get past Mark Van Bommel. No team has been able to find their offense with Van Bommel controlling all the action in the central midfield. Something must break. Who will control the center of the pitch: Xavi or Van Bommel? I tell you right now: whoever does, wins the game.

1 comment:

  1. OK, now that the game is over, let's revisit these matchups in hindsight.

    Sergio Ramos completely dominated the game. Dirk Kuyt was powerless to defend him and didn't have the speed to make Spain pay on a counterattack. I said to Eric very early in the game that Eljero Elia would come on for a sub, and sure enough he was Holland's first sub, replacing Kuyt, to try to take advantage of Sergio Ramos going forward. Obviously, Dirk Kuyt couldn't do it. Sergio Ramos was man of the match, in my opinion. Advantage Spain.

    David Villa vs. John Heitinga - nice fouls, Heitinga. He was awful. Every time Heitinga got beaten, he fouled from behind, resulting in two yellows and an ejection. That hole in the center back position may have cost them the game at the very end, since Van der Vaart was clearly incapable of covering Iniesta in the middle. Another crap game from John Heitinga.

    Xavi vs. Van Bommel - sort of sad, really. In a show of poor sportsmanship, every single time Xavi got the ball, Van Bommel fouled him. The Netherlands racked up the yellow cards, which did, in fact, end up costing them in the end.

    So there you have it, Spain had the better of every matchup, and deserved to be the winners. There was no doubt that Spain were the superior team, not to mention better sportsmanship, and were without question the more deserving side.


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