Germany wins

July 14th, 2014 at 9:47 am by David Farrar

A great goal with a few minutes to go in extra time.

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Anyone want to bet against Germany winning

July 10th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

I tipped Germany to win the World Cup a few weeks ago, and their 7-1 killing of Brazil suggests they may well do that. It is hard to comprehend how rare a 7-1 result is in a World Cup semi-final – let alone against Brazil. This is like the All Blacks losing 49-5 in a World Cup match.

They’re up against Argentina, so Latin America will be behind them no doubt.

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Steve Braunias’ World Cup Diary

June 20th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Metro is running a compilation of thoughts on the Football World Cup. Day 7 includes me:

I’m backing Germany to win the World Cup. It’s only fair as they get so grumpy having to work hard, paying tax, to fund the lazy Greeks and Spanish, so winning the World Cup would cheer them up a lot.

Of course a cheerful German is still much more grumpy than a pissed-off Kiwi, but just like poverty, it’s all relative.

I’m hoping Sami Khedira will score the winning goal for Germany in the final, as it will lead to celebrations throughout the Muslim world, and stop the civil war in Iraq.

Also it would means lots of close-ups of Lena Gercke, who is one of the smarter wags.

Also Martyn Bradbury:

Who d’you think will win the World Cup?

My brain says Brazil, my heart screams Tyrion Lannister.

Seen any heroes or villains so far?

Why are the commentary team on TVNZ so obvious and dull in their commentary?

Is football a socialist paradigm, a worker’s collective, or a capitalist model, which rewards individual excellence?

It’s an opiate for the masses that distracts them from solidarity against hegemonic power structures ruled over by a corrupt sports bureaucracy who make drug cartels look civic-minded.

For once I agree with Martyn.

And the Ruminator:

Who d’you think will win the World Cup?

Germany is looking pretty good.

Have you seen any heroes or villains ?

Wayne Rooney is an ugly bloke, isn’t he.

Is football a socialist paradigm, a worker’s collective, or a capitalist model, which rewards individual excellence?

Football is the perfect capitalist model. In theory, every team could win it, couldn’t they? Oh my god! Costa Rica beat Uruguay! Goodness! Costa Rica could go all the way!

That’s football giving false hope to the proletariat. Give them a slice of glory and watch them gobble it up and be satisfied.

But then by the end of the tournament, the elites (Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Argentina) will rise to the top and take it away. Because screw the poor. Screw them. It’s as if Milton Friedman designed the tournament.

It would be far better if Milton had designed it.

And Whale:

Is there a World Cup on? Football? I’m too busy playing a combination of House of Cards and Game of Thrones in the truly best game there is on this planet…politics.

Politics is a fun blood sport!

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Gareth Morgan offers to take over NZ Football

November 25th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Gareth Morgan writes:

In my view key to progress of elite football in New Zealand is to integrate the sport from amateur elite to the sole professional team and on to the national team. This in essence is what Australia’s FFA has achieved and the game in that country has gone ahead in leaps and bounds. By comparison New Zealand has languished. To achieve this requires a lift in expertise both in the governance of the code and coaching expertise right down to the most junior elite levels.

To this end I’m prepared to invest $5m in NZ Football so long as the government invests twice that amount, with the focus being on achieving the integration and thereby ensuring our young players develop within an environment that reflects the type of football our most senior teams practice and we produce coaches steeped in that methodology. We need to jettison the almost inbred tendency from grassroots level to play kick-and-chase football that comes about because of our inability to develop players that are good enough at tap-and-go, possession-based football. This is the cultural change we are undertaking at The Phoenix and was behind the Mexican sarcasm about converted rugby players.

A requirement of my proposal is that the current leadership of NZ Football resign and a new board (still a blend of people from within the game and others who know how to build businesses and execute strategy) be appointed with this mandate clearly defined.

I presume Gareth thinks that the successful record of strategy and governance he has brought to the Phoenix should be extended to the NZ Football team.

In the last season the Phoenix played 27 games. They won seven, drew six and lost 14. This placed them 10th out of 10.

I of course expect the Government to hand over ten million dollars tomorrow to implement Gareth’s plan.

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Morgan and the Phoenix

January 15th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Paul Thompson at The Press writes:

 I have seen some horrible things on a football training field – punches and tantrums thrown, nasty episodes of bullying and grown men in tears.

But most chilling of all was the photograph of Gareth Morgan taking part in a Wellington Phoenix practice last week.

Morgan is a brilliant economist and generous philanthropist and deserves praise for investing cash in the Phoenix.

But he doesn’t belong anywhere near the training pitch. Whatever he is trying to achieve isn’t working. His meddling is damaging the team he part owns.

Ownership gives him and his Welnix partners the right to do whatever they like with their club. But that doesn’t mean that those are the right things to do.

The Phoenix are in full-blown crisis. The coach has been emasculated by owners who have issued a directive on how the Phoenix should play despite having no knowledge of the game. The players are confused and fearful for their future. The tactics are all over the place.

The team is now bottom of the league and, worse, is displaying a level of incompetence that strongly suggests that is where it belongs.

Harsh, but not unfair. The best tea owners are silent ones!

You have to feel sorry for Herbert who, despite having a good coaching record in the A-League, has been rendered powerless to impose tactics that will get results.

He is compliant with the owners’ wishes because he clearly has little option but to publicly support their whims. He is clearly held in such low regard that, despite being the football expert, he is not running the show.

This season is looming as a train wreck. There appears to be a willingness to sacrifice short-term results – otherwise known as winning – for an ephemeral, long-term pipe dream.

But winning matters to the fans and it certainly matters to the players as well, who look shell-shocked to find themselves in such a parlous position.

It is time to allow Herbert to get on with the job he is paid to do and should be accountable for – to put out a winning side and then to build on that over time.

There’s an old saying – winning isn’t everything, but losing isn’t anything! :-)

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And the small(er) donations matter too

July 26th, 2011 at 5:29 pm by Jadis

The 3rd of July seemed like any other Sunday for a collection of social league football players.  That was the case right up to the end of half-time when, while walking back to his position in defence, ‘Big Dave’ (otherwise known as Fabio) collapsed to the ground.  He had a massive heart attack right there on the field.

He was lucky.  He had his own teammates and opposition players who had some idea of how to do CPR and mouth-to-mouth (or the big “man-kiss” as Dave likes to call it).  He also had a nurse on the sideline, a Dr walking his dog, and St John ambulance who responded in time to shock Dave’s heart back into some semblance of a rhythm.  He has since had a quadruple by-pass… not quite what you expect at 39.

As a way to say ‘thank you’ to all those people who played a part Dave’s team is putting together a fundraiser to coincide with the re-match of the game that was never completed (despite Dave believing it really should have been).  The team has a lot of community support so it will be a family fun day (bouncy castles, face painting etc) and the opportunity to watch some decidedly average football – from a covered stand.

  • From 10.30am, Sunday 31 July at Porritt Stadium and Wanderers Clubrooms, Hamilton. Kickoff at 11am

‘Big Dave’ is not the sort of guy you’d expect to have a heart attack.  He is called ‘Big Dave’ because of his height, not his weight.  He is a fit specimen of a man – thus the secondary nickname of ‘Fabio’. Dave and the team want this Sunday to be an opportunity to raise a bit of money for St John and to also highlight the importance of us all having some knowledge of CPR and first aid skills.

The game is in Hamilton.  If you can’t make it I am sure that St John’s would be happy to receive a donation from you.  St John provide a huge range of services to the New Zealand community and they have recently been recognised as being New Zealand’s most trusted brand.  If you don’t know CPR or your skills are a little rusty then look up the location for a training course on their site.

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Football World Cup Final thread

July 12th, 2010 at 6:15 am by David Farrar

For those who are up and multi-tasking.

I am backing the Netherlands, but expecting Spain to win.

UPDATE: Spain wins 1-0 with two minutes left of extra time. They started the tournament as favourites so the bookies will not be as happy as the Spanish.

UPDATE2: This also means that the All Whites can take some pride in being the only team in the World Cup that never lost a game.

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All Right

June 21st, 2010 at 10:01 am by David Farrar

The 1-1 draw against Italy is arguably the greatest achievement to date of a NZ soccer team. This is like Japan drawing with the All Blacks in rugby.

We started the tournament as the bottom ranked team (in terms of odds at Ladbrookes), and so having two points of two games is magnificent.

The Herald puts it into context – we have 25 professional footballers compared to 3,541 for Italy.

If somehow we can make the next round, I reckon there will be a de facto public holiday to celebrate!

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A premature story

June 20th, 2010 at 5:34 pm by David Farrar

It’s not quite as bad as the 1948 Dewey beats Truman headline, but ESPN should have waited for the final whistle!

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A great game of football

November 29th, 2008 at 10:01 am by David Farrar

Thanks to the very good people at Westpac, I got to watch the Phoenix vs Melbourne football match at the Stadium last night.

Westpac have the best positioned corporate box in the ground. I guess when the stadium is named after your company, you get some perks! So it was a great view of the game. Mind you the hardcore fans down in the zone gave the game its spirit – they made enough noise for 30,000.

Melbourne scored the first goal around halfway through the first half. But literally just seconds later, the Phoenix scored to equalise. And a goal in the second half made it 2-1.

But the score didn’t reflect what a great game it had been. Both teams had periods where they dominated. There was some great passing and lots of action around the goals. It was one of those great matches to watch.

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