FFA to blame for France shambles?


The French squad in South Africa - the root of the problem?

As an England fan during the summer’s World Cup in South Africa, one of my few consolations while watching Capello’s ment falter quite completely, was that at least we weren’t the laughing-stock of world football. That honour went, unanimously, to France. Their problems at the tournament were well documented: with player revolt, the sending home of Niclas Anelka and a boycott of training in protest from the remainder of the squad.

Coupled with their abject performances on the field of play which resulted in their failing to win a match and coming bottom of their group, 2010 wasn’t a roaring success. One could argue that this was the player’s fault – they’re a talented bunch, so maybe their attitude was questionable. That is certainly what the FFA seem to believe, and have punished them accordingly – with Anelka and three other players handed international bans. Yet this simply demonstrates, at least as far as I am concerned, that the problem is the FFA themselves.

Click through to find out why (and why France may provide a much needed warning for England’s current situation)…


Guest Post: A Moral Dilemma – The Hand of God II


Today I bring you a guest article that I wrote for Steve Amoia over at World Football Commentaries. After seeing Luis Suarez’s controversially heroic deliberate handball that saw Ghana thwarted in their World Cup Quarter Final against Uruguay I was struck by something of a moral dilemma. I know that what he did was wrong – but I would have done the same thing. Would you have acted differently? Should blame be attributed to Suarez? Should Ghana feel aggrieved? Should the punishment have been more severe?

Click through (and scroll down a bit) to find out more…

Why England Didn’t Win The World Cup


England crumble, a nation despairs.

England are out of the 2010 World Cup, we face four more years of hurt (and, let’s face it, probably many more after that) before football comes home. What went wrong for the side that qualified so promisingly under Fabio Capello? For England’s supposed golden generation?

Click through to find out (don’t worry, the main reason IS because we simply weren’t good enough)…

England progress, but how much further can they go?


The moment that earnt England fans at least one more nervous ninety minutes in South Africa.

England’s improvement against Slovenia, when compared with their performances against the USA and Algeria, was vast; but there is no escaping the fact that it has merely papered over the cracks. That England’s reaching the last sixteen is being hailed as something of a success is as dire an indictment on their performances so far as is necessary – we finished second in a group that The Sun newspaper arrogantly – but correctly – labelled easy: “England Algeria Slovenia Yanks“.

Finishing second may not seem all that bad when we were staring a group stage elimination in the face, but the simple fact is that we will now almost certainly have to beat Germany and Argentina to make the semi-finals – two of our old enemies – whereas if we had won our group as we should have done, it would have been Ghana and then Uruguay. Looking at our performances so far, even the improvement against Slovenia, do we have any reason to be optimistic?

Click through to find out…

Review: Brazil Away Shirt 10/11 (Nike)


Brazil's away shirt for the 2010 World Cup. Click image to view full size.

The World Cup is a festival of football, but it’s also a festival of colour, and each nation’s shirts are an individual way of representing their country. In recognition of this, They Think It’s All Over… has teamed up with the brilliant SoccerPro.com to bring you a review of one of the many kits on show in South Africa this summer – Brazil’s traditional blue away shirt. To find out the history behind the kit and whether it’s worth spending your money on, head over to the Reviews section.

Or alternatively, you can just click through here to read the full review…

Guest Blog: Five World Cup Stars Heading to the Premier League


Ignoring, for the moment, the shambles that I witnessed a few hours ago – I may write something about it, I may not, to be honest, it would more than likely just be a string of incoherent accusations and criticisms – I have a guest article for you. I was asked to write something about the English Premier League for The Flat Back Four, and with precisely nothing going on in the EPL at the moment, I clutched at a few straws and tried to connect the Premier League with the World Cup as best I could.

So click through to read my article detailing five World Cup players – some are obvious, some are not – who I reckon will grace the Premier League in the not too distant future…

Group F: New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia


A new Kiwi hero is born...

A late, late goal from Winston Reid gave New Zealand their first ever World Cup point last night in Rustenberg despite an incredibly uninspiring performance from the tournament minnows. I haven’t got the time to write a full match reaction – exams, exams, exfrickenams – but seeing as I live in New Zealand it feels as though I should make an effort and write something, so here’s a quick fire five conclusions from the game.

1. Shake it up Ricki!
New Zealand’s only real attacking option throughout the entire game – hell, throughout the entire build up to the World Cup – was a big ol’ diagonal ball into Fallon or Killen. I absolutely respect playing to your strengths, and the All Whites are doing it literally there, but it becomes a tad predictable (nevermind tiresome on the eyes) when you persist at it for ninety minutes. Now I know Winston Reid’s goal resulted from a similar initiative, but every now and then change it up a bit – Smeltz showed that he works best with the ball into feet, a bit of variation never hurt anyone.

Click through for the full match reaction…