netherlands and italy goin far, i love netherlands jerseys
hey, i was thinking football the other day and italy came up in my mind as i was originally thinking the milan vs. man united tie and i don't know if i haven't been paying much attention to italy, but i think they've been lacking.
lacking is a big way. when you see the team as a collective, you begin to wonder if they stand a chance against the big boys as that's what the knockout stage comes to. the ability to play great teams with different and sometimes, destructive styles.
with that said, the opponents to beat will be brazil, spain, england/germany/netherlands, then italy/portugal/france/argentina as the teams with talent, but no unity in that order. brazil i think is better than spain because they've proven to come back from behind, and while they've developed a more conventional and organized, leading into a greater balance in attack and defense, they still have the ability to be totally unpredictable and all out loose in attack. the pressure, then possession is almost perfect.
to me, spain is great. they've mastered possession and use it as the best tool for attack. they're a complete unit and show it on the field. everyone is an equal. when losing though, possession is not enough. don't get me wrong as they have world class finishing up front. okay, spain is AMAZING! but can they come back from a losing scoreline? specially when the box is packed? that seems to kill the point of possession play. do they have players from all positions to penetrate the box and create magic? actually, they do! holy shit, it's close between spain and brazil. that close. doesn't mean neither of them can have a bad game. =/
as for a surprise team, i go with serbia. they have talent and a great backline. that guarantees solidarity for the middle. this is the chance for the midfield to be tested. you're tested against different styles. it's gonna be awesome! I rank them around the Italy/Argentina group.
These are my opinions for now, we shall see how it unfolds with players after the domestic leagues end...