10 to Watch – Review

Posted: July 19, 2010 in World Cup
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sorry, had problems getting near a computer in the last week or so. Fear.

Anyway, in the second of my closing articles on this blog, I’d like to take a look back at the players I picked as 10 to watch waaaay back on June 9. This was not a normal “10 best players” or “10 players set to make an impact” – I would have been massively shown-up on either count, to be honest – but 10 players I’d heard of but knew f-all about, or players I thought were shit and yet seemed to have gone and reinvented themselves elsewhere. Here’s who they were and here’s how they did.

Luis Fabiano (Brazil)

Let’s be honest, we’re all surprised Brazil went out when they did, just 5 games into the tournament. But in that time Luis Fabiano had hit the net 3 times, twice in a highly-impressive showing against the Ivory Coast. The first of those was a storming strike into the roof of the net, the second a virtuoso series of flicks and a thumping finish, although a handball may have been used. Overall he was impressive and could well have had a share of that Golden Boot had Brazil stuck around a little longer.

NDJD Rating: 8/10

Theofanis Gekas (Greece)

All I knew about him was that he was the top scorer in the European qualifying zone, and he had a lot of hair. Then I actually saw him play, and he was arse. In a Greece side more concerned with stopping goals going in – even when they’d already conceded – he was never going to have much chance to show off, but he was lame against South Korea in the opener and then I remember him fucking one up in that zany game against the Nigerians – the first part of two extraordinary misses at either end inside about 10 seconds.

NDJD Rating: 3/10

John Dahl Tomasson (Denmark)

He looked ok against Cameroon, but then Nicklas Bendtner scored in that game. Against Japan he was utterly, hilariously poor – just like he was for Newcastle all those years ago. You may remember my astonishment that he actually managed to score his penalty, but even that was on the rebound. Dog-dirt, basically.

NDJD Rating: 2/10

Luis Suarez (Uruguay)

Must admit, when I saw him in that first game against France, I thought he was Turdsville, New Mexico. He was offside more frequently than Jermain Defoe. But after that he looked the business, scoring 3 times and being a constant pest whenever Uruguay attacked. He was helped, of course, by the World’s Best Player (officially) Diego Forlan, but there were plenty of times when he showed enough control and skill to plow the lone furrow, whatever that means. Unfortunately he made himself look like a bit of a tit with his punch off the line and then subsequent celebration, but that aside he was one of a handful of players to emerge from this World Cup with their reputations greatly enhanced (Ozil, Khedira, Eduardo, Coentrao, Gyan – to name a few).

NDJD Rating: 9/10

Juan Sebastian Veron (Argentina)

An elder statesman at the heart of Diego Maradona’s midfield. A couple of comfortable performances in the group stages, where he was able to stroll around in a playmaker’s role not dissimilar to the failed Juan Roman Riquelme experiment of 2006. But then he missed out against Germany (was he injured/suspended? Surely Maradona didn’t just drop him), Diego picked precisely 0 midfielders to play alongside Javier Mascherano (unless you count Maxi Rodriguez as a midfielder, which I don’t) and Argentina were taken apart. So not his fault.

NDJD Rating: 7/10

David Silva (Spain)

The bugger barely got a game. He started the 1-0 defeat to Switzerland, but was replaced by Jesus Navas after an hour. Thereon Navas was the wideman of choice whenever Spain needed to change things. The rest of the time they played a sort of 4-2-2-2 (really 2-4-2-2 with Capdevila and Ramos so far forward whenever Spain had possession) and thus rarely required a winger. He has now signed for Man City though so we’ll see a lot more of him next year.

NDJD Rating: 4/10

Hugo Lloris (France)

Lloris is one of the few players to escape without any real censure following the shambles that was France’s World Cup 2010 campaign. He looked occasionally shakey but can’t take much blame for the 4 goals shipped and his side’s carcrash.

NDJD Rating: 5/10

Marek Hamsik (Slovakia)

Considering Slovakia drew their opening game to (supposedly) lowly New Zealand, it was remarkable that they made the second round where they lost 2-1 to Holland. Along the way they humbled Italy in one of the best games of the tournament. Hamsik’s involvement was pretty minimalist to be honest, he was outshone by the impressive Vittek who stole the glory with 4 goals. Hamsik showed a few odd glimpses of skill but ultimately it was all about his stupid hair.

NDJD Rating: 4/10

Humberto Suazo (Chile)

Another outshone pick. Suazo did fuck all the way through, with Chile’s Alexis Sanchez a far more appealing player. About the only thing he did was huff and puff about the place looking injured. Zzzz.

NDJD Rating: 3/10

Sami Khedira (Germany)

Ah, the quiet one of the German side. The rest of his team grabbed headlines at stages – Podolski, Klose, Muller, Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Friedrich, Neuer, Boateng, and of course Ozil – but Khedira was classy in central midfield. Playing less of an attacking role than some of the names above, and a far more disciplined one than the free-floating Ozil, he was excellent and looks a real find for the Germans. Him and Schweinsteiger could be one hell of a midfield partnership for the next World Cup and the next 2 Euros.

NDJD Rating: 8/10

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