Monday, June 19, 2006

Different Worlds

Watching Switzerland play Togo, one cannot help feeling how different these two sides are. The Swiss are dour, well organised, methodical - the typical average European side sans the skill or technique of top sides like Spain or France (at their peak). Togo, on the other hand, are creative and play a boisterous brand of football that is so common to African sides. There is a deft touch here, a burst of athleticism there and now and then there is some method to the madness too. After all, the two nations are hardly like each other in any respect. To be honest, most of my knowledge about Togo's demographics or the socio-economic situation come from FIFA factfiles, hardly a fountain of knowledge. But here Togo are, competing, and competing well against the Swiss, a side with many who ply their trade in the better European club sides and whose World Cup campaign has been the culmination of a carefully considered programme. In contrast, Togo have been beset by internal wrangling about player remunerations and coaching issues, with the coach who actually guided them through qualifying being booted out four months before a ball was kicked in Germany 2006. The Swiss are a decent side, and yet have little to offer the football world by way of anything new or attractive. Togo have electrified with glorious skills and athleticism in the form of Adebayor, Kader and their cohorts. Yet they find themselves a goal down at the end of the first half and are looking like they may accompany Ivory Coast on their way out of the tournament. That would leave Ghana with the burden of carrying African hopes. With so much talent, somehow African sides find a way to squander all that. - NK


Blogger Rishi Gajria said...

Hope you will post some more thoughts and analysis on the ongoing football world cup.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Gameboys said...

Ah Rishi! Good to see you again.

Watching the world cup has been a challenge in itself, with the timings in Australia being what they are, but with this short break now, we should be able to post something.

Hope you've enjoyed it so far. You probably have a different problem, with the timings clashing with work hours :)

11:07 PM  

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