Daily Archives: November 23, 2009

10 days to go…

The drawing of lots for the 2010 World Cup will be determined on the 4th of December.  FIFA have yet to announce the seeding procedure and thus a mixture of geographical draw precedent, current FIFA rankings and past World Cup performance points, and upcoming ranking changes, have been used to complete the below.

Goal.com underlines that

However, it’s not quite as elementary as it may seem at first. It is simply not the case that the team swill be thrown into four pots by order of descending ranking. For one thing, South Africa, the hosts, and reigning champions Italy are defaulted into the top seeding pot, although the Italians would be there anyway. These seeding pots are decided by a mixture of FIFA ranking and past finals performances of 2002 and 2006.

Secondly, due to FIFA rules, teams from the same confederation are, whenever possible, kept apart. This means that there will not be two South American or Asian teams in the same group. Due to the sheer volume of European teams – 15 – there will be some groups with more than one country from UEFA, but there is very likely to be a hard cap of two.

This was the case for the 2006 draw, whose procedures we largely mirror below as we look ahead to the draw. For the reason of continental hard caps as given above, Pot 2 is likely to comprise UEFA-only teams, with AFC, OFC and CONCACAF in Pot 3 and the non-seeded CONMEBOL teams joining Africa’s CAF in the fourth pot.

In other words, only Pot 1 is truly an ‘achievement’ to reach (South Africa’s host status aside), and the rest are largely geographic, with ranking taken as a secondary concern.

Although this World Cup means nothing to me (as Turkey is out of it), if Goal’s predictions are true, I want two things to happen in the seeding:

1- France to be in the same group with Algeria.

2-A combination of Spain&Brazil / Netherlands&Portugal / Mexico&USA/ Cameroon&Ivory Coast in the same group.

Goal’s prediction can be seen below:

Pot 1
Pot 2 (UEFA Pot)
South Africa (CAF – as hosts) Netherlands (UEFA)
Germany (UEFA) Portugal (UEFA)
Brazil (CONMEBOL) Switzerland (UEFA)
Italy (UEFA) Greece (UEFA)
Spain (UEFA) Serbia (UEFA)
England (UEFA) Denmark (UEFA)
France (UEFA)
Slovakia (UEFA)
Argentina (CONMEBOL) Slovenia (UEFA)
Pot 3
Pot 4
Mexico (CONCACAF) Paraguay (CONMEBOL)
South Korea (AFC) Cameroon (CAF)
Japan (AFC) Cote d’Ivoire (CAF)
Australia (AFC) Nigeria (CAF)
Honduras (CONCACAF) Uruguay (CONMEBOL)
New Zealand (OFC) Algeria (CAF)
North Korea (AFC) Chile (CONMEBOL)

Wi9an Athletic

You have probably heard of Wigan’s destruction while facing Tottenham Spurs this past Saturday. Just in case you have not, here is a link: Tottenham-Wigan Athletic.

Wigan took their first step towards the Premier League in 1997 when they won the Third Division under John Deehan.  Paul Jewell then earned promotion to the First Division with a points tally of 100 in 2002/03, just his second season at the club. The club promoted to Barclays Premiership in the season of 2004/2005 and have beaten all expectations. Wigan’s first ever EPL game was a home match against  the previous champions Chelsea, which they lost 1-0  as Crespo scored 30 seconds before the final whistle (Crespo\’s goal). After a  successful run Wigan found itself in the 2nd position in the league by November. The Latics were creating wonders in the Football League Cup simultaneously. Having left Arsenal out of the cup in the semi-finals, Wigan reached the final in the same season, losing 4–0 to Manchester United. Latics eventually finished the season in 10th place – the club’s highest ever league placing.

The upcoming years were not that great. The club hardly stayed in the EPL in 2006/2007 and stayed as a mid-class team in the other seasons.  Unorthodox to the way EPL works, the club has changed 3 managers since the season of 2006/2007, Roberto Martinez being the 4th one to continue.

I was very interested in the way Wigan was going to handle the loss. Martinez apologized from the supporters and called the loss ‘unacceptable’. Yet, a bigger move came from the players yesterday. I do not if this will ease the supporters’ anger or not, but the following news is from the Wigan’s website:

Wigan Athletic players to personally refund Tottenham tickets 

The club have announced that the players of Wigan Athletic have decided to personally refund every Latics fan who bought a ticket from the DW Stadium ticket office for the match against Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.

Latics had a sizeable following at White Hart Lane and skipper Mario Melchiot, speaking on behalf of all the players, said today: “We feel that as a group of players we badly let down our supporters yesterday, and this is a gesture we HAVE TO make and pay them back for their tremendous loyalty.

“There is not a lot else to say, just that as a group of professionals we were embarrassed by the way we performed, we feel it was below our standards and this is something we feel we owe to the fans. 

“Now we have to draw a line under the game, focus completely on training this week and bounce back on Saturday. 

“We are professionals, we will take it on the chin and move on but it’s important that we do not take our supporters for granted.”

The club has confirmed that every supporter who bought a ticket for the game from the DW Stadium ticket office should contact the ticket office and refunds must be claimed on or before Friday 4th December 2009.

Play Like a Soccer Star

Thierry Henry may have handled the ball to pick up an assist in France’s 1-1 tie against Ireland, but that doesn’t mean he can’t also score goals all by himself, or all by his hand.

That’s at least the point of this game.

Click the link and then click on “Joeur” to see how many hand goals you can score!

Link courtesy of Deadspin