Monday, June 21, 2010

Team of the Opening Round of Games

So...who was most impressive, who deserves to be in the best eleven of the tournament after all teams have played one game?

Goalkeeper -

An obvious choice. Enyeama of Nigeria was sensational in thwarting Argentina and Messi in particular

Defence -
Right-back is surely Maicon (Brazil) who defended well, attacked with thrust down the wing and scored a sensational goal

Left-back is Vidal (Chile) who was very impressive in all facets of his game.

Honorary full-back mention goes to Lahm who defended and attacked well for Germany and handled the captaincy very well in their 4-0 win over Australia

Centre-backs: Grichting is in by virtue of his superb marshalling of the Swiss defence in their shock victory over Spain. He thwarted the Spanish time and again. Onyewu was very strong against the English defence and caused problems all over the pitch (and yet was never caught out of position)

Honorary mentions go to Winston Reid (New Zealand) and Alcaraz (Paraguay). Both defended very well and scored superb, crucial headed goals for their team.

Midfield: With a lack of strikers scoring goals in the opening games I have opted for 5 midfielders (although one of them generates debate as to whether you would define his postion as an attacking midfielder, winger or forward as he can be deployed in any of those. -

Defensive midfield spot goes to Mascherano who protected his defence and provided the perfect link between defence and attack for Argentina in their game against Nigeria.

Right wing goes to Alexis Sanchez who terrorised the Honduras defence with a masterclass of talent and technique. Left wing goes to Thomas Mueller of Germany who was an integral part in the brilliance of the Germans demolition of Australia, including scoring with a clinical finish.

Honorary mentions go to Tshabalala (South Africa), Podolski (Germany), Dos Santos (Mexico)

Central/attacking midfield goes to Ji Sung Park who was instrumental in South Korea's defeat of Greece including capitalising on a mistake to score a good goal. He is partnered by Ozil who was my man of the match for Germany - such beautiful speed, movement and incisive passing.

Honorary mention: Honda (Japan) who was their best player against Cameroon.

Striker -

Gyan (Ghana) put in a lot of effort and quality in their win over Serbia. All attacks seemed to centre around him and he very coolly slotted his penalty home for the victory.

Honorary mention: Messi could easily take the striker spot or the 'in-the-hole' position. He had 3 excellent shots on goal but he was not quite the crucial cog of the team that Gyan, Park Ji Sung and Ozil were.

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