By Alison Dennehy, writing from Reading, England
64 games in 31 days is a lot of football. I normally manage 1 or maybe 2 a week. This should show how much “growing up” is to be done over a month for a football fan. At the age of 6, I went to my first game, and I have been going ever since, but as a kid then it’s more about your team winning and the atmosphere. As I get older experience starts to kick in. You know which starting XI to play, who are the fitter players, whose passes are awkward and what position to play them in. The simple things that maybe when you were 6 years old didn’t really matter to you.
In my eyes, this World Cup I have gone back to being 6 years old again. I had no clue which games to watch or what players to look out for. I had no real experience of the teams. I tended to stick to the English football league rather than International football, and I expect many readers do the same. That is, watch local rather than worldwide. It has opened my eyes to how much football is actually being played.
Commentators often focus on the bigger names within football that often aren’t the best technically at that time. Don’t get me wrong these players are often majorly skillful, but let’s take Messi as our biggest example. When Argentina are mentioned his name will for definite crop up into conversation but looking at his statistics you will learn that this World Cup he hasn’t scored a single goal and has had most shots on goal. People need to focus on the other players that make up the eleven on the pitch rather than the simply the bigger names.
Statistics. People say that you should focus on a game as a whole rather than the vital statistics of a match. Maybe they are right, but sometimes the numbers prove a point. In England’s opening match against USA they had 18 shots to USA’s 13. Some say it shows skill; England’s attacking was a lot better or the defensive side of USA was a letdown. I have heard it been said that really it was England’s determination to win and not let the country down.
The Top 4 Vital Statistics of the World Cup…
160 – The number of seconds it took Thomas Mueller to score the first goal of the Germany v Argentina match, the quickest of this world cup but not the quickest ever, that is down to Hakan Şükür for Turkey 10.89 seconds Turkey, vs Korea Republic, June 29, 2002.
16 – The top amount of goals scored by one country, Germany. With 5 coming from Mueller, 4 from Klose, Podolski with 2 and Oezil and Jansen with 1.
0 – The number of times a world cup winner has lost their opening match and gone on to win, Untill now. Spain lost their opening match 1-0 till Switzerland and still beat any exsisting odds to win the final.
400,000 – The number of Germans I saw crying after being defeated in the Semi-Finals. After a trip to Berlin ended up going to the Fan Mile for the match watching them be defeated brought on two emotions. Glee at the fact that Germany who had knocked us out was beaten in the semi’s and sadness, it was very upsetting to see grown men crying around me.
So now it’s over and Spain have won. One Big Statistic for you all, it’s only 1423 days until the next one!