Sunday, 17 July 2011

Japan - world champions

Just watched a thoroughly absorbing Womens World Cup Final, where Japan squeezed past the USA courtesy of a penalty shoot out. I've been very impressed at the quality of football in this tournament, especially after my lukewarm reaction to the Womens Champions League Final hosted at Craven Cottage last season. It seems the international standard is far higher than at club level, when for the men's game it is now the other way around.
The quality during this tournament is at a higher level, I would say, than the old first division before the advent of the Premier League helped up technical standards. There are still some obvious deficiencies in the women's game; goalkeepers are far too susceptible to a lob/ looping shot and there seems to be a tendency for panicked defending even at the highest level. There is also a lack of diving, hysterionics and just plain cheating that makes its male counterpart so unedifying to watch. Given USA's opener was a lovely two footed piece of skill and the last goal was a flying backheel volley which seems to have been invisible to cameras, it would be foolish to suggest that women's football is technically far behind. At the highest level it is pretty impressive.
Still even Martin Keown's impression of Mickey the Spiv from Only Fools and Horses hasnt detracted from the fun of seeing Japan pick up the trophy, which resembles a missing piece from the old Mouse Trap board game.

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