Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
and is uniformly unhappy about it (which was the basic point of this diary). I imagine most eurotrib soccer fans feel similar, though looking at the comments here may give a different impression.

Didier Drogba-Ronaldo Play 0-0 Draw: Will This Be Worst World Cup Ever?
By Colm Larkin Contributor
June 15, 2010

Group G opened with a disappointing scoreless draw between highly regarded teams Ivory Coast and Portugal.

The game features two of the world's top strikers, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba, but failed to produce a goal and both teams only managed three shots on target.

But the match merely continued a trend for low-scoring games at this World Cup.

Are we looking at the lowest-scoring World Cup ever?

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/406544-after-drogba-ronaldo-0-0-draw-will-this-be-the-worst-world -cup-ever

World Cup Roundup Day 4: Kuyt The Lout
By Zac Lee Rigg
Jun 15, 2010 2:09:00 AM

Even four days in, each team is still playing its first game, leading to a continued feeling-out period. The lack of goals and hesitant performances are giving the World Cup a limp feel overall.

No team has won when the opposition has scored. Plus, day four featured two tap-ins, two set piece goals, and one own goal. Not exactly scintillating stuff.



Though the World Cup is still in its early days, fans and pundits are starting to fret about the lack of goals, and there have been few games or moments to really get the pulse racing.

After 14 matches the net has bulged just 23 times, an average of 1.63 per game -- below the 2.30 average for the whole of Germany 2006 and higher figures in previous years.


Vuvuzuelas are South Africa's best entertainment in goal-shy World Cup
The infamous horns are the sound of the World Cup and with the lack of quality football on show they have been the most talked about aspect of the tournament so far.
By David Bronstein
15 June 2010

At last years Confederations Cup in South Africa a large swarm of bees entered the stadium as Spain were playing the USA.

I was half expecting that the match would be abandoned, and with such unpredictable occurances with the force of nature that is Africa, that maybe even the FIFA World Cup would have to be reconsidered.

Alas there were no bees to be found. So I wondered what is that noise. Thankfully the televison cameras were also curious enough to pan the crowd and what we found was many thousands blowing what looked like a cheap plastic horn - it was called the 'vuvuzela'.
My lasting impression of the vuvuzela is that it is the sound we hear when we watch football matches in Africa.

To my delight when this years World Cup kicked off last Friday, the Vuvuzela could be heard in full force once again. There have been many critics of the humming sound, although I find this to be the same crop of fan born into watching football that must remain the same wherever it is played.

The best example of this would be that we did not hear the vuvuzela in Germany in 2006. Vuvuzelas may not be a fixture on the terraces of western Europe, but people, we are now in Africa. Instead of pushing the culture away, the best thing to do is to embrace it.
These very people that are complaining of the noise, are the same that would be angered at the dancing Mexican fans running through the aisles in 1986, or the masses of paper and ticker tape sprinkled from the stands in Argentina in 1978.

Years from now the South Africa World Cup will be remembered for the vuvuzelas. Let the fans have their moment of joy. And if it really is that annoying, well you do have the mute button. After all listening to Mark Lawrenson's constantly cheap digs at 'third world' referees would drive anyone up the wall.
As to the World Cup itself, with 11 matches completed over five days, it has been a poor one.

The quality of football or lack of has been astounding. Free-kicks and shots from outside the area all seem to be heading in one direction: the Sahara.
What has surprised me has been that, apart from Germany, in general teams have been unable to keep possession. Most worrying is that we are not seeing many goals.

Is it the ball? The new ball - lets not get into the debate as to whether we needed on - is flying all over the place when launched into the air.

It was supposed to trouble the goalkeeper, but in most cases is helping them. How many times have you seen a goalbound target suddenly swerve out to the stands?

I have noticed that the lesser teams have been defending better, and more importantly closing down.

So instead of a Lionel Messi inspired Argentina ripping through Nigeria 4-0, we get 1-0. Teams at South Africa have been ultra-cautious, and this has led to a frankly boring World Cup. Still we should not despair too much, there is still over fifty games to put this right.

If not we could seriously be looking at the worst goals to games ratio in the competition's history, which would then trigger another Sepp Blatter crazy idea.

http://www.sportingo.com/football/a13558_vuvuzuelas-south-africas-best-entertainment-goalshy-world-c up

15 Jun 2010 | 17:10
SA2010 fans not yet rejoicing
With the World Cup in South Africa so far failing to match expectations, can the Jabulani ball really be to blame?

As of Monday night there had been 18 goals scored in the tournament, with nine of the 22 teams competing failing to find the target at least once.

At the same stage of the last World Cup in Germany there had already been 27 goals, four years before that, in Korea-Japan, fans were treated to 31 goals after 11 games.

With an average of 1.64 goals a game so far, South Africa 2010 is well on course to beat the fewest-ever goals-per-match record at a World Cup, a dubious honour currently bestowed upon the 1990 Italy World Cup, which averaged 2.21 goals.

Alarmingly, if this trend were to continue, we would end up with 66 fewer goals than we had at France 1998.



by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 07:25:05 PM EST

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