Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Oh no, not the FIFA rankings!

FIFA Asia (& Australia) Zonal Ranking

  1. Australia (FIFA #20)
  2. Japan (#45)
  3. Korea Republic (#47)

http://img.fifa.com/worldfootball/nationalteams/index.html

Isn't Korea the strongest of those three teams, by a wide margin? They had one of the few convincing first round wins, 2-0 over a seemingly strong team from Greece (FIFA's world #13). And didn't Australia just lose to Germany 4-0?

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Mon Jun 14th, 2010 at 11:54:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rankings reflect past performance, not current condition.

The Greek team looked old and weak. In fact had South Korea not missed so many chances, the result could have been 6:0. And Japan won against the higher ranked but lacklustre playing Cameroon. So it is hard to say which is better: South Korea or Japan. (But I should mention I root for South Korea -- I like their style of game, if they get better at finishing, they could become giant-killers again.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 06:52:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan had one of the worst run-ups to a World Cup ever. We should judge teams by how well they play, not the FIFA world rankings.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 11:05:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We should judge teams by how well they play

Such judgements are always bound to be subjective. It depends on how high you value the opponents, and how you weigh by the seriousness of the match (friendlies are often used to test new configurations and players and thus don't tell much about tournament performance), and how far back you look at it (I'm guessing you only looked at Japan's performance this year, rather than back to at least two years). FIFA rankings are based on past performance just like yours, just with an apparently different weighting.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 04:38:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, no one except FIFA was in love with Australia, and most experts considered South Korea a strong Asian team. For example, here's a typical pre-tourney ranking of the three teams (out of the 32 in the WC), by Eurosport:

  1. Australia

  2. Japan

  3. South Korea

That's just about right.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/14062010/58/world-cup-2010-power-rankings-jubilant-japan.html

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 06:23:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As DoDo commented, FIFA rankings are based on longer term performance, and not just year on year strength. They are not meant to be a predictor of future performance, rather a basis for deciding which nation gets to have how many places in which tournaments.

Negatively, that the San Jose Sharks don't automatically get a place next year because they finally did this year.  But it's a big deal if the German Bundesliga gets 2 or 3 sure places in the Champions League or not.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 06:31:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You remind me that FIFA ranking reflects club football performance, too.

I add to yours, and you tell me if the analogy is bad, but perhaps it is somewhat helpful to compare to league tables and playoffs in US sports. It may be that one team leads the league table, but gets tired towards the end of the season, and is butchered in the playoffs. The league table is just life FIFA rankings, and playoffs like a World Cup, only it takes one year rather than four. (The analogy is of course not perfect; World Cup participation is not dependent on FIFA ranking.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 06:56:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
International football has a four-year cycle. Hence any proper ranking should reflect scores in at least four years, even if team performance changes more rapidly.

Now let's see it in terms of seriousness. The only recent tournaments to gauge Australia's (and South Korea's) tournament capabilities were the 2006 World Cup, the 2007 Asian Cup, and the 2009 Confederations Cup. In the first, the Aussies got into the round of 16, South Korea failed in the group stage. In the second, which should count less than a WC, it was South Korea that got one round further. As neither won it, of course neither participated in the Confed Cup. Next in seriousness are qualification matches. Both Australia and South Korea won their qualification group, but Australia did so with 20 points, South Korea only 16.

Based on this simple analysis, even if South Korea seems the stronger team at the moment, it should clearly be ranked lower.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 06:48:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We will see, that first result might be down to luck, or their opponents performing spectacularly badly

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 07:13:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A great deal is down to luck and one or two bad referee calls, especially with about 1.7 goals on average per match. But placing South Korea so low also just indicates FIFA is doing a bad job at ranking national teams.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 11:04:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series