Spain tipped but Dutch will fight

Spain
are the overwhelming favourites to lift the World Cup this weekend in

South
Africa against the Netherlands. The Cayman Islands – like the rest of the world
– will come to a standstill on Sunday afternoon at 1.30pm to watch the big
match. Here’s what a few locals think of the tournament.

CARL
BROWN, CAYMAN’S TECHNICAL DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL

“I
said from the outset that I expected Spain to win the World Cup so them
reaching this far doesn’t surprise me and I expect a good game. Holland have
done well to reach the final but Spain have that extra quality. Arjen Robben
has had an excellent tournament and he is the key for Holland if they are to
win.

“Overall
it has been a good tournament, especially for coaches like me who can pick up
points. But technology needs to be brought in. In 1966 there was all that
controversy over a similar goal going over the line between England and
Germany. Yet in we still have the same problem in 2010 when technology is used
in every major sport. I can’t understand why FIFA is so adamant in not using
it.”

TEX
WHITELOCKE, CAYMAN NATIONAL FOOTBALLER

I
see Spain winning 2-0. Holland play speedy football and rely on
counter-attacks, but Spain are able to keep possession and slow them down. The
group stages were a bit slow and the tournament took a while to get going but
that was because everyone was nervous and didn’t want to take chances. After
they lost their jitters they games have made it more interesting. Technology
should definitely be brought in. The England-Germany game would have been much
better if that Lampard shot had counted and it could have been a different
outcome. Also, technology could be used for pushing in the six-yard box.
Uruguay were worst at doing that. They cheated a lot.

RICHARD
‘GRIZZ’ ADAMS, CAYMAN’S TECHNICAL DIRECTOR OF RUGBY

“I
would say Holland 2 – 0. I’ve watched most of it when it has been possible.
Great competition once the first round was over and teams settled into their
patterns of play and we got some goals and differing styles. Great to have a
competition where any one of eight to ten sides have a real chance of winning.
“I know that the International Rugby Board are spending vast amounts of
development money to make rugby the same based on the popularity of the
football World Cup.

“I
thought that England performed much to expectation given that a massive amount
of foreign players play in the Premier League and the youth structure of
English football is almost nonexistent. If you want to keep a fire burning
hotter than every other fire you have to keep feeding it. The English league
may be one of the best in the world but how much of that is due to English
players? England probably would have done better had one of the premiership
teams with all its foreign players en masse represented the country!”

ROWENA
LAWRENCE, WOMEN’S NATIONAL RUGBY CAPTAIN

“I
am really hoping that Spain wins as I have them in the office draw! So I will
say Spain, 2-1. But that could be asking too much. I haven’t watched much but
have been impressed by the young German side and think they will go far over
the next few years. I feel sorry for any member of the England squad who really
put their heart and soul into the tournament and wasn’t distracted by their
domestic issues or celebrity status… But I don’t feel sorry for any of them
really!”

JASPER
MIKKELSEN, DANISH TRIATHLETE

“Holland
to win 2-1. I have only watched some of the World Cup. Play has been good and I
think South Africa have done great job in organising. I think there are two
things that stand out: the Frank Lampard shot which struck the bar, bounced
down and then back out of the German goal. Clearly, England should have been
level at 2-2. FIFA needs to reconsider its view on the use of technology, even
though I don’t think England would have won anyway. Also, I think there needs
to be some more focus on curtailing all the playacting going on and more
serious penalties need to be introduced for players who, say, use a hand ball
to prevent a goal. There is currently too much unsportsmanlike conduct in the
ranks for my liking. Denmark was a disappointment, but I didn’t fancy their
chances anyway. We need a new coach!”

CARSLEY
FULLER, RADIO JOURNALIST

“USA
and Germany (I used to live in Germany) were my two teams. I was thrilled by
the USA.  It was a new team, being much
more aggressive than years past and it was awesome to see. That’s definitely
why they made it as far as they did. Seeing them finishing first in their group
over England was brilliant. 
Unfortunately, I think by the time they played Ghana they had lost their
nerve. While it was disappointing to see them leave, I’m incredibly proud of
their performance in this World Cup.

“I’ve
watched almost every game. It’s a World Cup of shockers. It’s been loads of fun
to watch and the upsets have been especially entertaining. Even though I’m in
the Cayman Islands, this year’s cup has been much more global for me as I’ve
been tweeting and Facebooking with my friends about the highlights. The only
negative thing I have to say about the World Cup this year is the quality of
the referees. There have been a few instances where I felt like the teams were
getting robbed and I’m not just talking about the USA’s third goal against
Slovenia!

“Hmm…tough
call on Spain and Holland. I was blown away by Spain against Germany. They’d
pretty much been able to laze their way to the semi-finals and I had seen anything
impressive from them through the whole tournament.  But their defeat of Germany was solid and
unquestionable. Holland have played well through the entire cup despite some
sloppy moments against Uruguay. Either way, it’s an historic event so I find
myself rooting for both teams. But if you were to twist my arm, I’d say 2-1
Holland.”

MARIUS
ACKER, SOUTH AFRICAN TRIATHLETE

“Though
Spain are the favourites and higher seeded than the Netherlands, I would back
the Netherlands. The Dutch discovered South Africa and my first language and
Dutch are pretty similar. I backed the Dutch and Germany as my World Cup teams
win or lose. The Dutch will have their hands full with the Spaniards. It should
be a low scoring game, maybe 2 – 1 to the Netherlands.

“I
was pleasantly surprised by South Africa’s (Bafana Bafana) showing at the World
Cup bearing in mind that they did not qualify and got a free pass from FIFA for
being the hosts.

“I’ve
only watched part of the games and have not watched one World Cup game from
beginning to the end. Personally, I think it is over-hyped and it is a game
where there is not a lot of action. Many of the players would do much on a performing
stage than on a football pitch, they act like drama queens and are rewarded by
getting a penalty or free kick for their performance.

“I
find it hard to watch 90 minutes of sport where there is very little opportunities
for scoring and where they do not allow technology to assist them to make
better refereeing decisions, like in the England-Germany game. I much rather
watch Tour de France or Wimbledon tennis where no acting is allowed and where
there is a lot of action.”

SPORTSSpaintippedSTORY

Many locals are predicting Spain to take home the coveted World Cup trophy.
Photo: File
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