As a footie fan I have to say that was a great World Cup Final. Webb had a great game. 9/10 says Graham Poll too. Both teams got what they deserved. Only one reff’ing mistake – the free-kick massively deflected off the wall but given as a goal-kick. Plenty of judicious application of the rules – great efforts to preserve the game, avoiding sending-off half the Dutch. Suspect he must have missed the de-Jong foot in Alonzo’s chest – I did from that viewpoint at normal speed.
The Spanish showed how despite the Dutch tactics they could really play the game; control, turns and passing. Don’t believe those tactics were as callously pre-meditated as some pundits suggest, just their natural abilities leading to their natural style, faced with a better team. “Top class” football is generally pretty dull, professional celebrities going through the motions, but this was anything but. A great showcase for the game. Well done Spain, South Africa and Howard Webb. Firm control, whilst “having a ball”.
Talking of professional celebrities, kudos to pundit Alan Hansen, who told it straight. The whole of football needed Spain to win that game.
(Only criticism of the Spanish team …. their tendency to demand cards, and other unsporting remonstrations …. so unnecessary with a good ref. Still even with these non-play tactics, their actual play was always excellent – they can tell the difference between playing-the-game and gamesmanship, and fortunately don’t see one as a substitute for the other.)
[Post Note : Glad to see I’m not alone in my opinion of Webb’s game.]
[Post Note : Howard Webb reflects on a great final performance.]