Due zero

It was a very entertaining game, although the Germans hung with the Italians rather better than I’d anticipated. No one was looking for another 4-1 walkover as in their last friendly, but I did think Lippi would have the Azzurri looking to shoot early and often as he did against Ukraine. This time, they were looking for too many crosses and tricky little penetrating passes that all too often fail to come together against competent defenders.

But the Italians controlled the wings throughout, except for when Odonkor came on towards the end of regulation, and Gattuso and Pirlo had the better of Ballack in central midfield. I think the loss of Frings hurt the Germans as badly as expected, as Klose and Poloski played well, they just didn’t get enough of the ball.

Fabio Grosso did extremely well in again getting forward at a critical moment late in the game, although he and Zambrotta were constantly pushing forward and preventing Lahm from doing likewise. Pirlo’s discipline on the first goal was fantastic, as he hung on to the ball long enough to occupy four Germans before laying it off to Gross on the right. Jens Lehman did his best but he never had a chance.

I thought Lippi was too conservative on his substitutions, as Toni ran down and should have come off fifteen minutes before he did. I would have brought Del Piero and Inzaghi on rather than Gilardino and Del Piero, but then, I think Gilardino is somewhat overrated and I have far more confidence in Pippo. His shot off the post did beat Lehman, but with such a small margin for error, he should have pulled the ball back to a wide open Totti instead of trying to go nearside.

Cannavaro was the man of the match for me. Except for the one rather iffy foul call towards the end, he was calmly winning every ball and launching immediate counterattacks with smooth passes to the midfield instead of settling for moonball clearances like so many central defenders.

Now, here’s hoping France will keep it together tomorrow and finish off an eminently beatable Portguese squad. France-Italy made for an excellent Euro 2004 final, and while I’ll be pulling for the Azzurri, I wouldn’t shed any tears to see Zizou end his great career as a world champion.

Forza Italia!

UPDATE: And this is why teams have to start taking shots early instead of always looking for the little entry passes: Germany defender Christoph Metzelder claimed Pirlo’s ‘moment of brilliance’ made the difference. ‘Everyone was expecting him to shoot but he just passed,’ Metzelder said. ‘That was a moment of brilliance.

And why were all the Germans expecting Pirlo to shoot? Because the previous two times he had the ball in a similar position, he took the shot. It doesn’t matter what the sport is, to be predictable is to be defendable. It will be interesting to see if either France or Portugal decide to mimic Italy’s more aggressive shooting strategy after their recent success, as neither team has hitherto shown any sign of it.

TW:Rome issues

I’m having serious technical difficulties with the aforementioned game, namely, the screen goes to garbage as soon as it goes into the battle screen. The effect even continues after I quit out of the game, leaving Windows completely illegible until I restart. I’ve downloaded the latest DirectX as well as ATI’s current Catalyst drivers for the Radeon 9700 Mobility in my laptop.

Anyone run into this one before? What’s annoying is that TW:Medieval is screwing up too now, which it was not doing before.

Left-wing hypocrites

Zuzu at Feministe cries crocodile tears:

Filed under: Blogging, Crime, Stupidity, Crazy Conservatives — zuzu @ 11:28 am

Recently, J*ff “Online Integrity” G*ldstein allowed a comment which outed Thersites and NYMary to remain on his site for some time, publishing personal information about their identities and workplaces, apparently because Thersities snarked at Online Integrity’s misattribution of a rather famous piece of artwork. Prior to that, Michelle Malkin published personal contact information for some UC Santa Cruz students who’d mistakenly included it in a press release that she’d gotten her hands on — and she refused to take down the information, even after the students asked her to, because they had started getting threatening calls from Malkin’s flying monkeys. She then found herself having to move because someone retaliated by publishing *her* home address and telephone.

Now another wingnut has published the personal contact information for someone who has displeased him. The crime? Taking a photo assignment for the New York Times’ Travel section on St. Michael’s, an exclusive community on the eastern shore of Maryland where Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney have well-known, heavily-guarded vacation homes.

I note that Zuzu doesn’t mention The Poor Man Institute, Electrolite, ConWebWatch, Dispatches From the Culture Wars, Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion, World O’Crap, Max Blumenthal, Blog of the Moderate Left or Brent Rasmussen, all of whom have enthusiastically published personal information about me because they do not agree with my opinions. This is not an empty accusation, you can easily confirm the veracity of it on Google. And while Zuzu is surely innocent of performing any such attempted outings herself – which in my case is particularly stupid anyhow as informed readers well know – this attempt to label such a tactic a particularly conservative craziness is in direct contradiction to the easily verifiable facts.

It will be interesting to see if Feministe’s readers will judge these left-wing blogs to be equally “horrifying” and “cowardly” as the “bedwetting Brownshirts of the Information Age” they decry for “using the implcit threat of violence to silence people”.