It's Too Early to Call the 2010 World Cup Boring
I’ve read with increasing bafflement the degree to which this World Cup has already been analysed, dissected and dismissed as ‘the most boring in living memory’ to quote one correspondent earlier in the week.
Perhaps this is all part of a very modern habit of wanting to compartmentalize, archive and define life as it happens, rather than take a step back and wait for it all to be over before drawing your conclusions, some seem to relish taking a position on it after a few days and then will see the rest of the tournament through that prism.
We see this in the media more broadly which is so quick to want to assess and define everything. So much so that a lot of the news agenda is based not on what has happened but on what might happen and what the consequences of that will be, regardless of how likely it is to happen. Thus the airwaves get full of waffle about things which never actually occur and unfounded speculation.
I find this very frustrating. Why can’t we just wait for stuff to happen and then consider the consequences afterwards? What’s the point in all that speculation?
Similarly, those who think the 2010 World Cup is a wash-out because there has not been as many goals as they expected or that the opening games have been quite cautious, are being fat too premature; too eager to see a bigger picture which has yet to develop.
I disagree with the basic premise that it’s been boring anyway, I’ve enjoy the majority of games. Perhaps it is the football tourists who are being negative – those part-time football viewers who are never going to relish seeing Italy play Paraguay and who judge quality by number of goals. People should also realize that World Cup football is not about being the best, most exciting free-flowing action of all time – national sides are a unique mixture of great, good and average; legends line-up with obscurities. It’s not like club football where the one with the most money buys the best players; it’s much more democratic than that – and that’s one if its beauties.
I also really enjoy defensive football – not to the exclusion of everything else – but just because there are few goals in a game isn’t an indication necessarily of the quality of the play. Opening games are unique in the World Cup because win lose or draw, every side can still qualify. That will all change today and tomorrow as the second rounds games get underway. It now becomes do or die for some sides. They’re bound to be less defensive and more adventurous.
A couple of exciting games will put the lie to this ‘boring’ tag that the tournament has already unfairly been tagged with. With all the drama still ahead of us, it’s impossible to make any firm conclusions about South Africa 2010 and those that have already written.