Correct me if I’m wrong, but did SuperPippo just take credit for predicting Federer and Brazil would win the French Open and Confed Cup respectively, and then later in a comment on el Gaffer’s post say that “there is no science to predicting the favourite”.

Just checking.

Personally, as far as predictions go, I think they’re only as good as the reasoning behind them. A ‘gut-feeling’ prediction is virtually meaningless, while one based on an understanding of how both teams/individuals will do against each other still has merit.

Then again, what do I know, I’m sitting at the city desk of a newspaper while my friends party around town, committing wild debaucheries as a I edit a piece on irregularities in the Karachi Zoo’s import of four baby elephants.

As far as SP’s ‘Lucio love’ goes, I’d like to set him straight on a few things. Well, just one thing, really: the bit where he waxes eloquent about Lucio ‘taking responsibility’ and ‘having the confidence’ to go up for the corner where Brazil scored their third goal is, to put not too fine a point on it, utter rubbish.

First, central defenders are expected to go up for set-plays in the box, as they tend to be a big presence in the area, regardless of whether you’re playing in Peru, Mali, Brazil, Italy or my backyard. Second, Lucio always goes up for corners, and almost always attempts to sneak around the back of the defence at the far post. I’m not criticising the approach, I’m simply pointing out that this is standard practice, and there is absolutely no reason to say his doing this in the last ten minutes of the final, when Brazil had a corner and a chance to win the game, was extraordinary in any way. I mean unless you consider the fact that we all don’t forget to breathe extraordinary. In that case, yes . . . awesome stuff, Lucio. The very thing champions are made of.

Finally, as far as him ‘leaving his side open to a counter-attack in order to take responsibility and show confidence in his ability to score’ is concerned. First off, if he had indeed abandoned his defensive duties to bomb into the box to try and score a late winner leaving his side wide open at the back, that would have been utterly criminal.

He did not, however, do this. As I said earlier, almost all central defenders tend to go up for corners and set-plays near the box, and so someone else, often a right or left back plus the defensive mid, is deputed to patrol the half line to ensure any counter-attack is repulsed effectively.

Now I’m not saying Lucio didn’t score a crucial goal under pressure, but if you’re going to admire the man, at least don’t do him the disservice of doing so for utterly rubbish reasons.

– el kapitan

Lucio scores.Lucio scores Brazil’s winner in the Confederations Cup final. There is
absolutely nothing extraordinary about this.
Not pictured: Superpippo looking on
with intense desire.

Picture courtesy REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
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