Will Tidey - 2010: A Footballing Odyssey
Published: 23 Dec 2010 - 08:55:28
It's that time of the year when all that gets written are review pieces, wrap-ups and top 10s. So why should this column be any different?
Here are my highs and lows of the footballing year that was...
Barcelona's 5-0 hammering of Real Madrid was almost beyond plaudits. Using David Villa and Pedro as rapiers on the flanks, Barca carved through Jose Mourinho's team like they were a second XI with a hangover. Xavi and Iniesta conducted the orchestra and Lionel Messi gave a lesson in distribution. Quite simply, sensational.
England were fairly uninspired against the United States, but their second group game at the World Cup was a new low. Algeria should have been put away with ease, but England were hopelessly bereft of imagination and drive. Their passing was woeful and any hopes of a decent run in the tournament were extinguished on a dire night for English football.
Xavi or Andres Iniesta? How do you choose between the two best players in the world in 2010? Both were complicit in Spain's brilliant run to World Cup glory, and both are integral to Barcelona's weekly masterclasses in La Liga. My vote goes to Iniesta, in part for his winning goal in the World Cup Final, but also for the fact he makes things happen in the tightest situations, with an almost instinctive sense for where the ball needs to go next.
My vote goes to Siphiwe Tshabalala's goal for South Africa in the opening game of the World Cup. The tournament was years in the making and the anticipation was at fever pitch. To get things going with a goal like that was just the antidote to all the negativity surrounding the host nation. Tshabalala's finish was so emphatic it released a wave of tension in the stadium and served as a perfect opening note to the World Cup.
Pep Guardiola's Barcelona continue to take the plaudits as the most exciting team on the planet, but the big prize in club football went to Jose Mourinho. Inter Milan suffocated Barca in the Champions League semi-final, then swept aside Bayern Munich with consumate ease to win it. Mourinho also led them to the Seria A title. Until Barca win back the big trophy, Mourinho remains on the throne.
Sepp Blatter excelled himself once again in 2010. The FIFA chief refused to act on corruption in the ranks and stood behind the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup. That's Qatar, where you can cook a roast dinner on the pitch during the warm-up and tourists are told to stay away in the summer months. Somebody do something.
Ian Holloway was always going to win this one. "I am more than happy at Blackpool and I am afraid the chairman will need a hell of a tub of cream to get rid of me. I'm like a bad rash and not easily curable."
Jack Wilshere takes this one. The pint-size Arsenal midfielder has proved himself in the Premier League and in Europe this season, and looks every bit the class act. Great touch, great vision and the man who could finally see England rid of Frank Lampard. What's not to like?
That's your lot folks. Enjoy the holidays and see on the other side.
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Will Tidey
- Will Tidey writes on sport for CNN, Eurosport-Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, amongst others. His first book, 'Life with Sir Alex', an account of Sir Alex Ferguson's 25-year reign at Manchester United, is set for release in October this year. Pre-order it now at http://tinyurl.com/6xzl62b. And follow Will on Twitter here - www.twitter.com/willtidey
Previous Blog Posts
- It's now or never for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal
- My Premier League predictions for the new season
- Twitter is the closest we get to modern footballers
- Why the Premier League needs Mario Balotelli
- The Five Greatest Premier League Transfers
- Levy should cut his losses and let Modric leave
- False Arsenomics have put Arsenal on course for mediocrity
- After Goal-line technology, what's next?
- Villas-Boas has been mentored for greatness
- Optimism is once again through the roof at Anfield
- Ferguson's United re-lay their foundations
- Time to talk up England's chances at Euro 2012
- The best Champions League final build-up...EVER
- Kaka to Kettering: Transfer Gossip Rules the Web
- Please corruption, take the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar
- Why Manchester United will beat Barcelona at Wembley
- Lionel Messi unlocks the door to greatness
- Why Arsenal and Tottenham should sell Fabregas and Bale
- Real Madrid could whitewash the El Clasico World Series
- Ferguson's United have rediscovered their sense of timing
- Can Bernard Mullin bring back the 1980s at Everton?
- Wilshere must be trusted to spark England's evolution
- Are Liverpool fans ready for the Andy Carroll era?
- All hail Harry Redknapp, the next manager of England
- Charlie Sheen shows Rooney and Cole how it's done
- Smalling could give Ferguson a big decision to make
- Arsenal took Spurs' feat in Milan and raised it
- There are no real winners in the Olympic Stadium debate
- Gary Neville was the ultimate fan on the pitch
- Tekaboo Andy Gray and Richard Keys
- The legendary New York Cosmos turn to Cantona
- Is Sepp Blatter right about the Premier League?
- Tottenham have everything to gain from Beckham
- 2010: A Footballing Odyssey
- Can Arsenal win the title without beating their rivals?
- Alan Pardew rolls up at the Newcastle United circus
- FIFA get ready to play God for World Cups 2018 and 2022
- Chelsea without Lampard are a ship without a rudder
- Free-flowing French give England a lesson in progress
- Cautious City suffocated the Manchester derby
- Mourinho's Madrid are everything you'd expect and more
- Meanwhile, in a Galaxy far far away
- Jack Wilshere has the talent to define his generation
- Ferguson revelation could threaten Rooney's United future
- Red Sox story is the stuff of Liverpool dreams
- True fans couldn't care less about tactics
- Manchester City v Chelsea: The Future's blue
- El Nino terminado? Fernando Torres on trial
- Stuart Pearce represents the future for England