Why did it take italian manager Marcello Lippi until 45 minutes from the end of Italy’s World Cup run to figure out that Fabio Quagliarella was the most effective forward he brought to South Africa? (Lippi used four other forwards before giving the Napoli man a try.)
If Lippi’s countryman Fabio Capello had waited that long to finally figure out that England needed Jermaine Defoe, would England have also exited the tournament early? (Capello gave Defoe his first start in yesterday’s crunch match against Slovenia and Defoe sent England through to the next round with a goal in the first half.)
If the U.S. uses the same back four against Ghana that it did against Algeria, will Jonathan Bornstein be able to cope with speedy winger Andre Ayew?
In that scenario, how will Carlos Bocanegra fare against rising star Asamoah Gyan, his teammate at Rennes?
Speaking of France, short of a match fixing scandal, could the French team have been more of an embarassment? Consider the following:
It qualfied for the World Cup on a goal that involved blatant cheating (a hand ball) by French icon Thierry Henry.
Before the Cup, two members of the team — Franck Ribery and Sidney Govou — were investigated for having sex with an underage prostitute.
During the Cup, obnoxious forward Nicolas Anelka was sent home for insubordination.
During the Cup, the team refused to practice one day.
The team compiled a record of two losses and one draw in a group that contained no other major soccer power.
Notwithstanding all of the above, should French President Sarkozy have agreed to Thierry Henry’s request for a meeting upon the team’s return to France?