Archive for July, 2010

More Tweets From The Palace 2010-07-25

Archive for July, 2010

Hooligan Superstar by Lairds of Scunthorpe

This latest from Lairds of Scunthorpe started when I was trying out my new LPD8 drum pads and wanted to see whether I could come up with anything useful using just the 8 pads and a sampler. That’s how I got all the rhythms and the bassline, but I was forced to add the melody using a keyboard. Then played around with the arrangement in Logic.

[mp3player width=460 height=80 config=fmp_jw_widget_config.xml playlist=hooligan_superstar.xml]

Archive for July, 2010

Red Serpentine Gallery

The new red outside gallery at the Serpentine.

Posted via email from palaceofvision’s posterous

Archive for July, 2010

No Stop – Even More World Cup Post-Match Analysis

These Are A Few Of Our Favourite Things

The whole world cup depicted as almost DNA type chromosomes

What could be better eh? A combination of top drawer infographic type instant fact visualisation and the entire World Cup. It’s as if someone else had been forced to spend their entire summer watching it alongside me only they had to take notes. Here the very quality Michael Deal has taken all the action from the 64 games and distilled it into a rather nice chart that you could fool people into thinking was something like the chromosomal DNA matrix of football. You can find it on the Umbro blog.

Now, based on my own recollections of the matches and a magnifying glass, I’m not so sure that statistics really tell you all that much about exactly how a match unfolded. I’m always wary of those ‘highlight stats’ like percentage of possession and shots, which never seem to tell the whole story, but these graphics are interesting in a couple of ways.

First, if they are to be believed, either my memory has gone completely and I am deliberately misremembering things, or someone, somewhere at Stato Central has got a very, very liberal definition of what a shot is. I don’t recall nearly that many shots in the matches I watched.

Second, and way more interesting, is the way you can see the balance of play going. Spain’s match with Switzerland is a great case in point. Spain, as masters of the passing it around the back to one another, seem to be represented with an almost solid block of green as they monopolise possession, while Switzerland appear either to never have had the ball or to be incapable of passing it to one another as great tracts of blank space show through their performance. Equally Engerland’s performances, which I recall being chock full of inept failed passes, appear to be full of possession.

I think that the problem with these stats is that there’s no qualitative side to them, a pass is a pass is a pass, whether it’s a short easy one played between two defenders meandering around at the back or a defence splitting goal creating pass that changes the game. It would be interesting to see if there was some way of both measuring the quality/effectiveness of a pass and depicting it. Then you really would have the basis for a cool visual interpretation of the game.

Archive for July, 2010

Absolutely The Last Word On That World Cup Hoo Ha

What A Difference A Week Makes

Yes, just over a week on (give or take) and the 2010 World Cup luxury liner (the good ship Taxfree Profligacy) has sailed away from plucky South Africa, taking its bangles, baubles and Jubillana the Hutt balls with it on a magical voyage of discovery which will dock at the free port of Oligarcos somewhere in Brazil in around 2014. There it will stay just long enough for Huttmeister General Sepp and his companions to disgorge themselves like plunderous vikings for another 31 days and nights of footballing carnage. The South Africans, meanwhile, have already mothballed some of the more useless World Cup 2010 stadia, while handing the rest over to a number of popular local rugby clubs, thereby fully embracing the legacy of the World Cup. In truth, they’re all far too excited by one of their own winning the 150th Open Golf tournament at St Andrews over the weekend to recall anything that’s happened in the last month.

The Good & The Wretched, Players Of The Tournament

It was back in 2002 when Engerland’s Sol Campbell was included in the Team of the Tournament, as far as I can recall the last time any Engerland player made the grade. Certainly this time there were absolutely no calls for the inclusion of the various fatally flawed members of our team. Having televisually played my way through the entire World Cup, my selection of players is based, not on copious notes and opta-Capello stats, but on vague recollection of odd moments of the tournament.

The Good – Gamechangers

The Good play an unusual and possibly fatal midfield heavy 0 – 3 – 6 – 2 formation.  While on the attack we have a one man defence and no keeper. But every player here changes games. And you can’t buy that kind of performance (although actually you can if you are Man City, Real Madrid or soon to be bankrupt Barcelona).


With teams all playing some form of the Mourinho Discipline and a ball that lent itself better to near earth orbit than accurate free kicks on goal, this was an easy tourney for keepers. You got the feeling that almost anyone could man the sticks and it really wouldn’t matter. That thought was quickly disabused during the first Engerland game when you realised that actually, no it wasn’t that easy, and that anybody except for Robert Green could man the sticks and it really wouldn’t matter. I don’t think that any keeper really made a difference, so my good team doesn’t have one. This could prove to be something of a tactical error, but what the hell.

At the back

Philip Lahm – a great left sided defender playing on the right. Let’s put him on the left.

Sergio Ramos – flouncing diva who proved to be rather effective. Needs some kind of teeth operation.

Carlos Puyol – defended mainly from the centre circle. Nice bullet header against Germany.


Kevin Prince Boateng – outstanding and still my player of the tournament (amazingly enough – I know, not even I believe it). The dynamo that drove Ghana forward, one of the few players in the entire tournament who always wanted the ball and usually did something useful with it when he got it. Germany owe him big time for having taken out Michael Bullshit in the FA Cup Final.

Andres Iniesta – had for him an average World Cup, but unlike Zidane in the 2006 final, his best moment both won the game and didn’t get him sent off. Sometimes the ball seemed chained to his feet. Immeasurably better when partnered with Fabregas.

Mezut Ozil – has those bleary amphibian eyes on stalks and plays in the Dennis Bergkamp position between the massed ranks of the defence, his work in Germany’s demolitions of Engerland and the Argies was outstanding.

Bastian Bloody Schweinsteiger – I’ve never liked him. But he was good.

Xabi Alonso – not just for being able to take that Nigel de Jong kung fu kick, but for his simple style that echoed Brian Clough’s maxim of get the ball, give it to someone on your team.

Elano – no idea why only Brazilians should have just the one name, but there you go. Much more so than the unfilled potential that was Kaka, Elano was the creative dynamo of Brazil. His loss to a really horrible tackle against the Ivory Coast deprived Brazil of much of their zest and, ultimately, cost them their place at the tournament.

Up front

Thomas Meuller – Golden Boot winner and Best Young Player of the Tournament. He’s like the German Paul Scholes, an indispensable member of the team whose potency you don’t notice until it’s gone. His suspension against Spain was one of the reasons Germany lost the tactical battle.

Carlos Tevez – Leetle Carlito, he is a terminator, he never gives up, chases every ball and looks like he wants to personally eat every member of the opposition.

The Wretched – Misplaced Potential

Let’s forget for a moment the stunning massed ranks of the merely mediocre who dominated this competition and focus on the slightly less many who conspicuously failed to deliver. Bear in mind here we could have had a list that included all members of Engerland, France, Italy, uncle Tom Cobley and all. Testament once again that tournament football is about teams not tanked up superstar individuals. These were players who either were unable to perform or were so scared of playing that they went all autistic and introverted on us.


Spooner Bob – or Robert Green to his mum. There is a theory that after around 10,000 hours of practice at something you actually become quite good at it, not so the Spooner (or one might add the whole Engerland team).

At the back

Pretty much every defender from all of those teams that played the Mourinho Discipline overwhelmed by fear and spinelessness. Once it was clear that the Jubillani the Hutt ball made free kicks insignificant, these guys were more than happy to bring attackers crashing to the ground.

Martin Skrtel – a man whose name was made for Scrabble, but should not be allowed near a football pitch, Skrtl (that ‘e’ is really irritating don’t you think) epitomised everything that was wrong with the tournament, leading his team of nit-shaven, sunken-eyed wretches through battle after battle of attritional trench warfare football in dogged pursuit of the one-niller. Probably happiest when covered in blood, knee deep in mud armed with an axe.


You could argue that this should include much of the Dutch and Spanish teams, neither of whom fulfilled their potential, but some other players stand out.

Messi – no goals, no real influence on games. Sure he had some nice little runs, but Argentina’s success disguised Messi’s spectacular non-appearance at the tournament.

Kaka – sent off (sent off!!!) against Ivory Coast, Kaka looked laboured and uninterested. Like Messi he came and went and no one left any the wiser.

Steven Gerrard – hard to say if he really was disappointing given I didn’t actually expect much. But on balance he was rubbish.

Marek Hamsik – possibly my least favourite player of the tournament, he epitomised the uselessness of style over substance. He seemed far more interested in his rubbish haircuts and tattoos than in actually playing football. I can’t remember how many times I was told that he was a great, gamechanging attacking midfielder, yet I can’t recall him actually making a single coherent pass. Unlike Messi and Kaka, whose talents simply didn’t fit into a tournament of tight marking and even tighter defences, I’ve never seen any indication that Hamsik has any talent at football. There is a special place in hell reserved for people like this (next to the Sam Allerdyce memorial graveyard).

Up front

The Rhino – this, like Euro 2008, should have been his tournament, but while he missed the Euros as Engerland didn’t even qualify, here he might as well have done for all the effect he had on matches. Given his potency when he emerged in Euro 2004, it’s amazing that Rhino has evolved into this almost undead creature incapable of even receiving the ball, let alone doing anything creative with it. It wasn’t that he looked like he really didn’t want the ball as that he looked genuinely bewildered as to what to do with it should he be unlucky enough to get it. Needs to learn that taking charge of a game isn’t the same as running recklessly all over the pitch chasing the ball.

The Diva Ronalda – again, Ronalda is a player who can change games, but there has long been a suspicion that he goes missing on really big occasions. Certainly his effect on serious games, cup finals, Champions League knock out stages and the Euros support this conclusion. Here he wasn’t able to boost a Portuguese side that was strong in defence and all but invisible in attack (strange given they scored 7 against the North Koreans). Not even he could control the Jubba ball, so one of his primary weapons, devastating free kicks, was completely neutered.

And It’s Curtains For Paul The Psychic Octopus

Thank god for that. Isn’t Oldboy just excellent?

Archive for July, 2010