December 11, 2007

< / Blog >

I suppose this isn’t really the end of this blog at all, but as you can see, I haven’t posted here for aaaaages.

I do have a new blog for my Computer Science final year project though at http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/church-it/

If you came to this blog, sorry but I’m not really paying much attention to it anymore. Maybe I will again one day, but I’m a little busy for this right now. You’d probably be better off stalking me on facebook. It’s not difficult ;-)


June 22, 2006

Over half the world cup is done!

Holland0-0Argentina
Great first half. Then it all began to fizzle out and without any real chances created, no goals. Argentina seemed to be the better side, but Holland contained them enough. Holland could have been better up front, but they'll be happy after seeing Argentina look so commanding over Serbia & Montengro. Both teams can go far… except Holland will hopefully get no further than the quarter finals – although I'm not sure England would beat them there on current form.

Ivory Coast3-2Serbia & Montenegro
At least the Ivory Coast got a win. Can't comment any more as the game wasn't on tv.

Portugal2-1Mexico
A good win for Portugal. Every player looked so at ease with the ball at their feet. And some of their best players (Ronaldo, Deco, Pauleta) weren't even playing. They will be a good side, one that Holland will have to be at their best to beat. Mexico should be dissappointed with their performance, but they are through anyway.

Angola1-1Iran
Angola went a goal up and looked like they could put Mexico out, but Iran, with all their Germany–based players, snatched a draw. Angola have shown they have improved since their Nations Cup showing, but some of the more experienced African sides not at the world cup will feel they could have done a better job. (The same applies to Togo so far) Hopefully they can build on this though and go on to become a good established, stable (?!) African side.

prayer:

Portugal
–90% of the population consult spiritist mediums for advice. pray for the Holy Spirit to break this apart and for new bible believing Christians to fight in this spiritual battleground.
–pray for the baptist churches of portugal, as they are beginning to adopt the cell group model. That they would be more effective in serving and witnessing to their communities.

Mexico
–pray for more christians to be working and living amongst the poor in Mexico City, so they can live their lives, following Christ's example, serving those around them.
–pray for work in Mexico's universities with students.

Angola
–pray against corruption in places of power
–pray that peace would stay in Angola, and the at the country could stabilise to give it's poor a better chance.

Iran
–Iran is ranked 3rd in Open Door's watch list, which means persecution of Christians is a huge issue.
–visit http://www.prayerforiran.com/

The Netherlands
–pray that Christians would reach out in Amsterdam, and for wisdom & protection there. Amsterdam has a 'lost generation' (see 24–7 prayer country link above) that need the gospel's hope.
–pray that the church would grow in the Netherlands, and that it would grow in commitment to God & His Word.

Argentina
–pray for the latin link step team out there at the moment. see their team report here
–pray for the revival in areas of Argentina to spread to where the Holy Spirit is most needed to revitalise communities.

Ivory Coast
–pray for the current generation of students, who will play a major part in their country's restoration after years of war.
–pray for peace, especially between muslims & christians in the country.

Serbia & Montenegro
(above link is out of date)
–pray that the new independant states of Serbia and Montenegro would develop peacefully, with wisdom in government.
–pray for co–operation between ethnic groups in the states, and that churches could reach out across ethnic boundaries.


June 19, 2006

World Cup Catch–Up

Ok, I have been away this weekend, so its time to catch up with the world cup action….

Ecuador3-0Costa Rica
Well done to Ecuador again! They are looking like the surprise team of the cup so far – lets just hope they don't have to play England in the next round, for their sake.. although they could still do us some damage if we don't improve by then.

England2-0Trinidad & Tobago
82 Minutes before we scored a goal against Trinidad & Tobago???!! Our tactics were wrong – too many long balls up to Crouch when their defenders get that in the lower english leagues all the time, we missed Gary Neville – Carragher was good, but in this game we needed a good crosser in Neville as he never had too much defending to do. Terry had to clear that shot off the line, John got some decent chances. England will look at Argentina's performance and see what should have hapenned. We just need to learn to play possession football sometimes. Owen shouldn't have come off – but then Crouch did score so fair enough.

Sweden1-0Paraguay
I didn't see this game, but the result was to be expected. Sweden will still feel they need to get their world cup campaign moving soon… and their next game is England.

I was away while the rest of the games were played so I won't comment on them too much, except…
–wow Argentina are good! that's how to play against a much weaker team. England should learn from them, but they won't. I suspect Argentina's style of play wouldn't necessarily improve for bigger sides though, whereas we know England's should.
–Brasil are slowly improving but need to do it quickly, same as England. At least Ronaldo showed a bit more of what he can do against Australia.
–Good luck to Ivory Coast for next time. They had such a tough group – in many of the other groups they could have finished first but cam up against Argentina & Holland, both united teams & on form.
–What's going on in Italy's group?! After USA being awful against Czech Republic, they held Italy! and then Ghana beat the Czechs!! the last day should be interesting in this group


June 15, 2006

The World Cup is really underway now!

Englands second game today :D

PREVIEWS:

Ecuador-Costa Rica
Going on the performances in the opening games, Ecuador should win this easily. In reality, it will be harder. Both teams have a latin american style, and while Ecuador are better, part of the reason they did so well against Poland was that their style beat Poland's dour but well organised build up play. Against Costa Rica, who will also try to play in a fluid counter attacking system, they may struggle a little. However, looking at each team's defences makes Ecuador the clear winner. I'd originally predicted 3–1 to Costa Rica before the tournament began… but now i'll reverse that to 2–1 Ecuador win.

Sweden-Paraguay
Sweden will have to win this but could have doubts in their own ability after the daw with Trinidad. Paraguay also have to win, but I'm not sure they're really good enough to. If Sweden's character is strong enough, they should easily get a win, 2–0 or something like that. If they remain nervous as they still have to get an opening win, and fail to supply Larsson & Ibrahimovic, Paraguay could get a result.

England-Trinidad & Tobago
Come On England! Yes, Trinidad have Dwight Yorke and the almighty (!) Shaka Hislop. Yes, they battled to a goalless draw with Sweden superbly. But… yes, England have the best midfield at this world cup, and there is a reason half of Trinidad's players play for the likes of Port Vale, Coventry and Scottish sides. England should win this hands down but we'll see how professional they can be. I wouldn't be surprised if trinidad score but I suspect England will get at least a couple of goals.

REVIEWS:

SaudiArabia2-2Tunisia
This was the first game in this world cup that no–one was immediately in front of the TV for in our common room! But once the second half got going and goals began to come, more people arrived. And then Sami Al–Jaber went and scored – what a legend! Great goal for Tunisia in the first half too, and they'll be relieved to have scored a final equaliser, but Lemerre (Tunisia's french coach) has every right to be annoyed. Tunisia really should have finished this game off but lapses of concentration in defence allowed the Saudis back in. Now Ukraine will feel they can still qualify even after their shocker against Spain.

Germany1-0Poland
Flippin' Germans! All the way through the game, 0–0. Then Neuville right at the end with a goal. grrrrrrrr!!!! Jelen had a great game for Poland, and Germany looked as lucklustre as before – but against a frankly uninspiring Poland side. Not more to be said really.

PRAYER:

Trinidad & Tobago
–this country is an ethnically diverse one, with a lot of Muslims, Christians and Hindus. Pray they would all be able to co–exist peacefully, that the Christians and the churches would be able to reach out lovingly to the others, not aggressively but as Christ did.
–nearly half the population is under 20, so pray for outreach in schools. Especially that religion would not become taboo in school like it is here in the name of 'tolerance' in a multi–cultural society.

England
–pray that churches would unite for the good of the nation
–that God's Spirit would keep the Church of England true to Bible principles, rather than being split apart by political strife.
–pray for your local town! :D

Sweden
–pray for continued passion amongst young christians in sweden. (see link above)
–Though most of the population was born "Christian", 95% seldom or never attend church… pray for committed christians there, that a spirit of urgency would raised, in order to spread the gospel message to those that see it as irrelevent.
–OM Sweden is starting up a Mission Training School equipping people to reach immigrants and secular Europeans.

Paraguay
–pray for political stability
–pray that protestant churches would get more involved in their communities (they are currently isolated in European/Korean communities from the majority of the population), to help the poor and be witness for Christ


June 14, 2006

Ronaldo is fat!

Brasil1-0Croatia
hes been getting worse, and yesterdays performance was dreadful. ronaldo, at the last world cup at least, is usually lightning qiuick, a great dribbler and a fearsome finisher. but against croatia he hardly ran at all. seems like hes going the way of Rio's last world class footballer, Romário. kaka' was good, croatia looked ok but lets hope brasil improve or this world cup wont be half as entertaining :)

France0-0Switzerland
boring! its about time Henry pulled his socks up and played well in big games. i know, i know, he was fantastic in the champions league final – but that match aside, when has he done well recently in big games? its all very well pummelling the likes of Norwich in the premiership – and no–one does it better – but you have to perform, especially after France's last attempt in the world cup. theres not really anything to say about this game otherwise. oh, ribery did well on his debut.

South Korea2-1Togo
Togo scored! amazing! south korea weren't great. they had a very good world cup last time… but they were at home, had amazing fans, and some lucky refereeing decisions go their way. this time round, they look reasonable when playing a high tempo passing game, but for too much of the second half they tried long balls and to win balls in the air. togo aren't great, (see their african nations cup performances) but not the whipping boys i thought theyd be. a good finish gave them a goal at least (so theyre doing better than france so far), although if korea had played the way they did in the second half throughout, togo could have been destroyed.

Spain4-0Ukraine
ukraine had a shocker, spain took advantage – i wouldn't say spain were fantastic as they were against 10 men and a side new to the world cup. shevchenko was nowhere to be seen from what i saw – although i only really caught the end, so i wont say anymore.

good luck to england tomorrow!!

by the way, listen out on BBC WM radio to hear our captain for Trinidad & Tobago in the Warwick World Cup give his opinions – we beat Romania 2–0 earlier today – and i skyed a shot when it was an open goal :S ah well, seems like we have a good chance at getting trinidad through the group stage!


June 13, 2006

Brasil joga hoje!

yay! brasil play today :) i think this will be the first game ive seen them play on tv since actually being in brasil, so thisll be fun!

as for yesterday's games….

australia3-1japan
well done to australia in finally playing, and winning, at the world cup. they took their time though! until the last 10 minutes of the game, japan looked well organised but also with an added edge of skill. australia had all the possession, especially in the second half but lacked that cutting edge… well, until japan's keeper started getting a bit overconfident in coming out for the ball and then cahill was given far too much space for his goal from the edge of the area. aloisi did well as a sub too.

czechs3-0usa
i cant wait to see rosicky play for arsenal next year! he looked a great player, and while nedved was still the man everyone looked to for inspiration, rosicky was the one on form, with his fantastic runs and shots – and a goal to rival frings (& gerrard from the fa cup final still in memory too). usa were disappointing. i had predicted a 0–0 draw but while the czechs were impressive, USA were equally poor. Reyna did very well, but other leading american players, like Donovan, did virtually nothing all game. eddie johnson looked like he will develop into a decent player… but then so did donovan at the last world cup.

italy2-0ghana
italy looked surprisngly weak at centreback.. where nesta & cannavaro play, with amoah and asamoah threatening to open for ghana all game. but at the end of the day, italy's big–match experience showed, with ghana losing discipline (even Kuffour, their most experienced player, pulled down Toni from behind as the last man… even though the ref had blown for offside). italy will have to improve to get far in this world cup, but they are still good enough for the quarterfinals. the czech republic will top this group of koller & baros gain fitness in time.


June 12, 2006

World Cup World Cup World Cup World Cup…!!

(what an imaginative entry title) :)

ok, i know i missed the last two days – but dont worry, each team plays at least 3 times so will all get covered. heres what i thought of the last few games that i saw…

germany4-2costa rica
decent opening game, at least there were goals! (and fring's goal was in the same class as gerrard) Germany's centrebacks looked poor. each time the ball was played between/over the middle there Wanchope was a danger, and not because he was anything special (although his goals were well taken). We'd been shown clips of goals scored against Germnay in recent friendlies before the match – and the same problems remained. theyll still get out of the group, but will be one of the easier sides to beat in the second round. costa rica didn't do anything particuarly special.

ecuador2-0poland
Ecuador in the first 'surprise' (read that as 'a European loss') (!) of the tournament. their centrebacks in contrast were superb. although ecuador sat back for most of the game, they did it well, with hurtado + espinoza winning everything, even in the air. Ecuador showed theyre not just altitude specialists, while Poland were lacklustre really. they were a real threat on the counterattack too – i can see Ecuador topping this group with a little luck! most likely though is that they will be England's opponents. We shouldn't have any problems with them, but will have to be careful it doesn't go the way the cameroon game did in Italia 90.
It was nice to see Ulises de la Cruz play in this one – he does play for villa, or at least Villa's reserves! he even managed to run most of the pitch at one point :)

england1-0paraguay
so… to england's first game. we won. ill be honest, i had this down as 1–0 anyway, but didnt expect england to labour to it that much. the heat definitely played its part – and shouldnt again due to better weather & kickoff times, but still. Owen was short of match fitness, Crouch looked decent. Bringing on hargreaves was a crazy decision as it could have been one lucky goal – england have to go for two goals, they cant afford to sit back! (trouble is, walcott was the only option once owen was off – johnson or defoe should have been in the squad) paraguay did play ok, especially in the second half. i think we just have to write this one off and take the 3 points.
the argument over allowing the players water seems crazy. i know fifa won't want too many stoppages but its serious for the players health if they play and cant drink.

Sweden0-0Trinidad & Tobago
i only saw the first half hour of this plus the highlights afterwards, but from what i saw… well done trinidad!! amazing to see dwight yorke finally play in the world cup – and making tackles in defence as well as running the show going forward! sweden had great chances, hislop did very well (for a portsmouth player :P ). trinidad even hit the post so it wasnt all sweden either. i liked beenhakkers decision to send on another striker after avery john was sent off, good to see attacking substitutions sometimes :) were you watching, sven? england had better make sure they keep their concentration for the trinidad game, as they were no pushovers and will be highly motivated for the england game. sweden will be difficult as they will have to beat us, but hopefully by then we will already have qualified.

argentina2-1ivory coast
i only saw the last 5 minutes of this, but the result's not a surprise. argentina are a very good side, but ivory coast might be a little dissappointed as they will need every point they can scrape in this group.

holland1-0serbia & montenegro
missed this game but well done holland & robben. did see the highlights, and some of those infamous shots form Savo Miss–A–Lot–Ovic :)

mexico3-1iran
only saw the highlights, so i wont pass judgement here. well done mexico though, and their keeper (Sanchez) did pretty well from what i gather.

portugal1-0angola
again, only saw the last few minutes+highlights. pauleta had a well taken goal, but i think portugal should have done better here really. whether that was because angola did well or portugal also struggled in the heat, i dont know but they will need to improve – same as England.

ok another post for todays games will be on the way…


June 09, 2006

World Cup starts in three and a half hours!!!!!! :D

im sooo excited!! listening to football music all day (fat les, three lions, airto moreira, dario G and the like), finished my last exam (finally) this morning… now four weeks of football heaven! :D

todays games –

germany v costa rica – after france lost to senegal, germany will probably be a bit more aware of what could happen if you lose the opener! ballack's injured but even so, germany should beat costa rica fairly easily. most of the costa rican team is pretty small, and germany will probably do the physical play well since theyre just not good enough for 'proper' football! i reckon germany should get this one easily: ill be optimistic and say 3–0.

poland–ecuador – poland should win this, and be on their way to a second round tie with england. worth watching to see how good poland will be. we beat them in qualifying though, so shouldnt be a problem. ecuador on the other hand only really qualified because they play their home games at a stupidly high altitude. de la cruz is their only player to play in europe – and hes been in villa's reserves all season. poland to win 2–0.

prayer points:

costa rica
–the majority of the country is catholic – pray that many more would come to know Jesus in personal relationship.
–pray for churches to be established amongst the Amerindian tribes, so the gospel can be seen as relevant to their culture, and that it would spread!

ecuador
–pray for the government, for fairness between rich and poor.
–pray for more people to be called to work in the slums of Quito and Guayaquil, te two main cities

germany
–for peace amongst supporters during the world cup (especially when england play!)
–for safety of fans, players, officials, journalists, etc etc etc…!
–for diplomacy when it comes to issues like the Iranian president coming to Germany for the world cup

poland
–again, for Jesus and His word to be the focus of the catholic church there, and that the gospel would be seen as relevent by the people.
–slight bias here.. but pray for Mary Dunlop, an old school teacher of mine. She is teaching in a small christian school in Warsaw (i think). read a bit about her mission here

come on england tomorrow!! (and yes, the Sun was right for once – There is a God! :D )


June 04, 2006

World Cup Prayers

Right I know Ill probably get thrown out of uni – or at least off these blog spaces – for some kind of racial/religious hate incitement or something ridiculous but had an idea today.

(a quick bit about me first so you see where im coming from on this – i am a committed evangelical christian – no apologies)

The world cup is coming, right? (YYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!)
and I know that if anything is my 'idol', it's football.
So why not instead use my passion for football for God's purposes? so, during the world cup, I shall try and pray for something for every nation playing that day.

Prayer is the most effective tool we have from God, 1 Thessalonians 5 says "Be joyful always, Pray continually, Give thanks in all circumstances, for this God's will for you in Christ Jesus". So the world cup gives an excellent context for that! (remember the brasil team praying together after they won the world cup and confederations cup?)

ok…. so…. my plan… although i dont know if this will work or be consistant (just like the rest of this blog) is:

1. write comments on here about the football (related to the actual games, not which england stars' metatarsal will break next or whose girlfriend is wearing fake tan)
2. write some stuff about the countries taking part for the context of prayer – or probably post links to something that says it better than me
3. write in some things for prayer – prayer requests?
4. remember to do all of the above :)

so if youre reading this and have any prayer requests/suggestions etc please write a comment – and england's in the world cup so if its praying for a relative in hospital or even exams, post anyway! :D

if this works (the blog idea i mean, cause i know prayer does!), i might spread it round some ppl in CU/church/etc cos thats more effective praying :)

does anyone know of any sites i could find info on countries for praying about? im sure theyll be on google somewhere…

Come On England! (e desculpe, mas é o vez nosso para a copa :P )

Amen.


April 11, 2006

STOP THE TRAFFIK

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