Mar 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group F – Italy 1 New Zealand 3

FT/17 comments • 688 views

New Zealand enter this game with their tails up, this group’s only holder of three points after round one. If the Italians play as they did in the last game, they might chew those Kiwi tails right off.

Voting on this match finishes at midnight on the 1st April.

ITALY: Crookers – “Il Cattivo” The Manager Says “A couple of days curled up on the sofa, and a liberal application of cookies, hugs, and heartwarming films about puppies and kittens finding happy homes, seems to have restored the Italian team’s spirit. The opposition will still quake in their spiky footballing shoes, but this time it’s the awesomeness of our synthy synthy HOOVER that causes the

NEW ZEALAND: Scribe ft Tyra Hammond – “Say It Again” The Manager Says “We’re so delighted to have won our first match, but we’re just getting started. Now is the time for NZ’s finest rap son Scribe to spearhead the attack and with big-voiced chanteuse Tyra partnering him in attack we’re going to take this game to the Italians so whether they play as stubbornly as last time or come right back at us we’ll be ready. A step upward, another…the sun shines!”

Commentary Box Analysis: There’s a manic feeling about both teams in this one, tempo right up. It’s a classic encounter. Italy play a wordless machine funk, electrical nerves twitching in a lively showing, their team still recognisably the product of of the same managerial brain as round 1. On the other hand, the New Zealanders again spurn the tactics their country is most famous for, and deploy a more meaty kind of funk, steak Americaine, if you will. But cooked. I have no idea what will happen.

Group F Match 4: Which track did you prefer?

  • NEW ZEALAND: Scribe ft Tyra Hammond - "Say It Again" 72%
  • ITALY: Crookers - "Il Cattivo" 28%

Total Voters: 43

Poll closes: 1 Apr 2010 @ 23:59

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Result! Group D: Germany 1 Serbia 0: Germany just scrape past Serbia in a game notable for Germany’s unusual formation and some hostility aroused by Serbia’s decision to deploy a team drawn from a club with an unpalatable sponsor. Claims that pop football should be decided on the pitch, and only on the pitch, claims that “it’s all about the music, man”, came to nothing. Whatever, this result leaves Germany on the edge of qualification and the Serbs with nothing to play for but (Balkan) pride. “Serbia are playing well enough here, but the relentless innovation of the Germans could take them by surprise.” “The transition from attack to defense is a crucial part of the modern game but Germany’s veteran playmaker is showing that it’s hardly a new skill – even though the transition back is a tiiiiny bit clumsy.” “This style of play is sexy, pop-heavy, creolistic in its mixture of different styles and generally the way forward – quite the opposite of the clunky cosmo-eclecticism of the deadbeat germans.” “First the Germans go up and down, then they go side to side, which may work in some endeavors but seems self-defeating here. The Serbs, meanwhile, dance and rock and wiggle and kick and easily get my vote, though it seems the refs have a different idea what the outcome should be.” “I wouldn’t want to vote for the ‘honorary president’ of the ‘Party of Serbian Unity’ (a fascist party), even if she were a much better singer…

Coming Next Into Group G as Brazil, widely tipped but pointless after round 1, take on the  take on the might of the Cote D’Ivoire. A classic surely awaits?


  1. 1
    Ewan on 26 Mar 2010 #

    Am I missing something here? I can’t see anywhere to vote.

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 26 Mar 2010 #

    This is real end-to-end stuff with both sides playing with pace and precision. The Italians are in a more upbeat mood than their previous match but still seem intent on obliterating the opposition with relentless attacking moves. The New Zealand team is no less assertive but add a little more variety and flair. A tough match to call – I like the Kiwis but fear the Italians.

  3. 3
    Tim on 26 Mar 2010 #

    Poll now made visible (by, er, creating it and putting it on the post). Soz.

  4. 4
    Pete Baran on 26 Mar 2010 #

    Terrific game this, two defiant styles. I like Scribe a lot here, has a flow reminiscent of Jay-Z and there is a lot of playfulness in the rap itself (though it may be a mistake saying he is the “Peter Jackson of rap and this is his King Kong”, ie very expensive personal project that people admire but don’t like). Crookers feels like it should explode a bit more, but remains relentlessly entertaining through out. This is one I will have to wait on for the week.

  5. 5
    Steve Mannion on 26 Mar 2010 #

    ‘Say It Again’ was a single from 2008 – you can see the video and their lovely faces here if you want: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HuV7VD_VEQ

    I did expect to see Crookers in this tournament – not sure whether I’d rather be up against this or Morder Machine tho!

  6. 6
    logged-out Tracer Hand on 26 Mar 2010 #

    The Crookers track is all set-up! Where’s that last cross into the box, the strike, the celebration? The pistons never quite seems to be firing all at once. A sympathetic DJ might say “well you just mix into the next track if you want a big backbeat”, but there’s not a lot of time left for that in the group stage…

    Scribe is merely phenomenal here. Actually when you get down to it he doesn’t say a whole lot but he’s digested East-Coast rhyme flows whole, and makes the complicated sound effortless. This song is an absolute monster.

    Pete and Roger Bozack will be discussing this match and others from Group E and F this Saturday at 4pm on Resonance FM 104.4; if you miss it you can hear it here (we’ll be resuming posting the shows to Freaky Trigger).

  7. 7
    Matt DC on 26 Mar 2010 #

    What a display from New Zealand! For the first time this tournament, the Nigerian camp are out of their seats and applauding. The Kiwi manager has clearly had his players watching endless videos of the legendary 00s USA team’s spine of Rich Harrison, Amerie and prime Jay-Z. This display has everything, pace, power, aggression, speed, flair and unpredictability.

    The Italian back line is one of the strongest we’ve seen this tournament, and while they settle into a rhythm early it gets a bit predictable and there isn’t quite enough build and release to match their undeniable force. Still, this New Zealand team are so strong the Italians are just overrun by the end. Match of the tournament.

  8. 8
    Tom on 26 Mar 2010 #

    I sympathise with the Italian coach here – so often you have to make a trade off between stamina and flair, and we’ve found this in the South Africa training camp. The Italians look like they could keep running for another 90 minutes but after a bright start I don’t think they’ve got what it takes to respond to a New Zealand team on astonishing form.

  9. 9
    Rob Hakimian on 26 Mar 2010 #

    This game is stale, both team’s passing manoeuvres break down time and time again and there is no real flow to the game. In the end Italy just about pip it for me with a deflected goal.

  10. 10
    Birdseed on 27 Mar 2010 #

    A few seconds into the game, the Italians seem to have it, but after that it’s all New Zeeland. The flow is massive, and Italy’s impressive energy and defence is decimated by the one-touch kiwi play-throughs.

  11. 11
    koganbot on 28 Mar 2010 #

    I’m mostly seeing with the same eyes as my fellow commentators. The Italians are relentless and forceful, powerful when they control the ball, which isn’t often enough against the dexterous Kiwis: New York speed – surely Nas as much as Jay-Z – with fanfares that glide like the (hemispheric) South. A vote here for New Zealand.

  12. 12
    weej on 29 Mar 2010 #

    Well, I was all set up to vote for Italy there, when NZ went and topped their (also excellent) effort. It’s a shame Italy didn’t use this track last time round, it would’ve won easily. NZ for the next round, no question.

  13. 13
    jeff w on 29 Mar 2010 #

    NZ proving themselves to be as adept at ersatz soul as they are at ersatz space disco. Gilles Peterson would cream himself over this track… but that’s not necessarily a compliment! Meanwhile, Italy are fielding the battle bots again. It’s a less defensive minded formation this time round but ultimately there’s not enough penetration to their play to trouble the Kiwis. I’m predicting a comfortable NZ win here, but I’m not seeing the classic that other spectators have mentioned.

    Oh and someone give the Italian manager a hug or something. Jeebus.

  14. 14
    Lex on 30 Mar 2010 #

    I’m glad I waited a few days before voting here: the NZL track was an instant hit for me, and something of an unexpected one: surely I can’t have been the only pundit in whom the description “NZ’s finest rap son” induced only a sense of trepidation? But unlike many of his Euro commentators, Scribe does himself proud – agree with the majority that I definitely hear a lot of Jay-Z in his flow.

    Trouble was, after a few days the NZL track just made me want to listen to Jay-Z and Beyoncé instead. The ITA track, on the other hand, is as reliably and functionally banging as everything Crookers have made, and they’re currently in my good books anyway for their new collaboration with Róisín Murphy, “Royal T”. ITA it is.

  15. 15
    Birdseed on 30 Mar 2010 #

    New Zeeland actually has a surprisingly vibrant hip-hop scene, or rather several – the Maori one and the Pacific Islander one, plus the usual middle-class conscious snore-fest. King Kapisi is a fave.

  16. 16
    Jonathan Bogart on 31 Mar 2010 #

    I’m going to have to give this to Italy too, and not just because I thought they were robbed last round. This New Zealand team is way better than the words “New Zealand hip-hop” would have suggested, but imitating Jay-Z and Beyonce isn’t the same thing as being Jay-Z and Beyonce, as the learned French manager notes. Meanwhile Italy just hammers at the goal, exposing the soft underbelly of the Kiwi team and utterly ruthless.

  17. 17
    Steve Mannion on 2 Apr 2010 #


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