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So, what do you guys think of the teams we've seen so far?

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Now we've seen 28 of the 32 teams (USA v Ghana is past midway stage) and of the remaining 4 to show up the only decent side in theory is Belgium, we should have a better idea of who's hot and who isn't, who can go all the way.

Unsurprisingly the favourites have been the most convincing sides, but I still think some have been far better than others. Here's my appraisal:

Brazil - not entirely convincing, but still strong and I heavily suspect they'll do far better as a counter-attacking side which they won't be able to show until they face the better teams out there - as Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon will just sit back. Also, refs giving a helping hand seems clear already. More suspect defensively than you'd think with fullbacks leaving loads of space behind their backs, but you'd still fancy them to go very far. Grade: A

Croatia - better than expected, that midfield trio of playmakers actually works. Not a good enough side overall to go far though. Grade: C+

Mexico - again a little better than expected albeit suspect at the back, but I only saw the highlights of this match. Grade: C+

Cameroon - disappointing, not cohesive. Grade: D

Spain - easy to say they're horrible after a 1-5 defeat, but they haven't become **** overnight, they could've been 2-0 up had Silva buried that chance. Directness introduced by Costa actually looks useful. Surprising big worries at the back though, obvious lack of intensity, and the psychological blow of a 5-1 defeat is gonna be great. Grade: B-

Netherlands - the opposite to Spain, it's though to put them down after they've just TANKED THE WORLD CHAMPIONS 5-1, but I don't see how 2 good players roaming upfront and a long ball specialist feeding them is gonna work all cup long. Extremely impressive first game but everything went right and I still think they're limited. Grade: A-

Chile - Should get better with Vidal more fit as the cup progresses, but their extremely impressive attack still misses too many chances, and then they just shouldn't have struggled at points vs Australia. Grade: B-

Australia - Better than expected but cross to Cahill's head isn't a game plan that will work all cup long. Grade: C-

Colombia - Good, James' creativity and Cuadrado's dribbling was fun, but allowed Greece to dominate phases of the game, which doesn't bode well. Grade: B-

Greece - Totally devoid of creativity and their supposedly great defence conceded 3. Grade: D

Ivory Coast - Game plan consists on "cross the ball" and bully people physically. Worked for this match, won't work all cup long. Grade: C

Japan - Worse than expected, look out of their depth physically. Grade: C-

Uruguay - I thought they'd be bad but not this much. As little creativity as Greece. Will get better with Suarez on side hopefully, that inflates my grade. Grade: C

Costa Rica - Better than expected with strong counter-attack but still clearly limited and defensive. Grade: C

Italy - One of the most impressive sides with a sublime display of Italian-flavour tiki-taka based on superb movement. Do have obvious problems in lack of close link to Balotelli, narrowness, possible room to exploit behind Darmian's runs. Grade: A

England - The best side out of all that lost the first match. Not world class but cohesive enough and blessed with a couple dangerous players. Don't look solid enough defending though. Grade: B+

France - I thought the lack of Ribery with Valbuena and Griezmann as the creative forces wouldn't be good enough for this level. Maybe the very poor opponents flattered them but instead they looked extremely convincing, that midfield trio really is great. Defence playing high might cause troubles though. Grade: A-

Honduras - Violence and little else. Grade: D

Switzerland - Didn't watch the match but from highlights, articles, they looked a little disappointing. Grade: C

Ecuador - Par for Switzerland from what I've read. Grade: C

Argentina - 3-5-2 was absolute rubbish, but we won't see it again. Look extremely dangerous on a 4-3-3 which gets the best out of Messi, but they defend with too few players on that system and will get exploited on the break often. I'm not confident anymore they'll be world champions. Grade: A-

Bosnia - Not a great match but still looked far better than the other 2 sides on the group. Impressive ability to retain possession under pressure at all parts on the pitch. Grade: C+

Iran - Fair play for getting a point but won't go far. Grade: D+

Nigeria - Inability to break Iran extremely disappointing. Will do better in games where they can play counter-attack. Grade: C-

Germany - Possibly the most convincing performance of all which surprised me given poor preparation and team selection seemingly out of a hat. Lack of natural full-backs doesn't seem a problem in this cup because of the heat in which full-backs cannot bomb forward all match (which is why I think Belgium will do well as they have a similar issue). Suddenly look settled and the talent they have in spades is being well used. Grade: A+

Portugal - Red card made us look worse than we are, but the very poor performance of the midfield was extremely disappointing and we'll badly miss Coentrão as well. We're not anywhere near as bad as this match but we're not convincing neither. Grade: C+

Ghana - Not paying enough attention to this match as I'm writing this but they've been okay at best, unlucky at conceding early goal. Grade: C+

USA - Retreating too much after great early start, possible signs of physical weakness which would surprise me a bit? Grade: C+

So that would make Germany the most impressive side, then Italy and Brazil as the 2 next big favourites, then France, Argentina, and the Netherlands. Ruling out any other possible world champions. Seems fair? Your thoughts, doesn't need to be as lenghty as this.

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Germany and Holland were the most impressive teams so far, I liked France too. Argentina disappointing in the first half, improved a bit with their usual formation.

Brazil were poor and only won because the referee helped but should improve when the nerves are under control.

Italy and England were decent too, both should advance. Spain were awful but I think they will improve.

As for the rest, I liked Colombia, Croatia, Bosnia and Mexico but none should go too far (probably quarter-finals at most).

Portugal were obviously awful, the USA looked too tired, and African teams in general disappointing, look too wasteful/inefficient.

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would probably say Germany are the most impressive, the Dutch were impressive in their win but I've seen it before at previous European Championships so they have to keep that consistency for the knockouts where the main games will come

I think Spain will improve due to Chile/Australia's defences not being great but they will still have to watch with that defence themselves. The other team that have impressed me despite not playing anything too difficult were probably Colombia but it will be interesting to see them with a much tougher opponent

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Another point: I find it funny that two of the best performances were by nations essentially playing derivations of tiki taka despite contrary to their usual DNA (I'm talking Italy, and Germany with their false nine/fluid front trio), yet the daddies of tiki taka got absolutely murdered.

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Knew this thread was coming. Hate it :D

You can't judge teams after one game. I think Spain will still go deep, for example. Germany are obviously very good, but Portugal threatened when they had 11. Other factors helped make the German performance look better. Portugal should beat USA and Ghana.

Still think France are overrated, even though they looked amazing vs. Honduras. I had Argentina down as semi-finalists, mainly thanks to their draw, but find it difficult to believe they can just ride on Messi to a tournament win, even though thats sort of what happened vs. Bosnia.

I don't see Italy as anything more than a QF team, even though we looked good. Maybe Group B can change that, because that estimation is based on meeting Spain in a QF, and not Holland or Croatia.

Etc.

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According to Messi, Germany and Netherlands were the two best teams.

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According to Messi, Germany and Netherlands were the two best teams.

Deliberate snub of Brazil, obviously. ;)

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Knew this thread was coming. Hate it :D

You can't judge teams after one game. I think Spain will still go deep, for example.

This really :) too early, this should be going on after the group stage :)

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Can't judge France too much after a pretty straightforward game. Portugal never got going against Germany

Be disappointing for England to go out now after we actually played quite well but never know how Uruguay will be in the next game

Most disappointing in terms of expecting more as well probably Cameroon and NIgeria and probably Argentina too although can't be too harsh as they won

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Rankings in terms of how impressive they have been

1.Germany

2.Netherlands

3. France

4. Brazil

5. Italy

Least Impressive

1. Cameroon

2. Uruguay

3. Greece

4. Honduras

5. Portugal

Nothing to do with ability particularly as I still expect Portugal to qualify etc

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36 goals in 7 matches, 0 conceded :D

Germany even better, 56 goals scored in 8 matches. Conceded 3 goals.

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impressive:

1.Germany

2.France

3. Italy

4. The Netherlands

5. Brazil (didn't think they were great, but they did look 'solid' if that makes any sense)

Least Impressive

1 Iran

2 Honduras

3 Greece

4 Nigeria

5 Cameroon or Ghana (so far I've found the African teams to be really disappointing)

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Italy was the most impressive for me.

Holland and Germany too, but were atypical games.

Brazil was well for a first game. France too.

Argentina was bad. Weak first time. Always relying on Messi.

I liked the attitude of England. First time I saw them playing like a national team that once won a World Cup.

Spain seemed lost as their last game against Brazil. But they can win Chile and Australia and build confidence again.

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1. France (dark horse for the title)

2. NED + GER for obvious reasons

3. USA (great win with the youngsters)

4. Russia (apart from that penalty)

5. Bosnia (a draw would have been just)

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1. France (dark horse for the title)

2. NED + GER for obvious reasons

3. USA (great win with the youngsters)

4. Russia (apart from that penalty)

5. Bosnia (a draw would have been just)

What are you talking about Kontermann? The US were poor and Russia hasn't even played yet. :D

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What are you talking about Kontermann? The US were poor and Russia hasn't even played yet? :D

Bosnia didn't deserve anything out of the Argentina game either despite the fact Argentina were below their best

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Holland were definitely most impressive. I don't know what was so impressive about Italy. England got at them a bit and they didn't look as defensively sound as usual and England are by no means a great side.

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What are you talking about Kontermann? The US were poor and Russia hasn't even played yet. :D

Sorry I meant Brazil of course :o

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Sorry I meant Brazil of course :o

Easy mistake to make, what with the similar cultures and geographic proximity and all.

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Easy mistake to make, what with the similar cultures and geographic proximity and all.

Guess Bosnia below confused me while writing..

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What are you talking about Kontermann? The US were poor and Russia hasn't even played yet. :D

Russia :D

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Bosnia didn't deserve anything out of the Argentina game either despite the fact Argentina were below their best

And why is that so?

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And why is that so?

Because even though they weren't great, they were far better than you?

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They were nowhere near "far better than us".

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Bosnia didn't deserve anything out of the Argentina game either despite the fact Argentina were below their best

I don't think Argentina were below their best. I think they didn't play better because Bosnia have a good team. Bosnia could have achieved a draw. Wouldn't be unfair. They even had more shots on target.

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I'd agree that a draw between BiH and Argentina would be fair. Bosnia was great at the defensive end, and they were equal to the Argentinian side at the centre of the park. Their attacking was poor, sure, no off ball movement, no real aggresion, but they did a superb job defending Aguero, Di Maria, and especially Messi. The only time that Bosnia failed to contain Messi, he scored. But that's what superstar players have the ability to do. I was impressed with Bosnia.

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Brazil- impressive offence, but were a bit exposed by Croatia.

Croatia- hoping they qualify.

Mexico- looked so-so

Cameroon- looked one dimensional.

Spain- looked nowhere near themselves.

Netherlands- I expected them to do well vs Spain- draw or something, not that well!

Australia- weren't as bad as all that.

Chile- I thought they would be better than they were. But liked Vargas' shot.

Colombia- Impressed.

Greece- for all the press that all they did was defend, they did actually attack. Liked their defence even if they conceded 3.

Japan- very defensively frail. Didn't see whole match.

Uruguay- exposed by Costa Rica as not being the same team as 2010

England- looked good but obviously lost.

Italy- got to get quite far in the tournament again as usual.

Switzerland- tidy but limited side. Nice last ditch tackle to deny Ecuador.

Ecuador- they deserved the draw vs switzerland really, looked fairly decent.

Honduras- they stopped England, and almost stopped France too had they not had a guy sent off. But yes dirty side.

France- fortunate Pogna wasn't sent off. Need a stronger team to face.

Argentina- not the dominators people thought, but could get stronger as competition goes on.

Iran- Quieroz has them working quite well, but quite pointless strategy of 0-0s surely.

Nigeria- looked ok, just couldn't break Iran down.

Germany- as usual efficient, and ruthless.

Portugal- had some good midfield play at times, but dodgy keeper, defence etc.

USA- they aren't going to win it but they are doing their best to make sure they qualify! Test will come vs Portugal.

Ghana-never been prolific, so not surprising team gets 2 past them and they're screwed.

Belgium/Algeria- both didn't look that great, despite Belgium's array of stars.

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Steady on!

They're top of the group, but they've not quite qualified yet

http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/preliminaries/europe/standings/index.html

36 goals in 7 matches, 0 conceded :D

Germany even better, 56 goals scored in 8 matches. Conceded 3 goals.

Razzler, where are you? :D

So far I reckon Germany and the Netherlands have impressed the most. Not sure Netherlands can keep it up and go really far, but pretty sure Germany will. Not sure if they can win it, would stand a better chance with Reus, but they'll be disappointed if they don't play in the semis.

Not at all sure Portugal will go through. It will basically be up to Ronaldo in that case, as they didn't look like a team, but a bunch of individuals, and not very good ones either. Is Coentrao out of the tournament? That will hurt them a lot.

The ref impressed most for Brazil, and they look suspect at the back, especially between the sticks. Can't see them winning it, but didn't expect them to win that thing last year either, so perhaps they can surprise.

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Is Coentrao out of the tournament? That will hurt them a lot.

Yes... it's just been confirmed this afternoon that he's out for good.

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The ref impressed most for Brazil, and they look suspect at the back, especially between the sticks. Can't see them winning it, but didn't expect them to win that thing last year either, so perhaps they can surprise.

Yeah was going to say that Cesar looked dodgy. Not as good as he was in the past.

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Don't understand how anyone can be impressed with Brazil, they were ****ing awful.

I wouldn't say they were awful. They were good enough against a decent team. Neymar and Oscar played well which is important since that is pretty much all of the imagination in their team

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Good enough how? They got by because of favourable reffing that swayed the outcome considerably in their favour (and scored their 3rd at the death). Croatia were probably the better side for the majority of the match. Don't think Neymar actually played well that night either but Oscar did.

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Yes... it's just been confirmed this afternoon that he's out for good.
What is his injury?

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Don't understand how anyone can be impressed with Brazil, they were ****ing awful.

Even the defense, which generally work, was poor.

I doubt Brazil would have won without the referee's help, the team were way too nervous. Should do better now though.

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Germany and Netherlands far and away the most impressive teams so far. France looked good but was against Honduras, Italy were good too.

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Don't understand how anyone can be impressed with Brazil, they were ****ing awful.

My thoughts exactly.

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People always overrate Brazil too much, both when Brazil are bad and when Brazil are good.

I think Argentina had a better debut than Brazil, even though they were poor too.

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Fair to say that without the referee, Brazil would have only 2 points so far. If Spain play their best level again and finish in second place, can they pay back that 0-3 defeat?

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That's a big if.

Also, Mexico could win the group. :D

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I don't think Germany were that good, Portugal completely lost their heads after the red card and just did not give a ****. Holland peaked too early, even more confident they'll lose some game they should win in the KO stage. The loss for Spain might be the best thing that happens to them this WC and they change things up and win it again.

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I don't think Germany were that good, Portugal completely lost their heads after the red card and just did not give a ****. Holland peaked too early, even more confident they'll lose some game they should win in the KO stage. The loss for Spain might be the best thing that happens to them this WC and they change things up and win it again.

I think Holland was super motivated for the game vs Spain, they won't have any game like this again and Spain as you said should improve.

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Good enough how? They got by because of favourable reffing that swayed the outcome considerably in their favour (and scored their 3rd at the death). Croatia were probably the better side for the majority of the match. Don't think Neymar actually played well that night either but Oscar did.

Unfair on Neymar. Today's game doesn't really help my argument but I didn't think Brazil were awful by any stretch against Croatia and felt they deserved to win even if the ref gave them a helping hand. I guess I didn't have particularly big expectations of this Brazil team in terms of aesthetics or high level performance. Expected them to be functional and reliant upon Oscar and Neymar for attacking ingenuity. They were that against Croatia and given the pressure I was pretty impressed.

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Sorry OP but you can't says what do you think of the teams so far then dismiss Netherlands as being a one off. So far they have been one of the top sides along with Germany imo. Beating SPAIN aka the world champions 5-1 ain't a mean feat no matter how they played.

Brazil looked pretty naff today, as did Belgium. Think at this stage Germany look the strongest side but a european side has never won in South America and the fitness/climate mix could show more in the latter stages.

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Brazil looked pretty naff today, as did Belgium. Think at this stage Germany look the strongest side but a european side has never won in South America and the fitness/climate mix could show more in the latter stages.

There have been only four World Cups in South America before (1930, 1950, 1962 and 1978), two others if you include Mexico (not in South America though).

I am sure European teams can win here, and it's not like SA teams won't suffer with the climate and fitness too.

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I think stuff like that is exaggerated, especially in this day and age with much more knowledge and preparation, sports science and so forth. I have no doubt European teams CAN win there, and I won't be too surprised if Germany or Spain do. Netherlands had a fantastic start, but I don't think they'll go all the way.

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