- By Whirly
- Finishing: This was the weakest area in the tournament for most teams, excluding the teams that played Ecuador (geez how that team got in, woo wee they were terrible).
- Creativity: There needs to be improvement in this area but teams saw open space better than previous World Cups.
- Fundamentals: First touches as a collective wasn’t pretty in many games this time around.
- Awareness: Not knowing where the other teams’ players were was really bad. Too many bunched plays in the middle of the field.
- Crosses: Accuracy and where to place the ball were below average. Don’t cross the ball into the six when you’re out of the 18(how many times has that topic come up during the World Cup duration).
- Understanding your opponent: This was okay at times but there were weird decisions made by players especially in the knockout phase when you have current video on your upcoming opponent.
- Urgency/drive/will: When teams were lopsided in talent there was a push to get more goals by certain teams but overall a C+ grade. The teams were even, and then teams were too scared to put the game out of reach. Bit of a tragedy because some of these teams could have broken some big scoring numbers.
- Positioning: Much better team defenses and they recovered well when needed.
- Clearing: Knockout stage it was better due to danger but as a whole of all the teams…umm okay at best.
- Possession: In this World Cup, it was a privilege to see. Teams played out of the back for the most part and teams were using the Goalkeepers better.
- Communication: One of the weaker categories in this World Cup. Keepers running into defenders and defenders covering same person on corner kicks. Just not great.
- Fundamentals: Not bad but like offence, there were poor and weak touches at points.
- Offensive potency: There were a select group of teams that felt comfortable with sending defenders in scoring situations (excluding corners or free kicks). I wish there were more teams but I like how the games are opening up for more play.
- Physical/toughness: I like the fact that teams want to play more physical but there needs to be more effort to handle the opponents’ challenges better. There were plenty of opportunities available when players fought through challenges and not falling down looking for a call.
- Positioning: Fairly weak. Too many of the keepers played to shallow in net.
- Diving: Much Much better, the technique and explosiveness of this generation is fun to see.
- Read the game: Overall it was decent but many keepers were inconsistent from game to game. This needs to tighten up.
- Communication: Needs massive improvement. The keepers and defenders were not on the same page too many times throughout the tournament. Note to keepers. If a defender is in your way, when you call for the ball, knock there boobs in the turf or grass. Are you kidding me? The box is your terrain; you’re the flipping commander (act like it).
- Distribution: Not bad, there is more accuracy and locating players than past tournaments.
- Crosses: The improvement and range that the keepers are coming off their lines was impressive this tournament.
- Toughness (mentally, physically): Mentally tough, most of the keepers were solid. There wasn’t much rattling when a goal was scored but physically tough….ugh wow is quite weak. Contact will happen in tight spaces. You chose this position for a reason.
- Knowledge of the game: Horrific, there was so much confusion with what were indirect kicks and direct kicks calls. FIFA needs to go over dangerous play situation with these lady officials. Too many unsafe situations in this tournament.
- Consistent: Fans, players, analysts, and other people watching the game; nobody knew what fouls were going to be called.
- Awareness: There are four sets of eyes but not a single official noticed that there were players walking up the line 30 yards (from the original place where the ball went out, can’t do that) to take a throw in. In the Third place match a German player lifted her foot two feet off the ground to take a throw in (that is against the rules and is change of possession). The amount of hand balls not called in the tournament was absurd.
- Positioning: The fitness level has improved but still needs more improvement. The center officials were still out of position. They need to learn how to sprint into situations that can be considered dangerous. Making a call 15 yards behind the play is not good officiating.
- Assistant official: Side line officials did a pretty strong part calling offside plays. This I would give a solid B. The problem however is that the sideline officials let players bully them. Players would throw in the ball, nowhere near where the ball went out. Stand up for yourself. At the same time communicate with the center official if something happens behind her (flag/say something). Be proactive.
- Fourth officials: There isn’t a big enough synonym to describe this area of dysfunction. Terrible times 1,000 (maybe). There were some exchanges between coaches and benches that shouldn’t happen. Know how to use the electronic score card. There were too many embarrassing moments with that stupid thing. The same rule applies to you, personal in bench areas or players can’t touch an official. As the Fourth official you don’t touch coaches (players) or impede their personal space to get your point across. It’s not a flipping contest. ** The only time your aloud to touch someone is if it is in self defense period**
- Understanding the game (time and score): Not good. There were so many controversial calls near end of games. Especially when these calls should be called from the beginning of the game.
Overall this World cup will be one to remember. The gap is closing. Teams are getting better and better. The pace of play is improving. The officiating needs a massive over haul. There needs to be better training or kick these officials to the curb and hire the officials that ref the Men’s World Cup. Sorry I’m not going to apologize for that comment. During the World Cup, there will be some bad officiating games but when you don’t have a single crew stand out (in a good way) that’s humiliating and a huge step backward.