Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/Croatia national football team/1

Croatia national football teamEdit

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · WatchWatch article reassessment page
Result: Kept. After a collaborative copyediting effort. Geometry guy 11:44, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

This article came to my attention when it was nominated for FA (and subsequently failed) for the fifth time. I've looked at it carefully, and I don't believe it meets good article criteria. The use of the English language is poor in violation of GA criterion 1(a). When this was pointed out to the FAC nominator, who obviously is not a native English speaker, he was dismissive and made no changes, and the article failed. I'm not saying that because it has repeatedly failed FAC it can't be a GA, but it doesn't seem to meet 1(a). Additionally, there are numerous MoS goofs, such as section titles in all caps. I think promoting it to GA was a mistake, but as I opposed it at FAC, I'm probably not the person to remove its GA status, and therefore request a community reassessment. I have placed notes on the talk pages of Malez and Domiy, the two main contributors to this article.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:11, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

It is only a matter of hours since you nominated this so I don't know if you intended to advise me about it, given that I reviewed it for GA, but it just so happens I have only spotted it because I came to this page looking for another review.
Anyway, the GA review was completed two months ago and the article history has grown considerably since then so, really, I would have to review it again. I hope that my recurring advice in the GA review about "making sure all previous FAR concerns have been addressed" was followed and that the article's standard has not slipped since early October.
Unless there has been a slippage in recent weeks, I think it is wrong to say that the use of English is "poor". When I reviewed the article, the spelling was correct and the grammar, though not brilliant, was satisfactory. Overall, the English wasn't up to FA standards but for GA purposes, I think we are more interested in readability without distractions. In football parlance, "a referee you didn't notice had a good game", but if you are the FIFA adjudicator who is there to study the referee, you might not agree. GA review is no place for FIFA adjudicators. I'm puzzled by your MoS comment about "section titles in all caps". The only slight error I could find in any section header was the capital I in "Team Images", which I've just altered.
GA criteria are supposed to be more relaxed than FA. GA is not FA. GA means "good article" and a good article does not have to be perfect; indeed, a good article is absolutely not perfect, it is good and that is all. ---Jack | talk page 15:41, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

In agreement with pretty much everything which Jack said. Wehwalt, the article was fine when it was promoted to GA; it is still fine. While it is obvious the article history has grown, this is fairly without any major changes. Most edits are simple copy edits or slight additional phases being put in, again, nothing major. There are no MoS "goofs", what you saw was a result of quick vandalism or an editors accidental error. It's been fixed up likewise. Again, please remember that somebody's concerns aren't always indeed correct. Just because you don't like the style or certain grammar of an article, it doesn't mean it is a poor article. The same goes for your concerns about this page excluding any major information. You claimed that there is a great "story to tell" involving Croatia's history. This is just untrue; everything you see in the article is everything that happened. While I see the possibility of a great story behind the volatile team, that doesn't mean it is correct either. The story is that they were declared independent and started playing separately. I guess they were just blessed with good players and a good coach, and maybe had a bit of luck along the way which helped them achieve such great results in their first few years of playing. This is all mentioned in the history section of the article. If you have some personal preferences involving the team, you are more than welcome to include them in this article yourself; that's what WP is all about. It is not a sufficient argument to claim that the article excludes major information merely because it doesn't suit your own personal style. I can't assure that any added information of such will be kept in the article since it does undego constant surveillance, but it's always worth a try. I have told you there is no massive story to tell involving the team. If you think I'm wrong, then go ahead and prove me wrong; include your great story in the article. I'm sure you will find some negativity and difficulty in this task because of what I said already.

Feel free to completely review the article again Jack. Domiy (talk) 22:42, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

I've asked for a community reassessment, though obviously anything Jack has to say is helpful. I find many odd phrasings such as "Shortly after the dropping out of the 2004 tournament, former player Zlatko Kranjčar took over as national team coach[46] and led Croatia to finish first in their qualifying group for the 2006 World Cup without losing a match." and "Although they were initially considered underdogs, Croatia enjoyed a 3–0 victory ...". I would like to see improvement in the article, yes, but the compelling story line is not part of the GA and was not mentioned by me above. I think this article has great potential, that is why I am keeping after you even though it failed FA for the fifth time.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:55, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. I think this is a case where native English speaking Wikipedians can help others maintain the prose quality in a spirit of collegiate collaboration to improve the encyclopedia. However, I also think that the lead section is too long, and that the article goes into too much detail in places. "Other recent appearances" is not an encyclopedic concept. Some cuts are needed, as well as some copyediting. Geometry guy 23:26, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Response Oh, I agree. I am trying to push Domiy to improve the article. Better to make this FA-worthy than to have an endless stream of unsuccessful FACs. I don't want to do the copyediting myself though, just to keep the pressure on. From Domiy's comments above, to quote Gilbert and Sullivan, he seems to feel that the article "is not susceptible of any improvement whatsoever." It is not however graven on tablets of stone!--Wehwalt (talk) 23:42, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Response I'm happy to copyedit the prose, but can't begin until 1700 GMT, and can't promise my efforts will bring the thing quite to Strunk and White's standards. Is that any use? Gonzonoir (talk) 11:54, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
      • Response Go for it. If someone gets rid of most of the difficulties, I'll go through it myself and help clean out the last of the dust. I think it will take more than this to get it to FA, but I'd see a good copyediting as a way of clearing up the GA concerns.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:02, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. I think there is a danger of overkill here. This article is about a football team and the people who read it are going to be football fans who are well used to phraseology such as: "Although they were initially considered underdogs, Croatia enjoyed a 3–0 victory ...". Sorry, but that is how football people write and speak. There is nothing actually wrong with it and you could ruin the whole readability of the article if you introduce stilted phrases that footie fans cannot relate to: e.g., "Having been considered outsiders prior to the tournament, Croatia was victorious in the first match, the result of which was 3-0." The latter version is pedantically correct and reads like some pre-war jolly good chap from Varsity writing in The Times, but the original is readable and is in tune with the readership. I think if you start making the article formal rather than friendly, you will chuck the baby out with the bathwater. Caution is called for. ---Jack | talk page 14:03, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Response. I'm a football fan; I'll try to balance accessible prose with the necessary encyclopedic tone when I copyedit tonight. On me 'ead :) Gonzonoir (talk) 14:19, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
    • LOL - that's a funny idea of what constitutes good encyclopedic prose: formal, stilted and verbose. I hope you don't think non-football articles should read like that, Jack! "Having been considered" is an awkward passive construction, "was victorious in" is unencyclopedic (try "won"), and "the result of which was 3-0" is verbose. If I came across such a sentence, I would copyedit it to something like "Croatia were considered outsiders before the tournament, but won the first match 3-0". Vigorous writing is concise, and copyediting normally shortens prose.
    On the other hand, the article should not be written in the language of a football commentator just because it is about football! "Croatia enjoyed a 3-0 victory" begs the question "how did they enjoy it?" Good writing should be easy for everyone to read, including those with less fluency in English. Geometry guy 19:16, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
    This is good, this is real good. The article is getting fixed up, and once it is, I'll drop my reassessment request. Doesn't mean it will pass at FAC (some serious work is needed there) but at least it will be a solid GA. This is what WP is all about!--Wehwalt (talk) 19:20, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
    Yup. So far Gonzonoir's copyedit has removed cliches, unneeded words and editorial opinion, cutting 1KB of prose. That's good copyediting. Geometry guy 23:28, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
    Cheers - I've finished now, please see the Talk page for my comments on suggested further improvements. Gonzonoir (talk) 11:21, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. I have the impression that the nominator Wehwalt is ready to withdraw his concerns. The lead has been trimmed, and my concerns about the "Other recent appearances" section are not substantial enough to prevent a GA listing (although I think you could run into problems at FAC). I would be happy to close this discussion as keep, except that I found just one sentence needing citation in my copyedits:
    "they were prohibited from participating in competitive matches as FIFA still recognized the Yugoslavian team as the official representative of the country."
This is in the "Pre-independence" section, and needs a cite. I couldn't find a good one. We do need to know why the pre-independence team had no more matches after 1944. Can someone fill in the blanks and clarify? Geometry guy 23:03, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Response to citation needed Many references in the pre-independence section cover this topic. It is said in a few places that the reason the 1940s teams existed was because Yugoslavia was temporarily inactive and unstable. However, once a more organised Yugoslavian republic came into power again, these 'Croatian' teams could not play separately anymore. There are sufficient references around the article which cover this point, but I will work on finding the most accurate one and put it directly after that statement if needed. Domiy (talk) 23:26, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Could you also make the sentence as accurate and informative as possible, based on the source you find? Geometry guy 23:37, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Apparently it is FIFA policy that one, and only one federation can represent any individual area. There have been anamolies, such as when there were two Irish federations, one in Dublin, one in Belfast, each drawing players from the whole island. But that is the rule. Saar almost qualified for the World Cup one year because the Allies were holding it apart from West Germany. However, for my part, my concerns have been addressed and the GAR can be closed. I'd rather someone else did it.--Wehwalt (talk) 06:52, 17 December 2008 (UTC)