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Thread: The World Cup 2018 according to JayFlo

  1. #26
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    The Hindsight Delirium: Uruguay 1-0 Egypt



    "The benefit of hindsight" is an oft-used phrase defined as "the ability to understand an event or situation only after it has happened." I think hindsight can also be irrational.

    For the entire game the commentary referenced Salah, the cameramen molested his presence with constant panning, and the Egyptian fans were, understandably, buoyed by his face on the big screen and, apparently, when he warmed up. Commentary stated he graced the touchline but I saw no evidence of this.

    Egypt were resilient without ever threatening to score - their first real chance came in the final fifteen minutes when their substitute winger nicknamed 'Electricity' marauded down the left-wing and had the right idea to cut it back across the edge of the box to Warda, just couldn't execute the pass with enough pace to beat the interception. Egypt were what Saudi Arabia would've liked to have been yesterday, but failed in doing.


    Uruguay won at the death after numerous chances throughout both halves: Suarez hit the side-netting and his reputation convinced Pearce and Keown that he'd actually scored to have it disallowed before realising he'd missed the target; Cavani had a sumptuous volley saved emphatically with about fifteen minutes left and had an improvised left-footed volley blocked by gallant defending in the first half. The goal that won it was the kind of towering header that you cannot fail to love: it has that inherent inertia that comes from within as a spectator. A proper centre-back header of a goal.

    Did Uruguay deserve to win, though? Well, they didn't deserve to lose and Egypt didn't deserve to win. If a team was going to win it, it was only going to be Uruguay on that performance but they were in large parts lacklustre. I was excited to see their midfield press and play quick dynamic football. They did neither. Egypt picked up the initiative to press when off the ball in all but their final third, and drop and swarm the box quickly when it that final third. I think a draw would've been the fairest result. I have no gripe with a Uruguay win that said.

    My gripe is the hindsight delirium. In this case, it was the notion that maybe it wouldn't have happened in Salah came on for the final ten minutes, or earlier perhaps. I completely disregard that. Had Egypt drawn, which I'll reiterate the deserved to, undoubtedly Hector Cuper would've rightly been praised for getting a draw against the group favourites without Salah and in the process allowed his key man an extra four days to work on his sharpness. It would've been good tournament management. It still was in my opinion. Presuming Salah now starts against Russia, he's still benefited from the extra days and Egypt haven't suffered a potentially goal difference shattering defeat.

    "[They] should've got Salah on," a friend Whatsapped me, "you knew Uruguay could get that goal and ten minutes wouldn't have hurt him." I gave him my above argument and he retorted that Salah "might have nicked it for Egypt." Obviously Salah is a different class from all of Egypt's attacking players who did feature against Uruguay, but nothing about how Egypt played today suggested they had it in them to switch for the final ten minutes for the benefit of Salah and with ten minutes left in a well-organised shape and defence, I doubt bringing him on would've even crossed Cuper's mind. It, for me, would've made minimal tactical sense.


    I think the case of hindsight's potential irrationality is borne out of an insatiable human appetite to be able to explain everything in a cause and effect framework and an easy, and therefore common way to do so, is locate the absence of something and attribute it to that. In the first half Pearce prophetically pointed out that something like two thirds of the goals Egypt conceded in World Cup qualifying was from crosses into the box and that's how the winner came. Another human behaviour is to spot trends and patterns - even where they don't exist - but it did here and it was Egypt's eventual downfall: not an absence of something but something very predictable.

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  3. #27
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    good write up and i agree, Uruguay were the only likely winners on the balance of play....BUT how unlucky Egypt were to lose at the death.

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    Do you not think Salah up top ready for a counter attack in last 10 when Uruguay were throwing the kitchen sink would have been a decent idea then?

    Liverpool head on I want him to come back in 1 piece but hopefully help them qualify

    But I can understand not bringing him on when you could argue there was no real need when 0-0 after 80+ mins

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  6. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Do you not think Salah up top ready for a counter attack in last 10 when Uruguay were throwing the kitchen sink would have been a decent idea then?

    Liverpool head on I want him to come back in 1 piece but hopefully help them qualify

    But I can understand not bringing him on when you could argue there was no real need when 0-0 after 80+ mins
    And that's the crux of it. I wouldn't have brought him on, no. Like I said, perfect tournament management had they drawn and still will be if they qualify.

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    He clearly isn't fit, otherwise he'd have started. So no point in risking injury getting worse and ensuring he stays fit for the next one.

    Uruguay would have won easily had Suarez not looked a complete flake all game.

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    It was supposed to be so easy.

    "I must write this," I told myself as the game whimpered through its final moments, "immediately after the game finishes." I was sat at my work desk, 40 minutes into a ten-hour nightshift and thoroughly dismayed and disappointed in equal measure. I wasn't exactly sold a dream, it wasn't necessarily a case of false advertisement, but I certainly felt justified in my expectations: rightly or wrongly, a win against Tunisia was a must, not just to progress from our group but because we arebetter, I deduced.

    I was enjoying the World Cup up until the England game and then for ninety minutes my enjoyment was put on hold. This would've been the case whoever the opposition was and remains so until we are at least two goals up against an inferior team and three up against an equal or better team. I simply don't enjoy watching England in the moment.


    With 90 minutes played, the fourth official held up the board to indicate there would be four minutes added on. "Four?!" I questioned rather loudly in disbelief. I had been very impressed with the standard of officiating during the World Cup so far: VAR was being used in an efficient and enhancing way; dives were given the disdain they deserve; and, most heart-warming for me, added time was being correctly applied. By correctly applied, I mean that, by and large, every game was getting five minutes plus added on. Thirty seconds should be added for substitutes and for goals, plus time that the game is stopped for floor routines and histrionics. So, for a game in which all substitutes were used and there was at least one goal, there should be at least 3.5 minutes before you factor in any time for injuries and the breaks in play they entail.

    So, yes, "Four?!" I couldn't believe it. All game Tunisia had kicked us, tussled us to the ground writhed in pseudo-agony on the floor, and generally taken their merry time with everything. Miraculously, they had done all of this without receiving a single yellow card. Harry Kane was quite literally poleaxed to the ground - in the box - at least once, if not twice. Ashley Young was a particular target for physicality. On top of the poor refereeing throughout the entirety of the game - I have no qualms about the penalty being awarded, Walker's positioning and movement was clumsy - the addition of just four minutes compounded my dismay. I laughed at suggestions that the opening game of the World Cup, Russia's 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, was fixed, but I was starting to feel there was something awry with the officiating of this England-Tunisia game.

    Fortunately, just like for the opener, Harry Kane found himself unmarked at the back post and on hand to snatch at a chance that had been created out of a Trippier corner and a centre-back's header; first Stones for the opener and then Maguire for the winner. England had, at the death, won it: 2-1, the final score.


    Had we drawn, the remaining nine hours and twenty minutes of my shift would've consisted of me stew on the unjustness of the result, the inability of Young's use of his left foot (or Southgate replacing him with Rose or any other player who can use his left for more than standing on), and the lack of creativity we had shown. Dele Alli, it seemed, remained on the pitch for 50 minutes after he looked finished with a twang of his leg. Were we going to rue not taking Adam Lallana?

    Had we drawn, I wanted to write up just how dismayed and disappointed with it all I was. Instead Harry Kane squatted, directed his stance and glance one way, and swivelled his head the other just as the ball made contact to put the ball past Tunisia's substitute goalkeeper. With that goal, the remainder of my shift stopped looking as daunting, I no longer had to wish away the week to Sunday's game with Panama, and getting up at 1230 to watch Japan vs. Colombia, having gone to bed at 0715, remained appealing.

    'Super Saturday,' My Dark Horses and Germany Losing

    I am loving the World Cup. Only England could, possibly, derail my enjoyment and Harry Kane ensured that did not happen. The weekend was fantastic: seven games in 48 hours and I saw six of with the one I missed being done so out of choice. It was Peru's 1-0 loss to Denmark I didn't see because I had already made plans, forgetting the World Cup was on. It was still football related: my dad, brother and I went and played 18 holes of FootGolf to celebrate Father's Day (a day early) and even then I was in constant Whatsapp communication with the wife who was sending me her unique brand of minute-by-minute reportage: "OMG, Peru just had a great chance, a great cross and some mug fucked it right up,"; "if there were medals for effort Peru would be winners"; "Schmeichel is on fire,"; "Peru are a bit like Southampton, can't finish and are very unlucky,"; and in the final ten minutes, "Denmark are pricks, another yellow, this is embarrassing by Denmark."


    My dad had been to Peru earlier this year and had been in Lima when they had their crucial qualifier that sealed their place at the World Cup, watching it in the town centre with thousands of Peruvians; he understandably has a soft spot for them this World Cup and wore his Peru shirt during FootGolf.

    The first two games of Super Saturday I watched with my dad and brother and none of us were impressed by France in their 2-1 victory over Australia and I personally thought it was a bad game, in stark contrast to one of my best friends who thought it was a 'great game.' I think he had some rose-tinted glasses on - ones he has been wearing since he went travelling and spent a large chunk of time down under - and secondly, he is a sucker for seeing any game where a team works hard as a good one, irrelevant of any presence or absence of quality.

    Argentina versus Iceland was a game I was very much looking forward to and I knew would bring forth all sorts of opinions and conclusions. Another one of my best friends declared after that it was a 'proper World Cup game,' and I saw comments online of people brazenly questioning what the point of Iceland being at the World Cup was (throwing in other smaller nation, for good measure - not aimed at anyone here). I thought it was a very good game and even decided to tweet a short analysis not of the game but of people's responses to the game:


    Sunday's offering was for me, in wake of the games, better: I enjoyed both the Serbia-Costa Rica and the Mexico-Germany games far more than France-Australia and Croatia-Nigeria. Serbia are my dark horses, or hipster team if you prefer, for the tournament and I loved watching Mexico's counter attacks and stifling of Germany's advances. In contrast, I can't stand Didier Deschamps and found Croatia-Nigeria the most boring game of the tournament so far - and that hasn't changed with the fixtures since.

    I'm now sat on the sofa, after sleeping from 0720-1230, awaiting the last two games of the first round of games. I'm tired after the first of four nightshifts, but I am happy; this is, after all, the greatest show on earth.

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  11. #32
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    I like your wife's commentary Wish my own was interested in football like that

    Kane saved us all from 6 days of misery, that's for sure!

    France game was indeed awful. Technology saved the day for them.

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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I like your wife's commentary Wish my own was interested in football like that

    Kane saved us all from 6 days of misery, that's for sure!

    France game was indeed awful. Technology saved the day for them.
    There were some other real gems:
    "Shit freekick [from Eriksen], I could've done better. Commentator said poor freekick poor execution, so I was right."
    "Denmark just shoved a man right over; he went flying."
    "Shit result. Denmark were shit."

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    All Underdogs Go to Heaven

    All Underdogs Go to Heaven



    The first round of fixtures is over and records have already been broken: Ronaldo's not-record-breaking record of scoring in eight consecutive international tournaments (Asamoah Gyan has scored in 9, including three World Cups); Ronaldo's actual record-breaking hattrick that made him the oldest player to do so at a World Cup; and the longest a tournament has gone on for without a red card - it came in the penultimate match of the first round for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez, whose third minute red card was the second quickest in the tournament's history.

    With each game my fascination has genuinely grown. Do I think every World Cup I experience is better than the one before? Maybe. I'm certainly enjoying this one more than 2010 and consider it, so far, on par with 2014, whilst not as good as 2006 yet. One thing that seems clear as of the end of the first round is that this is could be the World Cup of the underdogs; defensive football is winning at the moment - and I am enjoying it.

    54% of goals have come from set pieces, there were 6 penalties in the first 16 games - the record stands at 18 - with 48 games left, and no team has come from behind to win. The team that has scored first has gone on to win on 13 out of 16 occasions. With 38 goals across 16 games, this edition is averaging 2.38 goals per game: 2014 averaged 2.67, 2010 - 2.27, 2006 - 2.3, and 2002 - 2.52. The tournaments since the turn of the century only have a variation of 0.4 so it's fairly insignificant, but 2018 is on course to come through straight down the middle. For every hit-and-run victory ala Mexico against Germany, there's a vicious muling like Russia-Saudi Arabia.


    Another aspect I am enjoying are the 'last minute' goals. In all of the first four matches there were goals after the 88th minute - 5 in total. In the remaining 12 matches there was just one more last minute strike; Harry Kane's winner versus Tunisia. Three of the six goals scored after the 88th minute have been match-winners - Kane's, Morocco's own goal to gift Iran the victory, and Gimenez's header for Uruguay against Egypt; one has snatched victory from the opposition - Ronaldo's freekick; and the remaining two were superfluous strikes to take Russia's three-goal lead to five in the tournament opener.

    My favourite game of the first round was, ultimately, the 3-3 draw between Spain and Portugal. It very nearly wasn't. As a Spain fan - my father's side are Spanish - I was annoyed at the manner in which the match panned out. If you're marvelling at Ronaldo's hattrick still, stop it; it was a penalty, a freekick and a freebie. I admire Ronaldo for his talent and it made for a great spectacle but it was nothing more. I enjoyed it, but only in hindsight and even then it was after a couple of days, because in the 24 hours following the game I was more concerned with having lost the lead in such a way. For Spain's football, all three of their goals, and Ronaldo's presence and narrative, it was the game of the round for me.


    In contrast, my least favourite game was Croatia's 2-0 win over Nigeria; given to them gift-wrapped, insulated with bubble wrap and as inoffensive and tepid as a Will Smith rap. An own-goal and a needlessly given away penalty was a particularly sadomasochistic way to hand the opposition victory, especially an opposition that showed no initiative to actually go and win the game of their own accord. Croatia will definitely have to work harder for anything in their games against Argentina and Iceland.

    A personal highlight of the World Cup so far, is the Moroccan medical team's approach to handling Amrabat's possible concussion in their game against Iran. Visibly groggy, Amrabat was held upright and repeatedly slapped in the face on the touchline. This amateur hour treatment proceeded to play its course a few times before he was eventually substituted. The fact the medical team signalled for the change to be made almost as soon as they got him off the ground made their slap-assessment all the more hilarious. If he wasn't already concussed, he was by the time the physios had attempted to slap it out of him.


    My expectations for who will advance past the group stages have only slightly changed. Having originally expected Uruguay and Egypt to get out of Group A it is now quite obviously going to be Russia and not the North Africans; I thought Colombia and Poland would be 1st and 2nd place in Group H, but now expect Senegal to go through in place of Poland, who looked woeful; and whilst 1 still expect both Argentina and Croatia, and Germany and Mexico, to get to the second round, the order in which 1 expect them to finish could quite easily change from the aforementioned. Those aside, I expect Spain and Portugal, France and Denmark, Brazil and Serbia, and Belgium and England, to go through and in that order.

    I'd love for the second and third rounds to be a repeat of the first, for the defensive teams to effectively frustrate the 'big' nations, for the games to be tight and cagey, but I expect it won't. The first round nervousness was twinned with a must-win aura for many of the matches and it made for such a climate. In the second round, necessity will rear its head and complacency will have no place for teams that are expected, by the footballing status quo, to advance. There will be an unexpected upset, surely, but I have no idea who it will be.

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  17. #35
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    If he wasn't already concussed, he was by the time the physios had attempted to slap it out of him. Must admit that made me chuckle a few times as well, plus their million signals to say that he's to be subbed. I'm fairly sure the manager gathered that pretty much straight away chaps! It also took a long time to get the replacement on the pitch, he'd practically walked round the pitch by the time his brother came on!

    I think Argentina will have to pull something special out of the bag in their final two games now. We shall see.

    England could well top the group yet if they can outnumber the 3:0 that Belgium managed against Panama. After that, the two teams could play out a draw.

    I've a feeling there'll be even more entertainment coming up now as there's more to play for and everyone has got a game under their belts.

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  19. #36
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    I was wondering if any one else had noticed they were saying about subbing before slapping him. It cracked me up

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  21. #37
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    It was a glorious World Cup moment I’ll never forget!

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    Football is Dead (Apparently)

    Football is Dead (Apparently)


    A conscious stream of thought hurdles down the left wing, it evades the tackle of cynicism, shimmies left over the incoming boot of nostalgia, leaps over the trailing leg of rose-tinted glasses, and thunders a shot past the delusion of hindsight! What a goal! Football is dead (apparently), long live football!



    If you haven't heard, football is dead. Despite marching on, football is dead.

    VAR has killed football. A game that was masquerading as football before VAR has now been banished to the funeral ground of professional sport, despite actually being improved - apparently - much like an alcoholic whose liver is so riddled with cirrhosis it can't actually function without the very thing that's killing it.

    "Oh, this isn't football!" scream the very people who slander the game for its dives and tumbles, "football isn't football without the human element," they continue, ignoring they very theatrics that negate football being human rather than a stage play.

    Eminem ducked out of a backlash that would precede criticism when he rapped that, "that's not a stab at Micheal, that's just a metaphor, I'm just psycho, I go a little bit crazy sometimes, I get a little bit out of control with my rhymes."

    But, "good god, I'll do a little slide," and take that same inordinate winger out; the one hugging the touchline, defending his right to reenact a historical scene involving cannonballs and sabres, whilst screaming hysterically at those who might suggest a replay to ensure that said figurative cannonball did smash his ankle into ten thousand shards instead of leave it to human error: yeah sure, human error - the 4 or 5 staring at a screen might get it wrong, but at least it's had the insurance of going through another 8 or ten eyeballs rather than just the referee's in the moment.


    The last 4 minutes of Group B was truly remarkable. Has there been such drama in top-level football since Manchester City winning the title thanks to Sergio Aguero vs QPR? (I avidly await an example, as I accept fallibility in my footballing knowledge - novel, I know).

    Spain had, or had not, scored a last minute equaliser thanks to Iago Aspas' clever back-heel. Iran had - they had - equalised with a penalty. Three of the four teams' advancement all hinged on VAR. Well, no. Let's not lie. It did not hinge on VAR, for VAR is not this insidious puppet in the dark sent from Rugby League to infect our game with logic and reason, rationale and meaning. It hinged on qualified referees re-watching the incident several times from several angles to try and narrow the margin for error. How dare they! How very dare they! Heathens! Peasants! The cheek of them! They might even get it wrong still! How awful! Are the guns ready?! Fire!

    The defence that referees are human and make mistakes seemingly dissipates when VAR comes into the equation - VAR that insidious puppet in the dark sent from Rugby League to mock our humble and pure sport, our honest and people's sport.

    People are enjoying this World Cup, and from my experience more than ones in recent memory. I won't begin to make the argument for VAR being the main influence of that outcome - the sheer audacity if I did - but I will go as far as saying I imagine it would not be as enjoyable as it is without it. Not because of the direct measurables such as the number of penalties given or dives [not] penalised, but because the outcomes of the games have been fairer. Are you sitting down the pub discussing whether Pablo Futbol was fouled by Peter Smith? Yes, yes you bloody are, because VAR will still make the mistakes you so desperately value when it comes to disregarding VAR, just not as often.


    Like it or not, agree with me or don't, this World Cup is better for VAR. And for those who may wonder if the World Cup is really the stage for such a thing to be trialled; it has been trialled in many leagues across the world already and showcasing it to football's biggest audience in the space of 4 weeks is the kind of shock therapy football needs, especially England and its dinosauric flat back fours kicking Pablo Futbol into the stratosphere whilst five minutes later lambasting Perr Fussball for taking a tumble.

    Football is dead (apparently), long live football.


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  25. #39
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    I think VAR is excellent and has in the main made sure some blatant mistakes have not gone uncorrected.....however you can't totally remove the human aspect, the ref in that Portugal/Iran game showed that when he bottled it and gave Iran a penalty that never in a million years was. He completely bottled a straight forward decision because the Iranian supporters were going crazy and i don't think he fancied ending up with a horses head on his pillow next to him (or whatever the Iranian equivalent might be!

    Thank god for VAR or Spain would have lost and a perfect goal and a very clever goal disallowed!

    All hail VAR.

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    Fucking winds me right up the English pundits saying it shouldn't be on trial at a World Cup. It isn't, it was trialled in Serie A, Bundesliga, and many cup competitions.
    I like it.

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  29. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayFlo View Post
    [FONT=Arial Narrow][CENTER]

    Like it or not, agree with me or don't, this World Cup is better for VAR. And for those who may wonder if the World Cup is really the stage for such a thing to be trialled; it has been trialled in many leagues across the world already

    True, but a lot of the players at the WC are not experienced with the VAR. They had no time to rethink their strategy. Therefore this WC is dominated with penalties. It's about fouls instead of goals. Iran was the perfect example. They should have started experimenting with this in friendly games, not at the biggest tournament in the world. Altough I do agree in a few years we are all happy VAR is there.

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    Yeah, all that talk about not trialling it first is BS. It's been in the FA Cup all season

    I appreciate that VAR is not great if it's going against you. But perhaps consider the circumstances that brought VAR into place in the first place and maybe they won't have to complain about it. Ronaldo wasn't happy with being booked and while I did wonder if he threw a punch in there somewhere at the time, VAR proved that he did nothing more than drag the player back in an attempt to get past him. Never a booking in the first place. It's extremely bitter from Carlos Queiroz to say that he should have been sent off. I believe he went on a 10 minute rant about it Perhaps he's overlooking the fact that his Iran team were very fortunate indeed to get a penalty awarded to them thanks to VAR!

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  32. #43
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    Thanks for all the comments guys

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    WORLD CUP GROUP STAGES: The Rundown

    Excuse the lack of formal formatting - if you’re reading this before I get a chance to do so - for I am writing this from my phone.

    The group stages have been wholly enjoyable for me. This is, despite it being the point where - objectively - the quality improves, where my enthusiasm begins to wane. Now some of that may be down to the trend for England to bow out in this of the next round, but much of it is down to the intensity of the competition decreasing in its relentlessness on our TV schedules. On Sunday I found myself completely at a loss at 9pm; the wife had work in the morning so had to get to sleep, and I was wide-eyed having been on nights that week and bored as the football was over for the day. In short, the World Cup has been so all-consuming I’m lost without it. Tomorrow will feel like a Sunday for me; any thank god it’s Friday feeling will be subdued with the pointless verve and camber of a Sunday afternoon, for what is a day during the World Cup without football?

    The Best Team So Far:
    Given I am writing this before England and Belgium kick off, and safe in the knowledge it is neither Panama or Tunisia, I am wary of choosing a Group G team. Belgium have looked more than capable going forward, and that’s even with an apparently suffocated De Bruyne playing out of position, but still look suspect with that back three; and I’m saying that as a firm supporter of back-threes.

    So away from the possibility that Belgium are the best team so far, I’m putting my praise at Croatia’s door. I thought they were lackadaisical in their opener versus Nigeria, but Devon East’s Bridge Society could’ve won that game such was Nigeria’s reluctance to take part, however against Argentina Croatia were ruthless in their press; yes Argentina were the embodiment of disarray, but Croatia still had to put them to the sword and they did so with a haranguing style of every Argentine who dared to ponder. I laughed, sympathetically, when a colleague said Croatia were their dark horses, but the way in which the draw has played out, they may well find themselves in at least the semi-finals without facing a so-called big team.

    Most Underwhelming:
    France. Utterly diabolical. Yes, they’re unbeaten; yes they won two out of three; but my god were they stagnant. A penalty, a deflection and a deflection as assist, provide their three goals, and for what is one of the most youthful and vibrant attacks in the competition they have looked laboured and stale. I’m by no means writing them off - they could be slow-burners, but in 30 degree heat sat in my garden watching them versus Denmark I genuinely got more pleasure from staring directly at the sun - the smell of my retinas melting sounded like the cries of a thousand Frenchmen pulling the release of their own revolution guillotine.

    Worst Team:
    No volleyed finish from a centre-back - even a Southampton player - can save Poland from this title. I’ll happily admit I didn’t watch their game today (I watched Colombia vs Nigeria) but I had settled on them already and only a truly remarkable performance could’ve saved them. I’ll trust the stats and reports in supporting my presumption that it did not surface. Another admission is I don’t watch German football, but I’ll equally readily admit I have no opinion on German league players as a result. What I will say is I have never seen Lewandowski deliver on the international stage and this World Cup was no different; I didn’t even see him looking interested. I didn’t hinge all of my expectations of Poland on him; I’d seen many of them before at both international and club level and I expected a resolute and hardworking team that would be hard to break down. That wasn’t the case. I can safely say at no point did I consider another team. I made this decision based in context. You could make an argument for Saudi Arabia being worse, and I’m sure if they faced each other Saudi Arabia would lose, but for me Poland were plop.

    The Pleasant Surprise:
    Well we were all enjoying Senegal weren’t we? The poor sods - if I recall correctly - weren’t in a losing position until they conceded with 15 minutes of the group stages remaining and that was enough for them to be eliminated. Until then, they’d been exciting to watch and a classic World Cup side in terms of its support, character and vibe.

    My pleasant surprise, however, is VAR. And I’ll say no more than that - see my previous post for more detail. I like it and you will in time. If you don’t, that’s also fine.

    Highlight:

    Unconventional physiotherapy. Yesterday the Korean medic took to his player with punches to the thigh and during the first round Morocco’s went at Amrabat with multiple slaps to the face to treat his...........concussion.

    Predictions:
    I don’t have a clue. Let’s say Football is Coming Home.

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  35. #45
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    what is a day during the World Cup without football?

    Shit Luckily the sun is out so I'll be going the pub instead

    Your comments about France are bang on. The likes of Tunisia and Iran have played better than them.

    Lewandowski was indeed extremely disappointing. His team mates may not be on the same level, but he should really be taking the mantle to inspire Poland and he just didn't. At all!

    I was gutted for Senegal. They did do well, and I enjoyed seeing Diouf/N'Diaye in action as Stoke players too.

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  37. #46
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    Did the knockout stages not interest you?

    Was a nice little thread this

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