Half Time

The group stages are done. Sixteen teams have progressed to the knockout stages. Sixteen teams, and one other, have gone home. It has been a fantastic tournament so far. Absolutely fantastic. Of course, it would have been better had England managed to….well, win a game. But I’m a football fan, and the football in Brazil has been of the highest order. I have some opinions to share, naturally.

  • Roy Hodgson should be fired. He might have selected a youthful squad. But then he ruined it by picking Welbeck. Not once, but twice. He has no tactical vision and no idea how to change a game. Worse, he doesn’t even be able to spot gaping flaws in his grand plan when they occur in front of his eyes. The entire nation watched Italy rip us to pieces down the wings from the 1st minute to the last, and he did not even attempt to stem the flow of the Azzuri attacks.
  • Steven Gerrard should retire from international football, along with Lampard, Baines, Jagielka and Milner. I’m a huge Gerrard fan. But at 34, he’s not going to be around for the next World Cup, and the time to start the transition is now.
  • Luis Suarez biting an Italian defender, shocked me, but not disgust me. It was bizarre and he clearly needs help. By all accounts, he’s a really nice down to earth chap off the field. He sure is a talent on it. But the guy is prone to going nuts. It’s a shame. I was cheering on Uruguay as my third choice team behind England and Mexico.
  • The attitude and behaviour of the Uruguay team, press and people in general did both shock and disgust me. Conspiracy? Nothing to see? Chiellini is a snitch? Guys, the dude bit him. On TV. In front of millions. He should apologize, and his team should acknowledge his wrong doing. Suarez brought shame on himself. Uruguay has brought shame and contempt on itself. I hope Uruguay get thrashed by Colombia on Saturday. It’s what they deserve.
  • Shakiras song is a bit meh. But she is Shakira.
  • A four month ban? That is overly harsh. I also find it hard to reconcile an offence which leaves minor bruising at worse being worthy of a greater sanction that a leg breaking challenge.  I know it’s biting. But still. Bruise versus broken leg. I know which I’d rather be a victim of.
  • I am a Liverpool supporter. I’ve loved watching Suarez at Anfield. I would love to see him play there next season. But frankly, if Barcelona or Madrid offer the right money, get shot of him. And bring in Alexis Sanchez and the wonderful James Rodriguez, who looks the finest young player I have seen in a decade. And who would no doubt cost a small fortune.
  • Most of my predictions have gone woefully wrong. But I’m still holding on to my pick for a Germany v Argentina final.
  • I gave Mexico no chance. I’m happy that prediction went wrong. They are doing what England simply seem to find almost impossible. To play as a team, rather than as a collection of assorted stranger. Marquez has been imperious. Their game against Holland in 50/50. Too tight to call. I shall be watching and wearing my Mexico top.
  • Have I bored you yet?

 

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