In a world where I am tired and my back hurts, here’s a very quick Sunday round-up.
Brazil are through to the quarter-finals after a penalty shoot-out win over Chile yesterday. The hosts have such an image and expectation. To draw an Arsenal comparison people want them to be like the Invincibles (gratuitous book plug here), but the team they’ve got out in this tournament is so far from Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and Vieira that they’re playing Diawara, Baptista, Malz and Bischoff.
Neymar aside, their forward line is utterly pedestrian and devoid of any craft whatsoever. If Hulk can’t blunderbuss his way through then nothing happens. Fred’s moustache is a disgrace to humanity, and even yesterday Neymar was miles off the pace, choosing the wrong option time and time again.
Chile were unlucky not to win it before it went to penalties. Alexis Sanchez added a few quid to his price tag with a cute goal (thankfully he took some of those quid off with a poor penalty in the shoot-out), but they hit the bar and Julio Cesar made a good save from Aránguiz too.
Brazil thought they’d scored but Hulk clearly handled the ball onto one of his pendulous breasts before shinning accidentally it past the keeper, while Jo showed exactly why Brazil need to get some Romario and Ronaldo DNA into a lab to start creating some decent strikers again by missing the ball completely with the goal at his mercy.
In the end it came down to penalties and Chile fell short. Perhaps it was the pressure, but few of their spot-kicks were much good (although the one from Aránguiz was almost the best penalty ever. I do love when they hit the roof of the net). Brazil, however, are extremely unconvincing and unless they find more fluency they’re going to get walloped by somebody good.
The next game saw the exciting Colombia dispatch Uruguay who obviously lacked the footballing quality of Luis Suarez. But, that’s the price he and they have to pay when he can’t keep his fangs under control, and anyway, it allowed another genuine talent to shine.
James Rodridguez is the top scorer at the tournament and has seen his star rise in Brazil in a big way. Those who harbour hopes that he’s somehow a transfer target for us simply because he’s been playing well shouldn’t get their hopes up. He moved from Porto to Monaco last summer for €45m, and he’s probably added another €20m to that value at least.
Don’t get me wrong. I want him like I want a bacon sandwich and a beer for breakfast, taken on the deck of my super-yacht on the Med before I go down to the dungeon and light-saber John Terry’s feet off but it’s pretty unlikely to happen.
I reckon his first goal is the goal of the World Cup so far. He chested the ball so beautifully that it just dropped perfectly for him to swivel and fire it into the goal off the underside of the bar. It’s so gorgeous that not even the faintest of touches from the keeper spoils it for me. Here’s a GIF. I mean, wow. What a goal that is.
The second was rather tasty too, but this time it was a really well worked team goal to which he applied the finish. Uruguay had nothing much to trouble the Colombians with who more than deserved their win and their place in the quarter-finals.
Today it’s Holland v Mexico, which could be very tasty, and later on Costa Rica take on Greece with Arsenal’s Joel Campbell ready to continue his fine World Cup.
As for Arsenal news, there’s some stuff about offering Olivier Giroud a new two-year contract but just a couple of weeks back the player himself said there’s nothing going on there at the moment. I suspect it’d be post-World Cup anyway.
There’s the usual scuttlebutt and clickbait out there if you really want to drive yourself mad hoping that shit made up by cunts is real, but my suggestion is ignore it all.
Time for some breakfast. Till tomorrow.