It’s coming home..

…assuming home is somewhere in downtown Brasilia

I guess many many people will publish their reflections/reviews of the world cup. Given my inability to write stuff that is that exciting I felt I needed to get in early.

General observations:

  • Lots of diving, whinging and other cheating marred the tournament.  That was just the referees, the players weren’t innocent either.   Something that hasn’t happened since, err, the last one.
  • Sepp Blatters bank balance increases by 25% due to the profit made in selling the brush used to sweep the Qatar scandal under the carpet.  Apparently bought byFranz Beckenbauer on eBay for 5 million US dollars in used notes.
  • Social media was full of how Englands young lions were going to do their country proud.  Something that hasn’t happened since, err, the last one.
  • Sepp Blatters bank balance increased by another 25% thanks to the bank of Qatar.  Something that hasn’t happened since, err, the last one.  yesterday.
  • Nice to see Robin Van Persie fit and well. I bet Man Utd wish he had been fit to turn out for them occasionally. £200.000 a week well spent there methinks…  Something that hasn’t happened since, err, the last one.  (except it was Arsenal then).
  • I found the BBC coverage disappointing.  They filled the studio with “experts” who didn’t have English as a first language.  Notably Rio Ferdinand and Alan Shearer.  Thank Blatter for Thierry Henry and (on the sidelines) the wonderful object of my desires, Gaby Logan.  Something that hasn’t happened since, err, the last one.
  • Accusations of match fixing prove unfounded despite millions placed on a 0-0 draw between the already qualifed Nigeria and Argentina.  Something that hasn’t happened since, err, the last one.
  • Sepp Blatters bank balance increased by yet another 25% thanks to Betfair and William Hill. Something that hasn’t happened since, err, the last one. last week.
  • My bank balance decreases as I am sued by Sepp Blatter.  Donations to my fighting fund will be most welcome.  Something that hasn’t happened, err, ever.
That’s the facts out of the way – the rest may well be fiction.  As Mark Twain said: “Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t“.

The Tournament:

Group A:  Nothing surprising here. Cameroon and Croatia showed occasional bursts of excitment but ultimately eventual winners Brazil sailed through unbeaten. Mexico, who looked a well organised outfit, finished a comfortable second despite a slightly shaky start.

Group B:  Obviously not a group of death this one:   The Dutch topped the group by virtue of beating Spain, including a nice goal by sicknote Van Persie.  Although nobody expected such a convincing Dutch victory.  (Especailly me as Spain were one up when I started writing!)  The Spanish did finish a comfortable second.  Cashing in on a goalkeeping error for the 4th goal Van Persie completely forgot to fall over in the box.  Thank heaven he scored it.

Group C:  Greece surprised all of us here by not finishing last, leaving that honour to Japan.  Still Japan will be remembered for providing probably the worst referee in World Cup history.  If Carling did referees… However the class (relative to the group) of Columbia came to the fore and they comfortably won the group.  The Ivory Coast a safe second

Group D:  Costa Rica didn’t surprise anyone by being the whipping boys, even being beaten comfortably by England (if 2-0 can be called comfortable), despite Wayne Rooney being booked.  I guess the shock to some was England actually topping the group.  mainly by virtue of beating a still asleep Italy in game one but the lucky draw against Uraguay helped!  Italy scraped second but wouldn’t go any further.

Group E:  If there is such a thing as a group of death this must have been a group of life for France.  I believe Michael Platini was involved in the draw…  The Swiss, at Sepp Blatters insistance, came second.

Group F:  Another non group of death with Argentina winning at a canter:  A minor surprise with Nigeria coming second.

Group G:  I don’t know why this group bothered to play.  Easy win for Germany with their Arsenal contingent standing out.  Something they failed to do at The Emirates last season.  Portugal an easy second.

Group H:  A slight shock here with the bookies favourites Belgium only finishing second to Russia.  probably the most boring and uninteresting group.

I am getting bored now so for the record I will just remind you of the winners and losers.  Anyone reading this in years to come will at least know who won and lost.

Last 16:

Brazil beat Spain in a game of dodgy penalties
Italy beat Columbia in a traditional Italian 1-0 boring game
France came out on top against an entertaining Nigerian team
The Germans were too organised for Belgium and overran them (not since 1942,,,)
The most entertaining Dutch, with Robben showing the way, snuffed out Mexico
England had an easy game against The Ivory Coast
The Swiss failed to turn up against Argentina.  Apparently Sepp Blatters cheque bounced.
Russia, having shocked Belgium in the group did similar in beating Portugal

Quarter Finals:

The flair and diving of Brazil was too much for the Italians who, despite scorig first went down 3-1
Germany proved too good for France with a Podalsky hat-trick leading the way to another 3-1 victory
England, surprisingly, hold the Dutch to a 1-1 draw, winning 3-1 on penalties after extra time.
Argentina proved too strong for the giant killing Russians going 3-1 up in 40 minutes and holding that until the end.

Semi Finals:

Germany do well to hold Brazil to a 1-1 draw but lose comfortably on penalties.
Revenge at last for the hand of God and the invasion of The Malvinas Falklands as England hold on to win 2-1 with all 3 goals from Wayne Rooney.  Their first World Cup final since 1966

Final:

Home side and bookies favourites Brazil are shocked as England take a 2nd minute lead as Lala leave his Teletubbie career behind with a wonder goal, beating 8 players before goal line technology showed his final shot had crossed the line.  Will he dine out on that goal for as Long as former rapper John Barnes did with his similar score?  However Brazil soon came to the fore as Neymar creats and scores a hat-trick of penalties.  Enough to win the World for Brazil and for Neymar the Golden Boot and a BAFTA lifetime achievement award.

 

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