Colombia Swash, Chile Buckle, Brazil Through & A Bit More


“Alan Smith”
“James Smith”
“James Smith?”
Giggles from the back of class
“Smith, answer when I call your name from the register”
“My name is Hamez Smith…”

It’s how Sunday mornings should be; quiet, peaceful, an air of calm. The club’s website screams of eleven departures, a headline that many would like see altered to include the word “arrivals” instead. A quick glance at Newsnow’s headlines confirms that number of incoming deals all confirmed, to be true. A pity that the headline makers are of such dubious quality.

Talk surrounds Olivier Giroud being offered a new deal but he’s at the World Cup so anything will have to wait until then to be signed. Presumably the same logic applies to transfers, with all Arsenal’s deals surrounding players left in the tournament so that narrows the field to sixteen countries. Easy game to play this

The World Cup recommenced yesterday with Brazil proving the burden of host nation is heavy to bear. It is generally always that way as they scrambled through by the narrowest of margins in a penalty shootout under the Belo Horizonte sunshine. The match itself could – should – have been decided by the time Howard Webb signalled the final whistle. The crossbar reverberated from Pinilla’s thunderous strike in the dying embers of extra-time. Julio Cesar proved to be Brazil’s hero as he saved twice and watched gratefully as Jara’s penalty beat him but rebounded from the inside of the post to safety. Harsh on the industrious Chileans who were more than a match for their hosts for more than ninety minutes.

Alexis Sanchez is garnering all of the attention with Arsenal reportedly chasing his signature, racing alongside the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool and he dictated large passages of play. More impressive I thought, was Arturo Vidal about whom Arsène has been effusive. The midfielder ran himself tirelessly in support of his cause, buckling his swash in a way that seems well-suited to the Premier League.

Brazil though are through and their path to the final is blocked by another South American barrier, the Colombians continued their march to glory with a straightforward win over the toothless Uruguayans who proved that the defeat to Costa Rica was not as much of a fluke as has been portrayed; they are a one-man team and questions are rightly asked about Cavani. A forward is only as good as the service he receives but for a man whose transfer value is £60m, I expected more. Does his fee indicate the paucity of talent in strikers at the moment? Cavani has been hugely unimpressive this summer and whilst the World Cup has been a graveyard for better reputations than his, anyone paying more than £25m for him this window either has more money than sense or a desperate requirement for a distinctly average forward.

And that’s why manager should never buy on the basis of an international tournament. Talk about snap judgements…

The opposite has been true of James Rodriguez, whose anglicised name bears no semblance to its pronunciation to the mirth of many a school child. He was impressive again last night, certainly do all that he can to justify his reputation. A good, clean-cut hero was just what FIFA wanted following Suarez and Ghana’s shambolic departure from the competition, it is what they have found. The question remains as to how good the Colombians actually are; they emerged unscathed from a poor group and comfortably beat one of the weakest of the last sixteen but in their defence, they can only beat the team in front of them.

Today’s matches offer the chance to continue assessing Joel Campbell who will no doubt be relishing the prospect of playing Greece. Their physical approach to the game is the closest to the Premier League that international football has to offer; it will be interesting to see how he copes with this and the expectations that surround the Costa Ricans. No longer the minnows, most expect them to turn the Greeks over and defeat will probably be a huge disappointment against the most predictable of squad of the knockout phase. But it’s a policy that has served the Greeks well and underestimating them is a dangerous thing for Campbell & co; the wins over Italy and Uruguay have no doubt imbued confidence but complacency is a comfortable bedfellow in this scenario.

Meanwhile everyone’s favourites for the tournament face Mexico and frankly anything but a Dutch win will be unexpected. Anything but a Dutch win is what everyone wants though. The bloodied nose issued by the ‘underdog’ in these matches is unexpectedly expected in this tournament, even with the predictability of results coming. Good luck to them all.

’til Tomorrow.

137 thoughts on “Colombia Swash, Chile Buckle, Brazil Through & A Bit More

  1. Greece ties it up in the last minute. Idon’t think Campbell can last much longer. The rest of the Ticos look tired too. They can’t last an extra 30 minutes one man down.

  2. MA

    Ineffective in the CF role, Greece has strangled any support or supply to him. Completely isolated, he’s knackered now and so are the rest of the Costa Ricans.

  3. @Moe

    Said to hear, still they have had an incredibly journey to date and were it to end here they have a right to be very proud. The Greeks are a terrible side, I cannot understand how they do playing some of the most dire football in the international game.

  4. @Moe

    Costa Rica have amassed 6 yellows (inc the red), damn that seems a lot. Have they been that physical?

  5. MA

    I honestly don’t know how they won the Euros, even when they’re attacking they manage to look incredibly dire.

    Campbell is being asked to hold up the ball with long passes, he is not Giroud or that type of player so the role does not suit him.

    Yeah the Costa Ricans should be proud.

    I was supporting Costa Rica, Colombia and Chile so far.

  6. MA

    It’s more because they can’t deal with Greece’s physicality, they are getting bullied off the ball and they resort to kicking the Greeks.

    And also they are ten man down so they are so tired they don’t get to the ball in time hence the fouls.

  7. I have picked Brazil to win the event, but I really hope that Colombia turn them over. Robben pisses me off, this theatrics are really starting to get on my tits! Looking up simulation or diving on wiki talks about the arched bow effect, yes his arched bow looked tremendous which just goes to show the fucker dived.

  8. Mrs. MA is playing on the Xbox One and I cannot be bothered to go to the bedroom to watch the other TV.

  9. yeah Joel’s so tired I’d say Costa Rica are down to 9.5 men. Only Navas can save them now. Luckily for CR the Greeks have a fair number of older players.

  10. @Moe

    The New Lara Croft game, pre-Tomb Raider or whatever it is call. You have an Xbox mate? She prefers RPG games on the console, and she is an old school gamer from your youth (35 now). She is a big fan of the Elder Scrolls content and of course Dragons Age.

  11. MA

    Haven’t played the Tom Raider game but i heard it’s really good. I have the old Xbox 360, i was going to get the Xbox One but i’m hearing the PS4 is better so i’m saving up till i can get one (summer job).

    Absolutely, i’ve played whatever RPG is on PC or Xbox, loved Dragon Age one and somewhat 2 but i’m looking forward to the new one coming out. Skyrim as well, although i have it on the PC and i mod it alot!

    Hows the Xbox One?

  12. MA

    I would recommend the Telltales games to her, best story telling in their video games i’ve ever seen.

  13. The debate over PS4 and Xbox One is a rather silly one to me, I think you should play both and see which you prefer, it could come down to the controller. The Xbox is good, the biggest issue for both consoles is the lack of available content right now. I’m looking forward to “The Division” next year. I have the 360 hooked up in the bedroom, but I’m not running the internet through it at this moment in time.

    *Kaanyr Vok or Kaanyr Vhok is the handle… avatar looks like an English Toff 🙂

  14. MA

    Agreed, although i like the PS3 exclusives which is my lure. The DIvision sounds ambitions, let’s hope it pays off!

    Your avatar name sounds like something Tolkien would come up with!

  15. Hard to see a voodoo Chile go out, but the Dutch showed that they have what it takes to win. Controlling, disciplined, creative and can score any time.
    The bubble and squeaks did little against the Costa Ricans either. The right teams are going home today.

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