So part two of the world cup was certainly more interesting than part one. And when I say part two, I’m not going to pretend I was watching the Mexico game… which again, was beseiged by terrible, terrible refferring decisions.
… but hey, how can you expect video replay progress with a man like Sepp Blatter at the top of the game?
I watched the Holland vs Spain game. But before I smash into that, I thought the officials in for the Chile game were exceptional. The referee reminded me of a black Collina. He nailed all the decisions and his linesman were bang on with the offsides. Brilliant work. The question that poses for me is that if there are brilliant refs in other countries, why can’t the Premier League buy them in? Why can’t refs work all around the world? Totally bizarre I can buy in a player from anywhere, but if there’s a shortage of refs who definitley showcase bias… I can’t swap them out for better officials? What’s up with that? TELL ME SEPP! STOP TALKING ABOUT SPACE FOOTBALL.
I was also surprised about the efficiency of spray painting the ten yard line at free kicks. Players didn’t budge. A hilariously basic innovation.
Anyway, what about the game? Totally outrageous. Watching one of the greatest international sides (Spain Holland game) of a generation move into the… ‘we’ve just seen a cycle’ phase. Really tragic. Their posessions stats were embarrassing for a Spanish team… like, what, 57%? They just looked dated. I felt like I’d seen what they do before. It was predictable and it didn’t work.
Holland on the other hand… wow. They have a pretty average set up in comparision to any side they’ve had over the last ten years and they spanked the Spanish out of site. Their passing was sharp, their tactics were spot on, they utilised pace and they played with incredible passion. What I liked about Louis Van Gaal is he’s clearly noted that Dutch efforts tend to fall down around team spirit… those boys yesterday loved every second and every goal. Amazing unity and excitement.
I also like the Louis Van Gaal discipline. All his backroom team, wearing shirts and ties. It’s only a minor thing, but it certainly says something about your approach and it definitely breeds a type of attitude if set up properly.
Finally, on that game, Robin. Oh Robin. You totally brilliant bastard of a man. The first goal he scored, you saw the floated ball over the shoulder, you’re expecting him to unleash a volley, instead he nods a header over the keeper from 15 yards. Majestic. I told you United insiders were worried that Robin was playing for the world cup last year, so he wasn’t giving his all for the club in a bid to protect himself against injury / fatigue… well, if the end result is games like that, maybe his gamble paid off. Holland… a team to keep an eye on.
Sorry, one more thing. I know it’s only one game, but what Louis Van Gaal has proven is that it’s not about the best players. It’s about the best ideas and the best plan. I wish Arsene had a bit more of that about his game. Holland had no right to win that game. I barely knew a single player in their back five. But that didn’t matter. Van Gaal isn’t about names, he’s about looking at what he has at his disposal, and working it into a system.
The second game I watched was the Chile game. Now, I won’t lie, I was pretty trashed by this time, but it looked a good spectacle. Chile went two up pretty sharpish. Austrailia gave it a good go and pulled one back. Now, I don’t want to get too excited about Chile, but they really were good at stages. I’d prefer to see them against a great team, but their approach is interesting and the technique on display was amazing at times.
Alexis Sanchez is an absolute dream of a player. If Barca are feeling generous post Cesc sale, I’d mostly appreciate us signing him because he’d fit right in. His turn of pace and his skill crafting space is unbelievable. I’d also be pretty into getting Vidal over to Arsenal. How about it Arsene? Have a word please. I appreciate their are difficulties in scouting South American countries… I’m just surprised we don’t tap into that area a little more. Maybe have an Italian or Spanish feeder club. We’re pissing around with people like Joel Campbell when there’s far better talent on offer.
I got chatting to a Portuguese DJ during the game who thought I was Dutch. My hipster edam earrings probably fooled him. He was giving me the lowdown on the football scene around here. He was telling me some things about Jose Mourinho and what the rumour mill is about him. Not sure I can print it, but he wasn’t good at making male friends in the cities he worked in. This guy also thought his star might be fading as well. He had a lot of praise for the new Monaco coach, reckons he’s a special talent. He also said there are rumours about CR7. Big rumours for gossip mags. Again, I can’t print, but I think you get me. Do you? You do? Ok. Nice one.
Anyway, today is about INNNNGGGUUUUURRRRLLLLAAAAAND FC, WE’RE BY FAR… you catch my drift. I’m turned into a full on xenophobe today.
‘Where the fack is my Stella you Portuguese slag?’
‘Don’t you talk that foreign shit near me’
*slam fresh pint of Stella at pub screen at first opp to showcase PASSION
All that jazz, you get me?
I’m pretty excited about seeing what we have to offer. We’re either going to smash it out the park with a Dutch performance, or it’s going to be oh so sad and depressing tomorrow morning when I have to write a review around how we melted in the heat.
I’m just keeping my fingers crossed for a more interesting experience. I dont’ want to see the same old dross rolled out with the same old tired cliched reviews of the death of English football afterwards.
Finally, watch James Richardson totally mug off Martin Keown in his intro on the World Cup stuff.
Ok, some more finally. FINALLY, Emirates are utilitsing their sponsorship deal with Arsenal and actually doing something. This time, for a well known fan called Jill. Very nice piece of content. Well played.