Well, well, well! What a night of football!
Before we crack into that, just wanted to revisit the Gay Gooners thing one more time. I found the response to my post quite incredible with regards to the diversity of comments it attracted. It obviously brought in the totally ignorant, which I expected. Asking people to keep quiet about their peaceful minority group in case it creates division amongst bigoted narrow minded fans is beyond ridiculous. You can’t deal with it… have a word with yourselves, because clouding homophobia under ‘I just don’t want to see it’ is not acceptable.
What really got me were the comments that came from quite normal people who couldn’t handle the banner, or it seemed, gay people in general. Amazing that we’re in 2014 and attitudes like that still exist. The shame is, we have a generation of parents raising kids to have negative views of gay people… so we’re still a long way off equality and civility.
… there you go. What a shame.
Onto the football. Brazil vs Chile wasn’t the beast of a game I was hoping for. I think Chile did a fantastic job to pull one back against Brazil (SAAAAANNNNNCCCCHHHHHEEEEEZZZZZZ IS A GOONER). However, when the game went to penalties, you kind of felt the home crowd would see the game home. I thought Alexis Sanchez looked hot, I’d do anything to have that man at Arsenal. I’d maybe not allow him to take penalties… his was quite weak. Keepers seem to have got the knack of penalties down the middle this tournament. I was quite surprised by how average the kicks were….
The Uruguay vs Colombia game (it’s spelt with two O’s not a U according to an e-mail I had last night) was spectacular. What a superb game packed full of the sort of joy you associate with a brilliant World Cup. It was apparent Uruguay didn’t go into that game with any hope of stealing a win. They played negative football, very tactical which was very boring to watch. But Colombia had everything about their side. Passion, pace, power, vision, fight and belief.
They had so many good players on show… Juan Cuadrado was superb, he played out wide and caused all sorts of problem. He’s fast, very mobile and sublimely skilful at times (impressive for a tall man). I thought the full backs were excellent, Jackson Martinez is an absolute speed demon and obviously, there’s James Rodriguez, what an unbelievable talent. His goal was spectacular. You just don’t see goals like that. He controlled a pass with his chest, turned it on goal and powered an incredible volley in off the bar from 30 yards. An absolute screamer! Also mildly amusing that he calls himself ‘jaahmess’, that’s what me and my sister used to call my brother when we were kids to irritate him. Still do, so what?
They went on to take the game, totally deserved. They’re now more than the dark horses, they’re one of the favourites to take this tournament.
What I think is special about teams like France, Colombia and Holland is they’re not packed full of World Class superstars… they’re just brilliant ‘teams’. I had this debate with my pals in the pub, they were saying that (Northern Irish guys picking on England) England are incapable of having a team because selfishness is a cultural issue.
I think you can make a team with any country. People make a team, not the culture of the nation. If the people are stereotypical of a league, then you change the people. Chile had a player in their side who wasn’t in contract. This is why it all comes down to the manager in international football. You’ve got Roy Hodgson managing Stevie G… a player who helped ship him out of Liverpool. Bad start, right?
I simply don’t believe that Premier League footballers are naturally more selfish than players from other leagues. Even if they are, there must be a way of getting more out of them. Real Madrid are a club built around galactico superstar status and they won the Champions League. Ego is football, you’ll never escape that. Great managers work with it… or around it. We need a manager who can manage those aspects of the game.
We need a team. Look at the joy the C0lombians, look at how they celebrate together. Look at the Dutch, a nation notorious for being nutters in sport, look at how united they are. Even the French are together this World Cup.
Anything is possible with the right man in charge at the top. International management is about pulling together a vision, building a team culture and being bold with your tactics and selections (in 3 weeks). Roy Hodgson was never the dynamic leader we needed and he should have his contract terminated after delivering an atrocious World Cup.
Strong rumours are that we’re Schneiderlin and Sanchez are now picking up pace with the apparently reliable Francois Pinet stating that he believes both deals will be done shortly. I’ve not had any update, but we’ve been talking to his agent for over 3 weeks now. Throw in Debuchy and Mario Balottelli and you’re laughing. Not quite sure that’s realistic. I’d also be surprised if Southampton allowed their how side to be decimated in one summer. Quite unbelievable how poor it’s been for them so far. They have a good set up though, so they should be fine. Ronald Koeman is a good manager as well, so I’d expect him to bring a very heavy Dutch influence with him and probably sneak some players over from Portugal.
I mean, Portugal, where do they pick their players up from? So many incredible talents end up there. Such a shame we weren’t in for James Rodriguez! I mean, the lad is 22… could he be the first £100m player to exchange? If Suarez is 27 and worth £70m and Gareth Bale can go for £85m… surely this lad could go for me? Such a spectacular talent.
This evening, the Dutch take on Mexico. Hopefully that’ll be a incredible match. They’ll be relatively fresh after securing early qualification. Then the later game is Costa Rica versus Greece. Bit more Euro interest there!
So we’re on for another great day of fun!
Right, that’s all I’ve got for you, have a great day!
P.S. If you’re at Glastonbury today, make sure you get over to The Other Stage to see The Subways player at 1210. Brilliant band, one of my favourites growing up and they’re Gooners!