Retrospective: 2014 World Cup: Five

1st July Build-up talk

 
8.07am
“USA! USA! USA! C’mon USA!…….C’mon, close down Guantanamo Bay, plough over the land and go back to the USA! USA! USA!”.
1st July Argentina 1 Switzerland 0
 
8.17pm
“Bloody rubbish and then the last six minutes were just deranged. The referee must’ve been tempted to abandon the match at 90 minutes, tell both teams to fuck off and then invite Chile and Algeria back to play this second round game instead. Did Ángel Di Maria really give the ball away over fifty times? And that failed rambona was the work of a petulant infant. Lovely goal, though. There’s something about goals that are ‘passed’ into the net that really hits the pleasure centre of the discerning fan. Woeful stuff, apart from those insane last few minutes, but sometimes you need a palate cleanser to help re-focus and freshly appreciate the brilliance of the other games in this World Cup.”
2nd July Belgium 2 USA  1
 
12.03am
“”No mas! No mas!”

Supposedly, there was a boxing match, back in the day, when Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard were just destroying each other and Duran, utterly exhausted from throwing his own punches and from taking punishment from Leonard, said ‘no more, no more’ and had to stay on his stool. That’s almost how I felt watching that match tonight because my nervous system was going to give out. Exhausting. Just when you thought that this World Cup couldn’t get any better. Best game of the tournament? Tim Howard and DeAndre Yedlin on the USA’s right wing! Astounding stuff. I love seeing a team think that the job’s done when the final whistle hasn’t blown. One goal and they shit themselves and have to try to start the engine again. Belgium were hanging on by their collective fingertips at the end.

I have to say that Klinsmann just doesn’t convince me as a boss. The one way that he allows the USA to play is to rope-a-dope like Muhammad Ali and then hit the other side on the break. The USA are an endearing team to watch, for people in the UK, because they play in such an English way of running, running, running and never giving up but when they have to score a goal; when they’re past the point of no return and they forget their Klinsmann constructed Plan A, their Plan B comes into play – the throwing of the kitchen sink – and they look like a bloody awesome side. Previously, Ghana got their equaliser and the USA got mad, knowing that this was their chance being blown in the group of death if they didn’t win, and they forced their late winner. Tonight, they went full bore at Belgium, who had already lit their victory cigars, and came awfully close to pushing them over. If only Klinsmann would let them off the leash before they have to retrieve a lost cause they could do great things. Klinsmann will get his usual easy ride from the media but he’s the problem for the USA, not the solution.

See you all this time, four years hence, for the same will-football-finally-take-off-in-the-USA folderol, okay? For now, though, God bless both of those sides out there tonight. Warriors, all of them. The better side won but, by Christ, they won by the skin of their teeth and they’ll be only too aware that the battle could have easily gone the other way. Football: I love you deeply.”.

4th July Brazil 2 Columbia 1

11.12pm

“Some craven, scandalous, showboating from David Luiz, hoping to get on the front page of the papers tomorrow, as he knelt in the centre circle after the game, pointed to the heavens and ostentatiously spoke to Him. He’ll need to speak to God a bit more often as his national football team ain’t all that and won’t win the Cup, no matter how many falsely awarded free-kicks and penalties they get.”

6th July The Netherlands 0 Costa Rica 0 (4-3)

12.02am

“A cheap, tacky, circus trick from the new manager at Old Trafford: he’ll be a perfect fit at Manchester United. Fucking terrible game.”.

7th July Feature about the World Cup so far

11.51am

“Could be another kick-the-other-side-off-the-park final if it’s Brazil vs. Argentina or Germany vs. the Netherlands. The group stage was a barrel of laughs but it’s getting on my tits now to see some crap sides still managing to survive with Brazil and the Netherlands, especially, flattering to deceive.”.

8th July Brazil 1 Germany 7

10.56pm

“Finally! Finally Brazil have been found out. I’d been a bit demoralised by thinking that the World Cup was going to be won by an unexceptional side, the least inspiring of all being the diving, cynical Brazil. I wasn’t a big fan of Spain over the last few years but they were definitely an exceptional side. If Neymar and Silva had been in the side and they’d bluffed their way to the World Cup it would have been a scandal and without them they’ve been shown to be the collection of timid, creatively bankrupt, makeweights that they are. Where’s your God now, David Luiz? Why weren’t you on your knees in the centre circle at the end of the game, giving Him the Vs with one hand and furiously waving your knackers at the sky with the other? Or maybe you should have motioned towards God with one of your scandalous forearm smashes that could/should have got you sent off tonight? It’s so sweet to see the veneer being stripped away from such a living-on-memories-and-reputation side.

Hansen was totally correct on the BBC, Shearer was talking fluent horseshit (at least after they both disgraced themselves by tipping Brazil for the win.). Germany were merely decent while Brazil were an embarrassing shambles and a total disgrace. We knew that they weren’t a very good side but they should have had some self-respect and professionalism at the very least. The Brazil performance was the mother of all piss takes; a total abdication of responsibility by every single player. Germany could hardly do anything else but to knock seven past such a pitiful excuse of a international team. A ludicrous, ridiculous display from Brazil. Argentina must be gutted that Germany got the chance inflict the pain before they themselves could disembowel them. Could Brazil yet make number 32 in the Guardian’s World Cup power rankings?”.

12.05am

“I think that I watched my favourite football match of all time tonight. Germany played very well but the story was Brazil’s utter implosion….in their home country….in front of a world wide live audience…….all looking like they didn’t know what was the meaning or purpose of the leather-encased bag of air that kept on being side-footed around the green area by the chaps in the dark shirts. Brazil have got Spain, Italy, England and the rest all out of jail tonight. This World Cup will be remembered for seeing a grossly overrated team finally get found out and have their bottom smacked in front of the whole world for an hour and a half. Amazing; shocking and hilarious.”

12.42am

“No doubt that about 10% of the (at the time of typing) 2,500 posters have already cracked the following gag but…what’s the Portuguese for schadenfreude?”

12.57am

“As a sign of respect for seeing Brazil finally, at long last, being put to the sword tonight, I’m going to make some space and put ‘Faust So Far’, ‘Faust IV’ and ‘The Faust Tapes’ by Faust and ‘Tago Mago’, ‘Soundtracks’ ‘Ege Bamyasi’ and ‘Future Days’ by Can onto my phone tonight.”

1.18am

“That was such a point-and-laugh but then point-and-almost-want-to-hide-your-eyes disgrace of a travesty of a scandal of a mockery of a non-performance by a ludicrously overrated Brazil side, and such an earth-shaking result, I’m having a lot of trouble decompressing and getting relaxed enough to go to sleep. Tonight, I think that I watched my favourite football match of all time and I want to bask in the moment. Germany played well but seeing a cynical, diving and entitled Brazil shot to pieces by their own staggering ineptitude and lack of anything like a backbone was hilarious beyond belief.”

9th July Reflections on Germany hammering Brazil

10.09am

“Iker Casilas can now removed his plasticine nose, his false moustache, and walk a little taller today. His ludicrous display against the Netherlands has totally been outranked by the Brazil team’s collective tribute to slapstick last night. Casilas’ insane folly pales into invisibility in comparison to that shocking lunacy offered up by Brazil last night”.

10.51am

“If Argentina play Brazil in the 3rd place game, the CSI people – with their fluorescent torches; little brushes and plastic bags – might need to be on standby to retrieve the remnants of Brazil. Argentina could be the only national football team in history to be dying to play in the 3rd/4th Place Play Off.”

11.22am

“David Bowie’s German language version of “Heroes”: ‘Helden’:

2.58pm

“It was slapstick. So much so that there should have been a player-piano hooked up to the stadium public address system.”

9th July Argentina 0 The Netherlands 0 (4-2)

11.59pm

“Javier Mascherano’s last ditch tackle stopping Robben in the ninetieth minute and, er, that’s it. ‘Look, will one of you leaden sides just score so I can start to catch up on all the sleep that I’ve lost over the last month and I can start to look slightly less like an ashen-faced zombie?’. It’s my fault. I got fed up with the brown-nosing of a crap Brazil side so I started to watch last night’s fiasco with the sound off while I went through some of the works of Woody Guthrie on my laptop. Once it got to 2-0, I switched back to the commentary so that I could belly-laugh along with the rest of the non-Brazilian world. Tonight, with it being ITV, I played music again on general principle but, rather than Woody, I went through the oeuvre of Stereolab instead. Maybe if I’d have stayed with Woody the game wouldn’t have been quite so tedious.

I still maintain that Germany merely confiscated a blind man’s white cane when they witnessed Brazil’s shameful, farcical, nonsense last night but they’ve shown a hell of a lot more than Argentina in this competition. An Argentina win would at least be the rust upon the knife that’s twisting in the collective Brazilian gut and that would be good for the LOLZ, but that would be small compensation. Here’s hoping that Deutschland can make sure that a good team will win the Cup. Oh, and it’s nice to see that two countries that still dine out on past glories – the Netherlands and Brazil – but are playing the pragmatic card, to try to ‘win ugly’ and to sell out, will both be watching the final on television. Fuck’em both.”.

10th July Reflections upon Argentina/The Netherlands

10.01am

“‘Kin terrible game last night but it was great fun to obtain another angle on one of the Germany goals. From the behind the goal, you could just about make out the perpetually-out-of-position David Luiz, miles away up the pitch, looking on as Brazil got ripped to pieces. Luiz was so far away, it was like he was paying tribute to Omar Sharif’s screen entrance in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.”.

12.18pm

“Van Gaal’s ego is Fergatollah-esque so he’ll go down well at Old Trafford. If he really taught Romero to save penalties then he should have been cognisant of Romero’s thought processes and, therefore, able to convey that to his players, thus allowing them to counteract Romero when trying to score past him.

Jesus H. Christ, Van Gaal should be ashamed of himself for larging it for beating Costa Rica on penalties; for stealing Mexico’s place in the quarters and for that terribly inert performance by his team when they were one game away from the final. Even the typically Dutch flash-in-the-pan great early result against Spain will be historically nullified by the earth-shaking Brazil meltdown although it was a similar case of a team implosion being the reason for the result rather than the other side’s attacking prowess. I gather than Barcelona fans referred to Van Gaal as the ‘poisoned dwarf’.”

10th July Feature about Mick Jagger saying that he didn’t curse Brazil to defeat.

12.32pm

“Each disorientated, ludicrous, directionless, Brazil player against Germany was a ‘Turd On The Run’.”.

12.34pm

“‘Wild Horses’ wouldn’t drag Fred out of the Brazilian starting eleven in this World Cup.”

11th July Countdown to 3rd/4th place game

8.21am

“It’s scandalous that the winners of the World Cup don’t automatically qualify for the next World Cup finals anymore. I gather that it was Nike, working FIFA like a puppermaster, who pushed for this change a World Cup or so ago (wanting Brazil to have competitive World Cup qualifying games so that Nike could pimp their tatty shoes). The excuse of ‘the World Cup winners would be out of World Cup practice by the time the next one comes around’ doesn’t make me play the violin either – good; let someone else win. However, with the 3rd/4th Place Play Off game coming up, they really should have made it a ‘win and you qualify for the finals in four years time’ game. Then you’d really see something.”

8.29am

“Could anyone confirm or deny that every time that the 3rd/4th Place game takes place it’s because of Italian fascism?

I gather that there wasn’t a 3rd/4th Place game in 1930 but when 1934’s World Cup was held in Italy, Benito Mussolini decreed that the losing semi-finalists would play in a 3rd/4th Place game so that he and the government could trouser the money. Ever since 1934, there’s been a 3rd/4th Place game because of the arms-folded-head-nodding fascist lunatic and thug, I gather.”.

11th July The view from Argentina

3.06pm

“So, so close to the title….of being the dullest World Cup winners ever. I said at the start that they’d win (based on my “deep” analysis of the World being held in South America; that Argentina have Messi; and, er, that’s it) but good luck to Deutschland, who’d be deserving winners. To me, it was much more of a Brazilian fiasco than German glory the other night but Germany could only beat what was in front of them (a ludicrous, almost psychotropically ridiculous, shambles, in this case.).”.

12th July Brazil 0 The Netherlands 3

11.10pm

“David Luiz, striding forward with purpose and resolution on about 65 minutes. He tries to hit a cross into the box, from the left wing and the ball almost lands in a different city. Maybe PSG has some rich fans who can give the club the £50 million to tear up Luiz’s contract? £50 million means that Luiz simply has to be in the side, spreading chaos and disarray where ever he wanders or jogs. That back header that led to the second goal was stunningly ludicrous. But it’s unfair to Luiz to place everything on his plate. Brazil are just no damn good and have bluffed their way through by reputation alone.

I’m adoring this Brazilian dark night of the soul at the moment but I feel sorry for that cool little Brazilian kid from the ITV titles. His shouting for Brazil is okay but I really liked him before or after an advert break, sitting with his drink, straw in mouth, and not attempting a pandering smile, unlike Steven Gerrard in the BBC’s titles – until England’s folly led to a Stalinist edit that got rid of Gerrard’s grin through fear of upsetting the mourning public, I suppose. Anyway, Italy, Spain and England have all been given a free pass after Brazil’s pitiful fiasco; finally completely unmasked for all to see as a painfully leaden side, being waved on through due simply to their past glories. I’d rather than the fine Germany side get their reward tomorrow but an Argentina win will be great for the anti-Brazil LULZ.”.

13th July Germany 1 Argentina 0

10.51pm

“Cheer up, Lionel Messi, at least you’ve got two runners-up medals; one for losing in the final; the other for receiving the second biggest amount of media brown-nosing after Brazil, prior to their slaying by Germany. The ‘common man’ Argentine fan – who received some finger-wagging from not thinking that Messi was anywhere near as good for his country than he is for Barcelona and that he is not anywhere near Maradona class – might have been on to something after all, it seems. Good game tonight. Statistics often mean eff all; forget about the lack of shots on target and the single goal, that was compelling stuff all the way. Hats off to Boateng especially tonight and also the bloke in the zombrero in the crowd, jumping up to try to get on the big screen while the players were waiting to get their medals. The best team of the tournament won the cup but, despite the hyperbole, they weren’t truly exceptional.

What was life like before this World Cup started? I can’t remember and I don’t think that I want to find out.”

11.05pm

“Lucky that the players have had to have taken off their wrist watches and rings before shaking hands with Blatter and the rest of the FIFA people on that stand.”.

14th July Feature on Rihanna hanging with the Germany players after their victory

8.10am

“She’s fine but I wish that it was David Bowie instead, maybe as the Germany ‘Heroes’, managed by ‘Low’, went up the steps to shake hands with ‘The Man Who Sold The World’…Cup to Qatar.”

9.17am

“”Time – He flexes like a whore. Falls like Müller to the floor….'”

15th July 12.33pm

“The Brazilian back line gave so much room to the Germany attackers in the semi-final, that they manufactured a ‘Space Oddity’ all over their half of the pitch.”

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