March 31 2015 Latest news:
Saturday, June 28, 2014
So the group stages are over and we’ve been truly spoilt with the football we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks.
Holland, Columbia, Argentina and Belgium won all three group games and all look strong.There are some very big names on their way home already including Spain, Italy, Portugal, Russia and of course England.
Fabio Capello, pictured below, was the highest paid coach in Brazil earning over £6m from the Russian Football Federation and what a poor job he’s done. His side failed to win a single game with only two disappointing draws against South Korea and Algeria to show for in probably the easiest group.
Looking at the last 16 there are some very interesting ties to be played.The home nation Brazil face the very impressive Chilian’s. I think this is going to be a very tough game for Neymar and his team mates. Up to now Brazil have been overly reliant on the Barcelona superstar, his goals and performances are the main reason that Brazil won their group. If Brazil are to get past a very disciplined hard working Chile team others now need to step up to the plate otherwise they might very well be eliminated.
I’ve expressed my feelings about how Uruguay will now struggle without their main man and now I can only only see one winner from this tie. I’ve been very impressed by the Columbians and to think they won their group comfortably without their best striker Falcao who’s missed the World Cup with a knee injury, but I’ve got to say it wasn’t the strongest group in the tournament. However, they will be too strong and quick for Uruguay.
Holland have impressed many of you over the last two weeks and even I was impressed the way they beat Chile the other day. They are the top scorers netting 10 goals in their three group games but as I said last week they are not the best team defensively and this will be their downfall eventually. It was good to see Leroy Fer come on and score their opening goal against Chile. It’s just a shame we didn’t see more goals from him in a Norwich City shirt in the second half of last season.
I do think the Dutch will just sneak this one but Mexico will push them all the way. The Mexicans have hit form at just the right time.They had a poor qualifying campaign winning a play-off to reach Brazil but with seven points from their group games they are no push over now.
Costa Rica have been the surprise package of the tournament winning a very tough group that of course included England. Greece scraped through thanks to a last minute penalty that saw them beat the Ivory Coast and pip them to second in Group C.However, I haven’t been impressed by Greece and can’t see them going through.
France will be far too good for Nigeria, the only African nation to progress from the group stages. Even though the French were not at their best against Ecuador in their last game they will go through and could go a long way in this tournament – they have the talent to go all the way.
The USA have done superbly to get out of their group in what probably was one if not the toughest group but Belgium will beat them.Belgium are not firing on all cylinders yet but will get better. They won their group comfortably scoring only four goals in their three games but conceding just the one. This shows just how strong they are defensively but as we know they also have the quality going forward to cause anyone problems.
Once again the Germans have been so efficient and I can’t see Algeria causing them too many problems. Germany’s game last Saturday against Ghana was the best game I’ve seen up till now especially the second half. They will brush Algeria aside and I won’t be surprised to see them in the final on the 13th of July.
So to the final tie of the second round of the competition.
Argentina won all three games in their group scoring six goals, four of which were scored by that little magician Lionel Messi. He knows he’s not been great in his past appearances in the World Cup but he’s certainly turned up for this one.
Sadly yhough Sergio Aguero’s World Cup is over after he tore his hamstring against Nigeria and this will be a huge blow for them.
However, I can’t see a workman like Switzerland team causing them too many problems and I fancy Argentina to progress.
‘Suarez has let his whole nation down’
A week can be a very long time in football.
Seven days ago I was writing about the genius that was Luis Suarez after his one-man demolition job knocking England out of the World Cup but once again the ugly side of his character has shown why he’ll never be a true great in the game.
After playing a major part in getting Uruguay into the last 16 of the tournament he’s now going to miss the rest of the World Cup and the opening 12 games of Liverpool’s season after biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on his shoulder.
It was a moment of sheer madness by Suarez and he really should know better having already been found guilty twice in the past for the same offence.
He missed 10 games for Liverpool for biting Bratislav Ivanovic last season.He received a seven-game ban while playing for Ajax for biting an opponent and now with this four-month worldwide ban from football he’s rightly received from Fifa he will miss Uruguay’s next nine internationals and a further 12 games for Liverpool. That makes a staggering 39-game ban Suarez has had in his career just for biting!
He’s let his manager down, his team-mates down but most importantly he’s let his nation down because without Suarez in the team Uruguay have no chance of progressing in Brazil past the second round and into the last eight.
With him in the starting line up they might have beaten Columbia in the next round but have very little chance of making the quarter-finals without him.