Feature Editor, Dominic Hanley’s (@dominiho7) World Cup Chitter-Chatter
Tonight could prove to be very harsh on either Nigeria or Iran. In what would be a first in World Cup history one of the two teams could be sent home thanks to a coin toss or the picking of lots (straws)…. pretty unimaginable in today’s game. For this to happen Argentina must beat Nigeria 1-0 and Iran must be victorious by the same score line over Bosnia. You can see what I think will happen in the resulting games by going over to our Facebook Page.
In other news plenty has been made about Luis Suarez supposed bite on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. As of this going to press, all that had been released by FIFA was that they were investigating what had happened. Suarez and Uruguay had until 9pm Wednesday evening to respond.
So England crashed out of the World Cup and mainly thanks to the aforementioned Luis Suarez. I may get slated for saying this but personally and I’ve said this throughout the whole tournament, England can come away from Brazil with plenty of positives. For me it is the best I have seen an England side play in a long time. The last good performance I can recall where I was really impressed was against Croatia and Theo Walcott’s hat-trick….. in 2008. Whilst we didn’t win any games and there is always the saying which I have uttered before “as long as we win at least 1-0, I don’t care if we play ugly”, it really was a breath of fresh air to actually go into a game looking forward to what it might bring. The pace of Sterling, Welbeck and Sturridge caused many a problem, even if we did lack proper penetration. Rooney finally scored that elusive World Cup goal and didn’t do much wrong. The errors came from further back, Gerrard perhaps struggling after a grueling season at club level, whilst Henderson isn’t that type of player to play in that holding role.
How I also wish Gary Neville was 25 again, best right back in English history and it showed how we have struggled to replace him since. Glen Johnson is okay but isn’t to his standard. But kudos to the FA for keeping Hodgson in the job, as he started with a 4 year plan and whilst this may not have been on that plan, at least we won’t have to start all over again.
Italy are also on the plane home, defeat to Costa Rica and Uruguay means Super Mario and the Magnificent Pirlo leave the tournament early, for Pirlo the last time he’ll pull on an Italian shirt.
Neymar showed the world why Brazil love him with two goals in a masterclass performance against Cameroon. No disrespect to Cameroon but when he does it against say a powerhouse like Germany then I’ll happy proclaim him one of the greatest on the planet.
Belgium have been steady if not spectacular but that’s the sign of potential champions isn’t it? We will wait and see on that one. With the groups now coming to an end make sure you tune into the third Samba edition of Talk of the Turnstile this coming Friday as we will have a look at the upcoming second round matches.
WORLD CUP FUN FACT OF THE DAY!
Faryd Mondragon became the oldest player to take to a World Cup pitch yesterday as he came on for Colombia in goal at the tender age of 43!! He beat record holder Roger Milla who was 42.