Campbell delivers, Cuadrado immense, Quintero one to watch, Aboukabar Wenger-esque? WC Review.

World Cup Review.

Joel Campbell ready to give birth to his Arsenal career?

Joel Campbell ready to give birth to his Arsenal career?

So far, it has been a great tournament for CONCACAF-teams. Aside from their own version of Stoke (Honduras), all other teams have done well so far, especially comparing to Africa and Asia.

South-American teams have been better than European ones so far as well (Brazil vs Croatia, Argentina vs Bosnia, Colombia vs Greece, Uruguay vs England, Chile vs Spain…with a humble exception of Switzerland beating Ecuador with an injury-time strike) and that might be a clue who is going to win the title.

Group A: Brazil haven’t shown a lot of class and the referee gave them the edge against Croatia, but I have a feeling that they get underestimated too much. They have world-class defenders and midfielders who might lack magical skills of Ronaldinho, Kaka’ or Rivaldo but have a high work-rate (remember, Scolari has won a World Cup already, and it happened with our very own Gilberto Silva and Manure’s failure Kleberson in the middle). They don’t have a world-class striker though, as Neymar plays on the wing – Scolari sticks to Fred while Hulk was crap against Croatia.

Mexico have impressed so far, especially given how poor they had been during qualifications. They’ve done well in defending (Marquez’s swan-song and Ochoa’s brilliance in crucial moments) but their attack can be improved. They should’ve had much better goal-difference if the referee had known his job against Cameroon, but Spuds’ flop Dos Santos was robbed for two goals.

Croatia have problems in the middle of the pitch where they should be the best given they have Rakitić, Modrić and talented Kovačić. However, they suffer from the same problem Arsenal have had – Croatia don’t have a ball-winning-midfielder to match the quality of his creative colleagues. Another problem is Stipe Pletikosa who conceded goals against Brazil that some better keeper would have saved. Finally, their left full-back position has been patched so far and that’s where they might suffer a lot against teams with a good right winger. On the positive note, Ivan Perišić has done well so far and we might look after him as well for our left-wing-position. He has scored against Arsenal once – for those who remember, he had played for Borussia Dortmund back then and it was a late equalizer. Mandžukić’s debut at World Cup was capped with a brace and he will be a huge asset for the Croats.

Cameroon have been the worst bunch I’ve ever seen at World Cup – no organization, no harmony…nothing. What Alex Song did to Mandžukić (a really idiotic elbowing) and the row between Assou-Ekotto and his team-mate suggest in what kind of mess Cameroonian football has been in lately. Vincent Aboubakar gave a solid performance against Croatia though – he looked mobile, lively and with an actual desire to win the game. I think that he might be a Wenger-esque signing: he is 22, plays for FC Lorient (we have signed Koscielny from there and apparently kept a close relationship with them), has some pace and reached double-digits (16 goals in 35 matches) in terms of goals in Ligue 1 last season.

Group B: both Holland and Chile have shown quality and pace in the attack to burn their opponents. However, both sides have looked more or less fragile at the back (which isn’t surprising given how free-scoring this tournament has been so far). Holland could have conceded even more than two goals against Australia and Chile suffered a lot against Australia from Tim Cahill’s aerial prowess. If somehow Chile face Croatia in the knock-out stages, Mario Mandžukić might have a feast. Of course, there are plenty of things to like at both Holland and Chile. Van Gaal has used Robben and Van Judas much better than anyone on international level before had; there is fresh blood in their team (hopefully Indi will return before the tournament ends) with players like Blind, Wijnaldum (I liked his cameo against Spain) and Memphis Depay making crucial moves when things got tough.

Spain have been in a real mess – Casillas came to this tournament after being benched for two years, no Puyol-like presence in the defence (Pique and Ramos were horrendous), Xabi and Xavi past their prime, lack of width and creativity in their flat attack and no Villa-like striker to bail them out. We might see a reform to tiki-taka that will start in Spain.

Australia have done more than anyone expected with Cahill scoring two great goals to conclude his World Cup story (he is suspended for the match against Spain). They put a heroic battle against Holland and were in the game against Chile until injury-time. Spirit is the word and Oz Gunner can be proud of the Australian team.

Group C: Colombia have been a joy to watch. Cuadrado has been immense in both matches and totally owned the right flank, James Rodriguez has proven his class in the middle and 38-year-old Mario Yepes has commanded his defence properly so far. They also have a very decent goalkeeper, Ospina, who has pulled a few great saves so far against both Greece and Ivory Coast. Alleged Arsenal target Jackson Martinez has been on the bench due to issues with Jose Pekerman. Another player to watch is Quintero.

Ivory Coast have to find the way to survive huge personal losses that have hit them: Ibrahim Toure, Kolo’s and Yaya’s brother who used to play for Monaco, died and he was only 28; and Die’s father died before the match against Colombia. Serge Aurier has been a real threat down the right flank, Gervinho scored two goals including a marvelous solo-effort against Colombia…but Yaya Toure and Drogba haven’t been on the score-sheet yet. They’ll need just a draw against the Greeks (provided that Japan don’t beat Colombia with two-goal-margin or more), and it might be more difficult than it sounds, especially with all problems Ivory Coast have.

The Greeks managed to stay undefeated against Japan despite being reduced to ten men before the break, and they should’ve scored at least once against Colombians. If they want to go through, they need a victory over Ivory Coast and Colombia not to lose to Japan. Mitroglu, Samaras and Gekkas haven’t had their shooting boots on so far, but it can change in their last fixture. Japan have spilled a lead against Ivory Coast – they could have won that match but crumbled in just two minutes – and couldn’t break the Greek 10-men-side. The good news for them is the fact Colombia have qualified for The Knockout Stage already.

Group D: Costa Rica have shown the world that miracles can happen and secured the next round. Their recipe for success: great defending, fast counter-attacks and no fear against more reputable teams. And our Joel. Italy have looked very beatable against England and very poor against Costa Rica. They need just a draw against Uruguay but their defence hasn’t been the one that goes together with Italian football. Uruguay have been a different team with Suarez and without him. Their defence hasn’t been on the level from the last World Cup and their midfield doesn’t have a creative guy – Cavani and Suarez are there to make things happen and that’s it. England…well, I’ve already said everything about England. They should get rid of Hodgson and find a manager who knows how to use all that potential.

Group E: France have been really impressive, especially Benzema and Matuidi. Giroud – who has scored more goals at this World Cup than Cristiano Ronaldo has – gave a great performance against Switzerland. Pogba is going to be a huge player as well, and Valbuena has shown why there is such a hype about him. Their defence is yet to face a serious test but they look like challengers to me: they have shown passion, hunger, pace and quality.

Ecuador could have booked their place in the last 16 had they done better with their last attack against Switzerland instead of conceding a late punch. They have issues with their defence as even Honduras gave them a hard-time. They have to get the same result as Switzerland in the last match to progress from their group, and it’s not so unlikely to happen. Cabaye won’t play for France due to yellow cards and Deschamps will probably give a rest to some of his players, given that the top spot is all but secured.

Switzerland haven’t been a typical Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team at this competition – their defence looked pathetic when two ex-Arsenal players teamed up (Djourou and Senderos) in the heart of defence. They might suffer an early exit with six points in their pocket, if they beat Honduras with less than three-goal-margin and Ecuador beat France. They should’ve had even worse goal-difference but Benzema’s goal was cut with a referee’s whistle (even the score-board had shown 6:2 for France), and Blatter is Swiss. Honduras – they have a slim hope of going through the next round but for the sake of football, they shouldn’t get out of the group.

Group F: Argentina didn’t look at their very best against us. Their attacking game improved after Higuan had been introduced and their football should be all about attacking with Messi, Di Maria, Agüero and Higuain in their ranks. Against teams with more pace in the attack they might get punished a lot though.

We weren’t poor in that match but I guess the fact we are the only debutant on this tournament was too much of a burden against the Argentinians. Džeko wasn’t mobile enough to create space for Lulić and Hajrović – our attack got some life with Ibišević next to Džeko in the final stage of the match. Pjanić and Misimović did their job well but the former had to play in more defensive role and the latter is a 33-year-old who has stamina for 60 minutes tops. Nigeria can be dangerous opponents – they are reigning champions of Africa and have pacey strikers that can cause trouble from the counter-attacks. We need to beat them in order to keep things under our control before the last match against Iran. Iranians won’t be pushovers either: they held Nigeria to a goal-less draw. Given the quality of our, Nigerians and Iranian players, we should beat both of them but football doesn’t work that way.

Group G: Germany have brushed Portugal aside and shouldn’t have any problems to get top spot in this group. They had some problems in the defence at the beginning of the match but with such a great goal-scorer like Müller they should beat everyone in this group.

USA and Klinsmann got their big victory against unlucky Ghanian side. Portugal are still favourites for the clash against them but let’s not forget they have a lot of injuries (Hugo Almeida, Coentrao) and Pepe’s suspension to deal with. Plus, USA have already beaten Portugal once at World Cup (2002) and Klinsmann has done the same with Germany (2006).

Ghana probably missed a huge chance to qualify from this group with that unlucky defeat to the Americans. Portugal must shake off the stress of huge defeat, and it’s not that simple (remember how we had reacted after our big defeats last season?). A defeat or even a draw to USA would mean Portugal’s failure to progress from the group, and it will be the last Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup while he is still in twenties.

Group H: Belgium had a slow start against Algeria and looked like a real team only after Fellaini, and especially, Mertens had entered the pitch. They have a problem with width as they don’t have full-backs to match the quality of their other players. Lukaku gave a poor performance as well: Origi was better than the giant striker.

Russia should have enough to go through the next round but Capello’s experiments with Džagoev and Keržakov on the bench might hurt their chances to go through. Also, Akinfeev was terrible between the sticks. Koreans might miss a chance to beat the Russians, but if they beat Algeria they are still in the game.

Algeria looked very disciplined which is not a surprise given that Vahid Halilhodžić is their manager. They gave a good scare to Belgium and looked much more dangerous than four years ago.


Written by: Admir.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

232 Responses to Campbell delivers, Cuadrado immense, Quintero one to watch, Aboukabar Wenger-esque? WC Review.

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Superb WC review, Admir. 🙂

    You write so well and your command of the English language is simply superb for somebody who does not work or live in an English speaking country.

    You clearly have a great analytical eye for reviewing games and the chances of the teams. I really enjoyed reading it and agreed with a lot of your observations.

    I have not been able to watch too many games with both eyes focussed on them but I agree the footie has been of a high standard in general and is very attack minded. Lots of good goals, and not just due to bad defending in many cases. Costa Rica’s winner against Italy was a good example of this: great, mature pass by Campbell to the left wing, great ball into the box and what a finish by Ruiz… that is how we like our football.

    Re Holland. Yes defence is still vulnerable but the real challenge is to get the midfield play better in possession. We were not holding on to the ball enough and not able to pass the ball out to our full backs and Robben/VJ well enough against the Aussies. Van Gaal will have been working on this and I am hoping to see more of Clasie who should be getting fully fit soon.

    The Dutch decoded tiki taka of the Spanish and I reckon this game will get more significance after the tournament is finished. You are right to say we might see the Spanish starting a new brand of football. But I will write something about this in the near future.

    Hope B-H will get through to the next round. I will try and watch your next game….. I need to watch out for the players you have mentioned!

    Top stuff Admir!

  2. Gerry says:

    Yes, I echo everything TA has said about the quality of this early review. I also admire you, Admir, for your stamina to see so many games, and accurately record the up and downs without the need to resort to cliches. Truly excellent stuff.

    Yes there will be a lot of fallout from this WC, and not just the demise of tiky-taki, but a far greater emphasis on pace and technique. I hope AW is willing to spend a little more to get the right players now, as the demand will very soon outstrip the supply, and transfer fees will rocket?

    The other thing to notice, and you highlight the opposite with Cameroon, is the successful teams have ‘unity’. With the emphasis on teamwork. Something I am sure AW is fully aware of in any transfer deals he makes?

    I am not sure there is any point in getting rid of Roy from the England camp. He was quite bold it taking a lot of fresh faces to this WC, rather than sticking to the ‘old guard’, and it was always going to be difficult with the conditions out there? His contract runs out after the next Euro’s I believe, so I would rather judge him then, when these youngsters will be that much more experienced..
    Cheers again, for a smashing post

  3. proudgooner says:

    From last post, i wanted to comment and agree with you that i am very suspisous of the refs in the world cup so far too. Quite a few friends i have spoken to who’s football knowledge i respect have also said the same thing.
    We all know that FIFA are as corrupt as they come, it’s does make you wonder, some of the desisions have been shocking. The Qurtri 2022 world cup is a joke also and just proves they can be brought.
    Great summary of the cup so far, not to much i can add really as you said it all quite nicely.
    I feel the South Americans under dogs have really shone, but not as much as France and Holland for me so far.
    But the winners will probably not have peaked yet, even though England are out i am still enjoying the cup very much

  4. RA says:


    That is simply superb. 🙂

  5. RA says:

    Oops, sorry fellow BKers, I should have said ‘hello’, no? 🙂

    My grasp of the English language is highlighted by what I do not know, no?

    In fairness humour can backfire, no?
    Although I suppose 17 will say no, no? On the other hand he might say yes, no?

  6. RA says:


    The overall standard of refereeing has been very poor in this WC, but I would prefer to believe it is incompetence rather than corruption — but who knows, no? 🙂

  7. RA says:


    You are right that Admir has summed everything up so well it has left little to add.

    Some of the games have been superb, and France, Costa Rica and Holland can be proud of themselves.

    I get no pleasure from saying that I predicted England would be eliminated at the group stage, based on my opinion that certain England players, the ones I watch in the Premier League every week, are just not good enough.

    Hart is not the keeper he was a couple of seasons ago, Baines and Jphnson have always been over rated, and the Liverpool pair in midfield are simply not international class.

    Luck plays a part in many footie games, and the little word ‘if’ always applies, [if Jack was in form, if the Ox was fit, if Rooney had not headed against the post, etc] but no one can say England should have gone through to the knockout stages. Disappointed for the England fans!

  8. RA says:

    Talking to myself, again, no? Yes, I am, no?

    See ya, no. 🙂

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders, no?

    You are probably right. Will there be more dodgy refereeing decisions in favour of Brazil…. Definitely not, no? 😉

  10. tony says:

    excellent post,all i can i say is that the african teams have really let me down.of the five only ivory coast is going thro’ the rest should be packing by now.
    Costa rica has lead the way in relegating the underdog/whiping boys tag to the dust bin.their fighting spirit is amazing.
    I see the germans in the final with i dont know who..

  11. Superb stuff from our Bosnian Brad Pitt !….so to show no favouritism, Stretch is our Bounds Green Cess Pitt and Vics, our Essex Arm Pitt !. 😀
    Loving this WC and now that the inventors of the game are out, it`s no stress time and can just enjoy the great football on offer !.
    Lots of rumours on newsnow that we have agreed to sign Aurier for £8M !.

    Hey !……give my buddy 17 some space !…….being constantly rodgered from behind by an 8ft Squatch, I think his …imo`s, brackets and no`s are acceptable in the circumstances !.

  12. RA says:

    Gotcha, Cockie,

    No censorship of your humour is acceptable — but anyone else’s is not to be tolerated, no?

    Think you know, no, what I think of that, no?

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow, I didn’t think my little expressions of uncertainty would register such displeasure. From now on I’ll try and express myself with more definitive confidence. Wenger In! for example, etc., etc…

    Admir, very, er, “admir-able” synopsis of the tournament so far. It’s been lots of fun, almost all the matches played in a good spirit, which lifts some of the burden on the refs, and goals aplenty. Overall, the insistence on stylish, attacking football these days, and, perhaps, the difficulty of drilling a new group to defend as a team, might be the reasons. Could all the money in the game also contribute? Maybe players want to stand out for their positive contributions (as individuals) rather than more negative and collective efforts. Will it continue into the eliminations? Hard to say, but my guess is that teams may be a bit more circumspect (and disciplined) knowing they might have to play an extra half hour…

    We’re all scouting players who might fit in at Arsenal but I think we should keep in mind a couple of things: #1, that we’ve already got a nice mix of talent in our squad and #2 that the quality of this tournament football is generally lower than the top level of club football to which we aspire. As such, it’s a little hard to tell what and who will translate into real additions to our club. Being able to convert chances (rather than choke them…) on the big stage, however, seems an enviable quality.

    On that note, I’m really hoping this Aurier business is a done deal. That’s a lot of physical presence and technique in such a young fellow…

    Finally, on the question of the refs. I’ll go with RA that it’s probably more incompetence than corruption, but it remains an open question if Brazil will play with the proverbial 12th man in their eliminations. I would think Chile or Holland in the round of 16 will be a great test.

    Argentina having real trouble breaking down Iran. Still nil-nil with halftime coming…Thanks again, Admir…

  14. James Bond says:

    very nice @ Admir – well done sir – that was immense !

    it was also a master stroke by skipper to use this as a post instead of a comment , no ? ; )

    also, deals for both Balotelli and Aurier , agreed in principle, no ? ; )

    that just means we need Casillas and one of Schnerdelin / Martinez/ Fellaini / and we are sorted, no ?

    this gives us least 2 quality players in every position.

    GK – Casillas / Sczny

    RB : Aurier/Jenks/Flamini/ possibly one of Nacho or Gibbs can play here as well, if need be.

    CB: KOC/BFG/TV5/Aurier/

    DM of Sorts : New signing / Arteta/ Flamini / Diaby

    CM: Ramsey/ JW/ Diaby

    Hole : Ozil/Rosicky/Santiago

    RW : Theo/OX/Gnabry

    LW : Poldi/Santiago/Joel Campbell

    Striker : Balotelli / Giroud / Yaya / JC

    Sorted, NO ?


    Iran keeping Argentina well under control, No ?

  15. James Bond says:

    that was a penalty for Iran and possibly a red card for Zaba – lucky lucky Argentina.

  16. AFC says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Admir on the WC so far. 🙂

    Iran doing really well. Just shows what teamwork can do. I hope Iran win this match.

  17. AFC says:

    So close with the header. If that went in they would have made it through the group stage?

  18. AFC says:

    Iran in again. If only England could defend like Iran.

  19. AFC says:

    Messi scores! I kinda feel sorry for Iran.

  20. AFC says:

    I think Iran could have stopped that had they been quicker to close Messi down.

    Anyone know anything about this Iran GK? He’s been pretty good today.

  21. AFC says:

    Another match ruined by a ref decision? Iran should have had a penalty, no?

  22. James Bond says:

    sympathies with Iran, what a display of grit, resolute and determination, no ? ; )

    day time Robbery – Iran were robbed, no doubt – deserved a draw at least and had the 2 best chances of the game – sadly, it was not to be .

    am looking forward to the Germany one as they were my tip to be the eventual winners – can’t wait to see the likes of Ozil, BFG and Poldi…

  23. AFC says:

    Agreed JB. Looking forward to the Ghana vs. Germany match. Ghana need to turn up or they will get slaughtered.

  24. Hey 007 !…….didn`t you once have some trouble with a Doctor, No ?

  25. AFC says:

    On this whole Gerrard thing, I think he needs to retire from international football along with Lampard so we can progress and move forward.

  26. I`m Ghana watch this Germany game just to scout some SQ players for TightArsene Wenger !.

  27. James Bond says:

    Frimmy plays for Ghana, no ? @ AFC

    nah, don’t think they will be slaughtered but Germany will win, no ?

    ah, that blondey lady doctor from Sweden , no ? @ TCM

    don’t really care about Stevie G retiring or anyone else for England, as long as Ross.B gets a full game or start, everything else will take care of itself – the future is bright with the likes of young Barkley running the midfield and driving forward.

  28. AFC says:

    JB, for me the longer Gerrard stays in the squad the longer it will take for the likes of Wiltshere, Barkley etc, to break into the England squad. We have a lot of potential as you say. Look at the players we could have tp choose from for the Euros.

    GK- Hart, Forster, Butland (?)
    RB- Walker, Jenkinson, Flanagan, Richards
    CB- Jones, Smalling, Stones, Caulker, Richards
    LB- Gibbs, Shaw
    CM- Henderson, Wilshere and Rodwell and Cleverly if they can get their careers back on track.
    ‘3’ behind the ST- Walcott, Ox, Barkley, Lallana, Townsend, Sterling even Sinclair if he ever leaves City and gets his career on track.
    ST- Sturridge, Rooney, Welbeck, Rodriguez even Carrol if he ever comes good.

    And more young English players will likely come through.

  29. AFC says:

    Frimpong does play for Ghana but I do not even think he is on their squad. He was released by Barnsley last season. I think he has ruined his career. I’m not even sure what has happened to his cousin Lethal Bizzle. I don’t eve think he makes music anymore.

  30. AFC says:

    I’m going for 3-1 to Germany.

  31. James Bond says:

    as you say, we have the right players and the future looks bright for us , however, we need a new younger coach with the right footballing mindset.

    he ruined his career long before going to Barnsley but he’s a character alright – I actually think both him and Balotelli are quite similar character wise, ha

  32. AFC says:

    JB, agreed about needing a younger manager. Time for Roy to go.

    Frimpong and Balotelli lol. I think Balotelli laughs everytime he hears the name Frimpong. 😀

  33. AFC says:

    Remember that Balotelli Barton stand off. Who you think would won that fight? I’ll leave it to Cockie to give us some expert analysis. 😉

  34. AFC says:

    do you*

  35. RA says:


    I was just exercising a little whimsical humour earlier, as there was no bugger about, no?
    I know I have no problem with the use of the interrogative no, no?

    So please feel free at any time to use no, no?

    It’s so addictive that, like Bondy, I just cannot stop saying no, no? 🙂

    Of to watch Germany, yes – no, I mean no, no? 🙂

  36. RA says:

    By the way, the refereeing in the Iran v Argentina game was extremely iffy.

    I would love to know his reason for not awarding the Iranians that cast iron penalty.
    My hope is still that there is no corruption involved, but the number of incidences, or ‘errors’ are mounting up.

  37. James Bond says:

    good solid first half with Ghana looking the more likely to score, no @ AFC ?

    Germany need to bring Poldi , no ?

    RA, you are a trouble maker, no ? 😛

  38. AFC says:

    Ghana right back in this match. Ghana really need a win. A good shout for Podolski JB

  39. AFC says:

    Ghana ahead waving the flag for Africa.

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    This one has rather heated up in the 2nd period… 2-2 with 15 mins remaining…

  41. AFC says:

    Let’s see of this will end a draw.

  42. AFC says:

    Germany had three guys run over the ball lol. Only works when one guys does ot in my opinion.

  43. James Bond says:

    Germany still are in 2nd gear – Ghana should have been 3-1, had their winger given it to their skipper – it was an easy pass but he chose to go for glory himself, no ? @AFC

    good game though !

  44. RA says:

    Ghana are outstanding!!

  45. RA says:

    The second half has been up there with the best.

    I love the passion.

  46. The missus says, no !, that means yes, no !

  47. JM says:

    World Cup 2014 bulletin (as of 21 June):

    Adidas – 26 pts (Argentina /6, Colombia /6, Mexico /4, Germany /4, Nigeria /4, Russia /1, Japan /1)
    Nike – 24 pts (Brazil /4, Netherlands /6, France /6, United States /3, South Korea /1, Croatia /3, Greece /1)
    Puma – 19 pts (Ivory Coast /3, Chile /6, Italy /3, Switzerland /3, Uruguay /3, Ghana /1)
    Lotto – 6 pts (Costa Rica /6)
    Burrda – 3 pts (Belgium /3)
    Marathon – 3 pts (Ecuador /3)
    Uhlsport – 1 pt (Iran /1)


    Overall Top goalscorers (active):

    Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 15 goals/20 games (0.75 avg)
    Thomas Müller (Germany) – 8 goals/8 games (1.00 avg)
    David Villa (Spain) – 8 goals/10 games (0.80 avg)

    Overall No.1 goalscorer(s):
    Ronaldo (Brazil) – 15 goals/19 games (0.79 avg)
    Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 15 goals/20 games (0.75 avg)


  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Well played, Admir. Your central midfielders were class, but you have to convert the chances. It was inexperience, I reckon.

  49. JM says:

    The following was posted in BK previously as a comment, and this time with a couple of additions. This was also posted as a comment in AA.

    [A little bit of history on WC finals, starting from year 1970 – 2010 (40 years time gap):]

    Part 1:

    Brazil (C: Carlos Alberto, DF/RWB) vs Italy (C: Giacinto Facchetti, DF)
    Brazil won 4-1

    Netherlands (C: Johan Cruyff, CF/AM) vs West Germany (C: Franz Beckenbauer, CB/SW)
    West Germany won 2-1

    Argentina (C: Daniel Passarella, CB) vs Netherlands (C: Ruud Krol, SW)
    Argentina won 3-1 (after extra time, full time 1-1)

    Italy (C: Dino Zoff, GK) vs West Germany (C: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, RW)
    Italy won 3-1

    Argentina (C: Diego Maradona, 2nd ST) vs West Germany (C: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CF)
    Argentina won 3-2

    West Germany (C: Lothar Matthäus, DM/CM) vs Argentina (C: Diego Maradona, 2nd ST)
    West Germany won 1-0

    Brazil (C: Dunga, DM/CM) vs Italy (C: Franco Baresi, CB)
    Brazil won 3-2 on penalties (full time 0-0)

    Brazil (C: Dunga, DM/CM) vs France (C: Didier Deschamps, DM)
    France won 3-0

    Germany (C: Oliver Kahn, GK) vs Brazil (C: Cafu, RWB)
    Brazil won 2-0

    Italy (C: Fabio Cannavaro, CB) vs France (C: Zinedine Zidane, AM)
    Italy won 5-3 on penalties (full time 1-1)

    Netherlands (C: Giovanni van Bronckhorst, LB) vs Spain (C: Iker Casillas, GK)
    Spain won 1-0 after extra time (full time 0-0)

    – On 10 occasions (since 1970), the WC is won by a team captained by a defensive player (GK, CB, FBs, DM/CM)

    – On the odd final in 1986, Maradona (a second striker) led his Argentina team to victory against the West Germany team, led by Rummenigge (a centre forward). Maradona’s “mystical aura” seemed the stronger than Rummenigge’s on that occasion.


    Part 2a:

    – The finalists are never from any Group of Death (since 1982, a 32 year time frame; there have more teams participating when the tournament expanded to 24 teams, and now 32 teams in 2014)

    1982 – Italy vs West Germany
    (Italy, Peru, Poland, Cameroon)(West Germany, Chile, Austria, Algeria)

    1986 – Argentina vs West Germany
    (Argentina, Italy, Bulgaria, Korea)(West Germany, Denmark, Uruguay, Scotland)

    1990 – West Germany vs Argentina
    (West Germany, Yugoslavia, Colombia, UAE)(Argentina, USSR, Romania, Cameroon)

    1994 – Brazil vs Italy
    (Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Cameroon)(Italy, Norway, Ireland, Mexico)

    1998 – France vs Brazil
    (France, Denmark, South Africa, Saudi Arabia)(Brazil, Norway, Scotland, Morocco)

    2002 – Brazil vs Germany
    (Brazil, Turkey, Costa Rica, China)(Germany, Ireland, Cameroon, Saudi Arabia)

    2006 – Italy vs France
    (Italy, Czech Rep., Ghana, USA)(France, Switzerland, South Korea, Togo)

    2010 – Spain vs Netherlands
    (Spain, Switzerland, Chile, Honduras)(Netherlands, Denmark, Cameroon, Japan)



    Part 2b:

    Also, Cameroon appeared 5 times (1982, 1990, 1994, 2002, 2010) from the group that includes one of the finalists. They did not qualify in 1986 and 2006. The odd year was 1998.

    2014 – Group A (Brazil, Croatia, Cameroon, Mexico)

  50. Admir says:

    Just a short comment.

    We were brutally robbed tonight. Yes, Nigeria had more chances and probably deserved their victory. However, Dzeko scored perfectly good goal that was ruled out for non-existent offside.

    Our team lacked pace and accuracy in front of goal. Spahic was terrible but Begovic saved us from worse defeat. Just like Iran, we lost due to huge mistake from the officials when the score-line was 0:0. Atheists all over the world should ask for Group F videos as they prove their belief.

  51. Gerry says:

    JM – The winner’s list was missing one important detail in my opinion – the venue?

    I have check the list, and much expected, since 1950 only Spain have won when it was played outside of Europe, and that was in South Africa last time. That was of course an all European final.

    Only Czechoslovakia and the Netherlands got to the finals when played in South America(Chile) and Argentina (and the hosts won the latter) – 1962 & 1978.

    Italy and Germany were both runner’s up in Mexico – 1970 & 1986

    Italy and Germany were both runner’s up in the USA and Japan respectively – 1994 & 2002, both lost to Brazil.

    Conversely, Brazil are the only South American side to win in Europe(Sweden) – 1958.

    So along with your Group of Death stats, and great assistance from refereeing decisions, Brazil look booked for the final, despite not playing that well at the moment. While it is not inconceivable that a European side will get there, I think the next round will take it’s toll with the effort that they are putting in to get through, which probably just favours France?

    Personally, unless there is an all European quarter final, I think it will be an all South American semi-final, and thus the final too … fingers crossed, Brazil v Chile 😀

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    You was robbed there, Admir. A perfect goal that would have given you wings…. Another bad refereeing decision and that in 2014… FIFA are so backwards.

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Why fingers crossed, Gerry? What’s wrong with European teams?

    I think you are wrong as well, as France, Holland and Germany have looked the strongest teams until now.

  54. geoffchase says:

    Admir, JB et al,

    Admir: you was robbed, but the referees this WC seem inexplicably to not understand the offside rule. The Italy-CR game was one where both sides were (seemingly randomly) whistled offside when not really near. Seems any longer pass where the player is well onside to begin with (or enough anyway) and ends up with ball behind the defense is whistled. Very weird and warping the games a bit.

    All: The US has known for years that Ghana and CR are very good teams. If only due to the regular difficulty we have had with them. They are both “bogey sides” for the US in qualifying (CR) and the WC (Ghana). We have generally played even better teams more consistently well. Hopefully, Klinsmann will start finally taking them past some of this, but we will see for certain at far too late tonite (which means tomorrow a.m. for me).

    I still see Germany topping the group, but the US can go through today with the right attitude and approach. Portugal must come out to play, especially with Ghana looking so good and thus no surety there. So, avoiding early errors (sounds like an Arsenal prematch) should put a good first foot forward for the US.

    Arsenal and JB: So, I read that Aurier is “done” and he has looked very good on the side this year. What is the real scoop if anyone has the “sauce” on Balotelli. I like that he has had less off field issues with Inter and feel AW could manage that side of his game and improve his consistency on the pitch… Thus, I think he’d be a really good addition for Arsenal. But, will we land him for all the talk?

    cheers — jgc

  55. geoffchase says:


    I think Europe is mixed in terms of the powerhouses. France (especially) and Germany/Holland have shown well. Italy, England, Spain and we will see about Portugal have not appeared as consistent or committed. And I rate all those teams in the same, yes very broad, category of teams that could do very well / win and who you would expect to progress but so far …

    Very schizophrenic from those well known powerhouses… Of course, in a WC where France appears solid in all phases, unified and focused, this is perhaps to be expected that there is some counterbalance to this “did hell freeze over?” moment??

    cheers — jgc

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Geoff,

    All good points. I reckon Klinsmann will make the Germans sweat a lot IF USA are still in with a shout after tonight’s game.

    England is in transition and Spain at the end of an era. I still believe Italy will eliminate Uruguay… Mario will power them through I reckon. France and Holland can rest players in their last game and, crucially, can give the squad players an opportunity to play themselves into the team.

    Brazil and Argentina are making their groups look harder than they are and only Chile has impressed until now.

    But the next round will be the big continents test… Cannot wait 🙂

  57. James Bond says:

    so gutted for Bosnia, it was day time robbery – agreed

    JGC-Damus 🙂

    not had any contact with the sauce as the sauce happens to be chilling in “Brazil” and I have been busy busy – maybe at some point our paths will cross but usually, if someone’s name gets associated with Arsenal as much As Balo’s then that normally means it’s all “smoke and mirrors” with our real target being someone else.

    however, AW usually goes back for players he has already shown an interest or has made an offer for .

    if you do 2+2 then you will find a club in Paris need to sell a big name in order to balance the books and add more, since they were already in the red even before forking out in excess of £40 million on David Luiz.

    the word is “Cavani” ?

    18 months ago, he made an offer for Cavani in the region of £35 million – 6 months later, we went up to £49 million for his team mate – all this gives us all reason to believe that he is in for a ready made striker who happens to be at the peak of his powers 25-27 years and is willing to wait until he gets what he wants.

    however, wouldn’t mind Balotelli, Cavani, or Falcao , personally.

    up front we only need 2 players, 1 SQ striker and then Gervinho replacement aka Joel Campbell and sorted – in essence even if we spend £50 million on getting a SQ striker, it basically means we are splitting that into £25 million each as we also get one of our own JC back.

    the remaining £50 million can be used to strengthen in 3 areas with a DM, RB and Goalie.


  58. James Bond says:

    great couple of comments @ JM

    they are worthy of being released as a post on their own , perhaps near the knockout stages ?


    ok, last but not least, I am getting the feeling that people are beginning to gang up on my amigo 17HT – behave yourselves all of you !

    whatever happened to freedom of speech ehhhhh – he is entitled to show a bit of uncertainty and reflect both side of the spectrum and views in his comments, hence his comments are normally very balanced – he is the voice of reason for a reason .

    I hope you haven’t taken this personally @ 17HT as it was simply joshing and nothing more on most people’s part, can’t speak for Glics cause he’s from a different planet altogether , ha

  59. Gerry says:

    Why fingers crossed TA? Well that is the final I predicted, with Chile the team I want to win. However, they almost certainly have to top their group in order to avoid Brazil in the next round? That is where they may need a bit of luck.

    As for the European sides. No, there is nothing wrong with them in terms of quality. Their problem is that they are playing in a climate that suits the home continent more, and playing against teams whose style of play suits that environment more.

    The reason I select France, at this stage at least, is because they have had ‘comfortable’ matches so far. Both Germany and the Netherlands have had a ‘toughie’ to deal with. If you look at England and Italy, who a hard match against each other, then Italy v Costa Campbell, they were dead on their feet in the last quarter. We played Uruguay and looked ‘flat’, and it cost us.

    I believe that for every hard match the Euro zone sides play, it takes a lot more out of them than it does the South American sides. It it is a compound factor that makes the next game even harder. The next real test of that will be Netherlands v Chile. A match where both teams have pace, and both can be vulnerable in defence. This will be another tough game, and will leave the winner in a drained state for the next round. So unless refereeing decisions, like a red card, will make it easier for one side, then they will not be at their best the next time. True, this is the same for all teams, so it will come down to who recovers best. After a long and competitive league season, I simply don’t believe the European side will recover as well as the Americanas?

    Then the next night we have Italy v Uruguay, and because both need to win, that too will be a war of attrition.. Slightly different for us v Costa Rica as neither side has to win, although Costa may want to? But they have come through some tough matches too, so I can see this being settled for a draw in the last quarter, providing no side is clearly out in front.

    Finally on Wednesday, Ecuador v France is another where they(Fr) can decide how strong a team they put out, depending on whether they want to top their group? Germany on the other hand will top their group barring a couple of shock results; them losing by a big score, and Ghana winning by a big enough margin to head the GD column, but they will not be able to relax as long as it remains a draw?

    Let the games begin …

  60. James Bond says:

    there is no such thing as “comfortable” matches at the world cup @ Gerry

    so to take that away from France is kinda not giving credit where it’s due.

    besides, aren’t Switzerland ranked world no.6 ?

    where are you Alcide – give us your take on France !

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair points Gerry. It’s not always hot or humid though and even South American teams appear to struggle with it at times.

    Hol v Chile will be a game of resting key players and not the onslaught you are expecting. I expect Robben and the Nail to be rested and van Judas is suspended. Van Gaal will also rest a couple of defenders at least, so I reckon the game will be a good exercise rather than anything else.

    I cannot talk for Chile though, but would be surprised if they turn up at full strength.

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    JB, everything is tongue in check, no? I am a keen user of the ‘no’ at the end of a sentence anyway, right? 😀

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey 007, sometimes I do get a bit sensitive, but not on this one. He of the deep colored (coloured?) backside was just goofing around, no?…

    I actually got in a bit of trouble watching ALL of the three matches on a sunny Saturday but at least I got out for a quick trot between the first two. Today, I’m thinking I might go for a longer one before the first match. Talk about unconvincing…That would describe Belgium in their first one against Algeria…

    For me, I just think it’s hard to take too much from the early rounds. The big teams need to make it through and sometimes it’s by hook or by crook. Argentina seem unbalanced–too much going forward and not enough (except w/a generous ref + good shot stopping keeper–rooted to his line) at the back. Who the hell was the bald attacker with the rat-tail at the end there? Also, it seemed that guy from Fulham (Dejagah) seemed the wrong one to take off. He was playing his heart out, I thought…

    Ghana also played with a ton of heart. Stewart Robson doing color (colour?) for the US TV, took EVERY opportunity to point out when Ozil would walk or when Mertesacker would have somebody outrun him. What’s that guy’s problem?… Germany do seem to be having a bit of trouble balancing between attack and defense (defence?) and I’m not sure about their subs. Did Boateng get hurt? That sub at HT meant Lu-lu wasn’t able to join the attack later on. Schweine and Khedira together would seem a good combo from the start if they get a lead. That was a bad giveaway by Lahm for Ghana’s 2nd… Ozil does look a little frustrated and seems like he could use players who are more willing to try and run past the final line of defense (defence?)… Of course, he might consider doing it himself, every now and then…

    And finally, Admir, I watched that whole match and have to agree with your take on it. Bad reffing is the worst and falling that goal down was huge. Nigeria sat back at a level you hardly ever see but also threatened with 2 or 3 attackers, repeatedly. It was fun to watch in a certain way, but I got the feeling it would have been a really fun one if your team would have been awarded its goal or could’ve converted an equalizer. So sorry that it went down in this manner…

    So, today it’s all about the US-Portugal match and the big hype in our country. I’m *almost* tempted to see if the various (tourist) bars around town will be putting out signs saying “watch the match here.” Portugal are (very) short on players (and C-Ron makes a perfect villain…) but I rather fancy them to put a damper on this whole bit about Soccer (finally) making it in the US..

    And then, after the day off, there will be plenty more twists and turns with this 3rd round of matches and the managers will have to balance and rotate their squads for the elims. All told, with the exception of the refs and the offsides rule, it’s been a great WC so far. Early days still and everything seems well poised for more excitement. Add in the Arsenal news–Aurier is done and Balotelli is coming (but they want Campbell…) — and all the BIG transfer targets (Cesc and Greizmann for example) are only unused or very late subs and it’s a bit head spinning, no?…

  64. geoffchase says:

    JB, TA, 17 et al,

    Well, 17, I am a touch more hopeful for the US. That said, it’s do or die right here time. Or at least time to make a serious statement under the Klinsmann regime. I think they can do it, but of course they have to show up and actually do the deed. As you noted Portugal are not in optimal shape and coming off a drubbing so…

    TA, for whatever reason, the US has encountered Germany in WC before and played them far tougher than many “lesser teams” .. They’ve usually been a good match in style and athleticism but not had the talent to compete in the end. That is a typical US problem as well, in we play top teams better than we do lesser ones sometimes.. Very variable which is not good for the heart. So, we will see, though, while I would want a US win or draw vs Germany I suspect that, especially after Ghana, it would be a verrrrrry tall order.

    In general regarding Germany’s last game, don’t underrate Ghana, they, like CR, are talented, athletic and thus can be very difficult to manage. Sometimes that’s enough!

    Equally, in general, I like the look of Chile, and it will be interesting to see how it goes in round 2 when the big lights are on. Some of these teams tend to fold when the lights go up a bit higher. Experience likely the main culprit, IMO.

    JB, I like all your choices. What I might like most about Balotelli is the excitement he brings. They are all SQ, but he just seems to bring that extra, explosive and expectannt aura of “anything could happen on the pitch at any moment” that few possess (tho Suarez is one and so is CR). We will see but I am glad to hear about Aurier on defense.

    Still deciding whether to set an alarm for midnight start EU time for the US game..

    cheers — jgc

  65. Gerry says:

    JB – I think you are missing the point about France. They have had comfortable wins because of their superior quality. Goodie for the Swiss being rank 7th, because they played like a team ranked 77th! France have made their group look ordinary. They had two S.American sides in the group, and because the Swiss share 3 points with Ecuador they cannot be caught for the top spot unless they really let it slip in their next game. So that will three games where they haven’t been under any pressure of being a goal down or drawing at the end of 90 minutes. Compared to the other European sides, they have been comfortable … I could put a negative in their, but I refuse to play such childish games..
    The way it looks to me Argentina would prefer to play Ecuador in the next round, and so will not let Nigeria top their group if they can help it, because the runner’s up will play France, and because of France’s lest testing games they will be in good shape to progress to the quarters finals. However, the Nigerians will be no pushovers so they will find it tough to get to the semis?

    TA – It may not always be hot and humid when they play, but when they train, in fact almost any time outside of their air conditioned hotel rooms they will feel it?

    If Holland do underestimate Chile it could be a big mistake. Top spot is between the two of them, and the winner of their final game will avoid playing Brazil? I think both would rather play Mexico or Croatia at this stage don’t you? Mind, I am glad you reminded me about RVP, one less thing to worry about for Chile 😀

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Professor…Always nice when you have time to participate around here…

    From what I saw of that first match the US have a pretty strong team and much is being made of all the traveling support (and the “fervor” back at home). Of course, it was a weird one with the early goal and all the defending. It truly is the group of death, unless Portugal do “an England” and go out as (meekly) as that team did. Since Klinsmann made the big decision, leaving Donovan–our Christiano? our Suarez? our Rooney?–behind, it might be another attempt at defending all night (or getting it up towards Dempsey who can run at the defenses a bit). I just think Portugal might have a few players (Moutinho, in particular) who could do enough to get a goal and (hopefully) open things up. There’s also a bunch of hype around the dread-head (Beckermann) being the DM who does it all, and I just don’t quite believe it, as of yet… What am I missing?…

    The Balotelli to Arsenal stuff IS exciting and (personally) I’d love to see it. If he would join our team we would need guys willing to stand up for him as defenders (and opposing supporters) would be ruthless in their attempts to get him to act out. If he could avoid suspension and play regularly. I think he’s a 25-30 goals/season sort of player…Talk about unfinished business back in England… I get excited imagining all the towering figures at set pieces if you’ve got Mario, Giroud and Mertesacker… (Plenty of chances for Kos and/or Verm to sneak in amongst the giants as well…) On the defensive end, add in Szcz and Aurier too…

    Like 007 suggests, it might ALL be smoke. Still, I think we’re winning in the larger war of attrition and Wenger in Brazil (smart-phone with him this time, maybe?…) seems promising… When they start talking about Campbell as part compensation, however, it all seems a joke…

    Gerry, France (and Argentina) have very deep squad(s) so rotation and testing out options in the 3rd prelim seems essential. Like with the Germans, I don’t think they’re quite playing *exactly* the right group. Also, for me, it just seems a little premature to believe there’s enough (info) to go on. As in all tournaments, so much depends on little quirks of fate or the width of a fingertip or crossbar or post. You’re right to suggest, however, that Holland-Chile, seems a critical one…



  67. RA says:

    Time to draw a line under my attempts at humour, 17ht. It could have been anything or anyone who I happened to have a joke with. I do not think you took offence and i am glad as none was intended. 🙂

    Actually, the suffix ‘no’ is extremely common, so carry one – carrying on, no? 🙂

    All my family and buddies in Wichita are amazingly and suddenly into soccer and cannot wait for tonights game!!

    Go, USA — Go, USA. 🙂

  68. geoffchase says:


    Well I think you’ve hit it on the head. Are we there yet or still in short pants at the big boys table? IMO, Klinsmann more than any prior coach has what it takes to get us that last mental step, which is crucial to playing at that higher level. IMO, while we don’t have all the talent others do, the mental ability to believe you belong carries weight and could take us farther than in past.

    We are not the most talented but we have enough talent to play strategically and win. The will we? aspect is the bigger issue. That is mental..

    Fortunately, it’s at midnight so I may pull a Glic and go to sleep (a proverbial couch to hide behind) and hope for the best on waking!! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  69. geoffchase says:

    Total aside all,

    but how many here would like to see Klose get another goal and break the all time scoring record?

    Just me?

    cheers — jgc

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    The Dutch don’t underestimate Chile, Gerriander, but there is no way, no?, to guarantee which way it will go. The Brazillians might finish second after all…

    With Kuyt, Hhuntelaar and Lens upfront, there is plenty of hight and bite to make chile con carne! 😉

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Remember Holland and Chile sin Carne play BEFORE the Brazillians so it is not up to us. Van Gaal will go for a win but not at all cost, which seems logical to me.

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Go USA anytime but Portugal will prove a step too far I reckon. They will soak up pressure and pounce on the counter, ala Jose the Priceless One… 🙂

  73. geoffchase says:

    And *that* TA is why they play the game.. In the end, we will both be wrong in some fashion I suspect, but it’ll be interesting and fun getting there

    cheers — jgc

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    I hope the Portuguese go out, Geoffski, but I reckon they’ll be too strong. Fingers crossed I am wrong.

  75. geoffchase says:

    TA et al

    Watching beginning of Belgium and they look sharper … very sharp so far over 22 mins..

    Reminds me of a good point. Every team adjusts from one game to next. Mistakes are corrected (new ones made?), rev ups given where required and so on… Belgium are case in point they are not at all the tentative averageness they were vs Algeria.

    So, tonite, how will Portugal respond, and the US? Both have room for significant improvement.

    I think we forget this in tournaments more used to the season long more consistent play of teams in a league, where adjustments are less impactful (made up word! No? 🙂 ) than in this type of tournament.

    cheers — jgc

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Geofferson, and good managers are able to do so. And Van Gaal is good at this. Big game for Klinsmann to prove his impactability! 🙂

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey fellas, just back, missed the first 20mins of Belgium-Russia but in time to see Verms get subbed off. Hurt himself in warm-ups?.. Lotsa short Russian guys up front, but none seem to be standing around quite like our little Andrei…

    Sometimes I am a bit equivocal in my writing, hence the “no?” …. Of course, in Spanish “equivocado” simply means “wrong”… 🙂 …

    It turns out, I have to miss the live watching of the US match (a play at my wife’s college that I thought was in the evening…) but I should be able to tell the result as we drive home, from the dancing (or lack thereof) in the streets… To me it’s *always* a bit goofy how Americans get *behind* their people at various times…In town here, of course, we had a big parade for our 3 gold medalists from Sochi…

    Speaking of the US and the Russians, might there be a bit of advantage in these countries who play their club football in the Summer? Certainly those Spanish fellows looked tired, this time out at least…

    Oooh Russia miss a point blank open header…Ouch…

  78. Gerry says:

    I am also watching the Belgium game. It look sunny there, and they are both playing it like was a cool summer’s day. I think they will be down to walking pace after 70 minutes …

  79. geoffchase says:

    Gerry and 17

    Certainly no lack of effort out there.. IMO, Belgium and Mertens in particular seem dominant but with no reward yet, so ….

    cheers — jgc

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Belgium are a great example of 11 individuals don’t automatically make a team… And this Russian team is very average.

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    This Belgian team is like the English one from a few years back–they all play for the Mancs (Kompany and Fellaini) or Chelsea! Or do they?…Will Lukaku be sold or loaned out again and will Cortois be recalled? Also, what is the status on the pale kid (DeBruyne)? Is he still a Chav? Even though Mourinho was critical of Hazard, talk of him moving elsewhere has gone quiet…

    It seems a good match to me, except for these periods lost due to injury and cramp…

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Compared to BH v Nigeria it’s a dog’s dinner

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    Uh oh, TA talking about dog stuff…(Santi, I thought, looked a bright spot for Spain the other day… winky)…

    Indeed, this match could use a goal, as they say, but with Russia missing that one glorious chance you wouldn’t bet on them getting one… Belgium don’t seem to have much of a plan either (The Fro up front always seems a bit of a plan c or worse…) and Fabio C at least seems to have his boys organized…

  84. geoffchase says:

    And at 88min a good break and a bit of Hazard magic sets up the goal

    Back breaker for the Russians.

    cheers — jgc

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    There it is…Hazard actually made a pass! (and the goal, believe it or not, followed)… Pretty woeful going to ground looking for whistles at one end and then matador defending at the other by the Russians… Belgium through and will play 2nd place from the (other) group of death, if I’m not mistaken…

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    end, I meant… Mirallas FK and 1v1 (very late) = almost, but not quite…Algeria then looking good for 2nd in this group?…

  87. geoffchase says:

    In fairess,

    neither side had been allowing much of the final 1-2 passes. Lots of effort, but difficulty to coordinate by clogged midfields. Both sides played the game presented but were unable to seriously budge the other out of it.

    cheers — jgc

  88. geoffchase says:

    In faiRness…

  89. 17highburyterrace says:

    Professor. from what you’ve seen thus far, who do you like to win the tournament? And, of course, plenty of respect for your opinion, along with most of the regulars here…

    On that note, I always wonder how much people are actually watching the full matches when they can get a little tedious (or at least eat into one’s day…) Truth be told, I closed my eyes (took an afternoon nap) from about the half hour to the 65th min of the US-Ghana match, for example…

    I had an idea on my run earlier… The interweb is the great equalizer (all posts coming out in the same font at least…) so maybe (when it comes to placing our bets or evaluating transfer targets or lauding/slagging off various players) it would be helpful to add how much one has *actually* watched… An opinion quotient, or something… 1 might = I heard the result, 2 = I know the result plus I saw/heard the pundits on MOTD, 3 = I saw the youtube, 101goals compilation, (and can form my own opinions…) etc., etc., all the way to 10, I was at the stadium and never took my eyes off the player… Personally, I don’t watch *that* closely, but sometimes I wonder when I see comments (esp. about players to buy)…

    Anyhow, no offense intended (except to Cockie, whose evaluation of Arsenal bad results I ALWAYS take with a grain of something or a cup of something distilled from grain or something)… Just a random thought about talking footie…

  90. jnyc says:

    I must agree with the brilliant JB, all this talk of Balotelli makes me think it’s extremely unlikely that we have any real interest. Likely a smokescreen.

  91. Gerry says:

    HT- Interesting point there. For me, it is all about interruptions.

    I have watched one late ko match, but only because I saw it in full the following morning(England v Italy). Otherwise I’ve missed out on all those.

    I have watched most of the mid evening ko(UK time), but always miss at least 15 minutes to take the elderly one for a walk, and sometimes twice in one match.

    I have yet to see the full first half of the earlier ko because they have overlapped with the last two races at Ascot … until this evening, and if I feed the dogs at half time, like today, I usually miss up to 10 mins of the second half.

    So how many points is that? 🙂

    That is why I commented on Admir’s dedication above.

    Got to get a dog out before the next ko …

  92. Gerry says:

    As for your question to the Prof, which I have no right to but in, but it seems fairly blatant that the refs are doing everything they can to get Brazil into the final so as to have disgruntled fans joining the protesters …. errr alledgedly? (cough)

  93. I`ve been here today, Fingle Bridge !….to take my Cocker Spaniel for a swim !…….the little bastard thinks he`s a fish !.

  94. Gerry says:

    correctiion- ‘not have’

  95. Hahaha 17…….I don’t know anyone who takes it worst than me when Arsenal draw !……don’t even talk about us losing !. Actually the two times when I had a hissy fit….diving on the floor kicking and punching like a spoilt child was when we drew the games against the Spuds and Newcastle 4-4 !……….I was screaming and calling them all the cupid stunts under the sun !. Yes and funny enough, both times I was in Tesco`s butternut squash aisle and complained to customer services that the said aisle was a jinx to Arsenal Football Club and demanded a priest be brought in to perform an exorcism to remove the demons of the phallic looking aisle !. hahaha

  96. I would need the foam spray to keep me 10M away !. hahaha

  97. £10M for doing fcuk all, no ? and how much have we got for Cesc being given to Chavs, minimum £5M, no ?. Fcuking loaded !.

  98. 17highburyterrace says:

    Brahimi! Granada striker comes good for Algeria…The guy who caught my eye down there was Gabriel Torje, the Romanian Shaquiri…What’s happened to him? Back at Udinese, I think…(Actually, a quick google shows he’s now at QPR– :shock…)

    Cockie’s angry about more money for the Wal-Mart empire? Check the business model, that’s how it works… ;( I thought the reports re: Cesc were that we didn’t make any money (adding injury to insult), but then again I’m not following it very closely…

    South Korea get one back and it’s only a 2 goal lead…

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    Geoff, I have taken the middle of our expected outcomes of tonight’s game and put a few pounds on a 1-1 draw. 🙂

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    17 🙂

    Is young Seventeenho watching the World Cup?

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie, never link or quote anything from Metro….. They make it a up. 🙂

    How’s your holiday?

  102. Admir says:

    Thank you, people, for all those kind words. 🙂

    Today Belgium had their share of luck with the referees – this time Russia were on the wrong side of referees’ mistakes and Origi’s (it’s him again!) winning goal came after a foul on the Russian player. I don’t believe in incompetence when mistakes happen only against one team – Martin Atkinson’s blatant robbery against us at Etihad springs to mind.

    What I wanted to say – apart from a praise for Vahid Halilhodžić, Bosnian manager who was responsible for the miracle of Lille (he brought them from third tier to Champions’ League and made Arsene Wenger believe Pascal Cygan was an Arsenal material) – is that defence with three central defenders seems to be back to the big stage.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Cruel, late equaliser. Well done USA. Is there an Entente Cordiale between Germany and USA? 😉

  104. JM says:

    World Cup 2014 bulletin (as of 22 June):

    Adidas – 26 pts (Argentina /6, Colombia /6, Mexico /4, Germany /4, Nigeria /4, Russia /1, Japan /1)

    Nike – 26 pts (Brazil /4, Netherlands /6, France /6, United States /4, South Korea /1, Croatia /3, Greece /1, Portugal /1)

    Puma – 22 pts (Ivory Coast /3, Chile /6, Italy /3, Switzerland /3, Uruguay /3, Ghana /1, Algeria /3)

    Lotto – 6 pts (Costa Rica /6)

    Burrda – 6 pts (Belgium /6)

    Marathon – 3 pts (Ecuador /3)

    Uhlsport – 1 pt (Iran /1)


  105. JM says:

    @ Gerry, June 22, 2014 at 07:14
    “JM – The winner’s list was missing one important detail in my opinion – the venue?”

    I’ll bring you closer to the action on venues in Brazil at the Knockout stages:

    Winner A / R-Up B to Winner QF to Winner SF (Belo Horizonte to Fortaleza to Belo Horizonte)
    Winner B / R-Up A to Winner QF to Winner SF (Fortaleza to Salvador to São Paulo)
    Winner C / R-Up D to Winner QF to Winner SF (Rio de Janeiro to Fortaleza to Belo Horizonte)
    Winner D / R-Up C to Winner QF to Winner SF (Recife to Salvador to São Paulo)
    Winner E / R-Up F to Winner QF to Winner SF (Brasília to Rio de Janeiro to Belo Horizonte)
    Winner F / R-Up E to Winner QF to Winner SF (São Paulo to Brasília to São Paulo)
    Winner G / R-Up H to Winner QF to Winner SF (Porto Alegre to Rio de Janeiro to Belo Horizonte)
    Winner H / R-Up G to Winner QF to Winner SF (Salvador to Brasília to São Paulo)

    – Team(s) traveling mileage from city to city by transportation (internal flights, team buses etc).
    – Time taken to setup camp, logistics, pitch familiarity, match preparation, player(s) recovery etc
    – Weather differences to overcome, if any (northeast, southeast and south Brazil)

    @ James Bond, June 22, 2014 at 12:05
    “great couple of comments @ JM
    they are worthy of being released as a post on their own , perhaps near the knockout stages ?”

    Not at all, my earlier comments are merely information taken out from history of the WCs (mainly from either 1970s or 1980s onwards, where more teams from different continents participated).
    Let us see if any of those mentioned parts should play out in this edition of the WC.

  106. geoffchase says:

    TA et al,

    Well football is like a very beautiful woman – all the fun, but the petite potential always lurks for significant cruelty!

    So, it goes. I don’t expect an entente but a tough game to a measure. Germany is basically through, but wants first in group, as goal difference puts them way ahead. The US must win or draw, or they face a problem with goal difference in the Portugal-Ghana game. Thus, the US is clearly rooting for Portugal to come right! 🙂 or Ghana to go off the boil, but methinks many have underrated them this time through (and the US also).

    cheers — jgc

  107. geoffchase says:


    The WC winner?!? That’s as much luck and bounce of the ball as talent in the final few rounds.

    At the moment the strongest teams to me appear Holland, Chile, Germany, France. At least one of those wont make the final four. Brazil will come right one thinks or the mass suicides will be grotesque (see, the refs are just humanitarians in all this squabble!) 🙂

    I could also see Belgium in the final 8 slipping through to the final 4 and Uruguay as well. Argentina also to the final 8.

    Note I say this all with no full clear idea on the groups etc… But from the little I see and read… I do follow scores and stats so I know broadly how it is going.

    Don’t underplay an easy group stage for France. Confidence and easier feeling games in the heat wont hurt them at all.

    cheers — jgc

  108. Gerry says:

    Thanks JM – I have been following your post with interest, and Puma are still hanging in there?
    However, when it comes to the semi finals, the top two do look to have a strong hand. But I am still rooting for Chile to the best out of Puma’s remaining involved teams.

    For those who want a simple way to remember the next round matches:
    If Group A =1 and Group B = 2, the winner of the first odd number’s plays the runner up of the next even number, and vice versa,
    i.e. the even number’s winner plays the previous odd number’s runners up.

    I know I got in a tangle checking from the BBC’s layout in my previous post.

    TA – You may cling to the thought that Brazil could end up runner’s up, but as their final game is against Cameroon, who are reportedly the most disunited team in this WC, whilst the other two potential chart toppers play each other, and could overtake Brazil if the latter loses. But even if strange things do happen I don’t think Brazil will take their game lightly or disappoint the home support, and allowing the fact that they will know their opponents results beforehand. It will be Chile or Holland who will worry who they will face, not the other way around?
    All will become clear tonight.

    I only saw the first half of the USA game, and as enjoyable as it was, I had to leave due to my early rising hounds. What I have notice in quite a few of these games is that the generally held view that the pressing team works harder than the possession side, it is not quite the same here.
    In the most part, particularly in the EPL, the possession moves the ball around while the other side is dashing around trying to close down quickly. Whereas, the ‘clever’ teams here are simply moving the whole unit across to where the ball is, so the other side is having to do the running when they switch play, and it is different individual players go for the occasional intercept, but the real challenges come in when they can isolate one player in possession and quickly surround him with their nearest three players? Very effective when near the touchline as both forward and back play options are shut off, and if they try and play infield, the third player is there to step in?

    This, I believe, is why the chasing side, if they are fit and well disciplined, they can score late goals. Example from early on was Costa Rica, who came from behind when playing Uruguay, Algeria in their earlier match, and to some extent the USA last night, as Portugal passed it around, while the USA pressed in the first half, but still managed to slot two goals later on in the second half. Mind, they did look very dangerous in the first half too.

    Interest thought that Arsenal ought be aware if it catches on in the league next season?

  109. geoffchase says:


    I see your point. I wonder tho. National sides are weaker than top clubs in top leagues .. for the most part. I.e. Germany and Spain (and France?) might be exceptions.

    Anyway, isolating a player like that often lets you get a real mismatch in international play like this. Imagine a healthy CR vs some no name outside back of the US, isolated. Difficulty could ensue!

    Hence, I imagine it works better in the international game, and does stretch teams as you’ve noted, forcing the running. However, in top EPL games, for example, I could imagine that those juicy matchups are less likely to be found. AND, less likely to be needed as top teams, yes, even Arsenal, can field (when healthy) “danger” all across the pitch. That in my mind puts possession and passing back into the mix.

    However, I could be completely wrong as all that is just my speculation. 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    Good point Gerry, Cameroon have been poor and you would expect Brazil to have a walk in the park. Brazil would prefer Chile no doubt. The Dutch beat them in South Africa and are flying right now. I would prefer to avoid them as I cannot imagine it being part of any script that the Brazilians are allowed to go out at this early stage. They are a good team but I reckon a well organised team will be able to punish their weaknesses, especially if they have that extra bit of quality upfront.

  111. Gerry says:

    Hi Geoff – I had a feeling it was possibly more to do with the conditions that a mis-match of teams or individuals? But I could well be wrong also.

    The other thing is in the EPL teams know each other players, strengths and weakenesses, whereas, in these first couple of rounds they have been finding out about them? This week onwards, they will have seen the videos and have a better idea of the others weak spots.

    Whatever the outcome, I think young, fit, and atheletic is the future. Along with good technical skills and versatility … Just like AW has being trying to get Arsenal to play?

  112. Gerry says:

    TA – I am not sure you are totally (no pun intended 🙂 )right on either count.

    As I said in a previous comment, South Africa was good for the European sides, as Spain were the first since 1950 to win outside of Europe. Whereas they have only been finalist when played on this continent?
    So would they really prefer to play a teams who is suited by conditions, even if they know the others game so well, because that is true the other way? Facing a European side who they know can be vulnerable in defence, and may find their next venue even more suited to the home nation?
    Finally, are they really flying, or did they meet a side that suited the game, and were pretty poor to boot? I grant you, the effort they put in to beat Spain could well account for why they really struggled to get on top of the Aussies? But it could also mean that a team that pressed them, rather than retain possession, made it look it little less glamorous?

    Whatever, I am sure Van Gaal will say he is happy to play Brazil, and use the same reasons you have put forwards,if that is the way it turns out? 😀

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, I think we are overdoing this European sites cant win outside Europe a bit. Holland played in the final in Argentina in 78 and were very close to winning it, for example. That tournament has become part of the Dutch footie DNA now, if that makes any sense?! 🙂

    You clearly have not valued Holland’s demolition of Spain anywhere near as much as most pundits have done. Fair enough, you have your own view which I respect but dont agree with. Australia provided us with a different opposition and it is always hard to play well again after such an incredible win over the current world and european champions. We know this all to well with Arsenal who often dropped points against the ‘minnows’ after beating a big team previously. But the Dutch won nevertheless and that is all it takes in a tournament.

    You could of course be right that Brazil would prefer to play us…. only Brazilians can answer this…. where is Alex nowadays – hope he is okay?

  114. TotalArsenal says:

    Did you really mean to say that Spain is not a pressing team, Gerry; or did I read that the wrong way?

  115. Gerry says:

    No, I meant they were not pressing in that game. Not that they had much chance to. All I am saying is, if one side is naff on the day, the other can look better than they are, not that they by any means an average side base on.second game.

    However, I expect both sides to put a strong team out. The Dutch have an advantage in that they do not have to win to be top, but not lose either. Without RVP they may well resort to the quick counter attacks down the flanks? But I think Chile will finish the stronger in a tight game. That said, Holland could wrap it up in the first half. All will be revealed in less than 2 hours time..


  116. JM says:

    Netherlands vs Chile

    – 1st litmus test for the Dutch against a Latin American team (Chile) in WC2014.
    – w/o RvP, Robben to take over as captain. Robben (2nd ST) vs Bravo (GK).
    – Netherlands’s 5-3-2 vs Chile’s 3-5-2.
    – All the best to both teams. (Brazil, Mexico or Croatia awaits in Knockout stage – last 16)

  117. proudgooner says:

    So TV5 is injured AGAIN ha ha ha ha, you have to laugh or you would cry.
    Or would you? The reason i say this is because on a selfish Arsenal fan prospective hopefully other clubs will not make any offers for him now nd he will be staying with us.
    Ballotelli to Arsenal is gaining real momentum , with AC Milan’s govenor saying Arsenal are only 1 of 10 clubs that could afford him, also saying that Arsenal are a great club and that he Ballo is not un-replaceable :/
    JB i agree with your transfer options from 22/6/14 about 11pm i believe.

    I have been thinking and TBH even if we did not sign anyone at all this window and no 1 else left i would still be happy with our chances next season.
    We will sign some players though of course. I go back on what i just said a bit in we have to buy a keeper full stop. Not a period.
    The chick with the sweet ass, don’t worry about the foam keeping me 10 yards away, worry about me covering her in some form of my own lol 😉

  118. proudgooner says:

    I don’t want Iker Casilas of Spain after his world cup performance and after Real have dropped him, i believe his confidence is shot.
    Begavic all the way.

  119. proudgooner says:

    Oh and we need to , have to buy a RB of course :/

  120. proudgooner says:

    Master of the football universe, Jedi master Wenger often get publcally stoned and crucified for who he has not signed.
    But i feel he deserves great credit for both keeping his new rough gem JC quiet and of the radar, while also getting very valuable playing time on loan.
    With him playing for us, a fit again and very well rested Walcott a near peak time Giroud who i believe can hit massive heights next season, around the same age RVJ hit world class form under Jedi master Wenger’s teaching .
    Plus Podolski and Rambo, oh yes the future is bright and could be blinding with a couple of SQ signings 🙂
    I also think like i did last summer no matter what striker we sign, Giroud will not just lay down and be replaced . I still see great things coming from him. The man is nearly never injured he fights and has a great left foot and header.

  121. Gerry says:

    Well now you know why I said Chile needed a bit of luck? I still like Sanchez though, but it was going to be a tight game. So Holland march on to play the winner out of Croatia and Mexico. I would think they will be delighted if it is Mexico as they will have the same height advantage?

    PG – Have you ever thought now might be the perfect time to sign Casillas , especially on a free?

    How does the saying go … ‘Form may come and go, but class is permanent’

    Not that I think AW will buy him because it will make us top heavy in the wage department?

    Which is why AW may just be leading the media on with this public dance with Mario?

  122. proudgooner says:

    If it was on a free, which tbh i had no idea was the case then i would snapped him up in a heart beat, hopefully with his recent form his wages would not be to high.

  123. proudgooner says:

    That said my first choice keeper would still be Begavic, he is an amazing keeper.
    Solid as they come and with him playing for Stoke then you woud have to think it would be a dream move for him.

  124. proudgooner says:

    But Asmir Begavic has not been mentioned by the media at all as an Arsenal target.
    He is simply a keeper i really rate and would love at our club.
    Where as Iker has been rumoured , it is a position that simply has to be filled though.
    So i wonder who will be the new Arsenal keeper.

  125. Gerry says:

    Again PG, I could argue that any establish first team keeper is not going to come to play second fiddle to Szcz. Nor are we likely to pay first team wages for a back up? So hardly a dream move?

    The Norwegian keeper is more AW’s style – competent and cheap.

    At the moment a lot of transfers are on hold whilst clubs find alternatives who are most likely to leave. But if you are dealing with top clubs like RM and Barca, you don’t want to dive in too soon if they then have money to steal your next target. I will be happy when Chelsea seal the deal for their striker, as it should take them out of the equation. Likewise, Liverpool, who are not going to let go of Suarez until they have a replacement, if there is a £70m clause waiting to be triggered by Barca or RM? But if it is, they may release some players we might like, if we don’t commit too soon on others, like Remy or Martinez?

    It could begin to get very interesting next week?

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    Chile played very well, especially in first half. Yes a bit of luck was needed and let’s hope they’ll get it against their next opponent. Holland played on the edge again and the referee was a bit lenient which suited us. The team have been carrying Sneijder in last two games and it will be interesting to see what Van Gaal will do with him.

    Memphis Depay is looking very, very good. Early days of course, but there is some footballer in that guy, and two goals and an assist in just 60 minutes of footie… Beginners luck? What’s the bet he will be a Manc soon?

  127. proudgooner says:

    Who said that Begavic would be back up for Szcs?
    Not me that’s for sure, i would put him in front of Szcs.
    It is a very realistic signing imo.

  128. proudgooner says:

    I was thinking the same kind of thing about Sneijder, but worse. I think he is not the same player he was. Since his move to Turkey he has really lost his touch i feel sadly.
    He is or was a great player, shows how a move to a club for what you can only put it down to as being a high wage can damage a players form badly.

  129. proudgooner says:

    Or am i being a bit harsh on Wesley?
    I just have not seen him play well since his move.?

  130. TotalArsenal says:

    He is limited, PG, but what he can do he’s very good at. He can pick a winning pass in a fraction of a second – before anybody else has even thought about it. He also is good at delivering set pieces and has a great shot. But he cannot defend or add much to the pressing game, and in many games he is often a passenger.

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    Let me put it like this, you would love him in your five aside team.

  132. TotalArsenal says:

    Great equaliser by Cameroon after a sweet Neymar opener. It’s a mad, open, nothing to lose game. Love it.

  133. TotalArsenal says:

    Nothing to lose for Cameroon that is…

  134. proudgooner says:

    I must have missed his good stuff recently, he is a great player when on form for sure.
    I can’t help but want Cameroon to win, for some reason, i loved them in the 1990 world cup in Italy

  135. proudgooner says:

    I just noticed something, before the Brazil match kicked off.
    The lads talking pre-match said Van Gaal had said that Brazil get to decide who they face next round, asking the question was it mind games. I did not think to much of it til i just thought.
    Brazil are in group A , and kicked off the tornament..
    So why was group B decided before group A.
    It is a fair point by Van Gaal from that point.
    It does seem strange to me.

  136. proudgooner says:

    no ?

  137. TotalArsenal says:

    Sneijder had two assists against Spain, PG.

    Van Gaal does sometimes go overboard.

  138. proudgooner says:

    That was some match TA, It was hard to keep up lol
    Best game i have seen in a long time

  139. proudgooner says:

    Van Gaal needant have said that as Brazil clearly would have wanted to avoid Holland and win the group.
    I just thought Group A should have finished first, or is it the norm that the host kind of get that advantage. I don’t know.

  140. JM says:

    @ proudgooner, June 23, 2014 at 21:56

    Don’t read too much into it (the kick-offs conspiracy theory). Groups D & F shall kick off before Groups C & E too. Only Group G will kick off before Group H.

    However, there is something else that I have noticed …… regarding the venues for the knockout stages. That might have some sneak preview on which team(s) that are “the favours of the menu” to go further.

    Give everyone a hint: Read my reply comment on venues to Gerry @ June 23, 2014 at 02:21.

  141. proudgooner says:

    Ok JM,
    Will do thanks

  142. proudgooner says:

    That is interesting and worth thinking about, they clearly want Brazil to win it.
    FIFA are clearly as corrupt is they come.
    It also shows IMO that England is by far the Nation best suited to host the World cup in the size of the Country and the climate but for some reason is always over looked.
    Not to mention the stadiums.

  143. proudgooner says:

    Be back later, need to get of the computer and watch the match,:)
    Speak later thanks

  144. JM says:

    World Cup 2014 bulletin (as of 23 June):

    Adidas – 32 pts (Argentina /6, Colombia /6, Mexico /7, Germany /4, Nigeria /4, Russia /1, Japan /1, Spain /3)

    Nike – 32 pts (Brazil /7, Netherlands /9, France /6, United States /4, South Korea /1, Croatia /3, Greece /1, Portugal /1)

    Puma – 22 pts (Ivory Coast /3, Chile /6, Italy /3, Switzerland /3, Uruguay /3, Ghana /1, Algeria /3)

    Lotto – 6 pts (Costa Rica /6)

    Burrda – 6 pts (Belgium /6)

    Marathon – 3 pts (Ecuador /3)

    Uhlsport – 1 pt (Iran /1)


    Overall Top goalscorers (active):

    Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 15 goals/20 games (0.75 avg)
    David Villa (Spain) – 9 goals/11 games (0.82 avg)
    Thomas Müller (Germany) – 8 goals/8 games (1.00 avg)

    Overall No.1 goalscorer(s):
    Ronaldo (Brazil) – 15 goals/19 games (0.79 avg)
    Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 15 goals/20 games (0.75 avg)


  145. Gerry says:

    Yep, as I feared yesterday, Chelsea may be trying to get out of their ‘agreed’ deal with Costa?

    The guy has been recovering from injury and has probably been playing far too soon. But that said, he looked very much out of place away from the Athletico’s?

  146. geoffchase says:

    TA et al

    Saw Chile-Netherlands game. I think the Dutch had more the edge, but frankly it came to one failure to mark on that cross, free header and bam! Game over barring a miracle. Chile pressed well for equaliser but when it didn’t come you could only count of the minutes until #2 came on the counter.

    Great game and the scoreline flatters just a little in some ways. Just my 2p.

    cheers — jgc

  147. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Gerry and Geoff,

    Gerry, Costa looks like a great striker to me but the Spanish system needs more than tweaking and he looked indeed out of place. Would love him at Arsenal (but not instead of Giroud). Interesting to see Chelsea are trying to pull out…. did Fabrechav whisper something in Maureen’s grey-haired ear?

    Geoff, all agreed. Van Gaal knows he has not got the attacking midfielders to play the normal 4-3-3 Dutch way, and he puts out teams and tactics to ‘overcome’ the opponent. It was a great game of chess, and I felt it was even during the first half, with Chile having more of the initiative but not producing many chances. Second half, I thought the Dutch put more pressure on Chile and had more of the ball in their half. I thought we pressed well and were bit by bit getting our pieces further up the board where we could hurt them.

    But it came indeed down to one good header from a set-piece and after that it was only going to go one way. Van Gaal’s tactics with the quality up-front to make a difference is a good combination for success, but there is a long way to go and Mexico will be a tough, tough nut to crack; and their confidence will be high after defeating Croatia.

  148. Gerry says:

    TA – I don’t think here is a cats chance in hell of any signing replacing Giro. Options to have in case of some R&R, but mostly as a support player?

    The news on Sanchez is encouraging, and much more an AW type player than ‘Super Mario’ and younger than Costa.

    On Chile, I think they missed Vidal to add that vital thrust in the final third. I worry for them now after that hard game, will they be able to go at it again? Holland moved Kuyt upfield early in the second half, but it was the subs that made the difference … and Leroy Fer of all players?? No disrespect to him because it was a peach of a header, but he was fresh on, while the defenders had been hard at it for 70 odd minutes.

    I read the Brazil game was very good, but the extra hour before they kicked off did for me, and I dozed off half way through the 1st half. I awoke to find Brazil in a slight sense of urgency as Mexico were 0-3 up, and threatening their No1 spot. Short lived panic and I dozed off again.

    I think AW will pull the smart card, and try not to upset the sponsors by putting in a low bid in the hope somebody will rush in an out bid him? I am amazed that some headline writers think they can convince fans that AW is ‘in talks’ with two or three strikers, when we are at best only likely to sign one, yet they say for all of them like it is a done deal.

    If Chelsea do pull out of the Costa deal, it might be to nab one of our ‘targets’. Unlikely Balotelli given their history?; Might be Benzema but I am guessing he will stay put?; But I hope it is J Martinez. He at least is more in the Drogba mold?

    AW still hasn’t got in touch over the new CB, so I hope my thought waves are pointing in the right direction?

    I might get to see some of my wish list playing, apart from JC, who was a late addition. An interesting thought crossed my mind concerning young Mr Campbell – If he has another stellar game today I would imagine the offers might come flooding in?

    So what price would Bker’s consider him as sellable:

    1, – Not at any price -(my option)

    2, – £15 – £20m?

    3, – Near £25m?

    4, – In excess of £30m?

  149. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wrong again… 3rd try WILL be the charm. Sorry Total, please delete the two others…

    Gerry, interesting thoughts, but just as “bad” as the press links re: us in talks with strikers… lol, winky, etc. This Summer plus the World Cup is seriously crazy making… Me? I’m just trying to enjoy the football, which gets much tougher now that we’ve got the games coming two at a time.

    Yesterday, in fact, I found myself wanting to watch Santi (the real replacement for Xavi, if Del Bosque had dared…) with his countrymen almost more than the chess match between Holland, Chile and the referee (who, in the end, was “having none of it,” as they say)…. If Total suggests his orange folks are making adjustments to protect a weak MF, then I’d say my (tricolored) people (the Mexicans) have no midfield at all but somehow got by a team with (at least) two highly rated Mids (Modric and Rakatic, who is headed to Barca to actually “be” the new Xavi?)… Possession = good, goals = better and it doesn’t really matter how they come, it seems… I will say that I’ve been impressed by the combination of combativeness and the ability to back off at the right moment by the Mexican defenders. RvP plus (rolling) Robben might be a step too far, however…

    This morning it’s the same… I’ll probably watch Uruguay and Italy (Mario vs Luis?…) and record the England-CR match but I bet I’ll be sneaking more than just a look at the latter given the interest in Jack and Joel. Could these two (still very young) players be the guys who help carry us up the hill (like a pail of agua)?… My guess is that Joel is not for sale, Gerry. At some point that MUST be the idea, despite the numbers you (and others in the press) might suggest… How much are we getting for Ramsey were some of the hit-getters, at least before the WC started, weren’t they?…

    In truth, I enjoy the more subtle stories…Like AW ratcheting up the pressure on (high flying–and not just his hair…) Giroud with comments about being foxier in the box. Vela, it seems, WAS a money-making ploy, as he’s signed on for 4 more years in San Sebastien (the smaller, colder Rio…) so (as Cockie would suggest) our coffers are getting even MORE stuffed. Spending thus seems like it MUST happen, but for whom? Big Serge (Aurier) plays today. Imagine if he and Gnabry play some matches together on our right side. That’s a big theme in (US) foreign policy–the surges–more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan… Unfortunately, it seems, those surges only work if you stick with them, or something…

    Now I’m really off topic and just riffing with whatever comes into my head. Still, like the various teams at the WC, I think finding the balance between youth and experience will be the key and a very difficult thing it is… On that note, I expect a good showing for the young English folks in their friendly and a much less friendly (just short of biting and head-butting…) but similar result in the match that matters between the older teams. Two draws, that’s my bet…


  150. Gerry says:

    HT – Aren’t draws a cop out? Or are you just trying not to offend anyone?

    I’ll go 3-1 win for Costa Campbell – because they are an established ‘team’. I think England will move it about well, but eventually get worn down. Remember, if CR win their group they will likely face the Africans(CIV), rather than fellow South Americans(COL). Mind, if that is the case there will only be a maximum of three South Americans in the quarters?

    And 0-2 to Uruguay, because the Italians were dead on their feet at the end of their last game, but I expect thuggery on both sides in that one … and if I am wrong here, it will still be 3 teams from the home continent. 😀


  151. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hard to say, Gerry… Draws *are* a cop out (and it’s true, I don’t want to offend anybody…) but they also are a rarer result… I agree that there will be a need for a strong ref in the Italy-Uruguay match and I can see one of the marquee strikers (or a lesser known victim) being shown red, but only after the result has somehow been settled. I dunno, I’ve got a feeling Italy will be ready for this one… In the friendly, I think England youngsters will be keen to impress (so maybe playing with that famous–and reckless–“passion” bit…) but that JC and his mates might be looking towards the next one (and not wanting to be a victimized the physicality of the Eng-er-landers) hence the draw… There is a scenario where they (Costa Rica) could come 2nd in the group (no?), so maybe a bunch of keep-ball will be the theme…

    Anyhow, I’m hopeful for some interesting if not great football…with maybe some transfer tidbits dropped into it all (Suarez scores and reveals his Real Madrid undershirt, if not Mario and his Arsenal one… lol …)

  152. 17highburyterrace says:

    Anybody watching?… Flipping back and forth I saw Jack set up Sturridge for a wide strike and Mario B failing to chase down a ball a smaller forwards would’ve kept in… Campbell (with his lazy body language) seems positioned wide left today?…

    Both Italy and Uruguay happy to give the other team possession?…

  153. AFC says:

    17, watching the England game. Might watch the Italy game on repeat later.

  154. AFC says:

    How’s Balotelli doing?

  155. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mario just picked up a yellow for failing to completely hurdle a small Uruguayanf (knee to head)…Will miss the round of 16 if they qualify… (Not good) And now he’s just tried one from 40 yards (ugly) He’s not doing his best thinking out there, but Italy only needing a draw means he’s rather on his own…

    Impressions of the England match? I saw a snippet with Campbell and the ball at his feet going down in a tight spot and winning the call…Pretty far from goal, however…

  156. AFC says:

    England getting chance. Sturridge has had two good chances. I think he should have had a penalty as the defender stopped him from shooting. Wilshere trying to drive forward but repeatedly running into CR players.

    Campbell hasn’t seen much of the ball but has dropped deep and gone out wide to try and get involved in play.

    Might switch over to the Italy game for the second halve. Sturridge has another chance.

  157. 17highburyterrace says:

    Balotelli down for a looooonnngggg time while the replay shows zero contact… Hmmm…. Time wasting already? Gigi had to make a double save on Suarez and a teammate while the big guy was down…

  158. AFC says:

    Pen shout for Sturridge’s second chance.

  159. AFC says:

    Commentator saying the English CBs (Smalling in particular) have been poor in possession. Seems like we need someone like a Rio Ferdinand or someone similar to our CBs (Mert and Kos) who are pretty good in possession and passing the ball out from the back.

  160. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not too much happening in the elimination match but Uruguay is starting to want the ball a bit more… Cavani is such an athlete but sometimes I wonder about his technique and the decisions he makes, esp. relative to Suarez who seems a step ahead of everybody else…Buffon did really well to block his pass while maintaining position for the high angled shot…

    Italy, with time on the ball seem a threat. Godin will probably be trying to get Mario B into a 2nd yellow (and Italy down to 10 men)…

  161. AFC says:

    CR had a very good chance to score before the break. England getting chances and getting into the final third but can’t score. The chances mean nothing unless you convert them.

  162. 17highburyterrace says:

    Inneresting…The Italian CBs seem really calm on the ball and Pirlo is always moving wisely to offer a (short) outlet…

    Lots of Stewart Robson talk about taking Mario B out at halftime seeing as he’s on a yellow… He’s talking about Balo with the same hatefulness as he would any Arsenal player… AFC, what do you think is (the smoke to) chance of that actually happening… I like the idea (a lot) but just think it’s very unlikely…

  163. AFC says:

    Robson is always full of hate. Hear a lot of him when he is on talkSPORT and you can tell he is bitter, a bit like Roy Keane is when it comes to United?

    The Balotelli deal is looking less and less likely. Reports saying Puma want the deal done by July 10 to fall in line with our kit launch. I too would love him to come to Arsenal and I am hoping these reports are correct and we get the deal done.

    It would make sense for Arsenal and Puma to launch the new kit with the likes of Aurier, Balotelli, etc.

  164. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers AFC…Robson got the call right, however…While both Roberto Martinez and Van Nisty (in the studio) said they’d leave him out there…

    I’d think Puma could push back the kit launch, if needed…Of course, Mario’s WC is now over UNLESS Italy get past Columbia in the next round…(Not to mention getting the result today.)

  165. AFC says:

    If Italy should be able to get past Colombia. They have got a good back up for Balotelli in Immobile.

  166. AFC says:

    back-up ST

  167. 17highburyterrace says:

    Now I’m fully supporting el arbitro (the Mexican ref)… Cavani, offsides (I’m pretty sure) goes down theatrically draping himself with an Italian defender…

    My hope is that not ALL the elimination matches will be played at this level of cynicism…

    Inmobile started the match so he just moves over, I think…

  168. 17highburyterrace says:

    Uruguay are gonna have to go to the golden boot fella (Forlan) sooner than later, I would guess… No flow at all in this match, but suddenly Suarez sets up a teammate who bungles the 1 v 1…

    Marchisio sent OFF!

  169. 17highburyterrace says:

    It was a leg breaker and directly in front of the ref even if he didn’t leave his feet (maybe a yellow in England?)…. Big Call…El arbitro tiene cajones!

  170. AFC says:

    Sterling on for Lallana. Marchisio sent off according to the commentators. Italy bow down to 10. It can he harder for the team with 11 to break through though

  171. AFC says:

    Yeah Lallana booked before he got sent off.

  172. AFC says:

    Wilshere puts it on a plate for Sturridge with an Arsenal like one two but Sturridge just puts it wide. Sturridge should score. It’s always nearly with England.

    Joel Campbell subbed off.

  173. 17highburyterrace says:

    So, speaking of the Puma kits…Do you have to buy them 2 sizes too small or is that only if you’ve been doing your “Body by Cockie” workouts?…

    Pirlo, long ball, the mobile fella holds it up, but only for the ancient guy to go row Z… The other old man (Gigi B.) saves from Suarez…Finally this one is heating up after the sending off…

  174. AFC says:

    Sturridge with yet another chance.

  175. AFC says:

    Haha Sterling get’s away with a foul but it’s okay because he is English.

  176. AFC says:

    Wilshere coming off for Gerrard.

  177. AFC says:

    Rooney on for Milner.

  178. 17highburyterrace says:

    Italians are wasting time and even insisting on the stretcher…Inmobile out, Cassano in. Thiago Motta in for somebody else who was limping… C’mon AFC, watch the real match w/me, not the friendly, esp. if there are no Arsenal players still on…

  179. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh my, I think we’ve had a bite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  180. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow…They’re playing on but it’s on the video…I hate to say it, but it looked like a bite.

    Godin equalizes from a corner! This is some serious madness…. Uruguay may go through but I think Suarez is done…

  181. AFC says:

    Switching over now 17. Italy going home. Perhaps they should have kept Mario on?

  182. AFC says:

    17, what bite are you referring to?

  183. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, I meant Godin scores, Uruguay take the lead… Suarez scored himself after his most recent bite (vs Chelsea), no?….

  184. Retsub says:

    That little bar steward Suarez has been exercising his teeth again..he is going to get a serious ban

  185. 17highburyterrace says:

    Suarez looked to bite Chiellini on the shoulder…Same as Ivanovic… He (Suarez) immediately went down clutching HIS teeth but the replay (and Chiellini trying to show off toothmarks) doesn’t look good for our lad Louie…Ref saw none of it, of course…

    As soon as the match is over, it will be all over the telly…

  186. AFC says:

    How many more players is he going to bite? I don’t even know how biting another footballer comes into a player’s mind. Elbowing, punching and stamping can. But biting?

  187. AFC says:

    Italy gotta press. Pirlo needs to get up there.

  188. AFC says:

    5 mins for Italy to do something.

  189. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha, last WC he used his hand, this one the chompers…”Real Winners” would do anything to gain an advantage we would have to say if he was on our roster…

    I fear two big transfer targets (both Mario AND Luis) are done at this tournament…

    Hey Retsub…

  190. Retsub says:

    I think forensic evidence will convict Suarez this time. If he is guilty he is going to get a massive ban. Presumably it will affect both international and prem games?

  191. Retsub says:

    Hey 17. You may well be right about the big transfers. Should be interesting when the final whistle blows. A punch up I suspect

  192. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed, I need to get out of here immediately after the match, but I think Suarez is gonna have some trouble leaving the pitch. I have to say I’m a little worried about FIFA looking the other way on this one. Replay seemed pretty iron-clad to me…

  193. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, but that was NOT a good moment for football…

    I thought I was pretty neutral about this one, but, at the moment, I feel strongly anti-Suarez…

    Gotta go…

  194. Retsub says:

    There’s no doubt Suarez put his head in and came out holding his teeth. Looks clean cut to me and the Italian appeared to have a mark on his shoulder. Uruguay May not be going home , but I would be very surprised if Suarez gets away with this.

  195. AFC says:

    Lucky we did not sign him. He hasn’t changed.

  196. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m gonna be late… Studio pundits are speechless, but Roberto Martinez is doing a great job talking about the unfairness of it all…They’ve already got all THREE biting incidents up and today’s looks just as bad. Dood is a nutter…

  197. AFC says:

    Ian Wright thinks Suarez isn’t in control of himself. He thinks that he might have some sort of a mental issue.

  198. Retsub says:

    AFC I think he is right, the guy is a serious nut case. You can almost imagine the police being involved this time.

  199. AFC says:

    Retsub, surely that is a 12 match ban when you take into consideration the other bans he has had?

  200. proudgooner says:

    Liverpool have a cannibal in there team. I watched the whole game live, so glad i did’nt watch England.
    It was a good match and Suarez was shocking, brilliant ha ha ha ha

  201. Gerry says:

    Yes, I caught the replays of that, and agree it is pretty damning.

    However, he will only get a ban from WC, and may be the CL too, as they are run by FIFA. He’ll be okay in domestic games … if Liverpool want to keep him?

    But then again, he ain’t going to be much good to RM or Barca if he get a couple of years ban?

  202. proudgooner says:

    AFC, Retsub,
    Absalutly right the guy is seriously nuts, i honestly believe he would turn to cannibalism. It was a carbon copy of the Chelsea game, you could just see the same rage and the angert the way he went in for the bite lol
    Crazy c****

  203. AFC says:

    Gerry, do you really think his ban could be that big?

  204. AFC says:

    PG, as I said I can’t understand why you would want to bite someone and then repeatedly do it. The guy’s got issues.

  205. proudgooner says:

    I just see a world cup ban.
    As for the Real or Barca move that is still on , but a lower fee.
    Lets not forget he was serving a ban when we bid for him.

  206. proudgooner says:

    I understand his will do win at all cost. But i can’t understand he rpeating the same bite 3 times, he is mentally disturbed . I honestly think he is the craziest player i have ever seen on a pitch. I would not be surprised if my dad saaid the same meaning possiblly all generations ever :/ shocking really. crazy man

  207. Gerry says:

    PG – If you are talking a WC ban, then it will be 4 years? As I cannot see him being allowed to play in any matches leading up to the tournament?

    However, If FIFA are handing out the ban, in view of the bad publicity it will generate right now, I can see him getting banned for all FIFA organised matches?

  208. AFC says:

    PG, agreed. I haven’t seen anything stranger happen on a pitch in my life maybe apart from the Zidane headbutt but that only happened once and wasn’t as weird as a bite.

  209. proudgooner says:

    We have seen some very emotional players in our time, some said Ian Wright was mad. I myself am quite an emotional man . But he is something else, a spiteful, dirty , vicious man .
    Just crazy.

  210. proudgooner says:

    Gerry agreed it could be as sevre as that, but i also agree with you that you never know with FIFA. for it has to be all this world cup and at least 10 games after. So yeah i agree the next world cup also would be fair really.
    Its the third time this has happened, if he did not learn after a 10 match ban, then what is it going to take?

  211. proudgooner says:

    Zidane i agree with you it was crazy as it was the Final, his last match for France also.
    But it was out of anger and he made a bad mistake. Also like you said once and right at the end of his career .
    Suarez is sick in the head and, he was celbrating after.
    I hated him after what he did to Ghana in the semi last WC to, but forgave him, now for me no matter how good his football is i will always think of him as a crazy man, Sick and nasty

  212. proudgooner says:

    You no Italy helped knock us out the cup. But in fairness they were down to 10 men for the last 60 mins, it was nil, nil.
    He should have been sent off. 2 mins later they score and Italy are out.

  213. geoffchase says:


    Saw the game here in Hungary. I have never, even before the bite/not-bite, seen such a game played with such a distinctive lack of class and outright dangerous animosity. The fouling was atrocious and the ref never had any control. It was, IMO, disgusting. For ** both ** sides.

    Then, what looks like a Suarez bite or the worlds worst head butt attempt. All angles shown are from behind, on TV here, but there has to has to has to be a front angle (from behind goal or around corner flag) being hidden away. We will see it sooner than not, there are 8M cameras around these pitches with 3T people watching each match (numbers clearly made up but you get my drift, yeah? 🙂 )

    FIFA can only ban for FIFA games, so we will see, but the FA could perhaps bring a charge under the usual “bringing the game into disrepute” type charge. American leagues have them and I suspect so does the FA as a standard part of contracts etc.. Or similar, no? (working that yes? no? thing here… 🙂 )…

    Equally, you gotta wonder if Pool have a similar clause… Or if all those Suarez to Spain for $19B will now continue..

    I sorta wanted Uruguay through just for a change, but by the end I think they should just give their next opponent a bye… sick.. Or promote England, which the way they are going would sadly be about the same thing..

    Damn, I’m on a roll… 🙂

    Finally, thought Balotelli played ok and the yellow was part of this particular game and nastiness more than anything. If you compare to Suarez, you can think from an Arsenal perspective we might just have dodged a bullet there, no? Yeah? 🙂

    Seeya — jgc

  214. geoffchase says:


    Regarding Italy vs Uruguay, termperature could never have been a factor since with all that gesticulating on the field the temperature had to have been down a good 3-5 deg C.


    Regarding WC performances, JM is tracking sponsors and logos. But, if you look at Arsenal players with something a little extra to perhaps prove to AW or the fans (OG perhaps, JC definitely). Arsenal are having a great cup!

    cheers — jgc

  215. proudgooner says:

    To add to your view of the tackles in the game, i agree and i think Suarez was injured in the game or playing though far to much pain then he should have done.
    Italy certainly gave him no quarter and that is how we should have dealt with him.
    That was my biggest disappointment from the England game, if i am honest if i was playing for England v Uraguy i would have kicked him in the knee, just being honest. I would have taken him out, we would have beaten them if we did.
    We did not kick him once, that was a foolish way to play against him after surgery . He would have kicked us.
    Or should i say bite us.

  216. proudgooner says:

    Or i should not say kicked him, but i would have gone in very hard and committed when i knew i could get to the ball first and follow though and top speed.

  217. proudgooner says:

    clear pictures i England of the bite.
    He is in shit up to his knee caps.

  218. AFC says:

    Haha PG. A bit like Paul Scholes lol. Robbie Savage said he should never play international football again.

  219. AFC says:

    PG, I would have taken him out as well as I hate him with a passion.

  220. geoffchase says:

    PG and AFC

    Interesting! I only saw the live coverage here and they wouldn’t show other angles which is stupid but the producers maybe didn’t want a riot in the stadium since they also show those on the big screens… Security would be an issue. But certainly there had to be cameras with a perfect view

    Interesting days ahead then!

    IMO, while most were off I thought Cavani had a good game in all that mess both as a player and emotionally.

    Suarez, you can always watch his face, he’s, to me, obviously mentally ill and needs help more than anything, but I doubt he will get it..

    — jgc

  221. Gerry says:

    PG, did you take my advice a couple of days ago on the odds of a red card?

    The only thing I can take any pleasure from, is that it was Chiellini he bit because that sod gets away with some blatant fouls. The penalty on Campbell is just one example.

    I did say earlier Geoff, that this would be an ugly match.

  222. geoffchase says:


    And you were way off wrong!!!!! It was really really really really …. really ugly… :/

    cheers — jgc

  223. Gerry says:

    Geoff – If you a still about and have time to do a bit of wine tasting up on the east side of Lake Balaton, here is where to go.

    Follow the lakeside road out of Siofuk, (where they have those great pastries, and things with sunflower seed on them ….mmmn) and go on up to Balatonboglar. On the left there is a road that take you to the Vineyard of the same name. I f you like sweet red wine, you will not be disappointed. Very cheap when I was there. I brought a case back with me and friends told me they preferred it to that expensive Tokay stuff from the north-east area.

  224. geoffchase says:

    Thanks Gerry

    Had some wine in the main area of Villanyi south near Pecs already. Wont make Balaton this trip, but I agree Tokaj is an acquired taste…

    cheers — jgc

  225. Retsub says:

    Proud gooner your comment at 19.45 about Ghana, couldn’t agree more. The fact that he celebrated says something about what he is really like. That said time moves on and
    I have to admit regretting not getting him before last season. Not now though I wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole

  226. geoffchase says:


    Bullet dodged then when Pool kept him…

    — jgc

  227. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey boys…Back now and–suddenly–my kid is interested in the footie, or the cage fighting or whatever (TF) we saw…

    To me the only way you make this stuff go away is for it to hurt the teams. Uruguay should not be allowed to go through, I think, or Columbia should get a bye or something. Just as with the bite last year, if the bodies governing the club football fail to sanction Suarez he might end up fine…Certainly there will be plenty of moralizing but if RM or Barca can get him for less money only ‘Pool lose and, as much distaste as I have for them, this doesn’t seem quite right. Haha, as I write I see Suarez in one of those headphone ads…

    I’m not convinced we were EVER actually in for Suarez last Summer and certainly John Henry (Liverpool owner) suggested only a whack-o (Bale-esque) bid would’ve gotten him (even if he later tried to mock Arsenal that the “buy-out” clause was in there)… In truth, I think we did it only as a(nother) signal that we could “play” at this level. Ozil for 40+ at the deadline was the upshot…

    FIFA need to act quickly and decisively and the first statement from Liverpool will be big…

    The match WAS ugly but I thought the ref made a ballsy decision with the red card for Marchisio. We’re used to such violence watching the English football that it might’ve seemed more like a yellow or even just a foul (or even a play on). When a ref calls one when the player ISN’T simulating it’s even more impressive (to me)… Of course, NOBODY can fathom an incident like the later one. Chiellini, like many players, does things which are dangerous and are designed to inflame and gain advantage on opponents, but please…Suarez’s simulation (and more later in the match) suggests that he really cannot tell right from wrong… So, not guilty by reason of insanity?…

    This was my fear–that the party would be ending once we got to the elims…Hopefully, instead, it offers a sense of perspective. In the end, it’s just a game…

  228. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Professor… I’d say the cup is a bit more mixed for Arsenal….Ox and Verms getting hurt seems the worst. Giroud is looking good but so too is Gervinho. Kos might play more with Sakho on a niggle? The jury is still out on our Germans but they likely have a few more matches to play. Santi looked as good as any of the Spaniards, I thought…Campbell is the big breakthrough story and I’m looking forward to watching Aurier against the Greeks in a few minutes here, but he’s not our player…

    Balotelli might now get more interest (cost more…) if you’re in the market for a forward with a history… :rolls…

  229. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nobody watching anymore? Cote d’ivoire in trouble after the Chelsea boys (Kalou, Drogba) have frozen out the wider players including our Aurier (Ourier?) and then a woeful blunder from Tiote gifts Greece a goal… This one now will be a (nail) biter, too… (Too early to make biting jokes, maybe?…)

  230. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys 🙂

    New Post New Post.

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