Call me a churl but I’ve got ‘big Cup upset withdrawal’ symptoms. I really thought that Algeria (with Leicester’s very own Mahrez as part of their front 3) might finally deliver a proper World Cup shock against Belgium but it wasn’t to be. I know Holland v Spain was a shocker but not in a ‘big country/big reputation/pre tournament mentions losing against minnows kind of away. And Mexico’s draw with Brazil doesn’t really count. Before yesterday Mexico had won 7 and lost 4 of these encounters over the last 15 years.
This competitive, quality football is all very well but tournaments need a sprinkling of surprises.
Talking of which (my first segue in a long time)….where on earth did these come from?! They just sort of magically appeared in the post (ahem)
Oh well I suppose I’ll just have to wear them now.
Away from my wardrobe and back to the pitch in Fortaleza, where the Mexican keeper had an amazing game. He could probably teach his Russian counterpart a thing or too. Yesterday Brazilian toil did underline that their over-reliance on Nyemar is really exposed when he isn’t firing on all cylinders. I wasn’t sure if it was that or messing around with hair care products to alay the boredom that had caused Dani Alves to go a funny kind of grey. Or perhaps it is the performance (I use the word loosely) of the forward Fred, whose only success so far has been to win a dubious penalty. Mind you, he apparently ‘infuriates’ Alan Shearer, so I could see myself becoming quite a Fred fan.
Jonathan Pearce, much maligned commentator of this parish, was in redemption mode last night. He countered Mark Lawrensen’s tactless comment about the state of the city of Fortaleza’s less than tiptop state of housing and building upkeep with, “Ahhh but this is a city with many challenges. Twenty murders reported between Friday and Sunday last weekend.” Lawro put in his place on the socio-economic debate methinks.
Back to the wardrobe for a moment (keep up!) did you see the fourth official asking Belgium’s coach Marc Wilmots to put his jacket back on? Seems that his white shirt was too similar to the Algerian kit…Yeah apart from the fact he is a chubby Belgian also wearing suit trousers, I can see the likeness….
Today is a chance for Spain to redeem themselves after their opening humiliation against the Van Goooooal machine. Will it be a tort-il-a disaster against Chile or will it be bravas (patatas) all round? Today is also a chance for me to wear my new Holland shirt while missing their game, having once again managed my diary with all the guile and light touch of the Honduras defence.
Talking of diaries (it’s a segue special), as if all this isn’t enough for my little TLF brain to deal with, the mighty St Albans have just released their pre-season fixtures and the premier league fixtures are due out today. Talk about cups runnething over. And then to cap it all the bar at work (take note colleagues) will be serving draft Stella as of next week (long time followers will know the significance of this and want to know when bacon fries will make an appearance). If colleagues spot a woman with a daft haircut rocking under a pile of fixture lists and World Cup match reports, mouthing, “it’s all too much” then it’s TLF.
Would I have it any other way? No. Not really.
Hup Hup Holland!
Η χαμένη αλεπού
(It’s all Greek to TLF)
Belgium 2 Algeria 1
Brazil 0 Mexico 0
Russia1 South KoreA 1
5pm Australia v Netherlands, Grp B
8pm Spain v Chile, Grp B
11pm Cameroon v Croatia, Grp A
Phrase of the Day – Croatian
Vi ne pjeva više
You’re not singing any more
Dish of the day – Chile Stuffed potatoes. Comfort food for those cold winter nights in the Amazon
Website of the day – Kind of cheating. It’s an article from the Guardian by Barney Ronay, who was having a bit of a reflection on the ‘story so far’ on day 7. Some good points and my favourite bit: But it is surely worth stating for the record, if only because it is true. “Brazil is a wonderful place to be right now, a starte of affairs that reflects no credit on the politicians and gilded committee wonks who would hold themselves up as responsible.”
Very Guardian, but very good.