Worst World Cup Ever? (World Cup Braindump #2)

by Steve

Well, of course it isn’t the worst World Cup ever. Not yet, anyway. It’s only been going a few days. However, I’m not one to let accusations of hyperbole to get in the way of my headlines. As World Cup Fever brings the nation and its newspapers to the brink of insanity, here is the latest installment of my brain-thoughts on Holland, Italy and more.

  • I have a sneaky feeling that Holland’s 2-0 win over Denmark flattered the Dutch a little. While Holland looked robust in midfield, they didn’t seem quite as creative up front as they might have. A lucky own goal, and a late second as Denmark chased the game, are not signs of a dominant Dutch performance. While Denmark were uninspired up front, I’d expect them to improve. I had reasonably high hopes for the game, which like many others, it failed to live up to.
  • Japan and Cameroon wasn’t the most inspiring effort, either. Cameroon look pretty disorganised and I think are likely candidates to go hope without a point. Again, not an amazing game, but to be fair, did anyone expect it to be?
  • Italy/Paraguay was fun, if only to see another seeded team struggle like England. England are not alone in having a poor start! Paraguay were very unlucky not to win, and would have done if it wasn’t for some horrible goalkeeping. England are not alone in having a clumsy ‘keeper! Italy seemed determined to live up to the cliché of being slow starters in tournaments. They must be grateful to be in a reasonably straightforward group.
  • Today we see those rank outsiders New Zealand and North Korea for the first time. Maybe goals? Or more likely, frustrating defensive displays as they park their proverbial buses in front of goal (and will Brazil be as pragmatic as many fear, even against North Korea?). I may even risk a tiny flutter on New Zealand getting the draw.
  • Portugal/Ivory Coast looks enticing, but I think we’re all learning not to get our hopes up too much. It’s a real shame that most of us will miss this 3pm game. The radio awaits!