World Cup 2010 Final Thoughts (World Cup Braindump #14)

by Steve

Well, that was that then. No more World Cup for four whole years. I wonder where we’ll all be then? What we’ll be doing? It’s kind of easy to track life in World Cups, but it makes it go awful fast. But before I get too philosophical, here are my final thoughts…

  • The final. What a brutal spectacle, eh? Surely it warranted an 18 certificate? I think the Dutch have a cheek for criticising Howard Webb when his leniency stopped them being down to nine men inside half-an-hour. That’s not to say that the Spanish were saints either, with a few choice fouls of their own, and a fair few elaborations upon contact (is that a nice way of saying ‘dive’?). Poor Howard was damned if he did, damned if he didn’t. Send players off early and he’d forever be remembered as the man who ruined a World Cup Final. By giving players the benefit of the doubt, we ended up with a violent, disjointed final. Really, only the players and coaches can be to blame for any lack of quality in the final.
  • Saying that, the best side in the tournament, if not the most entertaining, won. Spain’s brand of ball retention is easy to admire, but hard to love. However, my man crush on Xabi Alonso persists. What a great, underrated player. And what strong ribs!
  • Player of the tournament for me is Asamoah Gyan, and not for particularly rational reasons. Mainly, it is down to him having the courage and fortitude to step up and take a penalty in Ghana’s shoot-out against Uruguay, just moments after missing one with the last kick of extra-time. He scored, it wasn’t enough, but still….
  • If there’s any truth in the rumours that he might go to Liverpool, then we might have a new cult hero on our hands. Meanwhile a terrible tournament for Torres might mean we actually get to keep him!
  • Team of the tournament is New Zealand. I thought they might nick a draw, but to nick three and exit the tournament unbeaten? I doubt anybody predicted that. In terms of sheer performance over and above expectation, they are my choice. Germany are a close second. What a great side – and they are only going to get better. Eek.
  • Disappointment of the tournament. England. Naturally. They not only got stuffed on their way out, but stunk the joint up in each and every game. Absolute rubbish.
  • Well, this World Cup seemed to lack truly great, epic games to make it an outright overwhelming success, but it had enough moments (Slovakia dumping out Italy, the climax of Ghana/Uruguay, Germany dismantling England and Argentina) for it to have been an enjoyable month.
  • Now then, how long until the Euros?