Not particularly positive messages to take from one of the best international tournaments that I can recall. Although the tournament had those aspects, it was also the stage for new stars to shine, James Rodriguez in particular, doing his reputation no harm. It was the moment when a decade and a half long project finally achieved its target, with Germany lifting an international trophy. It was the moment when Miroslav Klose became the greatest ever World Cup goalscorer. And it was also perhaps the moment when US Soccer fans finally fell in love with the game.
There is much talk in football about the 12th man. Whether that is the fans singing their hearts out on the Kop, the referee who appears to be giving everything to the opposition, or a rogue beach ball that has bounced on to the pitch and has yet to be removed. It is said, this 12th man gives you the advantage, but it is a strange term to use when the teams are not even utilising the 11 that they have on the pitch.
Oscar Levant once said: “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity” and though he was talking about himself at the time, his words are true for many of the figures that waltz into the gaze of the public.
In all walks of life we encounter people that could be deemed genius or mad, depending on which argument you find most convincing.
In music there were the Beatles, or Michael Jackson, in art you need look no further than Salvadore Dali, in academia there was Einstein, and even sport has its fair share of genius and madmen.
As predicted a few weeks ago, England have slumped out of the World Cup. I am not surprised in the least, and my pessimistic mood is set to continue now that Roy Hodgson has been given another two years as manager.
The blame can be placed on the players, on the heat, on the long season, or on whatever else you wish to turn to, but the fact of the matter is that the manager is ultimately responsible.
Honduras’ blend of high physicality and dirty tackling has put them on a collision course with the footballing world.
This may not worry Honduras as they seem to enjoy the odd collision, but for the rest of the teams in the tournament it is a dangerous prospect to encounter.
Neutrals love to support an underdog, but it is hard to get behind one that is stamping on opposition players, kicking the world class talents they are up against, and generally behaving rather rabid.
If anyone watched the Honduras – France game, then you will know what I am talking about.