We all know this is the game that neither team really wants to play. I’m sure a lot of the Dutch team would want to be on a beach somewhere, enjoying a week or so of R & R before they all sign for Manchester United (well, apart from RVP of course). For Brazil they can’t go anywhere – they have to live with the crushing disappointment for the rest of their careers. But history has shown that this game tends to have some drama. Hakan Suker’s 11 second goal in 2002 against South Korea, Sweden scoring four in the first half against Bulgaria in 1994 and five goals in South Africa four years ago. Surely there was no drama left in this tournament?
1. Homer – 90 second in and you couldn’t have asked for a clearer professional foul as Thiago Silva brought Robben down, although of course he went down as if he had been shot. No doubt it was a foul yet there was still some hesitation from the referee. That wasn’t in the plan, you could see him thinking. Straight red for Silva? Er no, a feeble yellow. Good to see Brazil’s tournament will end as it started with dubious decisions given by referees about penalties.
2. Side Show Bob – Nothing like being in the spotlight to really show your qualities. I remember punching above my weight when I played for a number of sides in my youth. You naturally raise your game. But here is David Luiz, fresh from leading the Brazilian defence into the worst defeat in their history, perfectly setting up Blind for the second goal with the most ridiculous header. The PSG owners must be trying ever trick in the book to get the €40 cheque stopped.
3. Big Phil – Why? Why is he called that? He is less than 6 feet tall. Granted that is taller than your average man, but he is hardly a giant is he? In terms of other Phil’s, he is smaller than Thompson, Windsor and Oakey. Big head perhaps, or just a made up nickname by the media to give him some colour.
4. Premier League – Best Premier League player in the World Cup Finals? My shout would be Tim Howard, who was outstanding for the US although when I asked Twitter, the hands-down answer was Ron Vlaar. Can’t fault him for his solid defensive performance but can you give the award to someone who essentially has been an unmoveable object?
5. ITV v BBC – “Join us tomorrow night for the World Cup Final, with Andy Townsend”. If there was ever five words to make you shudder in fear it is “World Cup Final” and “Andy Townsend”. Fortunately, BBC are also showing the game which means 75% of the watching British public will choose the advert-free, Chiles-free, “it’s going to be emotional”-free BBC. I’d even welcome Robbie Savage on my screen over Townsend. Sorry ITV but BBC have been the winners again in the footballing stakes.