What’s the Time? It’s 5 Past 1ker Casillas…
In a competition as significant as the World Cup, one may think that the organizers of the tournament have to at least try their best to get things right but from the handful of games I’ve seen so far, the level of officiating is no different from the horror shows I witnessed in the Premier League last season. In the very first game, Brazil’s own version of Fred Flintstone fell like a sack of potatoes in the box and the Samurai referee was so convinced it was a penalty that you could see him running into the box brandish a card to Dejan Lovren. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Mexico’s Giovanni dos Santos scored two well taken goals but somehow, they were both ruled out for reasons best known to those ugly-ass aliens in Prometheus.
When Spain took to the pitch against the Netherlands, one wondered how the game was going to pan out. For starters, there was a recognized center forward in Spain’s starting XI instead of the “false No. 9” we’ve become accustomed to seeing in recent times. Knowing that he probably couldn’t match the Spaniards in their possession football, Louis van Gaal opted for an unorthodox 3-4-1-2 formation with Gotham’s own BatVan and Robben spearheading the attack.
Early on Diego Costa, who was having a torrid evening, conned the ref to win his team a fictitious penalty that was converted by the ageless Xabi Alonso.
At that point, Spain was on the ascendancy and one must have thought what Holland needed to get themselves back in the game. Before Spain got their match opener, Wesley Sneijder clean on goal by Arjen Robben but he left his scoring boots in Istanbul and David Silva had a chance to make it two but he opted precision instead of power forcing Cillesen to make a save.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man and in as much as I currently hate everything Robin van Persie stands for, his improvised finish from Daley Blind’s cross was top class.
A draw seemed to be a fair result at half time but the Dutch came out all guns blazing in the second half to the amazement of the football neutrals watching the game. Early in the second half, Arjen Robben made mince meat of Shakira’s hubby before sending Casillas the wrong way to hand the Dutch the lead. The next goal was always going to be the most vital and seeing De Vrij nod the ball home was his retribution for the fake penalty he had conceded in the first half.
The introduction of Fernando Torres and Pedro Rodriguez was meant to add some steam to Spain’s attack but the fourth goal for Holland was the most hilarious of them all. A simple back pass to Casillas which was meant to be easy pickings turned into a nightmare as the Spanish No. 1 failed to control the ball. RVP, like the predator he is, reacted quickly, stole the ball and placed it into an unguarded net.
Robben’s late goal was an icing on a well-baked cake and it showed that Spain is no longer invincible. Casillas and his defense conceded only three goals or so on their road to winning the 2010 World Cup. The defending champions conceded an alarming five goals in a single game. Stalwarts like Casillas and Xavi Hernandez have served Spain well but I think it’s high time younger players get their chance in the squad, the fact that seven out of the starting 11 from the Spanish side played in the 2010 World Cup finals shows how much faith Del Bosque has in these crop but they are all four years older and when they came up against an energetic and exuberant Dutch side, their frailties were exposed.
From an Arsenal perspective, Santi Cazorla had to watch from the dugout as his teammates were ripped apart by LVG. I’m sure Manchester United fans must have been pretty pleased with what they saw but the Premier League and World Cup are two different competitions entirely.
What’s the time?
It’s 5 past 1ker Casillas.
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