Daily Archives: June 15, 2014
The best thing about a competition like the World Cup is that the football doesn’t stop till the final day on July 13, 2014. As expected, shocks and surprised have been the order of the day and I’m pretty sure that many fans wouldn’t quickly forget how Netherlands decimated Spain.
Yesterday’s set of fixtures had their own twist as the day began with Colombia securing a comfortable result against the modern day Spartans. Shortly after West Ham’s Pablo Armero got the lead, the South American side played so poorly and one wondered if the Greeks had it in them to pull off something tangible for themselves. Unfortunately, they didn’t have Leonidas or Thermistocles in their ranks so there wasn’t going to be any epic fighting.
With the Colombia game done and dusted, all eyes were turned to the Uruguay vs. Costa Rica game, a match that everyone deemed to be a stroll in the park. Edinson Cavani’s goal made it seem as if it was going to be business as usual but that fine young lad, Joel Campbell, popped one with one of the finest strikes in the tournament to bring his country level. The Costa Ricans continued to push Uruguay hard and against all odds, they scored two more goals that put the game beyond doubt with Campbell again having a hand in the match clincher.
Costa Rica’s shock victory threw down the gauntlet to England and Italy and I had hoped that it wouldn’t be a repeat of the bore fest I witnessed in euro 2012. Unlike that game were being conservative was the order of the day, both teams showcased some attacking football and that Chuck Norris looking graceful regista in the middle of the park was as influential as ever, spraying passes like they were bread and butter. Juventus’ Claudio Marchisio and Liverpool’s Danny Sturridge got the strikes for their nations but in the end, it was the bad boy, Mario Balotelli, that scored the goal that handed the Italians maximum points.
Then there was the early morning unorthodox fixture between Ivory Coast and Japan and for some strange reason, I saw myself watching the game as if it was a 2.00pm game, rather than the 2.00am fixture it was meant to be. To my surprise, the red-hot Wilfried Bony got the nod ahead of The legendary Didier Drogba and he even got on the score sheet courtesy of an assist from Serge Aurier, a player that has been touted as Sagna’s long-term replacement. Aurier was at it again with another assist for a former Gunner, Gervinho, and it was enough to hand Africa’s first victory in the tournament.
So there we have it. A certain Joel Campbell, whose future still hangs on the balance, the want-away Mario Balotelli and of course, everyone’s favourite Serge Aurier that has been heavily linked with a move to North London.
Many would be hoping for the manager to buy that center forward that would score more goals that the amount of gel Cristiano Ronaldo uses on his hair, but I won’t mind having me some Campbell and could play his part in the 2014/15 campaign. That lad is a truly talented kid and I hope he continues to improve but I’d love to see him at Arsenal sooner, rather than later.
As for Serge Aurier, I would be extremely livid if another team comes and snaps him away from Arsenal’s clutches despite the fact that hour has openly flirted with the Gunners this summer. Last season, he scored six goals and supplied six assists for his team and his versatility allowed him to play as a right back and even as a center back, depending on his managers tactical setup. Aurier would be a perfect fit for Arsenal and I pray that Arsene Wenger and his team secure a move for the lad once Ivory Coast gets knocked out of the competition.
Then there is the curious case of Mario Balotelli. At Internazionale, Manchester City and AC Milan, the maverick scored lots of goals but he’s more remembered for his antics and shenanigans rather than his talented displays. Arsenal has had its fare share of hot heads in the past but Balotelli has a lot of baggage with him and I hope that the Gunners links for him isn’t concrete.
So it’s back to watching the greatest competition in the world and I’m gonna support my next best national team after my Nigeria.