If there was one complaint I had about Brazil 2014, it was that everything was just a little too nice.
We had seen robust rather than dangerous tackles, and the odd loaded comment, but nothing too scathing—and even the one scandalous head butt wasn’t really that scandalous. The tournament lacked a little nastiness.
But then Luis Suarez stepped up, raised his hand and screamed “fear not my peeps, I have you covered.”
My thoughts on Day 13:
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• How many times have you joked about Luis Suarez biting someone? I have on numerous occasions, but I never really thought he could be THAT stupid again! We have still yet to see video evidence of today’s incident as conclusive as the Ivanovic bite, but what we do have is damning. I am not a lawyer, but I am quite sure that damning plus teeth marks equals guilty. FIFA can ban him a maximum of 24 games or two years, but will they? Of course not. This is a test of FIFA, and let’s just assume they’ll blow it somehow.
• Now the question turns to Liverpool. I do not trust Luis Suarez. I admire his obscene skills, but have said before I wouldn’t be surprised if he leaves Liverpool this summer. The Reds obviously rely on their star man, but are at a point where he is not as crucial to their success as he once was. Liverpool have Champions League football now, so if a ludicrous transfer offer comes in from Spain, perhaps now is the time to sell and reinvest in the squad.
• James Rodriguez gets a 45-minute rest, comes on and once again turns it on for Colombia. He is being touted as an early candidate for young player of the tournament. Why not player of the tournament? Colombia will meet Uruguay in the Round of 16, a winnable game, especially if Suarez is suspended. I am fine handing silverware to a quarterfinal team player, and James has been electric.
• I miss Larissa Riquelme. 2010 was a poor World Cup on the pitch, but Larissa made it very watchable. Brazil 2014 needs a Larissa Riquelme. Shakira? Hello? Gerard Pique won’t mind.
• Roy Hodgson said post match that the nil-nil with Costa Rica was proof that the future is oh so bright. Really? Doesn’t that say it all?
• In fairness I quite like the future in terms of England’s attack. Ross Barkley should start every match for the next ten years. At the back? Problems. Where is that young commanding centre-back? John Stones is highly regarded. Maybe it will be him, maybe not, but surely it can’t be Chris Smalling.
• Italy out! Sad to see Cesare Prandelli leave, especially under such circumstances. Italy was a massive disappointment, but Group D was as crazy and unpredictable group as we’ve ever seen.
• Faryd Montdragon takes to the field at 43 years of age. I like that; not often you see a goalkeeper subbed in for posterity, but why not? Colombia has earned the right to make this move to celebrate and gift a former great. Other teams not so much. #Lampard
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