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World Cup 2018 Round Up (Days 15-18)

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The Round of 16 got off to a blistering start with France and Argentina serving up a seven goal thriller. I didn’t think either team played particularly well but some of the goals were fantastic and there was plenty of drama, although sadly not much Maradona this time.
 
Looks like the TV director made a conscious decision not to show him, which is a mistake. There should be a little box in the corner of the screen with Diego in it. Or maybe press the red button and have Maradona cam? Look at that picture. So much going on, yet we were denied seeing the full footage of it. Just watching poor Ronaldo shifting uncomfortably in his seat would have been more entertaining than half of the games we've had in this tournament. 

 

Ronaldo will have been disgusted by 57 year old Diego tongue wrestling with his 20 something blonde. Not as disgusted as Diego will have been by Argentina’s starting line up though. That was utterly self defeating. The strength of their squad is its forwards, but the stupid bald fuck coach left them all out and said “go on then Leo, away you go son”.
 
No surprise that Messi was hardly in the game as he had nobody to fucking pass to. I exonerate him from blame completely this time. You can’t expect him to beat France with virtually no help. 

 

With the clown show they have in defence, scoring goals in their only hope. Imagine looking around that squad, trying to pick a line up and coming up with eleven players that doesn’t include Aguero, Dybala or even Higuain (even though he is a fat fraud). Messi must have been fucking fuming. 

 

They fell behind after Mbappe put on the afterburners and ran past everybody. The last time we saw a run like that in the World Cup was also against Argentina and it also led to a penalty. Mbappe in the Michael Owen role and Rojo was Pochettino. What the fuck was Rojo doing? I thought Mbappe made a meal of it and went down a bit easily, but it was proper shit defending from a proper shit defender. The only surprising thing was it wasn’t that turd Otamendi. 

 

Griezeman buried the pen having earlier been denied by the bar following a stunning free-kick. France were playing quite well, Pogba was pulling the strings and Mbappe's pace was scaring the shit out of the Argentina back four. It was fairly one sided but then out of nowhere the previously dreadful (and by previously I mean six years) Di Maria produced a thunderbolt to draw them level. 

 

They went ahead when that snide right back from Sevilla deflected in a shot from Messi. He’s a proper bastard him, never stops fouling and moaning. That applies to half of this Argie team though, not least Mascherano who if anything is even more ornery now than he was in his prime. He could have been red carded in every game he played in this competition. Love him. 

 

At that point I thought France were done but they hit back with the goal of the tournament from the least likely of sources. No, not Pogba, the right back who no-one had heard of before this tournament. That stunner from Pavard is one of the most aesthetically pleasing goals I’ve ever seen. Watching it in slow motion is utterly mesmerising, the spin on the ball and the trajectory it travels, it’s just fucking beautiful. Best goal of the tournament and it’s not even close. 

 

Mbappe then added a couple of quick fire goals and although Aguero pulled one back in stoppage time it came too late for Argentina to capitalise on it and they went out. 

 

Mbappe was great but he probably couldn’t believe how easy Argentina made it for him. They were incredibly naive in how they dealt with his blistering pace. That Argentina defence is dogshit and it’s hard not to look good against them but fair to play to Mbappe, he’s still just a kid so this was special from him. He is doing it against Otamendi and Rojo though, so let’s not get too carried away. Let's see how he does against Godin and Giminez. 

 

The goal Aguero scored late on just made me even more pissed off at that moron coach, because you see that and it just shows you what Messi didn’t have for most of the game. Messi picks the ball up and drops an inch perfect ball onto Aguero’s head from 30 yards away. Why would you not have given yourself that option from the start? That coach should be thrown in jail when he returns to Argentina. That’s probably where they found him anyway, the mean gangster looking bastard. 

 

What about that fucking turd Otamendi again though? Yes, I’m sounding like a broken record, but this guy is taking everyone for a ride. He’s the Donald Trump of football. You think, how the fuck is he in this position. Are people blind or just morons? Doesn’t matter how many fuck ups he makes, they’re swept under the carpet and he comes out smelling of roses. 

 

Argentina had just got back to 4-3 and had about a minute to find an equaliser. In that situation you need to keep the ball in play and the game flowing. So what does this dimwitted fuck do? Boots the ball at a player lying on the ground after the whistle has gone, sparking a big kick off that took all the sting out of the game for a good minute or so. It’s inexcusable, but he’s thick as fuck and makes stupid decisions all the time. 

 

This is the worst Argentina defence in my lifetime. They ship goals all over the place and Otamendi is the lynchpin of that defence, so what does that say about him? It says he’s shit.  

 

Onto the night game now and Ronaldo joined Messi in being dumped out of the tournament. Still, he was in it for a few hours longer than Messi and you just know he sees that as a victory. He did fuck all against that miserly Uruguay defence, and his free-kicks have reverted to type since that stunner against Spain. Shorts pulled up, puff out cheeks, pause for dramatic effect, twat it into the wall. 

 

It wasn’t as exciting as the earlier game but it was entertaining enough. Suarez was giving it the full Suarez. Three times he hit the ground holding his head after being hit in the back, and he was also committing niggly fouls all over the place to break up the play. He’d drive you fucking mad if you were a defender. He was also fucking immense though, especially after Cavani went off. 

 

Speaking of Cavani, I’ve not been complimentary towards old Skeletor over the years but credit where it’s due, he was great in this game, scoring two terrific goals and showing a fantastic work ethic (he always does that to be fair). 

 

Other observations from this one. Uruguay have a white lad with Kenny Powers cornrows. He must have some balls on him, being in a dressing room with proper no nonsense lads like Godin, Giminez, Rodriguez and Suarez, and he’s got fucking cornrows. 

 

Uruguay against France should be great fun. It’s going to take a monumental effort for anyone to beat Uruguay I think. They’re basically the Atletico Madrid of international football. It’s not just me saying that, Antoine Griezman agrees. He made a crack about them being like Atletico and that France should be prepared for all manner of shithousing. Pretty good that considering he plays for Atletico. Maybe he’s not such a massive helmet after all? 

 

Finally on this, Portugal were really poor again and that Guedes lad did absolutely nothing. He’s got a big reputation but he didn’t do a thing right all tournament. The Portuguese Timo Werner. 

 

In contrast to the previous day, the second day of the knockouts was fucking turgid. Both games were terrible and both went the distance. 

 

Russia were playing for penalties from the moment they got their equaliser. I don’t really blame them, they don’t have much quality to hurt teams like Spain and the best chance they had was to keep it tight and hope to nick something from a set-piece. That’s what happened too. They fell behind when old father time at the back was more concerned about watching Ramos than the ball and ended up scoring an own goal. 

 

The only way they were getting back into it was with a set-piece of their own, so when they had a corner but took it short and ended up back on the halfway line, I was fucking fuming. Up there with any of the most boneheaded decisions we’ve seen in this tournament. Don’t get too clever, play to your strengths. The next one they had went into the mixer, and lo and behold my boy Dzubar won the header and it struck the raised arm of Pique. Definite pen that because he had no business having his hand up there. 

 

The big fella buried the pen and then we had an hour or so of nothingness. Basically Spain passing it sideways and Russia sitting off and letting them. I totally blame Spain for this game being shit. Russia made their intentions clear so the onus was on Spain to break them down, but there was just no fucking urgency from them at all. So many of their games are shit because THEY ARE FUCKING BORING. Football purists love them, but sorry, they’re dull as fuck. I’d rather watch Iceland as at least stuff happens when they play. 

 

Other than a late effort that Akinfeev handled well, did Spain even have a shot on target? They’re a fucking joke. Swaggering round, passing it about padding their possession stats but not one of the fuckers is interested in having a shot. Ok, Costa is, but no-one bothers whipping in a cross or hitting the odd long ball to him once in a while because Spain think they’re above that. 

 

When it went to penalties it was obvious Spain were fucked because that meant actually having a shot, and most these knobs hadn’t done that since the tournament began. The other reason they were screwed is that De Gea is bizarrely shit at saving pens. Genuinely terrible. Two of them were right down the middle and he should have got something on them. Akinfeev saved two exactly like that, and that’s why Russia are through and Spain are out. 

 

I feel bad for Aspas, that poor lad has spent four years trying to live down that corner kick and he’d done a good job of rebuilding his reputation and making a good career for himself. Now he’ll be remembered as the man whose penalty miss saw Spain knocked out. Still, he made Sergio Ramos cry, so he’ll do for me. Vamos, Iago!! 

 

So Ramos is on his way home but Big Dejan is still there. Only just though. Croatia were shite against Denmark. They were disjointed and looked like they’d never played together before. I think the occasion got to them, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the tournament. Denmark were the better side but despite that I feel as though justice was probably done in the end because of that certain goal Croatia had taken away with a couple of minutes left in extra time. 

 

It’s fucked up really. The rules need looking at because in the first week we had a Colombia player red carded after two minutes for blocking a shot with his arm. He was 12 yards out and the keeper was behind him trying to get across. He probably wouldn’t have got there but can we say that 1) it would have been a certain goal, and 2) it was a deliberate handball? That decision changed the entire course of the group and therefore the tournament. Japan are in the next round at Senegal’s expense. 

 

So that’s a red card, but Jorgensen brings down the Croatian lad about four yards from an open goal. That was as certain a goal as you’ll ever see. It may well have been an attempt to get the ball, but he also knew that come what may he wasn’t letting the lad score. It worked out perfectly for Denmark because Schmeichel saved the pen from Madrid. A red card for Jorgensen at such a late stage wouldn’t have really made any difference, but it can’t be right when you see the different punishments for those two offences. 

 

It all worked out in the end because aside from good red Simon Kjaer none of the Danes could take a pen. The Croatians were a bit shit too, Schmeichel looked like he was going to save every one, not least because he was charging off his line before they were taken. Cheeky bastard even had the balls to complain that Kramaric stuttered in his run up. To be fair he had a great view of it as he was only about three yards away from him when he took it. 

 

Brazil went through with a predictable 2-0 win over Mexico. Don’t they beat Mexico 2-0 at every Word Cup? It feels like it. Mexico were really disappointing but it’s hard playing against Brazil as they suck the life out of games with the gamesmanship and I’m fairly certain that Neymar has caused more stoppage to this tournament than VAR. Absolute cunt he is. 

 

If he’s not diving he’s attention seeking. At one point he stood still with the ball, bringing the game to a complete stop. He was giving it the old ‘everyone look at me, I’m about to do something boss’. Then he tried to take the Mexican player on the outside and just got completely had off by him. 

 

He was in a running battle with the Mexican right back Layun, who was clearly getting pissed off with all the theatrics. He left a bit on him a couple of times and was then involved in a contentious incident when he was trying to retrieve the ball and stood on Neymar’s ankle. That was the signal for Neymar to start contorting himself like he was being violated with a cattle prod. I reckon even Pepe watched that and thought ‘bit much that like’. He’s the worst thing about this entire World Cup, my hatred for him is off the scale now. 

 

Almost as bad as what Neymar did were all the fucking weirdos saying the Mexican lad should have had a red card. Fuck right off. At the absolute most it’s a yellow and even that would be extreme. He didn’t stamp on him, he barely even trod on him. The end of his foot was on Neymar’s ankle but no pressure was applied. He probably knew what he was doing (I don’t think it’s a clear cut as others are claiming though) and he had defo been needling him, but if you think that’s a red card then you’re watching the wrong sport. 

 

Couldn’t believe Clattenberg saying it was a red. Genuinely shocked me that did. All these fucking drama queens going on about ‘serious foul play’ and ‘stamping’. Just fuck off with that shit, you’re as embarrassing as Neymar.
 
Tell who else is embarrassing. Hernandez. Can't believe I said in a previous round up that 'maybe he's finally grown up'. It's funny though really, because if you'd asked me before the tournament 'which 30 something footballer will bleach his hair white for the knock out stages' he'd have been number one two and three on the list.
 
Anyway, Neymar tapped in Brazil’s first and Bobby came off the bench and tapped in the second. Won’t be enough to get him a start as the coach loves that City lad for some reason even though he’s done fuck all. Can’t say I’m even arsed, because not even Bobby is going to make me root for a team with Neymar in it. 

 

They play Belgium next, but it was oh so nearly Japan. Poor Japan, that was heartbreaking for them. When the ball was on the floor they were more than a match for Belgium. Even Martinez realised this and changed his tactics. With the ball eight foot in the air now, Japan couldn’t compete and a 2-0 lead was quickly wiped out by two headers from high crosses. 

 

Japan rallied and were pushing for a late winner when they got done with a glorious counter from one of their own corners. Like watching the Reds that was. Have to wonder why Japan, the Anthill Mob, are slinging in a high corner like that. They were never going to win it. Play to your fucking strengths lads. Short corner, clever one two, low cross into the six yard box. It’s not rocket science. 

 

I just felt terrible for them though. They didn’t deserve that, they were great to watch and really took it to the Belgians. Their fans stayed behind to clean up after themselves and the team also left the dressing room spotless. Great bunch of lads. 

 

Prior to that game Courtois had proved once again what a massive twat he is. He pissed me off a few weeks ago with his lack of support for Karius, and this week he was ripping on Pickford for the goal he conceded against Belgium. “He’s 10cm shorter than me”. Yeah, only because Pickford doesn’t have a fucking giraffe neck, you big goon. "I would have caught it. He was too busy throwing his legs in the air." So much for the goalkeeper’s union. 

 

The Japan left back is ace. No wonder the building in Die Hard was named after him. 

 

As an aside, I don’t like countries who play in different colours to their flag. Japan playing in Navy bothers me. Should be a white kit with red trim. 
I completely forgot about Sweden / Switzerland and 25 minutes had gone before I remembered. Not that I missed anything. I couldn’t be arsed with this game. The problem is they’re both too dull to root for and too inoffensive to root against. I just don’t care about either of them. Switzerland were terrible, Sweden were a bit better. They’re solid and well organised. They’ll take England to pens I reckon. 

 

As did Colombia. But they fucking blew it, the knobheads. England going out on pens after conceding a 93rd minute equaliser would have been great. Instead they’re in the fucking quarter finals and I’ve got to listen to another week of knobheads saying “its coming home”. I felt bad for Hendo when he missed, and I didn’t want his kick to be decisive, but I’d have accepted it if it meant they went out. 

 

I knew he’d miss the second I saw him doing keep ups as he walked up to the spot. You don’t do that, it’s asking for trouble, trying to portray a confidence you don’t really feel. The pen wasn’t even that bad, except he might as well have handed Ospina a note telling him exactly where it was going. He was so focused on where he was going to put it that he never even bothered trying to disguise it at all. 

 

Hopefully he learns from this and puts it away next time. And hopefully one or two of the others don’t. It's too much to ask for Kane to miss, he's as close to automatic as there is. Dier's pen was almost as bad as his overall performance. Ospina should have saved that, the tit. 

 

I’m not going to bore you all with my reasons for wanting England to lose. Some of you will relate to them, others won’t. It’s fine. I respect anyone’s right to support England, I hope they respect my right not to. 

 

Ultimately, I think the simplest and shortest way to explain it is that the people who would be happiest with England winning are the people I really don’t want to see happy. S*n readers, Little Englanders, fans of every other club side in the country (anyone who isn’t Liverpool can fuck off), Boris Johnson, Farage, Tommy Robinson and his goon followers… all of those would be on cloud nine if England won, and I just don’t want to see that. I want to see them miserable. 

 

The game itself was a bit shit and some of Colombia’s antics were a disgrace, not least when they conceded a stupid fucking pen (honestly, how thick do you have to be to do that to Kane after what we’ve seen already this tournament?) but managed to delay the taking of it for three whole minutes. Not just that, a couple of them were scuffing up the penalty spot while others distracted the ref. Shocking stuff. Not gonna lie though, I was kind of impressed. 

 

I wasn’t impressed with how they played though. They were fucking shite. Colombia without James Rodriguez is like Christmas without presents. They were lucky to get that last gasp equaliser and although they were the better side after that, they didn’t do enough. The big centre back Mina has had a great tournament though. 

 

How come Colombia fans outnumbered England by about three to one? Usually England take hordes of morons to these tournaments. Where are they all? Were they scared off by the shoeing they took from those Russian loons at the last Euros? 

 

England have a chance at winning the whole thing, but to do so they’d probably still have to beat Brazil / Belgium and Croatia. Eventually they’ll come unstuck. Won’t they? They’d fucking better.



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Bizarrely (or maybe not), Danny Murphy spent the whole of the France game bigging up Otamendi. Well and truly lost the plot, that lad.

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I think a lot of English fans took too much notice of the anti-Russian shit from May & her cohorts & are now realising their mistake as it looks boss over there but it is too late for visas etc.

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I think a lot of English fans took too much notice of the anti-Russian shit from May & her cohorts & are now realising their mistake as it looks boss over there but it is too late for visas etc.

 

Yeah everyone has been having a great time. Suspect it might change when Russia eventually lose. Can't see all them loons staying quiet for the entire tournament.

 

Bizarrely (or maybe not), Danny Murphy spent the whole of the France game bigging up Otamendi. Well and truly lost the plot, that lad.

 

I noticed that, kept going on about 'what a good player he is'. Shut up Danny, you're embarrassing yourself there, son.

 

Classic case of a pundit thinking "he must be good because Pep picks him" instead of trusting his own eyes and instincts.

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Yeah everyone has been having a great time. Suspect it might change when Russia eventually lose. Can't see all them loons staying quiet for the entire tournament.

 

 

I noticed that, kept going on about 'what a good player he is'. Shut up Danny, you're embarrassing yourself there, son.

 

Classic case of a pundit thinking "he must be good because Pep picks him" instead of trusting his own eyes and instincts.

In fairness, his instincts led him to the conclusion that woy is a better manager than Rafa. Or maybe that was just bitterness and little englander bias. Either way, shut up Murphy you plonk.

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My wife couldnt understand why i burst out laughing when Columbia equalised, " why arent you supporting England " she said....i thought about explaining but couldnt be bothered in the end...should just get her too read above.

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My wife couldnt understand why i burst out laughing when Columbia equalised, " why arent you supporting England " she said....i thought about explaining but couldnt be bothered in the end...should just get her too read above.

 

I laughed too, it wasn't a conscious decision, just a natural reaction. It isn't my head telling me not to support them, it's just how I feel and it's difficult explaining it to people who don't feel the same way.

 

Spoke to loads of people I've bumped into today and they're all supporting England. They're all shocked when I say I'm not, but it's difficult explaining it without going into detail, and just saying 'England fans are mostly knobheads' doesn't really work.

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I'm not sure about this Russian drug thing , as they all looked fucked against Spain & were hanging on for grim death with cramp & whatever.

 

Maybe they only got the 90 minute injections instead of the 120 minute ones?

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Was going to make the exact same point about Danny Murphy and Otamendi At one point Otamendi inexplicably booted the ball out of play. Murphy was like "He was unlucky there..." WTF??? His agent wouldn't defend him that much

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I reckon I've come to the end of my amusement at watching England fail, and I get the faint tingle of something I haven't felt for a long time - support for the national side. Not flag waving or face painting, but the sense that seeing them do well would please me in some way. I get the whole thing about not supporting them, but as I get older, my overriding feeling is one of indignation at the state of England fans, and the thought that you should never let the lowest elements in society co-opt something that should be for everyone. 

 

Caveat - I went to the pub on Thursday, to a place I'd assumed wasn't showing the match, so I sat with my back to the TV. I did, however, smirk at the equaliser, and was leaning head first into a wall whilst at a urinal when the final penalty went in. An old man in an '86 England top complimented me on my moustache though, so he won me round.

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I laughed too, it wasn't a conscious decision, just a natural reaction. It isn't my head telling me not to support them, it's just how I feel and it's difficult explaining it to people who don't feel the same way.

 

Spoke to loads of people I've bumped into today and they're all supporting England. They're all shocked when I say I'm not, but it's difficult explaining it without going into detail, and just saying 'England fans are mostly knobheads' doesn't really work.

 

 

It's the same for me. It's not something I consciously think about, I just hate the fuckers. 

 

At the last World Cup my head was looking at Gerrard being captain and the squad having more Liverpool players than they have in years and thinking it might be OK if they did well. 

 

Then Suarez scored against them and I nearly got lynched in the pub because I was just reacted instinctively. 

 

The only I can pinpoint it stemming from is that John Barnes was the first player I idolised and the shit he went through every time he played. Seemed like constant booing and then the press all over him because he supposedly "didn't try" like he did for Liverpool or didn't care because he was born in Jamaica. I'd have had more respect for them if they had just been honest and said they thought he shouldn't be allowed to play because he was black. 

 

Fuck them and fuck anyone who buys into the notion of being proud to be born between some made up lines on a bit of paper. 

 

Edit: And also, it goes without saying that Maradona is awesome.

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Pretty much exactly how I saw the last 16.

 

The only other comment I'd make is the flooky Vertongen header that got Belgium back into the game.

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It's the same for me. It's not something I consciously think about, I just hate the fuckers. 

 

At the last World Cup my head was looking at Gerrard being captain and the squad having more Liverpool players than they have in years and thinking it might be OK if they did well. 

 

Then Suarez scored against them and I nearly got lynched in the pub because I was just reacted instinctively. 

 

Fuck them and fuck anyone who buys into the notion of being proud to be born between some made up lines on a bit of paper. 

 

Edit: And also, it goes without saying that Maradona is awesome.

 

Must be bad for you mate, bet they're bang into it up in your neck of the woods. My Mackem brother in law keeps giving me shit and telling me 'get behind your country'.

 

Pretty much exactly how I saw the last 16.

 

The only other comment I'd make is the flooky Vertongen header that got Belgium back into the game.

 

He's in my WC fantasy team so I let that one slide.

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