Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Not Very Alternative, World Cup Review

So it has been 6 weeks since I last blogged as I let the World Cup take place, and have a rest from imparting my knowledge and predictions. So lets have a look back on how the tournament panned out, and also a wee look at how bad my predictions were.

It has been 4 days since the tournament finished and I am sure every football fan is missing it already. What a fantastic tournament we were treated too in the spiritual home of football in Brazil. A record equalling amount of goals, comebacks, incidents, controversy and some fantastic individual performances, but at the end of a magic month, it was the best team, Germany, that came out on top and deservedly so. The final perhaps wasn't the best game of the tournament, but it was intriguing and there was chances for either team in normal time to win it before a great chest and finish from substitute Mario Götze won it for Germany. 

I really enjoyed looking forward to the World cup by way of blogging and predicting, so lets have a look at how well I did. My pick to win the tournament was Argentina, so to lose out with 3 minutes to go in extra time in the final I feel like I was unlucky. The problem Argentina had was a lack of goals in the tournament, only 8 goals in total, and that finally hurt them in the final, when Lionel Messi couldn't pull them out of a hole. His 4 goals in the group stages had made it look like he was going to go on and lead his nation to glory, but he never looked in top form and up to full fitness, and he couldn't score any more for the rest of the tournament. this meant my prediction for Golden Boot was wrong, as James Rodriguez was 2 ahead of Messi after a fantastic tournament with Colombia. Messi did however pick up the Golden Ball for best player, however that is up for serious debate, as he did not look like the best player to me.

France was another team that I had predicted to do well, along with Karim Benzema, however after a fantastic start they lost out to a stubborn Germany defense in the Quarter Finals, and Benzema, despite having more shots than anyone at the tournament, only managed 3 goals, all scored in the first 2 games. Paul Pogba was the shining light for the French however as he took the Young Player award after some great performances in central midfield. He looks like he is going to be a big star for years to come and Man United fans must be absolutely gutted they lost out on him.

The biggest failure I had in predicting came in group B, where I predicted an early departure for The Netherlands at the hands of Spain and Chile. My prediction that Chile would be strong proved correct, but it was Spain that looked a shadow of themselves, and The Netherlands that looked very strong and were unlucky to miss out on the final.

I did say that every tournament has a surprise package, this year it was Costa Rica who negotiated their group by beating Italy and Uruguay and also sent England home. There performance in the Quarter Final was excellent, and they were unlucky to lose out in a penalty shootout to The Netherlands.

The Weatherston World Cup Awards 

Best Player - James Rodriguez - 6 goals and a string of good performances means that James Rodriguez was the best player at the tournament for me. He is so comfortable on the ball and scored some memorable goals, notably his volley against Uruguay in the last 16. He should have won the Golden Ball, but the Golden Boot is a nice substitute.

Best Young Player - Paul Pogba - He deserved to win the official award, he is strong, good on the ball and can tackle too. He will definitely be a top midfielder for the next 10 years. A mention for Memphis Depay(Holland) who looks like he will be a good winger with his pace and directness. He has an eye for a goal too, scoring 2 in the tournament.

Best Goal - Tim Cahill v The Netherlands - James Rodriguez is a close second, but Cahill's volley on his weaker foot from a ball coming over his shoulder and in the air for a long time is the best goal and the hardest skill to perform. He could try that 100 times and never do it again, it is a one off goal and absolutely quality.

The El Hadji Diouf Award -This award goes to the player who had a good tournament and will earn themselves a good move, only to never recreate that form in their life. Winner - Enner Valencia, just earned a £12m move to West Ham after scoring 3 goals in the World cup for Ecuador. The former Pachuca striker looked a real handful with his pace and strength, but so did Diouf in 2002, so it remains to be seen whether he can recreate it on a consistent basis.

World Cups Biggest Idiot - It would be easy to give this one to Luis Suarez, but he clearly has problems, plus he scored 2 against England which saves him, so the award goes to Pepe. We all know he likes to think of himself as a hard man on the pitch, but his terrible headbutt on Thomas Muller earned him a red card. His team went on to lose 4-0, and they never recovered from that goal difference losing out to USA in the groups by 3 goals after being equal on 4 points.

Funniest Moment - England going out in the groups? Well, it was pretty funny, but this linesman was the highlight for me.


Best Training Moment - Thomas Muller had a great World Cup, but this shot in training was 100% deliberate, absolutely no doubt about it...

Team of the Tournament - My team will be a 4-3-2-1 formation as seems to be the fashion these days, probably with a false 9.

Special Edition World Cuts - Best Haircut of 2014 - Kyle Beckerman had an impressive World cup in midfield for the USA, but the most noticeable thing is definitely his dreads.

Next edition will be back to the normal style of blogging for me, this was a bit different just to summarise my tips, so back to my own football in the next edition, and also maybe go into some other sports, since the season hasn't properly started. See you then


  1. You gave a quick mention at the end to USA; what did you think of the coverage in the media in America? It definitely seemed to be bigger than it's ever been before. Do you think it will continue? Do you think players like Beckham and Henry are what will increase the following (America loves a winner) or do you think they need some of their own superstars? The only thing they love more than a winner is an American winner. In Russia (if it's there) and Qatar (if it's there) do you think they will be one of the teams expecting to get to the quarters and semis?

  2. They always expect to get to the quarter finals as fans I feel. The sport has definitely taken off, and although it will never be as big as baseball, basketball and football, it shouldn't matter because of the population.
    They are fit and strong, and should improve technically with experience of coaches and bigger influx of foreigners.
    Not sure the old guys will make a big difference going over, maybe someone like Lampard though who is known as a great trainer and pro will show the young guys what it takes to play at the top.
    I don't see why USA can't compete at the next 2 World Cups, they have been regulars in the knockout phase in previous years, and this year although they didn't make the quarters, was probably the best we have seen from them.

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