As the World Cup draws to a close I find myself thinking how much of a disappointment its been as a competition. It reaches its climax this weekend, with only one certainty, that there will be a new name on the trophy.
Holland v Spain means that Arsenal fans can take their pick whom to support with one of our players in either squad. RvP is certain to start – barring an injury – but Cesc has not started a game so far, although he has contributed briefly as a substitute a couple of times. That system has got Spain to the final so I doubt it will change.
But what a strange World Cup it has been, performed in stadium’s sounding as though they were full of swarming bees as the vuvuzelas droned continuously to what the commentators disingenuously called the beat of Africa. I have heard nothing like it in several visits to that beautiful continent and I fear, had I been there this time, I would have lost patience and done something naughty.
The big stars didn’t turn up, Messi, Rooney, Ronaldo where were they, were they playing? Had they played too much? Was there too much pressure? Were they bored? Something tells me there will be the mother and father of enquiries as to why and what went wrong, immediately the final whistle blows.
No doubt it will include the need for more help for officials, overwhelmed by a game now so fast as to be beyond the power of any referee or assistant to keep up, as emphasised by the England goal that wasn’t. Big changes in that department will certainly happen, whether it is Mr Blatter’s extra guys behind the goal or technology or a mixture of both we will have to wait to see
Goalkeepers: have you ever seen so many goalkeeping errors in a single tournament? Was it the thin air of altitude or the ball maybe? I suspect just rank bad goalkeeping is nearer the mark. Whatever the reason, which keeper would you advise Arsene if asked, to sell the crown jewels to buy? Did any really impress?
The Arsenal players have not covered themselves with glory either and with the exception of the two named above have all seen their sides fail to impress and are off for early holidays. Lets hope we see some benefit from that.
In the case of the French the failure was spectacular, another suitable case for Mr Blatter, and his French friend, Michel Plattini to launch an enquiry into. Bit near home for Michel that one and the repercussions should be fascinating. I wonder if that had been England what they would have done.
For me the dark side of the whole affair has been the despicable ‘Barça sideshow’ choreographed to unsettle Cesc. My biggest disappointment is the way so many Arsenal fans have bought into it. Given Barça’s proud record in recent years with Arsenal players, I would have thought we would just have called a ‘plague on all their houses’ and got on with our lives instead of fuelling the fires of discontent and doing the Spaniards work for them.
The most recent comments from Cesc and Xavi in relation to the World Cup and returning home to their respective teams suggest that ‘the battle for Cesc’ is over for this summer at least.
So, on Sunday I will watch the game knowing no matter who wins it’s Barnet at the end of the week, Arsène will be back to add a couple more signings and then the real stuff is soon under way.
Its going to be a Gooner year.
I can’t wait.
Written by dandan