So, while watching various matches at the dress rehearsal for the World Cup in Brazil I found myself wondering who to root for, always a tricky task when there is no Arsenal involvement. For some reason I decided it would be the opponents of Brazil or Spain, two teams who I’d taken a dislike to for no readily apparent reason.
Now why should that be as how can any football fan dislike the Samba boys? Maybe, I thought, as a gooner my experience of our last two Brazilian imports was less than satisfactory, namely Denilson and Santos.
Denilson to me was overplayed too early in his development, and probably expected to fill a Gilberto/Flamini/Diarra sized hole in midfield and the abiding memory of him for many will be that of being outpaced by a portly referee who was keeping up with play a heck of a lot better than Denilson was.
Santos had a slow start to his Arsenal career and seemed to be filling into his left back role, as well as his ample XXL sized Arsenal top, when a string of slightly lackadaisical performances culminated in what, for me, was the cardinal sin of exchanging shirts with Van Judas on our first trip to old Toilet since the Cutch Dunt’s act of treachery. The shirt exchange on pitch was bad enough but to do it at half time showed a complete lack of awareness of the fans attitude to the aforementioned traitor!
Similarly, why did I feel an antipathy to Spain whilst they were playing the Eye-talians? There was no Nacho man or Santi on the pitch so that could explain why I didn’t warm to them.
Then it dawned on me: Barca DNA!
A side with the diving/cheating “skills” of Busquets and was bound to raise my hackles, and for Brazil the god awful play acting of Alves was what we’ve come to expect and loathe from this particular full back.
Alves alone was not enough to turn me away from the hosts – it was a Barca-to-be player who got special mention with respect to the Barcelona diving cheat award – Neymar.
I’m sure he has talent, is great on the ball, a pin up boy of Brazilian football yada yada yada, but to me he has the air of a young man who likes the look of himself too much and probably whiles away the long summer evenings gazing narcissistically at himself in the mirror.
The cherry on the cake of his Catalonian-ness was that horrendous dive when his jaw was brushed by one of the Azzurui and he flung his body into the contortions of a man who had been tazered.
Now before anyone pipes up with the “Well Pires dived to get a PK in season 2003-04 so that means no Arsenal fan can criticise anyone else subsequently for diving now or in history ever and forever more, amen!” – an argument that is older than Bruce Forsythe’s jock strap.
That would efffectivley mean no fan of ANY club could call out diving as every club has some who have dived, so that line of reasoning to me, like a chav with sketchy personal hygiene, just won’t wash.
For his histrionics and self-absorption I feel Neymar is a perfect fit for the Qatari boys.
Yes, you Catalans, this Neymar definitely has Barca DNA and Xavi can trumpet this fact far and wide.