Germany Germany Germany – perennial gate-crashers in the latter stages of international competitions but it may surprise you to know that they have not won a senior World or European Championship for 18 years (1996 Euro’s the last time – brings back bad memories for me). Joachim Loew, who has been in charge since after the 2006 World Cup (previously assistant under Jürgen Klinsmann) is under pressure to go that extra yard and make the Germans a champion team once again. Good luck with that one ‘Jogi’ as despite three semi-finals (one as assistant) and one final in his time with the national team – Germany expects winners and Brazil 2014 could be his last opportunity.
On the referees and their assistants – I have to say after the first three games where the officiating had been pretty poor (especially the JOKE ref for Brazil Croatia – name Yuichi Nishimura from Japan – I wonder if he has gone home yet) the officials have improved significantly as the competition has gone on, though the assistants are still making the odd error – which is not making the refs job any easier. Yes some players do not help by basically cheating (though people will say it is ‘gaining the advantage’) but blatant and obvious mistakes have to be cut out. Let us hope the improvements continue – (touching a lot of wood), we want games decided by the football not an officiating error – take note #whatacuneyt!!!!!!! – he has been given the Brazil v Mexico game so I’m a tad worried.
And finally…….I have a theory about why this World Cup has been so exhilarating compared to the last one and it simple – THE FOOTBALL. In 2010 we were cursed with the Jabulani a joke ball that was too lightweight and received criticism from all areas within the game. It even took teams a few games to get used to the ball and due to the difficulty of controlling it sides set up to defend rather than be positive. So a big up to the ‘Brazuca’ who’d have thought a decent football means a decent tournament – it ain’t rocket science is it!!!!!!!
Germany 1 Portugal 1
Iran 2 Nigeria 1
Ghana 1 USA 2
Let me know what you think – you can also tweet me @biggishmouth or go to my facebook page at www.facebook.com/thebiggishmouth