EU news is as depressing as it could possibly be. Let’s watch football.
I always regret the World Cup group stage once it’s over. It’s the bit that actually expresses the whole “worldwide festival of football” element, before the knockout phase starts to home in on the ever narrower pinnacle of a mountain of failure.
This year I managed to watch all the England games, Spain-Netherlands, Germany-Portugal, Uruguay-Costa Rica, Brazil-Mexico, France-Honduras, France-Switzerland, Germany-Ghana, Colombia-Greece, and I apparently fell asleep watching Australia-Chile. So I guess I worked on that.
What stuck out? Goals. Lots of goals. Direct play is back. So is just a bit of the rough stuff. It’s not as if it hasn’t been technical, though. England were totally weird. And have there been upsets. It’s probably been more fun so far than any World Cup I remember, with the possible rival of 1998 when people claimed I looked like my exact contemporary Michael Owen. But let’s stick to the footy.
This piece is really meant to be just here to open a World Cup thread, so I’ll stop.