The best of this 2018 World Cup is definitely this wonderful Neymar Alphabet typeface. Some Brazilian went creative and made this and it’s just too funny (and smart).
I didn’t like this World Cup much, to be honest. Sure, partly due to Oranje not being there. And we lost in the qualifications against the eventual World Cup winners. Nice excuse. But we wouldn’t have done so badly in Russia, I don’t think. The only team to really impress from day 1 to the end was Croatia for me.
And yes, Modric does look like Cruyff. And like Cruyff in 1974, Modric didn’t win the World Cup but he will be remembered mostly, like our Johan was back then.
Please challenge my opinion below if you must. Belgium was hot and cold. Lukaku was good in the group stages but wasteful in the knock out stages. Mertens, invisible. Dembele sadly unused.
It’s fun to make fun of Neymar, but truth be told: he clearly wasn’t 100% fit to play
France played negative football. You had the most impressive players (Lacazet, Audambayang, Rabiot weren’t needed for instance, Payet wasn’t missed) paired with a defensive, fearful coach. MBappe’s speed was sacred and France got some help from te VAR here and there too. Won’t go into the history books as a great winner (like the 1998 French team). Their striker Giroud had no shots on goal in 500+ minutes of football. The Dutch satire newspaper De Speld even broke the news Giroud actually missed three hi-fives after winning the World Cup….
The rest? England? Clueless with the ball. Russia. Nice, fun, underdogs, like Wales and Iceland at the Euros2016 but quality? Not really? Spain, Argentina, Germany, Portugal, woeful really.
VAR ref Danny Makkelie
And then the VAR! Messy to say the least. Lack of consistency, lack of clarity. Who takes the decision at the end? The ref or the VAR ref? When is hands hands? Why can two players pull a Serbia striker down to the ground? Why can Sweden’s Berg be tackled from behind in the box? Too many question marks.
So, no Mr Infantino. It was not a great World Cup.
Yes, the tv coverage was great. The stadiums were full. The vibe in Russia appeared to be awesome. But the quality of the football was below par.
Back to the season prep for the national competitions then.
I won’t go into all the different transfer news items, as it’s an ongoing thing and I don’t post enough to keep track and all of you abreast of the situation.
But there are some nice things to share:
Ajax is bringing some top quality to the Eredivisie! Dujan Tadic, Daley Blind… Nice one. Labyad from FC Utrecht is coming in. Per Schuurs is in Amsterdam. And Ziyech hasn’t left yet. Yowza!
But Frenkie de Jong’s transfer to Barcelona is an ongoing topic in the Spanish papers, while Mathijs de Ligt might also still be lured away, now he’s with super agent Raiola.
Feyenoord is losing some key players. Karim El Ahmadi is gifted a free transfer to Saudi Arabia, but it seems Sven van Beek is on his way to Cocu’s Fenerbahce. Sadly, only for 5,5 mio euros, for some reason. Unbelievable really. De Ligt is worth 50 mio apparently? But Van Beek only 1/10th of that?
But Feyenoord is planning to have Jordy Clasie come back, on loan from Southampton and is hoping to get Leroy Fer back as well.
PSV is still scoping on a new midfielder, now Marco van Ginkel is out with a heavy knee injury again and back in London. Mark van Bommel is the real big signing for PSV of course.
It’s good for the Eredivisie to have some European top players return. A stronger competition is good for everyone.