I may have further thoughts much later on, but let’s go by what I feel at the moment. First and foremost, I was wrong. I predicted the Orange team would win it and they didn’t. To be fair, they did not not deserve to win it. Spain at least endeavoured to play football rather than stop their opponents by fair means and foul. All congratulations go to Spain for their success. If you’d asked anyone who loves their football who are the purest exponents of the game few would say anything other than the Spanish, so for them to add the World Cup to the Euro Championships is a great honour and a deserved feat.
Although the tournament didn’t see a single player emerge to dominate it or for any of the expected names to shine, I felt this was an alright tournament. I think it slightly edged 2006, possibly as good as 2002 or a bit better, it would be hard to top 1998, but it was better that 1994 and 1990. Impressed by the German performances throughout. Loved watching Brazil and Argentina dismantle sides. There were teams that were not expected to do well that surprised everyone – hey New Zealand went home unbeaten, not even the Champions have that claim. Sure it took some games to pick up, but when the team performances started rolling in that was good. Spain actually won the tournament without needing to play at their best. I’d argue they played better in Euro ’08 than here, but that didn’t matter and Villa had a tournament to remember.
Usually after a World Cup some names are linked to moves to the Premier League, but as ever it would not be as straightforward to pick a star like Honda, for example, and expect him to settle in the Premier League. It’s the reason why England won’t win a major tournament – their football and mentality doesn’t lend itself to that end. Nevertheless it will be intriguing to see how they learn from their lessons in the next qualifying round of games.
So that was the World Cup that was and now we get cracking with all the necessary transfers for the season start in less than a month. Good stuff, cannot wait.