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Utterly mundane ramblings from a nobody with nothing important to say.
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27th-Jul-2014 11:37 pm - Life lesson #5
When pruning your standard flowering Peruvian violet, watch out for the horizontal branches growing at about nostril height - when ones of those rams up your nose, much blood results.

Yet another good reason never to go gardening.
20th-Jul-2014 11:08 pm - Life lesson #4
Never butter bread angry - it only leads to tears and piles of oily breadcrumbs 
As finals go, this was a damn good one. Too often these are tentative affairs where no-one is willing to take a risk so no-one does anything effective. Instead, both sides attacked for a good proportion of the time (Germany more than Argentina)  but both sides had strong and well organised defences that dealt with most attacks before they really got going - shots were 10/7 for Germany and 10/2 for Argentina.

It was concerning to see an obviously concussed Kramer sent back on, only to be taken off about 15 minutes later, visibly distressed and disoriented but then I suppose the stakes were high. It was good to see Messi regain some of his running form - ironically, he scored no goals in this game but I think this was probably the closest to peak performance that I have seen from him all tournament. I suspect that that, had Di Maria been playing, this would have been a very different game. Germany took advantage of every opportunity and when a slim one finally came, Goetze put home the only goal of the game in the 113th minute.

Suddenly it was done - Germany are World Champions and Argentina are runners-up. Probably a fitting result, considering the form of all the teams in the tournament with Germany scoring the most goals and Argentina conceding the fewest.
Luckily for Brazil, Netherlands weren't as clinical as Germany in their finishing or this could well have ended up 7-1 again. Sadly, Brazil's defence was still all at sea, even with Thiago Silva back but the Netherlands attack just wasn't as lethal as Germany's - mind you, at 17 minutes down, Brazil were already 2 goals down and it was looking like it could go the same way again. I had said earlier that I hoped the Netherlands didn't win any games off a Robben dive but to all intents and purposes, they did in this game. Not that it was the final goal but rather it was the first goal and it was so early (just the second minute) that it quite simply deflated Brazil. They became so nervous that it was going to be the semifinal all over again that almost everyone lost confidence in their own abilities.

It was similar in some ways to that game - David Luiz messed up time and again, both in defence (where he handed the second goal to the Netherlands after a terrible defensive blunder) and also in attack where all of his much vaunted free kick prowess simply evaporated. Also like the semifinal, one of the few Brazilian players who finished this game with any credit to his name was Oscar who ran and junked and twisted and crossed and shot  but all to no avail as the rest of the attack (Willian, Jo, Ramirez and Hulk, once substituted on) just slumbered on.

Robben did get booked for diving (finally!) but then it became every much a game of "Kick The Robben" as the Brazilians knew that he couldn't dive again and risk getting sent off but any time they did foul him, they could simply claim a dive. He did get a few more free kicks but he must have finished that game very sore - isn't karma a bastard, Arjen?

The game finished 0-3 to Netherlands so they finish third and Brazil finished fourth - but I imagine that the blood-letting wont stop for years in that Brazilian team!
12th-Jul-2014 10:41 pm - Life lesson #3
Right shoe for right foot, left shoe for left foot - no other combination works so well.
11th-Jul-2014 11:47 pm - World Cup pearls of wisdom
I realise that, in the heat of the moment, commentators say silly things but these two gems really stand out for me:

  1. After James Rodriguez' first goal vs Uruguay "That's a goal that you could pour over your strawberries on a warm summer night ...... *awkward pause* ..... uh, because it is the cream of the goals ..... uh, the cream. Anyway ..... " Even he knew he had gone a step too far!

  2. Five minutes before the end of the Brazil vs Germany semifinal "We've only five minutes to go and Brazil just need to get seven to take this game into extra time." There was a very long pause afterwards - again, even he had to figure that a statement like that was just ridiculous.

If yesterday was the pleasure, today was the pain. This was a dour, dull struggle between two water-tight defences that didn't shift an inch. Between both teams for the entire 120 minutes (because yes, this went to extra time, not to mention penalties), there were just 8 shots on target, almost none of which were serious chances. With all the attacking brilliance of Robben and Messi and Sneijder and Higuain and van Persie and, well you get the picture, it was a monotonous trail of easily repelled attacks from both sides.

When the penalties finally sorted it (2-4 to Argentina) I was relieved more than anything because this probably one of the dullest matches of the competition to date.

So, the final is Germany vs Argentina and the 3/4 play-off is Brazil vs Netherlands.
Shocked and stunned! Stunned and shocked! Who would have thought that Brazil would be utterly demolished by half-time and then toyed with to the point of humiliation in the second half? I thought that Brazil might have struggled a bit in attack without Neymar but I didn't imagine that Thiago Silva's loss would be the one that completely destroyed the coherence of the team.
Much waffle follows.Collapse )
8th-Jul-2014 11:51 pm - Life lesson #2
Take your name badge off before getting on the train.

Not only will the crazy-eyed, wild-haired guy talk to you on the train (because he does anyway) but now he knows your name (and your place of work). This gives him far more things "in common" with you to talk about. In addition, when you finally get to sit down (about six rows apart), he can continue talking to you at the top of his voice whilst, incidentally, looking in the opposite direction and using your name about every third word to make sure that you ARE REALLY LISTENING TO HIM!
7th-Jul-2014 09:48 pm - Life lesson #1
When making a Vegemite sandwich, put Vegemite in it - it helps.
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