FIFA World Cup 2014


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  • 2 weeks later...

France gets in via Playoffs and is one of the few easy groups :/ The World Cup isn't becoming a joke, it already is.

Oh?  Tell that to Spain and England (both already gone) and even Portugal (which is far from safe) - a mere draw in USA-Germany could send Portugal to the airport.


Trends we have seen in this World Cup include "The Rise of CONCACAAF" - It is CONCACAAF, not UEFA, that makes up most of the remaining favorites for the knockout stage.  The CONCACAAF qualifiers this year were easily the most grueling in CONCACAAF's history - and may actually have been harsher than the Euros (UEFA's qualifiers).  Also, unlike the Euros, it appears that all of CONCACAAF benefitted from the grueling nature of the qualifiers - even both perennial CONCACAAF king Mexico, as well as until-recently CONCACAAF doormats USA.  There are NO "safe havens" for friendlies anywhere in CONCACAAF (except MAYBE Canada) any more.


Africa is STILL tough - despite small populations, the African nations are still nasty opposition - ask the Germans.  The surprising USA side had to go through Ghana (which had been rather successful door-stoppers the past two trips) - and did (while the Germans, who shut out Portugal, were unable to do the same to Ghana).  Ghana's rep is deserved - and - like it or not - so is the American rep.


Pride Goeth Before A Fall - Look at who has been shown the door already, AND who is facing a monstrously uncertain path to merely the knockout stage.  No defending champion, the second place side (Germany) may not even win their group (that is doubtless the REAL horror story coming out of G for UEFA fans - the United States actually could WIN G by merely beating Germany - another historic first in a World Cup full of them).  Look at the remainder of France's group - E - France had a laugher of a Group compared to G.  The question begs - could France have beaten even the two worst teams in G?  Groups F and H have pretty evil reputations themselves - overlooking either Nigeria or Algeria could have you on a plane home quickly. 


Have a pillow - in fact, have several.  The knockout stage this World Cup will doubtless be a nailbiter from beginning to end.

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