Day three of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia has been and gone and I think we are still looking for the ball after that Peru penalty. Jeez, even Chris Waddle smirked.
Here are 6 things that I felt I needed to get off my chest following a bumper day of four matches. FOUR! What a treat.
#1 The footballs
Hang on, two footballs bursting in one match between France and Australia? Has anyone checked to see if Wayne Shaw placed a bet on that? If had paid what I presume must be close to fifty quid for one of the official World Cup footballs and it burst every time there was a 50/50 I would not be impressed, especially as I’d be playing some kind of Sunday park rubbish and not performing in front of 500 billion people, or whatever the official viewing figures are. I’m sure Adidas are wondering whether Nike have spiked them, and I don’t mean literally.
I’m impressed VAR has only become a talking point during day three. Let’s have a quick review, shall we? France’s penalty? Never was. How can you watch that and say it was a ‘clear and obvious error’? Fool. Australia’s one? All day long and Umtiti is a proper titi trying to bat that away with his hand. Argentina? Should have had two and maybe Messi might have actually scored the second one. Why didn’t they use the sodding system (not that I wanted Argentina to beat Iceland). Peru? That is why we have VAR, perfect. Well done, everyone. And please, can we all agree on what we call the sodding thing? V-A-R or VARRRR? Let’s at least get some consistency there even if there is no consistency in the decision making.
#3 Things that Mark Lawrenson hates
A list within a list. Lawro, who really should announce his retirement after this tournament, wasn’t a fan of the French right-back, Paul Pogba, VAR, life in general and his lead commentator. Come on Mark, at least pretend you like football.
#4 Lionel Messi and Argentina
Look, I don’t want to be another idiot sparking the whole Ronaldo vs Messi crap but there is one angle that does make look Ronaldo look the better player. Put Ronaldo with Portugal and Ronaldo still looks world class and makes things happen. Put Messi with Argentina, who arguably have better players around him than Portugal have around Ronaldo, and it’s not exactly the same. I’m not just talking about his penalty taking, he was very flat against Iceland. As someone far funnier than I said on Twitter, ‘best player on the planet? He can’t even beat a f**king supermarket team!’
#5 Battle of the kits and has anyone realised that Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler is the Peru manager?
Two countries that traditionally have the most beautiful football kits got together in match three yesterday and, to be fair, Peru had the nicer kit, played the nicer football and also own the fact that Ricardo Gareca looks like he is Liv’s dad. The problem is, Denmark won the game. If only Cueva had shown a crisper finish.
#6 Battle of the kits II or not as the case ended up being
Trust FIFA to be spoilsports. Croatia and Nigeria have two of the best first choice kits on show in Russia so FIFA decided that Nigeria had to wear their second choice strip. Apparently, a hazy green and white number clashes with Croatia’s red and white chequers. Bollocks, does it. England’s all white clashed at Wembley, this wouldn’t have. Anyway, the final game of the day was played in the Sinking Stadium of Kaliningrad, had John Obi Mikel playing as a ten for Nigeria and had Ally McCoist on co-comms. What wasn’t there to love?