Excerpts from today’s World Cup Podcast, with Adrian Clarke and Iain Spragg:
Adrian Clarke: Didn’t expect the Dutch to go through against Brazil. For me the Brazilians once the things started to turn against them, they did show a distinct lack of character.
Iain Spragg: They got tetchy. Dani Alves particularly even before sending off. I mean what got him, don’t know if you’ve seen was when Mark van Bommel was just a pain in the backside of Brazilian mid-field all afternoon. How he didn’t get send off, I don’t know. I mean there wasn’t one violent challenge but the number of fouls he committed in that midfield niggling, biting which I’m full of respect for because he unsettled the Brazilians. But for me van Bommel is Dutch man of the match.
A: Yes absolutely outstanding. He was excellent.
S: But van Bommel is like a rash. He was all over those Brazilians and they didn’t know what to do with it.
A: Cliche tennis one nil.
S: Ok, 15:0.
A: I mean the Dutch for me are worthy semi finalists but I don’t think they are playing that brilliantly still. Up front Van Persie, has he really been better then the likes of Fernando Torres and Rooney? I don’t think he has. I think he had a poor tournament.
S: He is not right. You look at Kaka, now they say he was only 85% fit I mean people have been asking why some of the supposed stars of the tournament fell to shine?
A: I think Bert van Marwijk should call in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar after this game. I think he is going to be hungry and he looked quite sharp when he has come on. Robben is going to get better again, I think he is the key in this one. And Sneijder has been effective.
S: But just briefly going back to van Persie point, what I was going to say. Because essentially this supposed stars of the tournament, none of them have been physically right. And they have been pushed. There was something wrong with Rooney physically and mentally. I’m still waiting with baited breath for this first big interview with Rooney. Something has happened. And it’s not clear cut. And you know van Persie he is just not up to physically at the moment and he can’t get himself going.
A: I think they should drop him, I really do. And I think they will have a great chance. I think they will go through. Looking ahead at that game, what do you think will happen when these 2 sides go head to head? Tactically what kind of a match can we expect?
S: Is Lugano back for Uruguay?
A: Lugano is very doubtful at the moment.
S: Well that’s massive loss to them because they didn’t look too shaky without him in the quarter final. But for a game of that magnitude, you’d think they need him back.
A: Well their success was built on the likes of Lugano and Godin at the back, Fucile in the left back. Potentially all 3 of these are going to be out, Fucile is suspended, Lugano is very doubtful, Godin is coming back from an injury. But I’m sure he is being rushed back from injury. So I think that the strength of their team is there and that’s really weakened. And of course Suarez is going to be missing up front.
S: Yes, let’s talk about Suarez aside from his little misdemeanour. He was superb for Uruguay, fantastic, tireless energy.
A: He is a pest, isn’t he?
S: Yes but with a lot of skill. So you put that pest like Dickov quality with pulling the strings as well and at the goal front without that they are going to be nowhere near as dangerous.
A: Forlan is still there.
S: But Forlan was playing with Suarez. He could find him, he could pick him out, but if he hasn’t got that kind of target, if he hasn’t got that kind of relationship with whoever comes in for Suarez Forlan’s effectiveness has been reduced.
A: You’ve got love Sebastian Abreu. Bad barnet aside, shocking barnet overly tall guy…
S: He is as mad as a box of frogs.
A: I mean that penalty kick, you’ve got admire it really.
S: I quite enjoyed his post-match interview when somebody said do you feel that penalty was foolish or potentially foolish? He goes Zidane does it you call it a genius, I do it you call me a monkey. He wasn’t budging at all, you’ve got to respect that. It was fantastic penalty.
You can listen to this episode below: [audio:wcpod_july5.mp3] Download link (mp3, 17mb, 18 mins)
Make sure you send in your feedback and questions through [email protected] and Clarke and Spragg will feature the best on the next episode.
Also see: Uruguay vs Netherlands Semifinal Preview.
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