Column: World Cup heaven and hell

World Cup heaven and hell
World Cup heaven and hell
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World Cup heaven with Derek Bish...

Deadlines — the scourge of many a journalist over the years.

Having had to write this column before last night’s match against Uruguay, I’ve decided it’s best to write two columns — one in the event of a win and one in the event of a draw or defeat.

In victory...

It was great to see such a passionate, vibrant attacking team take it to Uruguay last night and batter them the way we should have Italy in the opening 20 minutes on Saturday.

We took that excellent performance in defeat to the Italians and took it to another level, with Daniel Sturridge showing what a great striker he’s become and Raheem

Sterling continue to be the most dynamic, talented attacking force we’ve seen since Gazza.

Bringing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on in the second half was inspired and he deserves to start the next match after setting up Wayne Rooney’s first World Cup goal (hey, we can but hope!)

Among the hysteria should be caution though — we still have to beat Costa Rica and we must remember this young team are at the start of the cycle, but there will be no stopping us in Russia in 2018.

In defeat...

Yep, as we thought, Uruguay aren’t actually as bad as Arsenal Reserves’ reserve-team striker made them look at the weekend.

Rooney went missing again, Sturridge was shackled by Godin and the South Americans really did a number on Sterling.

Damn that Luis Suarez too.

Like Balotelli, he made our defence look like chumps (even Lugano scored), but at least there was heart, passion and determination.

Isn’t that all we asked when they flew out?

**World Cup Hell with John Henderson

When the World Cup authorities choose locations, they really should think about shopping.

What were they thinking when they chose Brazil?

I’m not suggesting the shops in Rio are too unfashionable to interest the wives and girlfriends.

I’m sure you can buy Gucci luggage there — as long as you don’t mind flaunting your obscene wealth in front of the slum dwellers.

It’s just that if you have no interest in sport, the one thing major sporting events grant you is a chance to shop peacefully.

What usually happens is I say to check-out staff : “It’s quiet in here for a Saturday.”

I get a look that suggests I must have just landed from Alpha Centuri and they say: “It’s the cup final.”

I’ve learned not to ask what cup or they start looking for the nearest security person.

But what happened last weekend?

On Friday evening, Bury Waitrose was packed like people were panic buying because Monday might be a bank holiday. (Don’t they know we have Sunday opening?)

I thought they might be stocking up to avoid missing England’s first game, but on Saturday the shops were just as busy.

It was only when I looked at the TV schedules that I realised these games are kicking off at 11pm our time.

What’s the point of that? Everywhere that doesn’t involve binge drinking is quiet by 11pm.

So, I have to put up with football everywhere for six weeks and don’t even get to go round the shops in peace.

Maybe the supermarkets offered each key FIFA decision maker a card full of loyalty points to encourage match times that would ensure fans had plenty of shopping time.