One thing I love about the World Cup is the commercialisation of anything and everything. What a great excuse to buy a new plasma television, or have the fridge permanently stocked up with special World Cup meal deal beer and pizza. The strangest World Cup product I saw was a St George pregnancy testing kit – getting your kicks or not this summer? Then, stumbling in blind drunk on Friday night, I discovered a box of Mr Kipling “footy” bakewell tarts tucked away at the back of the cupboard. Would they have been there on a non-World Cup summer? I doubt it.
Cameroon 1-2 Denmark (Preotria)
While I was feasting on exceedingly good cakes over the weekend, Nicklas Bendtner was feeding on Dennis Rommedahl crosses, scoring an exceedingly good goal. It’s great to see one of Arsenal’s strikers are off the mark in this tournament since Charlie Vela and Robin van Persie and yet to break the duck. It was one of those classic hanging around the middle and getting a foot on a low driven cross type of goals. It brought around the Danish side’s first win and Super Nik also played a role in the winner.
With Arsenal, Bendtner still doesn’t quite look like the leader he appears for Denmark. For the national team he is their most high profile player and from the goals I’ve seen and his record to boot, Bendtner seems to thrive on being the main man. At just 22-years-old his international record speaks for itself, having netted for the under-16s, 17s, 19s and 21s, and then 12 goals in 34 games at the highest level.
As self-assured and secure in his own ability as the big Dane comes across, it still seems that behind the chewing gum, surfer’s hair and casual front, the boy inside him is in control. Bendtner needs to feel at Arsenal as I suspect he does when playing for his country. Slowly he’s getting there. He scored some important goals towards the back-end of last season but the most significant will have been against Barcelona in the Nou Camp.
Netherlands 1-0 Japan (Durban)
In the other games from the weekend, RVP was involved in another 1-0 will for the Oranje boys. He was at his usual energetic self, making excellent runs for Wesley Sneijder long balls and mostly causing problems around the edge of the Japan penalty area. Many people were tipping Arsenal’s man for the golden boot. Despite not getting off the mark RVP looks calm and happy in his role, so expect the goals to come in a flood.
Brazil 3-1 Ivory Coast (Johannesburg)
Flood of tears it was for Emmanuel Eboue, whose Ivory Coast team were handed a lesson in football by Dunga’s Brazil. Arsenal’s right back could be found mostly on the grass play-acting for free-kicks. Eboue managed to turn many supporters around, winning back their love with a handful of excellent attacking performances. For me, that was all ruined away to Spurs last year, when Eboue, along with others opted to look for cheap free-kicks instead of winning challenges. It was sad to see him at it again and the type of attitude Arsenal will need to drop next season.
Spain vs. Honduras kicks off shortly. Having a quick gander at the team-sheet shows Spain have made two changes. Surprise suprise, Cesc Fabregas isn’t one of them. I’ll be cheering on the Hondurans then, but also because I have fond memories of travelling through there on route to Nicaragua. Our dodgy bus driver had pulled over somewhere outside the capital Tegucigalpa. Waking up because we had stopped, I saw he and his buddy (who I’m sure was peddling drugs) were uncontrollably laughing at one stray horse trying his best to mount another. Can’t Cesc see the similarities in his situation with Barcelona? Probably neigh!