Its been a World Cup of dazzling highs, but there has also been disappointment felt along the way. What were the lowest moments of the tournament?
LV: For me the lowest moment of the tournament has to be the way England exited the competition. I did not expect them to win the tournament but I had hopes that they would at least manage to progress past the group stage and perhaps to the quarter finals. It was a shame that we didn’t build on the promising performance against Italy with a victory against Uruguay and sadly once again the teams defensive fragilities were all too clear to see. It makes me wonder that if a couple more experienced heads had been in that back four we could have gone further. Personally I think it was a mistake to leave out Ashley Cole and I am amazed Hodgson did not at least try and persuade John Terry out of international retirement. All in all it has left me rather disillusioned with the state of our national game when the likes of Algeria and Costa Rica are doing better than us.
AT : There are two lowest moments of the tournament in my opinion. The first would be England’s utterly disappointing campaign. Of course with the group we were in, it wouldn’t be easy but everyone expected more than one point. Although Hodgson’s side didn’t perform poorly as a whole, the defensive ability of the team did cost England. In addition to the defensive frailties, i think many people were slightly disillusioned to the fact that Rooney was started on the left wing against Italy. However, for many of the youngsters it could be seen as a learning curve and things could get better in the future! The second low point of the competition would have to be the Luis Suarez bite on Giorgio Chiellini. Once again, Suarez shocked the world and was rightfully banned for four months. A worry of course would be with youngsters picking up the game and hope they don’t do a “Suarez” and follow his poor example of being a professional footballer.
Who has been the standout player of the tournament for you?
RH: For me, I don’t think you can look too much further than Colombia’s James Rodriguez. It seems strange saying this about a man who remains the second most expensive player in Portuguese football history but what a revelation he has proved to be in Brazil. Chipping in with five goals in a talented, but far less experienced team at the highest level than your Argentinas or Brazils, is no mean feat.
LV: The player of the tournament so far has to be James Rodriguez. He entered the tournament as a up and coming prospect but has left no one in doubt of his talent by being the tournaments leading scorer so far with 5 goals more than Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar. His Colombian side have played wonderful football with Rodriguez at the centre of it all to set up a tasty quarter final clash with the hosts Brazil and there are bound to be lots of big clubs eyeing up a move for the Monaco hitman.
AT: The standout player of the tournament without a doubt has to be James Rodriguez. Considering Monaco spent a reported £39million on the Colombian, he went into the World Cup with a fairly small reputation. However, doesn’t he have a big one now. He lit up the tournament in many people’s eyes and fired the Columbians into the quarter-finals. With the six goals he scored, he will likely end up top scorer and could be in with a shout for goal of the tournament through his wonderful turn and volley against Uruguay. Real Madrid have already declared an interest in the attacking midfielder and Monaco could struggle to hold onto such a young talent.