Is this round of the World Cup just like the FA Cup?

I hope I am wrong this time. by Charles Veritie

Watching the last half hour of the Nigeria v Argentina game, made me think of the 3rd round of the FA Cup. The spotlight of the FA Cup 3rd round is on matches that have a big team facing a team that has fought to get to this round whereas the ‘biggies’ start at this round. The games over all the headlines focus on the small team that has beaten the big team. So it is in this round of the World Cup. Both competitions follow the same pattern of progress to the final.

One or two biggies come unstuck and the little’uns triumph. With this round of World Cup being a three game round, the big team loses to a small team but when the 3 games are over it’s usually the first match defeated big team that goes through. The small club is not able to keep its first game momentum.

In the FA Cup it’s a one match round of course, so the winning small team plays in the next round and the losing big team is out. It is rare that the small club reaches a semi final and as for the final, has there ever been a small club in the final from the lowest two leagues? I am not sure, I need to check, but some how I doubt it.

In the World Cup the last four can be picked from a short list of big teams.

For both cups the identity of the small teams is unpredictable at the opening round of the World Cup and 3rd round of the FA Cup. However in both cups we know that one of the big teams will prove to be the cup winner.

Why is it that the momentum of the first great victory of the small teams doesn’t push them on to the final?

I wrote this not knowing the results of games after the Nigerian game. So this World Cup could prove me wrong. I hope so.

Charles Veritie.


  1. Unai Emery says:

    Well the only thing I can say is , Let’s hope the big teams of the premier league also screw up like Germany and Argentina , and Arsenal become the surprised package to win the league….
    At least we should put in a great effort

  2. arie82 says:

    Watching germany nt is like watching arsenal in the last wenger era.
    Pasing to middle, passing to side, passing to back, to middle again, to side again, again and again.

    1. killamch89 says:

      lol read my comment below.

    2. gotanidea says:

      Argentina also did that in their first two games, then worked much harder in the last game

    3. Ken1945 says:

      arie82, the only difference is that Wenger’s team reached four finals in the last five years and won three of them.
      Easy to forget I know in the never ending criticism.
      First-time that Germany have not reached the world cup knockout stages since the 1930’s so they do know a thing or two about football.
      Not one German player can claim to have played to his potential, but just watch the media and some of our fans blame Ozil, simply because Wenger’ signed him and the board offered him a ridiculous new contract.
      Oh and of course, his body language is all wrong!!!
      Your comments on Ozils performance was correct and I saw his input in exactly the same way.

      1. De-Ra says:

        Geez Mr Ken, i get that you love Wenger and that he is one of our greatest managers but come on! Yes he won 3 fa cups and community shields along with reaching the capital one cup final. BUT WE ARE THE ARSENAL!! We should not be satisfied with just winning Fa cups ( dont get me wrong, its nice but that should not be our benchmark for success). Mr Ken may i ask your humble opinion on when last we challenged for the EPl title or Champs league? I use thee word challenge and not win.
        I do enjoy reading your posts tho as you make some good points and i completely disagree with any insults towards Wenger.
        One more question i have been itching to ask Mr Ken, do you feel that Wenger should have retained his job? Would love to read your opinion Mr Ken??

        1. Ken1945 says:

          Hi De-Ra thanks for reading my post and the comments plus the questions asked.
          With your patience I will also insert questions to some of your observations.
          I will answer each one honestly and they will be my personal views of course.
          1. Do I love Wenger? I respect the man for all he has achieved at our famous club. I also recognise his failures, especially his seemingly refusal to rectify the defence by transfer targets. Respect can only be earned and Wenger did that time and time again however.
          2. We are the Arsenal… but that doesn’t mean we can assume we have a right to anything.The fa cup wins were earned by the players and should not be dismissed as ‘just winning’. This is the oldest cup competition in the world and our club has won it SEVEN times under Wenger.But you clsssify as NICE!!! Ask Chelsea and their fans if it was’nice’.
          3. Benchmark of success…there are only three trophies that a premier league team can win each season as you know. Premier league, fa cup, league cup in that order.
          Every club should have these as their benchmarks. Not sure if you have ever been to the Emirates, but around the ground are shown the honours won by the club. That is my benchmark of success.
          4. Challenged for the EPL?… finishing in the top four was seen as a failure until we finished fifth/sixth and know it’s become the holy grail. Funny how expectations change to suit the argument. Overall not good enough.
          5. Challenged for the CL?… Until two years ago, we competed in this competition for 20 years in succession.
          We reached one final and two semis. Not good enough.
          Just a reminder, before Wenger, how many times did we compete in this competition?
          6. Insults to Wenger?… That is the reason I defend the man against the most ridiculous accusations against any manager.
          As examples, Wenger was only interested in making money for Kronky / Had favourite players ,/ Had unlimited transfer money to spend.
          Our new manager has already agreed new contracts for three of these favourites zElneny, Xhaka and Ramsey (to be signed). So how is that explained away?
          We now have only a reported £70,000,000 to spend, where has that missing money gone?
          Nobody wants to find that out as that would question the accusations made against Wenger.
          7. Finally, and this is the most important point to make in my opinion.
          It seemed you were either for or against Wenger. There were no in between stances to take on the site.
          The abuse was personal and abhorrent in the extreme, both towards the manager and those that had opposite views. I, as an individual, felt that I had to challenge this attitude and, in doing so, seemed to defend everything Wenger had done.
          I believe that Arsene should have resigned two years ago, but then we might not have had that fantastic win against Chelsea at Wembley!!
          It was time for him and Arsenal to move on to new challenges. I did say this on many occasions and firmly believe that the new regime under Emery will be successful. I hope he becomes THE most successful in the club’s history, beating Wenger’s impressive CV.
          Wenger is not untouchable, as has been pointed out on many occasions and which I agree with.
          I don’t argue with those points, but I will defend him when he is accused of running a one man club.
          De-Ra, hope I haven’t bored you and anyone else who bothers to read this, but you did ask and I hope I have answered you.

          1. Phil says:

            Ken-as a rabid Wenger Out (in case you were ever unsure) I along with countless others who participate on this site can only continue to admire your reasoning on all issues.I won’t elaborate further as there simply is no need to do so.

          2. Ken1945 says:

            Phil, not sure whether to take that as a compliment or not?
            The most frustrating part is I know that I’m not changing anyone’s views, but there you go!!
            OT What are your views on Ozils treatment at the world cup?
            I just hope he doesn’t return home absolutely devastated and shell shocked.
            His confidence must be shattered and I’m beginning to wonder if we will ever see the real player again?
            Now I’m not comparing the two players, but do you remember David Price from many years ago?
            Another was Jon Samuels, both destroyed by the fans and media.
            Can’t help thinking it’s going to happen again with Ozil!

          3. Phil says:

            Ken-firstly it was a well deserved compliment
            In regards Ozil-I just can’t but feel we will see a new revigorated player next season.I am honestly upset for him.I believe he really wants to excel at Arsenal and I’m sure he has been disappointed and frustrated with his indifferent form.But we now have the makings of a very decent team.He has top players like Aubamayang and Lacazette with him and their pace and movement will be in stark contrast to what he had with Germany.Its all set up for him at the Club but he needs the desire himself to make it happen for him and the team.

          4. Ozziegunner says:

            Ken, as someone who also has the utmost respect for the achievements of Arsene Wenger, as I also had for George Graham, Don Howe and Bertie Mee, I like Phil and jon fox have been wanting a new manager for some time. I always respect your opinion and your normal well reasoned post. I cannot agree more with your point 1 with regard to defense, firstly in the lack of emphasis and coaching, the failure to replace Gilberto Silva with a specialist DM and the final straw of not signing any additional outfield players in the Petr Cech transfer window.
            However, a new season is approaching with renewed optimism. I like Phil believe that we will see the best of Mezut Ozil with a new well coached disciplined defense behind him, midfielders like Torreira and Banega along side him and players like Lacazette, Aubameyang, Mhikataryan and possibly a new LW to service.

          5. De-Ra says:

            Mr Ken, thank you for your response. Apologies for the late reply, just got back from work and its early in the morning. To make things worse, this is the third time i am typing my response as my phone keeps reloading the page, hence i lost several texts. Yh annoying?.
            To keep things short, the major reason i wanted wenger out( as i was against him) was because of our lack of CHALLENGING for the league. For me there is a difference between challenging for the league and finishing in the the top four, and finishing in the top four without challenging for the league. I respect the Fa cup and i understand your opinion on the bench mark for success. The chelsea fans should be happy for the Fa cup win, but i know they would be happier with their Epl win, won not too long ago, and we were not close to challenging them for it!. We have no divine right to win the league, but at the very least we could be challenge for it. Tired of knowing come december we aint gonna win it.
            My expectations has not changed, but i must consider that our new manager needs time to impose his stlye on the players.
            The board has been hopeless, but with the new management system, ( wont elaborate on this as i feel that wenger had too much say in the overall management of players) i am willing to give them time to do their stuff, but if they continue in the manner they have done for several yrs then they should be the next set to be removed ( as i do know that wenger was not solely responsible for our troubles).
            I respect wenger and i am thankful for the memories, but it is Emery’s Emirates now?. Hopefully he surpasses our previous manager.?. All in all the club is still greater than manager.

            P.S i still feel that with the right players and coaching style, Ozil could still be very useful tk us.
            Cheers Mr Ken and it was fun reading your response?

          6. Ken1945 says:

            DeRa, Ozziegunner and Phil, isn’t it great to have a sensible debate, listening to views different to your own and respecting them?
            Also taking on board why others see it differently to you, sitting back, digesting and then having the satisfaction of being part of the gooner family.
            Long may it last and thanks!!!

  3. killamch89 says:

    LOL did Joachim Low borrow Wenger’s playbook for South Korea game? Before anyone here bashes Ozil he created the 2 clear-cut chances of the game and Gomez heads it right at the keeper and Hummels misjudges his header. He also put Goretzka through on goal and Goretzka/German Ramsey can’t make a proper pass to save his life. Toni Kroos kept giving the ball away and trying to recreate his Sweden winner all game long. Khedira/German Arteta looked like he was in slow-mo for much of the first half and was substituted. Kimmich kept crossing to imaginary German players behind the goal. Timo Werner/German Walcott was useless upfront as usual. Gomez/German Giroud slow and ineffective as usual.

    The Germany lineup :

    Werner(Absolutely useless as a lone striker)
    Reus Ozil Goretzka(played out of position/ineffective)
    Kroos(slow/ineffective) Khedira(Statue)
    Hector Hummels Sule Kimmich (Solid defending but Kimmich should practice his crossing).

    Wenger’s playbook:
    Sanchez Ozil Ramsey
    Xhaka Arteta
    Monreal Kos Per Bellerin

    That is what the German team reminded me of. The only problem I had with Ozil was he wasn’t really making any runs into the box but that was because he had to be dropping deep to do Kroos’ job which is to create from deep – just like at Arsenal when Ramsey vacates his position and Mkhi or Ozil has to drop deep to do his job. I’m pretty sure the media will blame Ozil as usual though. Did I forget to mention they subbed Muller onto the field but he did nothing so there’s that. Joachim carried a bunch of central midfielders and only two wingers in Reus and Brandt while leaving Leroy Sane – why does he remind me so much of Wenger?

    1. gotanidea says:

      So it would always be the striker’s fault for not converting Ozil’s “chances”?

      He has played with various forwards such as Podolski, Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez, Welbeck, Perez, Lacazette, Reus, Werner and Gomez. Apparently all of them are not good enough to play with the world class no 10 Ozil?

      I noticed that his motivation is getting worse since winning the World Cup, as he doesn’t seem to take the criticisms well. Reus and Draxler did not do much in the wings to help him as well

      1. killamch89 says:

        Ozil is doing his job as the creator but I feel he just needs to make more runs into the box but the teams that Joachim have put have been unbalanced. He keeps trying to shove Khedira somewhere even though he’d be more useful as a statue. Ozil’s motivation tends to drop when things aren’t going his way and the team starts to play badly. We have yet to see the best of Lacazette so I can’t judge him based on last season. Welbeck isn’t a footballer, Giroud needs 20m chances to score one, Perez hasn’t really been given a fair chance at Arsenal. Gomez is past his best, Werner keeps drifting onto the wings, Reus was dreadful, Alexis used to hog the ball and dribble into a million defenders, Walcott while slightly more clinical than Welbeck misses some absolute sitters. Podolski had lost his legs by 2014 so there wasn’t much we could about that. Ozil has his flaws but most of the criticism he gets is unreal – he gets criticized for things he isn’t supposed to be doing in the first place. Let me give you an example – the Athletico Madrid game – Ozil racked up 4 tackles – the most of anyone in central midfield. If you watched that game Ozil was basically in Ramsey’s position dropping to help tackle(I couldn’t believe it myself) and distribute the ball while Ramsey was beyond Lacazette and Wilshere was a pedestrian as usual. Until Mkhitaryan came on Ozil was the one bearing the brunt of the creative work. Everybody keeps harping on about Ramsey but what I keep asking them is who created most of Ramsey’s goals – Ozil did. Ramsey on a hold is a poor central midfielder. The only person I in recent years that performed the CM role to perfection was Santi(why did we have to lose him). Ozil is the one who is always assisting Ramsey and it should, in fact, be the opposite. Ozil is the best final 3rd creator in Europe yet he constantly has to be staying outside the 18-yard box because he has to drop deep to collect the ball to distribute it thus limiting his effectiveness. What should really happen is Ozil should be the one in the 18-yard box looking to give that final pass or shot. Most of Ozil’s goals came from Alexis and Santi Carzorla barely any of them came from Ramsey and that is an example of how poor Ramsey is as a CM.

        1. Phil says:

          Wow-did I enjoy reading that.Thank you

          1. Ken1945 says:

            Ditto to Phil’s comments killamch89.
            I am hoping that Emery sees it the same way as you do.
            The frustrating thing is, it’s not rocket science to build your team around a great visionary player.
            Once Emery has been given the chance to do just that, the world is our oyster in my opinion.

          2. Ozziegunner says:

            killamch89, a great assessment. Arsenal dodged a bullet with failure to sign Khedira.

        2. De-Ra says:

          Interesting read?

        3. hardave says:

          killamch89 – I disagree with you that Ozil is doing his job as a creator. His motivation level has dropped immensely. I used to be an Ozil supporter but recently I’ve been extremely disappointed with his performance. I never expected Ozil to defend n close down players because he used to be really good at his job which is creating. But since santi got injured Ozil ability to create has dropped a lot. I do agree with you that he comes to midfieldd too often to create by why does he do that? He should be as close as he can to the strikers. Maybe it was wengers fault for not making Ramsey stay at his position. I do hope Emery finds away to keep Ozil as high up the field by making our cm’s stay in their position. Maybe another idea would be moving Ozil to cm and put mkhitaryan as no 10 like how wenger did with santi. We all know Ozil has amazing ball retention skills just like santi and he’ll have more space and time in the middle. Whatever is it, we can’t deny the fact that Ozil has been ineffective for Arsenal and Germany in the past year or so. Denying that fact is just sugar-coating his performance. Having said that, I feel with a proper role designation for Ozil where he just concentrates on his sole god given ability to create will resurrect his motivation and performance.

      2. RSH says:

        the lengths some people go to defend Ozil is crazy. He’s average and people can only pull up stats to make him look good. Every time Ozil plays poorly in a big game there are people coming out the woods (always Arsenal fans, no even Real Madrid fans who saw Ozil at his best do this) and claim how everyone around Ozil is the problem with Ozil. “he shouldn’t have to defend, get a proper DM” “no world class wingers” “look! he has to play with Giroud!” It’s crazy. On his day Ozil is undoubtedly talented. ON HIS DAY which is not often enough. Sanchez has dragged us through entire seasons yet Ozil gets more highly rated. Crazy stuff. Remind me how world class Mesut looked against Atletico Madrid last season. Can’t even remember him creating one chance, yet there were still people defending his performances. This isn’t aimed at killamch89 btw, his comment I mostly agree with. And folks want to know why Ozil gets so much heat? He makes more than anyone at the club/ has horrific attitude and body language/ is not a big game player/ always starts no matter how poor he is. It’s not good enough. These are the exact players we need OUT of Arsenal.

        1. Phil says:

          Wow-I did not enjoy reading that.But to be fair the player divides opinions as much if not more than Walcott did.
          Nobody surely deny Ozil is on his day a quality footballer.We need Emery to get the performances out of him,the consistency out of him,the winning mentality out of him.
          As s self confessed Ozil fan it would be so easy to start ranting at some of the negative and derogatory comments the player receives but it is now up to the player to start producing on the pitch.With a new Coach and a Defence behind him plus the bonus of having a CDM in the side there will not be too many excuses.Bit this is a quality player we have on our books and trust me if he is sold the Clib will find it impossible (not to say expensive) to replace him

          1. @Phil
            Maybe we should consider shipping Ozil out. If we somehow find a buyer willing to take up his contract, we can sell him for £20M-30M and get his £55M in 3 year wages off the books. That is between £75M-85M to be saved from his departure. I see it now, we are better off selling him and reinvesting that money. I feel Ozil is not worth an £80M investment. He is marvelous on his day but his days are too few and too far in between. Add that to his languid, crocodile-like movement and unwillingness to challenge for a ball or engage in any physical battle, I can understand why 52% of us feel he is not world class. Maybe Emery can get the best out of him, I hope so, but I have my doubts. I think Ozil’s biggest downfall was that monstrous 350K contract they gave him, it implies he is superhuman and as such, the pressure on him to pay it back is immense.

          2. Phil says:

            QD-I find it difficult to argue no matter how much I love Ozil as a player.I really want him to perform this year and feel that with Emery as a new Coach he will be on notice as maybe not left to feel so comfortable.

        2. Kibali says:

          Ozil has never been average. There is some truth in the body language argument but to say he is average is a crime

    2. Unai Emery says:

      This comment is a 5/5

    3. dragunov762mm says:

      Germans overall played like running out gasoline, so they deserved the send off.
      It seemed that the jinx of defending champion was too much for them.
      Ozil? He was the best of the worst Germans troops last night. At less he assisted 2 golden chances to win the night. One for Goreztka and one for Hummels.
      Hummels himself should score a hattrick if he get his header right. Youngster like Goeztka and Werner seemed not yet good enough. And where’s Mueller? He’s the worst of all players involve.The German hero of three world cup played like a 40 years old veteran.The scoring boost of Germans were all gone wrong. So, why all blame belongs to Ozil?

  4. Mobella says:

    One thing is certain there will be a new champion. Could it be England? Well i won’t put it pass them because of their decisiveness. Others I’m looking at are Sweden, Croatia, Uruguay, I’m not to convince by Brazil, Spain, Argentina, etc because they it looks like they were playing like arsenal of yesterday and we all know how it turned out.

  5. Goonstar says:

    My take on Ozil keeps being confirmed season after season. I have never been a fan of his even going back to his Madrid times. Ozil has always been an overrated player that depended on other better players to make him look good. If those players don’t play well then Ozil never plays well, and if those players play well then Ozil will jump on the bandwagon and looks good. Now i see his Fan girls blaming the entire German National team for being average and making Ozil look bad. But whenever those individual German players stood up as individuals then all their hard work is downplayed and piled on Ozil being the catalyst. It is never Ozil’s fault when things go wrong but always Ozil’s genius when the same thing go well.. smh. Lol

    1. Mobella says:

      Can’t it be said that German team is not good enough instead of making it all about him. At least football is a team sport. Why blaming him alone for his team failings.

      1. gotanidea says:

        One thing is for sure, he is going to stay at Arsenal for a long time, after this World Cup mess

        Emery would have to use Wenger’s old 4-2-3-1 just to accommodate Ozil

        1. RSH says:

          Emery will dump Ozil by the end of the season. He took enough crap at PSG from those type of players. I know the papers can’t be trusted, but haven’t found a single one claiming Emery wants to build his team around Ozil at all. He’s expendable, but will unfortunately be riding bench and making crazy amounts of money. Next summer we’ll be shopping for a CAM.

        2. Mobella says:

          We all saw it but we let the lie we were told or an opinion that are not originally ours smear our judgement about a player who’s be best on the pitch today for his country. I have asked already, if body language is one of the skill sets a player need to be world class. Messi body language is not too different from that of Ozil yet Ozil get slated for his. He was called lazy time and time again and again and again stats showed he is not. Created 7 scoring chances, non scored by the attackers yet people are blaming him for the defeat and they call it having an opinion.

          1. Ozziegunner says:


      2. Goonstar says:

        @Mobella. I couldn’t care how other German players play, all I care about iate our players performances. Let the Madrid fans criticise Kroos, let the Dortmund fans criticise Reus, let the PSG fan criticise Draxler etc. I couldn’t give a monkeys about those players. All i care about is our so called world class superstar (Ozil)on £350,000 a week. My frustration you Ozil and his fan boys is that they hype him to the limit. But then when it comes to evaluating his performances then they lower the bar and start making excuse after excuse for him. Since Madrid got rid of him tye majority of our fanbase has lost their rationality when it comes to being objective towards him. They will blame each and every Arsenal player, Manager, board, winter break, media, the critical Arsenal fans etc. It is never his fault. It is someone’s fault etc.. it’s frustrating trying to reason with the Ozil fanbase..

        1. Mobella says:

          No body is hyping him. I for one don’t but the point I’m making is if you are Germany performance today solely him then you are not being factual. People can’t just keep bring up how much he earns to defend their argument when in he doesn’t give himself that money. People believing he is on 350k is a testament to how media control our thought without fact. Arsenal and him have not come out to say this how much his salary his and the club I support will never increase a player wages by 200,000 if he was on 150,000 before.

    2. arie82 says:

      Did y watching germany nt in this world cup, oziel is far from the worst players. In ranking, i say,
      Muller, doing nothing
      Khedira, slow as snail
      Boateng, slow and red card for nothing
      Draxler, a winger who cant run or dribble
      Werner, do8ng nothing
      Kimmich, cant defend and cant cross a ball
      Gomez, missing lot of goal chance
      Nuer, it should ter stegent who play, not this dissaster sweper gk
      Oziel, bring his arsenal performance to wc
      Kros, not bring his real madrid performance to wc

      1. gotanidea says:

        Yes, according to the stats, Ozil created seven chances against South Korea – all from open play; the most by any player in a single game at the 2018 World Cup so far

        But no goals to show for it

        After the fight over Wenger between AKB and AOB, now Ozil splitted Arsenal fans into two groups. Shall we call them OKB and OOB?

        1. killamch89 says:

          I qouted this same thing but it’s always Ozil’s fault. Kimmich couldn’t make a freaking cross all day but Ozil makes two crosses and they both created clear-cut goal chances.

          1. Ozziegunner says:


        2. hardave says:

          Hahahaha. I came up with this idea of two Ozil groups after the Atletico game. I suggested we name Ozil Out Batalion as the group that had enough of Ozil’s performance. Personally I’m an Ozil fan and I feel he has amazing abilities in creating. But since santi got injured his performance has dropped a lot. There could be many factors that influenced this such as players around him, he dropping too deep all the time, media pressure, fans pressure, his own personal problem and etc. But we can’t deny the fact his performance has dropped compared to previous years. I personally feel it’s time for Arsenal to get a really strong dm and put Ozil beside him. Let Ozil be a deep lying playmaker like how santi was for us. Santi wasn’t a huge player but he did wonders for us in that cm role because once he got the ball no one could take it away from him without fouling. Ozil has the same ball retention skills. If we don’t do that then I hope Emery gets a dm beside xhaka and puts ramsey on the bench. Xhaka usually stays in his cm position and Ozil can do his wonders upfield. Either way I’m confident Emery will get the best out of Ozil. Good thing Germany is out, Ozil can start pre season with the team and hopefully our playmaker can gel with Aubameyang and lacazette by the time season starts.

  6. gotanidea says:

    I only know that the Greek pulled off a Leicester City by winning the Euro 2004, but they played at their own turf at that time

    When was the last time an underdog like them won the World Cup? I have never heard such Cinderella story in World Cup, but I think England have a good chance to be that Cinderella this time

  7. Abu says:

    Now we are going to have a new champion. That’s good for a change. Fingers crossed for England. I hope they make it to the semis atleast.

  8. Taiwo says:

    England is doing just as well as Belgium… just me thinking loud.

  9. Sue says:

    So the Daily Star say we’re after Son!!!!

    1. Declan says:

      Yeah, at £65 mil!! ?

      1. Sue says:

        ? The Star is nearly as bad as the Metro!! They’re now claiming the Torreira deal may be off ?

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