So there have been some good matches, dramatic come backs and quite a few surprises. Yet, we are almost two weeks into the 2022 World Cup, the group games are over and I haven’t seen a match the entire way through. Oh I have sat through a few but fallen asleep every time.
They say that it is a World Cup to boycott. I can see why. I am uneasy about that. It is a World Cup being played in Advent. The first and I would suggest the last. Advent reminds us of God’s grace moving in among us - no boycotts! “God demonstrated his love for us in this, that while we are still sinners Christ died for us”. So, I am asking, are we better sinners, more politically correct sinners, than the Qataries?
However, it is not for those reasons that I am not seeing this World Cup. This World Cup lost, not matter who wins it, for more reasons than the venue.
Thirty years ago the World Cup was the biggest soccer thing. It was the big world one. It was the pinnacle. The peak for any footballer. The best teams at the best event. You fixed summer calendars around matches. Holidays were moved to let it fit.
Not anymore. In the last three decades everything has changed. In 2022 the English Premiership, the Champions League are all way above the World Cup in quality and competitiveness. The top clubs are a combination of the best players from every country in the world. So, Manchester City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Paris St Germain are now all better teams than the country who will win the World Cup, teams and certainly squads who have players that might never make the European elite.
As a result, the World Cup and the European Championships has become a lovely summer filler between club seasons.
I do not want to have the season broken up for World Cups. I am missing the Premier League. I would rather be watching West Ham and Newcastle on Sunday, than England and Senegal. Oh I know it helps to not have your team there but still.
And then there is missing the excitement of Fantasy League.
More than anyone else I am sure that Arsenal fans did not want this World Cup. They were on a roll and City were beginning to struggle a little. They could have been even more than five points clear by New Year. Now they have to get back to it after a break.
That will maybe be the most interesting thing about this World Cup. Not who wins it but those who might lose or gain by it afterwards. A season cut in half means there will be a second pre season. It will only last a few days. Teams will need to get their rhythm back, get up to speed. It’ll happen at different speeds across the different teams. It will make this a season of two halves. Surely that will have an impact.
Now, all I need is for City players to get knocked out quickly. There are more important things to win this year than a damaged World Cup!
The response to this blog was interesting. Mark thought Manchester United players were soaring - maybe they got something to play for at last! (Harsh)... Roberta says she loves the World Cup and the excitement is building. Maybe it's me and I am subconsciously there but not wanting to be. Naomi's was the best push back. Other countries leagues have to break for summer World Cups why not European teams for one. My white, entitled, prejudice slips through. Naomi you are right!