AND then there were four. No, not people left who can still put up with 120 minutes of Tyldo and Townsend plus a penalty shootout – but teams, writes Steve Bone.
Just Brazil, Germany, Argentina and the Netherlands. So a couple of teams I wouldn’t mind seeing win the thing, plus Germany and Argentina.
Now, following the quarter-finals, I have a grave confession. I am not admitting this lightly and need to know you’ll all support me in trying to live through this. Here goes...
Mark Lawrenson is now my favourite co-commentator. I know he shouldn’t be, and I know he knows less about football than most of the others, plus many people who aren’t co-commentators. But I now find myself switching matches on hoping he’s sitting alongside the commentator.
It’s the unpredictability I like. What will he say next? Will he mean it? Will he be sacked for saying it?
I missed whatever it was he said suggesting a striker should be wearing a skirt for a poor effort at goal, but I was there for his claim that the authorities have devised an orange version of the 10-yard spray to use when pitches have a covering of snow on them.
Jonathan Pearce didn’t know whether to believe him – which is about the default position of the viewer for most of Lawro’s time in the gantry.
In the Germany-France game, Lawro reacted to an Andre Schurrle miss by saying ‘Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring.’
Don’t mention Dad’s Army. Lawro mentioned it once but I think he got away with it.
Over at ITV, Adrian and chums have bowed to pressure from this very column and replaced their shorts with long trousers for the programme intros which they do from their picnic-table-on-the-decking-by-the-beach.
I like the idea of football shows being hosted from beaches near stadiums, and propose that Gary Lineker and panel follow suit for MotD at Sunderland in November. Gets a bit ‘fresh’ on the coast up there, I recall.
Clive Tyldesley continues to tell us stuff we already know, such as this line during a German match: “...and it goes to Kramer, who’s certainly got legs.”
Something else that’s certainly got legs was the giant grasshopper that landed on James Rodriguez in Colombia’s loss to Brazil.
Sadly ITV missed their chance to make Glenn Hoddle redundant with immediate effect and replace him with Sir David Attenborough.
Mr Chiles was getting mixed up about the age of his pundits. He suggested Fabio Cannavaro watched the famous Brazil-Italy game in 1982 as a ‘bambino’ in his high chair. Fabio revealed he was nine at the time.
But the last word goes to the Dutch, who have produced one of the most unexpected twists of the tournament.
Bringing on a new goalie for pens? No, composing a national anthem that sounds like The 12 Days of Christmas! Give it a listen.