The signings of Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers seem to have strengthened a backline that was in need of numbers. However, question marks remain over the left-back area and whether Kieran Gibbs can stay fit, while Nacho Monreal has so far failed to convince he's capable of filling in when required.
In the midfield and up front, the Arsenal squad is arguably stronger than last season with the signing of £30m Alexis Sanchez providing the star quality that Arsenal fans crave. Costa Rican World Cup star Joel Campbell has returned and if he can continue his World Cup form then Arsenal have struck gold. However, there is a doubt over whether Yaya Sanogo provides adequate back up should anything happen to Olivier Giroud.
Keeping Aaron Ramsay fit would be a step in the right direction as he has the potential to be Arsenal’s star man for years to come. Jack Wilshere also needs to stay fit in order to fulfil his undoubted quality. Another centre-back would be a welcome addition to the Arsenal squad but another position that Arsenal have also strengthened is the goalkeeper department where Colombian David Ospina should provide significant competition to Szczęsny.
Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona, £30m), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle, £12m)
Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona, £15m)
Villa have not been as active in the transfer market as they should have been this summer while the on-going sale of the club by current owner Randy Lerner has been nothing short of a complete disaster for both parties. The signings of Philippe Senderos, Joe Cole, Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho (two on free transfers) have done little to impress the Villa faithful.
The appointment of Roy Keane as assistant manager should provide some much needed experience and winning mentality to a young squad while doing little to cover Paul Lambert’s obvious tactical and strategical failings. He may have to become a marvel in the loan transfer market if he’s to provide much needed strength and in-depth.
While bringing players back in from the cold such as N’Zogbia and Darren Bent, Lambert has a tough job this season and it remains to be seen if he can stop a slide that has been carrying on for around four seasons.
Securing Ron Vlaar and Brad Guzan to new long-term contracts would go a long way to helping Villa’s cause this season. Getting Christian Benteke back would provide a huge lift but as he’s not due back till November, Lambert must provide Bent with a much-needed injection of confidence to provide the goals Villa desperately require.
If Joe Cole can remain fit for any length of time then he could provide a certain creative element that the Villa squad lacks. However, his injury record is less than impressive.
Marc Albrighton (free, Leicester City)
Pre-season couldn’t have gone any better for Burnley and their likeable manager Sean Dyche. In Danny Ings and Sam Vokes, they have two strikers who have proved themselves capable of scoring goals while they have also strengthened their striking options in the form of Marvin Sordell from Bolton and Lukas Jutkiewicz from Middlesbrough.
However, there is a question in quality of replacements. While signing Matthew Taylor and Steven Reid from West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion respectively provide experience and much needed Premier League know-how, their ability to drag the squad to a level where they’re in a position to consolidate their place in the Premier League remains to be seen.
Dyche is looking for more players and before the transfer window closes on September 1st, there should be more arrivals at Turf Moor but will they be the right ones?
Steven Reid (free, West Bromwich Albion), Lukas Jutkiewicz (undisclosed, Middlesbrough), Marvin Sordell (undisclosed, Bolton Wanderers)
Chris Baird (free, West Bromwich Albion)
Fan’s View: Tony Scholes @clarets_mad
How do you see the season panning out for Burnley?
It will be tough but I think we will surprise a few people during the season and give ourselves a chance of staying up.
Is it good to see Burnley back in the Premier League?
You want your team to be the best it can be and that means getting to as higher league as possible. Yes, good to be back.
Who would you tip as one to watch in your squad?
Marvin Sordell. He has had a difficult time at Bolton but I just have a feeling, given the opportunity, he might come good.
Chelsea have conducted their summer transfer business relatively quietly, quickly and efficiently. Jose Mourinho has strengthened area of his squad that last season, he viewed as suspect while also acquiring huge sums of cash for players who were no longer needed.
Cesc Fabregas should provide a suitable replacement for the now departed Frank Lampard who will join Manchester City on loan till January 2015 before his move to the newly formed MLS franchise New York City FC. The signings of Diego Costa and Filipe Luis also provide welcome quality and strength in key areas as well as the returning Didier Drogba providing something a little different.
However, the squad is still a little light up front and the form of Fernando Torres remains a worry. It is possible that the weight of expectation on Diego Costa could prove too much.
Cesc Fabregas (£27m, Barcelona), Diego Costa (£32m, Atlético Madrid), Filipe Luis (15.8m, Atlético Madrid)
Frank Lampard (free, New York City FC), David Luiz (£50m, PSG), Samuel Eto’o (Released), Ashley Cole (free, Roma), Demba Ba (£4.7m, Besiktas), Romelu Lukaku (£28m, Everton)
With the start of the Premier League just around the corner, we've created a quiz to challenge your PL knowledge. Only the hardcore will score 15/15 on the Guts PL quiz. And if you're a hadcore sports better, you should definitely check out this Guts bonus sports!
As part of our Football XI series, we’re creating numerous football XI’s based on different scenarios, this week it’s a casino XI. This casino XI is made up of all-time players, some still within the game of football, some not. It is however a world-class game XI regardless!
FORMATION – 4-4-1-1
GOALKEEPER – Costel Pontoonamon
Not the obvious choice as he was rarely used by Manchester City and made only 29 appearances in 3 years, mostly in the cup competitions. A free transfer to Sunderland beckoned at the end of the 2013/14 season and the journey continues in trying to reach his 21.
RIGHT-BACK – Baccarat Sagna
A good choice if you’re after an athletic, pacy option in the right full-back area. Was virtually first choice in each of his 7 seasons at Arsenal and came back stoutly from a leg break and is now ready to continue drawing that third card.
CENTRE-BACK – Nigel Reo-Poker
Nigel was a solid player for mid-table clubs such as West Ham, Aston Villa and Bolton. Now plying his trade in Canada for Vancouver Whitecaps, Nigel’s ever on the game as he looks to poker-face his opponents once more.
CENTRE-BACK – Solitaire Campbell
Was once a leading centre-half for Tottenham, Arsenal and England. Now retired, he has made a serious of bizarre interviews but he once played the patience game very well.
LEFT-BACK – Wayne Bridge
What? Yeah Bridge was the surname of a footballer, once. A perennially injured one at that but less said about that the better. I’m willing to bet he wished he’d tried a few more tricks to stay uninjured too.
RIGHT-MIDFIELD – Aaron Rummysay
He came to the fore last season for Arsenal before getting injured and he was their top goalscorer at one point. Chipped in with an impressive 16 goals too.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD – Stuart Hold’em
Stuart was once an upcoming midfielder but a cruel injury robbed him of progression but he did come back briefly. However, he now is not contributing to the Hold’em pot again.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD – BlackJack Wilshere
The object is to beat the dealer and that is what Wilshere strives to do. He’s a risk taker, and he lives for that. A very good midfielder when not injured, Wilshere looks to complete his objectives as quickly as possible and that is what has earned him the name BlackJack.
LEFT-MIDFIELD – David Ginola
Always looking to score more than his opponent, Ginola was your typical French footballer. Graceful, pacy and had packed a powerful punch. He looked to play his cards close to his chest at all times.
SECOND-STRIKER – Andres Incanasta
The player to dealers left has first go and that is what Andres was all about, the left, as he made that position his own for Barcelona down the years. He always looked to draw the right card and left his opponent at the bottom of the pile.
Arsenal and Manchester City have almost been victims of their own players’ success this pre-season. With Arsenal’s World Cup winning Germans returning to club training on 11 August and confirmed to play no part in the first round of Premier League fixtures, the Gunners have been missing a large part of their spine in Mertesacker, Ozil and Podolski. Count in late returns for the rest of the World Cup contingent and it has been a fractured squad which Arsene Wenger has had to work with this summer.
Manchester City have suffered similar problems, with the Argentinian finalists, Aguero, Zabaleta, and Demichelis, only returning to training on Monday 04 August. Club captain Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho also returned on the 4th, meaning that at least five of last season’s starting XI have yet to kick a ball in anger. David Silva, meanwhile played just 45 minutes on the club’s American tour.
It will be essential for both sides to give minutes to players who are lacking sharpness before the Premier League begins. Although uncommon, it would not be at all surprising for both managers to make use of the full six substitutions available to them in this game.
The goals could easily flow, as both teams search for both attacking and defensive sharpness. Stevan Jovetic has been the standout performer for the champions season and could be the key man to unlocking the Arsenal backline.
Arsenal: Worjciech Szczesny; Mathieu Debuchy, Callum Chambers, Laurent Koscielny, Keiran Gibbs; Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsay, Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez; Olivier Giroud
MCFC: Joe Hart; Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic, Aleksandar Kolarov; Fernando Reges, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Jesus Navas; Stevan Jovetic, Edin Dzeko
To celebrate the this season's Premier League curtain-raiser we have put together the ultimate Community Shield quiz!
Check out the latest Community Shield odds.
National Rugby League Assemble!
Australia's NRL have confirmed that five of their clubs will be wearing specially designed jerseys designed Marvel and ISC. The kits will be worn in round 21 of the NRL and are available to buy in the NRL shop. This is pretty amazing. Almost like our Guts sports promotion. Get ready!
Dragons: Iron Man
Roosters: Captain America
Sea Eagles: Wolverine
Of course, this isn't the first time that Marvel and sports have crossed over - who can forget Atletico Madrid's Spider-Man 2 away kit?
After England’s defeat at the group stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the first time the team has left the World Cup at the group stage in 56 years, the nations pride and optimism has taken a severe knock.
In order to gage the feelings of the general public towards England’s hopes at the Euro 2016, we have asked 1,200 people in Britain how far they think England will progress in the upcoming 2016 UEFA European Championship.
The survey reveals that the British publics views for England’s team are decidedly pessimistic.
The general consensus (33.4%) think that England will make it through to the group stages, but no further. This is closely followed by 30.1% of respondents who think that that England won’t even qualify.
The remaining stats are equally as negative. 18.1% of Brits think that the team will make it to the quarterfinals, 5.4% think that they will get through to the semi finals, and a meager 13% of respondents believe that they will make it all the through to the final.
2016 will mark the 15th UEFA European Championship. Euro 2016 will be held in France between June 10th and July 10th, after beating Italy and Turkey for the right to host the finals.
Rather than the traditional 16-team format, Euro 2016 will now consist of 24 teams. France automatically have a place in the tournament due to their position as hosts, however the remaining 53 teams will have to compete for a place between this September and November 2015.
The main tournament will consist of a group stage where six groups of four teams compete. This will then be followed by a knockout stage including three rounds and the final.
Despite the nations cynical predictions, we are still rooting for England!
Well it was quite a special tournament wasn’t it? It had everything going for it, Brazil, weather, iconic scenes and historic stadia as well as new, plush stadia waiting for the paying public to set foot and make history.
The Brazilians sure know how to put on a show that is without doubt. The atmosphere within the grounds for the majority of the matches was simply staggering. It was so loud on occasion that the TV commentators of the BBC and ITV nearly lost their voices trying to inform us of what was going on down at pitch-level.
Furthermore, not only did the tournament produce off the pitch, it also produced on it. There were 171 goals throughout the tournament, matching the best ever amount achieved in France 1998, there was also the most scorers in a World Cup tournament with 121 and there was also a lot of bad defending!
We saw a number of high quality goals too. Some were outstanding for their simplicity, some were technically outstanding, some were individually outstanding and others were outstanding from a team point of view.
Of course there was also controversy, something that brings out the debaters in everyday Joe Bloggs. As usual, referees and officials made the World Cup a somewhat debatable topic and of course there was BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce who refused to believe that he was wrong and he was stirring a subject that didn’t need to be stirred with regards to goal-line technology.
Overall, Brazil 2014 can be considered a tournament that will live long in the memory, certainly for Germany and certainly for Brazil only for the trouncing they received at the hands of the Germans in the semi-final. There is a lot to be proud of as far as the Brazil tournament goes as in 2010 in South Africa there was a fear that this is what football would become – a lifeless, win-at-all-costs spectacle that would never again produce the goods in terms of entertainment and goals again.
However, it was as if a mentality shift had occurred within teams (apart from Greece!) and they had decided that defending what they had wasn’t enough; they had to win by scoring more goals than their opponents. It was a refreshing sight to see and it made for a spectacle that will live long in the memory of everyone who witnessed it.
We thought we’d go for something a bit different with this one, as we want you to make to make the choice for whom you want as the Guts Awards recipient. We’ll run down a list of players who caught the eye with their performances in Brazil and ask you to vote on who you think deserves the award the most.
a.) James Rodriguez – The 22 year-old Colombian provided some exquisite moments of genius and also provided the spark for a lively Colombian side and of course he finished with the Golden Boot with 6 goals and also scored quite possibly the goal of the tournament with an outstanding volley.
b.) Ron Vlaar – The Aston Villa man proved he has what it takes to provide a steely backbone to any team and he did with an unfancied Dutch side under the stewardship of Louis van Gaal. It was simply an outstanding tournament from the defender.
c.) Javier Mascherano – The Argentina man proved he still has what it takes to play in midfield. He was effectively everywhere in the final vs. Germany and he also performed an outstanding man-marking job on Netherlands danger man Arjen Robben to nullify the threat from him with ruthless ease.
d.) Manuel Neuer – The German goalkeeper had an outstanding tournament and proved the difference when the Germans were under-pressure, specifically against Ghana in the group stages and against Algeria in the Round of 16. He conceded 4 goals and kept 3 clean sheets throughout the tournament, tied with Keylor Navas of Costa Rica at the top of the pile.
e.) Neymar – The Brazilian poster boy scored 4 goals and single-handedly carried Brazil at times and they couldn’t live without the 22 year-old’s absence through injury suffered against Chile.
f.) Arjen Robben – Arjen Robben was as dangerous as he has ever been throughout the tournament and chipped in with a few, crucial goals too.
g.) Philipp Lahm – The full-back started the tournament in a holding midfield role but eventually Joachim Low eventually moved him back to where he is best. Defensively solid and not bad at the attacking game either, the Germany captain demonstrated he has all the attributes that make him one of the best full-backs in the world.
h.) Mats Hummels – The Germany defender suffers from a distinct lack of pace but what he suffers on that side of his game, he makes up for in determination and his reading of the game. Had a very good tournament and deserves to be on the list.
i.) Thomas Muller – The forward was as devastating as ever and he’s closing in on Miroslav Klose’s 16-goal World Cup record. A fantastic performance from summed up with a hat-trick vs. Portugal and other vital goals too.
The Nuts Award is reserved for those who we have seen fail and also cock up – badly. We were amazed to see Lionel Messi receive the Golden Ball award for player of the tournament, as, we thought, he hadn’t performed at all. So, without further ado lets compile the list.
a.) Lionel Messi – Has the Argentinian really been that good? Apart from the a couple of brilliant goals, notably against Iran and Bosnia, he hadn’t scored throughout the knockout stages and failed to inspire anyone around him to produce and his World Cup was summed up with a last minute free-kick in the final which he blazed over the bar and was still travelling when the Germans lifted the trophy.
b.) David Luiz – A prime candidate simply for his awful defending. Nothing more to say on how awful he was.
c.) Eden Hazard – Another who failed to inspire himself or anyone around him, his performances were quite simply woeful. As were his teams’.
d.) Luis Suarez – Need we say anymore as far as the Uruguayan is concerned? His biting antics have finally caught up with him and he deserved everything that was thrown at him for it.
e.) Cameroon squad – The archetypal African football nation, they try and work hard and obviously acquire a love from the neutral that tends to be the case throughout a World Cup tournament…this is what should have happened, however, it didn’t. Cameroon instead sulked over money not paid to them and also there was in fighting which led to 3 awful performances.
There was some splendid goals throughout World Cup 2014 and obviously this is going to be a hard choice for you!
a.) Robin van Persie (1st goal) v Spain – A flying header which caught Iker Casillas off guard and set up a very good tournament for the Dutch.
b.) Lionel Messi v Iran – A wonderful curling effort from all of 20-yards that had the keeper beaten all ends up.
c.) James Rodriguez v Uruguay – A quite epic volley from outside the box that swerved and dipped and went in via the underside of the bar – a simply stunning effort.
d.) Tim Cahill (1st goal) v The Netherlands – Another epic volley with his wrong foot that again flew in off the underside of the bar and stunned the Dutch 30 seconds after they had taken the lead.
e.) David Luiz v Colombia – A brilliant free-kick from the ‘defender’ who sent the Brazilian crowd into a frenzy with this winner.
f.) Jermaine Jones v Portugal – The USA midfielder produced an amazing bending shot from what seemed miles out and it bent into the net.
g.) James Rodriguez v Japan – A lovely dinked finish after twisting the Japanese defender inside and out before the cherry was planted on top of the cake.
h.) Andre Schürrle v Brazil – A spectacular volley from the German from a seemingly difficult angle. Not so difficult for it to fly in via the underside of the bar.
It had to be didn’t it? Match officials were consistently found wanting at crucial times and they were either reluctant to book people or booked people for stupid, insignificant fouls. A major gripe is the quality of them on the International stage.
The World Cup final has been and gone and was it what we had expected from both International teams? The football on show was promising and it was as entertaining a World Cup final as I can remember. The only potential downside was the lack of goals until extra-time (again!) but this in a way provides an element of excitement.
The saving grace of both teams and in particularly Germany, going for the win in extra-time is that we didn’t have to put with the luxury of penalties to settle and end what has been a splendid tournament – full of goals, excitement and controversy. What a proper World Cup should contain.
Of course, we cannot ignore the fact that Germany have become the first European side to win a World Cup in South America, a marvellous achievement considering before the tournament so called experts couldn’t wait to nail their colours to the Argentinian mast simply because of one Lionel Messi.
If the final proved one thing, it is that there can be an absolutely tremendous atmosphere inside the spiritual home of football without the host nation. The Maracana put on one hell of a show for the final as well as other matches that were held there but the final is the showpiece that deserved to be signed off in the most glamorous and famous of football stadia.
The (now) unusual choice of selecting an individual for this award seen as we’ve seen many glorious team performances and another was added to the list last night from the Germans but Schweinsteiger absolutely dominated the midfield last night. His passing, movement and willingness to run himself into the ground as displayed by his match stats: he completed 102 passes more than his central midfield partner Toni Kroos, he intercepted 8 passes, more than any other German player and he ran a total distance of 15339m again more than any other player on the pitch. He epitomised Germany and their extremely efficient way of playing football, the definition of a complete player.
Again this is another award given to an individual. This was supposed to be Messi’s World Cup wasn’t it? South America, the limelight, the chance to shine and of course reaching the World Cup final at the home of your country’s bitterest International rivals, what more could you want?
However, Messi failed to shine and he looked lazy showing all too brief glimpses of what he’s capable of and what we’re used to seeing from him. The odd mazy dribble, taking a couple of Germans out of the game and then a damp squib of a finish to a promising move by picking the wrong pass or shooting wildly off target.
His last ditch attempt at the end of 120 minutes from a free kick summed up his final and perhaps his World Cup – wayward.
Considering there was only one goal, it seems a bit odd to be selecting it even if it was a very good goal from Mario Götze. So we’re going to be selecting something slightly different.
We’re going to be selecting the Goal of the Day that wasn’t given and this award goes to Gonzalo Higuain. It was a perfectly executed side-footed finish from the striker but there was a downside to it – he was offside. He really shouldn’t have been as he was in the perfect position to look right across the German backline but as like his earlier chance when he proceeded to blaze wide when clean through, he fluffed it.
The lack of goals displayed in the match didn’t match the quality of football that was on offer throughout the match. Of course it could have been a true classic had Gonzalo Higuain not decided to let the Germans off from two guilt-edged chances or Rodrigo Palacio had lifted the ball over Manuel Neuer into the net instead of looping wide but it wasn’t to be.
During Friday, Saturday and Sunday we had our last World Cup site competition. We were in the hunt for the highest winning odds. This time it was Jussi R who took the first place prize with the winning odds of 149,5. Congratulations Jussi! To be fair, no other competitor got close to even challenging those odds.
The prize money has been credited to the lucky winners and congratulations again to Jussi and the gang!
It wasn’t quite the spectacle we had hoped for before kick-off and then it proved to be downright dull. Both teams seemed to have an inherent fear of being defeated which ultimately led to one of them being defeated anyway. That one, unfortunately for the Dutch, was the Netherlands. Coach Louis van Gaal had notified everyone that he had been instructed by the KNVB to guide the Netherlands to the minimum requirement of the semi-finals, which he duly did. However, looking back on this game I’m sure he’d be looking back on it as a lost opportunity.
Argentina on the other hand created some chances but they were also guilty of not really committing to the win. As the 90 minute mark approached both teams seemed contented to settle for the 0-0 and take the game to a further 30 minutes. As it wore on, it seemed inevitable that the game would be going to penalties and thus the lottery of which keeper could make the difference.
Mascherano epitomised the sheer determination and ruthless ability to place a stranglehold on the Dutch strike force that ultimately paved the way to victory. His patrolling runs in front of the Argentinian back four, notably marking Dutch danger man Arjen Robben out of the game allowed the Argentinians to set up a platform based on the philosophy of “You’re not going to score today”. It was really quite simple.
Uncharacteristically, the Netherlands hadn’t scored a single goal in 240 minutes of knockout football since the two late goals scored to knock Mexico out in the Round of 16. Captain and talisman Robin van Persie was unusually quiet against Costa Rica and Argentina, his usual movement not up to the usual standards, which effectively allowed the Costa Ricans and the Argentinians to push up and blunt the Dutch attacking style.
The penalty shoot-out had me and pretty much everyone baffled – Ron Vlaar first penalty kick taker? This was completely unexpected and ultimately it cost them the chance to go through. Fair play to Vlaar for having the guts to walk up and take it but a defender is never to be the best choice to put a penalty past a good quality goalkeeper from 12 yards. Van Gaal had said after the match had ended that two players had refused to take that first penalty leaving Vlaar who did have a very good game as the only choice due to him being ‘full of confidence’. Nuts indeed.
It’s something a little different for the Goal of the Day as we’ve awarded it to a goalkeeper; not for scoring but for keeping them out. His two saves in the penalty shoot-out ensured that Argentina made it through to their first World Cup final since 1990 and subsequently have the chance to win the World Cup in their bitterest International rivals backyard. Keep your fingers crossed for the Germans, Brazil!
A major gripe is the way it always turns out; there are no grudge matches. Matches like Brazil v Argentina in the final or even the 3rd Place Playoff and Germany v Holland in the same scenarios. Even then the 3rd Place Playoff would have been worth watching.
The first of the highly anticipated World Cup semi-finals got underway last night in the city of Belo Horizonte between the expectant host nation Brazil and perennial challengers Germany.
To describe what occurred last night as a ‘battle’ would be doing a great disservice to the demolition job that Germany inflicted upon the Brazilian defence last night, as well as their whole team come to think of it. It was probably the most surreal moment that I personally have ever witnessed in watching sport. It was almost dream-like in the way the Brazilian defence simply melted away due to the swathes of German attacks.
From the very start, the Germans looked to dominate the game and apart from one potentially dangerous cross in the first 10 minutes from Brazilian left-back Marcelo, they did. The tone was set for a complete victory when Thomas Müller scored from a German corner in the 11th minute. What proceeded to occur in the following 15 minutes will probably not only live long in the memories of every Brazilian and certainly every German present in the stadium last night but also in everyone’s who watched too.
When Miroslav Klose’ record-breaking goal in the 23rd minute ensured Brazil’s bad start had slipped a notch to ‘worse’, Toni Kroos’ two goals in the 24th and 26th minutes made certain it had slipped two notches to ‘nightmare’ and when Sami Khedira proceeded to make it 5-0 in the 29th minute…well Brazil had slipped into the 7th circle of hell by then.
It wasn’t to end there though as substitute André Schürrle made sure it was dreamland for the Germans as he made it 7-0 with two goals in the 69th and 79th minutes. Oscar’s last minute could hardly be described as a consolation as Germany had simply moved into ‘save yourself for the final mode’. A quite remarkable evening has ensued and added credence to the claim that Brazil 2014 is quite possibly the most remarkable World Cup ever.
Well what more can be said of this German team? They were simply magnificent and although you could say that as good as they were, Brazil were just as bad that would be massively understating their performance. Germany ensured that every aspect of their game was spot on, transitionally between defence and attack and then ensuring that when Brazil had the ball it was virtually impossible for them to break through as they had a defined structure to what they were doing.
Of course there was stand out individuals. Mats Hummels in the middle of defence was outstanding, a natural leader that looked like the final link in the armour. Toni Kroos was equally outstanding in midfield, dictating the German tempo, demanding the ball and never wasting it and who can forget Miroslav Klose; the ultimate poacher it seems. 16 World Cup goals beating Brazilian Ronaldo’s World Cup record of 15 and ensuring that the German’s rubbed salt into those goal-ridden Brazilian wounds.
On the other hand, Brazil were simply awful. A collection of individuals who looked overcome with the pressure of representing this great nation in a World Cup on home soil. To many, even before the tournament started, it seemed clear the Brazilian squad was nowhere near good enough and was geared more to pragmatism rather than traditional Brazilian skill and flair.
David Luiz was the archetypal Brazilian centre-back, a marauding presence who joins in attacks…even when you’re 5-0 down within half an hour. It was a ridiculous performance from the stand-in captain who was also lucky not to be sent off for flailing elbows and reckless challenges.
It was quite a devastatingly lethal finish while collecting a lofted ball from Müller and on the half volley lashing in past the hapless Julio Cesar. It served to compound Brazil’s misery as well as confirm German dominance on a quite outstanding night for German football.
Quite a big gripe that Brazil didn’t make it to the final top play in the spiritual home of football, the Maracana Stadium in the World Cup final. It would have been a privilege to see, especially against Argentina as well as then it would have been truly special.
An extremely poor performance put paid to that dream though for many Brazilians and they will not allow that team to forget it either.
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The World Cup quarter-finals are over and done with and we know the semi-final line-ups. The semi-finals could provide Brazil 2014 with some of its most memorable moments if there is anything to be gained from knowing who the participants will be. Participate on your own with this Guts sport bonus! Instant boost on all the action
The Netherlands vs. Argentina revives memories of the 1978 World Cup final when that great Dutch team of the 1970’s again failed at the final hurdle but can they overcome the pressure of expectation from their homeland this time around? Argentina on the other hand are waiting for something to click that hasn’t quite yet and they stumbled over the line vs. Belgium in what was a tepid quarterfinal.
Germany produced a winning performance when they needed to against France and proved they are a force, regardless if they are playing well or not. Brazil find themselves somewhat struggling to embrace the pressure that comes with being Brazilian and playing in a World Cup in your home country.
The Brazilians managed to defeat a vibrant Columbian side in what was the best game of the four quarterfinals in terms of match pace and entertainment. An injury to star man and keeper of the castle, Neymar, will prove to be a downer on what has been an excellent tournament so far but Brazil must fight their way through the Germans if they’re to have any chance.
The Costa Ricans pushed the Dutch all the way in their quarterfinal only to be defeated on penalties after a bizarre and inspired piece of management by Louis van Gaal. However, the Costa Ricans had a marvellous chance in extra-time to win it only for a splendid save from Jasper Cillessen to deny them a special victory.
The Costa Ricans though had enhanced and galvanised a true underdog spirit that had developed from them exceeding all expectations. They comfortably dealt with their group in which they had been expected to be the whipping boys. As it turns out, it was quite the opposite.
The Belgians were never able to provide fans and viewers with the style and vibrancy that their squad seemingly warranted. Only on a few occasions did they threaten a somewhat suspect Argentinian defence and even then their attacking play became as predictable as Eden Hazard cutting in onto his right-foot.
A quite splendid free kick that was a special moment in a match that was providing all the thrills and spills of a World Cup match in South America. Striking the ball from all of 25-yards, the ball flew at an extraordinary pace into the Columbian net via the top corner and it was a magical strike that is added to the list of outstanding goals already at this tournament.
Again, I fail to understand what FIFA have been instructing these guys to do. I genuinely feel sorry for some, the treasured few who try and let the game flow and refuse to be bullied by players and coaches alike who jump around on the touchline like babies who have just had their favourite toy taken away. I commend that few.
However, some have no understanding of the game at all. They blow their whistles for nothing tackles or 50/50 balls such as players jumping with goalkeepers and then proceed to let a player off for a 3rd (yes a 3rd) bookable challenge such as the Costa Rican defender Gonzalez. Where is the common sense?
Wimbledon 2014 was a tournament that not only caught the imagination and managed to revive the concept of the underdog but it also revived the love of beautiful tennis.
With Andy Murray’s elimination at the hands of 11th seed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov at the quarter-final stage, British interests in the tournament were ended but our wonder wasn’t.
Roger Federer seemed to be back to his unbeatable best, dropping just one set on his route to the final whereas Novak Djokovic seems to just love the drama of a 5-setter to overcome his opponent. Get a Guts casino welcome code and overcome your casino opponents as well.
There were some famous casualties over the course of the tournament in both the men’s and women’s draws, notably Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Venus and Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and the wildcard entry, 19 year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios provided the underdog entertainment for the men’s draw while in the women’s 6th seed Petra Kvitová destroyed 13th seed Eugenie Bouchard in the final 6-3 6-0 to complete a somewhat unexpected finale.
The men’s final though was a story of familiarity and quality. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic served up a classic final in which the momentum would swing either way until finally Djokovic broke Federer’s resistance and it enabled him to put pressure on the Federer serve at 15-40 that proved too much for the Swiss legend.
As far as the men are concerned, there were a number of candidates for this award as Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov could have easily have won it due to making it through to the semi-finals and pushing Novak Djokovic all the way but 19 year-old Australian wildcard Nick Kyrgios deserves the award simply for his route to the quarters was fairly tough.
His 1st round match was won in 4-sets, his 2nd round match against 13th seed Richard Gasquet was won in 5-sets, his 3rd and 4th round matches were won in 4-sets as well throwing the elimination of the great Rafael Nadal into the mix as well. His tournament was defined by an audacious through-the-legs shot that had beaten Nadal all ends up. Ultimately, it was a step too far for him in the quarterfinals but it can be considered a great tournament from the 19 year-old.
Petra Kvitová deserves the women’s representation, as her final performance was quite simply outstanding. For the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic and numerous other dangerous opponents to be outclassed or prove themselves short of the required quality was quite a testament to how well the pre-tournament unfancied players played. Eugenie Bouchard and Petra Kvitová proved better than the rest and battled it out in the final.
A shared award for the fallen ex-champions, Nadal and Murray were not quite up to scratch at Wimbledon 2014, so much so that they were not missed at all by the end of the tournament.
Murray’s presence, or lack of, proved to be an enhancement of the tournament considering how much better Dimitrov was on the day against him and by how far he pushed Novak Djokovic.
Nadal arguably wasn’t on form from the very start of the tournament. He dropped the 1st set of every match he played, ensuring he had to battle through each time. The 4th round match was ultimately too much for him as the young Australian proved to have the better of him.
It has got to be Kyrgios’ shot vs. Rafael Nadal, almost Roger Federer-esque in its execution, the through-the-legs shot was beautifully controlled and won the point for the Australian too which made it all the better.
Must Andrew Castle commentate on everything tennis related? Must he? Frankly he is what makes the experience good instead of great in watching two top professionals compete for the top prize in tennis. His meaningless quips, uninteresting facts and comments were a massive put off.
Here’s the thing Andrew, let Tim Henman who despite never having won Wimbledon, knows his stuff, get on with providing commentary along with a great like Jimmy Connors who again knows his stuff, while you make the tea and fetch the strawberries and cream.
Are you tuning in to the Tour de France this morning? The historic race will enjoy its 'Grand Depart' from Leeds this morning and millions of people will turn on the telly to watch.
Some of the guts.com team might even venture into the Yorkshire hills to see the action live over the weekend.
Anyway, whether you're a Tour de France fanatic or you're tuning in for the first time, put your knowledge to the test with our Tour de France trivia quiz. Average score here: 6/10. Surely you can do better? Do better in your betting as well wtih these Guts.com sports promotion codes!
A highly antipicated day in the tennis quarter-finals as there were some potentially stunning match-ups and by producing another shock result, Wimbledon 2014 endeared itself to the true-underdog supporter. With 19 year-old Nick Kyrgios knocking Rafa Nadal out in the previous round, a shock was bound to happen in this the subsequent rounds and Murray v Dimitrov provided it as the Scot was beaten in straight sets as he slipped to his lowest ranking in 6 years.
However, tennis can be a cruel sport and Andy Murray simply didn't turn up and he was punished brutally by the powerful Bulgarian. There were some other interesting match-ups too that produced a thrill or two and were equally classic-inducing tennis matches. One thing was for sure, Wimbledon 2014 has proved that tennis is more than an able substitute for World Cup action.
Unfancied Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov had already caused a stir or two in the tournament but there was next to no hope that he would not only defeat one of the favourites for the tournament but completelt obliterate him in straight sets. It was an incredible performance from Dimitrov and Murray had no answer to the power of his serve of his devastating winners when pushed back to the service line.
It was a devastating blow for Murray but it's arguable that as good as Dimitrov was, Murray was equally as bad. It'll now be interesting to see how quickly Murray can recover from the blow of this and it'll be equally interesting to see if Dimitrov can carry this performance forward in his meeting with Novak Djokovic.
For a defending Wimbledon champion, Andy Murray put up quite a limp defence against the unfancied Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. It was like a man against a boy in the end and the the straight set victory did not flatter Dimitrov at all.
In fact, if the match had carried on, there was no way that I could see Murray recovering from such a deficit and the crowd sensed that too as all too often there were noises and groans of audible disappointment at every Murray mistake from the Wimbledon faithful.
It made for painful viewing as Murray was ruthlessly dispatched and with his self-belief, his chances of Wimbledon glory too were sent by the wayside as he failed to recover from a first-set hiding in which Dimitrov was utterly and totally dominant.
Novak Djokovic and Mario Cilic served up a thrilling match in which both players took the lead before Djokovic was finally able to keep Cilic at bay for the remaining two sets. However, it was closer than predicted for the Serb as he looks to re-capture the title he last won in 2011.
The first set was as straightforward as it gets these days for Djokovic as he ruthlessly tore Cilic apart 6-1. However, Cilic began to quietly and quickly assert his authority over the following two sets as he first drew level and then took the lead in sets 3-6 6-7 winning a tie-break in the latter. The remaining two sets however were comfortably won by Djokovic 6-2 6-2 as Cilic simply ran out of steam and looked a shadow of the player who had rattled Djokovic in sets 2 and 3.
The Big Four of tennis, similar to the so called Big Four of football, continually dominate tennis and rightly so because they are the best around. People want to see them play because generally they serve up the best tennis and the greatest entertainment that the paying public could pay for.
While there is always support for the underdog, there is a tendancy for any match-up between two underdogs to become slightly edgy and thus not as intense and nail biting as those between the top players. With 2 of the remaining so called Big Four remaining in Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, the hope is that these two meet in the final as they would undoubtedly produce a magical final due to what is at stake.
It was quite a way to end the last-16 phase of the 2014 World Cup and definitely added to the aura that this tournament is acquiring. Already considered one of the best World Cup’s in terms of entertainment and goals in modern times, the 2014 edition keeps delivering albeit sometimes unintentionally.
The first game listed on Day 20 was Argentina against the resounding underdogs of Switzerland. Who would give Switzerland a chance? Who on Earth thinks they can cause Argentina problems? Well, as it turned out, they did have a chance and they did cause Argentina problems. The Swiss missed some glorious chances particularly in the 2nd half of extra-time when Blerim Džemaili headed against the post only to see the ball agonizingly rebound off the woodwork and onto his knee and sail wide of the goal.
The Argentinians had to count their blessings for that and for the fact that Lionel Messi and Angelo di Maria had unbelievably ordinary games but still managed to produce the goods deep into extra-time.
Belgium and USA was the last game of the last-16 phase and it didn’t disappoint. It was yet another game whereby it remained goalless after 90 minutes and extra-time again beckoned. However, rather than the usual tepid and turgid ‘settle for penalties’ mentality that seems to encapsulate teams in these circumstances, these two opened up and so began some of the best entertainment of the 2014 World Cup.
The USA produced the gutsiest performance of anyone last night in their encounter with Belgium. Why? Extra-time beckoned after a goalless 90 minutes in which the game had flowed end-to-end and pace had rarely drifted from the notch indicating ‘fast’. The Belgians had scored within 3 minutes of the extra period starting and when Romelu Lukaku burst through the American defence to blast the ball past Tim Howard to make it 2-0 on 105 minutes, the USA looked dead and buried.
However, two minutes after extra-time half time, Julian Green produced a stunning volley not a minute after coming on. This proceeded to give the USA an unbelievable lift and the self-belief running the team was now as evident as ever. They pinned Belgium back and under unrelenting pressure the Belgians came close to wilting on a number of occasions. Although an honourable mention to Tim Howard whose 15 saves were more than any other player in World Cup history from 1966 to present.
The Nuts Award has to go to Angel di Maria, who despite scoring, produced a rather ‘average at best’ performance. His touch, passing and composure were somewhat lacking culminating in an inexplicable trick of back heeling the ball out of play when in a promising position.
However, he somewhat regained his magic touch when he swept in a Lionel Messi pass to put the Argentinians through to the quarter-finals.
The USA’s Julian Green produced a stunning volley that nestled into the corner of the Belgian goal immediately after being sent on by Jürgen Klinsmann. It wasn’t just the finish that made this goal special, it was the pass and the perfect weight on it that made the volley possible but what a goal.
WHY? I know the players need a break from the sweltering heat of the Brazilian climate but we want more of the same please! We want to see something World Cup related. Why can’t we have the losers playing each other for the rights of the best plane?
Another day and another two quarter-finalists finalised. Another two big nations through and what a mouth-watering, titanic struggle it will be too. France vs. Germany. The history and the obvious angst these two feel for each other, with the 1982 meeting still fresh in the memory for the French.
However, these two didn’t have it all their own way. Firstly, France had to battle hard against Nigeria but when the breakthrough finally came through Paul Pogba in the 79th minute, there was only going to be one winner and the French wrapped up the victory in injury time through a Joseph Yobo own goal.
The Germans had a somewhat harder time of it. Algeria demonstrated that the German defence can be got at and should have been at least 2-0 up before the Germans fashioned their first meaningful attack. However, Germany will not give up and an outrageous flick from substitute Andre Schürrle opened the scoring and from then the Algerians, while still fashioning very good chances, was facing an uphill task.
Algeria deserve the award due to their ability to hurt the Germans and they came close a number of times to making the dream a reality. Even in the dying minutes of the game, Algeria attacked and scored a great team goal and could have scored a ultra-dramatic equaliser had Majid Bougherra grown enough to get enough power on the header that ultimately ended up in Manuel Neuer’s arms.
Nigeria were frustrating France, and the Moody Bleus were on the verge of running out of ideas. Then up steps Vincent Enyeama, the normally dependable keeper who on the back of a good season for Lille, proceeded to flap for a corner, completely miss the ball and then hand France and in particular Paul Pogba, the perfect chance to snatch the lead.
It wasn’t the first time he had been caught flapping though and France exposed him from a number of set pieces throughout the game. I think it’s fair to say that ol’ Vincent had a bit of a nightmare at the worst moment for Nigeria.
At a time when Germany would have taken any sort of goal to take the lead and preserve, Andre Schürrle produced a fine flick with the heel of his boot to put the ball past Algeria keeper Rais Mbolhi to hand the Germans the initiative in the tie.
I don’t think anyone would argue that Germany had been under the cosh at times against the plucky Algerians but again they managed to get the job done which surely seems ominous for the French?
As soon as the tournament started there was something instantly dislikeable about how the Cameroon squad were behaving. From threatening to strike over match bonuses and proceeding to put in 3 abject performances that didn’t justify their hype, now there is something that every professional sportsman abhors – match fixing.
Seven of the Cameroon squad are being investigated for match fixing and it is something that we don’t want to see in any professional sport let alone the global game of football. What must not happen though is it threatening to overshadow this wonderful tournament that has so far gone beyond expectations for the amount of entertainment and outstanding football that we have all seen.
The third weekend of the World Cup has brought with it high levels of excitement, sorrow and controversy!
There was drama from the get go when Chile was defeated by Brazil during Saturday's opening knockout match. We also say goodbye to Mexico after a nail biting match against world cup favourites the Netherlands on Sunday. Chile and Mexico may be leaving the tournament, but they depart with their pride intact.
Even the underdogs are stepping up to the plate to add additional entertainment of these years World Cup. The match between Costa Rica and Greece on Sunday (two teams that many didn’t expect to make it to this stage) was sent into an extra 30 minutes of play due to Sokratis Papastathopoulos scoring in stoppage time.
There will be plenty of drama to come, as host team Brazil are due to face Colombia in the immanent quarterfinal. Until then, take a look at our Guts Awards for the World Cup weekend below.
Our weekend Guts Award goes out to Guillermo Ochoa. Ochoa is the 28-year-old goalkeeper for Mexico. He has been demonstrating his proven goalkeeping talents throughout the tournament. Sundays match was no exception. Ochoa put up a solid defence against the attempts of the Netherlands to score up until the 88th minute. With his quick reflexes and now worldwide recognition, we think that Ochoa will be a player to watch in the future.
And now for the controversy. Mexico put up a strong fight against the Netherlands on Sunday, but the dive taken by Arjen Robben has tainted the victory. In the 92nd minute, Robben free fell to the ground after Rafa Marquez grazed his foot. As well as the moment being captured on film, Robben admitted to Dutch TV that he took a dive in the first half. This means that Robben could face retrospective reprisal from FIFA in the future.
As well as being entertaining, this years World Cup is showcasing a whole host of new talent. One of these stars comes in the form of Colombia's James Rodriguez. Saturday saw the tense match between Colombia and Uruguay. The 22-year-old midfielder managed to score a beautiful second goal for Colombia. Rodriguez took a pass off his chest, and then made the shot a staggering 25 yards from the net. The team celebrated by dancing on the pitch while the fans danced in the stadium.
We all know that a referee needs to have the confidence and knowledge to not only rule out a strike, but to also stick to it. In the case of the World Cup, this is pushed to the extreme when you have the eyes and the opinions of the world fixed on you. Referee Howard Webb is leaving a lasting legacy on behalf of England after disallowing a strike made by Brazils Hulk due to a handball. This decision affected the lead position of the host cities team.
As the group stages of the 2014 World Cup draw to a close we review another night of World Cup action that threw up goals, sending offs and thrillers. Groups E and F have been finalised and in Group E there was an indirect showdown between Ecuador and Switzerland over who joined France in the last 16.
Unfortunately for Ecuador they had to contest with France in their last group game, which gave Switzerland an immediate advantage as they faced Honduras. Ecuador’s task was made all the more difficult when Antonio Valencia was sent off for a lunge on Lucas Digne, although commendably they managed to hold out for a 0-0 draw after keeper Alexander Dominguez produced a string of fine saves to deny the French.
Ecuador’s inability to produce any serious threat to French handed the initiative to Switzerland who dispatched Honduras thanks to a hat trick from Xherdan Shaqiri who scored a peach within 6 minutes to set the Swiss on their way.
Group F managed to provide a thriller, surprisingly from the two teams who were already through in Argentina and Nigeria. It was a real ding-dong battle with 1 goal each in two 1st half minutes and it was the same again at the start of the 2nd half. Bosnia’s 3-1 win over Iran proved academic as both nations were already condemned to play out a dead-rubber but it still produced goals, and yes Edin Džeko did score!
The Guts Award goes to Nigeria for running Argentina close and no one could have begrudged them at least an equaliser after a number of chances were created and they created endless problems for the Argentinian defence. Pablo Zabaleta at times was almost a 1-man barrier throwing himself in front of everything that Nigeria had to offer.
Nigeria also displayed how much African football has developed after their forward Ahmed Musa scored two composed finishes and showed that Nigeria will at least pose a test for their last-16 opponents.
A relatively simple award to determine after the Ecuadorian winger produced a late lunge on French left-back Lucas Digne and got himself sent off for his trouble. It was an incredibly stupid act from the national team captain and from an experienced player too.
Young players can be forgiven for mistakes such as this as they sometimes act rash in their eagerness to impress and try their best, however, Valencia was leading his country into a do-or-die clash vs. the group leaders – it was an incredibly naïve thing to do from a 28 year-old who was supposed to set an example to his teammates.
Xherdan Shaqiri produced a stunning goal to set his team on the way to a 3-0 win over Honduras and a last-16 place. Picking the ball up on the right wing and drifting inside all the while being pressured from the Honduran defence and heading slightly away from goal, Shaqiri produced a wonderful curling shot that deposited itself into the top corner of the goal. It was a truly wonderful strike and one of the best so far in World Cup 2014.
Ecuador never really tested France at all apart from one occasion in the 2nd half of their game in which Ecuador broke with speed and then proceeded to ruin the chance by producing a tame shot wide. They were fighting for their World Cup place, knowing that they needed a win to be sure of staying in the competition.
However, they produced a display which mirrored the ability of their chances within the game and apart from their keeper, not one of them seemed to step up to the mark of producing their best. France were equally happy that Ecuador allowed them to ‘train’ with the ball at their feet and allow them the time and space to practise attacking moves without pressure on the ball at all.
Another two groups have been finalised and there were some biting moments in fact. I’m sorry I just couldn’t resist. However, one thing is for sure – World Cup 2014 certainly isn’t boring and in fact it’s shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory. Goals, technology, controversy, it’s fair to say this World Cup has had the lot so far and last night didn’t disappoint either.
Greece somehow made it through after looking the least likely side to score after…well, Japan in the same group. You have to admire their sheer doggedness though to secure the result but as good as Greece were, Ivory Coast made it a possible achievement through poor defending and an unforgivable challenge in the last minute of the game to hand Greece the win and a place in the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Colombia ensured they headed into the knockout stages with a 100% record after comfortably dispatching Japan 4-1 in their final game with 2 goals from Jackson Martinez.
In Group D, there was a rather turgid affair as Costa Rica secured top spot with a 0-0 draw with England who bowed out of the competition without a single win and just 2 goals scored. However, Italy and Uruguay was anything but turgid. A sending off, a biting incident and a goal in the last 15 minutes ensured Uruguay went through over the Italians, but that’s just half of the story, the interesting part I’ll get to later on.
Not an easy award to decide but with Colombia all but through it had to go to whoever managed to secure 2nd place in Group C and that was Greece. It was a hard-fought win over the Ivory Coast and it came as late as it possibly could but the important thing is, it did come.
Georgios Samaras kept his cool and smashed the penalty to Barry’s left and then the celebrations started.
There was only ever going to be one winner for this award and that is the Uruguayan. There are some incidents and unforeseen circumstances in the world that you simply cannot explain at times – disappearing planes, UFO’s, why Luis Suarez bites people and expects to get away with it, that sort of thing.
Why do it? There is simply no advantage to be gained from it. Along with it being a despicable, cowardly and disgusting act it quite simply doesn’t make any sense. FIFA have to act now and surely ban Suarez not only for the rest of World Cup 2014 but extending into the next domestic season too thus putting paid to any chances or hopes that Uruguay had of winning the trophy.
James Rodriguez scored a sublime breakaway goal to end Japanese resistance and condemn the Japanese to a 3rd straight defeat. Racing away past one defender, he turned back onto his right before selling the defender another dummy, switching back onto his left and lifting a delightful finish over the Japanese goalkeeper. An excellent, composed finish that was worthy of winning nay game and proved that the Colombians have the confidence to go far in the competition.
Well it is a gripe that no more will we see the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon in an Italian shirt. Pirlo especially will be a big loss to the Italians as his unbelievable ball skills and set-piece prowess have provided many memorable moments for Italians and the rest of the world too.
I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say it but what another day of World Cup action. Two groups are now finalised and there are some tasty clashes on the horizon. Group A ended with another quite superlative display from Brazilian hope and wonder Neymar; his two goals helping his side to a 4-1 victory over Cameroon who were quite frankly awful, again.
Croatia bowed out of the competition after holding out against the Mexican’s for 72 minutes before skipper Rafael Marquez planted a header off a corner past Pletikosa in the Croatian goal. Andres Guardado and Javier Hernandez took the result beyond doubt while a late consolation from Ivan Perisic gave the scoreline some respectability.
Group B and Spain finally got a win! Also, they kept a clean sheet, probably because Iker Casillas wasn’t in goal. Pepe Reina was given a starting role in goal and while it was a dead rubber for both teams, neither would have been happy to lose. Unfortunately for the Australians, Spain simply had too much firepower. David Villa on his last ever appearance ever appearance for the Spanish national team put them ahead while Fernando Torres and Juan Mata added gloss to the scoreline.
The Netherlands and Chile, in the other Group B matchup, fought it out over who topped the group and subsequently avoided the host nation Brazil. It was a fascinating tactical battle with Louis van Gaal mastering another Dutch victory over supposed superior opponents.
It has to be David Villa doesn’t it. What a servant he has been to the clubs and to the national side that he has played for. 97 caps and 59 goals tells you everything you need to know about David Villa. He rightfully scored on his final appearance, which was a nice way to crown his International career even if it wasn’t at the stage of the competition that he would have liked.
However, the sight of him crying walking off after being substituted is what will live long in the memory for Spanish fans as one of their greatest ever goalscorer’s (if not the greatest) bows out of the International stage. It was the passing of an era.
Well, Cameroon are out and definitely out. Trounced 4-1 by host nation Brazil in their final Group A game, the Cameroonians never seemed to take to this World Cup at all. There was in-fighting within the squad, problems before the actual tournament started with money and all sorts of tension amongst the players on the pitch, displayed when Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Alex Song squared up to each other.
A lovely finish from an inviting cross that had goal written all over it. Cameroonian complacency at the back was pounced on by Luiz Gustavo who produced a brilliant low-level cross to Neymar who had made the run to get in front of his marker, opened up his body to simply guide the ball into the bottom corner – simple brilliance.
It’s a real shame that one of these two has to go out early in the 1st Knockout Round. If the formbook is to be believed too, then that one has got to be Chile. Chile quite simply have an awful record vs. Brazil and will not take encouragement from the host nations’ 2nd half display against an albeit awful Cameroon side. Since 2000, there has been 12 matches between the two South American nations, in which Brazil have won 10 while the remaining 2 were draws. It doesn’t make for pretty reading does it?
It was another very good weekend of World Cup action and if this doesn’t stop it may just end up being one of the classic World Cup’s! I’m sure we all hope so. It’s been a while since there has been a good World Cup, possibly France 98 was the last.
However, how is Brazil 2014 shaping up? Well, pretty good is the answer. We witnessed another comprehensive French victory on Friday night together with a win for Ecuador, which throws up an interesting final round of games in Group E. Argentina had to rely on the genius of Lionel Messi to overcome Iran who put up another dogged defensive display and with a little bit more luck could have come away with a huge win. Meanwhile, in Group D we saw Costa Rica provide another big shock with their 1-0 win over Italy.
Group G provided the greatest entertainment though with two fascinating 2-2 draws between Germany and Ghana and USA and Portugal. Germany legend Miroslav Klose became only the fifth player to score in four World Cup’s when he equalised after Ghana had taken a shock lead. Portugal meanwhile continued to struggle and after taking the lead through Nani, they proceeded to trail 2-1 until deep into injury at the end of the 2nd half when Cristiano Ronaldo provided Silvestre Varela with a chance to plant a brilliant header past Tim Howard. Brilliant as well is this Guts sport bonus!
Costa Rica have proved that smaller nations can take the fight to the big ones. When Bryan Ruiz planted that header past Gianluigi Buffon in the Italian goal, people sat up and noticed that the Costa Ricans weren’t going to go away without a fight. They are deservedly through to the next round with only England, who have nothing to play for, left to play and with a comfortable and sizeable goal difference over both Italy and Uruguay, it would be reasonable to assume that they are in with a 99% chance of topping the Group.
The indignity of having a goal wrongly disallowed and then proceeding to miss three or four other guilt-edged chances – that’s Edin Džeko. The Bosnian top scorer didn’t have his shooting boots on when Bosnia met Nigeria (apart from one occasion). A £27m striker should be scoring at least 2 of those chances and if he had, Bosnia may well still be in with a chance of securing a place in the knockout stages of the World Cup.
When his team needed the win, when it looked like they had run out of ideas up steps Lionel Messi to bury a wonderful curling shot past Iran keeper Haghighi. You can never relax when Messi has the ball and Iran’s tired limbs proved to be too weary to double mark the little genius as they had done all game until in the dying minutes he found a little bit of space to whip the ball with that magical left-foot and secure Argentina’s place in the knockout stage.
HONOURABLE MENTION – Karim Benzema’s flicked half-volley vs. Switzerland after a wonderful through ball from Paul Pogba and Silvestre Varela’s magnificent header from an equally magnificent cross from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Again, a refereeing decision proved crucial in Nigeria’s win vs. Bosnia. A goal that was clearly onside was ruled offside and if there is to be a greater respect of match officials then there has to be better training and better understanding amongst them, surely?
So, England are almost out and Uruguay have a decent chance of progressing. What we expected though wasn’t it? Did anyone really believe that this really could be England’s time? The way a half-fit Luis Suarez simply danced around the England defence was inexcusable at this level and the lapses were deservedly punished – twice. Don't get punished with your bets, grab this Guts sport bonus instead.
England now need favours; two in particular and both off Italy if they’re to have any chance of progression beyond the group stage and avoid booking the flight home at this stage of the World Cup for the first time since 1958. It is, however, extremely unlikely that Italy will be concerned with their last result if they defeat Costa Rica in their second group match.
Group C is seemingly more clearer after yesterday’s results; Colombia are definitely through as they defeated Ivory Coast 2-1 while the African nations’ destiny is still in their own hands as they only need to avoid defeat vs. Greece in their next game while Japan would have to defeat Colombia by 3 clear goals to stand any chance of leapfrogging the Ivorian’s into 2nd place in the group.
When the pressure was on, Uruguay delivered a truly gutsy performance backed up by the prowess of Luis Suarez. Even half-fit, he proved to be still too much of a handful for an England defence that didn’t look capable of stopping anything remotely dangerous coming their way.
Also, with a lack of protection from the England midfield, the defence was exposed time and again and it was only a matter of time before England paid the price for poor positioning and allowing a world class striker such as Luis Suarez time and space to pick his spot for both goals. It was a clinical performance by the Uruguayans.
Fighting to remain in the World Cup, Japan had the perfect opportunity to lay down a marker against the ultra-conservative Greeks and stake a claim on the remaining Group C spot after Colombia had all secured qualification early on in the day.
However, with the Greeks down to 10 men for most of the encounter, Japan seemed reluctant to even attempt to try and secure the win. At best their performance could be described as laboured. It was an excruciating performance from a potential bright spot in the tournament.
HONOURABLE MENTION: - The Uruguayan medical team for allowing Alvaro Pereira to remain on the pitch after a clash with Raheem Sterling’s knee which clearly seemed to knock him unconscious. He should have been taken off immediately after the incident and not been allowed to ‘bully’ management into letting him stay on.
Is there really any other choice than the Uruguayan’s 2nd goal complete with an assist from his club captain? Literally, it was a smashing finish after he had looked dead on his feet.
England were poor, there really is no other way to describe the performance and even after Wayne Rooney equalised there was a noticeable drop in performance from England as if they were settling for a point. Then BANG! Steven Gerrard’s mistake let in his Liverpool colleague and England were once again on the brink of elimination.
On the subject of Steven Gerrard, his performance was quite poor throughout the two games and had clearly carried his end of season form into his last International tournament.
Another barnstorming day of World Cup action has passed and it seems that the top two of Group B has been decided, just not the order they'll finish in and Croatia gave themselves a fighting chance with the demolition of Cameroon in Group A.
The Netherlands secured a knockout spot with a hard fought 3-2 win over plucky Australia who scored one of the best goals in World Cup history, which we’ll get to soon! Unluckily for the Australians it couldn’t propel them to victory and along with defending World Champions Spain, are out of the competition with one game to spare. Don't be left out of the mix and grab the newest Guts sports promotion well in time before tomorrow's matches.
An easy award to gift really, Chile came out of the traps quickly and could have taken the lead in the first 30 seconds vs. Spain and from then on the tone was set for the remaining 89-and-a-half minutes. Spain really had no answer to the constant harassment of their midfield featuring World and European Championship winners Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta.
Along with that, Eduardo Vargas pounced on an error by Alonso and Spain were behind in a match they desperately needed to win. Any hope of them remaining in the competition was really extinguished at that point as the defending champs were never really in the game. A mention too for Arturo Vidal who, after injury, was superb in closing the Spanish down and never allowing them time and space while also providing a willing outlet for Chilean attacks.
Alex, what were you thinking man? To elbow an opponent from behind while they’re on the counter-attack is simply inexcusable. A tactical foul would have been more appropriate given the Cameroonian situation at that point but to rake your elbow down an opponents’ back…
Cameroon’s defeat means that they now have won only one of their last 14 World Cup games, a miserable record for the proud African nation who had the potential to cause one or two upsets along the way but are now out of the competition with a game to spare.
An easy choice as this perfectly executed, Dutch-esque volley was simply sublime. It is a pity that it had to come in match where Australia were ultimately up against a team determined to secure World Cup knockout qualification at the earliest possible stage.
Allowing deep long ball to float over his shoulder onto his wrong foot (left) and then to execute a perfect dipping volley which smashed into the goal via the underside of the bar…brilliant. This as well after the Dutch had scored a good goal themselves through Arjen Robben just a minute earlier.
Where were Spain? Did they even take part in the competition at all? Tika-taka is well and truly dead. We’d become accustomed to the thought after the demolition of Bayern under Pep Guardiola this season and Barcelona under Tito Vilanova the season before but we all thought Spain would turn up and defend their crown with aplomb.
As it turns out, they bow out of the competition along with Australia with a game to spare and before England! Also, the selection Diego Costa, clearly suited to Brazil’s style, poached by Spain and then misused while Brazil were left with Fred as their main spearhead. Unbelievable!
Another important day of World Cup action and the end of the first round of group games. Now you could say this is where it starts to get interesting. Group H ended with a flourish after starting with a whimper through late goals in each game; turning around the result for Belgium v Algeria and subsequently rescuing one for Russia v South Korea.
Group A moved into the second round of games and after a somewhat tepid first half, Brazil v Mexico turned into an entertaining draw. Brazil didn’t perform well though and the crowd were audibly unhappy with the host nation's performance.
Mexico showed some guts to take the game to Brazil and arguably deserved to win the game after peppering Julio Cesar with long-range efforts for most of the second-half. 35 year-old skipper Rafael Marquez enabling his experience and know how to control the Mexican tempo throughout the game.
However, it was the goalkeeper, Guillermo Ochoa who caught the attention of everyone in the stadium and watching on TV with a serious of wonderful instinctive saves to prevent an undeserved defeat for the Mexico and an unjust win for the hosts.
Igor, Igor, Igor…what were you thinking? Talk about keepers saving their team, and then you come across Igor Akinfeev! Poor Igor managed to somehow throw a South Korean pot shot into his own net after a rather dull encounter played in stifling heat.
However, it wasn’t merely a mistake on Akinfeev’s part as he had been threatening to ‘let slip’ all night, eventually he did and Russia had to battle to salvage the draw.
Fellani’s goal for Belgium v Algeria has to be the choice here, although Belgium’s second runs it close. Fellaini got across his man to beat the defender to a well executed floated cross to flick a wonderful header into the net via the underside of the bar. Get in!
A serious gripe this, a really serious gripe. Is Fred really the best that Brazil has to offer up front? I mean REALLY? The striker may as well have been a mannequin as he had all the movement of one throughout his 68 minutes on the pitch and it’s a wonder he managed to complete that. For a striker who has quite a decent scoring record, it makes you wonder how on Earth he managed to accomplish it!
Well! That was quite an opening weekend and just like the opening day, the football did not disappoint. The colour on show and the atmosphere at the stadiums across the country has been impressive and also the counter-attacking, free-flowing style that has been on show (apart from Greece!) has been a breath of fresh air.
We also had the first England outing, and while it was visibly an improvement on the Euro 2012 match-up, it still ended up with the same result: an English defeat. However, there are certain reasons to be optimistic if you’re Roy Hodgson.
This was a close call but this award has to go to the Flying Dutchman. His first goal on the eve of half time in a closely fought first-half of the opening Group B game was nothing short of technical brilliance.
Van Persie and Arjen Robben quite frankly made mugs out of the world-class Spanish defensive trio of Iker Casillas, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos all match and van Persie began that 'mugging' with an audacious attempt from the perfect pass by Daley Blind to execute the perfect finish and score possibly one of the greatest World Cup goals we’ve seen in modern times.
There were some individuals who could have been awarded the Nuts Award, some officials, others players but I’ve selected Honduras because quite simply they never looked like playing any sort of football!
In their Group E game vs. France, Honduras resorted to anything from petty fouls to potential leg breakers in their attempt to rile the French. Thankfully, there were no such incidents and football was the winner (who’d have thought we’d be cheering on the French?).
Seeing as each one was brilliant in it’s own right, how can we possibly pick one over the other in this case?
1. Robin van Persie (1st goal) v Spain
2. Arjen Robben (2nd goal) v Spain
3. Lionel Messi v Bosnia & Herzegovina
The subject of goal-line technology reared its ugly head again. Only this time it appeared for working correctly!
BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce appeared angry at an incident where Benzema hit the post before the ball rolled across the line and was knocked over it by the Honduran keeper
That’s ok but it wasn’t the ball hitting the post they were concentrating on Jonathan. The keeper knocked it over the line with his hand, stop panicking. Mind you, why show two replays? It appeared to be unnecessary icing on the cake.
We asked 1,000 Americans who Wayne Rooney is and the overwhelming majority either don’t know or frankly couldn’t care less.
So don’t worry, Wazza. If you’re sick of making the back pages in England, it seems you can always emigrate to the USA and enjoy a life of anonymous obscurity. Enjoy our promos as well! Clik here for the latest Guts bonus sports.
Here’s the top answers from our survey asking 1,000 Americans: “Who is Wayne Rooney?”
And, you know what, Wazza? If playing down the left for Roy Hodgson isn’t your thing, then maybe you can turn your hand to acting, ice hockey, stand up comedy or even poetry. On second thoughts, maybe give the poetry a miss, eh?
Yep, some respondents gave some more “out there” answers, with some special mentions for the individuals who gave the following answers:
Just in case you’re struggling to envisage Rooney in one of these roles, we’ve done it for you:
We’ve all seen the slogans FIFA have generously handed over to the public for the World Cup in Brazil, right? No? Well if not, let me begin by saying they’re not the best. Nor are they exactly what you would call, erm, truthful - they somewhat appear to lack a “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” element.
So, here at Guts HQ we’ve decided to do something about that. We’ve concocted truthful slogans designed to capture the nations football ideology and the moments we hold dear!
Bosnia & Herzegovina
There we have it. All 32 Nations taking part in that tournament somewhere in the world accompanied with slogans more truthful that those nominated by FIFA. Someone had to show Mr. Blatter how to do it!
Well that was quite an opening! Every new opening ceremony makes us realise just how good London 2012 was, but at least the terrible sound quality meant we didn’t have to listen to J-Lo and Pitbull. Feel better with this Guts sport bonus. That's the least we could do.
The football on show didn’t disappoint, even if there were a few gripes! We’re going to be starting a series where we reflect on the best and worst moments of the tournament
Neymar may have nabbed a brace with a couple of flukey finishes, but it was Oscar who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and dragged Brazil back into contention. Chelsea fans must be wondering where this Oscar has been hiding during the domestic season!
A special mention should also go to Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari whose nephew passed away just days before the tournament. Despite this tragic loss, Scolari has to manage the hopes and dreams of a nation and got off to a winning start on opening night.
Who would have thought that the home nation would get favorable refereeing decisions?!
Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura has got the World Cup off to a controversial start with a couple of extremely important calls which benefitted Brazil and cost Croatia dearly.
Croatia’s Vedran Corluka was especially stinging in his criticism of the referee.
"It is embarrassing,” said the Lokomotiv Moscow man. “Everyone who was watching saw that nothing happens. I didn't see anything. I saw a touch on Fred but Lovren didn't even pull him. He was keen to give the penalty."
Not only did Nishimura award Brazil a soft penalty, he also disallowed what appeared to be a perfectly valid equaliser for Croatia late in the game.
A poor start, Mr Nishimura.
Is there anything more deliciously cheeky than a toepoked effort which creeps into the bottom corner? A deserved reward for a fantastic individual performance.
We should be talking about how wonderful the football was, but a poor refereeing performance has again stolen the attention from the sport itself.
Brazil is in chaos. Civil unrest is crippling Rio de Janeiro while the streets of São Paulo were awash with teargas as police clashed with protesters on Monday.
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Shockingly, the drama does not end there. Spare a thought for the British journalists who have been complaining about the views from their hotel windows. If you’re important enough to be paid to watch football at the biggest tournament in the world, the least you can expect is a certain level of luxury, right lads?
To be fair to Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail, he did gauge the public's mood and made a full apology for his insensitivity.
If that wasn't bad enough, Ian Wright had a terrible day at the beach.
We're delighted to say that one of Guts’ very own has finished the prestigious Cisco NetRiders Championships on a high after scooping the first place prize!
Here at Guts we were extremely proud to hear Chris, one of our rising IT stars, had won the competition. It's extemely pleasing to see that our aim to produce the best we can both on and off the gaming screen is bearing fruit, to ultimately provide you players with the best experience, produced by the very best!
Developer Christopher Demicoli received the award at the finals that were held at the institute ICE Malta located in the Maltese town of Zebbug.
Speaking after his competition win, Chris said:
"Up to the end of last year, my knowledge of networks, routing and switching was very limited, since I am a Software Engineer by profession. I then decided to pursue the CCNA course to enhance my knowledge in this area.
Although it is not usual for Software Engineers to have knowledge in this area, I find it has benefited me since most of the time we are developing software that depends heavily on networks.
I am very pleased that I have been able to achieve first place, especially considering that less than a year ago, I didn't even know what a subnet was!
And you should be pleased Chris! Chris will go on to represent Guts at the NetRiders International Competition in Milan, hoping to repeat his succeson the European stage and become the very first World Champion representing us here at Guts HQ. To celebrate, we're giving out a special Guts bonus! Check it out.
If you want to find out more about Chris’s achievements as well as his work, follow him on Twitter: @chridemi
Good Luck Chris and bring that baby home!
In case you missed it, we're offering Yaya Toure a luxury trip to Malta as part of Guts' birthday celebrations!
Today is Guts’ first birthday!
Here at Guts HQ we know how important birthdays are, so we sympathise with Yaya Toure’s current plight. Poor guy, should've checked out Guts bonus sports. Guaranteed to have put a smile back on his face.
But fear not, Yaya, for we shall celebrate with you! We’re having a joint birthday party and we’d like to share the festivities!
Check out the cakes we’re having in your honour! We’ll save you one but Kolo should probably lay off them.
In fact, we’d like to extend an invitation for you to come and join in with our birthday celebrations!
A luxury trip to Malta, with nothing but the best for you. We heard you like Bugattis and although we don't have one, the boss hopes his 308 convertible for a week will do.
So, what do you say, Yaya? This cake won’t last forever!
With 20 Premier League goals, it’s easy to see Yaya finishing top of his country’s scoring charts this summer: Ivory Coast Top Goalscorer WC 2014
Will he still be at City next season or will he be plying his trade elsewhere after the transfer window closes? Where does Yaya Toure play 2nd September 2014?
The Guts birthday party will be lasting all week, with exclusive offers in our casino! Check out our birthday offers here and join in with the celebrations!
Last weekend saw one of our players go on a hot streak that will become a part of Guts legend. The team at Guts would like to congratulate Sabah on her amazing streak, winning a total on €79,916.50…
Let’s start at the beginning with a €100 UKash deposit and promise of hours of entertainment, few could have imaged, especially Sabah herself, what would follow.
She went on streak after streak with a €13,775 win on Fruitshop, followed by a Golden Egg stealing win of €11,894 on Jack and the Beanstalk. The wins still kept coming as the weekend wore on, Sabah had a €12,195 win on Crime Scene, a €10,200 win on Beach and finished the weekend with a €11,850 win on Starburst.
Needless to say, Sabah ended the weekend withdrawing her amazing win with her preferred withdrawal method and walked away with her life changing €79,916.50. Once again, congratulations to Sabah on her win, you are our Guts woman of the week.
When Nicholas Shelby stepped up to the podium to welcome incoming engeneering students at Georgia Tech he has something special in mind. With a confidence and grace far exceeding his years he begins with, “In the words of Sir Isaac Newton, if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” Is this this the greatest welcome speech ever…
Nicholas cites Georgia Tech’s “tradition of excellence” as the tradition that he finds most exciting and as the brass band swells and the music builds his speech reaches a glorious crescendo.
“If you want to change the world, you are at Georgia Tech you can do that! If you want build the Iron Man Suit, you are at Georgia Tech you can do that! If you want to play theme music during your… um he got pretty excited here… like a bass ass, we’re at Georgia Tech, we can do that.”
Yes I have to agree with the title of this one, this is the most amazing welcome speech EVER given. For Nicholas Shelby the honor of the Guts badge!
Benedict Cumberbatch is known for his role in the BBC series Sherlock as well as his most recent big budget Hollywood role in Star Trek Into Darkness. However, he has not taken his rise to fame lightly and this week he put his new found position in the spotlight to good use.
The evolution of the way news is chosen and reported has changed drastically in the past ten to twenty years. The idea of hard news reporting and in depth analysis has been replaced with entertainment and gossip. This story is, however not a critique on the modern news network, but rather a look at one man’s view on the Paparazzi. Look at it either way you want, but the Guts casino no deposit bonus codes are defitiely blitzing!
It is nice to seen in an age where the Kim Kardashians of the world are desperate to get every second of the spotlight they can, a lone light in the darkness Benedict Cumberbatch used his time in front of the glow of the Paparazzi’s camera flashes to show the rest of us how it’s done.
So Mr. Cumberbatch you are our Guts man of the week, a honor I am sure you are honored to receive… or maybe I am just honored to bestow it.
The recent IAAF track championships have seen their fair share of memorable moments. However, in the current global climate, none could be more symbolic, or so say some, than the kiss shared between two female athletes on the medal stand of the 4x400m relay…
After edging out American and British teams for the gold medal and finding themselves on the winners podium of one of the biggest athletics events of the year, Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firov did something that is seen by many in the home country as controversial.
The kiss is said to have been in protest of recent anti-gay propaganda laws in athlete’s home country of Russia. However, Russian authorities have been quick to say that the kiss was merely celebratory and that the controversy is a fiction of western media.
My personal view… these women either followed in a long line athletes, like Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Olympic Games, who used the podium as a vehicle for change, or they were simply and understandable ecstatic at their achievement. Either way two good looking woman sharing a kiss… well let’s just say I am not complaining, GUTS for sure!
Basketball is a game of intense skill and hand eye coordination. The idea of a one-armed basketball player as a result is an enigma rarely seen and ever more rarely valued. Zach Hodskins and the University of Florida are however taking strides to change that perception.
Zach is a high school senior from Alpharetta, Ga., is a one-armed basketball player proving one game at a time that any disability can be overcome to achieve greatness. Although he only has half the raw material to dribble anyone that has seen him play knows that this has not slowed him down at all.
He has now caught the eye of the University of Florida, who have offered him “preferred walk-on status.” The status will give him a place on the team without a scholarship, showing that he will not just be there as a sideshow but as a legitimate player for the gators.
As far as basketball goes my skills don’t extend any further than throwing paper balls into a waste basket. With two hands I can’t do what this guy is doing with one, so very simply Zach you get a huge GUTS from us. Keep up the good work and keep inspiring people where ever you go.
Imagine getting inside a pod and traveling at 800 miles per hour from one city to another. A six hour journey by car could be reduced to less than an hour and less traveling time means more time to do what you want to do! Is this the future of travel…
Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla and private space company SpaceX. In addition, he is also credited with being one of the founders PayPal. Musk doesn’t accept the status quo, he goes into a market finds how he could do better and then blows the industry into the future.
It was, as a result, inevitable that when he set his eyes on the high speed train industry that something special would follow. I was not disappointed – the proposed Hyperloop system is like something out of Futurama and uses electromagnetic energy to catapult pods to over 800 miles an hour.
Musk estimated that it could ferry as many as 840 passengers per hour between LA to San Francisco, a journey taking a little over 30 minutes. The pods would be catapulted in tubes running along the i90 freeway and would cost $6 billion, this only a fraction of what it would cost for the controversial proposed high speed train.
Elon Musk we salute you for being a visionary and bestow upon you the prestigious Guts tag, congratulations… now where do I buy my ticket?
Imagine starting down a 20 foot wave, imagine catching that wave and riding! Now, imagine falling off and been catapulted into the path of one of the most powerful natural forces. For big wave surfers this is an everyday reality. They risk everything to get that brief moment of perfection as they hang on a knife edge away from disaster.
Maya Gabeira is a big wave surfer, a big wave surfer that has seen her life flash before her eyes, a big wave surfer that in 2011 at Teahupoo, Tahiti came close to death. The clip is a testament to her strength of will to not give up, but to get back on her board and continue her pursuit of that perfect moment.
Big wave surfers are Nuts but the strength of Maya’s will is something to be truly inspired by. Maya gets a Guts in my book, but I am glad I get to stay on the beach with a cocktail as she does her thing.
Video games have long since been given a negative stigma. Your mother telling you that you are going to get square eyes from staring at the TV too long, or professional postulating that violent video games cause violent behavior, it has always given video games a bit of a bad name. Gryffin Sanders, however, is changing that one saved granny at a time…
Ten year old Gryffin was taking a ride with his granny and younger brother in Golden, Colorado. The trouble started when the 72 year old grandmother passed out at the wheel while travelling at 60mph. This, as I am sure you have already concluded for yourself, is a recipe for disaster and tragedy.
You forgot about Gryffin though! The ten year old jumped into action, leaping across and taking the wheel. He then directed the car away from incoming traffic and into a nearby ditch. The car came to a gentle stop with all occupants of the car safe and sound.
Here is the best part… Gryffin attributed his quick reactions and ability to steer the car out of harm’s way on Mario Kart Wii. Happy ending and a gold star for video games, now this is a story!
Gryffin you get a Guts for being calm under pressure and restoring video games’ good name.