We've been at the part of the world cup, ever since the group stage ended, where many of the spectators have been muttering the "could have been / should have been" mantra. Fans don't need prompting from sensationalist reporting about implosions, denigration of the coach's strategy, team cohesiveness, slips of concentration or the vagaries of the drama of the game. Us football fans simply know. We could see for ourselves and feel it in our bones. We know what could have been, we know what should have been.
Every team had its chances - unlike in other world cups, this has been a wide open competition. Read the reports in zonal marking and you won't see much one-sideness. Even where there were clear gaps in class vis-a-vis their opponents (say Honduras or Australia), the teams in question had ... [view whole blog post ]