It's all very well getting giggly and excited about the World Cup, but what of the social cost to Brazil? Do FIFA have a responsibility to ensure accord and sustainability..?
The stark realisation for Manchester United fans is that their Everton counterparts seem much happier without David Moyes. Even more so after their 1-0 win...
At the start of the week I expressed the hope that the Champions League would give us a decent supply of schadenfreude, but when Arsenal and Chelsea were threatening to follow up Tuesday's Manchester double with a London one, in the five minutes or so when both led, this looked to be another prediction to forget. Oh me of little faith.
Basel's conversion of opportunity into victory has prompted the reaction you would expect: delight among the unbelievers and confusion among the true Blue faithful, who would surely have known how to react had Napoli's victorious manager had still been in charge.
Still, reading Mailbox clarified a thought that had manifested itself watching Chelsea a) take the lead from a fine ball by Frank Lampard after a neat pass from David Luiz and b) fail to defend in the manner you would expect, especially at the corner for the winner.
Aravind wrote in Mailbox: 'I have been hoping we sign a CDM (we have the quantity in that area but not the quality). A player who would smoothly transition defence to attack and take responsibility when we are not in possession.'
David Luiz (one of life's Roberto Carlos's, using first name and middle name) has always been regarded as suspect at the back, prompting Gary Neville's famous PlayStation jibe. Martin Samuel endorsed that view last December after one of Rafa Benitez's early games in charge, writing: '[David] Luiz, as a central defender, is unreliable, everyone knows that. He wants to get forward. So move him forward, and play him in front of the back four.' The Mail scribe went on to concede 'it's not as easy as that', praising Benitez for his use of John Obi Mikel to make this plan work, but praise for David Luiz the midfielder grew across the season.
By May, the Guardian's David Hytner wrote of 'the blossoming of David Luiz': 'Benitez...laid out the pieces of the puzzle and came up with the solution. David Luiz loves to get on the ball, maraud forward and make things happen. At centre-half, there is no safety net in the event of a slip. So why not try him in midfield? Obvious but effective.'
The previous month, Gary Cahil said of his converted team-mate: "He's great in that position because mentally he's defensive, even though he has attributes to go forward. It's great for us because he sniffs out a bit of danger and never strays too far, so it works well and it's good we can use him there if need be."
Yet now David Luiz finds himself back in central defence, since recovering from the hamstring injury that ruled him out of the early league games. True, he picked up that injury as a defender for Brazil in the Confederations Cup and Benitez did not use him exclusively in midfield, but it has been no surprise to see the 26-year-old labelled a defensive liability again.
In the summer, Mourinho conceded: "Can he improve defensively? Of course. But it is my job to try always to improve players." The Portuguese has a fine record in this regard, it is true, but the lessons look especially expensive in this case. Will Mourinho respond by trying last season's solution, say with John Terry back off the bench and in the back four with Gary Cahill?
We are familiar enough with Chelsea supporters' Benitez Derangement Syndrome, the belief that everything about the coach who led them to third and the Europa League was wrong. But if David Luiz does not return to the role in which he gained much praise, and instead continues to struggle at the back, then Benitez's successor will be at risk of a similar diagnosis.
Chelsea were awesome towards the end of last season, their midfield was the best in the Prem by far and lethal under Benitez. Now they just look like a monkey f****ng a football.- dalglishdagger