José Pekerman's World Cup Diary: Uruguay without Suarez will lack bite
Columbia's Jewish manager shares his thoughts
Hola, mi compadres Ingles. Welcome to week three of my World Cup diary, and what a week it has been for Colombia.
On Friday, we became victorious over the Ivory Coast and so on to the final group partido against Japan. Of course, we were already qualificado for the next phase of the competition so the game not so important.
But I have a couple of problemos. Firstly, the venue for the partido was Cuiaba, which I can tell you is one of the most shvitzing cities on the planet. I move to Bogota because mountain air is better for my chest so this is not ideal — no place for Jewish guy of certain age.
Other problem is that if we finish group top we face Uruguay — tough team. So I decide to make eight changes so we not win and face Costa Rica instead. You have a saying in Inglaterra, “you not win nothing with kids”.
However, unfortunamente, I am not able to lose a game even if I try at the moment — opposite problemo to Roy Hodgson, no?
I make big investigation into the Japanese team — they have many good players. I like Kagawa of Manchester United and Honda is powerful with good engine, but my reserve boys go out there and destroy them — oy vey.
Martinez was not able to stop scoring, Cuadrado tie them in knots. In the end I decide to send on James Rodrigues when the match was nearly over to see if he could score another gol or two (I have him in the sweepstake) and he pop one in the net. So, I guess the partido was not a complete disaster.
So now we have to play my old adversario Uruguay in the round of 16. Fortunamente I’m sure will not be facing Luis Suarez. I thought he would leave his mark on the tournament but he leave it on Chiellini instead. I have sympathy for the boy — we all like to eat Italian occasionally (but no Parmesan on Bolognese sauce for me — I am one kosher hombre), but he let the side down, the manager down but most of all he himself down. We have a saying in Colombia — three bites and you are out (actually I just make that one up), so now he needs to return to Montevideo for mui grande holiday.
A word for my friends in Inglaterra. I know myself what it must be like to be England manager — after all my Argentina team lost to Germany on penalties in the 2006 quarter finals. Sound familiar, huh? Pain must be terrible, but on bright side Italians also go bye bye and we intend to give Uruguay a lesson in football.
We will have Brazil fans on our side (Uruguay is like Millwall — no one like them, they not care) and with not Suarez in their team they will lack bite up front. I predict a quarter final place for my boys.
As imagined by Simon Round