World Cup Armchair Report: Day Seven

A sideways look at the latest action from Brazil

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1 What's The Matter With Thierry Henry?
There were big hopes for the Frenchman to be one of the star sofa performers of this World Cup but the expected Gallic charm and Mum-friendly cheeky smiles have been replaced by a dead-eyed stare that makes us wonder if he is only in Rio due to a complex hostage situation and is only 'punditing' under duress. Of course, it could be big match nerves and we're hoping he can "grow into" the tournament.

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2 Banned Camp
Grizzled ex-England boss Fabio Capello has banned his Russian squad from using Twitter. Judging by the first half against South Korea, he has also banned them from playing football.

3 Sturridge v Suarez
A revealing insight into the relationship of the Liverpool teammates came via a Daniel Sturridge interview in which he admitted to "not being in texting contact" with his club colleague, going on to say: "I hope he's fit, I hope he's ok. I wouldn't wish injury on any player." Wisely omitting the words "even him".

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4 From Russia With Gloves
The Russian goalkeeper made one of the howlers of the World Cup so far, but BBC commentator Steve Wilson may have gone slightly over the top when he described him as “in the depths of a miserable hole of despair.” Chin up, it’s only a game.

5 Button It
The BBC is still beseeching viewers to press the red button for alternative commentary from Radio 1’s Scott Mills and Chris Stark. Then stay tuned for Mark Lawrenson and Alan Shearer with the latest on the UK Garage scene.

6 Eargate
The TV hell continued for the real Phil Neville with an earpiece malfunction during the Russia v South Korea match. The rogue audio equipment initially caused his ear to be folded over like a piece of misshapen pasta, but by halftime it was flapping freely around his shoulder. And at fulltime, there was no earpiece to be seen. Conspiracy theories abound. Was it really there? Is he being operated remotely? [pic attached: Neville]

7 Hair News

Viewers of Russia v South Korea could have been forgiven not only for dozing off but also for wondering if they had then woken up in the era of Bobby Charlton, with Argentinian ref Nestor PItana sporting a quite exemplary retro combover.

8 Lawro Lawro laffs
At last – the world's most curmudgeonly pundit says something vaguely pertinent. During the Brazil v Mexico match, the erstwhile owner of the world's worst cookie duster offered this gem on Marquez, Mexico's imperious centre-half: "You don't need tattoos to be a top footballer." Thanks Lawro. Thanks.

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