Other talking points:
The superpowers are in disarray.
• While Germany wants to blame the ref for its loss, they only have themselves to blame. Klose had two reckless tackles before the first yellow card was pulled. And they missed a penalty kick.
• Spain played without energy or verve and lost to an always well-organized Switzerland. David Silva had what was probably the worst game of his career and is likely to be replaced by Navas who played well as a sub. Torres was rusty but the real issue was Spain’s lack of width. Watch a replay of the game and pause at random times. Over and over again you’ll see Spanish players standing, in each others space, and funneling straight down the middle.
With as much talent as Spain has, it’s unlikely to happen again.
• England’s lack of confidence is obvious and understandable. The team – the nation – has insecurities when it comes to winning the ultimate trophy in the game they invented. These insecurities can be played out of a team as they move on in the tournament – which England should still do – but it was the team’s lack of energy that is the most concerning. They didn’t hustle and they didn’t give it their all and for that their fans let them know.
• To move on, the U.S. must get out of its habit of going behind before deciding to wake up. A better team than Slovenia will not allow the opposition back into a 2-0 game.
• France is a mess, much to the delight of the Irish who recently became supporters of Mexico. World class striker Anelka has been sent home for yelling at his coach and the team has played without energy and without a sense of identity. Not to take away from Mexico’s solid performance – they showed intelligence and determination – but France’s enthusiasm was non-existent.