John Mensah may have adopted the Mickey Gray approach to penalty taking – I draw the line at saying the “Jeff Whitley approach” – but he played his full, lion-hearted part in a thrilling game, and a team display that will have had most of the world saddened by a cruel defeat.
What a game between Uruguay and Ghana. I thought it had everything – pace, skill, vision and the most incredible finish I think I have ever seen in a game of such importance.
Let’s spare several thoughts for the Magnificent Mensah. He had a stormer of a game at the back, forcing the always impressive Diego Forlan wide and deep at times.
Clive Tyldseley said that he was not training with the Ghana team, but was working out on his own with his personal physio, but he has managed to get through two extra time games in five days, so the flesh is willing, even if it does have to be dragged off the treatment table on a fairly regular basis.
His penalty was awful, but he had the mental strength to go up there and take it, setting an example to his younger team mates. He will be inconsolable and it will seem like the world has collapsed for him. But I hope that he comes back even stronger. I so want him back at the Stadium next season. If it is a choice between him and Matthew Upson………..
Poor Gyan. He had a tremendous game and showed his mental strength by taking Ghana’s first penalty in the shoot out. But for the rest of his career, he will be haunted by that miss in the 120th minute. He deserved better for a performance which saw him run, chase, harry, defend and cause a strong Uruguayan defence all kinds of problems.
It’s interesting how many Ghanaians have ended up in France. The scouting systems in England aren’t very good at picking up Anglophone Africans; we have to wait for them to play in Europe and then pay large amounts of money to bring them into the Premier League.
I thought the referee had a very sound game as did the one in the Netherlands v Brazil game. No “bad” decisions, and liberal use of “common sense”. Both must have a chance of the final. I can’t support Howard Webb’s cause after he gave that absurd pen at Sports Direct Sells Lots Of Tat @St James’ Park – the one where Steven Taylor fell over Steed’s leg. Not that I’m bitter…….
So, two predictions wrong and I am hoping that Paulo and Cristiano prove me wrong tomorrow. Da Silva is up against David Villa, a far better player than those he played against last season. It should be another fascinating game.