Brazil expect to samba through

England’s World Cup hopes evaporated faster than a Ronaldo free-kick, but at least their youngsters showed enough promise to possibly redeem the national team in future tournaments.  

The England manager Roy Hodgson got the best out of a relatively ordinary team, is the consensus.  

Even though David Wight has been a diehard Brazil supporter since the 1974 World Cup, the Caymanian businessman is also a dedicated English Premier League fan because of his life-long love of Arsenal. 

Wight and his twin brother Chris have been friends with Arsenal legend Ian Wright for years and socialized with the former England striker and his family when Wright was working for British TV as a pundit in England’s warm-up game in Miami earlier this month. Wight is surprised by England’s World Cup performances so far, losing 2-1 both times to Italy and Uruguay and making the result of Tuesday’s game against Costa Rica academic because they will finish third at best in Group D and know they go home after.  

“They were not totally outplayed in either match, but in my opinion they could have done better if the manager had picked what I believe to be a better team,” Wight said. 

He was surprised that Danny Welbeck and Jordan Henderson started both games while Hodgson had players like Ross Barkley, Jack Wilshere and Adam Lallana on the bench.  

“I think he should have started Lallana over Welbeck, and either Barkley or Wilshere instead of Henderson.  

“Anytime those three come on England look a better team. 

“I do not feel that Hodgson should be replaced. He has a good young squad that will be stronger and better in the near future and with the Arsenal ace Theo Walcott still to be included after injury, England can do better if the manager picks a more attacking team.” Wight does not think it is right to change the manager too often so Hodgson deserves to stay. 

He really believes that Brazil will win the World Cup and insists that’s not just because he has always supported them.  

He sees players like Neymar, Hulk, Fred and Oscar finding better form and really living up to massive expectations. Brazil have made an uncertain start, but all the danger teams have been struggling too, Wight said. Even Holland, who thrashed world champions Spain 5-1, did not play well in managing a 3-2 win over Australia. 

He points to the fact that Germany did not impress in drawing 2-2 with Ghana, and Argentina have been ordinary and too dependent on Lionel Messi. Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 in their opening game but did not excite in the 0-0 draw with Mexico. The samba kings take on Cameroon on Monday at 11 a.m. Cayman time, and Croatia play Mexico at the same time. Brazil need a win to guarantee going through to the knockout stages.  

Monday’s other matches are also at 11 a.m. In Group B, Australia play Spain knowing that they are both going home afterward because they lost both their opening matches. Holland and Chile are vying to see who tops the group.  

“When it comes to the knockout stage, having got over their nerves of playing at home and with Hulk back from injury, in front of their large and adoring fans and playing with their usual flair and class, it will be hard for any team to beat Brazil,” said Wight. “That is why I’m confident that they will become world champions for the sixth time.” 


Neymar hopes to find the net against Cameroon on Monday. – PHOTO: AP