The entirety of Earth’s population sang in unison around yesterday lunchtime, when everyone put their sandwiches down and simultaneously bellowed ‘Jo!?’ in a chorus of bemusement upon reading the names that made Brazil’s World Cup squad.
The inclusion of the hapless former Manchester City and Everton forward was one of many selections those based outside of South America found flaws with, though the decision to omit Liverpool duo Lucas Leiva and Phillipe Coutinho in favour of Chelsea pair Ramires and Willian seems vindicated on the surface.
However, on closer inspection, Big Phil’s overlooking of the Anfield twosome in favour of their Blue counterparts is almost as reckless as calling up Jo.
Leiva and Coutinho could be celebrating a maiden Premier League title win if the Reds topple Newcastle on the final day of the season and Man City lose at home to West Ham.
The 14/1 about Brendan Rodgers’ men claiming the top prize in English football suggests the unlikelihood of events panning out in such a way, giving the aforementioned double act the second cause for grievance within a week.
When measuring up their stats against the two based in west London, both can consider themselves unlucky not to be representing their country at the World Cup.
Lucas vs Ramires
The Blue Kenyan may have been more of a fixture in his side than Lucas, but were it not for injuries his alliteratively named compatriot would’ve been harder to exclude.
Ramires’ discipline could cause his country problems, while his tackling ability isn’t anywhere near the level required of a World Cup-winning defence screener.
The former Benfica star successfully dispossesses an opponent just 39.6 per cent of the time, averaging just 2.8 tackles per outing.
Lucas outdoes his Chelsea counterpart in both of these departments, averaging 3.4 tackles, 44 per cent of which he emerges triumphant from.
His 91 per cent pass completion rate is also superior to Ramires’ effort.
Coutinho vs Willian
Sporting a haircut kids these days are calling ‘the Acorn’, Countinho’s five goals and seven assists confirms he’s a better attacking option than his countryman with an equally suspect Barnet.
The Chelsea man has created a meagre two goals compared to the ex-Inter youngster’s seven and took on 20 opponents fewer than the 21-year-old on Merseyside.