Southend United manager Phil Brown's World Cup column: I'd gamble on Germany, if I was allowed to bet!

Echo: Imperious form – the Germans impressed in their win over Portugal Imperious form – the Germans impressed in their win over Portugal

THE WORLD Cup has got off to a great start and it’s been a fantastic competition to watch so far.

Plenty has caught my eye already, especially the Germans.

I’m obviously not allowed to bet on football, but if I was then that is who my money would be going on at this stage.

Beating Portugal 4-0 is impressive even if they were up against 10 men after Pepe was sent off.

And the worrying thing for everyone else is that Germany normally get even better the longer the tournament goes on.

I really do think they have the quality and organisation to trouble the South American sides out there and if any European side is to upset the odds I think it will be them.

My outside bet would still be Belgium. They beat Algeria in their opening game and I have a sneaky suspicion they’re going to do well.

The Netherlands also caught my eye against Spain and that really was an amazing game with the Dutch winning 5-1.

The Spanish centre-back pairing – Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique – were made to look like pedestrians by Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben – and it was as if the two defenders had never played together before.

It really was unbelievable.

WE DESERVED A POINT AND WAYNE ROONEY HAS TO BE IN THE MIDDLE

I ACTUALLY thought England played well in their opening game against Italy and probably deserved a point.

It was very interesting before the game when Fabio Cannavaro, who is working as a pundit for ITV, said Italy would win because they always find a solution to do so.

I was left wondering why England don’t and this time I would say it was down to us having a young team and being quite naive.

We still had the chances to win it though and it was an encouraging performance.

Our backs are against the wall now though and we need a result against Uruguay tonight.

I would certainly make a couple of changes and would love to see the likes of Adam Lallana and Ross Barkley getting more of a chance.

I also think Wayne Rooney has to start through the middle.

Whatever you say about him, he remains a match-winner and can pop up with something special even when he’s not having a very good game.

I also think he is someone who puts fear in to whoever he is playing against

I'D LOVE TO SEE THE WORLD CUP SPRAY IN LEAGUE TWO

ASIDE from the teams and the players, one thing I have absolutely loved is the spray the referee uses to make sure the wall goes back 10 yards at every free-kick.

It’s a great idea and one that I would love to see being used in the Football League.

At the moment, walls are probably six or seven yards away when a dead ball is struck and the only surprise for me is more goals aren’t being scored from free-kicks.

I’m also surprised some joker hasn’t changed the spray into a permanent one yet so we end up with random lines everywhere!

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