29 June 2010

Brazil are Germany are Us aren't Brazil

I imagine Mark will do this better over at Minus The Shooting (actually, I've just checked and he has; bugger that boy's quick - could use him in the England Back Four etc).

The Brazil are Germany are Us aren't Brazil.

Watching Brazil's typical, topical, bullying demolition of Chile was like watching the Germany of old, stirring the same feelings of admiration / apathetic loathing, though the commentators insisted throughout that each and every example of Brazil brutalism and efficiency (not a bad thing at all, really) was somehow an exception to the rule; that despite what we were seeing (i.e. an incredibly organised and tight and hard working unit) they were actually playing Samba style sexiness like they always have (or like they used to up until, say, 1982).

(cf; I know it looks like we're letting the bankers get their bonuses despite it all being they're fault but really it's for the good of everyone...)

It was like watching Liverpool in the 80s. Very organised. Very quick. Very efficient. They had skillful players but even they knew when to put their foot through the ball. Contrast the England of this World Cup, playing at being possession footballers, not playing at being Premiership footballers.

Both Brazil and Germany are playing a version of our game. Way way better.

Brazil are the best team at this World Cup and it's because they were the most organised. Some of them are technically gifted, yes, but it's the organisation that's destroying teams. Importantly, they seem to know what they're doing and are making the most of what they have (and shedding what they are not - Ronaldinho, take a bow).

Brazil are Germany as they used to be. You wonder how come you hadn't heard much about the German players until the World Cup (until every World Cup)? Because organisation doesn't have star potential. Because pace and power and a game plan isn't easy to stick on a DVD best of. It isn't what people want. People want triumph despite the lack of organisation. That's sexy football. That's what that Brazil team of 1982 almost pulled off. That's the Grail.

Socrates: 'True opinion is as good a guide as knowledge for the purpose of acting rightly'?

But they didn't pull it off. And the Brazil team of now are an indication of what can happen after the crushing disappointment of the Golden Generation; you can start all over again, from the beginning, from the back.

The goals given away by Brazil 82 against Italy in that match were the equal of the silly, sucker-punches that England gave away against Germany on Sunday. England didn't have the players to rally - and neither did Brazil. Even the Golden Generation couldn't muster enough skill to win despite no organisation.

Brazil learned from this. England will have to. Play to a pattern, not to players.

Now, anyone out there have a pattern?

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