All discussion from armchair Steins and Fergies here. Usual rules apply except World Cup referees are fair game in a World-Cup-Long Amnesty.
First game is on Thursday 12th June
Fill yer boots folks!
Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.
Germany have just shown us what can be done with a squad of good, but not world class, players. How many of these German players will be household names in 50 years? None, I suspect. No Messi, no Pele, no Maradonna, no Beckenbauer, no DiStefano. And all the better for that. If Germany lost a player through injury or suspension, I suspect that a competent replacement would just step in, and the team would get on with it.
Contrast with England’s pitiful efforts to build a team around Rooney, who isn’t close to world class, but let’s for a moment pretend that he is. If Rooney gets himself injured, or more likely, sent off, where does that leave the team? A total blind alley in term of team building, in my opinion.
Football is first and last a team game. Costa Rica are the conclusive proof of that. So the question for us is this- why can’t Scotland do a “Costa Rica”? We certainly don’t have any aspiring world class players to get in the way!
Great point. Germany were excellent last night. With the pundits I think we witnessed something that is all too common in Scotland. In the face of stark evidence to the contrary of what they’ve been saying all through the tournament, they squinted a bit and then presented an explanation that didn’t make them look like they’d been numpties all along.
It’s also easier to focus on crisis and failure than solid achievement, especially when broadcasting to a country that votes UKIP and it’s Germany doing the achieving1. Brazil have been poor all tournament, but have dragged teams down to their level through foul play, spoiling tactics and helpful referees. Then they scraped by on moments on individual skill.
Germany’s brilliance last night was a product of their being able to refuse to play Brazil’s game. They were organised and powerful enough to play their own and Brazil just weren’t good enough to respond.
If Neymar had played last night, he would have been a spectator. Thiago Silva might well have been red carded.
If Germany play like that on Sunday, they will win. Neither the Dutch nor the Argentine teams are good enough to stop them. Both being better than competent, but not fantastic. Without Messi, Argentina would be very average, while the Dutch rocked up to play the last final again and since that game have needed refereeing favours to progress beyond the last 16.
Today’s game should be very interesting – and probably a lot closer than yesterday’s game !
Will we see a free flowing, high tempo, quality game between two footballing heavyweights ?
Or will we see a variation of the Dutch ‘assault the better team’ tactic, as adopted at the last WC Final ?
Just hope the ref is strong and consistent from the outset, and that Messi gets adequate protection.
Come on the Argies !
Last nights game does indeed have a lot to live up to, I’m hoping for end to end stuff, fast paced attacking football, 4-3 win for either side. Doubt it will happen but we can but dream! More likely is that the Dutch will put three men on Messi, leaving them with too few players to attack and the Argentines with no other attacking game plan.
Yawn yawn yawn
Got that one right Ryan. 😀
Well we were spoiled yesterday with the Germany game, but at least Argentina won today.
And it seemed fitting that the Dutch lost on penalties after Krul’s ‘gamesmanship’ against Costa Rica.
But did anyone predict Germany v. Argentina for the final ?
At the outset, I had confidently predicted to anyone who would listen that it was going to be Brasil v. Spain in the final !
Will Germany become the first European team to lift the WC in South America?
I am slightly edging for Argentina only because it would be gratifying to see Messi complete his medal collection. And to become a true great of the game – IMO – he needs at least one WC win.
“And to become a true great of the game – IMO – he needs at least one WC win.”
I disagree. As they’re held only once every four years, World Cup wins are as much about birthplace and timing as about individual ability. Consider the likes of the three Georges Best, Hagi, and Weah, all of whom were genuinely among the very best players in the world in their respective heydays but by the accident of birth never had any chance of getting near to a World Cup win.
Cruijff, Di Stefano, Eusébio, and Puskás are considered four of probably the top ten players of all time, but between them never won a World Cup. They’re still legendary players, and very much true greats of the game.
If Argentina don’t win a World Cup during Messi’s playing career it won’t, to me, in any way diminish the one truly great player in their squad.
Bam Potter says:
July 10, 2014 at 12:55 pm
“And to become a true great of the game – IMO – he needs at least one WC win.”
I didn’t say it was fair BP – but I take your points.
Cruyff was at his peak when I was quite young but I can appreciate that he was a great player…but he didn’t win a WC. I couldn’t tell you offhand how many European Cups, League titles etc he won either.
Pele and Maradonna are typically quoted as true greats/the best ever, and folks will quickly quote their performances – and wins – at the World Cup.
Again, I couldn’t tell you what honours either player won in their careers – but I do know the wins 3/1 respectively – and their performances at the WC. I think most fans could quote the same.
In years to come, Messi could be referred to like Cruyff: a great player but didn’t win a WC.
And if e.g. Bale fulfills his potential at Real Madrid, he is possibly never even going to get the chance to perform on the biggest stage – which is a shame and just down to the luck or not of birthplace.
But, fair or not, I do think WC wins helps to support any ‘the greatest player’ arguments.
And being a football discussion, I respect your views but I suspect we’ll probably have to agree to disagree on this one. 😕
Neymar’s agent has made a wonderful defence of his meal-ticket, by having a cheap shot at the presumably soon to be ex-manager Scolari – and before the 3rd/4th place match.
And he’s just reinforcing that his client really had nothing at all to do with the poor team performances… 🙄
StevieBC your post above on the judgement of great players was wonderful I thought. Astute summation of the extra significance given to World Cup achievement. In fact of the top ten referred to you could probably split it into the top two, Maradona (in my opinion the greatest ever) and Pele, who were very influential in their respective World Cup wins, and the rest of the top ten who don’t have World Cup wins to add to their “greatest ever” claims. I personally would already have Messi in the top ten ever, his club stats at the highest level over the last five years or so are beyond comparison with almost anyone else in history, but should he deliver a standout performance in Sunday’s final and deliver the World Cup to Argentina, I think the argument about the greatest ever all of a sudden becomes a three way duel between Maradona, Pele and Messi. I agree with you therefore that the ultimate criteria people will refer to in considering the greatness of a player must include World Cup success for ultimate recognition.
To add to that though, Bam Potter, your points about the luck of the draw regarding timing and place of birth are entirely valid. It’s not really fair for the likes of George Best that they are almost excluded from true greatness by the circumstances of their birth.
Initially I wasn’t that bothered about watching the 3rd place match tomorrow.
However, the more I think about it, it could be a rather entertaining game.
Neither team – you would think – would/should be playing defensive tactics, but maybe just going out primarily to enjoy themselves.
But Brasil does have the added pressure to try and salvage some of its reputation – and try to please the local population with a convincing, stylish win against a quality European team.
This is Brasil’s last chance for maybe another 4 years to show the world that they still know how to play the ‘beautiful game’.
Winning ugly won’t endear the Brasil team to the locals or their global supporters.
And if the Dutch hump them, then all hell will break loose…
And I would seriously reconsider the national strategy of kissing Neymar’s butt at every vomit-inducing opportunity. How many professional sportsmen/women have cried at a press conference when talking about an injury they ‘might have suffered’ ? He should be smiling, positive and grateful that the injury was not career threatening. Injury is an occupational hazard for any and all sportsmen/women.
IMO and being controversial: I would drop Neymar in the short term at least, as that might be better overall for the Brasil team in the long run.
10 made Final – Not Bad 😉
July 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm
Well done Germany.
The best team won I think.
Can I get my prize paid into an EBT please?
Sorry World Cup Bagsy Limited filed for administration this afternoon.
Well done Germany. Best team in the tournament with some of the standout players. Bring them on.
Great tournament, deserved winners, good not great final. I am now trying to proceed as quickly as possible through the recognised stages of grief now that the World Cup is over, as the hole in my life now feels too big to bear! And the thought of going back to club football just feels…less good. I don’t even mean Rangers / Scottish football / English football / Champions League, club football just feels less prestigious to me at this moment in time.
July 14, 2014 at 12:00 am
‘..through the recognised stages of grief now that the World Cup is over, as the hole in my life now feels too big to bear..’
With you on that sentiment, RyanG. But we have our game against the World Cup winners to look forward to! 🙄
John Clark- glad it’s not only me! Can’t wait to face the champs, but I have this wearily predictable feeling that we will give a “gutsy” performance but lose 1-0. Away. At home we will obviously start brightly and lose 4-1. Thing is, if we beat the rest of the teams those results will be absolutely fine…will we? Hopefully. Last few results have been good, and a lot of teams at this World Cup have shown that you can have success with a well organised, tactically aware team who may not have the most individually talented players. Hopefully lessons are being learned. Strachan seems a fairly switched on man so I have some faith at this point.
Well for me that was the best WC that I can remember watching, going back to ’82.
Whilst the final game itself was not a classic, it seemed appropriate that the last goal scored at the Brasil WC was of such high quality to win the trophy.
A truly exquisite cross, combined with speed of thought – and consumate skill to finish the move in such a controlled manner.
Well done Germany.
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