Brazil’s game today was not a clear indication that Germany is a thousand times better than them – rather, today’s game was a clear indication that they missed their best defensive player and their best offensive player.
Germany didn’t have much of a challenge today (if any), and Brazil lost their game against Germany before it even started (which I honestly didn’t expect). I said in a previous post about Brazil that Scolari missed the boat with some of the selections he’s made for the World Cup. Lucas deserved to be called up as he offers the flair that they so sorely missed without Neymar today. With Thiago Silva missing the game, Filipe Luís would have been a great player to put in the back next to Dante, especially considering that he is more defensive-minded than Marcelo – who I believe has been a weak link throughout the World Cup.
But all of that is quite irrelevant, and what is relevant is Brazil’s unfashionable demise… In this World Cup
Brazil never emphasized playing their Joga Bonito style football. Instead of playing the “beautiful game” as they are known for, they relied on midfield grittiness from the likes of Paulinho, Luis Gustavo, and Fernandinho – and in my opinion this proved to be their downfall. They simply could not compete with Germany’s midfield offensively, and as a result were completely take advantage of. Brazil’s best defense has historically been it’s attack, and today that was clearly proven as they lacked any semblance of attacking structure. Their dependence on Neymar throughout the World Cup was impeccably obvious today. Their team got by when Neymar was healthy, and it would have certainly been interesting to see if Thiago Silva could have influenced their defense if he were in the game. But ultimately, and as I said before, their absence is irrelevant, and Brazil should have never lost so terribly to Germany in the first place. Furthermore, I can’t comprehend why the best right back in the world – Dani Alves – didn’t start in such an important game. While I do like Maicon, he is way past his prime and should not have been given the chance on such a big stage today. Brazil will now need to respond with fury if they are to defend their World Cup performance – and the best way to do this is to dominate in the third place game.
But anyway, Luiz Felipe Scolari will have a really tough time dealing with the football press as Brazil’s suffered it’s worst defeat in their 94 years of football. This game was not just a loss, but it was a uppercut to Brazil’s football willpower and a microcosm of their larger issue – that they need to field more technically sound creative players. Joga Bonito is not dead, just as Tika-Taka is not dead – Brazil just needs to find the players to play with a technical love and passion that they have seemed to miss this entire world cup. Also, Brazil lacked depth, and that is Scolari’s fault first and foremost. Countinho deserved a spot after his year at Liverpool… Pato is better in Scolari’s system than either Fred or Jo, and Miranda played lights out for Atletico this year. Yet, Scolari overlooked them all, which is utterly unbelievable.
That said, Germany’s performance should be admire as they took all the chances that Brazil gave them. Germany is playing much better with Khedira and he should continue to start. Furthermore, Hummel’s return seemed to have shored up a defense that was terrible against Algeria.
One more point: André Schürrle should start in the final and for Chelsea this year. He’s more clinical than people give him credit for and takes all the chances he gets without a moment’s hesitation.