BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil —
1. General thoughts on Germany’s 7-1 drubbing of Brazil
Brazil actually started Tuesday’s semi-final against Germany quite well. In the first 10 minutes, they took the initiative, and I think they settled into the game very nicely.
But it was obvious that Marcelo and the two centre-backs and holding midfield players were getting caught in possession high up the pitch. This meant that Germany, once they started to move the ball along the halfway line, were making two or three runs into the Brazilian half and starting to get a sniff.
When you are a coach or a professional player at a certain level of football, you are expected to do something about that. But Brazil just kept doing the exact same thing. Time after time they had players in the wrong positions.
Those four goals in six minutes? I’ve never seen the likes of it.
You would expect David Luiz or a strong presence at the heart of defense or midfield to say, “OK, we’ve conceded one goal, how let’s shut up shop before we let in another.” But they kept on doing the same thing.
Defensively, I would have to give Brazil a zero out of 10 for that first-half performance, which is something I’ve never done. They were terrible.
2. How the Brazilian players will have taken the humiliation
The Brazilian players were shell-shocked. You could see that they were shell-shocked during the game.
Maybe at 1-0, they could have regrouped and been just a goal down at half-time. But instead of doing that, David Luiz kept on doing what he did throughout the tournament—which is go AWOL—and Dante, who had come into the team for the first time, looked shaky as well.
I think Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari will have read his players the riot act during the break. He will have told them something along the lines of, “You must salvage some pride!” But by that stage, Germany were so good.
David Luiz—a £50 million defender—was crying during the national anthem. He should spend more time on his leadership skills and his defending.
3. My own memories of a lopsided scoreline
They were shell-shocked.
When you’re on the end of that kind of defeat, you don’t want the ball. The crowd starts to get on you. It’s your worst nightmare played out in slow motion.
When you’re winning and you’re winning well, 90 minutes doesn’t seem long enough. But when you’re losing in that kind of fashion, the game seems a week, a month long.
Those Brazilian players won’t get much sleep tonight. The Brazilian press will be all over them. It will feel as though their worst footballing nightmare has come true.
4. I want Germany to go on and win it
I saw Germany demolish Portugal, 4-0, in their opening game, and it was those guys—Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller—who did the damage.
I saw Germany beat England in Bloemfontein four years ago with a lot of these players. They had four or five caps then and have 50 now. They look like world-class individuals, and they look a world-class team.
I’d love Germany to win it now.
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