Week 28: Prat – The Brazil Defence

by George_East on July 15, 2014

Brazil_pratOur belated Prat of the Week Award for last week goes to the back 4 of the host nation in the World Cup, Brazil

This is a little late to be posted for which I apologies.  Work is nuts.  Our Awards ceremonies must however go on.   As Ray North noted the greatest World Cup since 1982 is over and what a tournament it was.  Great goals, great saves, lots of last minute shifts in the fortunes of games and in the midst of all of that what on its face was one of the most extraordinary scorelines in footballing history, Germany’s demolition of the host nation 7-1.  And yes the Germans would go on to win overall – but let’s remember this was a good but not a great German side either, even if they were deserved winners.   The Algerians almost put them out and Argentina had the best of the 90 minutes of ordinary time in the final.    Once the 3rd place play off result, the 3-0 defeat by the Dutch was added, Brazil lost 10-1 on aggregate in their last two games.

There had been signs in earlier games that the hosts were nothing like the force we have come to expect.  The partisan referring that gifted them a victory against Croatia in their first game.  The 0 v 0 draw with Mexico.  The attempts to kick Columbia off the park in the quarter final.

We had got too used to the idea of Brazil as a world footballing force.  And in South America too.  We did not look at what was in front of us.   We all knew the statistics – no European team had won the World Cup in the Americas and Brazil had not lost at home since 1975 in  a competitive fixture.

Yet this was not the Brazil of 1982 or 1970 or Ronaldo’s victorious side of 2002.  Not by a long chalk.   It was not even the Brazil that ground out world cup victory in the worst of all World Cup tournaments, that in the US 1994.     This was a Brazil side with a goal keeper who was QPR’s number 2 (and who to be fair had not a bad game) and two strikers (in Fred and Hulk) who are probably the worst ever to grace the yellow and blue colours of the Selacao.

But to top it all was the comedy defending.  This reached its peak in the Germany game as without the organising force of suspended captain, Thiago Silva, the remaining defenders appeared not to have even looked up ‘defence’ in the dictionary let alone ever played in their positions before.  The chaos surrounding the first Germany goal as Thomas Muller remained unmarked, even though there were 7 Brazilians in their own box summed it all up.  This was primary school defending.

David Luiz, who Chelsea have just off loaded to PSG for an extraordinary £40M, spent more time in the Germany half than is own, even as Germany were scoring 4 goals in 6 minutes to take the score to 5 v 0 at half time.  Dante standing in for Thiago Silva looked dazed and confused throughout, totally out of his depth against a ruthless German attack.  Real Madrid’s Marcelo seemed to be uninterested in even helping out, continuing to bomb down the left wing  and leaving acres of space behind him for the Germans to exploit.  Maicon wholly anonymous on the right.   It was a prattish performance by any standards, so prattish that by the time the second half came around it was hide behind the sofa painful to watch.


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