Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bring Brazil down a notch

"If we were watching any other team in the world, I'd say that they just aren't at the races today" - Mark Lawrenson

As I write this there are 35 minutes gone in the Brazil vs Croatia match and I have been drawn to my keyboard thanks to continuous comments like the one above from the BBC's commentary duo. We already know that Brazil are a great side with talented individuals, but they are not Gods, they are not unbeatable, and they do not deserve this consistent and sickening adulation from those who watch them play.

Why the 'if they were any other team' Mark? Are Brazil not capable of having an off day? Motson is guilty of this misguided worship aswell; upon the South Americans winning their first corner of the tournament he was heard to utter "Oh do Brazil have to bother taking corners now?" Well yes they do actually John, because those are the laws of the game. What about this one; "When the Croatians broke then, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Kaka and Adriano didn't even bother chasing back, they were sure enough to say 'Oh well, we can just let the defence deal with it'." Well, that's just poor and irresponsible football in my book, not an opportunity to manufacture another compliment.

They have just been built up so much by all and sundry that I was almost disappointed when they took to the field in their traditional yellow shirts as opposed to long flowing capes and luminous Spandex with the letter 'B' emblazoned upon their chests. Yes they are capable of producing moments of magic (Kaka has just put them in front), but to be honest I haven't seen anything in this World Cup so far that England should be quaking in their boots over, and that includes this first half performance from the reigning Champions.

I love watching great teams play great football and I'm not anti-Brazil by any means, just anti the incessant talking-up of a side we are likely to have to face eventually if we want to go all the way in this tournament.

None of the favourites have set the World alight. Argentina, Holland, Italy, Portugal and Germany have all looked good in patches but in my opinion they have all missed the opportunity to lay down a marker that says 'we are the team to beat this year'.
Granted we didn't perform to the heights of which we are capable during our first match, but the World Cup is a marathon not a sprint, and the pundits who were so quick to criticise the performance were the same pundits who have been telling us all season that the mark of Champions is the ability to win games without playing well.

The actual performance aside, the tournament couldn't have gone much better for us so far. The draw between the Swedes and Trinidad and Tobago means that a victory on Thursday will see us qualify for the knockout stages after two games, add a draw against Sweden next Tuesday and that will be enough to see up top Group B and go on to face the Group A runners up. Ecuador look likely to fill that position at the moment, and I'm not too frightened about the prospect of playing them...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Cynic Athletic. I couldn't agree with you more, I'm sick of everyone fawning over the Brazilians and the gulf in class between them and the likes of England isn't nearly as big as people make it out to be. Fair enough, they've probably got the best players in the competition but their not super-human and I'd back us to beat them with our potientially superb all-round team. Their defence and centre midfield isn't a patch on ours. And don't get me started about Motson.
Well done Cynic, although I'm also a huge fan of the Brazilians, I'm glad someone's come out and said what you have.
Will Dalton

6:55 pm  
Blogger colin from welling said...

100% agree mate, I found myself getting very irate just before the game, having to listen to all the constant brown-nosing which in turn became a mixture of disbelief and denial when it became obvious that Brazil are as human as the other 31 teams out there. So much so that for an hour my world became red & white chequered!!

Sure, they do have a better set of players, and their rate of improvement will probably be 5% more than everyone elses, but they're certainly not invincible.

1:11 pm  
Blogger CharltonChris said...

I know I said that no one had impressed me so far this tournament, but I can take that back now.

Argentina have impressed me, they're currently 6-0 up against 10 man Serbia & Montenegro.

3:50 pm  

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