'I think I preferred it when we were s**t' says one City fan in the afternoon mailbox. There's a decent chat about the empty seats plus views on Liverpool and Roma...
With black managers hugely under-represented in English football, Nick Miller says it's time to consider the potential benefits of the Rooney Rule. There is simply no good reason not to...
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This Made Us Laugh
Brazil 1 - Germany 7 - Does this mean we don't have to play Futsal anymore?
I guess that's what we get for saying there weren't enough goals in the knockout rounds...
James Jones, STFC
Brazil v Germany Conclusions
*The main one is that the Premier League season was a long time ago. This was obvious from the number of Arsenal fans on Facebook/Twitter finding it hilarious that a teamwould ship so many goals in such a short space of time, and from their Liverpool counterparts' glee at a team who came so close to glory before the wheels came off in spectacular fashion.
*Arsene Wenger has been doing media work in Brazil during the World Cup, and may have watched this game with an eye on some potential signings. Although there are rumours of a move for Sami Khedira, it's more likely he was looking at the Brazilian side. Players who can bottle it and leave it in the dressing room in such spectacular fashion when their best player is out injured would be ideal Arsenal signings.
*How do coaches and captains get their team motivated again after that sort of thing, besides clapping and shouting while having a side parting or bandaged head? In baseball, coaches try to get something going for their team by going nose to nose with the umpire for a screaming match, which inevitably leads to ejection from the game but does show some sort of spirit; in ice hockey, as the conventions of the game allow, someone would start a fight, just to get everyone a bit fired up; in basketball or American football, teams can call timeout. Obviously none of these things apply to football, but what does? Was Scolari simply shouting "come on boys, it's still 0-0" after every goal? It just seemed like neither Brazil's senior players nor their manager were able to do anything meaningful to turn the tide.
*This was like watching a lop-sided rugby league game, which at least would have had the excuse that the minnows who concede have to kick the ball away to the free-scoring giants, rather than being given the opportunity of a few kicks.
*Last season, during Liverpool's early dismantling of Arsenal, the point was raised on F365 that the lightning quick pressing was either going to yield several goals, or none and leave Liverpool's forwards too tired at the end of the game. Germany's start was similarly impressive, and later as they sat back a little bit, the fact that they had been pressing so much early on meant that Brazil gave the ball away in shocking fashion, the after-effect of having to play at a higher tempo than usual leading to players rushing passes.
Ed Quoth the Raven, CPFC the Glaziers, Notts
...Scolari got the team selection wrong from the start. I expected a
very close encounter. The better option was to set up the team to sit
deep and counter. Everyone expected the germans to have majority of
possession except him.
- The forward three were s**t, again. How on earth did Fred get called up? Hulk and oscar were invisible to say the least.
- Dante should never put on the famous yellow shirt. I don't really get
this, where was Miranda, one of the top performers of the year?
- Fernandinho - I don't know where to start. Forgettable game. Hopefully
not his last one.
- I believe Luis Felipe is Brazilian, so how on this earth did he not get
the nod? A better option defensively compared to Marcelo
- Bernard was refreshing to watch. He kept on running and taking on
_ The Germans were immaculate
Not Sad To See Them Go
Is anyone sad to see Brazil go out? The team, and the nations, overwhelming smug sense of entitlement to the trophy has made the previously lovable Brazilian sides of the past a fading memory quickly replaced by this arrogant bunch of players and supporters.
An extremely average side, bolstered by home advantage, and a star player, that got them one stage further than they should've done.
The question was asked on the BBC this morning, "Imagine Germany had been playing England" implying we would've got an even worse rollicking. I don't think we would've done as badly as the Brazilian side.
Justice. Karma, Whatever.
Lack Of Partnerships In Brazil Side
I'm sure last night's result (and the obvious mistakes of Luiz, Dante, Marcelo et al) will be done to death in today's mailbox, but looking back, one thing that is striking to me about the Brazilian teamsheet is the complete absence of links and partnerships throughout the team.
Maybe it's my English bias, coming fresh from a season which has reminded us of their importance (Suarez/Sturridge, Koscielny/Mertesacker, Fernandinho/Toure...), but it seems that in every area if the field, Brazil had players that just seem to be a bad match for each other.
Neymar's injury surely left the way open for Hulk to play on the left. He is heavily left-footed after all. At least if you're leaving him on the right then play Alves behind him, who has the ability to overlap and offer width. On either side, Willian should surely have been a shoe-in alongside Oscar, a player he knows well from Chelsea, and busts his balls for week-in, week-out.
Replacing the suspended Silva with Ramires (rather than the anonymous Gustavo) would have given them another familiar face to play alongside them both. As it was, Gustavo and Fernandinho looked like they had never even met!
And then there's that defence- oh lordy. Who out of Dante and Luiz does the organising? Who is going to attack the first ball, who is going to cover? In many ways, they're the same player: strong, skillful on the ball, but prone to lapses. They also have the same hair. Can they play together? Echos of the Gerrard/Lampard for England problem there.
This isn't to say that they wouldn't have been thrashed anyway, or that Germany weren't amazing. But selecting the best individuals only gets you so far, as us brow-beaten England fans can attest.
If There Was Ever A Day 'Fawning' Was Fine, Surely?
Can we stop fawning about Germany please? Yes they did a job on Brazil for the first couple of goals but until then Brazil were in the game - albeit quite gung ho.
Once the second and third went in it was Brazils incompetence brought on quite understandably by the impact the players must have been feeling at that point, that contributed to the capitulation - not Germany's brilliance.
Most teams could have taken Brazil apart at that point - they were completely shattered and in disarray. I don't think there has ever been a comparitive occasion in international football history to how things panned out and how the players must have been feeling due to the surrounding events - the expectation, the occasion, and the crushing reality of what was happening to them.
It wasn't pleasant viewing to be honest. I don't think I'd have fully enjoyed it even if it was England piling on the humiliation. The players, the fans and the country didn't deserve that. It's been a fantastic World Cup - this has dented it somewhat.
Is This The Future?
Extraordinary, but is this also the new normal? As the top sides (both club and international) get stronger and stronger, as the money and the science and the fitness and the worship of players gets ever more intense, I wonder if the margins between them are actually getting narrower, making very high-performing teams more vulnerable to being dramatically undone by one-off tactical superiority that previously would have made rather less difference to a result?
Combine that with the young age that the best players find themselves joining youth teams at top sides, breeding a lack of experience of how to deal with getting well beaten in a game, and maybe we're heading for more results like tonight's?
Steve Mahoney, Coventry
A United Fan Irked By Liverpool. Who'd have Thought?
Now as a Man Utd fan, I've had to bite my tongue an awful lot over the last 12 months. It's been particularly painful to see Liverpool do well over the last season, and more irksome still that closet/plastic Liverpool fans in the media and in general come in legion once Liverpool have a good season.
It's been gutting and the only high point of the season is that Liverpool didn't win, since I live in Liverpool it would have been unbearable. What is unbearable is the sense of grandeur many Liverpool fans have now. One swallow doesn't make a summer, one good season doesn't mean you're back amongst the big boys any more than Manchester United's terrible season means they're now a small club.
Yet we have Liverpool fans writing in with the arrogance to assume that everyone under the sun wants to play for Liverpool and that it is the biggest club around. Here's a hint: it's not even the biggest club in England.
The idea that players like Falcao, Rodriguez and Sanchez and everyone else the newspapers link to Liverpool will want to switch clubs is just fantasy. Monaco is a big club for France, is ridiculously rich, and Rodriguez is one of their stars and gets paid a fortune basically tax free due to Monaco's laws. Add that Monaco is surely a much nicer place than Liverpool then why would they give that up just because Liverpool have returned to the CL for the first time in a few years? Given Sanchez' reported preference for Arsenal over Liverpool, I would suggest that Liverpool are not the big draw that their fans would like to think.
Now I understand that as fans, many of you would like players like Sanchez, Cavani and Falcao to join Liverpool, that's fine. Wish away. I wish Manchester United could sign Ronaldo and Pogba again. I wish for Kroos and Lahm too. Kroos and Lahm are playing for the biggest team in Germany, the winners of the CL and I have to face the truth that they are unlikely to want to leave for United, even if United are a big team with a great history. To act like joining Liverpool is a no-brainer when they are playing at big clubs in their respective leagues for big money is unfettered arrogance.
Daniel Lee (may as well wish for Zlatan too)
Why The Anti-Ozil Agenda?
Call it "Arsenal paranoia", but what is the with the anti-Ozil thing? Honestly, I don't get it. Before he moved to Arsenal, I had no particular opinion on him as a person - I knew very little about him really. Having 'got to know him' over the last year, he doesn't seem to be a nasty player, he doesn't seem to offend, he doesn't appear to bite opposition and he isn't a twunt like John Terry.
And yet, if he doesn't score two and set up three in a match, he is slated. Like no other player I can remember, he is scrutinised and picked apart. Even in a team that trounce the hosts with some wonderful football.
I honestly want the mailbox to answer this: Why?
Is it because we (Arsenal fans) were so excited that the club spent some money that it was imperative to shut us down? Is it because he didn't score 20 goals last season? I admit I expected a bit more from him, but he was nowhere near the flop some would like you to believe.
Having slaughtered Brazil 7-1 tonight, the Daily Mail Click Wh**e Society used Ozil as their angle (I didn't read it, but I know many Arsenal fans would've taken the bait) but I just want to know what is so offensive about the bloke?
To me he seems a pretty shy, normal guy. And although he doesn't always play with a smile on his face - unfortunately - I think he's trying his hardest and has a big desire to both please and win for his team.
Joe, AFC, East Sussex