The Final Nail In The Coffin Of Passion

No country sings the anthem louder and prouder and Brazil, and no country has fans that want it more. This was spectacular proof that that just isn't enough. Not by a long shot...

Last Updated: 09/07/14 at 10:12 Post Comment

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At some point in every single season you will hear some blow-hard going on about how England's footballers lack passion, how they should sing the national anthem, how they don't play for the shirt, how they don't care and how, if only they did all of these things they would become far more successful.

This is a stick that has been used to beat England players with for decades. Why don't you play with more facking passion? Why don't you have more obvious pride? Why can't you belt out the anthem like a soldier going into war and certain death?

A lot of us have always said this is the default view of the phone-in moron and have quietly but profoundly despaired when we hear it trotted out every single year of our long and bitter lives.

But now we can point to Brazil 1 Germany 7 and say, shut up you dopey idiot. Just shut it. No-one cared more, no-one sang their anthem louder, no-one lacked passion and everyone played for the shirt than Brazil. They lost. 7 bloody 1. It is not hard to work out why.

Turns out passion isn't enough, singing the anthem loud isn't enough, playing for the shirt isn't enough, caring a lot isn't enough. Indeed, all of these things, far from being essential can more clearly be seen as being an unbearable pressure; a pressure which crushes even the strongest soul.

As I said in my column on Monday, the over-bearing desire for Brazil to win from all and sundry was too much, it was out of proportion. As soon as anything went wrong, the team fell to pieces spectacularly. They were the tightrope walker who looked down.

Hopefully this will forever put to rest the idea that victory in football is due to much else apart from football skill, organisation and confidence.

If fans could inspire a win then surely Brazil would have won 7-1 not Germany. No amount of passion outweighs any amount of being any good and if those who push it as a panacea to footballing inadequacy don't realise this now, they never will.

John Nicholson - he's on Twitter

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