So the World Cup is over and Germany are deserving champions. I could talk at length about how this tournament will go down as the best tournament ever for so many different reasons but instead I’ll do a few of my quick thoughts about this tournament.
- Brazil as hosts had the pressure of a nation on their shoulders, through the group stages they looked shaky at best and we’re carried by Neymar and dodgy refereeing decisions and the weaknesses we’re undone in a big way by Germany. It showed how poor they really were and it is a result that I will never forget and those players certainly won’t.
- Argentina did very well to make the final but we’re helped out by a very easy draw and then when they did play some good opposition they just decided to shut up shop and hope Messi could conjure up some magic. For much of the tournament this worked but not when it mattered against Germany and they we’re beaten.
- On the subject of Messi how he can win the Golden Ball is beyond me. Yes he is a world class player, probably one of the best ever, but that doesn’t give him a divine right to these awards. He wasn’t even the best Argentine player! Maybe it was something to do with the sponsors of that award being Adidas whose poster boy is conveniently Lionel Messi, who knows. Rodriguez, Muller, Schweinsteiger or Mascherano would all have been more deserving recipiants.
- Also to stand up for Messi for a second he will get a lot of criticism for not winning a world cup. Some will even go are far as saying that stops him from being the best ever which I think is stupid. One player can’t win a World Cup, as proved by Portugal, Brazil and Argentina. It takes a team which is why Spain and Germany have won the last two. To judge Messi’s credentials as world class on how the whole Argentina side do is ridiculous.
- Germany have been immense all tournament and truth be told they have been immense for 14 years now. 4 world cups and they have made the semi finals, at least, in all over them. That is some record. Their system of bringing players through in groups from all ages groups has been proven and they will only get better with players like Draxler, Kroos, Lars and Sven Bender all to feature more in the future. I think that the coincidence of Bayern Munich being the best side in Europe and many of their players also playing together for Germany, the best side in the world, also needs noting. This happened with Barcelona and Spain. For England to be successful I think it needs to happen here but sadly I can’t see it happening. The closest we are going to get will be Liverpool with Johnson, Flanagan, Gerrard, Henderson, Lambert, Sturridge, Lallana, Sterling etc. but there is still a long way to go before that team and those players match Bayern and the German players.
- To end I reflect on a poor tournament for England, I won’t go into details but Germany have shown the power of a players or group of players playing together at all ages levels up to senior and not just jumping form under 18s to senior. If they play together then they gain experience together, they know each other. 7 of the German squad won the European under 21 Championship together. They beat an England team where 1 player now plays for the senior team. People like Luke Shaw, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, John Stones, Ross Barkley, John Flanagan should all be together as a group in the England Under 21’s and they can then progress through as a group. This alongside improvements to coaching should be the focus for England and not B teams.
For 4 years now we wait until Russia 2018. This World Cup has been the best for many years, maybe ever, and I for one can’t wait to see what Russia have to offer!