World Cup Post-Mortem: Six Things I Think I Think....

Discussion in 'World Cup 2014: General' started by mfw13, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. mfw13

    mfw13 Member

    Jul 19, 2003
    Seattle
    Club:
    Newcastle United FC
    Post title in honor of Peter King, the great American football writer....

    #1 - The best team won...Germany was clearly the best team at this World Cup, and given how young many members of their core are, could become the first country in over fifty years to win back-to-back World Cups.

    #2 - Having a single super-star is not enough. Argentina was over-reliant on Messi the entire tournament, and struggled to score goals in the knockout rounds against stronger defenses. Portugal underperformed in large part because Ronaldo was less than 100%. Brazil fell to pieces when Neymar got injured. Having a superstar is certainly better than not having one, but rely on a single superstar at your own peril.

    #3 - Where have all the #10's gone? Both in the club game and at the national level, there is a distinct lack of young playmaking midfielders being developed (except for Germany, of course, which has about five of them). Messi and Neymar are withdrawn strikers....Ronaldo is a winger. Pirlo, Xavi, Iniesta, and Sneidjer are now all the wrong side of thirty.

    #4 - Where have all the #9's gone? Other than Robin Van Persie and to a lesser extent Miroslav Klose, true strikers had a mediocre tournament. Now maybe that's because defenses are packing the midfield and clogging up the passing lanes, but Higuain missed more than a handful of good chances, Fred and Hulk were embarrassments for Brazil, and Karim Benzema inconsistent at best. And given that Spain and now Germany have proven that you can win without a #9, is the position itself going to become extinct?

    #5 - There is more parity in soccer now than at any time in the past. Costa Rica won a group with England, Italy, and Uruguay, made the quarterfinals, and took Holland to PK's for a place in the semifinals. Algeria took Germany to extra time. Iran, Bosnia, and Nigeria all gave Argentina a serious run for their money and only lost by one goal. Mexico, Chile, and Colombia showed that they were every bit the equal of Brazil. Italy failed to advance out of the group stages for the second consecutive World Cup. All in all, you've got a group of about 15-20 teams that can each beat each other on any given day, a level of depth which I think is unprecedented in soccer history.

    #6 - The overall talent level is at its lowest in a long time. Outside of Messi, Neymar, and Ronaldo, and maybe Robben & Van Persie, you've very few true superstars. England, Italy, France, Brazil, Argentina, Holland, Spain...none of them have any superstars under 30 (except for Messi & Neymar). Compare that to the level of talent at the 1990/1994/1998 World Cups....Maradona, Matthaus, Klinsmann, Van Basten, Rijkaard, Gullit, Koeman, Romario, Ronaldo, Baggio, Baresi, Maldini, Zidane, Bergkamp, Stoichkov, Hagi, etc.
     
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  2. Ed-D

    Ed-D Member

    Spurs
    United States
    Jun 13, 2005
    NY
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I was thinking that outside of Germany there is a real void at the top of the world soccer pyramid. The only other European team that impressed me was Holland and they're build around Robben and Sneijder, who won't be around too much longer.

    There aren't any obvious candidates to step in and challenge Germany. The traditional powers are all sinking: Brazil are a mess after that 7-1 implosion, Argentina are built around Messi who (as we saw tonight) isn't that great anyway, Uruguay are all Suarez, Portugal all Cristiano, Italy and France anemic, Spain in rebuilding mode...who else is there? England? Don't make me laugh. Okay Belgium showed promise too...
     
  3. Christina99

    Christina99 Member+

    Sep 22, 2013
    Buenos Aires
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Argentina does not depend on a single player.
    Great defense and midfield, great players in the group. Solid, organizated, amazing team overall, lacked finishing.
     
  4. Christina99

    Christina99 Member+

    Sep 22, 2013
    Buenos Aires
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    I think Argentina showed they are far above those teams you mentioned (save germany) we could have won today. If we didnt have injured players we would have scored more. Dont forget we got to the finals and almost beat germany with 3 of our 4 best strikers/players injured. Di maria is really important to Argentina, we lost him in quarters. We lost aguero and higuain before wc started and they never got to be fully fit.

    You cant say we are so behind germany, actually. If we manage to play the final like this (wich was amazing) with most of our starts injured or out of form.
     
  5. Christina99

    Christina99 Member+

    Sep 22, 2013
    Buenos Aires
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    I agree about the other "superpowers" though
    Besides Germany, Argentina and Netherlands, they all more or less suck
     
  6. Galo Vingador

    Galo Vingador Member

    Jan 4, 2010
    Belo Horizonte
    Club:
    Atletico Belo Horizonte
    I agree with Christina.
    While Argentina was lackluster for most of the tournament, they played really really well today.

    They are not up to the level of Germany, but they gave the germans a true run for their money.

    PS: England was mentioned. I think the current english team was really good in this tournament. They were really unlucky to lose two close games that could have gone either way. IMO, they were even better than overrated Brazil.
     
  7. zahzah

    zahzah Member+

    Jun 27, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    Toni Kroos? James Rodriguez? Oscar?

    Asamoah Gyan? Wilfried Bony? Islam Slimani? Granted not all of them made it out of the group phase, but not by their own fault.

    Lahm? Schweinsteiger? Kroos? Khedira? Muller? Klose? Goetze? And thats just the German team.
     
  8. zahzah

    zahzah Member+

    Jun 27, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    I agree that Europe in general is in a decline of quality. I wouldn't count out Spain to bounce back in 2018, but they need a massive generational and philosophical change.

    France is en route to having a great squad. 2014 was just too early for them. They will be ripe for 2018. Hopefully there will be less thuggery and more class.

    Belgium showed promise, but I'm not convinced by them yet.

    England have the players, but they need to invest time in them. Gerrard and co need to be dropped, so the next generation can build.

    You can never count out Italy, but things are not going well for them lately. They need to drop Balotelli for one - he will not be their golden boy.

    Other than that it'll be interesting to see what happens to the following countries:
    Colombia
    - can they expand on this years World Cup? A lot of their best performers are 25 or younger.

    Mexico - they are producing the best youth talent yet. I can see a breakthrough in 2018, as I feel 2014 was just their first salve.

    Chile - can they build on Vidal and Sanchez?

    Nigeria - did decent with a subpar squad; with the best collection of youngsters in the world on their way up (Iheanacho, Success, Yahaya, Nwakali, Muhammed) they could be contenders in 2018.

    Ghana - the quality is there, the 2013 U20 squad will be integrated sooner than later, by 2018 they should have a team in their prime

    Brazil - they need a massive generational change, but you can never count them out. Less focus on tireless workers and more focus on magicians is needed. They also need to sort out their striker dearth. When is the last time no Brasilian striker was in the elite of world forwards?
     
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  9. DutchLion

    DutchLion Member

    Jun 12, 2010
    Amsterdam
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands

    #1
    Agree, overall most stable, skilled, efficient, well coached.

    #2
    Not really agree with Portugal en Brazil examples, if there was any team truly reliant on a single player it
    was the Netherlands. Messi somehow was never took off, he seemed slow and tired in all matches.
    Not running on the field like any other of his team mates. He did score, but I wonder if a more
    active (less famous) replacement would have had the same impact or better.

    #3
    they are still here and new ones arrive but more and more matches don't suit the old way and style of play-makers. I blame the increasing fitness, skill and tactical play which does have the effect you pointed out:
    "because defenses are packing the midfield and clogging up the passing lanes"

    #4
    Same as the play-makers.

    #5
    Yes you are right that teams across the board had more and better opposition then I have ever seen before.
    I think that the largest part of increased parity comes from tactically more solid teams who
    knew their (lack of) abilities and played to neutralize the opponent. Call it "bunkering" if you wish.

    #6 I think that the talent pool is still here. But not as visible as it was 'back then'.
    You need 2 to play, well at least 1 who isn't afraid or stupid to leave spaces.
    Again, packing the midfield and stiffing the opposition doesn't help, superstars and talent simply had a bad time in those games, not possible to shine. Germany being the only exception.
     
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  10. Ed-D

    Ed-D Member

    Spurs
    United States
    Jun 13, 2005
    NY
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Fair enough but keep in mind Germany had injuries as well. Marco Reus was a major part of this team (and one of its very best players) coming into the World Cup and he missed the entire tourney! Yeah we'll never know what might have been with a healthy Di Maria in the lineup last night but the same can be said about Germany with Reus and Khedira, among others.
     
  11. mfw13

    mfw13 Member

    Jul 19, 2003
    Seattle
    Club:
    Newcastle United FC
    Kroos, Rodriguez, and Oscar are all talented, but not close to being superstars.

    None of the strikers you mention are even close to being superstars.

    And while the German team is superb and has many excellent players, I would argue that only Muller could be considered a superstar on the level of Beckenbauer, Matthaus, Klinsmann, etc.
     
  12. zahzah

    zahzah Member+

    Jun 27, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    What does it matter as to whether a player is a superstar? You asked: Where are the strikers and attacking midfielders and I showed you.

    And I don't give a damn about 'marketing superstars'. Gyan and Rodriguez are world class players. Probably Kroos as well, while Bony is on track to take the same route as Luis Suarez and even has better numbers than he did at a similar point in his career.
     
  13. mfw13

    mfw13 Member

    Jul 19, 2003
    Seattle
    Club:
    Newcastle United FC
    Yes, but I said that in the context of wondering where the "superstar" quality #9's and #10's are. It doesn't take a genius to realize that there are plenty of slightly above average ones around. After all, just about every team has someone in those positions, irrespective of how good they actually are.

    And world class players don't have a career path that reads Udinese, Rennes, Sunderland, Al-Ain, with not a single appearance in the Champions League. Bony's career path so far is Sparta Prague, Vitesse Arnhem, Swansea City. I'll start thinking of him as a superstar when he leads the Ivory Coast to the ANC or the WC knockout rounds, or when he starts scoring regulary for a Champion's League club.

    Rodriguez, while no doubt a budding superstar, is neither a #9 or a #10....he's an attacking midfielder/winger in the mold of Messi & Ronaldo.
     
  14. zahzah

    zahzah Member+

    Jun 27, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    They do, if like Gyan, you choose such a club career path. Gyan is probably the only world class striker not playing in Europe. By choice.
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2106303-world-cup-2014-the-curious-case-of-ghanas-asamoah-gyan

    Fact is he's scored more World Cup goals than either CR7 or Messi. Of currently active players only three players have scored more World Cup goals than he has: Klose, Muller and Villa.

    And Suarez's career path was:
    Nacional -> Groningen -> Ajax -> Liverpool
    Liverpool may be a big name club, but it was in a very poor period in their history. Ajax is no better than Vitesse at this period in time.

    Bony is en route and in a better place in his career than Suarez was. Age 25 Suarez had 1 1/2 seasons for Liverpool where he scored 21 goals. Bony scored 25 in one year for a supposedly inferior side. He's not there yet, but like I wrote - he's en route to being a top class striker. And he did score 2 goals for Cote d'Ivoire.

    He's a #10 for all intent and purpose.
     
  15. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

    Apr 7, 2004
    Southern NH
    I'd like to throw out an alternate view. The individual talent level is HIGHER than it's ever been. the issue is people have figured out defense wins. So while the strikers and "flash" players are still there, defending has become a strong position that is focused on.
     
  16. jerrito

    jerrito Member+

    Jun 22, 2006
    America
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    I agree with most of what you say. But Marco Verratti is showing the type of quality that says he will be a superstar very soon. Unfortunately, he did not get to show it for very long in this tournament. :( I was worried about replacing Pirlo about a year ago but not as much anymore.
     
  17. PanchoM

    PanchoM Member

    Nov 3, 2001
    PalmsPlace
    Of course its apples and oranges , but Muller is a better overall player then these .
    I saw most of them play and as time passes their legend grows bigger then they actually where .

    Just look at James Rodriguez and compare his accomplishments so far with those that you've mentioned at 22 .
    Most of them would be at Oscar's level with some even at Joel Campbel 's level at his age.
     
  18. goliath74

    goliath74 Member

    May 24, 2006
    Hollywood, FL, United States
    Club:
    FC Dynamo Kyiv
    Nat'l Team:
    Ukraine
    Argentina minus Messi equals Greece. Yes, excellent defense, stable midfield. But what is Argentina going to do without Messi upfront? Higuain can't score on the sitter. Most other chances required Messi to either create or finish them.
     
  19. Paul Calixte

    Paul Calixte Moderator
    Staff Member

    Orlando City SC
    Apr 30, 2009
    Miami, FL
    Club:
    Orlando City SC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    BS...yes, Spain won Euro '12 that way, but Euro '08 and the 2010 World Cup happened with major contributions from David Villa (I know, I know, #7 :p ).
     

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