Brazil’s catastrophic defeat at the hands of Germany has reverberated around the football World, not just because they were hosts and the pre-tournament favourites but because they are the nation that has come to define football excellence. A little of that mystique has gone forever.
The side story, that Tottenham’s last representative at these championships is out of the running for the trophy, has gone rather unnoticed.
Paulinho can probably feel quite relieved that he wasn’t part of the first half mauling, that 30 minutes of chaos when Germany ran riot and the greatest football nation on earth was made to look like a pub team. The current German side are masters at punishing poor organisation, with their speed and skill – as they demonstrated in their opener against the similarly disorganised Portuguese. At least there, their opponents had the excuse of a man disadvantage, at the Estádio Mineirão there was no such hiding place.
Defending is all about organisation and Scolari must take a large part of the blame for this performance. Much weaker sides have defended far better in this competition. However, it is the loss of Thiago Silva, captain and leader in the centre of the defence, that now looks a bigger miss than the much lamented Neymar.
You always got the feeling that this Brazil team were eventually going to be found out. They stumbled through their previous matches by a combination of Neymar’s individual brilliance, favourable refereeing and a large helping of luck. It’s just unfortunate for Brazilians that their home World Cup happened to coincide with one of the weakest sides in their history.
Paulinho is symptomatic of the problem. A half decent midfielder but a Brazil first team player? He’s not exactly Zico. He actually did alright when he came on after the break. The first ten minutes of the second half was the hosts best period of the game and were it not for Neuer, the Tottenham man could have grabbed a consolation goal that may have gone some way to at least preserving Brazil’s dignity. He managed three shots on target and even attempted an audacious overhead kick.
Paulinho certainly hasn’t proved himself at this tournament, like we’d hoped he might. He must be getting used to these sort of results after suffering several similarly pathetic capitulations for Spurs last season. Even Sherwood’s team didn’t let in seven. Some wag pointed out, that after this, he might not think Tottenham are such a bad team after all.
So that’s it as far as Spurs involvement in the competition goes – before you ask, I don’t count the third place playoff. I can’t think of a more appropriate punishment for Brazil’s players than having to come out to face the public again, in a match to determine the tournaments second best losers.
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Do you think Paulinho will be a success next season? Will Germany go on to lift the World Cup trophy? Please let us know your opinion in the comments section below.