Arsène On FFP, Dyke On Football, Fingers Inserted In Ears

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It was a day of rich pickings for the media as Greg Dyke took his head out of the ground for long enough yesterday to deliver his commission’s report on the future of English football. Before that Arsène gave them his views on FFP and the raft of penalties about to hit home. Labelling the punishments “sophisticated” was a polite way of noting that they are a fudge, designed to be nothing more than a slapped wrist and more importantly, leaving the sour after-taste. He would approve of the punishment suggested so eloquently by Pamela Stephenson; “kick them in the goolies“. Other than that it’s all a con; “Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?

Arsenal have built a raft of partnerships at various levels with international brands and regional partners such as Bodog promoting the brands’ relationship. The likes of PSG and Manchester City have this structure as well but coming from lower starting points, have ridden roughshod over the rule books and are now ensnared in the murky world of settlements. Reports yesterday suggested the Parisians had halved their fine coupled with escaping playing squad caps and reductions. It seemed unlikely that, being worse transgressors than the soon to be crowned Premier League champions, they would walk away with a lighter sentence. Those French media assertions were quickly quashed by contradictory claims that neither club had agreed anything with UEFA ahead of today’s deadline.

A number of legal positions have been aired in recent days, reinforcing the view of some that the regulations contradict various European laws, rules and treaties. Perhaps they do but given the EEC’s previous direct interventions in football over the free movement of labour, it is surprising that if FFP is such a contravention, it has reached this stage. Perhaps it is and those with more knowledge of such regulations might well see their bank balances improve if the clubs feel so inclined.

Wenger, you sense, feels let down. A principled man, it was inevitable that it would come to this with the politics of self-interest coming to the fore and preventing what might have been actions for the common good. He is just keeping the bed warm for Dyke, the pair soon to become strange bedfellows with wagons already circling. Whilst improving the native talent pool is a laudable an aim, the overwhelming feeling I had on reading the FA Commission’s report was the beneficiaries are primarily the Premier League clubs, the national team improvement is a by-product disguised as a key target. For the rest of the game, it comes down to redistributing wealth to compensate them for adopting Dyke’s proposals. Or as most of us call it, bribery.

Self-interest rules in English football and looking at the most contentious proposal – ‘B’ teams – it is not hard to see why the Premier League clubs favour it. Personally, it is not something I have a problem with as I have advocated their integration into the league pyramid on these pages previously. It made the regionalisation of Leagues One & Two, in tandem with the Conference, work numerically. For me, the current proposals place too much hope in supporters adopting a second team from the same club, missing the fact that the appeal of Premier League clubs is not based on local communities to the same extent that smaller clubs enjoy. It strikes me as unlikely that supporters will travel in any great numbers to watch the first and second strings on alternate weekends; it harks back to an era when fans went to Highbury and White Hart Lane week after week. That era died long before the advent of the Premier League, a moment identified as the root of a lot of the problems the game currently endures.

Yet the proposals defy logic. Why, for example, would you halt a ‘B’ teams progress at League One if they are too good for that division? Surely promotion to the Championship makes more sense in the development of young players? I understand and sympathise with the heartfelt belief that smaller clubs will suffer as a result of this. I am not convinced the nuclear scenario of the second tier of English football being heavily stocked with ‘B’ teams, will ever emerge. I do however see the point of view which suggests it will suppress the ambitions of smaller clubs. Adopting the ‘B’ teams raises an immediate conflict with the FFP regulations domestically. Who are the second teams answerable to in this sense, the Football League or Premier League?

It is the sort of issue that would be managed through if (when) the proposals evolve into reality. The devil will be donning a wetsuit, hoping on a surfboard and riding the wave of self-preservation once the details are released. The ‘B’ team issue got the headlines but I wonder if that was the intention, diverting debate away from what I consider to be the two biggest areas that need to be addressed.

At a youth level, my youngest son (#2) is fortunate enough to play for a team which has access to 3G pitches. They didn’t lose a single home match or training session to the weather this season. A less harsh winter might have contributed significantly to that but the pitches are always available, all four are in constant use weekday and weekend. Do they help technique? Of course, players at their age can control the ball better than we could and thanks to having a coach who refuses to be drawn into route one football, they can pass for England most matches. They can pass better than England most matches. It is this last piece of the jigsaw which is missing from most youth football. There is still an English psyche to overcome, #2’s team frequently out-muscled even in an Under-11’s league although they have toughened up and are beginning to mix that with technique. It is that balance which English football is going to be drawn toward in the long-term, the blood and thunder with a lot more passing thrown in.

There is no use denying that the fundamental ‘battling’ element of the game is going to change; it won’t, the Premier League product is based on that. It can improve with the likes of Arsène and younger men such as Martinez and Rodgers who believe in passing the ball as opposed to the lumpen unsophistication of Mourinho. They have to prevail whilst drawing on the Portugeezer’s organisational skills, to ensure that English football and by extension, England can adapt to the international arena. Some of the graphs included in the report show English players being used to a similar level as their Belgian counterparts, in the Champions League. I’d say that is accurate, it reflects the echelon of the international game England occupies; the next level down from the real elite nations.

Crucial to this is funding. Some, myself included, believe that government at a national and local level has a role to play in providing that. However, more money is floating around in the game than ever before and it is beholden upon Premier League clubs, the organisation and the FA to lead the way in providing facilities for now and future generations to benefit from. Those who claim it is nothing to do with the professional games are naïve. As well as being players of the future, they are the supporters of the future, more importantly the revenue drivers upon which football depends. If the game won’t invest in revenue streams now, football is irreparably damaging its existence.

Aspirations to improve the game, giving players more opportunities – overhauling the Work Permit scenario is something which will contribute toward that – is a lengthy process. #2, if he were that good, is still half a decade away from being of an age where first XI football is considered key by the FA. He is of the generation of players at grassroots level who will among the first to benefit from improved coaching beliefs and techniques. For England to improve, it will take time. Is this the silver bullet? Not in its current form but at least someone is loading the gun.

’til Tomorrow.

54 thoughts on “Arsène On FFP, Dyke On Football, Fingers Inserted In Ears

  1. Quick question kind of related to FFP, YW.

    Did Danny Fiszman invest £57m of his own money to buy players back in the day? That sounds like a load of bollocks to me.

  2. Al

    It’s a rumour propagated by Tony Adams from his book, Addicted. Adams claimed that Fiszman funded the Bergkamp deal by putting the money into Arsenal. However, the neither the 1995 or 1996 accounts show evidence of the money being invested directly either via share capital increase or a directors loan balance at the year end. It is entirely possible that the money was in the form of a short-term loan and was immediately repaid but again, there isn’t any evidence of this. I suspect Adams was told it by someone and merely repeated that.

  3. Thanks, YW. That’s pretty definitive to me. The amount of times I’ve seen this one trotted out. So it’s all Adams’ fault then!

    As for the FA commission. The English team would definitely benefit from having young talent concentrated at four or five clubs, like in Spain, the Netherlands and Germany, rather than 20 or more.

    But then the domestic game loses its soul, all for the sake of the national team, which a lot of people are indifferent to. The thing that makes the domestic game in England so great—that hundreds of thousands of people turn out to watch lower league football every week—actually hurts the national team because the talent is so diffuse and this means there’s no consistency in the way they’re educated. A youngster at, say, Millwall, will learn a completely different style to one at Brighton.

  4. Who would travel to see the ‘B’ team? I’m sure it wouldn’t be too long before a ‘B’ team season ticket was a prerequisite to getting a season ticket for the first team or some such arrangement whereby that pushed you further up the list. With tens of thousands priced out or unable to get tickets for PL matches I’m sure that the attendances would be pretty good anyway, another source of income to add to our lovely cash mountain. Would I go? Probably.

  5. Andy

    I don’t see the problem with it but the inference from Dyke was that you would get PL crowds lower down the league pyramid. It isn’t going to happen, he and everyone knows that.

    Would I watch Arsenal’s B team? For local games, probably. Would I go to Barnet? Probably not but that’s down to geography. I am sure some would and there would probably be a bounce in attendances for a couple of years until the novelty wore off. I genuinely don’t understand the logic in barring these clubs from the Championship though, it seems to stifle growth rather than encourage. And every club would suffer relegation.

    The interesting question is, would I need to have a ‘B’ team blog. A Cultured Right Foot, perhaps?

  6. Morning YW

    I remember – back in the 60s – my father’s season ticket included entry to all reserve games at Highbury in the same seat as for first team games. The games were 3.00 on Saturday so the first team were away at the same time – I think those HT score-board things in the corner were updated with every goal at the first teams match, or every quarter hour or something…. I remember my dad taking me several times and crowds were a few thousand and hearing cheers when an Arsenal first team goal was posted. Of course back then the second XI was just that in those days – a second XI (or later XII) – no squads of 17 then.

  7. I haven’t seen the details – if there is much – but it’s an interesting concept. I can see problems with free relegation and promotion when you could end up with two teams in the same league in theory (back in the day maybe Leeds and Leeds ‘B’?) so there would have to be some degree of seperation. Also what happens if your ‘B’ team is relegated into the conference North or South? What would the point be of Swansea ‘B’ playing in the conference south for example? Would they throw the towel in? Would Chelsea or Man City ‘B’ be a team that cost more than Everton’s first team for example? Are there any plans for financial restrictions? Many questions.

    Perhaps a more interesting question would be the one of your ‘B’ Blog name, I’m sure we’ll get a few suggestions, how about Willie’s Ginger Nuts? (Willie Young of course).

  8. Don’t think that Dyke has produced anything that would improve the game or young players. Don’t like ‘B’ teams in particular. Tough enough for the lowere division clubs now. let’s not forget that it was the premier League who massively reduced their funding. Down from, was it 25%, to 5%?

    Dyke’s not a football man either, All about money.

    I like andy’s questions. Excellent.

  9. Morning Yw
    Practice 1 done – Hamilton on pole
    And a tax rebate – happy Friday!!

  10. Andy

    The Spanish model forbids two teams from same club in same division. So for example if Leeds B finished in League One play-off place, they couldn’t participate because Leeds are in Championship. Their place goes to next team. If Leeds were relegated, Leeds B if in League One, suffers the same fate. Possible for winners to emerge in lower league clubs as well as losers. There are imbalances financially anyway but the B proposals are specifically for the U-21 teams which currently exist.

    If we’re going down that route name-wise, Liam’s Cultured Left Ball is more likely.

    Bob

    Agree Dyke isn’t a footballing man. I was rather proud of not mentioning his part in bringing the world Roland Rat in my piece…

  11. Am I missing the concept? What is there to gain by a league of b teams? Wouldn’t they aspire to play in the a team anyway? And with the premier league stuffed with nationalities the chances are no better than under 19s, under 21s etc making it to the a team of their respective club? Certainly I’m all for increasing and bettering facilities for youth football, having sat on many a grotty pitch in wilshire for no1 & 3 son to get a game in both football and rugby. All youth sport needs more money. My 3 son’s college sold their playing fields for a housing estate!! Great! I would rather see promotion at local level not a b team scenario.

  12. I agree with Bob. Championship team already having a rough time to the benefit of the PL clubs so would not want to see them under anymore pressure.

    Blatter looking to stand again. Until his corrupt reign in football is over nothing will ever change for the better?

  13. clock-end

    The idea is that the ‘B’ teams in the league would replace the Premier League U-21 league currently in place. It presupposes that the more competitive edge of games against other first teams will be broaden the youngsters experience and prepare them better for making the grade. It also opens up the backdoor to the national team squads (an unspoken aim of the report) as a player such as the United lad who scored in midweek is more likely to come to national attention by banging them in the Football League than he is in a reserves league.

  14. I think it’s clear something has to change, & Wenger imo made the most important point and that is the kids don’t get enough training time less focus should be on competitive football until 15 or 16 and more time on the technical side of the game. If you get that right clubs won’t feel the need to look abroad so much because we would have the talent base.

  15. Headline of the day goes to BT Sport:

    Ireland omitted from Republic squad.

    Nothing new of course. In Jack Charlton’s day there was never any Ireland in the Republic squad, they were all English.

  16. Maybe the way to enforce clubs breaking even or making a profit is for the revenue to be aggressive about categorising loss making clubs as their owners ‘hobbies’ and therefore taxing them on their whole turnover. That would change things very quickly. I see no reason why even the smallest football club shouldn’t be run on sound monetary foundations.

  17. YW

    Very thoughtful and provoking piece today. Thanks

    I see the benefits to the boys at the top and the potential pitfalls for the league teams and why they would ardently oppose it.

    I wonder though if it would create a two tier level of commitment and style of play? Take, for example, that Arsenal and Arsenal B exist and the B team are in the championship. If they follow the model whereby they can’t both be in the same league, we’re drawing to the end of the season – ten games to go – and the B team are sitting 6th in the league. Even if they lose every game, they can’t go down. Even if they win every game, they can’t go up (assuming we’re not about to have the A team relegated). The glass ceiling has been reached. The team motivation changes. Albeit slightly, but it takes the edge off of genuine competition.

    Our own AW has been a champion for no winter window, as it distorts the league via the schedule. Tenuous, but he has a point. The same thing applies here. Those that play a B team with nothing to play for at the end of the season have an easier time of it than those they played at the start of the campaign?

    Coupled to this point, and a stand alone point on it’s own, is the viewpoint of a B team player. I appreciate that they see it as a stepping stone to the A team. To show what they can do. But, does that make them into a different player?

    By that, I mean, does playing in an U21 game, with limited media coverage that is predominantly followed by their parent club internally and its followers play a different style in a competitive Championship game that attracts other fans and media coverage – trying to make a name for themselves?

    Whilst I accept that this is part of what is being attempted and arguably any league player is trying to break into the Premier League somehow, the suggestion I[‘m making is that by having a parent club already there changes it slightly?

    I don’t know, but it just feels like the league system that already gets a bit short changed, is further unbalanced

  18. @YW,
    I like the sound of B team football, assuming of course that it would retain young signings at Arsenal instead of being farmed out to clubs with different methods of training and tactics.
    Your comment, Yogi, about your No2 son and the 3G pitches reminds me of the vast improvement in playing surfaces nowadays. The Emirates pitch for our last game of the season, for instance, looked as pristine as last August.
    I well recall Stamford Bridge a few decades ago when the pitch looked like the Sahara after a rare downpour of rain.

  19. Damon

    It’s more to do with experience. If Arsenal, for example, loan out a player, they cannot insist he plays every game. At ‘B’ team level, he will more likely do so. Works better than the loan system as a shop window in the sense that a wider audience gets to see what a player is really like up against ‘seasoned’ professionals. That’s where it has an advantage over the current system of reserve leagues, the standard of play is higher as it is more competitive. As for hitting the glass ceiling, isn’t that where you find out more about the player’s motivation? If he can’t be arsed when there is nothing to play for, can you trust him to do so when it matters? That’s a lot of the difference between those who make the grade and those that don’t.

  20. Brilliant piece there Yogster – it’s a thorny subject, and no mistake.

    I’m a bit torn on the idea – the selfish par of me thinks it would be great for Arsenal but my sympathies lie with the smaller clubs who it would materially affect, and I suspect we big clubs get more than enough things geared to suit our own ends.

  21. YW

    Fully appreciate the benefit to a team like our own and the youth set up within it and the advantage over the current loan arrangements. In that respect, I’m all for it.

    With regards the glass ceiling, I was looking at it from the “A teams” in the football leagues perspective. I don’t think any professional player has had a career of note or longevity that consistently “couldn’t be arsed”, regardless of ability. My point was that there comes a very real prospect that 3/4 into a season, the competitive nature has been removed from teams in a competition.

    We see a similar thing currently, around March onwards, where mid table teams that can’t get Europe and can’t get relegated lose that few percent from the competitive edge. I don’t see it as having a “can’t be arsed” attitude. To make somebody fight at 100% you have to give them something to fight for?

    It’s all well and good to say “the badge”, “the honour”, “first team opportunity” etc, but I’m talking about that little bit extra in those few special moments in a game. Fighting for the title, or staving off relegation just gives that last little 5% or so. To slightly change your words, that’s a lot of the difference between those that take the points and those that don’t from any given game.

    My concern is that we start to distort the league competition. Is it not devalued enough already?

    Don’t get me wrong, with my Arsenal hat on, I’m fully for it. I see only benefit.

    With that said, I place a lot of importance on history, tradition and equality, on my own personal level. Traits that are meant to be synonymous with our own great club too? The potential damage to many other great footballing institutions across our land with this pursuit seems somewhat folly in that respect.

    It will be a sad day when the Premier League kills off any other competitive football in England, but I see this as just another step towards football eating itself.

  22. @Yogi

    Didn’t the proposal suggest or allude to 10 EPL teams? On what basis would those teams be chosen? The concern for some with respect to FFP is that it assists the rich to stay rich whilst making the path to those heights more difficult to reach. This proposal would probably propose the same with a select number of clubs benefitting whilst the rest (10) are largely screwed. My interpretation may well be wrong, in which case I apologize.

  23. Top post Yogi!

    I think something that hasn’t really been spoken about it the fact that the loan system will take a significant hit if the proposal goes through(which I don’t expect it to). Why would clubs loan their young stars out to another club to learn another style of play when they can just put them on the B – team and not only will they play week in and week out but learn the style and culture that their club has brought. Now there would still be a loan system for the Lukuka’s and upper talent that is on the cusp of breaking through and need the PL experience but would the likes of Afobe, Aneke, Miquel all be loaned out to lower league clubs?…..the answer to that question is ofcourse a resounding no.

  24. Heard someone mention yesterday, that after 100 years of existance Alfreton Town can now achieve the giddy heights by playing Stoke City Reserves…

    Crap idea……..

  25. Playing a load of lower league cloggers means our medical staff will need to treble overnight….’thud and blunder!’

  26. C

    And if the loan system goes for a burton, the lower league clubs have to take on more native talent themselves. Means more opportunities for English players and that is Dyke’s intention.

  27. So is it true as they say? That Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are so shit that United want rid of them? I seem to remember us trying really hard to capture both of them but that SAF went to great lengths to avoid another “Ramsey” episode.

  28. oh and B- teams are great for everyone that supports a big club. Its horrible for those fans that support their local sides… but honestly who cares about them anyway right? Aslog as the mighty Arsenal benefits then all is well..

  29. @Yogi

    I get that but if they are stuck in the lower leagues then really nothing is being accomplished because they still aren’t making it to the PL because say Arsenal’s B team will be developing our own players playing in our style and should they not be deemed worthy by Arsenal standards, they will have the experience and will be snapped up the Championship and other lower league clubs.

    I think that Dyke’s vision is nothing more than that, a vision and will not be passed.

  30. I was talking to a mate of mine(we played together through our youth year up to U18’s so we had the same youth coach), and we got to talking about Arsenal and Brasil and the World Cup. He brought up a very good point when it came to Arsene and one of the last Brasilian Managers who was a true lover and believers in “joga bonita” or “futbol bailado”, Tele Santana. For those that don’t know who he was, he was the manager of the Greatest futboling and most talented sides EVER but didn’t win a world cup, the 1982 Brasilian team. My mate said:

    “Arsene and Santana are exactly alike, they don’t care that much about the other teams tactics or style of play, they truly believe that if there team plays the way they know how, whether it be the “beautiful game” that is Brasilian futbol at its best(which the 82′ team did brilliantly)with flair, grace and unrivaled talent and ball control or the possession and moment of genius of Wenger Ball, they won’t change and that is there undoing.”

    For those that don’t know or haven’t seen that Brasilian team(though I must admit I never saw them live because I wasn’t born until 1987 but like I have with Arsenal was bed as a youth into the culture and have engulfed myself in it), you should youtube it, they were oozing at the seams with historical world class talent in the like of Zico, Socrates, Falcao amongst others but only played one style and got picked off by an Italian team that played purely on the counter which was the perfect game plan against a side that attacked with 6-8 players and really only defended with the 2 CB’s(sometimes) and a keeper.

  31. Is that Michael Cane ,, wow he looks so young. I actually worked on one of his estates in Surrey many years ago as a private chef.

  32. Job well done and its official, Kos has signed his new contract. Its on the official page though like with Arsenal, no details were stated but it is reported that his new contract isn’t set to end until 2018 or 2019.

  33. Great piece as usual
    I have been following this blog for 3 maybe 4 years , but never really commented before. What brought me to comment this time was the stuff about how we manage our youth football. About a year ago I stumpled over this piece in The Guardian:

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/may/23/germany-bust-boom-talent

    Ithink it pretty much outline our problems in creating players for the national squad. What hit me the most was this paragraf:

    “The incredible depth of Germany’s coaching resources, as well as the DFB’s close relationship with Bundesliga clubs, helps to make the programme. According to Uefa, Germany has 28,400 (England 1,759) coaches with the B licence, 5,500 (895) with the A licence and 1,070 (115) with the Pro licence, the highest qualification. It is little wonder that Ashworth said last month that there will be no quick fix for English football. The country that invented the game has forgotten that we need people to teach it.”

    Ofc better coaches wont change everything, but the difference from England to Germany is immense.

  34. A really interesting discussion of the Dyke proposals, YW. And following from that in the comments a number of thoughtful responses.

    The only issue that interests me as an Arsenal supporter from abroad is the question of an Arsenal B. Generally, I would like it if Arsenal could field a competitive team in a lower or different league to develop our academy and young player purchases. Given the visa issues, this is difficult to mount as Arsenal B in English football, and in any case runs against the supposed purpose of the report, that is to develop English youth talent. But what I would certainly like to see is a team a lower Spanish league or Belgium–something like that–where Arsenal players from outside Europe can get a work visa and European residency and adapt to European football with competitive games at the appropriate time in their development.

    I’ve mentioned this before–maybe a couple of years ago. It would avoid some of the problems of administering two teams in the same national league structure and have other advantages for Arsenal.

  35. I believe Kos signed an extension to his original deal from 2010 not that long ago (last year?). So the fact that he is signing a new one again suggests that the club are eager to tie him down and forestall anyone coming in for him by granting him quick pay rises. Well, he certainly has earned it with excellent play this season.

  36. I think AW made a very good statement on the FFP punishments. He rightly pointed out that it should be simply about participating by adhering or not participating by violating. But we know that was never really on the table.

    But the main thing he said that I agree with is how he addressed the fairness question about spending under FFP. Some have argued that sugar daddies allow smaller clubs to compete whereas FFP freezes the status quo and makes it difficult for smaller clubs to progress through investment and spending by owners. AW came out in favor of an equalization like US sports have. I think this is philosophically consistent.

  37. This may be ludicrous but blame it on my ignorance of English football culture.
    Can Arsenal and other financially capable clubs buy a stake in a lower division club to
    a. Allow blooding of younger players
    b. Sustain football at grassroots level
    Is this or any similar arrangement possible under FA rules?

  38. @LSG

    The fact that Kos has signed is most definitely a great thing, it shows the fans and the club that he wants to stay and see things getting better and us having what it takes for him to win the silverware that a player of his talent wants to win.

  39. I would like to see against Norwich:

    Sczny
    Jenks—Kos—Verm—Nacho
    ——Flamini——Kallstrom—
    ———–Mozart————-
    Eisfeld——-Yaya——-Podolski

    In the FA Cup Final:

    Sczny
    Sagna——Mert—–Kos—-Nacho/Gibbs
    ———Flamini———Ramsey——–
    —————–Ozil—————-
    Santi———–Giroud————Podolski

  40. Earflow

    That’s another option. It used to be the case where clubs had nursery non-league clubs, why not adopt a club. Except it would be incredibly unpopular with other clubs.

  41. C,
    I was 12 for the Spanish WC. There are 2 times i have cried in football. When we lost against Barca in the CL final, and when Paolo Rosi scored against that brilliant Brazilian team during the 1982 WC. No wonder I ended up being an Arsenal fan.

  42. @Edgar

    Honestly I cried when my youth coach was teaching me and showing me videos of that side. Watching them play was the epitome of everything that I was taught about and I love in futbol: grace, technically brilliant, perfect passes, free loving spirit and play of futbol but most importantly a love for everything that “joga bonita”, “samba boys”, “futbol bailado” or simply the “beautiful game” stands for. Zico put it best after that World Cup, “the day futbol died”.

    Even now watching Socrates, Zico(arguably the best #10 in the history of futbol), Falcao, Eder, Toninho Cerezo. They were such a joy to watch. Santana wasn’t always the best manager but he understood what Brasilian futbol was an stuck to his guns to the bitter end and it cost him the World Cup in 82.

  43. @Yogi

    If there was ever a team that could beat the 1982 Brasil side, it was the Italians because they played purely on the counter and against an all out attacking side that was blessed with so much attacking brilliance they were able to take their chances. Though the 2nd goal was a bit lucky off an individual error(not clearing the ball all the way) it was still a very good side. Lets be honest, though nobody really thought that they could be beaten especially with the ease in which the Brasilians scored.

    Rossi though was a very good counter attacking striker.

  44. C

    The third goal in the win over Brazil was one of the most defining World Cup moments in my teenage years. When it came to the final, they were worthy winners.

  45. @Yogi

    They were worthy winners, but as a fan of Brasil, it was truly gut wrenching. It was the perfect manager with the perfect players to see out his vision and they were undone by everything that they weren’t: defensive, counter attacking well drilled machine.

    Honestly it was a sad day but one that saw Brasil as a whole search their souls and adapt their style of play and physique. I am personally on the side that still wants and believes that they can win playing as the true Samba Boys no doubt in my mind and that maybe naive but I have also said something about it just makes you feel good watching them express and playing free and with so much joy.

    It does bring me back to your post, Brasilians are taught to be technically perfect and enjoy futbol with a free spirit and flair but not taught and brought up to be bigger and stronger(well atleast the attackers). Those that are, are generally seen as defenders and defensive shields and that is why many struggle when they come to England bu flourish in other leagues. I said when Neymar went to Barca, if he would have came to Shitty he would have struggled mightily because for all his technical perfection, he is built like a toothpick and is not physical at all.

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