Wow. Just Wow. Plus Debuchy, Sanchez & A Near Miss For Arsenal


Brazil, we were told four weeks ago, would erase the ghosts of 1950. They did exactly that, just not in the way expected. For Moacir Barbosa, read Fred; the role of scapegoat cast in the hapless forward’s direction. That is the story this morning, the emasculation of football’s gods, how jogo bonito was made to jog on.

Amid all the crying, the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Brazil’s humiliation, spare a thought for the Germans. How must they be feeling this morning after the events of the night before? Absolutely epic. I suppose the thought must be niggling at the back of Joachim Löw’s mind that his team has peaked too soon but to me this was the performance that Germany had promised since the start of the last World Cup. The style of football lends itself, the quick-fire rat-a-tat-tat passing exploiting the weaknesses of their opponents. Stereotypically ruthless when opportunities arise.

Their task is to translate it into winning this World Cup.

Four years ago I thought that we would see the English game lurch toward the German style but tika-taka had yet to be fully exposed. It has at club level in the Premier League, Arsenal were the arch exponents and defensively found wanting prior to last season. Wenger and the coaches morphed their tactics to the more direct style of the Die Nationalmannschaft, a journey that has yet to reach its final destination. With the players touted as arriving, that may be on the cards.

It would be tempting to write off anyone else in Sunday’s final. Kroos edged Man of the Match for me but Sami Khedira wasn’t far behind. The former displayed the form that makes him Real Madrid’s object of desire, a move which may free the latter for a move to Arsenal. Yes, I know, it’s a tabloid tale but if Khedira can recapture that performance on a regular basis, he would be a tremendous acquisition for Wenger. He will no doubt be joining Yann M’vila in the queue for the medical room soon.

Mesut Özil has reportedly been the subject of much criticism this season, including over the last week or so since the final group game, through the knockout phase. Some confidence in front of goal and he would have silenced his detractors, the quick passing style fitting him like a slipper last night.

As good as Germany were, there is no denying that the abject level of Brazil’s performance helped them. Reduced to long, aimless diagonal passes from David Luiz, they carried not threat or air of menace in attack. Never has one squad been so hopelessly exposed as a one-man team. Actually, a two-man team and neither were playing last night. For all the attacking drive Neymar inspires in them when fit, it was Thiago Silva whose absence was most cruelly felt. Luiz looked shell-shocked at the vacuity of Dante’s performance alongside him. Marcelo was the rampaging wing-back whose leaden touch and tactical naivety caused so many problems. Löw had identified the full back as a weakness to be exploited and Germany set about doing  just that from the opening minute. There was no-one there to organise the back four, no leader; whether they were capable of listening is another matter.

From the opening match against Croatia, I felt Brazil had been weighed down by expectation. The nation wanted them to deliver, that is understandable but with this squad, unrealistic. Home advantage counts for nought beyond influencing weak officials. Having rode their luck against Mexico and Chile, the manner of their performance against Colombia where they fouled with impunity was, in hindsight, the warning sign that all was not well. I didn’t expect them to win last night, I thought beforehand Germany were far better. I didn’t expect them to collapse like a building in the hands of skilled demolition experts either. But they did and an ignominious exit, the like of which has never happened at a World Cup in my lifetime, beckoned. It was the one opportunity they didn’t squander.

Brazil will want to erase this from their consciousness; the World Cup from Hell. This morning’s Guardian iPad app seems to have done the job for them:


So to Arsenal and how that match has changed this morning’s post. It was all about epic journeys, how we might consider ourselves the modern-day Gilgamesh and Enkidu on their way to Cedar Mountain. I hadn’t worked out who would fill the role of Humbaba but suffice to say, this was nowhere near the literary giant from which it was borrowed. It revolved around Jeremy Wilson’s Daily Telegraph piece and it is one which you will either agree with or like myself, find a few issues with. It’s too romantic a vision, one that merges the long-term commercial strategy into the playing side. The latter has been far from strategic in that regard, there have been too many self-inflicted wounds for recent seasons to be seen to have coherence as their byword.

It came right last time around in the end, the Premier League disappeared with the kindness of the fixture list ruthlessly exposed. That the gap to the top was closed to just a couple of better results is the foundation upon which to build with the millstone of those trophy-less years removed. The by-product of the FA Cup win is that expectations naturally rise. The long-held belief is that losing a couple of finals and semi-finals worked its way into the mindset of the players, that the first trophy would ease the burden by proving to themselves they were winners. Catharsis? Maybe that is the emotional rollercoaster ride we will embark upon over the next nine months.

On the transfer front, there was quite a scuffle at Colney yesterday as Mathieu Debuchy apparently barged past the likes of M’vila and Kalou to have his medical. A done deal that started the day as £8.9m is now £11m plus Campbell and Jenkinson on loan. Arsène may not be happy but Kalou’s valuation is now just over £5m for some bizarre reason best known to Lille. I’m just grateful that Roma seem to want to sign a companion for Ashley Cole and are reportedly willing to pay that sum. Anything that keeps him away from an Arsenal shirt beyond wearing it around the house, is most welcome.

Alexis Sanchez meanwhile, must have been held up at El Prats or has Iberia lost his luggage? We should be told because everyone seems to be expecting him to sign today, even Arsène. Well, either today or some time next week; you know how long it can take in baggage reclaim. Loic Remy meanwhile is expecting the call to talks with the club supposedly chatting with ‘Appy ‘Arry over how much of the £8m transfer fee will actually make its way to QPR. His value started this summer at £12m but like Balotelli, the only loser for his World Cup performances seems to be the selling club. It’s makes you wonder if the Argentine Chancellor of the Exchequer is in charge of market valuations such is their volatility. Another day in transfer paradise beckons.

And I’m still waiting for the stadium PA announcer to substitute Deutschland Uber Alles with the Dead Kennedy’s version. Perhaps Sunday.

’til Tomorrow.

171 thoughts on “Wow. Just Wow. Plus Debuchy, Sanchez & A Near Miss For Arsenal

  1. Hats off to you, YW for touting the Germans as winners. I was too taken in by the media weatrher stories and how we northern Europeans couldn’t possibly compete in those conditions.

    Well, they were right about England, I suppose.

    On the other side of the coin, it seems someone has finally got your number. Had to happen some day. Bunch of sycophants on here.

  2. @Pistol

    Yes, Ohio. It is a complicated story and one I will share with my online mates when I can but Mrs MA and I could will be relocating in short order. Safe to say that something’s are a foot, but not everything is a done deal and there’ll be a number of issues to be addressed when the ink is drying.

  3. C@4.08…Yup, and then you end up down the rabbit hole if you care enough.

    Rusky…doh be a nincumpoop ya whole life, ta.

    They wanna hurry up I’m aching to sing….
    WE’ve got Alexis sanchez, we’ve got Alexis sanchez, na nar nar nar hey, na nar nar nar hey 🙂

  4. @MA

    Yea the agony of defeat is one thing but being put to the sword on home soil is a completely different thing. Tell Mrs. Miami I do wish Germany all the best though as I hope they lift the cup not just because of Ozil but also because I couldn’t stomach and for that matter any Brasilian or true supporter of Brasil watching Argentina lift the World Cup on Brasilian soil.

    Columbus, good move. I’m from PIttsburgh and am up there quite often so maybe we could catch a match sometime.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if atleast Sanchez is announced as the rumors are really revving up that the deal will be finished today and announced with the PUMA deal.

  5. “Columbus, good move. I’m from PIttsburgh and am up there quite often so maybe we could catch a match sometime.”

    You a Steelers fan? I’m a Cowboy myself but even if you are a Steelers fan catching up would be great at some point. If the move happens 🙂

  6. Miami

    Righto Mate ! Well its gonna be a big change if it happens. Ohio aint not South Florida I can tell you that. Been there a couple times.
    Well if you have not move by the start of the new season we must definitely catch a game before you go. You still owe me a pint for the whole Suarez non transfer. :=)

  7. North,

    Yeah, they get snow 🙂 It is not as humid which would be a great attraction for me, Pistol clearly handles that better than myself, but given I’m from a temperate country like NZ then seasons actual are welcome.

    If it happens, then I guarantee that I snuggle Mrs MA more closely on the colder evenings 🙂


    It does doesn’t it. It is a little cloak and dagger due to some possibility of legal action as part of the relocation… not on my part mind, but due to the ramifications of the move for my wife and what that entails for her actual work. Not quite spy versus spy, but this has the potential to annoy some lawyers in Miami.

  8. Pistol,

    Even if it is a preseason game or something, I’ll definitely try and make that happen 🙂

  9. Holy Mackerel, Yogi, this Rusky chap, took the words out of my mouth! There is far too much erudition on this blog.! As in the film, Amadeus, when Mozart’s composition was being evaluated, the Emperor suggested that there were “too many notes.” Indeed, the Rusky, has evaluated in a very clear fashion that there are far too many words on this Blog. At this very moment, I may be going over the limit for posting on a blog. In fact, I have decided to use the Rusky’s refrain when speaking to those who decide to barrage me with their knowledge. Rusky’s essential point must be taken seriously. Words can be lethal!

  10. @MA

    Sounds exactly like an Arsenal transfer actually mate. Hope everything works out for the best for you and the Mrs.

  11. I’m not sure Pistol, if he did, it wasn’t a game I watched because I would have rembered.

    Do people realise that Germany scored nearly as many goals against Brazil as they did in the previous 5 games, where they scored a total of 8 goals.

  12. There was rumor of him being injured but then after the final whistle yesterday he was walking around the pitch in his kit.
    Be sad for him to not get a game.

  13. MA, so it is like the Sanchez deal! Who is making this happen, AW?!

    Good luck with everything. You will now be required to be an Ohio State Buckeye fan, which is quite a move away from the Miami Hurricanes in college sports terms, especially college football (gridiron).

  14. Thanks lads.

    Podolski did get some minutes in one of the games I believe, less than 15 though I think.

  15. @LSG

    Lowe said he hasn’t featured because he is carrying a knock that he picked up prior to the World Cup.

  16. Argentina


    Vlaar—-De Vrij—-Martin
    Kuyt—-Georginio–De Jon—Sneijder—Blind
    ———Robben——Van Persie

  17. khedira showed last night why hes one of the best in the business..
    i know weve been linked to schniederlain and bender, who arent bad players themselves and we could do alot worse, but if theres a chance khedira is leaving madrid this summer then i would like to think we are going for him..

  18. also dont you just hate it when everyone from the media to the players dads to the players haridressers have been saying its a done deal for best part of two days yet the club dont say naff all??
    normally it means its not happening..
    just fucking announce it already im fucking bursting here.. 🙂

  19. Poldi played in the group stages one or two games. But after that, no… And Mertesacker has been dropped now. I don’t see any chance he starts in the Final. He came on in the semi-final during Brazil’s only good spell in attack where Neuer was making save after save. That isn’t going to help his cause with Low, probably. Frankly, Arsenal players haven’t had a terrific WC overall. Ozil is a wonderful player but he hasn’t quite made the kind of impact with his performances that would serve notice for next season. But I do expect him to have an even better season, particularly with a healthy Theo and Sanchez to work with.

  20. I think it would be shame not to have a Latin American team in the final to give some flavour to the proceedings. But I’ll be rooting for a Germany win either way now. Hopefully Ozil has a tremendous game and is the hero of the final. Now that would be special!

  21. ” So apparently Sanchez’s hairdresser has posted some photos saying that the deal is final.”

    Modern Football. Years ago it would have been a players’ barmaid that first knew, now it’s the hairdresser.

  22. so…we are apparently signing sanchez for around the same price as what liverpool payed for lallana

  23. Also it doesn’t look great when the hairdresser is a lot taller than the football player!

  24. This new optimistic JJ is a completely different person. Yea the good old JJ shines through but busting with joy and laughing and not all pessimistic is actually kind of weird.

  25. On the bright side, Kos, Giroud, Diaby, Rosicky, Ramsey, Ox, Gibbs and Jack all get a good rest for the new season!

    Like to see Diaby stay fit and challenge, but i don’t think he will! if he’s fit, good player to have for rotation

  26. Tell you what, i think Juve will be big in the Champs league this year! V Strong looking squad

  27. ive found a lot of tone can be lost in text C..
    im always having a bubble, whether it looks pessimistic or optimistic..

    to be brutally honest though, when you are being linked to players like sanchez its hard not to be a tad excited..

    transfer windows are like meeting women..
    theres some you meet and you take home and you feel like a billion quid afterwards.

    then theres some that you get home and it turns out shes got a cock and your gonna feel not so good about that.

    ive spent the last few years watching us being the club who takes home the bird who wants you to tickle her bollox..
    its nice being linked to the chick that everyone wants to bang for once..

  28. Juve are a strong side for sure. Porto, Pogba, Vidal, Marchisio. Very strong midfield. Sanchez would be perfect for them!

  29. There would have to madmen in control of RM in order for them to consider selling Khedira. So it’s on then. He’d command a fair amount of change though. We’d need a new revenue stream – unless those commemorative FIFA 2014 WC-Arsenal Speedos are selling at the corporate website.

  30. philmar the thing with teams like madrid is that they love to spend big on superstars even when they dont need them..
    every year, two or three players coming in..just for the sake of it..and to win presidential elections..signings are like bribes..
    the result is unless they want a squad of 100 superstars they sell the players who they bought 2 or 3 years before..

    perfect market for teams like us who are looking for players we really do need

  31. Phil

    If they’re bringing in Kroos, i don’t think Sami is top priority to keep. I think Ancelotti want’s to build his own team! I expect Di Maria to leave this season or next! I think Kroos would be perfect for Madrid and Ronaldo

  32. @JJ

    I know mate I was just having some fun. Your a straight shooter and that’s what makes you you mate.

    Players like Sanchez and Ozil, you don’t have a choice but to be overjoyed.

  33. @Philmar

    The thing with Khederia is that his contract runs out next summer so Madrid risk losing him for not come the winter window when a team can sign him to a pre-contract like we saw with Lewandowski and Bayern.

  34. straight from the hip C..
    cut to the chase..simple yet effective 🙂

    evening guv..
    crap post, too long, stank of shit…

  35. Lavezzi is terrorizing the Dutch!

    This is probably the most fluid that I have seen Argentina all tournament long.

  36. That taking a woman home who turned out to have a cock business, JJ.

    Never happened to me.

    Evening YW.

  37. Not so clever by van gal….taking off rvp…more of that inept tacticalness next season please.

  38. Louis van Gaal will be hoping all his Man U games will go to extra time and pens for the 3 points next season. Never understood everyone hailing him as a tactical genius

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