Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Portugal's World Cup: The Aftermath

Portugal's campaign at the World Cup ended in rather predictable fashion, but is a lack of planning at the heart of it all? You can check it out here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don´t think the problem is lack of plan. I think the problem is lack of leadership. Although I agree there is also lack of planning.

Scolari is a good example. He wasn´t a brilliant tactician. But he was a great leader and a brilliant strategist. Everybody sees this. Except in Portugal...

I disagree when you say HOL seems to produce good players by the dozen. v Persie was originally not a striker and KJ Huntelaar isn´t really anything out of this world. Pauleta was far better. They have good players in attack. Like us. They have far worse than what we have in the back. It took a coach like v Gaal to come up with a way for them to be able to actually defend. With the entire country against him. But if you win, well...

Don´t tell me HOL had a better team than our best 11. They were 3rd now and reached the Final in 2010 (playing shamefully, like they did against us in 2006). Had we won the group in 2010, we could have played the Final against Spain instead of them. We had a better team.

And I don´t buy the 10-million excuse. Sure, there´s probably a critical minimum. But in Portugal everybody plays ball. The amount of good players that emerge from 10 million is bigger than in other countries with a lot more people.

What we might lack is structure and organization. But that´s up to the FPF... In fact, what is amazing is that with only 10 million and almost zero organization, we´re still able to produce the high-quality we already do.

Imagine if we did have "a plan"...

The striker-problem might be difficult to crack. But even more difficult to understand is why we have the best youth academy in the world (Sporting), and yet we don´t train young players to play as strikers. Why?

We only produce good defenders, excellent wingers (which we convert in full backs) and attacking midfielders. Our good goalies are usually reflex goalies. Not all-round good goalies (our eternal vulnerability in set-pieces might be related to this).

The answer to the striker problem might be because everybody likes to play ball. Not to sit, receive the ball and score. When I was a kid and played in the street, the poor players would either go to goal-keeper or striker. I guess this says it all.

We had Pauleta for ages and it took an absurd amount of time for people to realize his worth and for him to become the owner of the #9 spot in the Selecção.

It´s usual to hear people say: "A or B is a good striker, he just doesn´t score much...". Does this make any sense? Well, it kinda does if you´re tuga. But it doesn´t solve the problem.

One thing is not to produce them, another is to have them and not even realize what you have.

The irony is that Spain created the tiki-taka and abandoned the #9 player. Germany now perfects it. But it was POR that first played what was ever closer to this and the one team that could have benefited the most from abandoning the striker, in the times of the GG before Pauleta.

For Spain and Germany it was a designer solution, for us it was the natural (and possible) game. And look at how great we were and what we won. Look at them (SPA and GER) now...

Like so often in 900 years, we are ahead of time. Frequently as a consequence of our own shortcomings. We are brilliant without knowing it.

Yes, we need a plan. A plan to win matches. Not to show that we are good. Everybody that matters already realized it. The ones that don´t matter only consider "good" the ones that win.