Jul 072013

First, I will like to say congratulations to Brazil. They played really well and deserved to win. But there is some talking points or rather, the few things we learned from the just concluded confederations cup in Brazil. Here are they five key things I learned from the championship.

1. 4-2-3-1 FORMATION:

This formation is the future, we’ve seen the Dutch bring total football with the 4-3-3 formation in the 70s, the Brazilians making 4-4-2 famous in the 90s, Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan in the 90′s, Johan curyff’s Barcelona in the 90′s and Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in the last half decade with the tiki take. We also need to take into account the success of the 4-2-3-1 formation, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and most recently Brazil have all used the formation to various level of success against the tiki taka kings Barcelona. Even Borrusia Dortmund have had success playing the 4-2-3-1 formation. It is a formation that is based on hard work, grit, aggression and versatility and counter attack. It is also based on the understanding between your pivot players (Alonso/Khedira, Mikel/Ramires, Shweinsteiger/Martinez, Bender/Gundogan) and your band of three (Ronaldo/Ozil/Di Maria, Mata/Oscar/Hazard, Robben/Muller/Ribery, Rues/Gotze/Blaszczykowski) Brazil did very well with the formation with the likes of Gustavo and Paulinho mirroring Shweinsteiger and Martinez’s performance against Barcelona and also with Oscar, Neymar and Hulk putting up a Mazacar (Mata, Hazard, Oscar) performance. I think more teams will resort to this formation mostly because it gives a team more balance.


I don’t agree when people say Spain and Barcelona don’t have a plan B because they do. Spain’s plan B is Iniesta while Barca’s plane B is Messi ( with plan A being the whoever plays as a CF ) but I do agree that they both need a ‘tactical’ plan B. They (both) often lack urgency but in Spain its worse because Barca have a certain Argentine who can make them play very fast but in Spain, the likes of Xavi and Busquets move the ball slowly (sometimes too slow) although the coach tried to change things in the second half by bringing Jesus Navas but the damage has already been done. They need to be able to surprise their opponents and be tactically flexible.


Spain are favorites to win the world cup and coupled with the fact that NO team have ever won the world cup after winning the confeds a year before but lets ask ourselves when was the last time pre-tournament favorites won the world cup? Brazil in the confeds showed that even though they are a Bunch of extremely gifted kids, playing for their fatherland is priceless to them. With the talent, zeal and determination not to let the country down, that they displayed at the confeds, they will certainly do well. They might not be favorites, but only a fool will write them off.


Having a team that boosts of 2 (in some areas 3) good players in 1 position is what every manager in world football would want but for Vincente Del Bosque its becoming a nightmare. The Spanish team have so many stars that it will be difficult to drop anyone, only Sergio Ramos started all the games at the confeds, that goes to show. But personally I think if they can put the Madrid/Barca sentiment aside, they can pick a good team with the right balance. Imagine Martinez starting ahead of Busquets or Caesar Azpicullita starting ahead of Arbeloa or even Xavi sitting on the bench in some games.


I must confess am eating my humble pie. Neymar (to some extent) proved his critics wrong by playing some wonderful football and most importantly playing for the team. He has been criticised (even by me), he has been called overrated, not good enough, not worth the hype etc. But with his display at the confeds (which won him the Golden ball), he has proved that he is destined for greatness. He might not be at the same level with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi yet but he has showed enough for us to know that with hard work he will earn the right to be mentioned in the same breath/sentence with this two great players. He has also proved that he might he a selfish player but he can most certainly play for the team but he needs to cut out diving and play acting from his game if he is to make it all the way to the top.

Well, this is all I observed from the just concluded tournament, if u think/feel I missed anything, feel free to leave a comment.

My name is Ifeanyi Ohaka (mazacar10).

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