How Big Phil got it so wrong

Brazil are shell-shocked. Never have they been picked apart with such ease and faced such humiliation in a World Cup finals. They may have been without their two most valuable players but that offers no excuse for the shambolic and utterly useless display produced in their 7-1 humbling. There was not a single player on the pitch in a Brazil shirt who did himself justice but the buck does not stop with them. Luis Felipe Scolari, an experienced coach who won the World Cup in 2002, made several inexcusable tactical errors in the match and, arguably, in his squad selection prior to the tournament.

Scolari made a number of errors that cost Brazil dearly

Scolari made a number of errors that cost Brazil dearly

Beginning with his squad selection for the tournament, Scolari made several odd decisions. There was a lack of balance in the squad and should something happen, as it did, to Neymar there was no obvious replacement. Lucas Moura would have been a far more suitable option to replace him than Bernard and his absence from the squad seems strange. Moreover, Alexandre Pato, despite not hitting his best form for some time, is an infinitely more mobile and dangerous option than the lumbering Fred and Jo who would, frankly, struggle to get anywhere near any top side in the world. They would even be a long way off being picked for England’s squad, and we are hardly blessed with top of the range front men. If Scolari had his time again, I’m sure he would include both men at the expense of Jo and one of the centre midfielders such as Paulinho or Hernanes. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and Scolari was unlucky to lose Neymar, but his job is to foresee all circumstances and ensure there is cover for every position; the balance was just not there.

Should Big Phil have selected Lucas Moura?

Should Big Phil have selected Lucas Moura?

Returning to the match itself, Scolari created more problems than he solved with his selection. In the piece I wrote prior to the match (https://originalfooty.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/brazil-vs-germany-preview-tuesday-9pm/), I mentioned that Bernard was an option to replace Neymar but was unlikely to be selected due to his lack of defensive capabilities, yet Scolari thought otherwise and it backfired. Marcelo may have had one of the worst matches of his life but Bernard never helped him and his selection reeked of naivety. Ramires or Willian would have undertaken the dirty work that Bernard was not willing to do and been a far more suitable selection.

Did Scolari have better options available than Bernard?

Did Scolari have better options available than Bernard?

Tactically, Brazil were also naïve. Rather than sit back, let the German’s have the ball and then hit them on the counterattack, Brazil decided to take the game straight to them with miserable consequences. Germany have the superior squad of players and will have been over the moon that Brazil decided to take them directly on rather than make life difficult for them by sitting back and making the German’s break them down. Had they sat deep and defended as a unit with the ball in front of them, the German’s would have struggled to find the space they needed to create opportunities and Brazil could have pressed and quickly capitalised on any errors that they made. Whilst Brazil were the inferior team on paper, they made life unnecessarily difficult for themselves and gifted the victory to their opponents. Germany do not need an invitation to march to victory and Brazil let them walk all over them through an accumulation of poor tactics, odd selections and unforgivable performances.

Whilst Brazil were awful, it is worth noting that Germany were very good indeed and thoroughly deserve to be in final. They will rightly be considered the favourites for World Cup victory after that performance and it will be no surprise to see them lift the trophy on Sunday. Finally, we at @0riginalfooty would like to congratulate Miroslav Klose on becoming the top scorer at the World Cup finals. None of the goals have been particularly wonderful but they all count and it’s a skill in itself to get yourself in the positions that he finds himself in and he has been a terrific striker at this level.

Miroslav Klose is now the top scorer in World Cup final's history

Miroslav Klose is now the top scorer in World Cup final’s history

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