World Cup 2014 PT 1

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Like an avid GoT (or any other captivating TV show really) fan awaiting eagerly for the premiere of the next season, I sit here during lunch at work with an emptiness in my heart that is the World Cup. I know, I know, the next match is on Friday, so it's not that far away. And yet, here I am wondering what I'm going to spend tomorrow's lunch hour doing. I could grind even more on that branding guidelines book... or perhaps I can devote some time to work on other matters of personal interest? Hm, I don't know yet.

Anyway, I've spent quite some time over the past month watching this phenomenon, cheering for triumphant moments, cursing at the lapses of judgement, and lamenting at the could-have-been's and the ultimate losses for some of the teams.

That was totally me... minus the Kangaroo costume

There has been quite a bit of drama this season, from uncalled fouls/penalties, shoulder biting, outstanding saves and fantastic goals.

The few words I would describe the World Cup as however, would be evolution, unexpected and controversial.

Evolution: As demonstrated in the devastating loss of Spain in their game against the Netherlands (oh the irony), The method of tiki taki passing seems a bit outdated. Yes, there were other factors that contributed to that humiliating loss (no effective strikers in their national team, the goalkeeper making poor decisions, poor defense strategy, etc) but had Spain been more aggressive in the way they played, maybe things could have been a little different.

I can't even...

But no matter, I've noticed a trend that has been happening through other games that certain teams would bunch up their defense significantly, making the passive excessive passing technique harder to achieve, and thus forcing the opponent to rethink their plans of attack. One such example would the match between Argentina and Switzerland, where the Swiss took a 4-5-1 formation:

As evident in that match, it was difficult for Messi to get into the penalty area like he usually would, and swerving around the players was almost impossible since there was an extra body or two to block his way. The tactics of soccer are changing to more aggressive, turn-around plays and mid/long range shot attempts...

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