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Spain Gets A Samba Sized Dose Of Humility

imageBlame it on Rio? Nope, I say you blame it on arrogance, Spanish arrogance to be precise. It warms the cockles of my heart to see Spain and their boring overrated “Tiki Taka” get their asses handed to them on silver platter from a Brazilian side that just inspires me and makes me love the game of football.

Spain, like Barcelona, have been stuck in their dogmatic style of play while relying on too many players from their old guard who I feel should be shown the door so that younger and better players like Thiago and David De Gea can get their well deserved turn to star.

Lost in today’s route was the growing fact that both Barcelona and Spain have relied far too long on players who are either getting on in years or who clearly have left their best behind.

Xavi may have been a great player but only a diehard Catalan would be blind to his obvious decline in pace and skill these past two seasons. Iniesta, is still great but even he seems to have lost an edge. As for Real Madrid players, nobody is going to convince me that Jose Mourinho was a buffoon to have benched Iker Casillas even after his hand injury healed. He was in Mourinho’s doghouse well before the injury. And Sergio Ramos for me is nothing more than a massive liability being constantly caught out of position and constantly fouling players in the worst positions on the pitch. And today he even made a meal of a penalty kick.

Gerard Pique is a solid defender but is weak in the air and he gets frustrated easily when things go against his team. He got the deserving red card in this final but I remember how bad he was in the two ties against Bayern in the Champions League semis. In fact both Spain and FC Barcelona are poor losers who lash out violently when they fall behind. They like to act like the perfect sportsmen when they have the lead because that is what arrogant frontrunners like to do. Watching Bayern destroy Barcelona and then watching Brazil do the same to Spain has finally and convincingly opened Pandora’s Box for Spanish football.

Spain’s reign is over. There I said it. Many will say that I am jumping the gun but I don’t think so. Several signs are indicating the end of their golden era is near or has arrived. And before people scream that I’m insane, just hear me out. I realize that they are still developing great players while their performances in the Under 21’s tells us that they still have a good future ahead. A good future however is not the same as dominant or golden era.

Spain has had five years that will go down as their golden generation and utterly historic. Two Euros and a World Cup in a four year span is amazing indeed. But all good things must come to an end. Players age, get hurt, lose their form or even more prominent, other nations rise to the challenge. Most of all, Spain has been so arrogant and so stuck in their system of “Tiki Taka” that they refuse to change or to adapt to opponents. They just offer the same old same old every game. Well the rest of the world has figured you out Senior Del Bosque. Your copying of the Barcelona way of play has run it’s course much like it has run it’s course at Barcelona. Ask Bayern Munich what they think of Tiki Taka and if Barcelona are unbeatable? Yes you can respect the strategy and tactics but what I have a problem with is the arrogance and complete unwillingness to change even when you are getting beat or when the system clearly isn’t suited to the opponents tactics to fight it.

Today Brazil taught Spain a good lesson and like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund did at the club level, introduced a fast paced, inspiring and highly entertaining brand of football that features at it’s core a lightning strike counterattacking principle that is like beholding Heaven.

imageFor me it’s a total shame that such a great young talent like Neymar has made the mistake of signing with Barcelona. His style is perfectly suited to teams that play the similar style that Brazil put on display throughout the Confederations Cup tournament. At Brazil’s core was a strong pressing game with a quick counter attack. Similar to the styles played by Bayern and Dortmund as well as Mourinho coached teams and other EPL clubs. Certainly not the slow motion and methodically boring “Tiki Taka” of Barcelona that is stifling and uninspiring with its short safe passes, infinite patience and very little full speed adventure. The best way I can compare styles would be to say that today Brazil was a Formula 1 race while Spain was an afternoon stroll in the park while walking the dog. No clue how to break down Brazil and hardly a sign of any urgency or change in pace or tactics.

I make no bones about my hatred for Spanish football and FC Barcelona specifically. I hate their style, their players, what they stand for on and off the pitch and the arrogance in which they deliver their message. I have nothing against the Spanish nation, just her football. Being a diehard supporter of German football for over 40 years as well as Manchester United I believe in a different criteria for the way the game should be played. I congratulate Spain and her super clubs for all their trophies and I know that at some point in the future, they will win prestigious international silverware again. But for now at least I feel it’s time they take a back seat for a while and watch how the game should be played. They have had their run and as we all know, sports in its infinite manner tends to be cyclical in manner. It’s somebody else’s turn to dominate. Germany, Brazil, Belgium, Argentina, Netherlands, anyone, just please let somebody else entertain us for a while and help bring football back to the way it should be played.

For me Spain and before them Italy have been the worst proponents of negative tactics and gamesmanship in the world game. It’s time for the less pragmatic and highly entertaining Germans to have a go. Or Brazil with its new found mojo and renaissance. Perhaps Belgium will take advantage of their great new generation of talent by taking that next step. Anyone other than Spain and Italy please. The game needs a break from the BS and some fresh air after decades submerged in negativity and tactical garbage. Thank you Brazil and Neymar for continuing the dismantling of Spanish football that the Germans began April and May, and may Brazilians samba till the sun comes up. Your nation has deservingly earned it.

Cheers Brazil!!!!!

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Sahal

    1 July 2013 at 11:56

    For me the best thing was seeing the Tiki-taka get annihilated.Some may say it’s beautiful football,it’s just boring to me!

    • Grognard

      1 July 2013 at 17:32

      @Sahal: You said it. It actually has promise in the right hands. Quick precise passing and then lightning strikes once an opening is found sounds like a strong way to play. But Spain take the possession game too far and often just kill a game with it by first boring the fans watching and eventually boring not so much frustrating the opposition into submission. For me it’s just as evil as Catenaccio coming out of Italy. I much prefer the Dutch and German brand of “Total Football or even the fast paced old school 4-4-2 used by English clubs years ago. Pace and a proactive willingness to press the opponent and always attack is the way the game should be played.

  2. Opti

    1 July 2013 at 15:38

    That’s 3 or 4 articles in 3 days by Grognard… with his viewpoint heavily espoused in each article. You’re gonna get a riot of comments and negative effects if we don’t slow down a bit. Have you guys heard of “everything good in moderation”?

    I am happy to see Grognard back and want to avoid seeing a backlash which will lead to another exodus… don’t overuse his magic, Ian!

    • Grognard

      1 July 2013 at 17:27

      @Opti: I get what your saying mate. I could not resist with this post however due to the fact I have waited long to see Spain and before her, Barca get well owed smacks of humility handed to them. Just loved the way Bayern and Dortmund played this past year and Brazil really impressed and thrilled with their fast paced and progressive approach. I will be cutting back on the number of posts as I just wanted to get back into the hang of things. A year away just filled me up with a lot to say on a few football related topics. I appre4ciate the feedback. 🙂

      • Opti

        2 July 2013 at 03:27

        @Grognard: happy to have you back!

  3. lucius

    3 July 2013 at 12:47

    Very good. Spot on.

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