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    We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

    Carnivoroso Vulgaris wrote:
    Originally posted by Renarto
    Anyway, I really hope the U.S. tries to copy the German model rather than the starstruck magical thinking one.
    Likewise. With the game beginning to "go mainstream" in the States I think what the American FA do next is crucial. If they approach the sport with the same dedication and attention to detail that they do in athletics and national sports they should be fine. If they adopt the British/Irish model on the other hand...
    I could see it going either way, though thankfully the German way is more likely as long is Klinsmann is technical director. But many of the teams in our more popular sports go the super-hero route, with varying degrees of success.

    Not to get too grand, but I feel like there's a battle between a German-style rational planning, inclusive model and a "Brazilian"-style exploitative, hero-worshiping, magical thinking model in all sorts of areas of American life and in all sorts of American institutions, and that unfortunately the latter is winning in most of them.

    One of the many pleasures for me of supporting the U.S. soccer team is that because we've never really had the star-power to be a team of galacticos, they've had to find strength by playing together well as a team. I hope they don't lose that when/if we manage to develop a bunch of truly world-class players. (Look at the U.S. men's basketball team's performance in the 2004 Olympics for the depressing alternative.)

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      We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

      It's funny you mention that, I was actually thinking about the 2004 USA Men's basketball team as a comparison to what happened to Brazil. Also, the 2003/04 Lakers. They're the team I compared Brazil's 2006 World Cup team to--the emphasis on stars everywhere echoed with the 2006 team's hype with Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Adriano, and Kaka all up front.

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        We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

        Yeah, but because of that disaster, USA basketball turned it around and Coach K managed to build a winning team rather than just a bunch of assholes. USA hockey has also made tremendous progress both in helping to develop great players and in putting together successful teams, especially at the junior level. (The Olympics is kind of a crapshoot).

        One of the advantages of our school and college-based sports system is that it is good at creating team spirit and cohesion. When you're playing with kids you've known forever for the honor of your town against those fuckers from the next town over, you're more likely to do whatever it takes for the team than if you're just playing for some club all-star team with kids you only see at practice just because your dad says it will help *your* chances at a scholarship.

        The student paper here did an interview about the World Cup with Penn State's soccer coach Bob Warming (slow news time on campus) and he pointed out an important conundrum in youth development. On the one hand, kids are constantly told from age 5 onward to pass the ball, because otherwise it's just mob ball and obviously passing is a key skill, but kids also need to learn how to play with the ball and hold possession, and that means allowing them to make mistakes. Warming says the US' strength is it's commitment and spirit and the weakness is technical skill. Sounds about right.

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          We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

          We've got heart.

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            We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

            I would hope most people would agree with that, though Wynalda and Donovan and a bunch of online ninnies complaining about Klinsmann's "defensive tactics" suggest it might not be as obvious as I thought. (Faulting Klinsmann for his player selection is another matter, of course. But the idea that it's an easy thing to decide to just use attacking tactics with players at our technical level against the likes of Germany is, in my opinion, a bit silly.)

            Anyway, don't want to turn this into a thread about the U.S., but I couldn't help thinking about it. I really think the German model as described in Early's article is the one all the football associations should try to follow if they possibly can, although obviously it's much harder in some countries than in others. Germany's able to do it because they have a broadly prosperous country with ample resources to make sure all kids interested in football can receive quality coaching from the beginning to as far as they can or want to advance, and the model is supported by the DFB and the Bundesligas on down. (And the clubs are majority fan-owned, which gives the average punter a reason for buy-in to the model, too. And of course I also see all of this as a good reason for people in all countries to push for more social-democratic institutions and economies. Your lives will be better, and your football will be better, too!)

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              We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

              Never thought I'd see the day when Brazil lost to Germany by five more goals than we did in the same tournament.

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                We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                It really is incredible. I watched some of the replay last night, and even the Germans look like they can't believe what's happening at times.

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                  We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                  I think the point about telepathy in garcia's piece, although of course intended in a lighthearted way, is interesting. What struck me was not the sense of interchanging German players being aware of where to run and pass, but that they seemed to know as a group that, within a fairly brief window of opportunity, Brazil were vulnerable to an absolute pounding. How else can you explain the simply ridiculous directness of the fourth and fifth goals? I don't think under the normal circumstances of a normal, competitive match Germany would have considered attempting moves like those. But they seemed to sense that, for those few minutes, Brazil were so fragile that normal rules did not apply.

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                    We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                    Watching the replay, one of the more hilarious moments was when Kroos hit a shot that looked like it hit off an arm of a Braz Defender. Germany went crazy arguing for a pk to make it 6-0, when Kroos was half laughing and looking over his shoulder nervously while making a "shhhhh" finger to his mouth because he kind of (a) knew it went off the ribs and (b) shut the fuck up before we get chased to the buses.

                    Beautiful little story about the old man with the trophy.

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                      We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                      Much fun wading through this thread.

                      Just back home after spending a few days in the small Colorado mountain town of Nederland (unfortunately there were not loads of folks dressed in orange shirts). I found a pleasant café/bar where I could watch the semis. I got there right before kick-off and of the 10 or so inside, there were four of us intently watching the game.

                      There is, understandably, zero atmosphere in this place. I’m hoping that of the four of us that there is at least one person who is half as interested in the match as I am. Will I raise my voice in the calmness of this café if a goal is scored or if the ref makes a shit decision? Will one of the others?

                      Did not take long to find out as in the 11th minute the four us shouted “yes!” or some other positive shout to celebrate Muller’s goal.

                      The next 18 minutes were a blur. So damned fast and all the while the soundtrack is that of the barista’s playlist (I recall Ray Charles, White Stripes, Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, and Radiohead) – the tv commentary was mute the entire match.

                      Thinking of Mat Js prediction. Only 5 more in the next 71 minutes. The guy next to me asks if this is a record score. I reply that surely Brazil has never lost this badly at home. I then tell him of the murdering of El Salvador by Hungary, but this is a freaking Semi-Final!

                      Second half starts, a couple others have a seat to watch and are surprised by the score. Wishing to hell I could be in a livelier place, but the town of Nederland is a pretty damned cool place.

                      Like many of you I was thinking the second half would be a kick fest to maim some of the Germans out of the final. Glad Luiz did not succeed and the rest of the team did not do what many of us expected.

                      Pietro Paolo Virdis wrote: We have witnessed history.

                      This is among the most strange and fantastic things I have seen during all the years I've watched and followed football. As someone else said upthread. It is surreal. In a semi-final. In Brazil. Against Brazil. You don't know how to take it in. The pub I was at, some people even thought it was set up for a betting syndicate. That's how surreal this is.
                      Surreal is the right word isn’t it? The Brazil lack of effort in the first half is still damned suspicious. Leaving the café/bar was odd in that I wanted to talk to people on the street, but literally not a single soul would have had any idea what the hell I was talking about. In fact, while at the same café for the 2nd semi, a young guy came in and asked “who won the game yesterday?” I about came unglued and said, “you seriously don’t know?” He said he didn’t and I told him. He did not give me the reaction I thought was merited. Oh well.

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                        We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                        I've been to Nederland, CO.

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                          We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                          In today's Sunday Independent, we're introduced to the wonderful German word, Fremdschämen, as we're informed some German fans felt external shame for the Brazilians by the seventh goal.

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                            We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                            Reportedly the German players decided at half time not to push hard so as to avoid scoring too many goals. And I think they struck a fine balance between letting up while not being condescending.

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                              We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                              This is Fred's heat map against Germany. Of 20 touches, nearly half were taking the kick-off.

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                                We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                                Last time I saw similar was big Will Grigg for NI in Amsterdam (Euro 2012 warm up,we lost 6-0).

                                (Quick question- is it Fred pronounced 'Fridge')?

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                                  We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                                  Duncan Gardner wrote: (Quick question- is it Fred pronounced 'Fridge')?
                                  Near enough, yeah. "Fredge"

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                                    We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                                    Speaking of Norn Iron . . .

                                    "Fred, there's no bread"

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                                      We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                                      Scolari's been fired, according to the Brazilian press.

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                                        We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                                        He really should have resigned right after the Holland loss (which it turns out is what he actually did...)

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                                          We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                                          As should have the senior leadership of the CBF.

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                                            We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                                            linus wrote: He really should have resigned right after the Holland loss.
                                            If he had resigned, he would have forfeited his right to any compo.

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                                              We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                                              Vicarious Thrillseeker wrote: This is Fred's heat map against Germany. Of 20 touches, nearly half were taking the kick-off.

                                              That is the most brilliant heat map I have ever seen.

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                                                We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                                                You should see SAW's Brazil v Germany heat map.

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                                                  We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland

                                                  Reportedly the German players decided at half time not to push hard so as to avoid scoring too many goals. And I think they struck a fine balance between letting up while not being condescending.
                                                  this was a fine an example of media "twirl" whereby you take some not-especially-interesting quotes and turn them into a more interesting but totally dishonest story. it was based on quotes from hummels and the headline had him revealing the german players' half time pledge not to humiliate sad brazil any further. in fact what hummels said was that the germans reminded each other of the need not to start taking the piss out of brazil because it was already 5-0 - not to succumb to self-indulgence and over-elaboration, because brazil were a dangerous side and you never know, if germany gave them a chink they might just come back. far from "let's go easy on these sad bastards, they have suffered enough" it was "no fucking around, we have to take this second half every bit as seriously as the first". so hummels was actually saying the exact opposite of what they made him out to have said.

                                                  i noticed, not sure on which thread, bryan mentioning the media agenda coming up in the case of van gaal, who was reported to have said "i taught romero how to save penalties", but specifically said it was a joke. that was a weird one and it wasn't an example of the sort of thing you saw with hummels (or earlier in the tournament with rooney, over the "i'm concerned for my place" story).

                                                  van gaal said "i taught romero how to save penalties, so that hurts", and it sounded as though he meant it. it's possible that it could have been something he really meant, of course. it was only a few answers later that he said, in an equally deadpan tone, that of course it was a joke, with the implication that only an idiot could have failed to recognise that in the first place. i can see his dry sense of humour causing some HILARIOUS misunderstandings next season.

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                                                    Originally posted by Sean of the Shed View Post
                                                    This is fantastic. It's like watching the Harlem Globetrotters taking on the cast of Time Bandits.
                                                    Damn fine analogy...

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