Brazil collapse no shock to me. Glenn Hoddle
Shocking, but not a shock!
For me it was no surprise that Brazil fell apart defensively last night, because from before the tournament started I made the point that Brazil cannot defend.
Only the margin of the defeat by Germany was a surprise.
Yet, I’m not so sure it should have come as such a shock if you’ve been following my predictions in my William Hill column!
My point has always been that three out of their four defenders cannot defend, that only Thiago Silva resembled a defender, and with Silva suspended, I don’t think I have ever witnessed a back line of four with all four ‘defenders’ unable to defend.
Not only that I also suggested that this Brazil team were average going forward, and that they relied on Neymar totally, that three of their big name stars, Oscar, Hulk and Paulinho hadn’t turned up for this entire tournament.
Neymar was a great loss, of course, but not even someone so talented could have done much to help out a non-existent defence, and it was only a matter of time before he couldn’t carry an entire team on his own.
Neymar was nowhere near as effective in his last two games and might not have made much of a difference in any case against the Germans.
The bottom line has been that Brazil sent out an entire back four - all of whom wanted to play on the ball.
It has been a measure of Brazil’s support that they had been tolerant of such a team for so long, but the fans clearly made their feelings felt at the end of a semi-final that has clearly defined this entire tournament.
Here’s what I said in my William Hill column before the tournament started.....
“ I think Brazil will struggle in this tournament to come to terms with the heavy load of expectancy on their shoulders … I’ve not been impressed with Brazil in their warm up games, I’ve not seen anything that makes me thing that they will frighten the opposition and should be ranked favourites…. I think this is a really open tournament. But I really don't fancy Brazil to win it – I think they have big frailties defensively.
In fact when I watched them out here playing Fluminense they won 5-3 but they could have conceded a few more goals in the last five minutes.”
And this is what I wrote yesterday…
“This is not the Brazil we expect to see reaching the semi-final of the World Cup. This is a Brazil who are one step from the final without actually ever playing that well. In fact, they are carrying three players; Fred, Oscar, and Paulinho … Where’s the flair? Where’s the imagination? Where’s the beauty in their football?
“Tactically they are not in good shape. If they play like they did against Colombia they will struggle against Germany… in the first half it was incredible how both teams lost their shape - it was like a game you would see in the playground . Brazil got lucky against Colombia… I doubt whether it will happen again against the Germans . No European team has ever won in South America, and it is easy to see why… but the Germans will never have a better opportunity to break that record.
“This is not a Brazil side to frighten the opposition, this is not a great Brazil side, and it won’t be one that will frighten Germany.”