Perceptions and false positives

This world cup has been one that went with the script by and large compared to the past couple of editions. Save for the Czech Republics failure to qualify for the last 16, the rest of the teams expected to make the make next round, made it.

But all of them didnt start very well. Case in point is Brazil. They got a hard fought 1-0 win against Croatia in their first game. Well that was enough fodder for the too many scribes with too little to write.
Is Brazil any good? Ronaldo is fat.
Does Brazil have it in them to win again? Ronaldo is fat.
Brazil dont look world beaters. And yeah Ronaldo is fat.

Lost in the noise were.
1. The sound tactics of the Croats in coping with the attacking quartet of Kaka-Ronaldinho-Adriano-Ronaldo.
2. The confidence with which the Brazilian defence played, which was the only apparent weakness of this Brazilian team.

Add to that the stylish and clincal display of the Argentines against CIV, the demantling of USA by the Czech republic and the obliteration of the Ukraine by the perennially under-achieving Spaniards.

All this and all the “Ronaldo is fat” gags meant people were ready to push Brazil to the 2nd or 3rd fav spot. I am sure the Brazilian coaches and players must have had a nice laugh at this. A team like Brazil where all its players play for different clubs deep into the Champions league and involved in the title races in the big leagues of Europe do need sometime to gel together.

Jumping to conclusions is the name of the game here. All these arm chair reporters were eager to write about the weaknesses of Brazil.

Come 2nd of group games. Argentina put on a show against the hapless Serbia & Montenegro. 6-0. Czechs lost to Ghana. Spain struggled initially but put away Tunisia in the end. Brazil beat the Socerroos who feel the referee didnt do them any favors. Ukraine who got obliterated by the Spaniards in their first game did the same to the hapless Saudi Arabia.

At this stage everyone went ga-ga over Argentina after their 6-0 drubbing of SM. Folks started anointing them as the best team of this World Cup. Which could well be true but could very well get egg on your face. Argentina play brilliantly. But SM played the poorest game I ever saw a team play at this level. No coordination no ball movement. Looked like Argentina was playing against statues or dummies, like in practice.

But it has to be put in perspective. Brazil did enough to get 6 points. Argentina wowed folks and got the same 6 points. There is a lot of football to play before we talk about silverware.

And I am not a fan of Brazil. I prefer Argentina. But folks! some perspective. This is just the group phase. Look what happened in the 3rd games? Brazil looked peaking at the right moment in beating a spirited yet limited Japan. Argentina couldnt breakdown the dutch defense.

But we will find out who is made of what very soon. Starting today with Germany X Sweden and Argentina X México. Argentina and Germany will start favorites here, especially the Argentines after the way México stumbled through the qualifying phase.

Although, its just one bad game at this level. México had more than one so far in this Cup. What about Argentina?

Oh and about the Fat Ronaldo, he scored 2 equalling the World Cup record. Now how fat is that?

For more of my opinions and World Cup stuff, have a look at my blog.

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