Monday, September 05, 2005

Should we crown brazil a year before the competition starts?

Reading this article from the BBC we should just stop the rest of the World Cup Qualifiers and crown Brazil with a 6th title. First of all, the victory this weekend for Brazil was against Chile, not exactly a futball powerhouse, and a team in transition since their solid team in WC 1998. But let us look into the Brazilian team:

They have an outrageous wealth of attacking players: Kaka, Adriano, Ronaldo, Ronaldino, Robinho, etc. They actually have a solid keeper in Dida. But do they have the necessary players on the back four? Do they have the midfield "engine" players, midfielders that do the dirty work to get the ball to the forwards? Looking back to the loss to Argentina during the WCQ as well as the defeat to Mexico, one can see weaknesses in the Brazilian team. Granted Brazil came back with vengence, trouncing Argentina in the Confed Cup finals. But in both games, Brazil's back line was put under pressure, especially in the air. Once the team was down or when they started questioning their ability to hold the back it makes their strike force diminish in quality. Brazil knows what they are doing when playing in the South American WCQ, it is very different when they are playing in the WC. With teams such as Argentina, England, Holland, Germany as well as some of the African nations, this will not be a coronation for Brazil. While it is WAY too early to have any predictions for the WC (especially since we have no clue who will round out the teams) it is also too early to give Brazil the added star for their jerseys.

Other notes: Watching the Romania - Czech Rep game it is clear that this WCQ group is one of the tightest. While it would appear that Holland and the Czech Rep should go through, Romania might sneak in. They are right there at the top, granted with more games played. But the Czechs, one of the best teams in the world, have not qualified since WC USA. They still have a huge game against Holland, the decisive match might be against Finland who is no push over; England once again finds a way to get a victory when needed, with Poland giving them a real run for their money they find a way to get a 1-0 victory vs Wales; Scotland gets a draw with Italy a little too late; Congratulations to Ukraine who qualify for their first world cup, I think this will be good for futball having Chevencko showcased on the greatest stage; Speaking of Group 2 it appears that there will be a dog fight between Turkey and Greece for the second place finish; France's win vs Faroe Islands puts that group where it should be with all the favorites tied at top. With three more games for France - at Ireland, at Switzerland and home vs Cypres, France holds their own destiny. With the return of Zidane, Makelele and Thuram the French have looked more organized and more structured, but they missed too many opportunities agains Faroe to make me feel too comfortable - Vieira's break away miss, Cisse's volley from inside the box, Henry's numerous misses...they need to convert these opportunities against Ireland if they want to leave Lansdowne road with a victory.

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