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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Was that the most men-against-boys football match of all time

Imagine you were managing an under-13 football team and their star striker got injured before a big cup tie. They might suggest to you that they wanted to take the shirt of the missing player out and hold it up  during the pre-match formalities. It's the kind of idea over-excited small boys have.

You would quietly tell them that you didn't think that was a good idea. You'd be thinking, I want the team concentrating on what they're going to do in the match, not indulging in this gesture of self-pity.

They lost 7-1. The Brazilians were playing a sentimental game in their heads. The Germans were playing an actual game on the pitch. I loved it. Half the fun of football is watching it go wrong for other people. What I liked about it most was the muted German celebrations after each goal. I think we need more of that kind of thing.