World Cup Preview: Group G…Ghana, Portugal, USA, Germany
I was getting worried about this preview. As you may have noticed these previews are not so much about tactical analysis. So, I was getting worried about having the right material for this group. Is there even anything to make fun of when it comes to America? I doubt it. Germany is rather boring. Portugal? What even is that place? And, Ghana, sure, I scoured Wikipedia and found out that they have one of the highest school enrollment rates in Africa, at 95%, and I could make fun of them feeling like they need education. But, really, I had very little to go on. Until yesterday.
But, who taught the New York Jets? The Jets quarterbacks are so bad that they had Wide Receiver David Nelson attempting to teach Ronaldo how to throw a football. Ronaldo then decided to kick footballs. Which then led to the Jets all laughing at him for being a silly placekicker. Then, Ronaldo cried. So, all in all it was a pretty good little day for Portugal at Jets camp.
Also fitting that apparently the only Portuguese they attempted to teach real-football to was Cristiano Ronaldo. There might be other players on Portugal, but, none matter outside of Ronaldo. So, only Ronaldo gets to learn real-football. And, they aren’t nearly as good without Ronaldo. Did you see them against Mexico? They made Mexico look slightly below average. It was such an improvement for Mexico.
The strategy for defending Ronaldo is simple. Just elbow him in the back whenever he jumps in the air and such. This obviously doesn’t work all the time because the guy is really good. But, you’ve gotta try. The rest of the team is like any other maybe-will-maybe-won’t advance team. And, that’s why they weren’t allowed to play football with the Jets. Because the Jets were afraid they would lose to a bunch of nobodies.
Germany is really good at this whole soccer thing. They’ve finished 2nd, 3rd and 3rd in the last three World Cup’s. They come into this World Cup essentially without a striker. Miroslav Klose is the only straight up striker on the roster. And, I can’t imagine they would bother with playing him a lot. Lukas Podolski is kind of a forward, not really a midfielder, but, at this point, he probably won’t play much either and is more famous, to me at least, for looking like an idiot in this German music video.
Germany is stacked with attacking midfield players that fit their style of pressing the other team and relentlessly attacking. They recently lost Marco Reus to an injury. But, it hardly matters, except to Mario Gotze who no longer can fill the lulls of a game by discussing hair care products with Reus, as the Germans are ridiculous in midfield. Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil will likely play on an attacking midfield line behind Klose, to be joined by Gotze, or Andre Schurrle, or even Julian Draxler should be expected to contribute at this point. I expect Schurrle to play in a forward/striker role instead of Klose, and kind of run around switching with the others on that attacking line. They can do a lot of things even without a striker.
Germany is kind of weak at defense. Or, maybe not weak, but, suspect at times. They usually pair Bastian Schweinsteiger with Sami Khedira behind the attacking midfield and in front of the defense. Khedira is injured and potentially might not play. Which could lead to Germany either giving no fucks about defending in midfield (the smart move), or, attempt to play Phillip Lahm in midfield. Lahm is good enough to where I assume he would personally be fine in midfield. However, they gave up 7 goals in their two qualification matches with Sweden. Only 3 goals in their other 8 qualification matches. Sweden only had Zlatan Ibrahmovic in one of those matches as well. So, it certainly isn’t a complete non factor.
If you’re a neutral and you can stand the sight of Germans, this will be a fun team to root for.
What’s the deal with Ghana? I hate Ghana and they suck.