Round-Up: World Cup round-of-16

The World Cup in Russia is almost over for FC Bayern. Individual reviews for Thiago, Tolisso and James make no sense for the round of 16 because they were hardly allowed to play. But we will not be deterred by that. We continue to name conspicuities and trends and award prizes for the greatest, funniest and worst events at the World Cup! Author: Justin • Translator: Sam

It’s coming home!

Blimey… England. A dream in red and white. What great football they play, huh? Anyhow: finally the cup is returning to the motherland of football. Okay, it’s not really certain that England will be world champions or that they even founded the sport. After all, the tradition – generally speaking – goes back many thousands of years. But they set up rules at the time, founded the first team, and so they can correctly pride themselves on being the creators, makers and founders of today’s football. Social media – well, actually just Twitter and actually just my own filter bubble over there – is in agreement: this time England will be world champions. That elegant Southgate, that unbelievable Kane, those fans…

#itscominghome may well have degenerated into the absolute most annoying hashtag in the last few days. The German England fans behave like Dortmund fans who build everything up into a miracle. Awful! And that’s precisely why England won’t be world champions. Since when has anything that Twitter wanted ever happened? Exactly!

Letter to Neymar

Dear Neymar,

You are an elegant footballer. If you were a caterpillar, you would become a wonderful butterfly flowing gently through the wind. Just a shame that you wouldn’t be able to handle the wind. As a Brylcreemed caterpillar you already fall to the ground every time the wind blows. Pain shoots through your entire body. Anyone wanting to be like Messi has to stay on their feet as well. But you just lie around. 14 minutes already at this World Cup. You’re a lot like me in that regard – even if on a different level. I just lie around too. I have exams soon. But I don’t yell out with pain. At most, I cry. And procrastinate. With your behaviour among professional footballers, you will become a very talented moth at best. At least you don’t have to think about exams though.

Best wishes,
Justin Kraft

P.S. Even your teammate Coutinho laughs at you!

Possession football is dead!

That’s how it has to be! Teams like Germany, Spain, and Argentina too: gone! Miserably slumping out. They all played sideways, sideways, then sideways some more. On average they have 143.7% possession per 90 minutes. This cannot be stood for any longer! Guardiola has hauled this disease throughout Europe. The English will see what it’ll do to them! What cheek! You can’t do a thing with all that possession! Quickly breaking forward? No chance. You’ve got the opposition defending with 20 men behind the ball. No space for you. Tiki-taka is dead! Virtues are needed!

No other team embodies these virtues like Russia. While other teams run between 100 and 110km per game, the Russians are on the go for around 115km over 90 minutes. Daredevils! Just where do they get the energy? They’re super sprightly. They showed the Spanish. Counter football is THE new thing in this world. Already looking forward to Bayern conceding possession to SV Dorchtersen/Assel in the first round of the cup. Then they’ll see what they can do with “possession”! We’ll counter all over them!

Thinking about leaving him behind!

I have reflected again in the last few weeks. There can actually only be one guilty party for Germany’s early exit. No explanations for the embarrassing public appearances, slumped shoulders, not a helpful influence on the team, only created discord, impaired other players, hasn’t performed for a while and should resign with immediate effect: Oliver Bierhoff. Germany should have thought about doing without him before the World Cup. But now to single out a player and throw him under the bus takes the prize for lack of empathy and bad form. Quite apart from the fact that it plays right into the hands of racists and Nazis. Please leave, Mr Bierhoff. Thank you!

Goalkeeper award for round-of-16

It was just before the end of the game against Colombia, when Pickford flew through the penalty area once again. In slow-motion you get the impression that he quickly saved the world on the way, and then flew to the ball! Amazing. Aesthetic. And from an English goalkeeper. Chapeau! That save and his commanding performances are awarded with the goalkeeper award. Although Ted Mosby, who goes by the name of Ochoa in Russia, was also pretty solid. Let’s just say that they each get half a trophy.

Move of the World Cup?

Added time once more. Japan for once don’t take a short corner. A few seconds later and they’re out of the tournament. Led by De Bruyne, Chadli rounded off a Belgian counter that could barely be demonstrated better in the textbook. How De Bruyne charged forwards, how the attackers picked their runs perfectly, how Lukaku dummied the ball. A wet dream. Now we’ve almost seen everything. Thanks, Belgium!

Counter-attacking football is dead!

I’d already noticed last season you know. The way Liverpool pitifully lost that Champions League final was hard to take. Obviously that counter-attacking coach Klopp was to blame! Teams like Mexico, Iceland, Portugal and co. had no chance at the World Cup either! They’re too submissive and rely on the opposition making mistakes that they first have to provoke. What a load of rubbish! Teams like Brazil, Belgium and England are the shit right now. They can handle the ball. They define the tempo, go into the attacking third at the right time and by doing so they push the opposition right back. That’s football! That’s fun! Already looking forward to Bayern playing 1,500 passes against SV Dorchtersen/Assel in the first round of the cup and sensationally winning 1-0 at the end!

Lineker’s world turned upside down!

Germany out in the groups, England winning on penalties. Gary Lineker is currently discovering football all over again. All sorts of new perspectives are opening up for him. Who would have thought that life consisted of more than pigeon-holes and clichés? A discovery that may and should project footballing society into the real world. Lineker for his part may never stop grinning. And somehow you want to let the funny Englishman have his fun. In 2018, football is a game in which 22 players chase a ball around a pitch to make Lineker happy at the end. Or something like that.

Football is dead!

What kind of rot are most of these teams actually playing? Honestly I can’t be bothered anymore. Next season whichever team gets an A+ in “The Dark Arts” at Hogwarts will win the Champions League. It doesn’t matter one jot there what ideology or philosophy or whatever-y you stand for, and which pigeon-holes you stick the Spanish or the Germans. Football is dead! Long live football! But preferably without pigeon-holes.

Links of the Week

Thomas Müller: The Modest Assassin | Uli Hesse | 8by8

The World Cup Players Who Step Up Most For Their Countries | Terrence Doyle and Neil Paine | 538

World Cup Autopsy: Germany Never Replaced Bastian Schweinsteiger | Marc Whittington | StatsBomb

Trying To Find Similar Players 2.0 | Played Off The Park

Current Miasanrot-Articles

World Cup-Blog: The world champion is going home | Justin | Dennis

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