Friday, June 18, 2010

When Process Was Given A Red Card

By John Cheeran

Joachim Loew’s Germany may still go on to win the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg on July 11 but that story can wait for now.

In a match that could well define this World Cup, Serbia delivered a killer blow to a young Germany that had unleashed a new brand of attacking football with a steely touch of precision in their first match against Australia.

On Friday it was not merely a goal that separated Germany from Serbia and victory. It was a cataclysmic breakdown of the renowned process that upset Germany and their multitudinous fans across galleries, living and board rooms.

For, many inside and outside of football world had admired and raved about the process that Germany had set up and made a part of the lives of their footballers. It was much more than about practices, it was about a culture of getting and doing things right.

It was that process that the faceless footballers from a war-ravaged Serbia shred into tatters in Port Elizabeth. The much vaunted process was given a red card when Miroslav Klose was sent off the field for his second yellow card of the match. May be no process offers a shield against referees such as the Spaniard Alberto Undiano who could have let off the German. It also helped one to scratch beneath the beautiful façade of attacking instincts that Germany showcased against Australians the other day.

I’m sure those who had made a fetish out of the German process were left speechless when Lukas Podolski failed to convert the second half penalty kick. Process, after all, is about getting your basics right without being riotously carefree.

That Germany could not score not even once against Serbia who were hustled by Ghana in their opening match is hard to fathom for their fans. The youth, of course, has its own advantages but when pushed against the wall this German side lacked the grit and tenacity of a Karl Heinz-Rummenigge, Rudi Voeller and Lothar Mathaus.

And one cannot ignore the most important lesson after 90 minutes of wasted opportunities and bravado. Grand theories such as processes come apart beyond a point. Theories are fine but humans are yet to write an equation that erases all ‘human’ errors from the board of manoeuvres.

When Spain was stabbed by the Swiss knife the other day not many were alarmed since they were considered as chokers and underachievers when it comes to a theatre as big as the World Cup though they are the reigning European champions. Friday afternoon was different. It (Germany) was all about explaining success and achievement in terms that could be quantified and replicated elsewhere.

To win and succeed you need head as well as heart. It helps if you have the flair of Brazil, process of Germany, sheer talent of Argentina, doggedness of England, humility of Koreans, tactical nous of Italy and a large slice of luck.
Keep watching.

No comments:

John Cheeran at Blogged