As the group stage comes to an end with two teams from each remaining in Brazil and the rest heading back home, we at Outside of the Boot have analysed each group, paying focus to four key aspects — the primary tactical system that was noticeably successful, the individual game changing performance that decided which way a result went, the most consistent and best young player across the three games (Talent Radar) with the players qualifying no more than 22-years-old and an XI of the best players from the group.
All the talk coming into this group was about the potential Germany – USA clash where two close friends would go head-to-head. As we’ve seen, both Jurgen Klinsmann and Joachim Low have progressed to the next round while Portgual disappointingly are out while Ghana did impress many viewers only to be outdone by some last minute clashes in the squad. While much was being said about Klose beating Ronaldo’s World Cup record, another German star in Thomas Muller is actually not that far from it, though this World Cup is probably a bit too early.
Key Tactical System
The biggest tactical trend/innovation/system that caught my attention was Jurgen Klinsmann’s use of the midfield which was changed in all three games, obviously successfully in two. Against Ghana, Klinsmann played a midfield diamond with Jones and Bedoya on either side of a deep Beckerman. This worked excellently in combating Ghana’s use of the wings. For the Portugal game the German coach opted to nullify the Portuguese threat in midfield by effectively putting five in there and preventing any space in between the lines.
Of both those systems, the midfield diamond was particularly impressive as it is an approach that can so easily be taken advantage of. But given the opposition, Klinsmann clearly studied his opponents well and realised the need to control that wide area. The Africans struggled for large parts though seeing a lot of the ball as their main attacking avenue was completely cut-out. If there was any doubt about Klinsmann, his tactical intelligence and decision making, it’s all been overcome now.
No doubt who gets the plaudits here, Thomas Muller and his hat-trick in the opening game of this group against Portugal certainly deserves recognition. One from the spot and two typical Muller goals, the Bayern Munich man looks set to retain his World Cup golden boot award, though faced by much bigger competition now. His second against the Portuguese was certainly of note, he anticipated the defenders clearance and looked to get a block in, while many would have let the chance pass. He may not know how to celebrate, but he certainly can score goals.
Talent Radar Best Young Player
Not as out-right as the previous one but Germany’s Mario Gotze would have to be considered the stand-out young player from the group. He has a surprisingly vital role in an impressive German side. His attacking contribution was evident against the Portuguese, but it was his defensive game against Ghana that really showed what type of a footballer Gotze can be or already is. We’ve analysed his performance vs Ghana here, paying attention to the defensive side of his game, while you can read a more detailed Scout Report on him here. Gotze was also listed in our Talent Radar list of 25 Young Players to Watch at the World Cup.
Players in red are Talent Radar youngsters
Read all our World Cup 2014 content here
Latest posts by Sami Faizullah (see all)
- 2017-18 Performance Rankings: Top 5 Young Keepers – Edition 1 - September 21, 2017
- Talent Radar 2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Pietro Pellegri and Joshua Kimmich feature - September 19, 2017
- Talent Radar 2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #3: Naby Keita & Gabriel Jesus feature - September 12, 2017
100 to Watch
Interview: Brandon Fernandes on experiencing football outside India, a longer ISL, and FC Goa’s upcoming campaign
Outside of the Boot gets the chance to sit down with FC Goa’s talented midfielder, Brandon Fernandes There’s been a lot...
Scout Report: Steven Bergwijn | PSV Eindhoven’s rising star
Wang Yulin takes a look at PSV’s exciting Dutch attacker Steven Bergwijn When you think of the team ‘PSV Eindhoven’,...
Hanoi FC: The Vietnamese Champions struggling to connect with the locals
Trong Nhan Doan looks at the peculiar case of Hanoi FC Most of the time, the most successful team is...
Expected Goals: A Pioneering Method of Analysing Football
The Football Code has a look at expected goals, a new metric set to revolutionize statistics-based analysis of football Football...
Tactical Analysis: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid | Clash of two organised sides
Ryan Tank analyses the mid-week La Liga clash that ended Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid The clash of two organized...
Tactical Analysis: Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich | Ancelotti’s men secure hard fought win
Ryan Tank analyses the mid-week Bundesliga match that ended Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich. Schalke: Fahrmann, Kehrer, Naldo, Nastasic, Caliguri, McKennie...
2017-18 Performance Rankings: Top 5 Young Keepers – Edition 1
Our Talent Radar Rankings, along-with our Talent Radar Team of the Week documents the progress of youngsters across Europe, with those featuring in...
Déjà vu on Tyneside: Why Newcastle are being left short-changed by familiar failings
Jeffrey Gamby-Boulger looks critically at Newcastle’s repeated failings in recent years and why Mike Ashley is the root of those problems. ‘It’s the same...
Hipster Guide 2017-18: UEFA Europa League | Part Two
Oliver McManus takes us on a journey through some of the more obscure parts of Europe as he tells us...
Tactical Philosophy: Leonardo Jardim
While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...
Talent Radar 2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Pietro Pellegri and Joshua Kimmich feature
A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...
Tactical Analysis: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City | Tottenham’s half space focus against Swansea’s compact block
Ryan Tank provides a tactical analysis of the Premier League game that finished Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City Tottenham attacked...
Scout Report: Maxwel Cornet | Lyon’s latest starlet
Josh Sippie breaks down Maxwel Cornet, Lyon’s dynamic attacker. Olympique Lyon just have a knack for plucking supremely talented youth...
Scout Report: Marcos Llorente | Real Madrid’s young midfielder
Karan Tejwani provides the lowdown on Real Madrid’s talented midfielder, Marcos Llorente. Real Madrid have made smart purchases from Spanish...
Scout Report: Eddie Nketiah | Arsenal’s academy talent
Josh Sippie takes a look at highly-rated Arsenal academy striker Eddie Nketiah. Arsenal’s youth ranks are always going to be...
Scout Report: Douglas Luiz | Girona’s skilful midfielder
Anderson Moura analyses Girona’s (via Manchester City) talented Brazilian, Douglas Luiz. When Pep Guardiola accepted the Manchester City job, he...
Tactical Analysis: RB Leipzig 1-1 AS Monaco | Dynamism and the 4-4-2
Kaushik Goswami tactically analyses the 1-1 draw between RB Leipzig and AS Monaco in the Champions League With most of...
Tactical Analysis: Nice 4-0 Monaco | Favre’s efficient approach
Ross Eaton has a look at the Ligue 1 clash between defending champions Monaco and fellow title challengers, Nice. After...
Scout Report: Bartlomiej Dragowski | Fiorentina’s talented Pole
Josh Sippie breaks down Fiorentina’s talented Pole, Bartlomiej Dragowski. It’s funny how different nations are renowned for their ability to...
Scout Report: Mikel Merino | Newcastle’s dynamic Spaniard
Josh Sippie lays down the law on Newcastle’s metronomic Spaniard, Mikel Merino. Borussia Dortmund are another one of those teams...
Talent Radar Award History
Subscribe via Email
Young Player Rankings 17-18
More on Outside of the Boot
Specials3 weeks ago
Analysis: Mourinho’s Manchester United defence and the 4-4-2
Talent Radar1 month ago
La Liga’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18
Opinions4 weeks ago
FC Barcelona and their Transfer Recruitment Circus
Tactical Analysis3 weeks ago
Tactical Analysis: Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal | Klopp Exposes Wenger’s Stubbornness
100 to Watch in 20179 months ago
100 Best Young Players to Watch in 2017 | Part 5 | Midfielders
Talent Radar1 month ago
Serie A’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18
Talent Radar1 month ago
Bundesliga’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18
Tactical Analysis1 month ago
Tactical Analysis: Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona | Real’s Pressing Excellence