I'm sure many of you were watching Great Britain take on Brazil in the buildup to the London summer games. With Daniel Sturridge playing center forward and Ryan Bertrand plying right back there were bound to be some talking points in this one. Oh yeah, there was some guys named Oscar and Hulk out there as well. I'll likely have more from this one at some point, but for right now I just want to leave you with a few of my initial thoughts that are Chelsea related:
- Bertrand looked no less comfortable on the right than he does on the left. Obviously 1 game is an awfully small sample to judge, but Neymar and Hulk are no slouches and only really burned him once each that I noticed. It was an excellent showing overall from Ryan.
- Danny Sturridge just looked more comfortable when he drifted wide. Again it's a single game, but his speed and ability on the ball seemed more effective when he was isolated in space against Marcelo. The British midfield was abysmal during the 45 minutes he played and he barely saw the ball though, so it's pretty hard to gauge his potential in the middle based on this one.
- Oscar was absolutely excellent with his discipline defensively. Whenever a Brazilian player would make a run and turn the ball over, Oscar was immediately filling the void created to slow the British transition. That type of decision making will help Chelsea avoid being countered regularly and really made it difficult on the slow British midfield today.
- Oscar's movement on the offensive end was just as good as his defensive work. He routinely found a pocket of space to provide a passing outlet for his teammates. When he did get the ball, his decision making was generally fantastic.
- Oscar was better delivering crosses and corners than Ryan Giggs in this one. He also did a very nice job switching flanks and sliding through balls to a running attacker, which are two things we've struggled with over the last 2 seasons.
- Hulk didn't get on the score sheet, but he was hugely influential in the attack. He drew the Neymar penalty and was a key to the Brazilian attack all evening.
That's just a few of the Chelsea related notes that stood out to me today. This tournament is going to be a lot of fun to watch, i'm ecstatic we have football again. Brazil has to be the heavy favorite for this tournament, although Spain will have a very good team as well. I just can't picture the British team being anything more than a contender for Bronze, as the squad just has a lot of holes in the way it's been constructed. Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs were most certainly not selected for "footballing reasons", as frankly the British midfield and wings just looked slow and awful for the majority of this match. Oh well, it wouldn't be an International tournament if the British didn't go out before the final, right?