The underdog template
Arnav: This world cup is now predictably unpredictable.
Big teams are falling thick and fast, and by now it is clear how they can be beaten. It’s a template that Leicester City employed to great effect three years ago in their underdog triumph to end all underdog triumphs.
Now, we’ve seen it used by Morocco against Spain, Mexico and Korea against Germany, and Switzerland against Brazil. Step one is passion and desire, which Russia had in spades last night against Spain. The willpower and fortitude required to put up a resolute defensive display cannot be overstated. Of course, the team must be cohesive and well-organised. That begins with the tactics, team-selection and attitude of the manager.
Then, you need speedy and effective counter-attacks. Like Leicester, Russia appear to have trademarked this tactic at this tournament. Finally, you need a little bit of luck. Morocco didn’t have it, nor did Iran. Russia and South Korea did.
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