Today we’re going to be beginning posting our team previews for the 2014 World Cup. These are coming out according to a brute alphabetical logic, so there’s no categorisation by group – Algeria, like Accrington Stanley, will therefore take pride of place at least once during the tournament.
A few words about the previews. As with a remix album, we basically asked lots of different SotB writers, old and new, to pick a team or a couple of teams and effectively do what they want. As a result, you’ll read some previews which offer you a genuine account of the footballing strengths and weaknesses of particular countries, some which use the country as a launchpad for an essay on something completely different, and various approaches between these two extremes. If the team you want to read about doesn’t receive what you take to be ‘appropriate’ coverage, it’s perhaps worth bearing in mind that SotB is not, or not for the most part, aspiring to Guardian-type connoisseurial coverage of the tournament as a footballing event, and we tend to work predominantly from the notion that football is something that isn’t, or shouldn’t be conceived as being, present to itself. So, sorry if we don’t talk about the Ecuadorian reserve full-backs or the pre-tournament form of the Netherlands – these things are, we believe, covered amply elsewhere. That some of our previews do work in this way is, we hope, indicative of our commitment to heterodoxy.
Anyway, we hope these interest, entertain, inform, provoke.
Posted by Joe Kennedy