Landon Donovan was hard done by when he was left out of the United States 23-man squad for the World Cup by Jurgen Klinsmann. Well after the US' elimination at the hands of Belgium, Donovan has come out and criticised the German for his tactics in Brazil.
Not set up to Succeed
“If you really look at the performances, there were some good performances by guys, some not-so-good performances by guys," Donovan said according to MLS Soccer.com. "As a whole, I think tactically, the team was not set up to succeed."
Team will be Disappointed
“They were set up in a way that was opposite from what they’ve been the past couple years, which is opening up, passing, attacking – trying to do that. And the team’s been successful that way. Why they decided to switch that in the World Cup, none of us will know. From a playing standpoint, I think the guys will probably be disappointed in the way things went.”
In some ways, Donovan is very right. The States were set up incredibly defensively and it invited insane amounts of pressure. Klinsmann's tactics were never those that were set up for winning football, more a bend but don't break style that was similar to the way that Greece were at the 2004 European Championships which they won thanks to a sturdy defence and ability to grab goals from set plays and hold the lead.
However, it can also be seen as a success seeing as they managed to escape the Group of Death ahead of Portugal and Ghana.
But at the end of the day, Tim Howard only made 16 saves against Belgium because the US were getting dominated. And that can't happen in future tournaments, the American players and public deserve better.