The last post was getting pretty swollen with comments, so use this post to discuss the upcoming WCQs against Uruguay and Paraguay.
First Comment! Anyway, I’m finding myself suprisingly confident going into a tough game against Uruguay. I’m curious what combination of Thiago Silvia/Miranda/Marquinhos/Gil Tite decides to go with. I also have no idea who’s going to play left back.
I tip Brazil in this game…I do distribute my probabilities this way
A convincing beating of 2-0 or better 20%
A marginal win of one goal difference 40%
A tie 20%
A marginal win for Uruguay 20%
A convincing win for Uruguay 0%
Some time ago you put a link of a website here, where one could download full matches. Do you still remenber the name?
I’ve been using fullmatchesandshows.com to rewatch the matches from the Olympics for an article that I swear I’m going to finish sometime soon. I think it only lets you stream match replays as opposed to downloading them, but the video quality’s been good and I’ve had no problems with popups and adware.
Thanks a lot!
Yeah….. These guys are pretty fast in uploading games and they also let it stay for a long time.
Youtube also is increasingly becoming a good place for full matches uploaded almost immediately.
I think the lineup will remain unchanged other than the necessary inclusion of Firmino in place of Gabriel Jesus, so the back four will be Alves-Marquinhos-Miranda-Marcelo. I believe it’s already confirmed that Miranda will be the captain tonight.
It is indeed the starting 11.
Globo has a neat article breaking down the statistical differences between Dunga and Tite’s games in the qualifiers, now that they’ve both played six. Lots of interesting tidbits in here:
– More different players have scored under Tite, and more of those players have scored more goals.
– Filipe Luis has a 100% conversion rate, having scored on both of his two shots.
– Gabriel Jesus has an extremely impressive conversion rate as well, with one goal from every three shots.
– Tite’s team has managed more total shots, and yet (marginally) fewer have come from aerial play than under Dunga.
– On the whole, Tite’s team has managed similar shot numbers to Dunga’s, but converts them more effectively—for instance, Tite’s team has shot 38 times from outside the box, compared to 36 for Dunga, but have scored three times from those to Dunga’s 1.
– Only 19 players have taken the field under Tite, compared to 23 in Dunga’s six WCQs.
Is it just me, or are the shot numbers remaining similar a bit disappointing? So we have moved from ‘counterattacking’ to more ‘possession’ but are not necessarily creating more shooting opportunities?
The important statistic in my view is that we’ve scored 50% more goals from the same number of shots under, which indicates that the chances we’ve created are better, or that the players Tite is selecting are more effective at converting chances.
My ‘eye-test’ says that both of your points are probably true, but still. Both are primarily efficiency statistics, the greedy me hopes for more on the creative margin, going forward.
finally, some new action to discuss.
I’ll be keeping a close eye on Paulinho tonight. I can’t wait to see how he’ll disappoint me after I spent the past two weeks defending him. The other two guys who’ll really be worth watching are Casemiro—who hasn’t played for the NT since September—and Firmino, who will start his first game for the Selecao since the 2015 Copa America, almost two years ago.
As for those looking for vulnerable players to finally be shown up, I don’t foresee Dani Alves or Marcelo being particularly exposed, since Uruguay’s wingers aren’t their strong suit. If Uruguay press, though, Miranda and Paulinho are likely to suffer.
Coutinho may be the wild card here; he hasn’t been the same since his injury, and Uruguay is a very tough team to try and deal with. If he’s been playing at half-throttle for Liverpool to avoid another injury, this is the night where he could step up big time.
“I can’t wait to see how he’ll disappoint me after I spent the past two weeks defending him.”
Haha, what kind of defending was that? Poor Paulinho would spend the rest of his days in jail, if you were his lawyer.
Hey, I painted him in a more positive light than anybody else here!
Anyone hear the Brazilian anthem pause halfway through and then restart just now?
Boy, Uruguay missing several of their starting XI through injury or suspension. Muslera, Gimenez, and of course Luis Suarez.
Bit of a stretch to say that this is the best Brazil team since the Pele days, Phil Schoen…
I can hear Tite fairly well on the broadcast—not well enough to make out exactly what he’s saying, but he was yelling several times for Coutinho to change his position, and then yelled at the players to get close to the ball after Dani Alves gave it away.
What a great run from Neymar and oh, Firmino, you had to get a foot on that…
Firmino… my goodness.
Aaaand both fullbacks fuck up in quick succession after less than 7 minutes.
I welcome this test for Brazil to be honest.
It’s the first time Brazil has trailed since Tite took charge.
Marcelo and Dani Alves y?
I’ll need to watch that sequence of play again to be sure, but Dani Alves completely fluffed a chance to hoof the ball clear, and shortly thereafter, Marcelo horribly misjudged a backpass to Alisson to let Cavani in and win the penalty.
Looked that way to me. The double agent(s?) strike again
Being a goal down away to Uruguay is a good test for this team. Let’s see how they react.
As to why so many China based players get called up beIN sports commentators just said that Tites son is the scout for the national team in China, some nepotism going in?
I AM VINDICATED
I thought of you buddy!!!
Well, he’s is certainly justifying Tire’s decision.
The shock heard round the world
Zetona, what do you say now about your client Paulinho?
Just gonna bask in this vindication until he is forced into his next backpass under no pressure.
This same move has been behind all our best chances tonight:
Neymar receives ball on left touchline -> spins marker, dribbles upfield and to the center -> plays a pass to the right, usually to a player in a ton of space on the wing -> player shoots or crosses, depending on position
After the goal Paulinho pointed to the bench (Tite?) like the Jesus in the Big Lebowski after making a strike
For what it’s worth, those birds are spending much more time camped on the part of the pitch Uruguay is looking to attack.
Is the field covered in birdseed?
Tell you what, Neymar’s dribbling has been on point recently for Brazil.
Good run by Neymar there. Objectively not as good as Paulinho’s off-balance stampede, but still.
For a moment, I thought Alves was going to cannon that in from outside the area as well… would have left just Miranda to justify his selection with a stonking goal.
Coutinho seems really isolated
Maybe just because Neymar is the focal point , and he’s on the other flank.
Yes, clearly …but maybe neymar needs to play centrally every few possessions to prevent us being so lopsideded
Can’t argue with you there.
The inability of our mids to advance the ball thru the center compounds the problem
With the birds on the field, next time Brazil scores they should celebrate with that bird like dance they did in the lockerroom video …tho i think its not possible in cleats
I know we’ve said this many times over the years, but Dani Alves’ crossing for Brazil is always really bad.
He did get a sweet assist though
That was the collective play that broke down when they included paulinho
Casemiro NEEDS to not overthink/overapply his destroyer attributes – some ball playing/play making is required and would be appreciated.
This game is really well balanced going into the second half. A lot will depend on what the coaches say in the locker rooms.
I know everyone always talks about Firmino’s intangible tactical role, how he occupies defenders and the like, but I’m just not seeing it tonight. Not only would Gabriel Jesus have scored that third-minute chance, but he would likely have done a far better job of advancing the play, simply by being a much stronger and more physical presence when winning the ball.
On second watch of the penalty play, Dani Alves’ initial whiff is a little more excusable, but he also sends a second clearance moments later straight to the feet of an Uruguay player. Marcelo makes the bigger error, though, drastically underhitting his backpass to Alisson and letting Cavani sneak in.
Just wrote about Firmino in my comment below. Disappointing so far. They’ll have to get Neymar/Coutinho in to scoring positions more.
Things that we already knew before this game:
Firmino is not a center forward
Dani Alves and Marcelo – need I say more?
Our backline is suspect, lacks pace and physicality, vulnerable to runs in behind
Surprising things? How badly we have defended set pieces so far. Two free/easy headers. Offside line awful.
I want to see Diego Souza in the second half, not because I think he’ll be any better, but because it would help confirm that a false 9 doesn’t really work with this team.
Not a bad idea.
The problem then becomes finding a suitable backup to GJ who can play the same sort of game. Tiquinho Soares is coming into prominence at just the right time.
I would give a chance to someone like Willian Jose, even.
Now I’m missing Diego Costa again.
I loved the way Diego Souza manhandled Godin, admitted Godin was tired by that time.
Very aggressive start to the half from Uruguay.
That was a really nice pass from Alisson to break the pressure, albeit an insanely risky one.
Me and the br announcer both went “whooo” with fear at the same moment
I knew it, I had it muted at the time but when I saw it that was my reaction
IS THAT HIM
You know I predict a Paulinho hattrick today!
Hattrick coming my friend 😀 😀 😀
You know it. It’s bound to happen.
Uruguay are the most tactically sophisticated team in South America at the moment. They are great playing to their strengths, using all their advantages to great effect. I have a lot of respect for Tabarez.
Yep ! Our MF is showing it’s lack and Tite needs to address the long term stability of this unit.
Muy IMPOSIBLE A LA PAULINHO !
That was much better play from Firmino, and Paulinho is now the highest-scoring volante in national team history—as well as the second-highest-scoring player in this team, behind Neymar.
He’s such a better finisher than Robinho
That highest scoring volante stat only proves how irrelevant in the long term a scoring volante really is.
I’ll take my crow with fries… and a strawberry lemonade.
Marcelo is having a worse game than Dani Alves. Fight me.
Apart from Marquinhos the whole defence has to be replaced.
Who would you have at the back ?
Personally, I might keep Macelo as well, but I’d bring in Rodrigo Caio alongside Marquinhos and one of Mariano, Fabinho or Bruno Peres at right back (though I’m not fully convinced by any of the three).
Why not slot in Marquinhos at RB And add Silva to the mix ? Edit!
Seeing Marquinhos has played RB before,
Another possibility, but again, same deal that there’s no single person who totally convinces me in that right-back spot
Very Much agreed, personally i would add Mariano to this mix, he’s a decent enough RB albeit for a Sevilla squad that’s in a bad form at the moment, but he’s the closest we have to high competitor right back.
I’m thinking Mariano/Marq/Ciao(or silva)/Marcelo although in my opinion Marcelo would be a weak link in defense unless covered well by Augusto as he usually does.
We shouldn’t keep Marcelo in there when we have Felipe Luis, probably the best left back in the world at defending.
Dani read your post and upped his game to a yellow
*reaches for crow*
And you were saying…..
Dani Alves will be suspended for the Paraguay game.
Wish TIte had selected Mariano as his backup, though.
That was the best news out of this game. Apart from the emergence of our new false 9 of course 😀
meet the new boss
Good save from Alisson. Good to see him tested.
DUDU DUDU DUDU DUDU
Tite is yelling “Shoot! Shoot!” at the players.
Nobody is really good today, with the exception of our dear friend of course……
Neymar’s been very good IMO.
Boy ! When Neymar is on, he is like a oiled eel.
Too bad that eel in porto is not very catchy …enguia
Golaço! Lovely finish from Neymar. I didn’t think that was going in at first.
I really liked how he stayed on his feed despite Coates’ challenge.
Yep, messi has toughened him up a bit
Actually it was Tite who implored him to quit falling so much.
Really? never read that
Me either, reminded me of Romario’s chips
The Brazilian announcer said that right now, Neymar is the best in the world. Clearly he has forgotten about Paulinho who is about to get his hat-trick
GAME SET MATCH. THE KID HAS REALLY CEMENTED HIS STATUS. Even a Uruguayan player was applauding.
Tite subs …subs
Yeah, it’s time.
He is doing a good dunga impression
Casemiro, I think, with a good block on that last shot.
Nice hustle by coutinho
Renato Augusto off for Fernandinho.
This Uruguay team is really not a serious test.
So it raises an interesting point: if every team that we think will be a serious test ends up not being a serious test, doesn’t it reflect our quality? (Yes, I know that Uruguay is missing three very important starters today.)
Great point! I noticed that on this board and may have remarked about it myself in the past too. We tend to lower the quality of teams we beat and give lots of credit to teams that beat us.
Like you said, could it just be that Brazil played well for some of these games they won? Or were that much better than the other team???
It’s funny, because I thought we were much better in the first half tonight, which finished 1-1, than the second half, which finished 3-0. Uruguay didn’t let up until Neymar made it 3-1, and that broke their spirits.
I feel that they are based on where the game is being played. Too bad Suarez is not playing that would be even better
Who made the realease pass to neymar? Casemiro or miranda?
Miranda – a typical “modern Brazil” goal.
Tite is so stingy w subs. …argggg
Boy, Marcelo hung Dani Alves out to dry with that pass.
Announcer: “Marcelo… dear God, Marcelo.”
Willian on for Coutinho.
Diego Souza on for Firmino.
Man, I thought that was going to be the moment for Paulinho.
OH I KNEW IT
I KNEW HE WOULD DO IT
I TOLD YOU SO..
I SAID IT!!!!!!
With his chest, just for show. What an animal
Well Damn 😂
THAT’S IT. I’m, I’m, I’m…
Our new false 9 😀 😀 😀
WEL DONE RAED.
Paulinho brought those birds on the pitch so he could make us eat crow
Paulinho scored with his right foot, his left foot, and his chest. It’s not quite a “perfect” hat trick—what do we call it?
I don’t believe it.
What is stupid Cavani complaining about to the referees? The birds???
I think he would have liked to have a few PKs thrown his was way 😉
Damn it, China has made Paulinho better or what…..
Never underestimate the power of confidence.
It’s increasingly clear that a lot of the reason he was so abject in 2014 is because Tottenham had sapped all his form and confidence.
Good point. Which begs the question, maybe just maybe, the real Paulinho is the one we saw 4 years ago at the CC which would be great to have.
He has been by far the best player in CSL since he got there.
It’s Paulinho’s world. We are just lucky he allows us to live in it.
The picture of Paulinho pointing needs to be the site banner for a day
At least until the next qualifier I’d say.
Do it BM, the people have spoken (2 of them, at any rate).
I’ll try, but that banner is very finicky. There’s a reason I’ve never touched it.
Always meant to ask why the Garihncha jersey isn’t yellow?
Because he’s dead. Maybe it’s a little silly but I wanted his to stand out in that way.
Besides, I’ve always dug asymmetrical designs.
Lol no worries, was speaking mostly in jest anyway.
Paulinho has singlehandedly made China a legitimate destination for all fringe Brazilian players now.
Paulinho, the new Pele….:-)
About the game: a good victory but…
1) our only hope about Paulinho is that he gets injured before the WC. He has things to offer, but he is not Selecao stuff and should not be there. Renato Augusto has always been talented and is not a problem.
2)Neymar is the best player in the world right now
3)We still need a lot of work as a team. The WC is going to be like the beginning of the 2nd half, when Uruguay started to press hard and we couldn’t pass the ball. We were lucky not to have conceded another goal.
4) Marcelo is a big “no no” as a left back.
5) When is Tite going to try something different in the midfield? I guess, never…..
Finally, it was funny, but also a very good thing, to hear Tite shout and give orders throughout the game. His voice is very recognizable. It is very good that he has the personality to carry this team, but he should improve some of his player choices…..
Oh, I have been having nightmares about high pressing teams for a while. I am glad Uruguay pushed that issue hopefully into Tite’s line of sight a little bit more. Suarez perhaps would have made the point a bit more forcefully had he played.
Who had the last hattick before today? Was it Coutinho in the 2016 CA against Haiti?
BTW, we have now OFFICIALLY qualified, right?
Mathematically, no, but realistically, yeah. No team with 30 points has failed to make the World Cup.
Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. If we win against Paraguay, we will mathematically qualify I think.
On a side note, Arturo Vidal claimed today that the new South American Classico is Argentina vs Chile. I have to say I don’t mind seeing them outside of the qualification zone right now.
Vidal also said Chile is the best team in the world after the CA. I don’t think they’ve actually won since then.
Don’t f*** with The Paulinho
notice the similarity in facial hair
There it is…
whatever paulinho is…he still doesn’t worry me as much as marcelo and alves….those two are almost guaranteed to cost us dearly in a most important game, on that day we may not get the chance to pull it back.
teams like france and germany have the tactical nous and players to constantly hit these glaring weaknesses. neymar is still our only true brazilian player on the ball, the rest are square. coutinho and renato are also good on the ball but its clear we still can’t pass the ball properly in midfield – its all squarely down to personnel not tactics.
They’re always a concern, but today they were particularly bad in defense and very exposed.
Because they were actually pressed high this time around. Renato saved Marcelo’s sorry backside too many times.
Golazo from Paulinho the great:
Such flair, such grace…
He did a good job there of not actually going for too much power but just sort of stabbing at the ball, using its existing momentum to work for him. His follow-through was REALLY short, which is effective when you are running with the ball.
It was very well executed, I’m just not sure if it was intentional
Ah, you cynics, that’s why he had to do it three times in three different ways to show it was no fluke 😉
In truth I just want to eat more crow
I’ve never been as much of a Paulinho hater as everyone else because I am realistic. While he’s not my type of player, it’s not a case of him bringing down the midfield; rather, he doesn’t elevate it. Well, who else does? The truth of the matter is that the team isn’t that talented in that area of the field.
When it comes to Paulinho, he has tangible stats to back up his continued selection. Besides, he’s Brazil third most dependable scorer after Neymar and GJ. In my eyes, if we demand more from Paulinho, we have to demand more from Casemiro, Augusto, or anyone that have played in midfield in the past few years.
I don’t want to be a “hater” but it’s pure fiction that Paulinho is a “dependable” goal-scorer. He’s scored 9 goals in 38 matches…and a third of those goals came today. His scoring rate is roughly comparable to Coutinho and Renato August, who no one would describe as reliable goal scorers despite their other virtues. And that’s AFTER today. Before today, his rate was significantly lower.
Is Paulinho a good scorer “for a midfielder?” Sure, absolutely. But that’s not the same thing as being reliable. In my opinion, the stats DON’T support his reputation. The most impressive thing about his hat trick tonight were actually his second and third goals, in my opinion, because both were very composed. That hasn’t always been the case with him.
Why would I compare to players other than midfielders? If we are keeping it objective, the guy has scored some huge goals, none bigger than the game winner against this same Uruguay side back in 2013. Also, since my comment was relative to this Brazil side, tell me another player who you think is likelier to get a goal besides him?
You said he was Brazil’s 3rd most dependable goal scorer. I’m arguing he’s not a dependable goal scorer at all. Simple.
As to this Brazil side, while I have cooled significantly on Firmino, he’s still more likely to get a goal than Paulinho.
BTW when I first logged in here today, I saw people making comments about birds and right away I thought they were referring to Pato and Ganso. But I knew neither one had been called.
When I watched the second half I realized these were real birds lol.
I think the most impressive thing about today’s win was that even after that ghastly Marcelo mistake, Brazil didn’t look rattled at all. While I still might quibble with player selection, and I still have some unresolved fears going into 2018, Tite just exudes calm and confidence unlike any Brazil manager in my lifetime. You get the sense this is a man without fear, but more importantly without demons.
sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about Tite here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s Tite, in the Selecao
Hhhm, it’s a bit like Hindus saying we are living in the Kali-Yuga (the dark age) and must act accordingly. Probably you are right, Tite is a coach, who possibly can make the best of this poor generation. Still, I just cannot come to terms with this style of playing, it’s boring and predictable. Avoiding the centre, pressing, using the two best players on the wings etc.etc. Neymar’s goal yesterday epitomized it perfectly – Miranda’s “blind” ball going over the whole midfield area, accidentally finding Neymar, who scored a golaco – the delicious icing on a tasteless cake.
fwiw, I was just jokingly paraphrasing Matt’s elegy by plagiarising a well known quote from the big lebowski
I look forward to the “Nobody f’s with the Jesus” version!
already done below “The Paulinho”
It’s quite a while, since I saw the Big Lebowski. Have to watcht it again regarding the quote.
its the very beginning and its all over youtube im sure
“The delicious icing over a tasteless cake” lol
In fairness to Miranda, I think he was under pressure and was just clearing the ball. I dont find it hard to approve what he did as a defensive measure. That is to say it is not one of those long passes that became the hallmark of Brazil under Scolari. On yesterday’s game you cant accuse Brazil of not playing from the back. They did it to fault and made it work.
I am not criticizing Miranda, it was the right thing in this situation. I only wanted to point to the fact that it was unintentional from his side that the ball reached Neymar. The best goal in terms of team cohesiveness was the second one, when Paulinho’s sitter was preceded by nice Liverpool teamwork (Coutinho, Firmino).
fourth goal too had some beautiful interplay between Dani Alves and Willian where Willian took out three defenders in one smart pass and a beautiful turn, control and cross by Dani Alves.
In fact he had said that his team needed to learn ‘how to suffer’ and wondered how his team would react after falling behind, so I guess he worked with them specifically on such a scenario.
Ah, so that’s why he intentionally put Dani Alves and Marcelo on.
Interestingly, Paulinho worked his way off the torture list… for now !?!?
very true, i thought the first couple of min after conceding the goal we might lose control but the team handled it well. B_M its good to hear from you.
With our personnel scenario (not only the current squad, but other available players in general), I’d like to hear your thoughts about potentially a three man back-line. The midfield and forward line can be fluid formation, with or without wing backs. BrazilStats raised that possibility a while ago, and I wanted to float it again and see what people think.
At what point does the conversation shift from “the opponent wasn’t very good” or “we got lucky” to “we’re actually pretty good”? It’s a question worth debating. After all, we’ve faced a series of matches that were, on paper, very tough, and won them all with ease. Uruguay was the latest example. We went down early after a defensive calamity but equalized 10 minutes later and dominated the rest of the half. In the second half, we faced a relentless storm of pressure from Uruguay, but the defenders did a pretty good job of maintaining possession and buying time, and of course, we’re the ones who emerged from Uruguay’s pressing with the goals. On the other hand, perhaps we got lucky that Uruguay couldn’t find more shots on target (at one point the announcers said Uruguay had managed 2 of 9 shots on target in the half)… but maybe that’s a credit to the defense doing a good job of closing angles and blocking shots, so that few efforts make their way on target.
I don’t want to say this is definitely the case, and the “we’re that good” attitude is nothing but toxic this far from the World Cup, but we’ve earned some of our best results under Tite in what were, on paper, the toughest matches—at home against Argentina, away to Ecuador and Uruguay. Tonight, Uruguay tested our defense in exactly the ways we’d feared, and by and large we passed with flying colors. (Marcelo’s colors are all gray though)
Anyways, Paulinho and Neymar were the undeniable stars of the show. I think that’s some of the best dribbling Neymar has ever done in front of a hostile crowd. Heck, it may be the best away performance Brazil has managed in years. (Interestingly, this is the second straight WCQ cycle where we’ve scored four against Uruguay in the Centenario.)
On Paulinho specifically, some commenters elsewhere praised his movement to always make himself available to receive a pass. I’m reminded of what Black Matt wrote about Walace at the Olympics. I don’t think it’s quite as true of Paulinho, simply because he’s less technically capable and so less useful as a passer when he receives the ball, but I’d like to hear what y’all think:
“He always moves into positions in space, offering himself up as a passing target. He works constantly to give his teammates passing options. So even though his own passing was unremarkable, his work off the ball enabled Brazil to play with more pace and more patience.
“To put it another way, it’s his understanding of the pass-and-move game that made him so valuable to Brazil’s build-up. He didn’t need to produce a stunning pass to advance the ball; he just needed to pass, move, and receive; pass, move, and receive.”
On the negative side, the single biggest concern to arise from this game is over squad depth. Roberto Firmino improved a bit in the second half, and maybe he’ll come into his own with another start against Paraguay, but we definitely missed Gabriel Jesus’ physical presence and ball-winning ability up top, and it made it harder to advance the ball without him. Tite seems to want a more mobile number 9, but I’m worried that he’ll go for a bunch of false 9s when what we really need is a backup number 9 who can also bring that physical, back-to-goal game that Gabriel Jesus offers along with his movement.
Two other positions are a concern. Casemiro is a guaranteed starter, but he seems to earn a yellow card a game. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ll need to play at least one game in Russia 2018 without him, which means we need a strong backup, and I’m not convinced Fernandinho is it. Fabinho would be a fine fit for this role (and also right-back and maybe also Paulinho’s position), but of course he’s not in the squad right now. The other one that worries me is right-back. Dani Alves is suspended, so for ONCE he won’t play against Paraguay, but something tells me that Fagner doesn’t have what it takes to be an upgrade over him. The problem is that I don’t know who I’d take instead. Mariano and Bruno Peres are both good, but neither of them really look world-class right now; Fabinho or Marquinhos might work, but they haven’t played the position in ages and they might be more useful elsewhere.
Other than that, Marcelo’s horror show is particularly troubling. Yeah, we know he can leave himself exposed, and the team’s set up to compensate for that, but you can’t have another defender in position to cover for the sort of brain fart he had on the penalty. That was pure amateur hour, and it doesn’t help that he had a particularly underwhelming game going forward. Hell, Dani Alves had a better night going forward, and just about the only thing he did right was that great cross for Paulinho’s last goal. What happened to the guy who’s been tearing up the left wing for Madrid this season? If he’s not offering that sort of attacking contribution, then why start him over Filipe Luis or Alex Sandro?
Saying Brasil is “pretty good” would go against everything this blog stands for.
You are my Good Man 🙂
As Saul rightly says, the feeling of ‘we are pretty good’ does not come very naturally to me. I suspect that on a second viewing, it will probably turn out that we played better than I think we did.
Having said that, I don’t feel very assured about how our defense dealt with the press to be honest. Fullbacks issues aside, there is a worrying lack of pace across the line, which Uruguay did not quite have the personnel to exploit fully, but still forced quite a bit of last ditch pushing/fouling/yellow cards and free kicks in dangerous areas. The absence of Luis Suarez was crucial in not making things worse for us. We did improve on the aerial defending after the break (Tite must have heard my complaints about those free headers in the first half), but the Uruguayans were also very wayward with their final shots. I actually think Renato Augusto and Paulinho deserve most of the credit for shuttling around and bailing out our defenders.
On the fullbacks, I couldn’t add much to what you had to say. My worries about our fullbacks and lack of clear cut replacements have reached a point where I have started thinking about a three man backline and pushing up the likes of Marcelo into more wing back type role. Leave your thoughts on my comment below.
Now, to the point about Paulinho’s movement/contribution to the passing game. I do think his movements played a key role in retaining possession and ball circulation in the middle third of the pitch. I would make a more general observation about the whole team actually. Today I felt that Tite’s policy of playing a core set of players over and over again has brought one good thing, they have become really comfortable in building the small triangles to keep the ball moving. There was very rarely a lack of passing options for anybody under a press. This is no trivial thing. Yes, the quality/creativity of vertical passing and moving the ball in to the final third through midfield is nowhere near it needs to be. But one of my speculations about Tite’s unwillingness to change the line up for this round was that he did not want to mess with the chemistry of his outfield players. And it is true that at no point did the defense or midfield look disjointed. The rough edges mostly were at the attacking end with Neymar-Coutinho-Firminho trio not fully integrated yet. It improved in the second half, and the Liverpool duo conjured up the second goal.
we are definitely good. Going to this game I was fairly confident we would win it. but are we Brazil good? is my big question. World Cup is a different ball game i give this team at least world cup semi final. Then there might come a time when we have to beat two big teams in a row may be France and Germanyin a knock out game. Can we do it? it is a real possibility IMO but i d be biting my nail for those games as opposed to the Uruguay game where I was chilling with my favorite greek salad and a club soda.
Well, Paulinho certainly had an answer for us, today.
Pretty funny after a very recent discussion where folks (myself included) tried to figure out why Tite likes him so much
I was laughing my heart out once he scored the first goal with a nicely executed screamer, (quoting myself in that recent discussion, “he does not come across as a great finisher to me”), and then the second happened, and then I just knew the third was coming! In one of my replies to you earlier, I mentioned that one of the fun part of football for me is being surprised by coaches and players. It was quite a lot of fun today 😀
Paulinho’s first (probably last) career hat trick will not change my mind about Paulinho. Neither does Marcelo’s mistake change my mind about Marcelo. Both were uncharacteristic. Marcelo generally is good on the ball. It is his off the ball defending that worries me more. This mistake was made while he was on the ball. In fact I like how he bounced back after the mistake. Shit happens. And when it does you just move on.
of course paulinho scored a hat-trick of course he did. why wudnt he? argh
Tim Vickery’s match report
Vickery applauds fluidity in midfield and applauds Paulino, notes Marcelo and Alves weakness.
I thought he was being a bit generous with ‘fluidity’ 😉 But it is true we have better cohesiveness and ball retention in midfield these days.
Making this my new profile picture for the time being.
There is something to be said about a midfielder scoring a hatrick in such a crucial tie. I have never been a fan of Paulinho but what he accomplished yesterday is no mean feat. However, I still don’t like him as a player because he isn’t just my style of player; not skillful , and seems too “English ” for my style, ala David Platt. I guess at the end of the day, he is one player that no matter how well he does, I may never learn to appreciate him. I salute Tite for giving him another chance . He should be commended . He is a better man than I
So what’s you proposal regarding his replacement, who shall it be?
My point isn’t to propose changes but rather to commend a coach who saw some value in fielding a player that I and many others do not rate highly and subsequently benefiting the team by such foresight .. On the other hand, he foolheartedly trusted a supremely unreliable player like Marcelo. I guess like the rest of us, he isn’t all knowing .
I think in Marcelo’s case it’s a known trade-off. He tends to bring more at the attacking end, and you run risks at the defending end. But of course the contribution at the attacking end vary from game to game. Yesterday was a day when ex-post his defensive lapses outweighed his attacking contributions. I’d imagine none of us were surprised by this, this is just the player Marcelo is, so I’d imagine Tite wasn’t surprised either. Personally, I think if Marcelo plays, he needs to be counted as a winger, and the system should not count on him at the defensive end.
But that exactly is the issue: Our fullbacks, be it Alves or Marcelo, are not so good in attack that it can justifiy the overcrowding of the midfield with non-creative players to balance it out or to take the risk of conceding avoidable goals. Practically Alves and Marcelo are “midfielders” or even “playmakers” in such a system, where any creative impact from the centre is non-existing. According to this queer logic the remaining two “playmakers” Coutinho and Neymar are also playing on the wings, cutting inside in eight of ten cases. Sometimes even Augusto acts as a winger, though he cannot dribble at all. All that was good enough until now, because they have played against South American teams, non of which has an above average midfield (including Argentina). Wait, until they will meet a European team, who is either able to block the space on the half-left/half-right side resp. has a remarkably better possession rate, and you will see, how helpless Brazil will become. I see no reason, why there should not be a deja vu of what happened against Serbia, Croatia, Mexico, Chile, Columbia, Germany and Holland in 2014. Yes, now we have GJ and Coutinho instead of Fred and Oscar, but I doubt that this improvement will be enough.
I hear you. Our playmaking is indeed happening way too much on the flanks at the moment. But we do come back to square one eventually, do we see players who would be readymade solutions if they are brought in to the squad tomorrow?
Oh well, even after 8 plus years of watching this fella disappoint at the most inopportune times, some people never learn …
Felipe Luis, who would be my personal preference at the moment, (although he is getting older and slower) gets underrated at the attacking end I feel, may be because he plays for Atleti. He is regularly posting great dribbling stats in La Liga, I think only Concelo has more successful take ons among the defenders this season. His crossing is not too shabby either.
Those of us who have been on this blog for a while will remember your distrust of Marcelo as a full back for Brazil. Every game he plays vindicates your point.
It’s kind of odd. I won’t miss a Real game, in part, to watch Marcelo, but I am always horrified just to hear that he and Dani Alves are in the selecao’s lineup.
F. Luis should be the left back.
May I remind all the “Brazil was pretty good” people that Dunga’s first team beat Uruguay 6:1 at their home soil during the 2010 qualifiers (by the way with an Alves screamer) and furthermore won 3:1 at Argentina. While it was correct to say then, “they were good today”, it was not correct to hold that the team as such was good. Actually it was an average team, where Kaka and Robinho were the “stars”. The same refers to Brazil 2017. They are decent, yes, but good? Definitely not. A team, which has a defence, where three quarters (Alves, Marcelo, Miranda) should be replaced, a midfield, which possesses not even half of Germany’s or Spain’s quality and whose only strong compartment is the front line Neymar, GJ, Coutinho, cannot be called good.
But forget Germany and Spain, the attribute”Good” has to stand ON ITS OWN TERMS, it should not be applied IN RELATION TO OTHER TEAMS only. In other words, “Brazil is a 2018 WC contender” and “Brazil is a good team” are two different statements. though the likelihood to do the first normally increases with the second. (I say “normally”, because one could say the 82 team that lost to Italy had a bigger chance to win, if they had been “worse”, replacing f.i. Eder with the rough&tough midfielder Batista.)
Regarding Paulinho it’s over. He will be an undisputed starter at Russia.
You are the Bernie Sanders of this blog.. The day your wishes will be granted shall be the day the messiah comes to dwell among us .. That day will never come.
Regarding the messiah, he is already on earth – in Russia, according to his devotees. (You can google.)
Not a bad game, except some usual worries:
-Marcelo and Alves are still disappointing when playing for Brazil. They are ALWAYS different from the players we watch in R. Madrid and Barcelona. Now, don’t tell me about difference in systems. It’s more about the careless attitude. Alves especially has no business being a starter in this team.
– Alisson passes are soooooo scary!! What’s is Tite’ s problem with Diego Alves?
– Even Neymay needs to play more seriously sometimes, pass the ball and stop his showboating that he does less in Barcelona now.
If you are concerned about Alison’s passes, the fault is with the coach. This is a style he chose. Any coach who tries to build up from the back knows that this is a risk. I, for one, accept the risk this style comes with. I do expect that we ll concede goals every once in a while because of mistakes at the back. But I hope it does not happen too often. May be Barca is the perfect example. half the goals they concede are due to a mistake by one of the defenders in their own half. Fans blame the player. But in the bigger scheme of things, the player is exposed by the system and the bigger question is: Is this system worth it? I think it is for both Barcelona and Brazil.
This style of play is actually perfect against teams that high press. Yesterday in the first half Uruguay was sitting back. Brazil had problems in the first half. The goal they scored was a rare long range goal. In the second half Uruguay was more aggressive in their high press. That played right into the hands of Brazil’s build up from the back. With a very good build up from the back more often than not we were able to take the front 4 Uruguay players out of their defensive system. That is the price they paid for their high press. And the price was too high. They should have sat back and wait for the counter.
I know Marcelo and Dani Alves have been maligned on this board. But the one obvious thing that they bring to the table is ability to bring the ball out of the back in games where the opponent high presses. Being a Barca and Real Madrid players they play at a higher level of precision.
All in all in my view Tite’s build up from the back is paying dividends. We should accept the risks.
If I mumbled too much and I didn’t express myself well, here is a video that drives my point home.
Woohoo. Finally a defense of Marcelo and Alves, or at least a fair evaluation of their strategy.
One thing we need to stop doing on this board is have polarized views of players. We shouldn’t be afraid to say good things about players we dont like. At this point I personally prefer Felipe Luis over Marcelo. But I am not blind to what Marcelo can do.
Okay, then let me start with saying that Paulinho was outstanding yesterday. Let me add that he could even decide more important matches. I was not joking, when I wrote he could score the winning goal against Germany at a WC semifinal, though I think Löw would be smart enough to neutralize him. It may seem absurd, but it’s nevertheless the truth: he is on his way to become Brazil’s “strongest weapon” in midfield!
strongest weapon out of a selection of dull blades : (
I understand your point, but what to do? Shall we fanatics of brilliant midfield play go into a five years hibernation and only wake up, when kids like Gerson, Alan and Lincoln possibly have become starters?
And to add on the Alisson point, he can pull off the style Tite wants because he’s good enough on the ball to pass his way out of pressure. Diego Alves might not have been able to do so.
Yeah, I recently posted wondering about Diego Alves’s poor luck given how good a goalkeeper he is in terms of shot stopping. But as I watch watching Alisson, I had the same thought. Tite chose Ederson as back up, who is good on the ball too (rumor has it that Guardiola is looking at him).
I don’t have much to say on the “are we good” question at this time. We are clearly the class of South America, and South American teams are not slouches internationally. Predicting how Tite’s Brasil will fare against European powers is unfortunately wild speculation at this point, due to international schedule.
As much as I think Tite is not making the best choices personnel wise, it would be hypocritical of me to deny that in the past i used to say that intra squad familiarity breeds the best cohesion, and that Brazil suffered from its lack of a regular squad due to having so many candidates at each position. Tite has clearly decided he will establish a core and drill that core as much as possible to the exclusion of personnel experimentation until he is satisfied that the core is fully drilled in his system. That is his choice, and he has earned the right to feel justified.
I am not as concerned with the backline as some. I hate Dany Alves but what can i do, he has compromising photos on all the CBF big shots. More importantly, Tite has us defending collectively, and our mids are pretty adept at compensating for aggressive FBs …the team has a playbook.
My big concern is that we struggle to advance the ball through the center and tend to get very lopsided to Neymar’s side offensively. I attribute this to two things – Neymar is so good on the ball its a temptation to always work his side. But also, negatively, our mids are not good enough technically to advance the ball through the middle by themselves. This worries me. But in counterpoint, this problem seems most extreme in the first 15 minutes of each game, when the opponent is fresh and compact in their defensive posture. As the game winds on, and the opponent loses some gas, our build up from the back become more effective …or at least this is how i have observed things over the last several games. I would like to see Coutinho drop back deeper and help out in this regard as he is a real dervish with the ball. If there was one tactical change that I would recommend with our current personnel it would be to have Coutinho participate more actively in advancing the ball into our third, instead of simply hanging out in the right corner waiting for a long diagonal from Marcelo. I did notice Coutinho more involved in just this fashion in the 2nd half so maybe there was an adjustment …or else just wishful thinking on my part.
To go against my own “we are good” statement, we can argue that the rest of South America is really underperforming right now. We beat Ecuador away in part because they were really, really poor, we stomped all over an Argentina side that’s been apathetic all cycle long, and we benefited from Uruguay missing three of their key starters.
Very much so.
I like how you are not married to your ideas…:)
Can somoene translate and explain what Jogo apoiando means?
I would have preferred the term Jogo Bonito as a brand name, even though Brazil does not play like 82. For me Jogo Bonito is Neymar, Coutinho, Douglas Costa…even Willian. They have that distinctly Brazilian flair. Brazil will continue to produce Jogo Bonito players for the forseeable future and that is the attraction to Brazil for most of us non Brazilians.
“Jogo apoiado” translates to something like “the supported game”, and when Tite uses it I believe he refers to the way he instructs his players to combine with each other, play 1-2s, and be constantly moving so that someone’s always in space to receive a pass.
Can i add Marcelo? I also agree on Willian. He has skill and flair and i think he can also do a lot of things well, like creating, keeping the ball, contributing to a nice flow of passing game and defending. He is not stellar at anything but good at a lot of things.
Faults and all, Marcelo is the most Brazilian of the current lot
Yup. Marcelo is one of the handful players that I think can be the difference on a big game.
Any one else think Dani’s crosses were better than usual? He had a very nice assist to Paulinho and could have had another with that trivela pass to casemiro.
I thought he had a mixed bag, some very poor ones, but also the nice ones you mention.
A lot of people have commented on Marcelo/Alves.
I think we all agree that having both of these at the same time is like putting all your eggs in one basket. It is high risk/high reward type of thing. Notice, whenever the two are playing at once, chances are it is a high scoring game for Brazil.
But, and we always say this, putting both of these at the same time in a crucial game at the WC could badly burn brazil. Teams know these two players inside and out. They have been seeing them play with Barcelona and Real Madrid for close to 10 years. So they know what to expect and how to beat them.
If I am the coach, and unless the game plan really needs both, it is simple : don’t ever play both at the same time. I certainly wouldn’t do that playing Germany or Argentina in a SF or final. Especially with the latter, you have Messi who knows both players better than anyone else and knows how to exploit them.
Having said that, if I had to choose between Marcelo and Alves, I would go for Marcelo. His play with Neymar is crucial.
Alves has some nice crosses every now and then but that is not something we can’t live without.
Yes, taj is right to say that Alves/Marcelo (I would add Miranda) are even bigger issues than Paulinho, and that says something! Not only have we not made any substancial progress in midfield since 2014 – I am not talking about a slight improvement – also our defence is far from being reliable. Take Filipe Luis, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva (Caio) and a decent right back, and our vulnerability will decrease remarkably. .
One bit of news: Tite has called up Mariano to replace the suspended Dani Alves against Paraguay. I’m surprised he can pull off calling a Spain-based player to fly across the Atlantic and join the squad on such short notice. I guess we’ll see in the next day or two who Tite chooses to start in Alves’ place.
Τhis is good. I hope Mariano gets some playing time. He is a creative player and has things to offer…..
If you want a perfect example for the saying “the best of both worlds”, look no further than Paulinho. He goes to China makes big cash and still plays for one of the best national teams in the world. China is the retirement destination for most European players….lol
Let’s only hope that a certain former Brazilian EPL player may not follow his example….
Tite is revolutionising the Seleção’s style of play. He plays Alisson over a goalkeeper with better reflexes, because of his ability to pass the ball. Yet he does start Miranda who’s awful in passing. If we want to form our new identity in building from the back, we have to sacrifice Miranda for a better passer. It’s either a boy or a girl, it cannot be something in between. Tite has to decide, which Brazil does he want? Make your decision, then to modify your lineup accordingly. By the way, I love you, boss! Yesterday made me feel very proud. https://twitter.com/BrazilStat/status/845256609752330241
“If we want to form our new identity in building from the back, we have to sacrifice Miranda for a better passer.”
For me this better passer is Rodrigo Caio. He could become our Mats Hummels.
Any Brazilian centre back is by far a better passer than Miranda to be fair. Thiago Silva, Rodrigo Caio and David Luiz are miles better at passing.
Thiago is a much better defender than DL, though the latter is superior technically. Caio combines both technique and reliability, apart from his younger age.
Thiago Silva is a much better defender than Rodrigo Caio though, I think we underrate him way too much around him. My starting duo is Marquinhos – Silva, both defend well and are good on the ball.
The more I watch Rodrigo Caio, the more I realize he’s severely underrated. His tackling is just outrageously good.
His tackling was very good against Colombia, he had an excellent game and that id why I mentioned him as a candidate. But to compare his defensive skills to Thiago Silva is a bit of a stretch IMO.
In fairness, Thiago and Rodrigo are at very different stages of their career. Thiago had the wonderful opportunity to develop and mature in Italy. I think a fairer comparison is between Thiago at Rodrigo’s age, and whether we see the potential in Rodrigo of becoming a player like Thiago in a few years. I have been hoping for him to move to Europe and further develop his game.
Thiago Silva was the best defender in the world, especially during his time at Milan. Do you think Rodrigo Caio can reach these standards? Is he even better than Marquinhos who is younger than him, to begin with, in your opinion?
From what I have seen of him, admittedly which is not a whole lot, I think he might be as good as Marquinhos defensively, and might be a better passer. Keeping in mind his primary position used to be defensive midfielder.
As to whether Rodrigo will be as good a defender as Thiago was at his peak, that’s a tall ask. Do I see him as being good enough to be Brazil’s starting CB eventually? Yes. Over Silva/Miranda right now? Depends on what your anticipations are about the form/shape either of them will be in come WC time. They will be pushing 34 and 33 respectively. That is the part that worries me the most.
It was more than obvious (and more obvious than in the previous games, i think) that they tried to build from the back, even with some very risky passing sometimes, and this is the most encouraging thing. Let’s hope Tite is really working towards that direction.
But then, the question remains: cannot he see that players like Paulinho (much more than Miranda) cab be an obstacle to this change?
Good question, but I think that Miranda shares being an obstacle part almost as much as Paulinho.
I cannot disagree, since everyone, including the Cbs and the goalkeeper, have to make quick decisions and have good technique, in a team who wants to play a quality passing game and have good build up. Unfortunately, Miranda does not seem to be this type of player (he never was)……
Here is a question to all, who are interested in an answer. What could be the reason, why the selecao teams of the glorious past, full of ball virtuosos and strategysts, hardly ever managed to win in Uruguay (or Argentina), while the not so good teams of the last ten years are able to do that, even by a big goal difference? I have my own explanation, but I want to know other opinions.
Because the recent games have been between teams of the same cloth, X and X’ of maths.
I am really interested to hear your thoughts.
Our past record against Uruguay and Argentina used to be one of my pet peeves, and one day I realized we have stopped losing to them on such a regular basis. In simplistic terms, my explanation would fall very much in the ‘pragmatic’ school of thought. These teams have (or used to have in case of Argentina) a certain way of defending, certain intensity and aggression, and a will to win that we tended not to have very good answers for. I don’t think that’s the case anymore. There is a lot of ‘steel’ in how Brazil have been playing over the last two decades (unless we are having one of our famous nervous meltdowns). If you ask me, it is a part of our game I’d like to keep as we go looking to bring our ‘style’ days back. I don’t want to cry like I do every time I re-watch Brazil v Italy 1982.
simply put brazil are as cynical, dirty and ruthless as argentina and uruguay were in the past. in fact recently – last 10 years argentina have always been the protagonists against brazil – we countered and outmuslced them, and arg weren’t good enough to counteract that.
strangely the game where we outplayed them with the ball we lost in 2012 – 4-3 in new york. i remember my frustation in 90s when brail would play all the football, miss all the chances and arg or uru would just score off a corner or freekick.
BrazilStats has been posting the video of Alisson’s super risky pass out of the back. I just rewatched that whole sequence, and we’re not giving enough credit to how that led up to the third goal. Here’s how that whole sequence went; for about three minutes (albeit half of which was with the play dead) the only Uruguay touches of the ball were a couple of saves from the keeper:
48:10: Casemiro cuts out cross from a Uruguay set-piece, Marcelo tries to dribble out and is fouled.
48:55 (approx.): Play restarts, Brazil plays it around the back for around 20-25 seconds before Alisson plays that pass forward to Casemiro. He plays it wide to Marcelo, who combines with Neymar.
49:33: Neymar dribbles up the left and is fouled. That whole sequence took about 40 seconds and constituted at least 15 passes. (The broadcast is still showing close-ups of Marcelo when play restarts, so I can’t tell the exact numbers, but it could very well have involved 2-3 passes more than that.)
50:30: Neymar’s free kick is saved by the Uruguay keeper and goes out for a throw.
50:45: Marcelo throws to Casemiro, who combines with Dani Alves a couple of times. Alves plays it to Coutinho, who cuts inside and plays it to Firmino. 6 passes in 15 seconds.
51:00: Firmino turns and shoots; his shot is saved, but Paulinho steers it home. He sneaks in from the right flank this time, rather than appear unmarked in the middle.
I posted the full video in my post below, by the way. Dunno why my links never show up when I post them, other members in other situations said the links didn’t appear either. Is it visible now? https://twitter.com/BrazilStat/status/845256609752330241
It’s showing up—I was just pointing out that the whole three-minute passage of play surrounding Alisson’s pass is one where Uruguay pretty much never touches the ball.
Hell of a pass by the goalie. His pass actually broke the Uruguayo press. Obviously if he passes badly it is a sure goal for the enemy. But i am not worried by this potential. That is why you put good players out to make good plays.
That was a great pass indeed. I went ‘whew’.
Just rewatched the game, being puzzled by the funny role Paulinho plays in this team. Totally different from a “false nine”, isn’t he nevertheless something like a “centre forward in disguise” or, even better, a “CF coming from midfield”? Why is it always him, who is roaming around the box (instead of f.i. Firmino)? Against Argentina he wasted two big chances, but the principle of being in the right place at the right moment was the same as yesterday. It’s worth to look at the development of the second goal. Casemeiro, Alves, Coutinho and Firmino did the work, so to say, but it is interesting to look at him, how he, uninvolved during this sequence, all of a sudden runs into the box, not knowing that Firmino’s shot will finally give him the opportunity for a rebound. Also before the fourth goal he simply was “there”.
In spite of my puristic disapproval of his bullyish appearance and lack of ball control I have to admit he possesses a considerable box player instinct. Would I be a pragmatist I could say: “Let’s be glad that we have such a scoring weapon for special cases.”
I’ve wondered before if he might be a good option as a striker. He loses the element of surprise, of course, but he’s a good finisher, very physical, clearly has a good sense of where to be in the box, and his limited passing range would be less of a liability if he played with his back to goal.
well he is good scoring with his face to the goal, a much better finisher than some strikers we know Robinhcoughcough …but he is probably not capable of playing with his back to the goal as his first touch is one of his weak points and controlling the ball with a defender on his back … i don’t see it.
I was struck by the same thing yesterday. His movements in the box were very much of a center forward kind. For the fourth goal, he just moves in and asks for the ball! I do have a feeling that during half-time Tite modified Firmino’s and Paulinho’s positioning and movement a little bit from what they had started with, as it was evident during the first half that Firmino was not quite filling GJ shoes in and around the box. If that was indeed the case, Paulinho’s execution was superb.
you know when that chicken leg muller does it for bayren or germany all the fans call him an artist that knows where to be and when lol . yes lets be glad we have paulinho.
To be fair, Müller is the best in the worst at his made-up position.
i guess you’re right about that.
Actually reading my comment again, that didn’t make any sense. I ment to say that Müller is the best at his made-up position, not the best in the worst, whatever that means. You seem to have gotten the jist of it, though.
I think Tite is finally starting some experimentation as qualification is almost ensured and the next opponents are comparatively easy and on home soil. Calling Mariano from Spain isnt something small, though the circumstances were not of his choice. many people wanted Fabinho as RB. But Tite did not call him. We all thought Augusto was shit. But he is not that bad, And he has proven that. And as for Paulinho(cough..cough), he did do well today. I’m not saying they are viable options, but Tite trusts them and they have repayed his trust till now. But I hope Tite comes up with better options. Many of us wanted Moura or Allan. But both of them havent showed anything to actually make Tite depend on them. Allan looks like a one season wonder at the moment and Moura isnt one to replace D.costa, Coutinho. But I really wish tite gets some good players to back up our midfield and if possible(sincerely praying) to replace Paulinho. Augusto is not that bad,but fine. But can Paulinho be trusted so easily? i dont know. i sincerely hope Tite uses the qualifiers and friendly against Argentina this year to experiment and if possible, introduce necessary changes to the team. Tite himself said this team is in no way ready for the wc. He is also trying to organize friendlies against top European teams. lets hop[e the call of Mariano is the start of something new.
We’ve spoken at length about the prospect of Neymar becoming Brazil’s all-time goal scorer, but what do you all think the odds are of him becoming the all-time leader in caps? Significantly lower, I would guess, but if he keeps in shape and plays another 6-7 years as a starter, he could do it.
If he plays all games he ll have played at least 16 games for Brazil by the end of next world cup (assuming Brazil gets to the final). He needs 11 goals to beat Ronaldo. He ll likely do it by end of next world cup since more than 2/3 of these games are against weak opponents. He ll more than likely beat Pele’s 77 goals record before he turns 28.
He has played for almost 7 years now and the best part is he seems to be focused and disciplined unlike most great Brazilians and the he-parties-too-much image by English media. in 7 years he has played 76 games. If he plays another 7 years at the same rate, he ll top the caps chart.
He has two good shots at the world cup. If he wins at least one, he ll dwarf Ronaldinho.
it depends if he decides to play continuously or will he go the veteran star route and retire from international duty and then unretire in time for the big tournaments … which to be fair is not unreasonable given the wear and tear.
Usually all-time caps record-holders are players who rely and excel on stamina, solid defensive play and smart positioning, attributes which can last as a player ages, if one takes care of their body.
For a player that relies on explosion, acceleration and quick dribbling to do manage such a record feat, as those aforementioned physical attributes decline with aging, would be a lot harder.
He’s over halfway to Cafu’s 142 in seven years with the NT. If he keeps up exactly the same pace (not likely), he could presumably reach it by the 2024 Copa America. I’m not sure he’d make the 2026 World Cup at age 34, but he might still be in the picture in 2024. So… it could happen?
I feel that Thiago Silva is getting too much disrespect on internet. It’s funny because the arguments that people use against him from the Barcelona – PSG game totally apply on Marquinhos, yet no one uses them to discredit Marquinhos – in a game where Marquinhos made 2 blunders, and Thiago Silva zero, mind you. He is the best Brazilian defender, I don’t have a doubt about that. If you don’t think he’s a leader then okay, let’s give the armband to someone else I don’t mind at all. But his presence is essential, not just because he is a better center back than Miranda and Marquinhos, but also because he is a much better ball-playing center back than Miranda, and building from the back will be essential to drain the high pressure of top European national teams like Germany. Even if you might think “oh, look how philosophical he’s trying to be, what an attention seeker saying it’s more important that a defender passes than defends!”, but trust me this is not the situation at all. The reality is that we are heading to World Cup 2018 with Tite trying to implement a passing game, and if you lose the ball very often in cheap situations, other top deadly European NTs will exploit your weaknesses and hit you hard. Such details can decide games. Don’t get fooled by Brazil’s defensive record, it is mainly thanks to the system and the hard-working midfield. Our backline hasn’t been tested enough, until yesterday. And we saw some enormous individual mistakes that are very avoidable.
I have no objection against Thiago Silva, if only Miranda is replaced. But I really ask myself, why not only Dunga, but also Tite ignores him. You as a fan of Tite must have even bigger issues with that decision than myself. What is it that makes coaches so reluctant to let him start again? Was it really only this crying issue during the WC? Maybe there is something else, which we don’t know.
I think it’s because Tite is happy with Brazil’s defensive record, and coaches are generally reluctant on changing the members of a backline when defense is conceding. But this could be a very naive analysis, it could also be that for some reason he sees him as a leader, the mature guy to lead the backline. But I don’t buy that, because for me Thiago is also a good leader, maybe just not the best guy to captain Brazil in a world cup so give the armband to someone else, no problem.
For now, my operating thesis on Tite is that he’s reluctant to change something that works, especially before our World Cup berth is secure.
Scolari was reluctant to change as well, but was he right?
You can argue that Scolari did change things once they stopped working—he axed Paulinho and Dani Alves during the World Cup—but he had no answer to the mental pressure that made the whole team stop working.
Silvia’s perceived shortcomings is nothing that a personable, player’s thinking coach like Tite can’t overcome. This is one of the reasons why I HATE DUNGA the coach to my very core so much. An intelligent, well meaning coach would’ve pulled Silva aside and say ” look, you’re a good defender but your melt down at the World Cup did not look good on you or Brazil. I expect you to be the leader in tough and not so tough moments” – or something to that effect.
Instead, the John crow dunga chose to make disparaging comments about his own Brazil compadre for the world to see and hear – even while he still selected him.
Thiago Silva time for brazil is over. Worst captain ever. Please show a Miranda respect because he always plays a good game.
I completely agree. Thiago Silva played only 10 mins against Argentina a few months ago and completely stopped Messi from creating an amazing chance with a mazy run into the box, by himself. I cannot imagine any other brazilian defender stopping that one chance.
Against PSG, once again, his job was to stop Messi and he did. Thiago Silva was
he only defensive player that didn’t make a mistake vs Barcelona.
1-0 Marquinhos missed the timing of the ball, Trapp missed the ball entirely
2-0 Marquinhos got twisted by Iniesta, Kurzawa tapped an innocent ball into his own net.
3-0 Meunier slipped on his own and headbutted Neymar’s knee
4-1 Trapp failed to cover even his near post in the FK, didn’t jump and
just pathetically followed it with his eyes. DiMaría commited the foul.
5-1 non-existant penalty on Suárez, who went down easy on a tiny contact by Marquinhos
6-1 where was Aurier? He just stood still and watched Roberto.
Trapp again lost the timing of the ball, Verratti commited the foul that
began it all
At worst, Thiago Silva can be pointed as an uninspiring captain, which is true. He still is, however, the best brazilian center-back BY A DISTANCE, and perhaps the only brazilian center-back in the history of the game who could be called the best of his era.
Miranda, on the other hand, hasn’t impressed me very much for Brazil (though he’s the one holding Inter’s defense together, last time he didn’t play they collapsed vs Roma), and Marquinhos, well, the PSG game will be remembered for decades, and being outshined by Kimpembe in the first leg and Umtiti in the second will take some of the shine off the “best young CB in the world” epithet.
It’s really just the media blowing the “crying” thing out of proportion, and everyone ate it up.
I have 3 videos of the same mistake Miranda made in the SAME game. He’s so vulnerable under pressure, you can’t build from the back with him https://twitter.com/BrazilStat/status/845402211236630528
Could you elaborate a little on the mistake Miranda made? I would have preferred he pass forward but someone (Tite?) was calling for a pass to Marcelo. I feel like Marcelo made the bigger error (he should have switched the ball to the other side on the first touch, instead he put Alisson and Miranda in a difficult position).
Regardless of the other errors that others have made, here I want to concentrate about Miranda’s ball abilities. Please, I really mean regardless. Any Barcelona/Bayern center back would have retained possession in such a situation. Even David Luiz, Rodrigo Caio and Thiago Silva would have. I am just anticipating the future, Miranda will be put at least 3 times under such situations when facing Germany, he cannot give away the ball so cheaply, surely? Marcelo has his own problems and we can discuss this separately but in this post, I only want to concentrate on Miranda because people seem to agree that Alves/Marcelo are defensive liabilities, but Miranda is being treated almost like irreplaceable. This is the point that I would like to address. How is he better than Thiago Silva as a defender?
U should find another example. In this video Miranda did the right thing from a poor pass.
You are missing my point, read my comment again “regardless” of what led to this situation. I am just assuming that Miranda found himself in such a situation, he dealt with it very badly instead of shielding his ball, or over-pacing the marker towards the touchline then launching Marcelo. Any Barcelona/Bayern CB would have maintained possession. I thought you lot wanted Brazil to follow the modern examples rather than playing like EPL teams? For that, clearly Miranda is not appropriate.
Again we r not talking about how good or bad Miranda is. We r talking about this video. This video does not show bad decision making is what I am saying. Ur point makes more sense without this video.
I am talking about his bad technique and liability on the ball which, in my opinion, was apparent in this video.
I enjoyed the tangent but all I was looking for was this:
“he dealt with it very badly instead of shielding his ball, or over-pacing the marker towards the touchline then launching Marcelo.”
Like at Corinthians, a classical winger (Malcom) and a wide playmaker (Jadson). Notice how central Coutinho was.
Quick question, where can i get this positional overview on goal.com? Is it Brazil Global tour ?
Brazil draining Uruguay’s high pressure [part 2]
Alisson & Marquinhos’ willingness to play short passes + Paulinho’s touch were key moments
My two cents on Brazil’s 4-1 win over Uruguay:
Firstly, while the scoreline looks amazing, the content of the match is far less so. I would say Brazil was not “three goals” more dominant than Uruguay. The midfield problem is still plaguing the Selecao, with Augusto, Paulinho and Casemiro tandem technically unconvincing, even against Uruguay’s industrious midfield. In addition to the limited on the ball ability, they also lack parallel vertical running that is essential to break a deadlock from the back. Most of the time they are parked near the center circle and doesn’t position themselves favourably for building attacks from the back(see pictures below).
Both CSL players Augusto and Paulinho’s strengths are ball-winning and popping up occasionally near the danger areas to score. Their link-up plays are often left wanting. This means that Brazil cannot reliably push the play up in the middle of the park, hence a lot of the attacking has to channel through Neymar on the left side. Only he can reliably bring the ball from the left midfield to the final third, break Uruguay’s first line of defence in midfield, and consequently win enough time and space for his teammates to throw themselves forward. If he is marked heavily, then Brazil doesn’t have any other attacking option except launch long passes/crosses forward and lose possession. This is a very similar situation to what Neymar is currently facing at Barcelona.
While Neymar looks physically fine and is often able to get past the markers, it still takes a lot of energy out of him. After the first half hour, Neymar’s stamina started to drop and cannot drop back as often as needed. Without Neymar’s activity, Brazil entered a lull before Firmino started dropping back to help out with the build up. With his back towards the Uruguay goal, he sprayed some passes to the right side where Coutinho and Alves are. Firmino’s backtracking movements somewhat alleviated Brazil’s stagnancy in midfield, but that left only Neymar isolated up front on the far side. This meant that even if Brazil could get past Uruguayan midfield, they still cannot create enough of a numbers advantage in key areas. There are simply not enough men in the final third to probe Uruguay’s backline effectively.
In the second half, after Paulinho got a quick goal to give Selecao the lead, Uruguay had to push forward, which gave Brazil much more room to bring the ball forward. Marcelo could give Neymar a lot more help than in the first half. While I realize that Marcelo is unreliable defensively, I still think that he is extremely valuable in attack and I would gladly take his attacking abilities over his defensive frailties in most matches (especially against teams that do not have good wide players like Uruguay). Marcelo’s dribbling and passing can effectively reduce Neymar’s workload and allow him to be near the box more often and get more chances to score and assist. Despite the hoopla on the left, it is duly noted that Brazil is still not able to direct play in the middle of the park, let alone create many chances.
Going forward, this team despite the seven straight victories in qualifying, is going through a phase similar to June 2013 to March 2014, with its weaknesses eerily similar to that Scolari’s squad. Brazil’s main lifeline is still Neymar’s stamina and ability to bring the ball forward. Brazil’s main weakness is still a midfield that has limited ability in build-up play. While the 4+3 (4 defenders with three volantes) looks sound defensively, I would argue that a better way to avoid conceding goals is to have a midfield that could build up in the middle so that Neymar could be brought further forward. With Neymar not needed to drop back often, the opposition would have to devote more resources to mark him near their own goal and the entire formation would be pinned back, which gives MORE security than a numbers-heavy, technically-light midfield. Given Paulinho’s form and secondary scoring ability, Renato Augusto should be sacrificed from the starting XI and a better link-up player (i.e. Willian, Lucas Lima, etc.) be in his place.
Only until the midfield problem is solved does the other personnel changes (i.e. a new speedy right back/wing tandem, centre back pairings, Gabriel Jesus) follow. If the midfield makeup is not right, improvements in other positions will not upgrade the entire team significantly.
Brazil midfield needs a improvements and needs a midfield who know to pass and control the ball.
Very thoughtful, well delivered argument. I agree totally. At this point in time i am willing to give Tite benefit of the doubt to get qualifying completed as South American futbol can be rough and tumble struggle. After qualification i want to see his plan. I have zero confidence this lineup can win WC18.
very well put, but i also think Neymars contribution to the back of course has a lot to do with the formation, which IMO is not necessary if were willing to finally replace Marcllo and Dani on the other side,reason being is we NEED a proper left and a Right Back that serve their purpose well first,before thinking of their attacking attributes.
Interesting to note that Uruguay’s goalie plays for Vasco De Gama. Perhaps the thinking was that he has some kind of advantage by this.
Wasn’t Muslera suspended or something?
Yes he was.
Re-watch the match i agree with all analysis done by other,
In my opinion we are stuck with same old school of thoughts, same volante to make defense compact and all creativity handed over to FB, though in this match both Alves and Marcelo is far from any attacking threat.
Alves don’t know why get selected may be Tite knows that midfield of Paulinho augusto won’t create anything from the center so has to select someone who is little creative at wing.
In this match instead we played better Uruguay did played worst, and some how man of the hour appeared and scored hattrick, For sure we will see the ghost of 2014 playing again in Russia.
Coaches are serious problem in Brazil, certainly since Tite is around we won’t get down like 7-1 but we are not wining 2018.
It sucks that we can’t have any game against a top European NT until 2018. At least if we get humiliated now, the coach would realize some obvious problems and would not use the same lineup again in the World Cup.
What is your opinion on Casemiro’s ball playing abilities? I think he is the best DM we have by all means. He’s no Alonso/Kroos type of deep-lying playmaker, but he is a clear improvement over his recent predecessors. https://twitter.com/BrazilStat/status/845635740612644864
I agree, Far and wide there is nobody, who could replace him. The destroyer tradition, starting after 86, has become too deep-rooted in the Brazilian football mind to expect a new Cerezo very soon. Rather we will have new playmaker types than technically proficient volantes. All the more it would be important to select better passers/dribblers for the remaining two positions – but unfortunately that will not happen under a coach like Tite. Renato is just a decent player – neither good nor bad. You cannot demand anything special from him apart from rellability. And about Paulinho nothing needs to be said anymore. Nevertheless, one can win the WC with such an anti-jogo bonito trio. Once and for all the 2002 team has proven that in midfield no flair, not even good quality is necessary to get the title.
In your opinion, who are the national teams today that play more attractive football than Brazil’s Tite?
If I have to jump in here Germany is boring. No one really stands out as playing attractive. Despite Paulinho Casemiro etc Brazil is getting more and more attractive. We still have Coutinho Neymar GJ William et al to give us attractive soccer. Neymar’s chip goal is more attractive than the football the entire Germany team plays. But that is me.
Agree wholeheartedly. I watched the Germany-England friendly this week. Having also watched them at the Euros, I think they are falling into the same trap as Spain did eventually: repetitive, ponderous ball possession in midfield, an unwillingness to take risks, very little dynamism/penetration, wait for one chance to be created in 90 minutes and win it. At one point watching Spain started feeling like watching my grandma knitting her wool sweater. I am afraid Germany are going down that road, and it does not help that they have really nobody to provide any flair. I thought England (England!!!) played better than Germany and showed more dynamism in midfield.
But I guess it is to be expected. Tiki-taka at its heart is about being conservative, avoiding risk, and being ‘efficient’. When you take it to its extreme, this will happen. On the other hand, Germany initially seemed to have found their own version of the passing game which also retained a level of dynamism, pace and verticality. That seems not to be the case anymore. Since so much of their NT core is centered around Bayern, looking at the difference between Heynckes’s Bayern and Pep’s Bayern tempts me to speculate about the Pep effect. Whatever it is, it does not look very attractive.
The problem with these “together” teams is that they don’t have a Neymar. They can string passes together, but they don’t have the individual talents in the last third to create the magic to tie things altogether.
I agree with you totally! When you see Neymar do the things he does at his best you appreciate just what the other big football nations lack
I want to have both. In music symphonies are regarded higher than solo concerts, where one instrument dominates the orchestra, which features only as an acompanying force. Spain and Germany have proven that also football goes in this direction. In the end Xavi’s and Iniesta’s passing abilities are more important than Messi’s runs. The football world is totally split up at the moment. Europe only produces good midfielders and South America only extraordinary strikers.
I guess this is where it all boils down to personal aesthetic and arguments stop. So what I write here is very much my personal feelings.
To use the same musical metaphor, many musical traditions are not centered around the concept of collectivity (Indian classical music, for e.g. is a tradition of virtuoso individual musicians, with a very different aesthetic of individual interpretation and improvisation, no one writes a symphony for you to play, you create your own music as you go along). In recent years, I have found Barcelona at its pomp a far more interesting and aesthetically pleasing team to watch than the Spanish National team. And precisely because they missed the line breaking/chaos creating wrecking ball genius of a Messi or Ronaldinho. There was so little dynamism. I did not at all enjoy watching Spain in 2010, although they suffocated enough teams to win it eventually, there was zero spark/flair up top to really bring Xavi and Iniesta’s good work to fruition. Germany were much more enjoyable to watch at that point. And the less said about Euro 2012 the better, although Spain did manage 4 past an exhausted Italy team who should have really won that tournament. Overall, all their passing boiled down to dullery and conservatism.
Eventually, I have come to conclude that worshipping of a ‘system’, whatever that system may be, eventually leads to stagnation and staleness, inhibits risk taking because you are scared to violate the ‘system’, and ends up being extremely conservative. Unless you allow creative individuals to re-interpret it in their own way and breathe new life in to it over and over again. My appreciation of Brazilian football stems from the observation that no other footballing tradition breeds talent capable of such re-invention to this extent. And it is not co-incidental, because improvisation and invention are the two things that make up the DNA of Brazilian football, more than any particular system of playing. I guess that is my fundamental difference of opinion with anyone who interprets Brazilian football as one ‘system of play’.
And how about when those teams with “Neymars” don’t have a system(be it an attractive, or simply a well defined) to take the ball to attacking third?
Yep, you need a well defined system to take the ball to the attacking third. But you could also take it to an extreme, and decide that there is only one such a system, and any other system even if it works, is somehow ‘impure’, and paralyze yourself in the process. The whole thing becomes rather self-defeating in that case, from where I stand.
For me a system is open more to extension than modification, both horizontally and vertically. And players (the more they are talented, and with flair the better the system becomes, easier to evolve…) are simply the tool.
I think we do fundamentally disagree here then. For me, a system outside of being embodied and executed by a set of players, is an abstraction. I cannot judge either the beauty or the effectiveness of any system except for how it is embodied on the pitch. As a fan, for me, football is about self-expression and communication between the players and the fan. The system is just the tool. And you pick up a different tool if the old one inhibits your self-expression. Creativity cannot be defined by the tool, it chooses its own tool.
Not splitting hair here, but for me a system is different/and bigger than tactics or formation. Yes tactics and formation, specially if considered before the type of players available, are very limiting factors. And as you said tactics and formation are the tools, not the players.
For me a system( I would like to call it ‘way of playing’, BTW), for a footballing country like Brazil, is a reflection of the country. Or as Alex Bellos named his book about Brazilian football, is a ‘way of life’. And one only design such platform based on some permanent inputs (the features which ultimately define “Brazilian” player) plus whatever tactics or formation to maximize the gain from the non-negotiable “inputs”, with a room to maneuver. That’s where the self expression comes in to play. Brazil managed to do this from early 50′ to mid 80’s with some form of evolution. That’s why I earlier said “…system is open more to extension than modification…” There is no way for me to want players with less to no self expression or any thing that prohibits them from expressing themselves.
Thanks for elaborating on it, Yaredinho, we might have been using different phrases to express similar ideas. I’ll quote from one of my earlier remarks:
“Eventually, I have come to conclude that worshipping of a ‘system’, whatever that system may be, eventually leads to stagnation and staleness, inhibits risk taking because you are scared to violate the ‘system’, and ends up being extremely conservative. Unless you allow creative individuals to re-interpret it in their own way and breathe new life in to it over and over again. My appreciation of Brazilian football stems from the observation that no other footballing tradition breeds talent capable of such re-invention to this extent. And it is not co-incidental, because improvisation and invention are the two things that make up the DNA of Brazilian football, more than any particular system of playing. I guess that is my fundamental difference of opinion with anyone who interprets Brazilian football as one ‘system of play’.”
My use of ‘system of play’ here refers more to the narrow interpretation people often put forward, rather than the broad interpretation you seem to be alluding to.
Simply agreed! Why you took ‘dinho’ out though?!
Out of love 😀 😀 😀 Now added back!
I think Germany (Spain is beyond their peak) plays more attractively at the moment than any other team in the world, at least according to my own value hierarchy. (As a German fan of Brazil this brings me into a tricky situation, which is at the same time psychologically interesting.)
I start with a historical approach to make my point clear. Around 1980 there was this “better-than-Pele” hype around the 20 year old Maradona. Then I saw the Argentina-Brazil match at the Mundialito, where he scored a goal, but Brazil (without Zico) outplayed Argentina over 80 minutes and finally equalized. That was a first eye-opener. Then came the 4:1 against Germany – and that was the moment of revelation, where my concept of how the game should be played took shape: not a single superstar, (or two), be it Rummenigge, Maradona or today Messi or Neymar, who goes through three defenders, while the orthers obediently play the second and third fiddle, but a TEAM, capable of breath-taking quick passing strings, full of collective improvisational vigour and surprising tempo changes, that’s it, and nothing else. Football is not tennis. I am absolutely sure, had Ronaldo Fenomeno been the new superstar in 1981, had Brazil won this tournament, but in the steely way they play since the nineties, I had never become their supporter. This takes nothing away from Ronaldo’s or Romario’s greatness, but after all, it was only ONE player. For me the essence of football is passing, or, as Black Matt once wrote in an article, quoting and re-interpreting a charismatic Jazz musician, “space is the place”. Dribbling and outplaying an opponent is also important and aesthetically appealing, but the vision for free space is the core of the game.
No, I have not become a fan of Germany again, because there is still a huge gap between what Gerson, Rivelino, Zico and Socrates did and what Kroos, Özil and Müller are capable of. That said, they deserve my respect. Iti cannot be denied that they made an ideological shift in the “space-is-the-place” direction. In former days they used to have better dribblers (Littbarski) and scorers (Völler) than now, but also a lot of below par passers and clumsy tacklers, which spoiled their kind of football for me. People tend to downplay their performance at the last WC as non-flamboyant, which to some extent may be true, but these people forget the many good games they played during the years before, when they showed to the world they had given up their former steeliness in favour of greater beauty. Once again, they are not like the old Brazil, but they are nearer to the combination football ideal, which was once the selecao’s trademark, but has totally disappeared in our times.
So what could happen in 2018, when Germany and Brazil possibly play against each other? Brazil with their ridiculous midfield trio will be dominated by Germany, there is no doubt about that. On the other hand Brazil has better attacking players, Draxler is a good dribbler and Reus is an extraordinary scorer and free-kick taker, but both are not on Neymar’s level. But as I said – the reason, why I became a Brazil fan was the briilliance of the group, not of an individual. I will, therefore, have very mixed feelings, if Brazil will beat them with steel, physicality and Neymar’s strike of genius, I will be glad, though in no way enthusiastic.
It is an abomination to liken the Germany today to Brazil of the 80s. It is the same as equating Barcelona to Arsenal. The philosophy may be in the same category but they are worlds apart.
You are on fire, my friend. Could not agree more!
Didn’t you read, what I have written? “There is a huge gap,,,” You didn’t get my point at all. Germany had won three WCs before, they don’t have anything to prove in terms of historical success, but they changed their value system towards idealism. Practically that means, since 12 years, all the kids, who show limited ability with the ball, are sorted out in favour of more filigree ones.
They threw the damned pragmatism into the wastebin, and if you want to see it in this way, they were rewarded by the football gods with getting the biiggest victory of any team that ever played in the final stages of a world cup. Is this nothing? Only Brazil 70 scored more goals than Germany in 2014.
I am not EQUATING them with the talent of the old Brazilian teams, If I equate anything at all, then it is their attitude and that of Dr. Socrates:”It is important, HOW to win a World Cup.”
It’s an ideal. You can only try to come as near to it as possible, if you have Brazil’s natural talent, you have better chances to do that than Germany – but if you give up this ideal completely, not once, but again and again, then you have no right to complain about the punishment.
I have no idea where you’re getting the information that’s allowing you to draw the conclusions you’re making. Who/when/where said anything about Germany making a conscious decision to win playing “beautiful” futbol? Germany’s ground-up redesign of their futbol philosophy is well documented (especially here), but that doesn’t equate to a conscientious decision to emphasize style over substance. Come on, this is Germany we are talking about. Emphasizing midfield play, possession-based futbol is not synonymous with beautiful futbol. The current German team is case in point of that. Even if Germany tried to play beautiful, they simply can’t. It’s just not in their DNA. The current German team plays as pretty as a German team can play, but beautiful it ain’t. Germany has done what Germany does. They identified, practiced, and (nearly) perfected the most effective tactical style of modern futbol. I tip my hat to Germany for having the patience and ability to do it. However, it’s far from aesthetically pleasing.
We pretty much said the same thing!
Since the eighties there was a general discontent with oiur football, even after the WC victory 90 resp EURO96. The role of football for the German psyche cannot be overrated, given the new self-esteem the 54 victory had given to the people after WW II. But the real high point were the early seventies, culmnating in the great 72 team that won the Euros. A bit similar to Brazilians in reference to 58 people were always complaining, “where are the new Beckenbauers Overaths, Netzers, Grabowskis?”
It is simply not true that Germans are pragmatists, surely not in philosophy, but also not in football. Coaches and players were enraged by the public moaning, even after having won a tournament. “What do you want? We cannot play like Brazil!” The response was, “But surely better than you do now!” Players were ridiculed, as “runners” and “tacklers”. In countless TV discussions, articles, DFB conferences they were looking for solutions. “We must improve the youth educatioin” etc etc. – seemingly without any result, but as they say,, constant dripping wears the stone. All of a sudden the kids won international youth tournaments, coaches snubbed workhorses etc.
After 2006 the public image of the Natioinalmannschaft changed completely. While the 90 champions got some recogination but were never really liked, let alone loved, now commentators applauded them, even when they lost, be it in a friendly or att the EURO 2008 resp WC 2010. Everybody recognized they played the best kind of football since the seventies, and so they forgave them the absence of success. Ironically, shortly before the WC 2014 the pragmiatists, began to moan about “Schönspielerei” (playing beautifully without end product) and criticized Löw for his “aesthetical fanatism”, arguing Schweinsteiger, Lahm etc could be regarded historically as leaders of a lost generation. “The 90 team was worse, but they won the title.” etc. Everybody knows, what the result was.
As much as I wish the selecao will do it next year, much more important would be a great performance at Russia, which would bring back the applause of the country and the whole football world, even without becoming WC champions. It would be an auspicious omen for the time afterwards.
Thank you for the insight from the German cultural perspective. I still stick to my original sentiment, but you provided insight I did not have prior.
That’s some great insider perspective on German football, thanks a lot. I am now really curious to know: how did/do Germans view their 70s generation that defeated the Dutch in 1974? I ask this because the most common (non-German) narrative in football history is that it was a victory of German efficiency and tenacity over Dutch footballing beauty. It becomes even more fascinating given that the recent ‘reboot’ has mostly centered around bringing in those Dutch ideas of positional play.
Not to quibble about semantics here, but my impression was that ‘Das Reboot’ came about after the failures in 2002 and 2004? Because there was a thinking within German football that they have fallen behind in footballing levels? How much of that adoption of a more passing-oriented game was about idealism if we want to take that word literally? My understanding is that it was thought of as a better way of competing in modern football. So for me that’s the ultimate expression of pragmatism when you actually decide to leave your traditions behind and wholesale adopt a new system because it allows you to compete better. In that perspective, Germany have beaten Brazil in terms of ‘pragmatism’, since such wholesale reboot never occurred in Brazilian football even after 1986.
Point is, everyone wants to win. So disparaging any team or the other simply because they want to win is a bit paradoxical.
Exactly! See my comment below
I appreciate your posts very much and you are always saying very good things. Here, i would like to agree with Urmeek and Goodman on the point of “idealism” (i agree on most of the rest of your posts). Germany has a characteristic, not only in football: They are not “afraid” to imitate anything successful from others, putting aside the egoism, which could prevent them from imitating. What they simply did, after their own football crisis, was that they decided to play spanish football. That is simply what they did and what Bayern did, hiring Guardiola. They saw that Spain and Barcelona reinvented the Dutch “total futbol” and they liked the idea. So, i don’t think they decided to play more beautifully. They just liked to play like Spain, because it was Spain who won the titles and because they liked the “dominating” aspect of this kind of football.
I have said many times: if this is the best football Germany can show (2014), then they are not on the right track. I like how organised their build up is, but other than that, i cannot see anything beautiful in their game. I also said the same thing about Spain, when they were at their peak. The Germans’ passing is not so top class as we think. They pass well because they have perfect cohesion and they rarely come into a position, where they are outnumbered and and do not have someone very close to pass. I do not consider any German player top class, except Ozil. Kroos is excellent, he has vision, but he always passes safely and rarely does something different or inspirational. They all are a good generation of players, of course, if we want to be fair…..
Excellent point Andonis about the role of Dutch total football in all of this. It is a little appreciated fact that Tele Santana was an admirer of Rinus Michels and his Dutch team that included Cruijff. Santana’s genius was to bring some of those ideas of positional play and interpretation of space and weld it in an amazing way with the Brazilian flair. That is why Brazil 82 was uniquely beautiful, not because they were a replica of Holland 1974. Both those teams were uniquely stylish in their own ways, while sharing some ideas. Modern Spain and Germany look like teams that are out to clone the idea of total football, but are so wedded to its theoretical conception that it has left no space for true creativity or improvisation. Germany 2006 and Spain 2008 showed promises of some fluid, free flowing versions of similar ideas, but then it all went downhill in terms of aesthetics, and dare I say that regimentation happened because the fundamental urge to increase the probability of winning, and minimizing risks became stronger than any stylistic considerations?
It really boils down to the players you develop and what they are capable of doing. And if your youth system is geared too much towards stripping individuality out of kids, you are unlikely to raise another Mane Garrincha, who, if he heard us talking all day long about systems and positional play, would probably roll his eyes and run away dribbling 🙂
“…What they simply did, after their own football crisis, was that they decided to play spanish football. That is simply what they did and what Bayern did, hiring Guardiola. They saw that Spain and Barcelona reinvented the Dutch “total futbol” and they liked the idea. So, i don’t think they decided to play more beautifully. They just liked to play like Spain, because it was Spain who won the titles and because they liked the “dominating” aspect of this kind of football. …”
The above assertion of yours is simply wrong. After 1998 WC and Euro 2000, Germany were doing things differently. As much as I disliked them on those days I witnessed the changes. For regular observer, the way they played not only in 2006 WC but also in 2002 WC was significantly different from even from their Euro 96 team, and hence before that. I remember Klinsmann and Joachim Low participating and talking about their new youth system before Germany WC in 2006. Their youth system developed entirely different types of players for a reason, and they are not developed after 2013 with Pep’s appointment. They started the change in direction before Spain’s dominance shown on the world stage, and Pep’s 2008 appointments at barca. Yes, hiring Pep and as a result Bayern’s gain contributed to the national team. Whether they are beautiful is another story.
Yes, of course, the Germans soon realised the problem and started a football reformation around 2000, this is very true. The change started to be noticeable in WC 2006 ( a little, as Germany then was improved, compared to 2002, but they still lacked class) and it was obvious in 2010. As i explained above, in my reply to Eric, it was on the way of the process that the Germans were affected by spanish football and its success (again, it is only my opinion, based on what i have seen from the german national team, and not of facts or things i have read).
As for beautiful football, training under very good teachers from a young age, learning tactics, learning to think and pass quicly etc is not enough. That is why Spain and Germany “play very well, but……”. However, as you already said, this is another story……
I want to start out by saying that I enjoy reading your comments on this board, Adonis, and think that you often have insightful things to say.
Here, regarding Germany’s play (as well as its rise), I think you are off the mark.
Yaredinho talks about the bulk of my own disagreement in his post before mine, but let me add a little factual information.
The rise of Spain in the mid 2000’s was just a bit ahead of Germany’s.
The Spanish were a bit young and inexperienced (still in development) in the 2006 World Cup, and despite sailing through group play, they failed against a much more mature side (France) once things got to the knockout round.
Germany, which was already in transition toward their own version of “total football” reached the semi final before being deconstructed by Italy’s counterattack.
But, both Spain and Germany were among the most dynamic, exciting teams in the tournament, and got my attention as teams to watch going forward.
Neither disappointed in the 2008 Euros, when they met in the final, though Spain was clearly a step ahead, and began their 5 year reign as the best national team in the world. But Germany was probably their chief competitor (though, of course, Holland and Brazil were also in the mix).
Spain and Germany met again in the 2010 World Cup semi-final, where once again, Spain still proved to be the better side, and was reaching their peak just ahead of the German side which was also continuing to improve their new brand of football.
I thought Euro 2012 would also come down to Spain and Germany, but Italy (who has a knack for beating the Germans like no other nation) upset them in the semi-final, and Spain went on to win their 3rd major Cup in a row
It was clear to me in the build up to the 2014 WC that Germany had finally reached their prime, while all of the other top teams (other than Argentina) seemed to be on the decline, and my only doubts about them had to do with the aforementioned past failings, and that the tournament was being held in Brazil.
Like Spain, Germany built from within, over a period of time, and while they borrowed from various successful models of how to play “total football,” their German engineered machine doesn’t really look like tiki-taka at all. They play longer passes, and utilise the entire field (rather than shortening it), and they spend much less time dribbling the ball around.
Instead, they go to their collective strengths, which are stylistically different, but not without creative improvisation, or individual moments of brilliance, which is something you are underselling in your commentary.
And Germany remains one of the prime contenders to win the cup in 2018, though I don’t think they are as strong as they were in 2014.
This time they will still have the confidence of knowing how to get the job done on their side, and it will come down to whether any other side has the ability to rise above them (so far, only France impresses me as such, though there are a few other teams with enough talent at their disposal, including Brazil).
Brazil’s biggest problems have to do with the corrupt organisation running their national team (which filters down as superior, while at the same time parochial), and the fact that their best players are spread all over the world like gunslingers for hire to the highest bidder.
In fact, Brazilian football has fallen behind the times, and until they are willing to learn from those who are having success, they will continue to fail in the most momentous occasions.
I’d agree with you about your description about Germany’s play between 2006-2010. It did have dynamism and verticality mixed with ideas of positional play. But I don’t see it being the case any longer. It has since then veered much closer to a risk averse, conservative, possession at all costs model. If I have to speculate, I’d say the defeats in 2006, 2008 and 2010 probably encouraged that quite a bit. In both WC semifinals in 2006 and 2010, Germany attempted to play a more expansive game, making the field bigger as you said. Italy completely surprised them by pressing high up and being very aggressive. I don’t think I agree with the description of how Italy played in that semifinal as being ‘counterattacking’ in the traditional Italian sense. They took the game to the Germans, and beat them at the midfield game with Pirlo pulling the strings. Almost the same thing happened in 2010, Germany played an open game, and Spain simply had better and more experienced players in midfield.
There were a lot of criticism of Yogi Lowe after the 2010 defeat, particularly how his team failed to counter Spain’s dominance of possession and left themselves open and vulnerable. As you rightly say, the team was in the process of maturing, but that process eventually took them much closer to a possession centric model than before.
Italy played some of their best football of recent years in Euro 2012, and their semifinal win against Germany was no upset in footballing terms in my opinion. Spain were atrociously dull for the most part, but their best players were still in form and they knew how to win. As you point out, Germany won in 2014 because there were no better team. Brazil did not have the quality, Argentina did not have the nerve. Germany by then were an efficient, well-oiled version of a possession-centric team. From what I have seen in the Euros and recent friendlies/qualifiers, now they are in danger of becoming a very dull team, with endless ball circulation and having a lot of ponderous and non-penetrative possession. They might still win the WC, but I very much doubt they will be playing very exciting football along the way.
Thank you very much, my friend! I also enjoy your posts, as you are a regular poster, with so many quality posts on Brazil and on football in general.
Now, i cannot say i disagree on what you (and Yaredinho below) are saying about german football and i have to admit that my post sounded a little too simplistic, thus unfair for the germans and their football reformation. Let me explain a couple of things: i said that the Germans decided to play spanish football, but with that i didn’t mean that suddenly they did a “copy-paste” thing or something like that. I know (and i have read articles) that the Germans saw the lack of talent and decided to take measures (this happened around 2000, after their football crisis started to be obvious in the mid or late 90s). This is something they must be respected for and it shows how serious and organised people they are. It took some time for the project to pay dividents, but it did and it is a proof that they did it very successfully. So far, all this has nothing to do with spanish football. Now, during the process, and after Barcelona’s and Spain’s emergence, Germany ended up playing the same kind of football. While it is not exactly the same (it cannot be), the principles are the same. Maybe this just came about on the way (i mean, maybe they didn’t consciously select to play like the Spanish), though i still believe they have copied the basic principles (and training methods) of total futbol, but this is only my opinion.
So yes, surely the Germans started their own football revolution several years ago, by themselves and with hard work, but they now play a version of total futbol, with all the positives and negatives of it. The same things that i have said for the Spanish, i am saying for the Germans, because the discussion was about beautifulattractive football. If we state that Brazil ’82 (and Brazil ’70) played the “beautiful football”, then no other team has played “beautiful football”. The only team that has come close to it was Real Madrid of the 80s (Budragueno etc) and the 90s (Zidane etc).
Thanks again for the answer and the very nice (and very informative) post, which made me add and “correct” some things of my first post…..
He is fine defensively if not a little reckless sometimes (side note).
He could stand to take a page from Luca Modric IMO, in the way how he ‘handles’ the ball as a MF for Brazil though.
Deep inside me, I know very well that the right decision for Brazilian football is to play Coutinho as CM instead of Paulinho. Although I am not fully convinced of Coutinho’s ability to dictate a game…but then again, he is still the most creative option we have in this position. Just like I have to force myself to be satisfied with Casemiro because he is the best of what we have (unfortunately we don’t have Alonso/Kroos), I have to be inclined to admit that Coutinho is the most creative central midfielder we could find for the time being. Paulinho has his own merit, I have a LOT of respect to what he is doing, but Brazilian football has always been about magic, about flair. That is my opinion, but be sure, I will support whoever plays in the World Cup and I will back the team. I just want Brazil…….to play like Brazil again. I want to feel entertained when watching my team, I want us to not play reactionary football, but rather to be proactive and creative.
If Coutinho’s counter-argument is he not defending as well, then we replace Alves and/or Marcelo with more balanced fullbacks. If we play Mariano or Filipe Luis, Coutinho can afford concentrating on creativity and not cover for fullbacks. The system maintains balance.
I think Coutinho showed enough defensive alertness that too being a winger, at the beginning of last year for liverpool, and also for brazil which we all saw in the match against argentina
Agree. Klopp’s emphasis on pressing has definitely developed that part of both Firminho and Coutinho’s game.
I don’t know if you agree with me but I feel like coutinho is being played in the wrong position. Thats why he wont dictate any game. Neymar needs to move centrally or as a striker, coutinho as a cm or LW. Renato or paulinho needs to go in place for willian or d. costa ( as a right winger) Thiago needs to replace miranda.
i would like to see those things at least “tried”. And the fact that all those options are available with our current personnel make it so appealing … no need for radical changes to the selection. But unfortunately Tite seems reluctant to move these guys around much , even though he pays lip service to the idea by saying how much he values multi-positional players
I suppose you have good reasons, why you haven’t commented about the recent U17. performance. Your sllence about them drones loudly, so to say. Is it the fear to become once again disappointed by over-hyped youngsters, who are destined to flop finally, as so many before them? That would be understandable. Many undesirable things can happen to seventy year old kids. On the other hand we are damned to remain optimistic. And the two former U17 players, who really.impressed me – Coutinho and Neymar – finally made it. What ever may happen, even 2022 will be too early for them.
Neymar publicly stated that he wants Coutinho as CM in Barcelona and that he has the Barcelona DNA. Isn’t that a clear message to Tite that he can play in midfield?
(I mean, surely Neymar doesn’t want Coutinho to come and take his position on the left, nor Messi’s on the right)
If I am Cout I make this happen this summer. Liverpool is never winning anything and good opportunity to get out of England.
They are looking for a long run Iniesta replacement, and that’s where Coutinho’s name comes up in Barca circles. And there seems to be a genuine appreciation of Coutinho in that circle, who generally tend to be rather snobby about this so called ‘Barca DNA’ thing. Xavi is on record praising Coutinho and saying that ‘he would improve Barcelona’.
Tite on the other hand, has stated that he would train Coutinho ‘to play as a right winger’.
I personally think both Neymar and Coutinho more centrally, and closer to each other, is something we need.
I don’t really like Coutinho as CM. I think he lacks 3 things:
1) Those typical midfielder specialized ball-retaining dribbles you see in players like Iniesta, Mousa Dembéle, Verratti, Thiago, Busquets and Wylan Cyprien. You know, midfielders who, despite dribbling very well, rarely get dispossesed.
2) His passing (both in completion rate and verticality) is nowhere that good for a CM role, especially at Barça.
3) Physicality. Coutinho gets bullied off the ball very easily by stronger fullbacks and midfielders. From memory, Azpilicueta, Isco, Wanyama, van Dijk are just some of the names who I remember have outright pushed him off the ball.
Couts is best as a LW to me, or as an improvised AM at best. And I don’t mean to diss him, I mean, I am a Vasco da Gama supporter and huge fan of the kid.
I’d rather just have Fabinho, Fernandinho, Andreas Pereira, Rafinha Alcântara, Allan, Fernando (the one at Spartak – talk about a career-killing move), even Renato Augusto or an improvised Lucas Lima on the position for the National Team. And dream of an alternate timeline where we never lost Thiago due to CBF/Menezes’ incompetence.
As for Barça, I disagree with Neymar, I don’t think Coutinho would fit.
One of Coutinho’s trademarks is that he frequently plays ambitious, low-percentage through balls, which wouldn’t work at Barca unless it was drilled out of his game. What I’m suddenly realizing is that we’re not really seeing that out of him for Brazil either; he’ll try risky passes, but rarely are they sort of gorgeous through balls he pulls off more regularly for Liverpool.
As for Thiago Alcantara… well, I’m not sure there’s anyone I’d choose ahead of him if I could take one foreign player to play for Brazil. Which makes it all the more tragic that he was Brazilian to begin with.
May be Barca needs a few more players other than Neymar who are both willing to take some risks and are good enough to pull it off sometimes 😉
Well, hey, Marcelo and Dani Alves can do the “risks” part and the “sometimes” part!
None of them are at Barca though. We are so lucky we have both 😉 😀
Dani, by the way, was quite a different player with Barca, than he has ever been for the NT.
That’s exactly what I think, but Renato is already playing yet people here are not happy with his role in midfield. So my question was, what is the solution? Who do they prefer to see instead of Renato/Paulinho? Let’s assume Allan who you mentioned, played, will he really be more creative than Coutinho? I don’t think so. Despite Coutinho’s flaws which you mentioned, and are right in mentioning, I still don’t see which Brazilian is far ahead of him in this sector.. Only Lucas Lima, yet Brazilians don’t appreciate him just because he plays for Santos.
How can someone watch this video and still want Miranda to start games for Brazil? On this blog so many people love beautiful football and always defend build up play and creativity, I can’t understand how the same people consider Miranda a starter. https://twitter.com/BS_Video/status/845761121583816706
Really, your dear relationship with Miranda comes near to Kenny’s affection towards Marcelo 😉
But do you not agree with the points that I am making? I’d be surprised if you, of all people, isn’t against Miranda’s inclusion.
Of course I do.
I will admit that after I read some of your comments, I become desperate about Brazilian football because you make many valid points. We are still very behind…right now it is only a dream to see Brazil playing football the way we imagine it.
Regarding Germany, one can really be glad that they don’t have an exceptional scorer at the moment (let’s say on Lewandowski’s level). Otherwise I would be totally pessimistic. But in the same way as Brazil in all likelihood will not find a solution for their midfield issues during the remaining 15 months, Germany will not find anybody, who will solve their striker problem. All the more the defence plays an important role, and here I can only agree with your point. Germany has not only Neuer, Boateng and Hummels, but now also Kimmich. Such player types are necessary, to build up the game form the back. To have a defender with such a bad technique as Miranda is simply intolerable.
Brazil82 is an evangelist
Miranda isn’t as despised as Paulinho or Elias before him; but there is near unanimity of dissatisfaction with his touch on the ball. I suppose there’s a higher level of tolerance for his shortcomings because he’s an adequate defender, which is the primary job of a CB. With that said, I don’t think anybody here would object to swapping Miranda for Silva or Caio
Miranda can be a defensive liability when he is exposed. Thiago Silva is a better defender than him as well, besides being a better ball-player. Miranda is slow and when exposed in one on one situations against a speedster/skillful attacker, he would commit plenty of blunders. He is strong in aerial duels and physical duels, so he would succeed in pragmatic teams. Tite’s Brazil hasn’t been exposed enough against South American teams, but Miranda risks being catastrophical against top European NTs.
The thing that bothered me about Miranda under Dunga in particular is that his lack of pace and poor touch make him a bad choice for playing in a high line. Tite’s system offers a little more cover, more outlets, and maybe plays a little deeper, so he’s less exposed, but you could see in some of Dunga’s games, such as the 2-2 vs. Uruguay, how Miranda’s limitations dragged the team deeper and disrupted their whole system.
Exactly. At least there is someone who agrees with me that Miranda’s defensive skills are overrated. If he only does well when the system provides him high cover, then how is he a special defender? David Luiz is also doing a great season in England in a system that provides him cover. But once the system flops in a huge game against Germany, and Miranda is exposed, he will make huge defensive mistakes. There is a reason he left Atlético Madrid, after being benched by a 20-year old.
I agree with your points overall but that
“There is a reason he left Atlético Madrid, after being benched by a 20-year old.”
… isn’t true. He was benched because he had been asking Simeone since 2014 that he wanted to leave Atléti. Simeone benched him at the end of the 14/15 season since he couldn’t count on Miranda on the long run (which is also the reason he was sold so cheaply to Inter).
There are several news from both 2014 and 2015, some of them straight from the player’s mouth, about his desire to leave Atlético:
Let’s not forget how Miranda benched Alderweireld while there. I don’t think he’s good enough to start over Thiago Silva or Marquinhos, and I do think he has been quite nervous on the ball in the latest WCQ games, but he is still a skilled ball-playing CB on his own right, who can shield the ball, dribble defensively and link a pass to the midfield. In fact, I think still today Atléti hasn’t properly replaced him. Josema Gimenez and Savic’s skills on the ball are quite inferior to Miranda’s, and they too have proven to be liabilities at times.
So would it be tenable to say that in this blog the black sheep role has switched from Paulinho to Mitanda? Or to put it in another way: is it more unlikely to win the WC with the former or with the latter? – Yes, Alves and Marcelo are the other candidates, but at least they are better passers.
You’ve correctly identified all the candidates. Depending on the game and who does what; any of the four could take the lead of blog black sheep. I still think Paulinho is the blog’s default black sheep. However, we are all reasonable in our unreasonableness. For example, the aggressive lobbying of a few (I think I might be included) got Renato Augusto off the black sheep list. I believe that still goes down as one of the great PR turnarounds in blog history.
Renato Augusto -The Phoenix- biggest turn around
Paulinho – The Goat (the animal, not the other thing) even his facial hair says so
Miranda – The Usurper – most offensive to Thiago Silve fans
Marcelo – The Janus – most divisive (much love, much hate)
Dani Alves – the Ironman, the longest serving member, never in favor with anyone. Nothing short of the apocalypse can dislodge him.
hahahahahah – life imitates whatever this is. After typing my little quips, I went to globo for selecao news and lo and behold, there is an article corroborating my last point
“Headline: Daniel Alves breaks longest sequence in the Seleção
Right-back starter has played 17 straight games before receiving the card, and there has has never been such an owner of the position.”
Spot on descriptions! Especially the Dani Alves one. I’m 80% certain he’ll be in the next World Cup and 50% certain he’ll be a starter for us.
Can I take a moment to say it out loud one more time: this blog is the best football fan blog on the planet! I follow a couple of clubs, and we have fan blogs, but the people on this forum are just amazing. The passion, the knowledge, the analysis – even professional outlets will be hard pressed to match the quality. I just spent almost an entire Saturday discussing/arguing football aesthetics with folks around here. You guys are great. I love you all 🙂
You are 100% right on this. The amazing articles, the posts (from every single member) and many other things. By following the blog, i often take information i didn’t happen to know or different aspects of things, which i hadn’t thought before. I do not post often, as i do not have the time and, more importantly, english is not my language, so it is much harder than someone can imagine to express what you want in a foreign language, but i follow the blog almost every day and i am very glad that it exists….
We’re all obsessed Brazilian fans – at least I am without any shame. I could not resist sharing this with you all… again
Thanks a lot. I admit to the same sin, proudly 🙂
saw it many times. lets pray we can see a team like that in future
Serginho about Tele Santana:
“if a player was constantly fouling, then he would immediately sub that player – even if it was to the detriment of the team. He didn’t allow any violence on the pitch at all.”
THROW THIS ROTTEN PRAGMATISM OF THE LAST YEARS INTO THE WASTE BIN OF HISTORY!
“As far as I’m concerned…, it was the Doctor’s team”- Juca Kfouri
I think we have to take the special atmosphere of that historical period into consideration. It was a time of dawn, a time of awakening and hope after decades of dictatorship, f.i. the Democracia Corinthiana movement, of which the Doctor was a part. This generation was full of ideas regarding social change, and that influence was reflected by the way they played the game. But with democracy – the Anglo-American model of democracy – the Brazilians also adopted pragmatism. One can see the ideological shift in this direction already in the next generation of players, who were born in the early or mid sixties. I remember an interview with Careca around 88, where he crititized Santana, Socrates, Junior, Zico etc, with whom he had played at the WC 86, very harshly: “They never talked about tactics. They just played as they liked.”
Branco, another member of that group, came out at the WC 90 in Italy, saying: “We are the yuppies of this new Brazil.”
From then on everything went down the drain.
I’m a fan of your multi-layer understanding levels!
As for Careca’s comment, if tactics is about creating a team functioning as a unit as possible, then both the 82 & 86 teams were much better than some after them, even tactically.
You are very right, here. Brazil ’82 was the result of many things. I also think that the football of those decades was more open to the beautiful and “romantic” aspect of the game, worldwide and not only in Brazil. Also, in situations like that, the power of victory is so so obvoius. They didn’t win the WC and this caused a lot of changes, apparently. Pragmatism won (Italy) and for many years everybody adopted a more defensive approach. Recenlty, Spain started to win and “total futbol” became the new trend again.
So, here is the….solution to the problem: Brazil must try to play beautifully (in the “brazilian” way) and just…win a WC playing like this….:-)
Τhanks, for the video, again. Brazil ’82, the immortal team.
What is important, though, and the protagonists have stated it in various interviews, is how well that team was prepared. They were not just brilliant individuals and a brilliant mind behind them (Tele). It was the result of a very good job, which started in 1979 and we all can see that the goals they scored was excellent teamwork combined with natural talent. This shows how important it is to have a good coach, who will manage the team for at least 3-4 years.
Now think what Brazil has been doing during the last 10 years……
fwiw, Fabinho has been mentioned several times in Globo articles recently. Today there was this:
“And what about Fabinho” (in reference to the right back position)
Summoned a few times by Dunga, the right-back became a DM in Monaco, and that’s how the coaching staff considers him. The player will be watched more closely in the next round of the Champions League, in duels with Borussia Dortmund, and in the final stretch of the French league. But he competes for a place in the selecao with Fernandinho or Giuliano, not the fullbacks.”
Dani Alves is by far the luckiest player off the pitch that I have ever seen. Even his competitors change positions during their career to avoid challenging his rule at RB.
You and Dani … for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health …till his retirement from NT 😉
Even if Fabiano’s competition is Fernandinho and Guiliano, I think he has done well enough to at least unseat Giuliano on this squad. He’ll have to either make a huge move to one of the big 3 clubs or lead Monaco to a UCL final to get recognition from Tite it seems.
fwiw …from Globo article on Tite. Now I don’t know if this is based on actual comments from Tite or just speculation on the part of the reporter
“March 25, 2017, the ideal Brazilian team in the head of Tite is formed by Alisson, Daniel Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda and Marcelo; Casemiro; Paulinho, Renato Augusto, Philippe Coutinho and Neymar; Gabriel Jesus.
A team that, over the course of those seven victories in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, has never been together as starters, and only played together for 36 minutes: 31 in the debut, when Brazil made 3×0 in Ecuador in Quito, and five In the next match, against Colombia, in a 2×1 victory. And there were four goals with that formation, a good average of one every nine minutes.”
Aside from Marcelo for Filipe Luis, that’s what It has seemed like prior to the last game
Interesting write up on Casemiro
Good stuff. Casemiro is not a passing master not has brilliant technique, but in comparison with his predecessors, he is a clear upgrade and has the “basics” to not be considered a weakness – but rather a “strong point”, dare I say, ahead of the World Cup. Casemiro’s level doesn’t cause me a concern, the debate about him is mostly about how beautiful his football is rather than how level his high is. But then again, we don’t have any volante who can play like Pirlo, Kroos, Alonso etc. It is not like Tite is benching Pirlos and Xabis in order to play Casemiro. The essential question is, if not Casemiro then who?
You have pretty much summed it up. He does what he does very well. In fact if you ask me, he does the ‘defensive’ bit of the DM role better than or as good as almost anyone at the moment (although I’d personally like him to be cleaner and less reckless). It’s not just about tackling or interception, his reading of the game and positioning is superb. This is where his contribution to a passing game gets a bit underrated. He moves, links up and facilitates the likes of Modric and Kroos. A passing game is not only about passing skills (on which he is again underrated, but I’ll keep that aside), it is also about the basic tenet that ‘it is the run that dictates the pass’. He is a great shuttler in midfield who links up playmakers. He closes circuits. Take him out, and see how Kroos’s game changes, and how much more Modric has on his plate.
Casemiro’s primary sin is that he is not elegant on the ball. But, as it happens, we do not have an elegant Regista hiding in the bushes somewhere. Based on current form, I can see Fabinho giving him a run for his money in the long for an NT spot, but that’s about it.
Fabinho should come on for Paulinho. I am aware of Paulinho’s lifetime hat trick….:)
First-placed Brazil (30 points) could book the first South American ticket to Russia 2018 if they extend their perfect record since September by overcoming Paraguay (seventh on 18 points) and both Ecuador and Chile lose.
& Also, In case of victory against Paraguay at the Arena Corinthians on Tuesday, Brazil would top the FIFA rankings for the first time in 7 years.
Am I correct that from the starting 11 Marquinhos, Casemiro, Paulinho, Fagner, Renato have Corinthians roots?
This makes for a wonderful atmosphere.
and William who actually played with senior team. Not sure if Marq and Cas actually played with senior squad or only base
Casemiro played for their arch rivals São Paulo, never for Corinthians. I hope he doesn’t get booed, but the rumor is that the one who will get booed the most will be Dudu, if he was to get a couple of minutes in the second half. Willian is also ex Corinthians, by the way. David Luiz once said he dreams to play for Corinthians in his return to Brazil, but he is not with the squad anyway.
Any Brazilian who boos Casemiro or Dudu should kill themselves.
Right? It’s national game, put your club pride aside for 90 minutes, damn lol.
“Neymar is the best player in the world”, or so is what Milan and Italy NT defense legend Alessandro Costacurta has claimed. Is it a bit of a stretch, or is Neymar really the best in 2017? FyI, in South America – not just Brazil – several journalists and ex players are already claiming that Neymar is playing at a higher level than anyone else.
How much would you say his improved play-making and passing have to do with this assessment?
At the moment honestly speaking, I think that Neymar’s play-making skills are on the same level as Messi. Messi’s advantage at Barcelona is that everything is so organized and he has the best players to make the runs for him on the receiving end. But Neymar excels with it wherever he plays, even under worse conditions than that of Messi at Barcelona. People are starting to realize that Neymar is more influential than Messi in big games in the last couple of months, from Brazil 3-0 Argentina, to PSG etc. Neymar is not a goalscoring machine this season (although he has everything to be), yet we are hearing many people rating him so high. He has added a lot to his game, he was always a very good passer but since November 2015 when Messi got injured and he was the one responsible to play his role, he started improving game after game and today, what he has improved is not only his passing technique but also his DECISION MAKING. I honestly thought Neymar was very selfish in many games for Brazil under the Dunga era, but with Tite he is convincing me again that he is playing FOR the team. So much maturity.
For me he has been the best player for Barca in most games this season. But the reactions we see now are created mainly by the PSG game. Big moments like that are decisive.
Neymar has a few more big games left to further cement his status as a contender for the Balon d’or. I think he probably has already won a lot of the South American voters because of what he is doing for Brazil. Clearly head and shoulders above Messi. But most voters (Africa Asia Europe) dont watch South American qualifiers or they dont give it that much importance. They ll go by what happens at the Champions league. If he does big things in the semis and final of the Champion’s league and win it, he ll most likely come at least ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and may be just may be Messi.
I must say I hate how Tite will probably retain the very same lineup that won over Uruguay, besides changing Dani Alves for Fagner due to suspension. Is it that scary face Paraguay at the Arena Corinthians? The players who have played 6-7 games so far have already proven their quality, why not test/invest in other options? Here is a lineup I’d have liked to see:
Ederson; Mariano/Fagner, Marquinhos, Silva, Filipe; Giuliano, Casemiro, Coutinho; Dudu, Firmino, Neymar.
If this is not considered good enough to beat Paraguay, then I don’t know what to say. Why is Tite so reluctant on giving chances to other players?
If I have to try and read Tite’s mind, it is probably because he wants to drill his team again and again and again so the system becomes more oiled by the time World cup comes around.
Typically in International soccer it takes more than a couple of years for a group of players to settle into a system of play. It is probably more so for Brazilian players who play all over the map.
And what if 3 players miss an important World Cup fixture all of a sudden (we lost Thiago and Neymar vs Germany due to suspension/injury, and could have lost more if players missed the whole tournament due to injury like Reus of Falcao), then how would their replacement merge with the team if they had not had considerable game-time prior to the tournament? To put it into perspective, don’t think this tactic is risky in case Marquinhos get injured misses the whole tournament, Casemiro and Renato Augusto both miss the quarter final against France due to suspension? In this case, would the substitutes be ready to fit-in the system, in your opinion?
That is a good point for sure. I am trying to give Tite the benefit of the doubt. You drill the 11 very well and hope for the best. If two players are injured, 9 will still be well drilled.
You are very right. It must be what Dario is saying, that Tite wants to give an identity to the team and make it very cohesive. This is good of course, but then isn’t it too hurried ? (i am not talking about time, but the way of thinking). Changing and experimenting in some games does not spoil what you have done so far and it is the only way to discover if there are chances to improve the team……
yeah, its the one major disappointment in Tite’s tenure. I can understand his conservative selection but i cannot agree with his unwillingness to shuffle the lineup amongst his 23 players. I mentioned this way back when he made such a big deal publically about the battle b/t Willian and Coutinho for the “starter”. He made it into a bigger change of status than I thought was necessary. It suggests that within his management style, “starting” is a huge deal and starters are not easily dislodged. More than that, they get every minute possible in every game. I wish some reporters in the press conferences and interviews would probe a bit more on this tendency or philosophy b/c as other are pointing out, we have to expect that in a tournament someone will be injurred or suspended and the bench players need to be ready … and beyond that, he is not even giving the bench players a chance to show they may be better starters than the starters.
Tite is winning so no one dares questioning him. Brazilian press in a nutshell.
You understand Português, look at what this idiot is saying http://www.foxsports.com.br/videos/907312707596-arranca-toco-futebol-clube-nao-e-assim-diz-paulo-lima-ao-falar-sobre-selecao
It has been 2 years without playing Euro team, and no games scheduled until right before the cup in 2018. Seems there is an open week in November of this year but the big euro teams are unlikely to accept a game. In 2014 we were exempt from qualifying and we had the confederation cup tourney in 2013, and 2009. This drought of games vs Euro powers is therefore the longest since …
How we settled on a friendly vs Australia is beyond me. Wtf is that about, a huge travel burden to play low value opponent. Hard to believe that is the best option available at that time.
Not just Australia. What can we potentially benefit from facing Argentina again?
Cash for CBF 🙁
You are right, but I wouldn’t worry so much about not playing a european team. We don’t get familiar with them and they don’t get familiar with us, but “getting familiar with” is not a problem now (everybody knows everybody in modern football). Then, Brazil is Brazil. If we are good, we can win anybody. What really matters is how good we are. How solid a team we are, so as to be able to overcome any situation we come across. That is what a WC is about. The 2010 team was supposed to be a solid one, but in fact they weren’t (they lost control so easily against Holland. They didn’t know what to do to protect themselves and go for a second goal to finish it. They didn’t know how to react after the 1-2, even with one player less). The WC is about being able to attack and score when you must, to protect a score when you must, and to play good football and control a game when needed. Then, it is how well you are physically and mentally.
Maybe i am wrong, but personally, i am not concerned how the europeans are doing. The euro powers are more or less what they always used to be. My only concern is Tite and his selections (at least, he has proven he is a…normal coach and a great personality). If he had made some different selections, choosing some more skilled players in certain positions, i think none of us would worry about who we are facing in the friendlies.
“If he had made some different selections, choosing some more skilled
players in certain positions, i think none of us would worry about who
we are facing in the friendlies.”
A very important point you make here. No chance that this generation can ever play great football.- but good football, that would be a realistic goal. The fact that you don’t have stellar players should not make you totally unambitious regarding a minimum of aesthical standards. But it is not a good omen that Tite’s Corinthians, who won the CL (with Paulinho) had absolutely nothing to offer in that respect. Athletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro, who won this title afterwards, showed a remarkably better kind of football.
The timing is awkward. Ideally, it’d be great to play at least one friendly against a top Euro side that week, but as you said they might not be into it. Failing that, playing a good-but-not-World-Cup-contending side would be nice, but many of those will be in playoffs, which also makes it really hard to schedule anything this far in advance. Hopefully we schedule something with a good team that locks up their place early (maybe a Switzerland or Mexico?) or a historically good team that embarrasses themselves and crashes out (even a bad Netherlands side would be a good test).
As for the June friendlies, the UEFA qualifiers throughout that week make it awkward, but it’s still disappointing that the CBF didn’t schedule at least one friendly with a tougher team than Australia.
I am going to get into my paranoid ‘worrier’ mode and start worrying about this hype that is building around the Brazil team in the media. It seems discussions on ‘Are Brazil under Tite the best team in the world’ type of questions have started. It is PREMATURE, PREMATURE, PREMATURE! We have only won 7 games, against probably the worst vintages of South American teams in recent memory. In a year when Uruguay (!) stand second in the CONMEBOL table. As dude_br points out below, and many others before, we haven’t played any European team in 2 years, and nor are we going to do so this year, it seems so far.
We have a very bad record in dealing with such hype. Is it going to be any different this time around under Tite? Some humility and honest self-assessment would go a long way.
Brasil has always dealt with this hype as far back as 1950 (and beyond). It’s the nature of being Brasil. Of course, the team’s ability to deal with this is of concern and will ultimately dictate what it achieves. The return of the hype is the return of international futbol conversation returning to its norm (Brasil being a favorite). I consider it generally a positive thing.
Hopefully we can learn to deal with the pressure. At the very least we won’t be playing at home
Of course, it comes with the territory of being Brazil, and that’s how we’d all like to see Brazil being treated, as the perennial favorites. No arguments there.
I do think the hype right now is a bit premature, but my concern really is about how the team deals with it, as you rightly point out. It even afflicted the legendary 1982 team, players are on record saying that they realized afterwards they ‘lacked the humility and intelligence’ to deal with their own superiority. In 2006, and to some extent 2010, when the entire universe was betting on Brazil winning, we all know what happened. The two times we actually did win, happened with teams that had much lower levels of expectations attached. Ironic.
tite can make the players withstand pressure. he knows how to relieve a player from pressure and its proven how he has taken the captaincy from neymar, enabling him to perform at new heights and also not putting pressure on any partcular player. scolari couldnt make the players withstand it. but tite certainly can
I get the same impression as well. He seems to be a lot more focused on the man-management and psychological aspects of coaching.
The hope is that Tite looks to be the right kind of coach to handle the pressure at the world cup and stay focused on the tactics. If he can transfer that to the players (I think he can), then this team will go far. And if they are lucky enough they ll bring the world cup home.
Maybe. The WC is a lottery. If a team like Argentina, not able to score over 360 consecutive minutes, is still the second best team of the tournament, then surely Tite’s Brazil can also make it to the final and win it. They can beat Spain in the semifinal – but they can also lose against Belgium after PK shootouts. In any case, we should not believe in “Tite’s tactics” as a Catholic does in reference to the Immaculate Conception.
lol for sure. Even Portugal won the Euros in a tournament with Italy Germany and France participated.
The current team is good enough to get to the semis or so…. From there on take it one game at a time. We do not have to fear Germany France too much. They have their own struggles too.
Yeah, I do get the impression of a humble and well-grounded person. Hope he can keep the players grounded as well.
I wholeheartedly agree.
Since some years it goes like that::
Coach X appears on the scene, the team earns some recognition due to a convincing performance (very often Confed Cup) followed by one win, two wins….six, seven, eight. After a while they seem to have forgotten the feeling of losing and participate in the hype and frenzy. Their self-esteem grows into the sky, workhorses make one-twos – and succeed. The opponents hit the post, miss PKs, waste good chances, Brazil scores exactly at the right moment (see the 3:0 against Spain under Scolari, the 2:0 against Argentina under Dunga and the 3:0 under Tite against thes same team.) It seems they can do, what they want – everything turns into gold. THEY ARE PLAYING WITH TAILWIND: And then, at some point, the tailwind is gone and is replaced by headwind. Now – and only now – everybody starts to realize that it was unnatural, a surreal daydream, caused by football gods, statistical anomaities in the electromagnetic field or whatever. Nevertheless, it is over!
I guarantee, the same will happen again, because the success is not based on real quality.
If I wanted to be sarcastic I would say: “Let them first be mathematically qualified and then lose as many games as possible.” But I doubt it would help much to change things in a positive direction. It rather should happen, before they are mathematically qualified, because only then the public pressure would be big enough. Let’s say they would draw against Parguay, then a defeat and another draw etc. Even then the likelihood of not qualifying would be extremely low, but still, people would make calcualtions, point to the weak points and – mostly important – the “Tite is the messiah” hype would be gone. I am aware of the fact, we are now in similar situation as with Dunga before the last CA. The only difference is, this time we don’t want the coach to be sacked (because there are no convincing alternatives). He must be forced to realize his mistakes and wrong selections by undeniable facts – in other words, defeats. The worst thing that could happen was a year 2017 without losing one single match. It would create an atmosphere of unjustified self-confidence among so called experts and the players, following the same delusive pattern as in 2009 and 2013.
“Tite is the messiah”
You misspelled Paulinho
This campaign is going to be more like 12 straight wins…. or may be 11 wins and one tie. Stop dreaming….:)
Okay, let them win 12 games. My God, have we already forgotten the 10 or 11 consecutive wins under Dunga, when journalists wrote all that crap about his alleged conversion? Mostly the awakening after such a honeymoon period is all the more demystifying. The last WC winners from 94 and 2002 had big problems during the qualifiers, especially in the year before the tournament- but later it turned out to be a good thing. It is hardly imaginable now, but in September 93 it was unlikely that Romario would be part of the 94 squad, because this fool Parreira had sacked him. Only when he himself was in danger to be sacked before the final qualifier in December 93, he called the black sheep, Brazil’s best player and scorer back, and he made two goals.against Uruguay. These are so-called great coaches and tactical masterminds! Romario himself once said about coaches that their role in football was generally overrated and their first and foremost task was to select the right players. Period.So in the same way, as I questioned Parreira’s football competence then, when he regarded Bebeto and Careca as better strikers than Romario, I cast into doubt a coach, who prefers Miranda over Thiago Silva, Paulinho over Lucas Lima or Luan. Now we have no Romario to be re-selected, but we have a defence, much weaker than Jorghinho, Ricardo, Ricardo Rochas and Branco and a midfield, much weaker than Maauro Silva, Dunga, Zinho and Rai then The improvement that a replacement of Paulinho etc. would bring, would surely not be a radical one, nevertheless it is necessary.
Am just saying your wish is not realstic.
I agree that everybody needs to be more critical of Tite and team, but comparing it to Dunga is a false equivalent. For one, Dunga’s streak was during friendlies. Two, I never thought Dunga 2.0’s team ever looked good. Tite’s streak is occurring during competitive matches, and the team is playing better than it has in years. Yes, most other criticisms (many expressed by you) are legit; but the comparison to Dunga is apples and oranges.
The comparson should not be interpreted as a sacrilege 😉 But I really had to lie, if I held the Dunga train is now under Tite going in the opposite direction. Greater competence and amiability, yes, but also a lot of highly questionable decisions.
BRAZIL XI in training:
Fágner, Marqui, Miranda, Marcelo;
Paulinho, Casemiro, R.Augusto;
Coutinho, Diego Souza, Neymar JR.
Firmino who has throat inflammation, is doubtful for the game. I know that many will be happy because they don’t consider him special, but for me Firmino is our best option after Gabriel Jesus. Against Uruguay he played in the hardest role, but he still contributed well in the small details that people don’t pay attention to, unless they watch him closely while concentrating. I am afraid that Diego Souza scores 2 goals against Paraguay as it is a home game and could be easier than Uruguay (if Paraguay don’t park the bus, we’ll see). Shining against them could fool us, and we could be in for another Diego Tardelli on the long run. I would not take Souza for 2018, but at least Firmino has the quality to be a decent rotation squad player whenever Gabriel Jesus misses. Don’t forget that he was voted the 2nd best player in the German league, if Firmino was German he would be a regular at their NT…just saying. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a2a8917e4463d576a86ac1c2d109d28f2ed65fa2c28f63a6e96b5fc1b9f27bbb.jpg
It sucks for Firmino. He wasn’t too good against Uruguay, but I saw this FIFA date as a chance for him to finally get some continuity in the Selecao (even in the Dunga era, he very rarely got two games in a row) and prove his worth, if he was capable of doing so. Now we’ll see Diego Souza instead, and he’ll either seize his chance and put in an impressive performance—which I agree won’t be good in the long run, since he could distract from finding a better stylistic match for Gabriel Jesus, and plus he’ll turn 33 at the World Cup—or he’ll provide more evidence that a false nine doesn’t really work for Brazil unless they can combine their movement with a proper nine’s back-to-goal play.
Firmino wasn’t one of the best players but he wasn’t bad either, in my opinion. His technical gesture was essential in scoring the goal that gave Brazil the advantage. Otherwise, he had the task of playing with his back turned and receive the ball under pressure in center where Uruguay’s defense was crowded. It was a difficult game for him in specific to play. He’d have done better against Paraguay and I was counting on this game for him to score a goal or two, or at least make an assist and show that what he can offer. I’m disappointed. The lineup doesn’t look too good on paper, by the way. It’s enough to win in South America but I’d be surprised that it would be enough to handle European heavyweights such as Germany or France.
Yes, the line up is really not good, The selection of a 32 year old Diego Souza shows, in what a difficult situation we are in attack. I have said, Coutinho – GJ – Neymar ist the best, what Brazil has to offer at the moment, given the problems in midfield and defense, but even here everything is hanging by a thread. We were lucky that Coutinho’s injury was not so serious and that GJs broken foot has come now, where there is plenty of time for him to get his form back again. (Had it been in September or October it could have been too late and we had every reason to be sceptical, if he would be in his best shape at Russia.) Neither can we afford that any of these three will be absent due to injury, nor that they will lose their form. Two of them must be in excellent form in July 2018, and the third one at least decent – otherwise it will not work.
Regarding Firmino, he is a good player, someone, whose technical level should be the minimum standard for any Brazilian attacker, but somehow his versatilty goes at the expense of one special feature, where he could be called VERY good. He is neither a real striker nor a real midfielder – something in between. And he is not consistent. Normally at Liverpool a good match is followed by a not so good one. Anyway, we can be glad that we have him. Apart from Neymar and Coutinho he is rhe only one, who is neither too young (GJ) nor too old (Diego Ribas, Diego Souza)..
That ‘hanging by the thread’ for our forward line is indeed one of my biggest fears. Partly this is just the double-edged sword of having a player like Neymar. Any team with or without Neymar are two very different teams, simply because of the huge gap between any potential substitute and him. One of the major challenges in front of Tite is to develop a solid plan B for the contingency that Neymar is not available. But we also do need a replacement number 9.
I think the issue with Firmino is less about his level, than the type of player he is. I like him a lot, he does a lot of things well, but his skill set is different from that of GJ. I’d say he is less of a traditional center forward, and I agree with you that he seemed to be a bit at a loss against Uruguay, at least in the first half. From what I have seen, the team has to play differently when Firmino plays vs when GJ plays. My impression was that against Uruguay in the second half, Paulinho had been instructed by Tite to get further forward and move into scoring positions, while Firmino played deeper and got more involved in the build up.
Exactly. GJ can force the opposing defense deeper and bring his teammates into the game more easily. Firmino’s movement is a real asset, but he doesn’t bring those qualities.
The above stats can be interpreted negatively. It shows a lot of hard work but we know his goals are not up there. Typically you would want your front man to work a little less but score a little more. Klopp loves his hardwork though.
How can being the 1st in creating chances be negative for example? To put it into perspective, if Firmino saved energy from the extra pressing he does which allows the system to tactically succeed, especially in big games, he would use this energy for pure attacking reasons. Of course you want your striker to score but let us not forget that he offers more than just goals. He is the one whose technical gesture led to the goal which gave Brazil the all-important league against Uruguay.
Interestingly, all of the above categories can conceivably translate into goals for his team, to varying degrees. Would be interesting to see the strength of those relationships.
In other news, Tite has banned journalists from attending the tactical part in his training sessions, after a smart guy decided to win the “race” and post “exclusive news”, in order to improve his reputation at the sake of the national team – breaking an agreement between NT/journalists that everything would remain confidential. I’m happy this is has happened. What are the benefits of allowing journalists to attend the training sessions and know all your tactics? Scolari made his training session open ahead of the semi final against Germany in 2014, and I don’t think it ended too well for Brazil.
I never understood the idea of open training sessions. I wonder if such a concept exists anywhere else in the world, except may be every once in a while for fans.
Watching them is a lot of fun. I snuck into Flamengo’s training camp in Gavea to watch the Olympic team back in 2012. There was a decent crowd going hysterical at the players. I saw a bunch of teenage girls crying in the presence of Neymar and Pato. It was a blast.
Lol. Yeah, I understand from the fan’s perspective. I wish I could do that sometime myself 😉 Once in a while having a basic training session open to the public makes sense, in part because many of the star players don’t play domestically. But having every training/tactical session open to journalists doesn’t feel very prudent. For reasons like the one BrazilStats mentions.
Neymar is wearing the armband tomorrow. Interesting. We have been talking about his growing maturity lately. Let’s see.
Hah! Tell you what, Tite’s better at mind games than any of our other recent coaches.
I am glad.
He missed training because of the throat problem, but the report I read had claimed that he was expected to start tomorrow.
GLOBO had said that Firmino could lose his place to Diego Souza tomorrow, so you’d think it was based on something. We thought it was likely he wouldn’t play, but I’m very glad he will! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c348e492f5aed3cfed4c82ef2111292ee506577a04af240b74674c8f43d59509.png
We are all quite forgetful. There was this match against Austria, when he decided the game with a terrific shot. Then came the no-look goal against Chile. A big majority here expected a lot of good things from him, but after his disapponzing performance at the CA many lost their faith in him. And in a way this was justified. He just stagnated at an age, where a real good player must show up. Even now at Liverpool he is not really outstanding. I would say a lot depends on what he will do with Liverpool in the final stages of this season and possibly during the chanpions league 2017/18. It is 50/50 – only a back up or a real enhancement for the Brazilian squad?
Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0; Brazil will beat Paraguay 5-0..,
i’ll watch the weekly talk show Bem Amigos tonight to see if they discuss any of our concerns about player selection and lack of testing alternatives. They will surely discuss a lot of the Selecao, as they are broadcasting from the Arena Corinthians with a panel of commentators and ex players like Vampeta, Edilson, Caio Ribeiro, Casagrande and Muricy Ramalho … unfortunately i won’t be able to understand a word Muricy says, to me he sounds like Buddy Hackett.
Speaking of style, Zico may have been one of the greats on the field, but he has no personality as an announcer. He always sounds pretty bored, maybe he is. They sometimes pair him with two very animated announcers and Zico just stares at them like they are nuts.
I heard he argued that Neymar should have been sent off at the PSG match for the penalty he earned against Munier. I think I read it on Tim Vickery’s twitter feed. That would be a bit weird, if he had said that.
Interesting that Barca’s official twitter feed is now using Neymar’s picture as the cover image. I can’t remember the last time it was not Messi.
Andalusian triple-header coming up for FC Barcelona: Granada, Sevilla and Málaga: https://t.co/jwLSat87Vf pic.twitter.com/U5CdM1UzDN— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 28, 2017
I hope it stays like this till we win the WC 🙂 It’s better to be underestimated than overestimated.
Brazil is playing as well as anyone right now, but I agree with the commentators that Germany and, perhaps even more so, France, are the teams to beat, especially playing in Russia.
Argentina has been scuffling, but I won’t count them out if they resurge, and there are a few other teams that can beat any other on a given night (I continue to be tantalized by Belgium’s talent, for example).
just wanted to share this. even in a league like that of china, he is shite. the thing i liked in this video was that freekick. i think even cr7 would be proud of that
30 minutes into bem amigos they are still talking about games and meories from years past …still nothing on current games ..zzzzzzzzzzz
Bem amigos 45 minutes in they all agree that neymar is playing. Best in the world at this moment
Bem amigos after 1 hour they mention brasil has not done well when entering copa as favorite…no other negative comments yet
well, Bem Amigos was a waste. 2 hours and zero discussion of any issues of concern, just a lot of cheerleading about Neymar’s new maturity, and the even temperament of the team.
Today on Redacao, Tim Vickers is on, missed most of it, just heard last part where he said he thinks the qualifying cycle is a weak one – very competitive b/c many teams are playing near the same level, but none of them at or near Brazil’s level, with Arg and Colombia playing worse than expected.
is it on youtube?
Tim Vickery is not that deep but always gives you that intimate neutral kind of comments.
are people happy or unhappy that we are not in the confederations cup?
… i should have added in original pos —
but this would be an oppotunity to play Euro teams, the absence of which is a big complaint on this board
The completionist in me doesn’t like missing a tournament, but the pragmatist is happy that we aren’t going to fall into the hype trap because of it.
so happy i feel we have a better chance of winning the wc compared to the last three teams, although all 3 of them were undoubted favourites
Very happy. Even when participating, Brazil must “ignore” the tournament and send a b’ team, but i guess every time money decides……
Happy. The CC is cursed
Superstitions aside I think for this team it would have helped a great deal. Of all people Tite desperately needs the experience of facing non south american teams even if it was to come at the cost of a loss at the confed cup.
I think you have a point there.
There are three aspects of an irrational phenomenon. One is having a diluted World Cup tournament with too many poor teams, which is nevertheless generally accepted as the apotheosis of football. Secondly with the CONFED Cup there is a competition among the best teams of each continent, which “actuallly”should be evaluated higher, but simply does not get recogination. The third irrationality is the “curse factor”, at least for Brazil. But even without playing there one is inclined to tell them: “”Please, don’t reach the peak of your potential this year!”
will banning L Messi hamper Argentina’s qualification, will they miss out???
The way they have played so far without Messi, that’s a real possibility. Even with Messi they look terrible, but seem to manage some points.
It’s possible, but they have enough relatively easy games in the run in (they host both Peru and Venezuela) and they’re close enough to the magic 27-point figure that they should be able to still snatch two wins and secure their place. Even if they only manage a playoff spot, they’ll be facing, like, New Zealand.
This gotta be the funniest news out there in all of this 😀 😀 😀
ha ha ha hope they run behind balls instead of holes (holes of players)
Extremely sorry for the language, my intention is not to offend anybody.
I’m reminded of WeCanFifaHD’s wonderful and insane FIFA 13 series, in which the players derive their ability from sporting huge boners all game long.
My cyclist friend just told me that apparently endurance athletes are now ‘discovering’ the benefits. As he put it ‘just gotta watch the podium’ 😀 😀
They ll qualify…. but they may not get a result today. So many suspensions, altitude, psychological effect of Messi ban….so many things going wrong all at the same time.
Messi banned for 4 matches for ‘directing insult at assistant referee’. Brazilian referee said he didn’t hear swear words beyond usual complaints. Chile sent video evidence to FIFA on which the punishment was based. Another day of FIFA business 🙂
So, the plot thickens for the CONMEBOL qualifying dogfight. AFA might try and appeal, but the precedents on these kind of charges does not look good.
I am actually glad the ref stayed out of this, otherwise the typical cries of ‘Brazilian conspiracy’ from Argentina fans would be unbearable (they are still talking about Maradona’s cocaine suspension in 1994). Now they can fight it out with the Chileans.
The Chileans have had their own share of suspensions for players insulting refs. I’m not surprised at all that they wanted someone else to get punished for once and sent a video in.
In fact there are now videos circulating apparently showing some of their own players doing some swearing at ref during the same match.
Where did you see Chilean players insulting Sandro Ricci? To be honest I haven’t seen any reports like that.
This is absurd.
How many games will Neil Taylor get for breaking Seamus Coleman’s leg? Highly unlikely to be more than 4.
And how many games will Bale get for nearly doing the same later in the game?
So you get the same (or lighter) punishment for destroying someone’s career that you get for mere words…
Reminds me of a South Park quote:
“Horrific, deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don’t say any naughty words!”
Found this picture:
That’s the one.
Hell, Gonzalo Jara got only two games for sticking his finger up Cavani’s butt at the Copa America two years ago.
Firmino scores two goals tonight.
I rarely play FIFA in the last few years, but yesterday I randomly felt like using my console for a Brazil vs Paraguay game and Firmino scored 2 goals. Last time I did that, it happened in real life and Neymar scored a free kick against Germany – if my personal experience counts 😛
Pro Evolution Soccer is now better….:-P
France incredibly dull first half performance against Spain. The second half of the first half, they improved a bit. But in the first few minutes, they weren’t even able to release the ball from centre back to central midfielder. Some Miranda-esque passes dominated their plays, alla Brazil 2014. That’s the type of high pressing which South American oppositions have not been able to test Brazil with.
I love how quite a bit of the posts today are more on the superstitious side. The things true fans do….:)
Video assistance cancels Griezmann’s goal against France after the referee had awarded it. Are you with or against technology interference?
For, though I’d like to hear any arguments against.
I think Spain’s two goals perfectly demonstrate what can or cannot be eliminated in terms of contested decisions even after using VAR. Offside calls are straightforward. But was that a penalty? For me, no way. But would two people be able to agree even after watching a replay of that? Not necessarily. Commentators keep disagreeing all the time about whether or not a handball looked ‘intentional’, despite watching the same replay many times over. Let alone contacts between players.
I am not against using VAR for offside calls. But football is made up of countless moments where there is no way around using somebody’s subjective judgment. And there would never come a time when ‘controversial’ decisions would be eliminated. It is just the nature of the beast.
In fact, on second thought, even offside calls are not straightforward, when it comes to deciding whether or not a player in an offside position was ‘interfering with play’.
I never really considered video replay as a means to determine subjective judgement calls like fouls. I don’t know how it works in other sports, but in hockey and tennis replays are mainly used to determine binary conditions. Tennis uses the challenge system to determine whether the ball was in or out. Hockey evaluates things like: was the player offside? Did the puck cross the goal line? Was the puck kicked in or did it just naturally bounce off the skate? Soccer should be able to implement similar binary evaluations without any problems.
I remember when both England and Mexico were robbed of goals in 2010 against Germany and Argentina. England would have made it 2-2 if Lampard’s goal was called correctly, and Mexico wouldn’t have been down 1-0 if Tevez was correctly called offside. Hugely deciding moments in those games. What’s worse is that even the players knew the correct calls because they could see the replays being played on the big screen in the stadium. Those situations should have no place in the game.
it was really offside. so this technology may be given some trial. but shouldnt be wholescale now
Spain had a beautifully constructed goal disallowed due to the final touch being marginally offside. I think it was Deulofeu who ruined it for Spain.
It reminded me of how good Neymar and GJ are in staying on side.
It was not disallowed, video technology handed them the goal. 2-0!
wow…. the linesman had his hand out. So that makes you question why the linesman should use his flag.
I hope Argentina players have brought their wives with them. The viagra does not seem to help on the pitch. 2-0. now.
i hope bauza has a super arrangement of security when he gets back home. there maybe another escober occurence
Escobar? Sorry, i don’t think this is funny…..
That is actually a good joke.
this viagra thing sounds like a feast for Brazilian late night shows. Fresh material,,,,lol
Meanwhile, Alexis Sánchez is playing like Diego Maradona.
I feel bad for the guy. He got edged out by Neymar at Barca and ended up at Arsenal. He needs to get out of there and find himself a club with some ambition.
Despite winning two back-to-back Copa Américas, I’m not saying they have the highest level in the last few months but Chile play the most entertaining football in South America. Only Brazil has a case.
Apparently if Brazil beat Paraguay AND Uruguay lose away to Peru, we qualify tonight. So, hope is still on! It’s not yet clear whether this situation would guarantee us playoffs (5th spot) or direct qualification.
I know we want to see this team exposed at some point—and Paraguay’s wingers might cause some problems, seeing as they gave Dani Alves a torrid time in Asuncion—but playing in the Arena Corinthians, I think Tite is going to want to give his old fans a show. Paraguay aren’t great defensively and they’re planning to play attacking football, so if this Brazil side is as good as we think, we could very well see a blowout victory.
Anyways, that may be all you hear from me until at least halftim—I have to stream the game on my computer, so it’ll be hard to pop over here.
Paraguay planning to play attacking?? I haven’t seen them play in recent times I have to admit.
You just committed sacrilege by the way, by calling this Brazil side ‘good’ 😀 😀
Ughh what does Fabinho and Alex Sandro have to do to get a look in for the national team under Tite. *sigh* perhaps next qualifier…
Four minutes into the game, and Neymar has already been fouled badly twice.
I doubt valdez lasts long
2 mistakes by miranda already
Miranda is a disaster so far….
As good as Neymar is as a free kick taker, I wish we still had somebody like Branco, Eder or Roberto Carlos, who were specialists from 30 or more meters.
i wouldn’t put carlos in that category – he had a hard shot but rarely ever hit good freekicks.
Paraguay have nerve to ask for a dive penalty
Marcelo still awful….
Why is he brainless when playing for Brazil?
20 minutes a lot of bad touches.
MArquinhos looks like he wants to go on a Lucio like FTS run
It’s funny, before every free kick Marcelo is standing near Neymar, as if i would be a realistic option that he would alternatively take it – while in fact he has never made a free kick goal in his whole career.
Haha, this is true.
His shooting has been wayward as ever.
Brazil is helpless in attack.
They heard you
TIte resds this blog, i asked for Coutjinho to drop back and help advance ball more, and he is
Huh, backhel assist from the Messiah!
Coutinhoooooo! The Liverpool’s playbook.
A country as musical as brazil really needs a better chant than “o campeao voltou”
Ah, I missed Coutinho’s goal.
Assisted by Paulinho backheel
is it just me or they look too casual and half hearted? so many bad touches. No creativity whatsoever. Neymar fouled out of the game.
I think games like this expose some of our weaknesses and particularly when it comes to building up and creating……
when you have so many average players on the ball its hard to put on a show. so limited in ideas and invention.
This is the sort of test Brazil needs. Paraguay went in looking to press, break quickly, and generally put us on the back foot—and they’ve specifically targeted Miranda, whose shortcomings are really apparent tonight. We’ve struggled to create many chances, though of course we can always come up with a moment of quality like what Coutinho and Paulinho pulled off to.
For what it’s worth, I think the midfield is playing better than it did against Uruguay Coutinho is doing a better job of coming deep to contribute to the buildup play, Casemiro is playing more ambitious forward passes, and Renato Augusto is moving well to provide options going forward as well as defensive cover down Marcelo’s side. The problem up front is that Neymar is weirdly isolated; Paraguay is marking him very well, and he rarely has anybody but Marcelo (who, once again, is making me wonder about how much of his undeniable talent on the ball actually translates into offensive prowess) near him when he gets the ball.
Shoutout to Fagner, who is doing much better than I’d expected. On this evidence, I’ll gladly take him over Alves—he’s composed defensively and he’s sharp and efficient in his passing in a way Alves rarely is, not to mention he’s pulled off a couple lovely moments of skill.
Agree. Marcelo seems to be braindead at the moment.
marcelo has always been a liability
I have a specific gripe with Marcelo I’ve been turning over with my head for a while. I think it’s finally time to put it to words here, once the game is over.
Agreed, I’ve been pleasantly surprised thus far with Fagner. Hopefully if Brasil pull off a win tonight and all but insure their ticket to Russia, we’ll hopefully see Tite take more risks and experiments in player selection/rotation. and hopefully two poor matches in a row will see Marcelo’s (and Alves’ as well) names finally on the chopping block. That would be a miracle and help ease my concerns.
Yes, Coutinho’s contribution to midfield is excellent. As for Fagner, i am impressed. I didn’t expect this. He is very skilled and intelligent…..
I heard this on the broadcast just as I was heading to the bathroom, so can someone confirm: did I just hear Messi decided not to renew his contract with Barcelona and will look to play somewhere else next season?
Did you here the BeIN Sports April Fool promo? With Kevin Egan?
Hell, that might have been it, but this was the Spanish broadcast.
A great two minutes of play from Paulinho there.
I just knew he was gonna miss 🙁
Yeesh Miranda, nice clearance…
Neymar NEEDS to modify his entire penalty technique.
He is not focused at the moment.
Neymar only bothers with penalties during elimination games.
That shot was awful.
Neymar’s pk style is all about a mental game. If the goalie doesn’t move then neymar doesn’t know what to do
Thiago Silva’s superior passing technique was evident within 60 seconds of his coming on.
The difference between T. Silva’s passing vs Miranda’s is night and day. Too bad that Miranda is a starter no matter what in Tite’s eyes
Please, stop Miranda and Marcelo’s horror shows!
Marcelo was wonderful tonight
Anyone know Neymar’s penalty conversion rate?
Lol, what a ridiculous goal. Out of nothing
I forgive him
Did he deflect it on the Paraguayan player on purpose?
Nah he was trying to curl it to the far post imo.
MIranda is putting on a show
Hahahahahha. I think he wants to see how many bad passes he can do and still keep his place as a starter. It’s his own game within the game.
I don’t have anything to say, just wanted to join the party of 8 people typing
Nah we can’t blame Miranda, he’s been amazing. Clearly Marquinhos is the weak link… lets sub T.Silva for him -_-
In an unrelated note, video replay decided the France v Spain match.
Paulinhos one touch passes in tight space have been great all night
Comedy of Errors
Neymar wants that hat trick to reassert himself as Brazil’s best player
Here we go again! Neymar’s antics.
damnit why does Neymar have to blemish his performance with his antics. Keep that captains armband away from him please Tite
Paulinho wouldn’t ever do such a thing
…therefore, Neymar should not take penalties unless the game is in that phase and stick to dribbling.
How did that Paraguay player survive that Paulinho cannon?
He will die later of internal bleeding
Miranda went on an FtS run but forgot the first 2 letters.
The Alison erroenious goal on a bad pass is a matter of when, not if. I’ve already emotionally prepared myself for it. Hopefully, it won’t be a FATAL MISTAKE
Yes I have already prepared myself as well. I’m hoping it happens sooner than later in the world Cup
Seconded. What I don’t understand is how Tite has made a point of only selecting players who play regularly for their club (including players in the chinese league) but apparently Alisson is an exception to this. He barely gets a game for Roma but Ederson who has been playing regularly for Benfica and did relatively well in the CL is third choice behind Alisson & Weverton.
I heard a rumor that Dani Alves shared his incriminating CBF photos with him.
Pretty sure Dani Alves, Marcelo, Miranda & Alisson have a whatsapp group where these incriminating photos are shared
Fagner is trying to out paulinho paulinho
It’s so evident this team becomes more dominant in the air, defensively and offensively, when Thiago Silva is playing.
Despite his non-imposing height, his vertical impulsion is huge and his heading technique is flawless.
Theres your Brazilian team gaol BRasil82
Now it’s Marcelo’s turn to Paulinho. With Paulinho backheel assist, again. Holy mother of God.
and of all people it had to be Marcelo to score.
Marcelo is a kook and liability; but he’s ours
he’s certainly both those things, and under Tite he looks guaranteed to be ours until we’re dumped from the WC…
I’ll laugh now, and cry at the WC if that proves true
Paulhinho touches has been on point tonight
Marcelos expression was so cool after the gaol, you could see him thinking “wow, that was an amazing sequence”
Is this OUR Paulinho?
He’s for the world to enjoy
Still things to improve, but I think the Spanish announcers on Bien summed up Tite’s contribution with the following comment:
“This Brasil isn’t a selection of players; it’s a team.”
Yep, lots of nice team pwork tonight, as well as individual brilliance. Only wish Thiago silve could have gotten a goal
Yes I really wanted that to happen. On that one shot could see how much he wanted one
And then there was a header op where Miranda and Thiago collided so neither got it clean
Tite is merciless. Willian on, to run with those exhausted Paraguayans?
Marcello and Neymar together were fun to watch tonight
Two yellow cards over on Neymar’s side; probably could have come earlier or been more. Two thoughts: the defenders do not respect him, and he forces them into fouling.
I think it has more to do with a combination of those defenders not having the ability to stop him w/o having to resort to fouling him and their coach instructing them to play a bit dirty.
Every time Thiago Silva has the ball, you know he ll find a way to get it to midfield. Brazil desperately needs that.
3 very pretty goals tonight
I know I’m going to get hate for this but we all know that Brazil will need to learn how pick themselves up after a loss. Why not let that loss be next game so Argentina will be really screwed if they lose to Uruguay lol
Guys, did we actually play a good game tonight? wow.
Guys quick. This paulinho or the 2013 paulinho. Go!
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