First it was the 7-1 drubbing against the eventual winners Germany at the World Cup on home soil and now a quarter final elimination against Paraguay on penalties at the Copa America, Brazil have not been able to live up to their reputation lately. Such has been performance that it has compelled the greats of the game to state that the Brazilian team doesn’t ignite in the minds of their opponents anymore. In this article we would focus on the key area of concerns in the footballing structure of Brazil in the aftermath of their upset in Chile.
No long term strategy
When Germany had failures at the Euro and the World Cup of 2000 and 2002 respectively the German Football Association chalked upon a strategy to develop players at home. They invested heavily on youth programs and developed infrastructure at the sub-junior and junior levels alongside appointing coaches and the support staff and this move reaped rewards a decade later with Germany playing a refreshing brand of football and winning the World Cup in Brazil. Brazilian domestic football is not in great shape and players are on their way to Europe one after the other. Neymar, Oscar, Hulk, Dani Alves, David Luiz, Thiago Silva and the list is endless. The supply of quality players has not been the same it used to be in older times.
Overdependence on Neymar
Every team from the South American nation that has dominated world football from 1960s had a poster boy. Pele, Zico, Socrates, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka all had tormented the oppositions with their skills but they all had able players to back them and share the burden but this Brazilian team is over reliant on Neymar. It was his absence in the semifinal against Germany owing to a back injury and recently his injury followed by a four game ban after being sent off in group stages, Brazil played disastrously in both the crucial matches in his absence. None of the big names stepped up and midfield was passive with the ball as a result of which the forwards were left devoid of chances.
After the world cup debacle Brazil again turned towards former coach Dunga who had an impressive 70 percent winning record in his previous stint but those numbers don’t tell the real story. The kind of football that Selecao played under him was largely tagged negative and gloomy, the mentality of the defensive midfielder that Dunga had been in his playing days was evident in his formations and tactics which were a mere reincarnation of his game. This time around nothing much changed in his second stint and Brazil was deprived of the creativity in the final third.
Brazil needs a revamp of squad in certain capacities if they have to compete with other nations who have improved gradually. A rethinking is required away from the field as well because the transition period has taken a bit too long. It might be not wise to despise Samba boys as of yet. A strong and competitive Brazilian side is of immeasurable importance and value to the game of football.