Brazil battered by Germany: my reflections

The seleção are in a mess (Mowa Press)

The great Brazilian national football team are looking anything but at the moment. After being dumped out of the Copa America by Paraguay, the team were well beaten by Germany in an international friendly tonight. 3-2 was the final score but they were very lucky to lose by only a one goal margin. At once stage in the match, Germany had 69% ball possession!

Brazil were a complete mess from start to finish. After their Copa America shambles, if anything, they were even worse tonight. The public are slowly starting to get frustrated with coach Mano Menezes. His team has now lost against France, Argentina and Germany and failed to beat any big names since he became coach more than a year ago. Some Brazilians have been fed up with the national team since 2006!

Neymar once again failed to live up to his hype. Apart from his well taken goal in the 90th minute he was a passenger for most of the match. Alexandre Pato proved to be the nearly man once again with some good touches and runs but no goals. Ganso’s poor form meant he started the game on the bench and he did little to suggest that he should have started when he came on. Fernandinho (Shakhtar) made his debut in midfield but spend most of his evening chasing shadows. Ralf (Corinthians) also made his debut in the defensive midfield position with Lucas Leiva suspended. He did alright but I can’t say more than that. He has the physical presence that Brazil need in midfield but is that really enough to play for Brazil?

The side are a collection of talented youngsters and prima donna’s with no leaders except for Lucio (and possibly Robinho as crazy as that sounds). Poor positioning, lack of cohesiveness, lack of physical presence, lack of leadership and lack of effort are criticisms you can level at the team. The performance was apathetic. Brazil are building for the 2014 World Cup but this is basically their full strength team. Who else can they turn too? Kaká? Ronaldinho Gaúcho? But do those two really have the legs that are needed at international level? Where are all the leaders?

Tonight raised a lot more questions and gave no new answers. This was basically the same group that flopped out of the Copa America. Nothing has changed. Mano looks like he has run out of ideas.

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25 thoughts on “Brazil battered by Germany: my reflections

  1. I believe Kaka can come back. That’s not something I would agree with before this game, but I really missed his leadership vs. Germany. my 11 starting by now would be:
    J Cesar
    Maicon Lucio Thiago Marcelo
    Leiva (or Sandro, Ralf, whoever is best performing during the season) Hernanes
    Kaka Ganso
    Neymar Pato (with the shadow of L. Fabiano and Nilmar behind)

  2. Yeah, I think that team would be a lot better than the one against Germany. Everybody was calling for Neymar, Pato and Ganso. But, they were given the chance and haven’t been up to the task. They are all good players but too much is being asked of them. Perhaps they should start on the bench and come on during games. Get their confidence up. The problem is who is there with experience to take their place? It’s a big problem for Brazil. I really dont rate Mano as a coach though. The team lacks leadership, energy, discipline, formation, character, passion. I doubt the team would be like that with Phil Scolari. He is getting the most out of limited players at Palmeiras. Mano’s team looks like it has no plan. He is also playing some really mediocre players – Renato Augusto? Fernandinho? Ralf?

  3. Where are all the other options?
    Gil, what do you think about Big Phil for the seleção?
    Keep Mano for two years and then sack him before the 2013 Confederations Cup and bring back Big Phil!

    • Big Phil is the natural way the seleção is going to. However, I think Mano should stay at least until the end of this year.

      His proposal is wonderful, he wants to make Brazil play like Barcelona. Hard to achieve? I agree. He is going worng way so far? I agree too. But I still hope he will realize how to fix it. 2 games against Argentina, 1 against Mexico, Italy and Spain yet to go. Enough to prove if he can do it or not.

      • Give Mano a few more games I agree. But I really dont see things improving with him.
        Play like Barça?
        They are playing more like Brentford than Barça.
        Impossible to play like Barça. Brazil has nobody even close to Xavi or Iniesta. Those are the two that make Barcelona tick.
        No strikers as good as Villa. No defensive midfielders as good as Busquets or Mascherano. And who would be Messi?
        Please don’t say Neymar. He has won the Libertadores which is good. But apart from that the only thing he has done on the international stage is play well against the USA and Scotland.
        Too much pressure and expectation on his shoulders….

        • ronaldinho and kaka can be brasil iniesta and xavi, also ganso and lucas are great MF that will only improve towards 2014.. you say no striker as good as villa lol please pato at 21 is already at his level, neymar will also get there by 2014 he’s already gaining a lot of expirience

          in 2014 the line up has to be

          rafael cabral,Maicon, Breno, sandro, kaka, lucas moura, ronaldinho, ganso,hulk,pato, neymar that’s the starting 11 for 2014 and coming of the bench gabriel juan guillerme danilo luiz da silva bruno uvini david luiz lucas leiva Giuliano Philippe Coutinho douglas costa leandro damiao robinho, adriano menso takes that squad and brasil wins easily

          • Thanks for the comment Chino.
            It seems like a 2-1-4-3 formation. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. I would love to see that line up take the field. There would definitely be goals but the problem is that Brazil would be conceding most of them on the counter attack.
            Sorry but I dont agree about Ronalinho Gaúcho and Kaká being Brazil’s equivalent to Xavi/Iniesta at all. As well as being great players, Xavi and Iniesta run. A lot. Ronaldinho doesn’t and Kaká spends most of his time on the treatment table these days. Maybe five years ago you could compare them but not now. Not anymore.

  4. Giuliano, after the match last night, I’d have to agree with you and say that Arouca deserves a chance. He’s not brilliant but he’s got some character at least. Can’t say the same about Fernandinho.

  5. I get the feeling that Mano is just confused and bewildered. He came in with a promise to play intricate, attacking football but still hasn’t picked the players to play that style. Then yesterday he parks the bus against Germany which is Dunga-esque. The thing is, he didn’t pick the players to play Dunga-type football either. I bet if Brazil had pressed Germany high up the pitch as they did in the game against Paraguay in the quarter finals of the Copa America the game would have been better.

    Mano needs to pick a direction and go for it with gusto, i.e. selecting the players most suited to that style. Mano also needs to know when to cut his losses. This quick integration of the youngsters is clearly not working. Neymar has too much on his shoulders, and Ganso -though talented- hasn’t done enough to warrant a starting place. Pato made it clear to Milan that he doesn’t like playing as a centerforward, and although he will tolerate the position with Brazil, it’s not hard to see why he dislikes the position. Mano needs to go with players who are ready to play right now to imprint his methods on the team while slowly blooding the young players if he wants to keep his job going into 2o12.

    • Thanks Gordon.
      Agree with what you say there. Mano seems bewildered. Not doing one thing or the other. Team selection is incoherent and lacks a plan.
      I’m beggining to think that the seleção was a lot better with Dunga in charge. He had his faults but at least he had a plan and stuck to it. If it wasn’t for Felipe Melo’s rush of blood to the head and Julio César clanger, who knows what Brazil might have done at the WC. I personally think Dunga was too aggressive and his players lost some of their focus because of that. But, it was still better than this!
      As a Santos follower, what do you think about Arouca? Is he worth a shot in the seleção?

      • I think that he deserves a chance based on what he has shown so far this year. My answer is more emphatic given that Ralf and Elias have been called up. I’d even make a case for him to start over Ramires in the double pivot. It’s quite obvious that Ramires isn’t cut out to play that position, especially with that atrocious first touch. He did his best work at Cruzeiro, Benfica, and under Dunga playing nearer to the right touchline. Arouca has a better first touch, better passing, and a greater awareness of how to play in central midfield.

        That being said, Hernanes would be my preferred player in that position.

  6. I agree with the people that say that Menezes is confused!I think that he has not found a plan for the team yet.In my opinion Dunga’s tactics had a a negative impact on the team as Brazil lost its flair.Now Menezes has the pressure of the WC in 2014 as seleçao has to play beautifully at its home.I think that Menezes should really focus on finding a plan for the team and then find the right players to adapt to the plan.I think that he should try to give a chance to players from Brazilian league too.

  7. personally i thnk brazil finds itself in a situation it has never been in a long time,ie. trying to build a winsome team again,like the ’94 ,’98(even tho’ they lost the final) and ’02 squad,bt first,fans need to accept that they are nt that force again if recent result suggest anythng,I believe Meno should be given more time guided by senior players u made mention of especially ronaldinho,alot more of the flair player cos mind u the great players are able to xpress the coaches tactics the best, this brazil team appear to me too mechanical

  8. Dede needs to feature. As great as Lucio is, and has been, he is the future along with Thiago Silva. They complement each other perfectly in central defense.

    Dede is huge (6’4), is a great man marker, tackler, and is unbeatable in the air. He is also remarkably fast and agile for his size. There isn’t another defender like him in the world and he will soon be gaining attention from the biggest clubs in Europe thanks to his displays at Vasco.

    • He is AMAZING to watch. He shut down Santos AND Sao Paulo in back to back to weeks with squads featuring (among others) Neymar, Ganso, Elano, Lucas Moura…. Vasco posted back to back clean sheats in those games and he is the main reason for that.

    • Dede has reportedly already turned down a move to Benfica (a HUGE club in the grand scheme of things) in order to catch Mano’s eye for A Seleção by playing well at Vasco.

      I think since he has accomplished that, he will be more willing to make a move to Europe at the end of the Brazilian season. I also think he will hold out for a top club in a TOP European league (Spain, Italy, Germany, France… England would be difficult because he will have to feature in 75% of Brazil’s National Team games for a certain period of time to gain a work permit.)

      He would crack the lineup (at least on a rotational basis) of almost all of Europe’s top clubs because players like him just don’t grow on trees. I know he’d step into my club (Liverpool) and dominate immediately alongside Daniel Agger. I can dream.

  9. Pingback: Ronaldinho gets Brazil recall for Ghana friendly | Brazilian Football Blog

  10. I’d go with a lineup like this in a classic Brazilian 4-2-2-2:

    GK: Helton
    RWB: D. Alves; RCB: Dede (Vasco); LCB: T. Silva (C); LWB: Marcelo

    RDM: Lucas L.; LDM:L. Gustavo

    AM: Hernanes; AM: Ronaldinho

    RF: Hulk; LF: Neymar (Santos)

    Bench:
    GK: Julio Caeser (Inter Milan); Felipe (Flamengo)
    WB: Maicon (Inter Milan); Luis Filipe
    CB: Lucio; David Luiz
    DM\CM: Fernando (FC Porto); Anderson
    AM: Lucas M. (Sao Paulo); Ganso (Santos)
    FWD: Nilmar; L. Damiao (Internacional)

    Others to consider:
    GK: Diego Alves

    RWB: Rafinha; Rafael; Jonathan

    LWB: ; M. Bastos; Adriano; Fabio

    CB: Alex; Luisao; Miranda; Douglas; Geromel; Dante

    DM\CM: Ramires; Sandro; Jucilei; Arouca (Santos); Danilo (Santos); F. Melo; Elias

    AM: Kaka; R. Augusto; Nene; Elano; Willian; Guiliano; D. Costa;
    Jadson; Fernandinho; Oscar (Inernacional);

    FWD: A. Pato; Robinho; V. Love; Welliton; Andre (A. Miniero); Elkeson (Botafogo); Borges (Santos); Bernardo (Vasco)

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