It wasn’t the fairtale start that Big Phil Scolari was hoping for. Nor was it the way Ronaldinho wished to celebrate his 100th cap as the boys from Brazil were beaten 2-1 by England in a lively game at Wembley.
I thought the first half was fairly even but it was England who went in 1-0 up. Brazil were lively. Ronaldinho was classy and won a penalty which he missed. Neymar made a good couple of runs that were well marshaled by Cahill. He did miss an excellent chance though. Luis Fabiano was poor on his recall. He started the match and you would hardly have known he was on the pitch. I saw him live last year and thought that a lot of his pace had gone. Tonight’s display does not convince me it has or ever will come back. His replacement Fred was better. Fantastic finish although he himself is not the most mobile. I would get rid of Luis Fabiano and look at Hulk and Leandro Damião. Maybe even Osvaldo might be worth a try São Paulo fans? Somebody with some pace…
Despite their goal a few minutes in, Brazil was poor in the second half and on the balance of that, England deserved to win the match. Neymar was disappointing. He has a glaring miss in the first half although he did look lively. In the second half he disappeared. Perhaps England is too cold for him? But, his whole team were poor in the second half. Dani Alves didn’t look like much of an attacking threat. And Lucas is no Ronaldinho and was anonymous in the second half.
Ronaldinho is a legend and I was pleased to see him recalled. Shame he went off at half time though. Decent debut from Dante – I loved all of the back-heeled clearances as well as the messy hair style. Gary Cahill could learn a thing or two. Disappointing display from Arouca – a half time sub. I’ve been one of those who repeatedly called for him to be given a chance under Mano Menezes. He didn’t take it today though – he was at fault for England’s second goal and didn’t look comfortable in possession. He is a player with a lot of character and I think his game but perhaps he isn’t quite international class – the sort of international class required by the seleção. Ramires, although I’m not his biggest fan, does have his qualities and Brazil looked better with him on the pitch. He does seem to knit things together.
I am a Paulinho fan and he was okay tonight. Adriano: okay. Júlio César: I think he is still Brazil’s best keeper. Why on earth was David Luiz captain though? Is it because he’s the only one in the team who speaks English? That was a bit of a shocker. Some in the Brazilian press were saying last night that they think he will eventually play in midfield for Brazil at the World Cup. Filipão did it with Edmilson, remember? I think David Luiz is improving as a defender but was very impressed with him in some of his games in midfield for Chelsea. Impressed with Oscar tonight too.
Anyway, from Brazil’s point of view it was only a friendly match and is not the end of the world. But lots of work for Big Phil to do. Favourites to win the World Cup next year? Not on that performance. Big boost for England though. Well done to them!
Brazilian journalists love the fact that we call Big Phil Big Phil by the way!
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