Seleção reaction: that’s more like it!

Gabriel Jesus Brasil x República Tcheca
Gabriel Jesus made an impact as a sub this evening scoring two goals (pic: Reuters)

After 70 minutes of the dullest football (and a 1-1 draw with Panama) Brazil belatedly turned on the style.

Watching Brazil for the first sixty minutes of their friendly match against the Czech Republic this evening was not easy viewing. After a long day at work, this was not turning out to be the way I wanted to spend my evening.

Brazil couldn’t find any rhythm. The ball was bypassing the midfield. And it wasn’t sticking up front. Lucas Paqueta got the hook at half time, but it could have easily been Richarlison, Coutinho or Allan who were rubbish.

But like a committed blogger I persisted with the game. And fortunately, Brazil did too. They got lucky at the start of the second half when some awful defending allowed Firmino the chance to equalise. Nicely taken goal.

But despite that early second half boost, Brazil still couldn’t get their game going. The opposition were dropping like flies with injuries meaning that the game was stop start, which didn’t help. But even when the game did manage to flow, there was no spark, no creativity, no urgency and no quality. The exception to that was Everton, who came on at half time.

Coutinho is out of sorts. Richarlison and Paqueta are still kids. Rough diamonds, but not nearly the finished article. I’m not a huge fan of Allan either. The lack of quality is beyond Tite’s control, but the Seleção has gone backwards since the World Cup, not forwards. Is that the coach’s fault?

Also, Tite made a somewhat odd team selection for this game after the farce against Panama. He had promised some big changes going into this evening’s match after the poor showing on Saturday. He made them, but he changed the part of the team that has been working (the defence) with the bit that has been struggling (the attack).

And so the attacking quartet of Paqueta, Richarlison, Coutinho and Firmino were maintained, while Alisson, Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro and Allan came in for Ederson, Fagner, Miranda, Militao, Alex Telles and Arthur.

The knives, journalists pens and bloggers keyboards were sharpening. Brazil couldn’t beat Panama. Following by a strange team selection. And now, losing to the Czech Republic, a team whipped by England. C’mon Tite.

And then finally, belatedly, after around 70 minutes of the dullest of dull football, Brazil began to show what we know they can do. The substitutes made the difference. David Neres came on for his debut and posed more of a threat than Richarlison. Everton was really sharp – his flicks and tricks – could turn the flow of the game, and his driving runs on the counter attack always looked like they could end with a goal.

He does this for Grêmio a lot, but to make such an impact with the weight of the green and gold shirt on his back was impressive for a young lad. Arthur replaced Casemiro and Brazil’s tempo increased too. Gabriel Jesus was on for Coutinho and Brazil were now effectively playing a 4-4-2.

And it worked. Brazil’s positivity, and pressure finally paid off. There were some beautiful moments too, as the likes of Everton, David Neres and Arthur combined with some very effective one touch passing, including backheels. To be fair, Allan also got in on the act and set up Gabriel Jesus for his second and Brazil’s third goal of the night to wrap up the win at around the 90 minute mark.

In the end, Brazil showed what they can do and produced the magic that we want to watch. Let’s have it from the start next time then eh boys?

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4 thoughts on “Seleção reaction: that’s more like it!

  1. Is not about talent is all on the coaching. And Allan is one of the best central midfielders in the world proven over years in Serie A Italy.
    You are not a fan but I am been following him for years and was surprised he never got a chance until now.
    Lucas Moura needs a real chance as well he’s been good for Tottenham.

    • Hi Chino. That is a bold statement about Allan. I know he has been very good for Napoli over the years, but if he was that good someone like Juve or Barca would have come in for him. To me he looks slow, he doesn’t really tackle much and he wasn’t offering much going forward either. Arthur livened things up big time last night when he came on (although I know he was poor against Panama). Yes – its the coaches job to get the best out of the team and at the moment Tite doesn’t seem to be doing that – at least going forward, which is the area Brazil ought to be doing better in. I also disagree with you about Lucas Moura I’m afraid – he drifts in and out of games and doesn’t regularly do the business for Tottenham. I think Tite is right to pick Richarlison, Everton and David Neres ahead of him – they might not be at the same level as Moura just yet, but they are not far off and have more potential. Tite needs to be building for the future. Finally, it looks like he is doing this, but the style of play is still too cautious and boring. At least it was good for the last 20 minutes last night…

  2. What is wrong with Brazil youth team system? Failed in South American U20 and U17 qualification. This is so embarrassing. I think they should learn from England youth team system. They been producing very good youth team lately with world cup U20 and U17 champion.

    • Good point – Brazil’s youth teams have been very poor this year. The u20s were dreadful and the u17s not much better. I’m not sure what the problem is. I suspect the training is simply not up to scratch. I still have faith that Brazil will continue to produce some of the best players, but that is due to culture and the natural talent that Brazil has – not the coaching! Another theory is that Brazil’s youth teams focus too much on size and strength and don’t pick the most talented players. I’m not sure about that, but its possible a valid. Its a shame that they cannot find the right mix of letting players use their natural talent in the right way, and producing good teams from a young age. You are right that England’s young teams are very good at the moment. The CBF could learn a thing or two from the FA, and Brazilian clubs could learn a thing or two as well!

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