World Cup 2018: How coach Tite has introduced Brazil into the trendy age
World Cup Match of the Day, 9 July 2014. Argentina have simply crushed the Netherlands on penalties to succeed in the ultimate. However everybody remains to be making an attempt to assimilate the scarcely credible end result from the day before today’s semi-final.
Hosts Brazil have been thrashed 7-1 by Germany. What occurs now?
“Will Brazil now desire a root-and-branch overhaul of their system?” asks Mark Chapman.
“I hope so,” I replied – however feared that after a 10-day interval of mourning, issues would chug alongside a lot as earlier than.
And that’s the way it turned out.
One other lifeless finish with Dunga
Quickly after the World Cup, Brazil made the weird choice to reappoint former midfielder Dunga as coach.
He had been in cost from 2006-2010. His solely different teaching expertise was an unsuccessful few months with Brazilian membership aspect Internacional.
He was not a person to hold out any root-and-branch overhaul. His appointment was little greater than a denial of actuality – though it confirmed an acceptance that there could be loads of essential hearth.
If we’re below assault, went the pondering of the Brazilian FA, then Dunga is our man. A snarling determine, weighed down by the obvious perception that the world was a conspiracy towards him, Dunga would battle hearth with hearth.
Two years later, with a 3rd of the 2018 qualifiers performed, Brazil have been down in sixth place, outdoors the qualification slots. There was actual worry that the nation would lose its proud file of showing in each World Cup finals.
Dunga was below stress. His large hope was the Rio Olympics. If he may take the staff to their first soccer gold medal, he would shore up his place and purchase himself some extra time.
It might need occurred. As a substitute, shortly earlier than the Olympics there was an additional model of the Copa America, staged in america, to have a good time the centenary of the match.
Dunga’s staff drew with Ecuador, misplaced to Peru and have been eradicated within the group section. The axe fell, and Corinthians coach Tite – the favored option to have taken over in 2014 – was belatedly given the job.
The remainder is historical past.
There have been few modifications in personnel. Paulinho, then primarily based in China, was recalled – a controversial transfer that proved a convincing success. And Tite gambled on the teenage Gabriel Jesus to fill the issue place at centre-forward – and was instantly rewarded.
These two apart, the identical squad that had been on the disposal of Dunga achieved vastly totally different outcomes below Tite.
A tricky qualification campaign turned into a breeze. Tite’s staff received 10 video games, drew two, scored 30 targets and conceded simply three. They usually have continued that type in warm-up friendlies towards European opposition. They go to Russia with a justifiable place among the many match favourites.
There may be an apparent query right here – how may one man make such a distinction?
Brazil – from innovators to also-rans
The reply is twofold. It has to don’t solely with the undoubted deserves of Tite, but in addition with the deficiencies of his colleagues, and of the lifeless finish at which Brazilian soccer discovered itself.
There have been two separate issues – the hazards of success and the perils of isolation.
Brazilian soccer was not born nice. It achieved greatness on account of a course of. After they received these three World Cups in 4 tournaments (between 1958 and 1970) they have been forward of the sphere in time period of preparation and ways.
Way back to 1958, that they had an enormous back-up employees of medical doctors, a dentist, a bodily preparation specialist – even a untimely try to make use of a sports activities psychologist.
The nice Mario Zagallo – a participant in 1958 and 1962, coach in 1970 – almost fell off his chair once I advised him that England went to Chile for the 1962 World Cup with out a lot as a health care provider.
And when it comes to ways, that they had included concepts from Uruguayan, Argentine and Hungarian coaches, put them collectively and provide you with one thing new. They have been pioneers of the again 4.
After they unleashed it in 1958 – nonetheless the one time they’ve received a World Cup in Europe – the additional defensive cowl meant they didn’t concede a purpose till the semi-final. By 1970 that they had gone additional. Zagallo is completely happy to see that fantastic aspect as a pioneer of recent day 4-2-3-1.
However a lot success made them lazy and complacent, inclined to imagine their very own myths about innate pure expertise.
And because the sport moved on, they have been dangerously remoted. Hardly any Brazilian coaches got here to work in high degree European membership soccer, and people who did make the journey did not final lengthy.
Brazil have been caught utterly off steadiness by the Pep Guardiola revolution of a decade in the past.
Many in Brazilian soccer have been satisfied that bodily evolution had made a possession-based sport inconceivable and that the way in which ahead was to bulk up and use fast counter-attacks down the flanks.
They have been dangerously old-fashioned – as proven all too harshly when Germany, having taken on board a few of Guardiola’s concepts, saved passing their method by the 2014 Brazil aspect on the way in which to that 7-1 win.
Tite – studying classes in Europe
The exception to Brazil’s failure to evolve and study is Tite.
At first look his CV may not appear to comprise something uncommon. He has flitted from job to job, fired from most of them. He has by no means labored in Europe; his place has been that he could be unable to realize excellence in a second language, though the 57-year-old could also be softening on that time.
However along with mesmerising communication abilities – he comes throughout a bit like a hip priest – he has a curious thoughts. The important thing phrase of Brazil’s World Cup qualification marketing campaign is his “I’ve discovered study”.
When he made his title at first of the century, Tite was a 3-5-2 specialist.
Later, with Internacional, he completely loved working with the Argentine midfielder Andres d’Alessandro, briefly of Portsmouth, who defined to him the workings of a European 4-4-2. His urge for food whetted, Tite has spent lengthy durations in Europe learning the way in which the highest groups play.
An enormous distinction compared with South America is the way in which groups keep compact – and it was this that he launched to his Corinthians aspect, which in 2011-12 received the Brazilian and South American titles and beat Chelsea within the Membership World Cup closing.
That staff was identified for its single-goal victories. The compact nature of the staff made them troublesome to play by. It was a staff primarily based on defensive solidity.
Then got here extra examine in Europe, the place Tite’s consideration centered on the way in which the most effective sides achieved numerical superiority in components of the sphere the place they may damage the opposition.
All of this was then utilized to the Corinthians staff that received the Brazilian title in 2015. A lot simpler on the attention than their predecessors, they have been a staff whose compact nature was used to facilitate its attacking potentialities – having the staff shut collectively opened up choices for a go.
And it’s this tactical concept that Tite dropped at the Brazilian nationwide staff.
In November 2016, after Argentina had been crushed 3-0, the extremely influential former Argentina coach Cesar Luis Menotti was filled with reward.
“He has introduced the line of defense 20 metres greater and introduced the staff collectively,” he stated. “It is just like the Brazil of 1970.”
Can Tite get the most effective out of Neymar?
Tite is at the moment all over the place in TV adverts.
The place Dunga all the time got here throughout as a warrior, the present boss strikes the pose of a sensible man, and one gifted with ‘look ’em straight within the eyes’ communication abilities. Certainly, one critic has referred to him as “a snake charmer”.
To date, Brazil has been charmed. With the staff getting its mojo again, TV rankings for World Cup qualifiers have been extraordinarily excessive.
And with the nation spiralling by financial and political turmoil, the nationwide staff have stood as a beacon of hope.
If Tite have been to face on this yr’s presidential elections he would stroll his method in – a minimum of, earlier than the World Cup. True to fashion, he refuses even to joke about such a critical matter.
The coach has – with out in search of it – gained the identical type of star billing as striker Neymar. A lot might rely upon the connection between the 2 over the following few weeks.
The present Brazil aspect is nowhere close to as depending on Neymar as was the case in 2014. They’re much extra of a coherent, cohesive, functioning staff – as they proved to themselves with current pleasant victories away to Russia and Germany, achieved whereas Neymar was recuperating from his metatarsal injury.
Clearly, although, the expertise of Neymar is a large plus. It comes with two potential issues.
One is that his need for particular person glory might not all the time be in the most effective pursuits of the staff; this was the case in November’s 0-0 draw with England at Wembley, the place he persistently tried to do an excessive amount of.
Neymar is so good, and sees issues so shortly that he has a variety of choices. Below stress, will he select the precise one for the staff? Tite should strive to make sure he does.
And he additionally wants to manage Neymar’s occasional acts of petulance.
There are phases within the sport when Neymar seems obsessive about drawing fouls. He then goes to floor very simply. The opponents grow to be irritated, the temperature of the sport rises and Neymar can then grow to be a sufferer of that temperature. In 14 qualifiers he picked up six yellow playing cards. Mission that into the World Cup and he may simply miss an important knockout sport.
And this time, Brazil need him all the way in which to the tip of a marketing campaign that, they hope, will finish with World Cup win quantity six, and their first in Europe for 60 years.