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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fantasy Formations: Brasil

There has been so much talk of the shortcomings of Brasil, or Brazil which ever suits better, after their first Copa America match against Venezuela. Being a blogger, my views on this matter are nothing different. However, it's always a pleasure to chalk out formation boards for the Selecao as the resources, in the form of players, are always rich in this country.

After the failings of Kaka in Dunga's 2010 World Cup squad, Paulo Henrique 'Ganso' was given the privilege, or burden, of the N0.10. This is never an easy job, when you wear the famous yellow jersey. Many were left disappointed by the trequarista's performance in the first match. Valid, considering how immobile Ganso was. Already consisting a front three of Neymar, Pato and Robinho (in the order from left to right), it was unnecessary for Ganso to be found in much advanced positions more often. Not only did he struggle to find space, it also created a huge gap between the defensive midfield and attack. This made Ramires cover lot of ground but with more Venezuelan midfielders to deal with. One has to wonder why Ganso was not dropping deep enough. Like how he plays for Santos, this would have made him seek the ball more often and, importantly, enabling him to create space to spray passes around. At 21 years of age, he still has a long way to improve but passing the judgement on him after just one big match would be highly unfair.

Another factor i noticed in that game was the lack of creativity in the central midfield. Hernanes would have nicely fitted the bill. Even though he plays as a trequarista for Lazio, he was known as the deep lying playmaker of the 'Pirlo-mould' during his days at Sao Paulo. On the first board is my view of Brasilian starting eleven in a more compact 4-3-1-2. Yes, no Neymar in the starting eleven as in my opinion, he would be much more effective in a substitute role for game-changing situations. Real Madrid left back Marcelo was omitted by Mano Menezes but has found a way in my eleven for his more offensive approach! Another reason for choosing Marcelo is that it would get the best out of Pato as he can drift wider, similar to how he plays for Milan. Even a super sub Neymar can interchange mouth watering one-two passes with Marcelo (much more skilled than Andre Santos).

This tactical board illustrates the passing movements and postion of players in possession of the ball. The yellow dotted line shows the probable player movements, yellow line marking the passes and the white line representing the crosses. This is the formation where Hernanes comes handy, a midfielder who can shift the balance of play from left to right at ease. If Ganso drops deeper, Brasil can dominate more in the midfield with possession and create chances with patient buildup. Well, it might not go according to the plan but I've a Plan B too!

If Ganso becomes less effective, Brasil can play a trequarista-less formation with 4-3-3. Neymar can start on the left, Hulk on the right of front line with Pato; a much improved Lucas, Hernanes and Elano in midfield. This formation can yield a fine balance between the wings and center. Pato is also capable of playing as a false9.

I still find the criticism on Dunga's team unfair. His was a compact and defensively solid side, unlike their rivals Argentina at the World Cup. True, he might have selected some out-of-form players and left the in-form players at home, but his style was more 'European' and if Kaka had a half decent World Cup, things would have been very different. But then, you expect someone who was crowned 'World Player of the Year' just a few years ago, to deliver it on the big stage. Not convinced yet? Ronaldo in '02 World Cup!

1 comment:

  1. This Brazilian team doesn't harm the charm the team with the likes of Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Cafu, Roberto Carlos had. The current bunch of players though technically gifted still have to click as team and I don't see them dominating anytime in the near future.
    Nicely put forward tactics and analysis which made this interesting. Mano Menezes should be listening.. ;)