Although Brazil crashed out of the World Cup in the quarter-finals, Tite is still the right man to lead the side forward
After the disappointing World Cup exit for Brazil, the question now being asked is if Tite is the right man to guide the country forward over the next few years, or whether he should be dismissed from his job, as the consequence of his failure to not take one of the favorites past the quarter-final stages in Russia.
First of all, before even discussing Tite’s mistakes, we need to remember how his story with the national team started. The moment he took charge, Brazil sat sixth in the CONMEBOL South American World Cup qualifiers and faced the failure to qualify for the first time in history. In addition to that, the team had failed to even reach the knockout phases of the Copa América, following a defeat to Peru, albeit with a controversial hand-ball from Raul Ruidiaz that would certainly be ruled out, had video assistant refereeing (VAR) been used in the tournament, back in 2016.
At this stage, people were absolutely desperate and had given up on the national team, with Dunga’s failure to improve on the 7-1 fiasco suffered against Germany, under the guidance of Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2014. It was then when Tite took charge, when expectations were way too low. He would go on to lead a revolutionary wave in Brazilian football, helping the team finish first in the World Cup qualifiers, with a record number of points gained (41) with at least 10 more than any other team.
Brazil would then go on to win a couple of friendlies against European national teams such as Germany in Berlin, Croatia in Liverpool and Austria in Vienna. The results obviously brought extra pressure with them, because this is always the case when the team does so well, it is only natural for expectations to grow. The more hopeful the fans, the more bitter the defeat. Which is why Brazil supporters should take a moment to remember the whole story, and not just the disappointing part of it.
Tite made several mistakes, as he is human and no human is error-free. Paulinho, Willian and Gabriel Jesus were disappointing throughout the tournament but still maintained their spots, for no convincing reason. But their inclusion was not why Brazil lost. How can we blame Tite when Casemiro misses out due to suspension, Fernandinho scores an own goal and has the worst match of his career following an amazing season at Manchester City, Brazil miss five clear goal-scoring chances inside the penalty box, Thibaut Courtois produces miraculous saves, Douglas Costa picks up an injury and is ultimately denied a start in a decisive game like this, and the referee does not even bother checking VAR following a very controversial penalty appeal for Gabriel Jesus after a challenge from Vincent Kompany who clearly hit his leg instead of the ball?
Everything out of Tite’s control that could have gone against him, literally did. And although Belgium deserve full credit for their qualification, considering how horrible Fernandinho was, it is not even a stretch to say that if Casemiro played, Brazil would most probably have advanced.
This time, the feeling is very different from 2014. Brazil fans are proud of the team and are aware that it had the quality to advance, as it was never really out-classed. Despite all his mistakes, Tite has brought far more positives than negatives. The latest reports confirm that the Brazilian football federation has offered him a new contract until 2022. We await the manager’s final decision, as Brazil is set to host Copa América in 2019 – a tournament it has never won in almost 12 years. It is a place for Tite to make amends for Russia 2018.