Tite is using the international break to take lessons from Brazil’s World Cup mistakes – here are 5 learnings ahead of El Salvador
5 – Douglas Costa is an upgrade to the redundant Willian
Douglas Costa is better than Willian, and Willian is done. The Chelsea-man is no-longer the force he once was, and it was quite noticeable when he came on as a late substitute against the US to replace the Juventus-star, who was arguably the best performer on the pitch.
Willian looked lost and unable to keep the right-flank anywhere near as dangerous as it was prior to his entrance. On the other hand, Costa still looks as sharp as ever, which was highlighted the moment he beat his man before crossing to Roberto Firmino, to give Brazil the opener.
4 – There is uncertainty over who should replace Paulinho
One thing is sure, Paulinho is off the scene for now…and hopefully for good. The Chinese Super League star had a terrible World Cup campaign which left Brazilian fans angry. But the big question is who should be taking his place?
The options are many, but against the United States, Manchester United’s Fred failed to convince, whereas Barcelona’s Arthur played it very safe, not reaching his explosive potential. Whoever wins the battle for this position needs to be more willing to make vertical, instead of side-ways passes, otherwise he risks failing to prove himself as an upgrade over Paulinho.
3 – Thiago Silva and Filipe Luis have one last tournament in them
After each World Cup, fans usually want as many young faces as possible in the squad. It’s as if the only thing that matters following the failure, is the 2022 edition in Qatar. But for Tite and the rest of the team, every official game matters. By the looks of it, Thiago Silva who was among Brazil’s best three players in Russia, and Filipe Luis who seemed convincing enough whenever relied upon, can still sustain one last Copa América, And what better way to end your international career than with a trophy on home soil?
2 – Fabinho is Brazil’s best right-back option and Casemiro’s best alternative
That Fabinho is Casemiro’s best alternative, is something we already know, but right now, it is notable how he is also the best option for the right-back position at the same time, which leaves you wondering where he should be used in these friendlies.
It is true that Brazil has a problem in terms of right-backs, but it is also true that the failure to find an adequate replacement for Casemiro ahead of the decisive encounter against Belgium, cost Brazil the whole tournament in Russia. So right now, Tite needs to think hard about all possible scenarios ahead of the Copa América.
1 – Tite is willing to make changes
Tite is showing signs that he is ready to change. Not just changing the selection of players, but also his mentality. Ahead of the World Cup, it seemed like he was fixed on maintaining the lineup and retaining players who had clearly lost their form, just because they did well during qualifiers.
Now, it seems that he has learned his lesson after the disappointing performances of the likes of Paulinho, Fernandinho, Willian and to a certain extent Gabriel Jesus, in Russia. The boss has dropped several players, either from the whole squad or to the bench.
In addition to calling up several youngsters to the current squad, Tite has also revealed that there will be several changes to the starting lineup ahead of El Salvador game on Tuesday. If you remember the friendlies prior to the 2018 World Cup, it is easy to notice how the Brazil manager was so resistant to changing his lineup under the excuse of “solidifying the team”. But the best way to learn is to make mistakes and have to deal with the consequences of your own decisions.