Injuries to key players such as Casemiro and Philippe Coutinho sees Tite returning to some familiar faces against Uruguay rather than trying out new talent
After the major upset in the 2018 World Cup, Brazil is looking forward to winning Copa América on home soil in July, with the hopes of somehow making up for the disappointment. Uruguay is set to be the second South American national side they are facing since the tournament in Russia. But is Tite doing the right thing by remaining faithful to the old guard?
When Adenor Bacchi announced his latest Seleção squad, fans were hopeful of a technically-gifted midfield composed of Casemiro as the anchor, surrounded by Barcelona duo Arthur Melo and Philippe Coutinho – with hopes of seeing Napoli star Allan slotting in and making a difference.
But since then, Casemiro and Coutinho have both picked up injuries, meaning that Paulinho and Renato Augusto could both be making their way back to the starting lineup, with quite possibly Fernandinho joining in, following the recent praise he has received from his national manager.
The trio is vastly unpopular and uninspiring for most Seleção fans, as neither one of the three is getting any younger, nor shown the required level at the World Cup.
Allan will be made to wait for Brazil debut
It’s depressing for fans to see Allan still not start despite the injuries to other players, but to play devil’s advocate, one could assume that Tite doesn’t want his debut to be against a tough Uruguay side at the Emirates Stadium in London. Instead, the midfielder could very well make the lineup in the other game with Cameroon.
In addition to that, Fernandinho, Paulinho and Renato Augusto showed good form in the qualifiers, helping Brazil turn the tables around and top their CONMEBOL group. If the number one objective of Tite is to win the Copa América, then one would understand – even if they disagree – what he is trying to do.
These players can still show the form from the qualifiers, help Brazil win the title and then leave the Seleção for good, paving the way for the likes of Arthur, Allan and Lucas Paquetá to take valuable game-time in the build-up for the World Cup in Qatar, come 2022.
The Copa América will be difficult as always, and past experiences have shown that Brazil will face a lot of pressure when playing on home soil. Doing well in the qualifiers and then playing a tournament with a knockout system is a whole different game – we should not make the mistake of assuming that things will automatically go well.
A good example is how much Brazil struggled in a friendly against Argentina in Saudi Arabia in October – an Argentinian side that was based on youngsters and missed the services of their captain Lionel Messi. Wasn’t it different from the 3-0 victory in 2016 against a full-power Argentina?
Tite is allowed to make decisions and should be making them, as he is the commander of this Seleção army. At the same time, he should be the one judged based on the performance and results in the upcoming Copa América. Failure would mean that he is responsible for all the decisions he has made, and would most probably signal his end at the realm of the 5-time World Champions.