“Brazil had no co-ordination between defence, midfield and forward –  it was so un-Brazilian and when such displays happen against Argentina, automatically, the job of a Brazilian manager comes under a serious threat”

Saudi Arabia hosted the Super Clasico yet again. Last year, a Miranda goal in the very last minute helped Brazil to save their faces despite an average performance. But this year, Brazil failed to overcome an Argentina threat. It was Lionel Messi, who lifted the Super Clasico Trophy, in the end, leaving Brazil and their fans frustrated.

Brazil fans do have reasons to be frustrated. Last night at the King Saud University Stadium, Brazil dished out one of the worst performances under Tite. One may regard the display against Panama at Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal; as one of the worst this year, but after last night’s match against arch-rival Argentina, one cannot but admit how below-par Brazil had been!

Overall, in 2019, Brazil’s performance have not been up to the mark. The chinks started to get noticed in the international friendly against Panama, and since the end of Copa America; Brazil’s performance graph seems to be going downwards. Even in Copa America, Brazil were not satisfactory. They did win the tournament, but it was not one of those Brazilian displays, which would trigger wonderful memories in future.

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Tite’s team is without a win since they won the Copa America. Certainly, such a result does not suit a team, which has recently won a global event and possess an enriched history.

Something is not right with Tite’s team and one negative aspect, which was evident last night had been the midfield of Selecao, which is devoid of a creative spark.

Tite builds up his play from behind and since the end of World Cup last year, one could notice that Tite’s tactics have more been about getting behind the ball more than moving forward with the ball. Naturally, the Brazilian forwards and midfielders are attacking and if you advise them to get behind the ball, the desired results won’t come.

Tite played Lucas Paqueta as a number 10, but his role as a number 10 against Argentina was unconvincing – a number 10 does not play the role of a defensive midfielder.

It disturbed the rhythm.

A Brazil number 10 struggling to advance forward with the ball and create opportunities for the players up front, is something with which the Brazil fans are not accustomed. Paqueta’s lack of spark put pressure on the two central midfielders – Arthur and Casemiro to mobilize the stagnant midfield. Astonishingly, both of them failed to move forward.

Tite brought on Fabinho in the second half to instil change, but neither Fabinho nor Casemiro could cut a satisfactory figure – Fabinho played the role of a pivot to let Casemiro advance. Sadly, Casemiro could not produce the desired result.

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We must not forget the kind of workload Casemiro has been digesting this season for the club and country.  He has surpassed more than thousand minutes on the pitch without rest and this puts him at risk of being burned out. Perhaps, last night, Casemiro was feeling the pressure of workloads – certain fatigue. Tite should have kept this in mind and started off with Fabinho, with Arthur and Paqueta in a more advanced role.

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In future, using two pivots in the central midfield with one attacking midfielder upfront can be useful. Arthur can be a very good central attacking midfielder if given the opportunity. With Philippe Coutinho showing signs of decay and Paqueta yet to come of age, Arthur remains a very good option until now.

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Then, it seems, Danilo and Alex Sandro are the worst wing-backs in the history of Brazil football. Time and again, they have failed to deliver the goods and the time has come to invest faith in Renan Lodi and Emerson. Wing backs have always been a speciality for Brazil and apart from providing solidity at the back, they have helped in dictating the play more often. Sadly, neither Danilo nor Sandro possesses such abilities.

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Last week, Rodrygo Goes hit the headlines with his brilliant goal-scoring abilities. A youngster who has already impressed in Real Madrid deserved to be a starter against Argentina. But Tite started with Willian on the left-wing – it simply killed the rhythm from word go. He failed to link up with Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino. The Willian story needs to come to an end.  The time has come for players like Rodrygo to rise and shine.

The best player of the night had been Alisson, who made some heroic saves to keep the hopes alive for Brazil. Had Alisson not been there, Argentina would have humiliated Brazil.

Brazil had no co-ordination between defence, midfield and forward –  it was so un-Brazilian and when such displays happen against Argentina, automatically, the job of a Brazilian manager comes under a serious threat.

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Tite needs to rethink his strategies. His European mindset of exploiting on counterattacks have been exposed against Argentina, Nigeria and Senegal. If he wishes to overcome this lean-patch then the ideal option would be to get back to possession-based football and the best option would be to get back the roots – Joga Bonito.

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