Sambafoot Sunday: Ney Problem - Can Brazil Cope Without Neymar?

Mowa
With Neymar absent, can Brazil's players rally round to win the World Cup without him?

Sambafoot Sunday by James Nalton. The beat goes on...

At the age of 22, Neymar has already accumulated 35 goals from a total of 54 caps for his country. These numbers show that he’s rarely missed a game for Brazil since he broke onto the scene at Santos, making his Seleção debut back in 2010 at the age of 18.

Brazil don’t know what it’s like to be without Neymar, but they’ll have to cope somehow as the expectations should remain the same. The loss of one player shouldn’t lose you a World Cup; just look at the 1962 Brazil team who lost star man Pelé in the second game of the tournament, but still went on to win.

Garrincha assumed Pelé’s role of the star player in 1962, but was helped by Vavá, Amarildo, and a whole host of players who had also won the previous tournament in 1958.

The 2014 version of Brazil will have to draw on similar team unity, but there is no replacement star player as obvious as Garrincha was in 1962, and there are no players in the squad with the experience of winning a previous World Cup.

The only remnant of Brazil’s 2002 win with a realistic chance of being called up this time was Kaká, and prior to the squad announcement there were good cases put forward for him to be picked for his experience alone. Kaká remains a spectator, but the manager Luiz Felipe Scolari was at the helm when they last won the cup, so at least there is some continuity there.

When it comes to the tactics, it’s been so long since Neymar missed a game for Brazil (a friendly versus Denmark in May 2012) that the line-up Scolari uses in his absence is anyone’s guess. Neymar has played much of this World Cup through the middle, hovering in between Fred and the left wing in a free role, and the most natural replacement which comes to mind would be Robinho, but he isn’t in the squad either.

A previous Sambafoot Sunday article guessed that Robinho would be in the 23 for this very reason. He would have offered support to Neymar, as well as that little bit of star quality he can show when on his game.

Hernanes was picked over Robinho as the wildcard player in the squad, and he could well come into the midfield with Oscar pushing further forward. The shackles could be released from Oscar in a side without Neymar, as the Chelsea man spends much of his time for Brazil covering for their star man in midfield, or being pushed out wide to accommodate him.

The most popular replacement for Neymar seems to be Willian, but the hard working forward picked up an injury in training after a clash with Hernanes. However, it seems likely that he’ll be available for the Germany game, and could slot in on the wing with Oscar playing behind Fred.

Perhaps the only player in the squad with the pace and invention of Neymar is Shakhtar Donestk winger Bernard. Bernard spent much of his time in the Ukraine sat on the bench, and this has definitely affected his game coming into the World Cup. Despite lacking a bit of the old sharpness we were used to seeing at Atlético Mineiro alongside Ronaldinho and Jô, he could still provide the extra spark required to replace Neymar.

Another option could be to bring in midfield battler Ramires. His introduction often sees Brazil switch to a 4-3-3, and the return of Luiz Gustavo could give them more options in this formation.

The loss of a star player can often see the remaining players work more effectively as a team unit, something which has been important during this World Cup, but the loss of Neymar will hit Brazil hard. There’s a big chance for the remaining players to step up and become heroes. The suspension of captain Thiago Silva for the Germany game will also hit the team hard, but this is all par for the course in tournament football.

If you want to win a World Cup you need a solid well drilled squad with well rehearsed tactics throughout. The loss of a player here or there shouldn’t be an excuse for not winning, but then again, there aren’t many players like Neymar.

 





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July 28, 2014
21:35Ronaldinho and Atlético Mineiro part ways
21:19Jonathan insists Internazionale will give 100 per cent this season
21:09Robinho agent confirms the Brazilian hasn’t spoken with Beşiktaş over potential move
20:47Kaká insists his time with Real Madrid was not a failure
20:09Brazil head coach sends another warning to Neymar
18:06Report: Beşiktaş ready to bid €4 million for in demand Milan forward Robinho
17:27Jô: Ronaldinho has played his last match for Atlético-MG
17:14Enderson Moreira steps down as Grêmio manager
16:47Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano open to play for Ukraine
16:35Dunga: Men don't cry
16:22Brazilian-born Diego Costa scores on Chelsea debut in win over Olimpija Ljubljana
15:14Forwards Luan and Wanderley excited to be working with Head Coach Paulo Bonamigo at Sharjah SC
13:33Report: Barcelona willing to let defender Daniel Alves leave for cut price fee
11:52Manchester United confirm defender Rafael will leave United States tour after suffering a groin injury
10:112014 Brasileirão Round 12 summary: Late Alex strike earns Coritiba dramatic win and Flamengo secure vital derby victory
08:58Sao Paulo debut goal for Kaka in 2-1 loss to Goias
08:46Petros delighted to score first goal for Corinthians
08:33Palmeiras to host Fiorentina in Copa EuroAmericana this week
08:19Corinthians beat Palmeiras 2-0 to sit second in Brasileirao
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20:18Chelsea manager José Mourinho expects Diego Costa to adapt to the Premier League
18:54Sunday evening sees Flamengo take on Botafogo in a match both teams need to win
18:39José Mourinho: Diego Costa can be as good as Didier Drogba
18:28Lucas Leiva praises Liverpool team-mates
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16:51Representative suggests Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernando could join Fiorentina
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July 26, 2014
22:33Report: Flamengo putting a plan in place to sign Robinho from Milan
16:02Ronaldinho praises former team-mate Deco after missing his testimonial
15:44Cruzeiro face Figueirense on Saturday with the hope of extending their lead at the top of the Brasileirão
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13:04Hellas Verona confirm the signing of Nenê on a free transfer from Cagliari
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10:47Carlos Eduardo Marques bemoans Flamengo situation
10:28Lionel Messi praises Deco after farewell match
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22:58Report: Juventus close in on deal for Hellas Verona midfielder Romulo
22:28Deco scores for both sides in his own farewell match
22:07Atlético-MG director demands an explanation for Ronaldinho’s ‘disappearance’
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July 23, 2014
17:02Napoli goalkeeper Rafael Cabral hoping for Seleção return under Dunga
July 19, 2014
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23:13Neymar believes Brazil can learn from Germany and Spain
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July 14, 2014
23:57FIFA President Sepp Blatter denies involvement in selection of Lionel Messi as Golden Ball winner
23:48FIFA Secretary-General Jérôme Valcke expects Russia and Qatar World Cups to match Brazil
23:13Maicon philosophical over Brazil World Cup disappointment
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23:44Fred hopes Fluminense will give him time off after World Cup disappointment
23:41Fred confirms he has retired from international football
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July 12, 2014
23:51Joachim Low: Germany can be the first European nation to win in Latin America
23:48Dunga: Germany played as a unit
23:44Thiago Silva left frustrated by Netherlands defeat
23:35Oscar has "horrible feeling" after Netherlands defeat
July 11, 2014
22:50Germany forward Thomas Muller looking forward to playing in the Maracana
July 09, 2014
23:55Neymar agent Wagner Ribeiro makes astonishing attack of Luiz Felipe Scolari
23:51Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari insists Germany defeat "not all bad"
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July 08, 2014
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23:55Germany forward Miroslav Klose "truly happy" to break Ronaldo's World Cup scoring record
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22:22Germany Head Coach Joachim Low wary of "robust" Brazil
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July 06, 2014
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July 05, 2014
23:45Argentina forward Lionel Messi aiming for the World Cup final
23:30Medic insists vertebra injury will not compromise Neymar’s career
July 04, 2014
23:59Thiago Silva defends emotional Brazil
23:55James Rodriguez: David Luiz told me I was a good player
23:50David Luiz looks forward to "classic" encounter with Germany
23:47David Luiz: Colombia would have gone further if they “hadn't come up against Brazil”
15:34Luiz Felipe Scolari feels Brazil’s lack of a rivalry with Colombia will allow his players to be “more at ease'
July 03, 2014
18:58Brazil v Colombia – Preview
July 02, 2014
22:14Neymar confirms he is fit to face Colombia
22:10Colombia Head Coach Jose Pekerman confident his side can upset Brazil
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22:02Neymar happy for Brazil to win 1-0 against Colombia
July 01, 2014
23:24Fernandinho confident Brazil can handle expectations
June 30, 2014
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12:00Palmeiras secure Brasileirão Série B title with 3-0 win against Boa Esporte
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October 17, 2013
21:43Hard work is paying off insists Bayern Munich defender Rafinha
13:17Rodrigo Lasmar: Ronaldinho on track to be fit for the Club World Cup
October 16, 2013
19:53Report: Tottenham Hotspur set to offer Paulinho extended deal
09:12Report: São Paulo could terminate Lúcio’s contract if injury concerns prevail
October 13, 2013
18:32Brasileirão: Grêmio slip up as Vitoria and Santos grab victories
14:49Vanderlei Luxemburgo: ‘Simulation part of football’
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20:37Mineiro learn Club World Cup fate
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23:52Internacional manager Dunga sacked
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14:57Exeter City play down Brazil fears
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23:21São Paulo to honour Brazil legend Leonidas da Silva
July 28, 2014
18:06Report: Beşiktaş ready to bid €4 million for in demand Milan forward Robinho
15:14Forwards Luan and Wanderley excited to be working with Head Coach Paulo Bonamigo at Sharjah SC
13:33Report: Barcelona willing to let defender Daniel Alves leave for cut price fee
11:52Manchester United confirm defender Rafael will leave United States tour after suffering a groin injury
10:112014 Brasileirão Round 12 summary: Late Alex strike earns Coritiba dramatic win and Flamengo secure vital derby victory
July 27, 2014
20:18Chelsea manager José Mourinho expects Diego Costa to adapt to the Premier League
16:51Representative suggests Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernando could join Fiorentina
14:30Sambafoot Sunday: Brazilian Soccer - Can Kaká Bring Magic to Orlando City?
14:01Hellas Verona Sporting Director Sean Sogliano confirms negotiations with Juventus for midfielder Rômulo are at an "advanced stage"
12:31Hellas Verona Head Coach Andrea Mandorlini admits Juventus move would be a "chance of a lifetime" for midfielder Rômulo
July 26, 2014
22:33Report: Flamengo putting a plan in place to sign Robinho from Milan
13:04Hellas Verona confirm the signing of Nenê on a free transfer from Cagliari
July 25, 2014
22:58Report: Juventus close in on deal for Hellas Verona midfielder Romulo
18:33Napoli midfielder Jorginho admits he would "immediately accept" a call up to the Italy national team
15:20Report: Botafogo set to sign Shandong Luneng Taishan teenager Tang Shi after successful trial
12:20Report: Fiorentina make loan offer for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernando
10:10Report: Juventus hold negotiations with Hellas Verona for midfielder Rômulo
08:44Report: Palermo to target Sampdoria forward Éder
July 23, 2014
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19:42Santos Vice-President Odílio Rodrigues Filho admits Robinho deal will be "a difficult operation"
15:17Report: Werder Bremen set to sign Internacional defender Cláudio Winck
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10:07Report: Roma in negotiations with São Paulo to re-sign defender Rafael Tolói
July 22, 2014
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23:16Former Internacional forward Ignacio Scocco set for Newell's Old Boys return
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14:36Al-Wasl team manager Majed Obaidallah confirms loan signing of Fábio Lima from Atlético Goianiense
12:44Report: Juventus and Roma could move for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa following refusal to return to Ukraine
July 21, 2014
23:53Report: Barcelona to target São Paulo defender Rodrigo Caio
23:47La Liga newcomers Córdoba confirm the loan signing of forward Ryder Matos from Fiorentina
23:42Serie B newcomers Perugia sign veteran midfielder Rodrigo Taddei on a free transfer from Roma
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July 19, 2014
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July 18, 2014
22:42Udinese complete the signing of midfielder Guilherme from Corinthians
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July 17, 2014
22:58Report: Sunderland forward Ignacio Scocco can't return to Newell's Old Boys until payment is settled with Internacional
22:53Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale bemoans lack of a second goalkeeper for Fluminense test
22:49Exeter City Manager Paul Tisdale expecting stern test against Fluminense
22:42Santos Head Coach Oswaldo de Oliveira hopeful for Robinho return
22:37Former Croatia international Eduardo signs for Flamengo
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July 16, 2014
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