Sambafoot Sunday: Brazil's 2014 World Cup Fallout: New Failures
It’s a World Cup failure which will be spoken of for the rest of our lives. That game against Germany.
For Brazil the dust created by their semi-final thrashing has far from settled, and it’s likely to be several years before it does, if it ever does.
The inquests have begun, starting with the understandable calls for a new manager. Luis Felipe Scolari’s stubborn loyalty to this squad of players, and this system, ultimately led to Brazil’s downfall, but isn’t the only weakness.
Despite these apparent weaknesses many still predicted a Brazil win on home soil, perhaps thinking that home advantage, passion, Neymar, and maybe the odd favourable refereeing decision here or there would carry them through.
But if this World Cup has proven anything, it was that you need a solid squad of 23 players all on the same page, and all working to the same tactical system which they know inside out. The tournament hasn’t been a football clinic in terms of quality, but has dished out a few lessons on tactics and preparation.
Teams like the USA, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, and dare we say Argentina, were all examples of sides which didn’t necessarily set the tournament alight, but had enough organisation within their ranks to progress to a reasonable stage given their pre-tournament expectations.
The likes of Chile, France, and Columbia were the few teams who managed to put on an occasional exciting attacking display, but this cost them come the elimination stages as they were out of gas.
Unfortunately for Brazil, the only pre-tournament expectations they had were to win, nothing less, and as was evident from the way they played, nothing more.
Perhaps it’s time for Brazil to return to the beautiful game, or “o jogo bonito”, which has now finally been exposed to a world of onlookers as a myth.
Arguably, we haven’t seen this incarnation of Brazil since 1982, when they proved that you don’t have to win a tournament to be remembered as a great team. Previous Seleção manager Mano Menezes tried, but failed, to introduce a more aesthetic approach to Brazil’s style, but the few good ideas he brought to the national set-up were disregarded fairly swiftly by Scolari.
It’s an easy solution to suggest after such a dour performance by Brazil’s attacking players, Neymar and Oscar aside, but elegant attacking football by itself isn’t the answer.
Brazil needs more organisation from the bottom up, and despite being a nation which churns out talented footballers on what seems like a weekly basis, there are problems when it comes to the domestic game.
It would take several editions of Sambafoot Sunday to address all of these issues, each problem constituting one of those particles of dust which will never settle, thanks to the disastrous outcome of this World Cup for Brazil.