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Dunga takes Brazil back to the future

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The summer after the World Cup always brings change. When you’re the hosts and favourites, and you don’t just fail to win the trophy but bow out in humiliating fashion, change is even more inevitable. But rather than look to the future after sacking Felipe Scolari, Brazil have turned the clock back to Dunga.

Dunga had never held a senior coaching position when he was first appointed in 2006. He took over from Carlos Alberto Parreira, who resigned after Brazil lost in the quarter-finals in Germany and took criticism for being old-fashioned. Dunga was accused of similar four years later, when Brazil went out at the same stage to the Netherlands.

A World Cup-winning captain in 1994 - under Parreira - Dunga favoured a more physical style, at odds with the all-conquering Spain generation. For Spain in 2010, read Germany today. He has made noises about being more in-tune with today’s game and isn’t the kind to tell people what they want to hear - his criticism of David Luiz’s post-Germany tears, that ‘men don’t cry,’ is proof of that.

The Brazil squad were emotional before, during and after the Germany defeat and it will linger long over their heads. Perhaps a stricter, less emotionally involved boss is what’s needed. Dunga won’t let his emotions cloud his judgement, for good or ill. It’s certainly hard to imagine how Brazil could fare worse under the new man than they did under Scolari when a Thomas Muller-inspired Germany ran riot in Belo Horizonte.

But for a team still reeling from the summer, Dunga may not be the ideal man. His only coaching post between national team spells came with Internacional and he was sacked in October 2013 after less than a year, with the team 22 points behind the league leaders. Dunga started and ended his playing career in Porto Alegre but his favoured son status couldn’t save him.

Perhaps like his Brazil appointments, the Inter job was given to him more out of fond memories of past success than any promise of future glory. It’s not a solid foundation on which to build a World Cup-winning team - as proved by the appointment of Scolari, victorious coach in 2002. In one swoop Brazil have repeated two mistakes and rather than right the wrongs of 2014, have instead compounded them.

 
 

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