When Brazil crash out of a World Cup it does not take prolonged for shock and unhappiness to get changed by anger inside the nation. A villain should be appointed; typically it is the coach. And, after getting no further than the quarterfinals in two consecutive tournaments, Tite is an simple goal.
The knives have further sharpness this time as a consequence of Tite’s conduct immediately after Friday’s penalty-shootout defeat in opposition to Croatia. No, he did not flee the scene, as his harshest critics allege. however after chatting with merely a few of his gamers he retreated to the dressing room. Many would have favored to have seen him out on the sphere on the darkest hour, sharing the ache of his gamers.
The expectations for Brazil are greater than wherever else, however but as quickly as extra the Seleção have fallen at their first meeting with a eu side inside the knockout stage. And the conquerors maintain getting smaller. In 2018, it was Belgium, with a inhabitants of underneath 12 million. This time it was Croatia, with decrease than 4 million. So the place did it go flawed?
The brief reply is that penalties had been compelled by a second solely untypical of the Tite group — caught out on the counterattack with the group up 1-zero and the finish line in sight, the sport despatched to a shootout by Bruno Petkovic‘s objective (Croatia’s solely shot on the right track), which needed a deflection to get previous goalkeeper Alisson.
The lethal transfer is being analysed, analysed and analysed as quickly as extra; strain and further time can do unusual issues to a group. ought to they press extreme as typical or drop off? What they want to not have executed is try each on the identical time. Croatia constructed their transfer inside the gaps, the place presumably midfielder Casemiro ought to have been extra prudent than to objective to win the ball and get the flawed side of Luka Modric.
Ale Moreno wasn’t impressed by Neymar’s current in opposition to Croatia, regardless of his good objective.
however why did it get to this, anyway? Why had Brazil not been in a place to dispatch Croatia prolonged earlier than, as most had anticipated?
accidents did not assist — in two methods. First, they weakened one among many fascinating traits of this Brazil side: the attacking press. Neymar was not one hundred%, having fun with inside himself as he shook off an ankle harm suffered earlier inside the event. but the exact drawback was that striker Richarlison was clearly struggling. Brazil’s No. 9 is the chief of the press and his harrying launched two targets inside the earlier spherical in opposition to South Korea, however he was carrying a thigh drawback.
Brazil had subs warming up after 5 minutes, however they saved Richarlison on the sphere. Had Gabriel Jesus been accessible then he would absolutely have been thrown on earlier, nonetheless the Arsenal striker was one extra harm casualty, and so, with out one other striker in a place to pressing the opposition, Richarlison soldiered on for simply over an hour.
This was terribly very important. It meant that Croatia might play out from the again in relative comfort and convey their splendid midfielders into the sport, from the place they might spend an unimaginable deal of time, if not threatening the Brazil objective, at the least dictating the rhythm and working down the clock.
the completely different space the place accidents performed a part was at full-again. Left-again Alex Sandro was nowhere shut to match sufficient to start and solely performed the final quarter-hour, whereas his reserve Alex Telles had already been dominated out of the event. And so first various proper-again Danilo, himself not one hundred%, moved to the left whereas centre-again Eder Militao stuffed in down the appropriate.
Ale Moreno provides his sort out Tite’s method that sees Brazil crashing out as quickly as extra in a World Cup Quarterfinal.
in opposition to massed defences the flexibility to assemble from deep is essential. till he drained, Militao tried heroically to burst forward down his flank, nonetheless the group missed the performance of Alex Sandro to seem inside the attacking line as a part of shock.
there’s additionally a second question, wider and maybe extra fascinating. Was the system of play sufficient for the rivals?
beforehand 12 months and a half Brazil developed a method of having fun with with two wingers. Raphinha took immediately to worldwide soccer on the appropriate flank; Vinicius Junior on the left matured proper into a worldwide star and produced his most interesting Brazil performances to this point on this event. after which, inside the earlier couple of months the objective-scoring style of Richarlison compelled his inclusion at centre-forward. This assortment of attacking expertise rolled over South Korea.
however Brazil found it extra sturdy inside the extra sturdy video games. Did this formation depart them mild in midfield? This actually appeared the case in opposition to Croatia when, with out an aggressive press, Brazil ran the hazard of being outnumbered three to 2 in central areas. And there was additionally a drawback inside the enchancment of the strikes. earlier than the emergence of the wingers, the most interesting side of Brazil’s attacking play was the hyperlink-up between Neymar and Lucas Paqueta.
however afterwards the two of them had been typically too far aside to mix effectively. it is worth remembering that Neymar’s fantastic objective in opposition to Croatia was a particular second in each particular person and collective phrases. Rodrygo had been thrown on to assist Brazil play their method through the center, and Neymar exchanged passes each with him after which — gloriously — with Paqueta earlier than going vast on the keeper and scoring a objective that answered any questions that had been being posed about his contribution to the set off. Had he spent extra time nearer to Paqueta, presumably Brazil would have found it simpler to interrupt down rival defences.
however even with the accidents, and with potential doubts regarding the group formation, Brazil appeared to have executed sufficient to get previous Croatia and transfer into the semifinals. One fateful lack of defensive focus and two missed penalties convey Tite’s reign to an finish two video games earlier than he would have favored. His is a merciless departure.
For the second time his group are out after a quarterfinal after they absolutely deserved extra. He is aware of that an unimaginable deal of criticism is coming his method, however after the match he declared that he was at peace with himself — and so he should be. A pair of slim defeats can not take away the impression that for greater than six years he has steered the ship with competence and dignity.