A buzzword often used in football, which often does not correspond to reality, is that a good amount of time is needed for a coach who is about to start work to put his ideas and preferences into practice. Felipão, with the help of professionals from Atlético-MG, just needed a good conversation shortly before the game against Fluminense, without training, to successfully change the team’s tactical design.
Atlético-MG, instead of playing with a midfielder, a line of three midfielders and two forwards, as they did with Coudet, played with a midfielder, a midfielder on each side, Hyoran and Zaracho, who scored and attacked, in addition to Pavón on the right, Hulk in the center and Paulinho on the left, who came back to score and even entered the middle like an attacker. Felipão changed Hyoran and Paulinho positions.
In the three friendlies after the World Cup, interim Ramon kept the tactical design used by Tite. Did Ancelotti watch the defeat to Senegal? The Brazilian team repeated the collective and individual shortcomings of recent years, by prioritizing isolated and quick attacks to the detriment of approaching, exchanging passes and controlling the ball and the game.
Real Madrid, managed by Ancelotti, alternates between the two styles in the same match. The national team repeated individual problems against Senegal, on the wings, in the midfield and in the center forward position.
Ancelotti, if you saw the game, you must not have liked it. Left-back Ayrton Lucas advanced a lot and scored little, while right-back Danilo scored a lot and advanced little. Senegal lay down and rolled in the space left by Ayrton Lucas. Furthermore, with Vinicius Junior open on the left, there is no space for Ayrton Lucas to attack as a winger.
Used to Kross, Modric and Benzema, the Italian must have been worried. The coach knows Richarlison a lot, from his Everton days, he knows he’s a good player, but he’s far from Benzema’s talent, in addition to having different characteristics.
The coach has not yet given the final word, but he must already be thinking about where would Neymar be assigned? It would be in the middle, close to the striker, which would leave the team with only two in the midfield, Casemiro and one more. At Real, they are Casemiro and two others, in addition to Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo on the wings.
Would Ancelotti choose to put Neymar further ahead, instead of Richarlison? Neymar has a much broader individual repertoire than Benzema, but he doesn’t have the same collective lucidity, of returning to receive the ball, exchanging passes and opening spaces in the middle for Vinicius to penetrate and decide the plays. I also imagine that Ancelotti, in the national team, would be afraid that Vinicius Junior would not be as spectacular as he is at Real Madrid, because there would not be the company of Benzema, Modric and Kross.
The Italian must not have been surprised by Senegal’s victory. In the same reasoning, Colombia’s victory over Germany was not a zebra. Senegal and Colombia have good teams. The great European superiority over the South American one occurs only between clubs. The German national team has been going through a bad time since the 2018 World Cup. Today, England and France are the two best teams in Europe.
Carlo Ancelotti, in addition to being one of the greatest coaches in the world, shows a lot of respect for referees and assistants during matches, which, unfortunately, does not happen with Fernando Diniz and Abel Ferreira. The ideal thing would be for Ancelotti to start working for the Brazilian national team now. The ideal only exists in our desires and imaginations.
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