Has anyone else been slightly disappointed by Brazil in the Confederations Cup? OK, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve won four out of four, scored eleven goals, kept three clean sheets, got to the final and will probably win the tournament. Despite all that, I have still been a little disappointed by them.
The first game saw them beat Egypt 4-3. They probably deserved to win, but the Egypt team that went on to lose 3-0 to the USA should not have been able to run them so close.
The second game saw a fairly convincing first half against the USA in which they took a 3-0 lead before closing up shop in the second half to hang on to it. The third game saw what was, on paper, a great 3-0 win over Italy, but all the goals came in eight minutes and Italy were a shadow of their world cup winning selves.
The 1-0 semi-final win over South Africa was laboured to say the least. It took an 88th minute free-kick to secure the win and they had their keeper, Julio Cesar, and some wayward South African finishing to still be in the game at that point.
Maybe I am just expecting too much from a team with such a fantastic history of playing the beautiful game beautifully. Perhaps this current team is more practical and focussed than some of the great teams of the past. It is just that watching them the other night it was more like watching Barnsley than Brazil!
The team have shown in fits and starts that they are still capable of playing some scintillating football, but they also have long periods of ordinariness. The passing and possession game for which they are famous seems to have disappeared and like other ordinary teams, they look to score their goals from set pieces.
It could just be that the current personnel are simply not as good as the greats of the past. Kaka is a decent player, but Ã‚Â£56 million? Robinho has moments of brilliance but is not consistent. The likes of Gilberto Silva and Elano have struggled to hold down first team places in the Premier League. Recent legends such as Ronaldo and Rivaldo and past greats like Pele, were probably just better players.
Another possibility is that Dunga has watched Chelsea put a stranglehold on Barcelona and the USA beat Spain, and realised that defence is the way forward, rather than trying to play free flowing passing football.
It is certainly true that Dunga does not enjoy universal support amongst Brazilian fans and that many people would prefer to see a more extravagant form of the game. Having said that, if Brazil win the World Cup in 2010 then IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure everything will be forgiven and forgotten.
Let us not forget that Brazil are not there to provide entertainment for the fans across the world, they are there to win football matches. DungaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s role is not to enthral and entertain me watching his team play on the television, it is to develop a team that can win the World Cup.
If Brazil can produce the type of flair that their history shows they can, then they will be great to watch, but if they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be successful.
As a fan, would you rather see your team win 1-0 with an 88th minute free-kick after a non-event of a game, or see your team play with flair and lose 4-3? As a neutral, I want to watch exciting football, but as a fan, I want to win.
Dunga will not keep his job if he produces a typical Samba side that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t win. Maybe he realises that with the current crop of talent at his disposal, the only way to be successful is to be organised and defend well. That would make him a good manager, not a bad one.
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