Brazil 2014: Try and Tell Me That You’re Not Going

Some mug with a snide German top – the cunt wasn’t German – said to me that he won’t be going to the World Cup in Brazil four years from now, because the crime rate is too high and he heard a rumor that Brazilian bathrooms don’t have any toilets.

I laughed and thought about the women and parties that I will be eating out and snorting my way through – not caring if I got mugged or had to crap in a bush.

You have two choices for Brazil 2014 – watch games with drunk, fat, bores, in a fake, darkened Irish bar or go and ‘slut it’ as if you have 10 days left on this planet.

By 2014, Brazil may well have a new head coach. Their 2-1 win over North Korea didn’t go down too well with the Brazilian press and Dunga isn’t out of the fire yet, even though Brazil beat Ivory Coast 3-1 in their last game.

Today’s game is about results. Dunga’s Brazil are better tactically but less pleasing on the eye. Dunga is not seeking to win aesthetic approval for intricate midfield interplay; he’s more concerned with launching the counter-attack than playing a style that resembles a Barcelona/Arsenal tickle-fest.

Dunga’s Brazil sit deep, with defense and midfield close together, drawing opponents forward. For this to work, Dunga plays two defensive midfield players: Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo.

Melo is the younger, more aggressive of the two and was on the verge of signing for Arsenal last summer but instead joined Juventus, where he had – by all accounts – a mediocre season.

Gliberto, now 33 years old, was part of The Invincibles and is held in high regard by many Arsenal fans. Some Gooners think that he left a season too soon when he transferred to Panathinaikos in 2008, for just over 1 million pounds.

Arsenal fans affection for Gilberto were so high that eyebrows were raised when William Gallas was handed the Arsenal captaincy over the loyal and quiet Brazilian – a decision that some point to as the catalyst for Arsenal not winning the Premier League in 2008.

Wenger felt that Gilberto was past his best when he sold him to the Greek champions. He felt that Gilberto was unable to accompany the pass and move game of Cesc Fabregas and was also vulnerable when drawn into open spaces.

Gilberto’s response was that he wasn’t given enough games to play himself into form. Dunga supports his midfielder, saying that Arsenal have become a “timeco” (poor insignificant team) since their former player left for Panathinaikos.

Gilberto, however, has become the symbol of the Dunga regime much to the chagrin of some Brazilian supporters. Over half of his Brazilian caps have come after his 30th birthday – the majority of those with Dunga.

What Brazilian fans dislike about Gilberto is that he is a centre-back playing in midfield. Gilberto started his career as a defender but was converted into a defensive midfielder shortly before the 2002 World Cup, where he replaced the injured Emerson. Brazilian purists are upset that both of the central midfield positions are held by defensive minded players with both Gilberto and Felipe Melo not creative enough with their passes – instead usually playing the ball out wide or to the side.

Both Gilberto and Felipe Melo are powerful, strong midfielders with height and strength to form a tight midfield barrier. And with Gilberto’s defensive awareness, he is expected to organize those around him – at times slot into the back line to free right-back Maicon to bomb forward.

In this current World Cup, this tactic by Dunga is effective, especially when faced with teams that are grinding out results through determination and team spirit rather than class and skill. Brazil still have the creativity and flair to turn on the style when required, especially with players such as Robinho and Elano.

The more interesting aspect of Dunga’s Brazil team is that it will be replicated by Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in the upcoming 2010/11 season.

Wenger realizes that teams like Stoke have lots of determination and team spirit. To beat them, especially at The Brittainia Stadium, you have to match them for effort and determination in order to combat and break them down.

This Dunga style of play – flair backed by experience and defensive solidity – will win Arsenal the Premier League next season and Wenger knows that. Harry Redknapp understands this as well. That’s why he signed the Brazilian defensive midfielder Sandro, who will be joining Spurs this summer to form a midfield partnership with the work-horse Wilson Palacios.

It’s why Alex Song is so vital to Arsenal

Keep it Arsenal

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