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This blog reflects on soccer qua football all over the world. The blog has a specific investment in attractive, attacking football and, as such, focuses on Brazil, the most emphatic historical exponent of the beautiful game.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Brazil 1970 captain Carlos Alberto critical of Mano Menezes's revolving door selections

Carlos Alberto, the right back who scored the memorable fourth goal against Italy in the 1970 World Cup final, announced his belief that Mano Menezes has introduced too much variability to the Brazilian national team. Alberto, the captain of the legendary Brazil World Cup squad of 1970, noted that no one knows the line-up of the Brazilian team from match to match and that the coach and the CBF need to rotate the squad in a more gradual, systematic fashion. Carlos Alberto's remarks reignite the debate about Mano's performance as coach and whether the Selecao is headed in the right direction toward a World Cup victory in 2014. Speaking at a the Soccerex European business forum on April 1, Alberto remarked:

"We have a very good generation of players now, it is a new team, but to win the World Cup you need experience too.

Spain have showed that to everyone and Germany also have young players but they have the experience now because they have played at one World Cup. In my opinion, we should have the team now... but the coach and the federation are changing the team in every game and I do not agree with this.

We should have one team, maybe change one player or another player. Ask anyone in Brazil to name the lineup of the Brazilian team, nobody knows... so we are wasting time.

We are confident we are going to have a good team for the World Cup with players like Neymar, Lucas, David Luiz, Pato, we have a team for the next two World Cups. But I am afraid they are not getting the experience."

Alberto’s comments echo a "Bringing Back the Beautiful Game" article about inconsistencies in Mano’s midfield titled "Brazil's Midfield Under Mano Menezes". The midfield aside, the most glaring squad selection inconsistency concerns the team’s strike partnership. Mano has rotated Neymar, Robinho, Pato, Leandro Damiao, Nilmar, Coutinho, Ronaldinho, Andre, The Hulk and Renato Augusto with no semblance of coherence or stability. That said, no one can say with confidence who amongst these players can put the ball in the back of the net at the international level on a consistent basis against some of the best defenders in the world. Pato and Neymar are the obvious candidates but this partnership has yet to gel and demonstrate results. The Hulk’s splendid form at Porto renders him an attractive candidate for a three pronged attack. The Hulk certainly has the presence to muscle through defenders in a way that transcends the capabilities of Neymar and Pato. Leandro Damiao constitutes yet another wild card that Mano may elect to play in the event of injuries or an efflorescence of form from the young Internacional striker.

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