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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.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mano's Next Move: Hernanes for Lucas Leiva?

The obvious question, for any serious follower of the Brazilian football, is whether Mano Menezes has the courage to replace Lucas Leiva with Hernanes in the team's deepest midfield position. On one hand, Leiva has become somewhat of a staple in the Brazilian starting line-up. On the other, insofar as the squad is increasingly modeled on Tele Santana’s legendary Brazilian side of 1982, Mano may well decide to opt for greater technical ability in a deeper midfield position and share the burden of playmaking responsibilities currently shouldered by Ronaldinho and Kaka with someone like Hernanes, who can also switch gears to play more of an offensive midfield role such as the position he plays at Lazio. Given Kaka's recall, the stage is set for Mano to play two number 10s in ways analogous to Socrates and Zico, either in the form of Kaka and Ronaldinho, Ronaldinho and Ganso, or some combination thereof. The question now is whether Mano has the courage to play Hernanes and Fernandinho together behind the two number 10s in a formation that recalls the deep midfield pairing of Falcao and Cerezzo in 1982. Starting Hernanes instead of Lucas Leiva could well take some pressure off the Brazilian number 10s and allow creativity in midfield to emerge from a deeper position in the center of the park.

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