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  1. #541
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    Vickery Column: Scolari's successful experiments leave him spoiled for choice
    By Tim Vickery 2014-03-06 11:46:00




    Brazil's 5-0 win over South Africa was FelipĆ£o's final chance to look at new options - Action Images
    Last June and July, it all fell into place for Luiz Felipe Scolari. Starting with those friendly matches against England and France, continuing though the Confederations Cup, not only did he win the fans over and claim a trophy, he also ended the period with a firm idea of his first team.
    Julio Cesar in goal. A back four of Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Marcelo. A central midfield duo of Luiz Gustavo, to hold, and Paulinho, to perform a mixed role. A fluid line of three containing Hulk, Oscar and Neymar. Fred at centre forward.

    It was Scolari’s first team then, and it still remains so. But that does not mean Brazil have been resting on their laurels. Rather, Scolari has been using subsequent friendlies to add options and variations. Let’s go through them;

    Last September against Australia and Portugal there came the recall of Ramires, permitting a switch from 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3. Maicon was successfully brought back as a reserve right back, and Maxwell introduced on the other flank as a less talented but steadier back up to Marcelo. Plenty of centre backs have also been placed under the microscope; Dante was already part of the group, and Dede, Marquinhos and Henrique have all had a little chance to show what they can do.

    In November William made a triumphant return to the squad, enthusing Scolari and presumably ending the hopes of the likes of Kaka and Philippe Coutinho. And there was also the interesting experiment with Robinho; the injury to Fred had opened up a debate about Brazil’s lack of options at centre forward. Scolari has always favoured a traditional target man figure. But he was sufficiently wise and flexible to perceive that Brazil currently lack strength in depth in this position, and that it might be a good idea to investigate an alternative. Robinho, then, as recalled and asked to play in the ‘false nine’ position. Against Chile in Canada last November he came off the bench to head the winning goal.

    And the experiments continued this week against South Africa. Now Scolari does not only have one quality back up to Daniel Alves at right back. As well as Maicon, he now also has Rafinha of Bayern Munich, who gave a competent display. Presumably Maicon is still in pole position, but should age have taken its toll by the end of the season another satisfactory option has been tested. Meanwhile, there might be no need after all to select a reserve left back. Daniel Alves could perform the role – he was brought on early in the second half against South Africa to have a look at this very variation. Should Scolari decide that, on the basis of this experiment, he can do without Maxwell, a place in the squad is opened up for an extra attacking player.

    There is also the case of Fernandinho, though here things become a little more complicated. The Manchester City midfielder scored a magnificent goal, struck from range with such sweetness that the South African keeper did not even move.

    But Fernandinho had been brought in mainly to be given an opportunity in the holding role, sitting in front of the back four. This is not his natural function – he is more of a lung buster, hence the fact that his club have been interested in his near namesake, Fernando of Porto. Fernandinho did not look at all comfortable in the first half. At the interval, though, Luiz Gustavo was brought on to play the holding role, freeing Fernandinho to play his more natural game, in the slot normally filled by Paulinho.

    What conclusions can Scolari draw from this? He is a big believer of the importance of the holding midfielder; the introduction of Luiz Gustavo last year was one of the most important pieces in his jigsaw. It is also a position where a player is liable to pick up cards. Brazil’s coach will surely think that he needs a specialist reserve – a place in the squad which, until his recent injury, was being filled by Lucas Leiva of Liverpool. What might Scolari do, then? Keep Lucas Leiva in his squad and instead view Fernandinho as a rival to Hernanes for the post of reserve to Paulinho?

    There is plenty, then, for Luiz Felipe Scolari to think about in the two months before he names his Word Cup squad. In fact, he has almost become a victim of his own success. He has more options than can be included in a group of 23.

  2. #542
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    Neymar poses for photos with young South African pitch-invader


  3. #543
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    Atletico Madrid duo Miranda and Filipe Luis also missed out, as did Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho and Bayern Munich defender Rafinha

    Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has confirmed his 23-man squad for World Cup 2014, with Kaka, Robinho and Lucas Moura all missing out.

    Napoli’s Henrique, Inter midfielder Hernanes, Roma’s Maicon and PSG defender Maxwell were all unsure of their places at the tournament ahead of the announcement in Rio this morning, but all have been selected.

    The quartet were all absent from the squad that travelled to Johannesburg for Brazil’s 5-0 victory over South Africa in March.

    Atletico Madrid defenders Filipe Luis and Miranda as well as Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho were also overlooked, as was Bayern Munich right-back Rafinha.

    Brazil open their World Cup campaign against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12 before facing Mexico and Cameroon in their other two group stage games.

    Squad

    Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Victor (Atletico MG).

    Defenders: Dante (Bayern Munich) David Luiz (Chelsea), Henrique (Napoli), Thiago Silva (PSG) Dani Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Roma) Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (PSG).

    Midfielders: Fernandinho (Manchester City) Hernanes (Inter) Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg) Oscar (Chelsea) Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur), Ramires (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea).

    Forwards: Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Fred (Fluminense) Hulk (Zenit) Jo (Atletico MG), Neymar (Barcelona).

  4. #544
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    There were no major surprises in the 65-year-old's squad and he admitted his job was a far easier one than his selection for the 2002 tournament


    Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has revealed he found it easy to pick his World Cup 2014 squad after announcing his 23-man selection on Wednesday afternoon.

    Kaka, Robinho and Lucas Moura are the most high-profile names to miss out, while Atletico Madrid duo Miranda and Filipe Luis were also overlooked, along with Bayern Munich's Rafinha and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho.

    Scolari, who led Brazil to World Cup glory back in 2002 says he faced a far harder task 12 years ago than this time around, while acknowledging there would still be several unhappy players who narrowly missed the cut.

    He said: “I had to improvise a little [in 2002], because I knew that it wouldn’t be well received in Rio de Janeiro. I slept in another hotel that nobody knew about. My strategy was slightly different, I didn’t have to do that yesterday.

    "I could even do my short walk in the evening, it’s a quieter situation than the last time. I knew that one or two wouldn’t be pleased by the list, that’s normal. But now we don’t have as much noise as in 2002. It was quite easy to build this squad.”

    Premier League-based pair Oscar and Paulinho have both endured disappointing campaigns for Chelsea and Tottenham respectively but were both called-up by Scolari, and the 65-year-old says he is not concerned one bit by their ability to perform this summer.

    "Oscar is one of the best players in the world today, and that’s more than mine or another coach’s observation," he added. "He might have some difficulties, but we can work on that so that he can be ready for the Cup. The technical part will be worked out as the physical exams results come. I’m not worried over Paulinho’s or Oscar’s condition.”

    Real Madrid left-back Marcelo will join up with the rest of the Selecao party at a later date as a result of his involvement in the Champions League final, with Scolari revealing he would talk to the player in a bid to find a resolution.

    Brazil kick-off their World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 12 before facing Mexico and Cameroon in Group A.

  5. #545

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    The Team selection was difficult in 2002 , but won the WC....this time team selection was easy but Cup

  6. #546
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggs View Post
    The Team selection was difficult in 2002 , but won the WC....this time team selection was easy but Cup
    Argentina squad announcement eppozhaa?
    I am also curious to see Spain squad announcement since the past callups were dominated by Barca players.This could be the year of changes.

  7. #547

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    Midfielders: Fernandinho (Manchester City) Hernanes (Inter) Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg) Oscar (Chelsea) Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur), Ramires (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea).
    Ithil skill n tricks ulla otta player illallo. Like a kaka or rivaldo in the past. ..
    Why even coutinho was overlooked? Paulinho/fernadino/Gustavo okke enthinaa
    Looks like a very labouring midfield. Mourinho wud luv it

    To be honest neymar is the only "Brazilian" in the squad ..

  8. #548

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    Quote Originally Posted by moovybuf View Post
    Ithil skill n tricks ulla otta player illallo. Like a kaka or rivaldo in the past. ..
    Why even coutinho was overlooked? Paulinho/fernadino/Gustavo okke enthinaa
    Looks like a very labouring midfield. Mourinho wud luv it

    To be honest neymar is the only "Brazilian" in the squad ..
    last WC lum team ithupolokke thanne alle? 2002&2006 team l full super stars aayirunnu...

  9. #549

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    This brazilian midfield lacks creative players..scolari should've considered coutinho...it would be a tough job for neymar&co..

  10. #550
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    Quote Originally Posted by moovybuf View Post
    Ithil skill n tricks ulla otta player illallo. Like a kaka or rivaldo in the past. ..
    Why even coutinho was overlooked? Paulinho/fernadino/Gustavo okke enthinaa
    Looks like a very labouring midfield. Mourinho wud luv it

    To be honest neymar is the only "Brazilian" in the squad ..
    paulinho and gusthavo confederation cupil kidukkiyirunnu.. ore samyam offensive and defencive playersineyanu innathe kalikkavashyam.. paulinho yokke goalidakkanum midukkananu.. fernandiho cityil maraka formilanallo.. bullet shotukal golakkunna star aanu... malsram nockout stagilethikkazhinjal ithu pole goaldikkunna tharangal athyavshyamanu.. still and trick playersinekkal practically goal score cheyyan abilityulla palyersanu worldcup polulla tournamentukalkku anuyojyam... scolarikkariyam engane jayikkanamennu :)

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