Should England Fear Brazil?

3 03 2010

Last night, competing at their second home; Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Brazil faced an Ireland side, with the countdown until the World Cup reaching 100 days.

It is unfortunate and unjustifiable that the Irish won’t be competing in South Africa this summer, after the play off match against France in which Thierry Henry used his arm to guide the ball into the path of William Gallas to knock them out, but they have to keep their heads held high and try to erase the pain when the qualification for the next European Championships begins this autumn.

Not A Fan Of Traditional Brazilian Style

Dunga - Not A Fan Of Traditional Brazilian Style

Brazil manager Dunga has come under high scrutiny from the national media since being appointed in July 2006. The team has lost it’s flair, they are more functional and organised than previous years, and the manager prefers results over style. He is following the standards he set as a footballer it seems.

After a very subdued first half performance, in which they luckily strolled in 1-0 up prior to a Keith Andrew’s own goal, you could understand the stance of the press. But in the second half the team sparked into action, with the trademark attacking full backs in Maicon and Michel Bastos (in an unfamiliar role) the introduction of Daniel Alves and the two star names in Kaka and Robinho.

Their second goal was a joy to watch. Brazil as we know. In a move which resulted in 22 passes to the goal, Robinho conducted two one-twos with Kaka and Grafite, who both pulled of miraculous back heels, to set the Santos player past the defence and slot coolly past former team mate Shay Given.

£32.5 million Manchester City spent on the star to lure him away from Real Madrid, although publicly it was known his preferred destination was Stamford Bridge. But last night we saw glimpses of the player who was touted a hero in his country, the heir to the throne of Pele at Santos. It is a shame he didn’t live up to expectations in England.

England boss Fabio Capello has outlined he fancies Brazil to be the favourites come this summer, even though Spain are the bookies favourites. From evidence of last night you can see Brazil are a different team to previous tournaments, they still have pace on the counter attack, the odd player who can pull out that magical skill when needed, but they are also stronger, they seem to be more defensively aware and with Felipe Melo and Gilberto Silva in the centre of midfield, are happy to let the full backs cause the problems.

It will be interesting to see whether the likes of Ronaldinho are on the plane to South Africa, but under Dunga it seems that Brazil might be underdogs this summer, and it could very well favour them.

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