5 Reasons why Brazil won't win the 2014 World Cup
To my surprise Brazil remain the favourites to win the 2014 World Cup. Sure, it’s on home soil. They’re Brazil. And they have safely booked their path into the round of 16.
That’s about all the five-time winners of the World Cup have on their side this year. Despite winning their group, they don’t look like a Brazil of years gone by.
Here are 5 points as to why Brazil will not win the 2014 World Cup:
They may have only conceded 2 goals so far in the World Cup but they have yet to come up against a strong attack and their defence has already looked shaky.
Mexico qualified from Group B with Brazil despite only scoring 4 goals and 3 of them were in their final match against Croatia. Croatia themselves were unlucky in their opening game against the hosts in both conceding a soft penalty and having a goal disallowed.
Cameroon meanwhile came into last night’s game on a 6-game losing streak in World Cup finals and without scoring a single goal this tournament. Joël Matip put one past Brazil which involved a mistake from all four of Brazilian defence.
Brazil look very weak down their right-hand side with Dani Alves getting caught out of position and bombing too far forward time and time again. He, David Luiz and Marcelo all have question marks about their defensive ability – all three of them playing in the starting line-up is very risky.
It seems it’s just a matter of time before a striker with good movement will tear them open. Thomas Müller maybe? Miroslav Klose? Oh wait, Brazil would need to reach the semi-final to have a chance of playing the Germans…
Fred + Hulk
If there’s one thing Brazil is good at, it’s creating goalscoring strikers. Pelé, Zico, Ronaldo, Romário, Bebeto and Ronaldinho to name just half-a-dozen. And then there’s Fred.
After winning the Golden Boot at last summer’s Confederations Cup and seeing him in a couple of friendlies, I had high-expectations of the former Lyon striker. How wrong was I.
Fred has looked useless in this World Cup. His movement, his first touch, his inability to hold the ball up. Prior to laying siege to Cameroon’s goal last night, in which Fred’s only goal came from 1 yard out, the 30-year old striker had only fired 1 shot on target in the previous two matches combined.
And Fred’s not the only issue with Brazil going forward. Hulk doesn’t have a single goal to his name in this tournament. Or should we call him the ‘Bulk’. We all thought he was good scoring against Portuguese league defences and he’s done alright over in Russia but he’s struggling in a World Cup.
He’s given away possession a lot in the two games he has played, and he doesn’t even get on the ball very often compared to his teammates. He’s played in the matches where Brazil have won 3-1 and 4-1 and yet as one of their forwards he only has 1 shot on target, 0 goals.
Luiz Felipe Scolari
Feel free to bite my hand off my having a dig at the head coach. After all, he did win the 2002 World Cup with Brazil. Although that Brazil had a bit more talent - Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Lúcio, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Denílson and… Kléberson. It wasn’t the strongest World Cup either – Turkey and South Korea made the semi-finals and Germany who reached the final weren’t world champion strong.
He also reached the Euro 2004 final with hosts Portugal. A very favourable decision against England in the quarter-finals before losing 1-0 to underdogs Greece. A Greek team that was tactically sound and that’s where Scolari fails.
Scolari at Chelsea was tactically flawed and failed to win the Premier League with the talent on hand. In fact, he didn’t even complete a full season he was that far out of the title picture by February when he was handed his P45.
Mexico got a 0-0 draw against his side, admittedly with an expert display from their goalkeeper. Chile in the next round are looking strong tactically this year and I can really see them giving Brazil a run for their money this weekend, assuming they’re not downhearted from their loss to the Netherlands.
Sure, Brazil have a favourable draw. Chile are longshots for the World Cup that weren’t expected to even make it out of their group. Should they beat their fellow South Americans, then it’s Colombia or the runners-up from Group D in the quarter-finals. Colombia themselves leave a lot of space at the back. So I wouldn’t be surprise if Brazil were to reach the final four.
That’s where it ends though, if not before. Germany or France are the likely opponents in the semi-finals. The Germans looking like a well-oiled machine and France are looking impressive too. Almost a shame that they will meet in the quarters and not the semis. Either way, if either meet Brazil in the semi-final I am heavily favouring the European side.
Argentina have yet to really get going in this World Cup, but the Netherlands are another nation that look stronger than Brazil right now.
Relying on one man
This Brazil team relies heavily on the shoulders of 22-year old Neymar. Sure, not a bad player to rely on. He had an excellent game against Cameroon and now leads the tournament with 4 goals.
Take Neymar out of the game and Brazil have some big problems. They’re too reliant on him to create the chances and score the goals. He has scored 57% of their goals so far and is involved in the majority of their good attacks.
The next best attacking threats Brazil have are Oscar when he shows up. And when he does he can be unplayable. And then the attacking full-backs Marcelo and Dani Alves. Too much is weighing on the shoulders of Neymar for this team to perform.