Brazil didn’t look right from the moment they all turned up wearing their caps in front of Neymar. It was ridiculous. That’s what finished Brazil: they had no fight and they had an excuse ready to use before they even kicked a ball.
I was embarrassed by David Luiz, holding up that shirt at the national anthems, even though I knew he had an ego about him, but I was surprised by Julio Cesar with his experience that he would go through with it too. It was totally embarrassing that they allowed that to happen. When I saw that No. 10 shirt hanging between those two I assumed they had retired it, that Neymar had died.
Would you see England players doing the same for Wayne Rooney? No, they would say, ‘hang on a moment, we aren’t just about one player, it’s about us now and we are going to do a job’. You never show your weakness – never – but Brazil made clear how much the loss of Neymar had affected them and it played straight into Germany’s hands.
Luiz Felipe Scolari is a very experienced manager but he fell into a trap of permitting this emotional gushing over Neymar’s injury and he should never have allowed that to happen. Mentions of Neymar should have stopped when he was taken off the pitch but instead it was allowed to build into a huge drama.
When you think about players like Zico, Rivaldo, Socrates, Pele, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and all the rest, they were all superior players to Neymar but you never had the same level of fawning adulation. They still believed they had the best players irrespective of their star man. This team was entirely dependent on one personality.
Scolari allowed the team to get carried away with this Neymar nonsense and now he must fall on his sword. There is no way he can stay on. The new players that will come through need to do so under a new coach who doesn’t have historic favourites and just picks the best players available to him. They have to start again with young players.
Scolari got the job because Brazil thought he was a safe pair of hands but he has bungled the World Cup badly. In my opinion, he held too many grudges against too many players when leaving them out of his initial World Cup squad and his loyalty to the underperforming players in it proved his undoing.
Did he pick his best players? No.He should have picked Ronaldinho, who has been playing well in Brazil - someone who can make something happen. He should also have picked Filipe Luis, who won La Liga with Atletico Madrid and looks a far better left-back than Marcelo. They needed six foot of pure, robust, honest defending. They also needed Coutinho instead of Bernard, who I just don’t get. They may as well have had a St Bernard in there: it would have been better at dribbling at least.
And look at the defence Brazil put out. We saw a back-four with only one natural defender, and that was Dante. He was having to do it on his own because David Luiz, selfishly, chose at 1-0 down to try and be the hero and try and win it for his team on his own. That is the way he plays.
Then you look at the full-backs. Maicon can’t defend, Gareth Bale proved that at the San Siro in 2010, while we know Marcelo is also very vulnerable at the back. He was a poor man’s winger who has become a left-back and he cost them Klose’s goal as he was about five yards behind his defensive line. That tells me he knows nothing about defending.
They missed Thiago Silva more than they missed Neymar, when you look at the dismal performance of their defence. They wouldn’t have won the game with Silva in there, but you can be sure they wouldn’t have conceded seven goals. He would at least have dragged Luiz back from his ridiculous runs upfield and told him to defend, which is what he is paid to do.
I didn’t buy into all the crying at the end. We shouldn’t even have been able to see their faces because they should have been head in hands and straight off the pitch. What was with all the public waterworks? They weren’t going to get any sympathy, and rightly so. It was an absolute disgrace.
I think people who love Brazil will be embarrassed by how the team conducted themselves. In that first half they threw the towel in – they gave up – and the man wearing the armband epitomised everything that is wrong with Brazilian football at the moment. But Scolari has to take a large portion of the blame and Brazil need to move on without him.
- Sports & Recreation
- David Luiz
- Luiz Felipe Scolari