By Juan Arango,
My dad has always told me to watch out what you wish for. In many cases you coul be clamoring for that same thing to come back in your life as you realize it might have been a good thing. Now with the hiring of Corinthians coach Mano Menezes (photo) will mostly continue the blue collar mentality or as many people call it over there, the “Europeanization of Brazilian football”.
Dunga was run out of town because of his style of play as well as the way he snubbed certain players like Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato, and Neymar among others. He was insulted was treated like a complete failure after Brazil came up short in South Africa. He became one of the most successful coaches in Brazilian football history winning both the Copa América as well as the Confederations Cup. His team also came out in the top spot in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers but that was still not enough to appease his critics.
Coach by default?
Mano Menezes was finally given the job in a hunt that seemed more like a battle of attrition than a title race to the end. When top candidate for the job Muricy Ramalho was denied by his current club, Fluminense, there was no other option for the CBF than to go with the Corinthians coach.
Everyone considered it a done deal for Ramalho to become coach of the national but Fluminense brass slowly got involved and eventually blocked the operation based on the fact that the club appealed to Ramalho’s sense of responsibility when it came to fulfilling a contract.
Brazilian fans were hopeful that the Luiz Felipe Scolari returned to the national team and lead them to where he did eight years ago. Well at least the ones that were looking for a top flight coach to be on board come four years from now when it’s the Scratch that host the World Cup. The problem was that Felipão was not going to take the job just yet as he officially took over Palmeiras .
Here’s what watching what you wish for end up being key. Menezes, Ramalho, Scolari… all of them make a coach like Vanderlei Luxemburgo look like the second coming of Tele Santana. That is not a good thing. Ok, Luxmburgo is not the worst coach in the history of Brazilian football. The problem is that for many Dungabol is alive and well within the Canarinha.
If anyone honestly expects any changes in the style of play when it comes to Brazilian coaching, many will see that it will be more of the same. Brazil will be as bland as they were with Dunga- maybe even moreso. Menezes will bring results to the the table. He has done that, but with a very conservative style that makes Sebastião Lazaroni look like Johan Cruyff. The Argentine media put it best when one of their headlines read “The Post-Dunga Dunga” in reference to the final list of candidates that were at the disposal of Ricardo Teixeira and his cohorts.
Menezes has to get started on the job very quickly as the Canarinha will play their first Post-World Cup friendly match in East Rutherford, N.J. against thie United States on August 10th as part of the inauguration of New Giants Stadium.