A bit on our Fan, his passion, love & support for Brazil & Neymar Jr.
Sachin Anand is 24-year-old guy who used to be like any other regular Indian guy watching, playing, loving cricket until he started watching football. Cricket then felt like a marathon and he couldn’t watch it any longer. The pace, the adrenaline, the passing, the tackles, the shots, the freekicks, the dummies, the nutmegs, the occasional rabona, everything made him fall in love with this beautiful game.
As a kid, he watched the Brazillian side dominate the 2002 World Cup. He started watching it because he found Ronaldo’s hairstyle amusing at that point, loved their jersey color and then Brazil started tearing teams apart with Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos & Cafu ripping through them.
His Favorite player is Neymar, who’s the most expensive player on the planet and for a reason. At such a young age, Neymar is capable of leading his side perfectly. We saw it in the 2014 World Cup as well. Unfortunately for him, he got injured and Brazil suffered a humiliation in his absence along with Thiago Silva being suspended. Sachin’s hopeful that Brazil will turn the tables around this time.
Seeing Sachin’s passion & love for Brazil, we decided to test his tactical knowledge. We asked him few questions, let’s find below how it turned out…
1. Who Is a better option at CDM, Casemiro or Fernandinho? What would you say are their individual strengths?
– Casemiro, in my opinion, is an ideal CDM and should play as the last holding midfielder for Brazil, guarding the defensive third. Fernandinho can play just ahead of him as the other midfielder but Casemiro’s understanding of the game and reading a situation to make interception is far better. Fernandinho, on the other hand, has done well for his club and country as well. He’s a box to box player and wins the ball often, in turn giving it to the more attacking minded players like Coutinho, Willian.
2. Philippe Coutinho has been a revelation as a number 10 forward, right behind the striker. Why do you think he’s a better fit as a number 10 compared to his previous role as a winger?
– Coutinho playing as a number 10 is the perfect place for him in the lineup. He is good with his feet, knows how to go around players, links up well with the striker and wingers and does some beautiful one-two passing. He lacks the speed which is required as a winger in a counter-attacking team like Brazil. Neymar and Willian are perfect in that sense, they’re quick on the break. Coutinho should stick to his role in the first match, and as we know, if he just gets that little bit of time and space, bam.
3. Why would you say an experienced Defender like David Luiz wasn’t included in the squad?
– As much as I like David Luiz(Chelsea fan), he tends to lose his focus from time to time. Even though he’s not done that much recently, that may be the reason behind his omission from the squad. Also, not getting enough game time in second half of the season at Chelsea, it would have been risky to bring him in.
4. Ederson and Alisson are both world class why does Alisson fit Tite’s style of play more?
– Alisson and Ederson are two world-class players but since his appointment, Alisson has been present in the squad for Tite’s disposal. He has been a dominant figure on goal for Brazil and even when he wasn’t getting first team action at Roma, Tite had kept him as his number one. Also, both the keepers were excellent this season and Ederson kept one more clean sheet than Alisson, the number of saves Alisson made was significantly higher than Ederson. Also, Ederson made two errors leading to goals last season while Alisson didn’t give any such chance making him Tite’s favorite.
5. Firmino had an amazing season with Liverpool, why is Jesus more suited to Brazil’s attack?
– Jesus is an out and out striker. He works hard when on the ball and even off it. His positioning and movement in the box are excellent. And he’s pretty good in the air considering his height. He’s the striker Brazil were missing in the last world cup. All in all, he’s a nightmare to defend against. Firminho, on the other hand, is a totally different player. He started out as a CAM in Hoffenheim and it was later in Liverpool that Klopp turned him into a striker when things didn’t work out for him in midfield. He tends to start deep, taking the ball in midfield, linking up with the wingers, passing the ball to and fro and moving further. He’s had a great season with Liverpool and I feel he has a part to play for Brazil in this world cup. Tite acknowledged Firminho for his work in the last 20 minutes against Switzerland too. So Jesus has an upper hand over Firminho being the first choice, but Firminho’s not far behind, ready to grab any chance he gets.
6. Will Brazil win the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia? Explain!
– They are the favourites to win the world cup this time and the reason behind it is the quality and depth of their squad. They have talent in abundance. Alisson being the first choice, while his replacement being the English double winning Ederson. At the back, we have the very experienced and strong Thiago Silva and Miranda along with the pace of Marcelo who can run up and down the wing all day. Danilo being the right back, who wasn’t given a lot of opportunities in the City squad but proved his worth whenever he was called upon. Marquinhos and Filipe Luis two world-class defenders as subs. Just ahead of the defence, providing cover and breaking attacks is Casemiro, who can be replaced by Fernandinho if required. Supporting them in midfield can be Paulinho who has proven himself at Barcelona this season, Fred(whose tremendous form at Shakhtar has seen him being purchased by United)and Renato Augusto are the two subs. The left wing sees Neymar who can be Brazil’s talisman this world cup. His substitute is Douglas Costa who is one of the fastest players on a counter attack, although I don’t want Neymar to be replaced in any case. Coutinho in the Centre Attacking Midfield position is perfectly capable of scoring from a distance or linking up in a one-two to score goals. Right wing has again Willian, whose speed on the counter is deadly. Taison can substitute him if required. The absence of a striker was an issue with the Brazilian team for quite some time. Now they’ve been spoilt for choice with Jesus and Firminho being the two options. Jesus sho replaced a player of Aguero’s class in the City team and Firminho, whose link-up play and starting deep to feed the wingers is excellent. I would be happy with any of the two up front. This team if plays to their full potential, can wreck havoc on the other teams. The fact that players like Oscar, David Luiz, Alex Sandro, Fabinho, Talisca, Filipe Anderson couldn’t make it to the squad tells you enough about the team.
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