The press conference of coach Rogério Ceni after São Paulo’s 1-0 victory over Ceará in the South American quarterfinals lasted about 20 minutes. It was enough to understand some situations of the cast for the decisive sequence in the season.
You can already understand that Nahuel Bustos, who should arrive from Spanish football, will have to convince Rogério to use it. At the same time, Ceni is dissatisfied with the way the board is dealing with the assembly (and disassembly) of the current squad. And he gave hints, too, about
Busts will have to gain space
One of the things that stood out the most in Ceni’s words was how he dealt with the possible arrival of Nahuel Bustos, who was at Girona-ESP. The coach said that he did not know about the arrival of reinforcements (the club is also negotiating the arrival of Nahuel Ferraresi, defender – he and Bustos are both City Group players) and also said that there was no communication about Bustos.
“Two more players arrive, is that it? I don’t know the arrival of the players. About the defender, I was still consulted. But about the striker, I was not informed. I Think São Paulo has a great squad. We have a good squad,” he said.
The summary is that Bustos arrives in a negative scenario: his hiring generated a nuisance, the coach did not ask for him by name and there are no indications that he was chosen for any specific characteristic. He is the opposite of the last striker hired by São Paulo, Marcos Guilherme, a speed player on the sidelines that São Paulo wanted for a long time. As much as Bustos is also described as a speed player, Ceni’s annoyance is a hindrance.
Sales bother Ceni
Ceni did not complain at any time about the sale of players, but said that “he doesn’t like to rebuild teams in the middle of the season”. It’s a direct message to the board. Recently, striker Marquinhos was sold, as was Gabriel Sara. None of them were part of the backbone assembled by the coach (Sara because of the serious injury), but the sentence seems to be a warning. Before the window opened, for example, there were rumors about harassment of Igor Gomes, Rodrigo Nestor and Wellington.
It’s good to remember: in Rogério’s first stint as São Paulo coach, it was precisely sales that undermined his work. In 2017, he lost David Neres, Luiz Araújo, Thiago Mendes, Lyanco and Maicon during the season.
There is a dead ball problem
On two occasions, Ceni spoke about the São Paulo set-piece. First, he admitted that he thought about putting Reinaldo, who was returning from injury, to take the penalty that Calleri missed. He later said that Wellington “didn’t hit as he should have” the corners he took. According to him, “the mistake was in the beat”. Insecurity with penalty takers is not exactly a new issue, but inefficiency in corners is. “We miss hits most of the time. The ball doesn’t land where it’s supposed to land and that’s where it gets harder,” he said.
Gramado do Castelão will cause changes
Ceni also spoke about the return match against Ceará, which takes place in Fortaleza, next Wednesday. “It’s been a while since I played at Castelão, we see it on TV. The stadium, which is fantastic, acoustics, good capacity, everything, but the main thing, which is the lawn, unfortunately… It’s a lot of game”. Considering that other teams have already faced difficulties when they played in the capital of Ceará, it is an easy conclusion to draw that Ceni should bet on a less mobile and more defensive team. “For those who build, a bad lawn is difficult. For those who build, a good lawn is always better. For those who have to defend themselves, a bad lawn sometimes even helps you in some things. Let’s try to build a team with characteristics that are good and watch the lawn on the weekend”.
Nikão, Patrick, Luciano and Calleri will not play together
When analyzing the season, Ceni also spoke about the need to save players and have “a good squad, which even makes it difficult for the coach to make the lineups. From the middle to the front, there are 21 options for five spots”. With that in mind, it is unlikely that the four players who have been most decisive in recent matches, Nikão (scorer of the goal against Ceará), Patrick, Luciano and Calleri, will start a game together. First, Nikão and Patrick are now used in similar roles. To use them together, an adaptation would be necessary, which would cost the most advanced midfielder a place. With Ceni saying, however, that he has options, this adaptation would not be a priority.