Tite’s seven mistakes at the Qatar World Cup

The Brazilian coach didn’t know how to use his second world Cup and the experience and disappointments of such a short-range competition, in which making a mistake always meant the end of the line, as happened before the Croatia, again, in the quarterfinals. Therefore, Tite succumbed embracing his squad in the second knockout after the group stage in Qatar, in which the team qualified in first place, with two wins and one defeat. In Russia, also under his command, the same thing happened with Brazilian Team: defeat to Belgium 2-1 before reaching the semi-final.

Now, the Brazilian team will remain 24 years without winning a World Cup, the same period from the third, in 1970, to the fourth, in 1994. Work returns to square one.

Tite spent six years in charge of the national team and lost two Cups in the quarterfinals.
Tite spent six years in charge of the national team and lost two Cups in the quarterfinals. Photograph: José Mendez/ EFE

Tite says goodbye to the command of Brazil with two failures in World Cups, and six straight years of work, rare thing in charge of Brazil. The CBF had so many problems in this cycle, with the removal of its president, for example, that football still managed to pass unscathed in the Qualifiers. It so happens that games in South America no longer serve as a parameter for Brazil in World Cups. The cat, the little dances and everything else only served to distract the team.

The coach should rest for a while and pursue his career abroad, probably in the middle of next year. Tite will have to rebuild his profession in clubs.

In Qatar, he had chances to make the selection right, to rescue the fans’ passion for the national team and he always worked with complete freedom to embrace his ideas and choose his players. Tite was committed to keeping athletes he trusted and working on a cautious style of play. He made mistakes in some names on the list and in having chosen 11 substitutes against Cameroon, losing to the African rival by 1 to 0. He took a while to release the team. He did that against South Korea and the result was excellent, even despite the rival’s fragility.

But he failed to turn any player into a big star, not even Vinicius Junior, who explodes at Real Madrid and is revered in Europe. All of them were once again in the shadow of Neymar. Tite leaves the selection and takes his entire commission away from the CBF. I point out some errors of the coach.

He got all flustered when he found out that he wouldn’t have Neymar, who was injured on his debut. He didn’t know what to do so much that he decided to choose a reserve team against Cameroon and lost the game. The starters lost the pace and natural adrenaline of a World Cup. He made a mistake in managing the matches, therefore. After the Round of 16, Brazil would have four days to repair their physical condition and rest. He was saved by the performance against South Korea.

Tite has always defended not depending on Neymar, but he has never prepared any other player to take the technical command of the selection in the absence of the PSG star. All the players were always under the shadow of the number 10 shirt and the coach never worked satisfactorily to form another one in his group in those six years.

Tite killed the attackers with requests for full marking. Gabriel Jesus didn’t kick a ball on goal before being ruled out due to injury. Richarlison had two chances on his debut and then was not used again against Switzerland. Vini Jr and Raphinha were forced to follow their rivals on the wing. Paquetá became a steering wheel or something like that. Tite only gave them freedom in the match against South Korea. He always took the essence of his men head on. If not all, give some.

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The balanced team proposal was not confirmed against Croatia. Brazil has suffered from defensive situations and individual mistakes in World Cups. In the round of 16, there were many problems in the defensive sector, with athletes out of position, cases of Danilo and Militão, improvised. They even noticed. One more casting decision, Tite will carry with him forever: the call-up of Daniel Alves.

Tite has changed almost nothing from his work from the Russian Cup to the Qatar Cup. Once again, a coach from Brazil was deceived by the results of the Qualifiers and the easier matches of the group stage and round of 16. Worst. When everything looked good after two games, he opened the doors of the selection to the first criticisms with the defeat to Cameroon. He should have kept some starters on the team and won the game. In terms of scoring, this would not change Brazil’s ranking at all, but it would give the players more confidence and cheer. With the failure against the Africans, the first charges appeared. Thankfully, the team bounced back against weak South Korea.

Tite was also lost with Neymar. He asked the player for help so that he could play in the round of 16, when he could have been injured again in the same right ankle shot. Had it been in another situation, with the team more in tune without his number 10 shirt, maybe Neymar wouldn’t even need to play, take risks on the field.

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The coach built a lineup of reserves and for nothing changed that. Pedro could have been more helpful than Gabriel Jesus before his cut. Everton Ribeiro is creative and intelligent, but he stayed behind in the starting order. He played little. Tite died embracing his ideas. He took a while to change the team against Croatia. He never understood what it’s like to play a Cup in 30 days.

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