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Vickery's tactical look at Brasil

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What struck me about this piece, a must read for any Sounders fan, is that currently Sounders are only using half of Dunga's tactics, but the descriptions of their play while grander in skill, seem similar in style.


The thinking is as follows - the physical development of the game has made it much harder for teams to play an expansive passing style through the middle of the field. Instead, matches are won and lost at two key moments - set pieces and transitions (those moments when possession changes hands from one side to the other).

In the pre-season Sigi regularly talked about the transition game being vital to Sounders success.

Later

In none of these matches Brazil looked like scoring. The solution was to free Maicon to crash forward from right back with his terrifying physical power and considerable technical ability. This was done by dropping an attacking midfielder (effectively Ronaldinho) and bringing in Elano on the right of midfield, to cover Maicon, double up down the flank or cut inside as required.

In the last couple of matches, this role has been filled by the livewire Ramires, giving Brazil another rapid option to launch the counter-attack. But this comes at a price. It pulls the midfield over to the right, and leaves the left back unprotected - a problem exacerbated by the fact that neither Kleber nor Andre Santos look entirely convincing in the position.

Sounds like the old Riley as Wingback and Evans as RDM doesn't it?

Overall this is a great read on the tactics that one of the top two teams in the world currently use. Set Play and Transitions to overcome the physical game that the opposition used to shutdown the possession stylings of the past Brazilian squads.

My favorite line

They are probably the only team in the world who, when the opposition have a corner, can legitimately see this as a goalscoring opportunity for themselves.

Rapid transition, precision set-plays - maybe I should have called it Dunga's Game. Yes, this kind of football leaves the keeper open to regular threats, but when one routinely has a better keeper than the opposition these risks can be taken.