Party night! This at least was the feeling of Flamengo fans who live in Cidade das Mangueiras, Belém do Pará. A group that the person writing to you is part of, but for reasons that I cannot mention here, could not be present.
On the field, the seriousness that has characterized the way Tite’s men face any opponent.
➕ Different times symbolize a variety of Tite’s intentions for the season
Concerned about keeping the structure trained and not succumbing to the temptation of simply taking advantage of the facilities imposed by their Rio opponents, this time against Sampaio Corrêa, who basically practice sparring During the matches, Rubro-Negro brought greater news than the presence of David, Wesley or even the historic duo formed by Gabigol and Bruno Henrique.
The initial 4-1-4-1 (figure 1) was repeated, but the match was even didactic to demonstrate how little such numerical demonstration says about tactical systems.
Figure 1 – Flamengo’s initial formation against Sampaio Correa
With the ball, everything was different! Wesley already positioned wide and not attacking this space, Nicolás de la Cruz practically not occupying the side corridor and with his movement more limited, since Arrascaeta ended up performing a similar function on the left, leaving Gerson more at the base of the plays.
And alternating position with Bruno Henrique, who was positioned as a winger, but practically only participated in the actions from the inside. “Figure 2” depicts how Flamengo built in this match.
Figure 2 – Flamengo’s structure in offensive organization
If you looked closely at the image, you noticed that the structure is slightly asymmetrical. And this is where Tite’s “second intentions” come in.
Pulgar’s fixation and the congestion on the left side leave a long space between David Luiz, De la Cruz and Wesley. There is space to be attacked by the defender and David knows how to do this very well, making a big leap in quality in the red and black construction.
You may have been bothered by one launch or another, but know that it was trained and the two launches that didn’t work could have found Bruno Henrique the way he likes best. Imagining that Léo Ortiz will actually arrive in Gávea, this intention becomes even clearer, and more favorable to the “Shirt 10 of the defense” who is currently (not for long!) Bragantino’s defender.
Wesley is reborn with this proposal, because precisely because this purposeful spacing exists, physical vigor becomes even more important. The boy has large lungs that give him an enviable physical delivery capacity and is the fastest full-back to perform both baseline plays and replacements for the defensive line.
Figure 3 – Historical attacking duo was seen at various times
There were, however, moments of symmetry. Especially when Gabriel Barbosa’s typical movements created spaces to be attacked by his colleagues. Both Arrascaeta and Bruno Henrique used and abused the movement and rapport with Gabigol, who also feels more comfortable when he has company.
Defensively, De La Cruz’s fixation given by Arrascaeta’s better defined occupation of the left half, brought an important simplification in the defensive transitions, which now had the same number of athletes supporting both sides, with important defensive participation by De La Cruz and Arrascaeta.
Figure 4 – More defined positioning presents the same folds on both sides
A situation that contrasted with that shown in Orlando, when the more “free” dynamics between the midfielders constantly generated overload in the right sector of their defense.
Figure 5 – dynamics in the match against Orlando that generated overload in the right sector of their defense
The changes have created a team that is perhaps slightly less creative, but much more confident and capable of retaining the ball, as well as dealing with moments without it. After the game, Tite was in this line when speaking to his athletes: “this team didn’t finish a ball in the goal and in other games, in all of them they finished and had chances… we have to value being tough and not conceding goals, because that leads us to great victories!”
A structure identical to that adopted against Sampaio Corrêa, it was previously created by Rogério Ceni in the run that generated the 2020 Brazilian title. That team was notable for conceding few shots to its opponents and especially for retaining the ball too much, not being as objective as some fans would like. He was also notable for winning three cups in a short period. Among the fames, I honestly prefer to stick to the second one.
Next Sunday, Fla will return to the field to face Vasco and at the opening whistle we will be able to understand if Tite saw the same evolution seen by this humble analyst who writes to you, or if he will return with the dynamics of the match against Orlando.
If the structure is maintained, it could be good for David Luiz, Wesley… and Gabigol!
Victor Nicolau, the “False Nine”, is a certified Performance Analyst and graduated from the CBF and other international educational institutions. Civil Engineer by training, has worked as a purchasing executive for 10 years. Follow Falso Nine on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel.