Sergio Batista and the Sharpening of Long Knives


Sergio Batista
“We’re one week into the Copa América, and if nothing else it’s proven correct those who made pre-tournament predictions that it would be the most closely-fought Copa in a long time. For the first time ever, both Argentina and Brazil failed to win their opening matches. It must be said that not enough credit was given to the two sides who foiled them in those games; Venezuela in the case of the holders Brazil, and Bolivia in the case of hosts Argentina.” In Bed With Maradona

Critics attack ‘disastrous’ Brazil after they scrape Paraguay draw
“Perhaps Dunga wasn’t so bad after all. He may have been pragmatic and have refused to pick the public’s favourites, but at least he won games. Brazil, after underwhelming in a 0-0 against a Venezuela team that, after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Ecuador, improbably tops Copa América’s Group B, were highly fortunate to scrape a 2-2 draw against Paraguay. Two thirds of the way through the group stage, none of the seeds have yet won a game and, amid all the grumbling about Argentina’s form, the one consolation for the hosts has been that Brazil have been even worse than they have.” Guardian

Can Argentina salvage their Copa America hopes?
“We’re one week into the Copa América, and if nothing else, it’s shown that those who predicted that this would be the most closely-fought Copa in living memory, have been proven correct. For the first time ever, both Argentina and Brazil failed to win their opening matches. It must be said that not enough credit was given to the two sides who foiled them in those games; Venezuela in the case of the holders Brazil, and Bolivia against the hosts Argentina.” World Soccer

Brazil 2-2 Paraguay: Brazil snatch the draw
“Mano Menezes ditched the “European” 4-2-3-1, went for a Dunga-style compromise system, then ended up with 4-2-2-2… He dropped Robinho from his starting line-up, favouring Jadson who played much narrower on the right, as he has done in previous friendlies. Gerardo Martino went for the 4-4-2 / 4-3-3 hybrid that he often favoured at last summer’s World Cup. Roque Santa Cruz played on the right, and made diagonal runs to a centre-forward position.” Zonal Marking

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