Giant on the move
Dunga far from happy despite Brazil win
If there was an Olympic gold medal for whingeing then Dunga, coach of the Brazilian soccer team, would be among the early contenders.
The 1994 World Cup winning captain, who as a player was an example of resilience and dedication to the cause, is not a happy camper.
First, he was complaining about the food — “When you try to talk to the chef to change the menu, he has to talk to his boss, who has to talk to his boss, who has to talk to his boss and by that time the Olympics are over” — and lack of training time in Shenyang, where Brazil have started their campaign to win a first gold in Olympic soccer.
After his team struggled to beat nine-man Belgium in their opening match on Thursday, he blamed the pitch and his opponents for making life difficult (isn’t that what they’re supposed to do?).
“The ball bounces around all over the place and you need two or three touches to bring it under control,” he snarled. “The opposition just kept putting all their players behind the ball and used the high ball into the area. They’ve been together for four months and we got together 15 days ago.”
But the unhappy truth is that Brazil should have swept their opponent aside and might have done so if Dunga had been just a little more adventurous. A team boasting players such as Werder Bremen midfielder Diego, Premier League players Lucas and Anderson in midfield, AC Milan prodigy Alexandre Pato in attack, plus Ronaldinho, should not play in fits and starts as Brazil did on Thursday.
Unfortunately, Dunga did what he has done in recent matches with the senior side, which he also coaches, and went for the cautious approach.
He stuck three midfielders in front of his defence and left Pato to fight two or three Belgian defenders on his own. Ronaldinho was stuck out on the left flank with nobody to exchange passes with except left back Marcelo on his occasional forays upfield.
Despite winning the Copa America in his two years at the helm, Dunga does not look comfortable as Brazil’s national team coach. Will he still be around for the 2010 World Cup?
PHOTO: Ronaldinho takes a free kick during Brazil’s Group C soccer match against Belgium at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Shenyang August 7, 2008. REUTERS/Alvin Chan