Tite indicates changes in the title holders to face Argentina

(Photo: CARL DE SOUZA / AFP)

Coach Tite did not hide his discomfort with the performance of the Brazilian team in the first half against Chile, despite the 1-0 victory in Santiago. And he indicated, after his seventh victory in seven games in the World Cup qualifiers, that he should make changes in the starting lineup to the classic with Argentina, on Sunday, at Neo Qumica Arena, in So Paulo.

The most quoted to start among the 11 are defensive midfielder Gerson and midfielder Everton Ribeiro, who entered the second half in Santiago and changed the way they play at Seleo.

The second was even the author of the goal in the Brazilian victory. “They came in well, they produced well,” acknowledged Tite, who avoided nailing the duo’s lineup in the classic. “But I cannot make that claim.”

For the coach, Seleo showed superior performance in the second half, compared to the first, precisely because of the changes. “We had a first half with defensive solidity, and a more balanced second half, with possession and more aggressiveness,” he said.

“What is a very big challenge, a gear of 11 players who have never played together and sometimes need to make these modifications during the game.”

Gerson and Everton Ribeiro received direct praise from Tite. “The game asked for an articulator, more than a midfielder, a constructor in a clash game, a physical game. And Gerson has this technical imposition of his”, commented the coach. “And the entry of another midfielder (Everton) established that relationship of balance.”

The national team coach acknowledged that, with the announcement of an extra list of squads, due to the veto of English clubs to release their players, he gained more options to prepare the ideal team for next year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Gerson was one of the new players called up in the last-minute call-up last week.

“We said that one of the important aspects was that those who didn’t come had some problems. And those who came have nothing to do with the other situations and are waiting for their opportunity to go in. That they play a lot and have public recognition and It’s ours. That’s how football is made: you compete at a high level in a fair way. When we’ve done tactical work, we always do it with everyone,” said Tite.

“We are in a phase of building the team, we hope that it is in its fullest condition at the Worlds, in the process of growth and evolution.”

The coach also indicated that he should keep Weverton in the goal, but made a mystery about the replacement of Marquinhos, who received a yellow card on Thursday night and will be suspended against Argentina.

“I’m very calm with Lucas Verssimo and Miranda. I haven’t thought about it yet. I saw the game live, between Palmeiras and So Paulo, and Miranda played a lot. Lucas is in a great moment, since the Santos era. He was very close to being called up before. The two are training and are well prepared and have this ability to start playing.”

“Late” collective

The traditional press conference given after the games was canceled by the CBF in the early hours of this Friday because the Chilean football federation decided that the Brazilian coach should speak in front of his sponsors’ panel, some of which are direct competitors of the supporters of the Brazilian team.

To avoid these conflicts, the CBF canceled the press conference and conducted a recorded interview at dawn, with questions sent by Brazilian journalists. The video of the press conference was released only this Friday morning.