On June 11, when Dorival Júnior debuted in front of Flamengo, the setting was scorched earth. Three months are completed this Sunday, when the team faces Goiás, in Serrinha, at 19:00, and what was seen was a revolution led by the 60-year-old coach. THE defensive solidityO good deal with the players and the Peter’s appointment as holder were some of its main achievements.
The team occupied the 14th place, with only one point in relation to Cuiabá, which opened the relegation zone, and practiced inconsistent football. He rarely beat big opponents, came from two runners-up (Supercopa do Brasil and state), and the players were uncomfortable with Paulo Sousa’s ideas and system.
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The Portuguese was unable to make the three-way exit with Filipe Luís in the back line. He insisted a lot until he gave up on the final stretch of his passage. He improvised Everton Ribeiro and Marinho on the left. The latter, by the way, played as a winger in the first match of the state decision, against Fluminense.
Dorival Júnior, Flamengo coach, in a game for the Copa do Brasil — Photo: Marcos Ribolli
As if the tactical decisions were not enough, Paulo lost the group by exposing his athletes frequently with public criticism. Marinho, Pedro and especially Diego Alves, with whom his coaching staff never had a friendly relationship, were some of the targets.
His last week, in Atibaia, was marked by embarrassment, as everyone knew that the dismissal was a matter of days. He left with 19 wins, seven draws and six defeats. Despite the not so bad numbers, it is worth remembering that, in the period, he faced several small teams from Rio and Altos, from Piauí, in the Copa do Brasil.
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In the classics, he struggled to win the semifinals against a weakened Vasco and couldn’t beat Fluminense in Carioca. With Botafogo, it was a tie, with a win for each side.
Dorival’s first act: peace with Diego Alves
Known for being an educated professional and for being a good group manager, Dorival Júnior has already arrived at Flamengo putting out an old fire. He tried to put an end to the disagreement he had with Diego Alves in 2018, in his second spell at the club, and made him the goalkeeper.
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Dorival made such a decision even without having commanded a single training session. The coach was announced on the 10th, arrived in Porto Alegre, venue of the game against Internacional, in the last hours of that Friday and gave a lecture on Saturday morning. There, he communicated to the athletes that Diego Alves would play.
In addition to erasing the problem experienced about four years ago, Dorival gave space to one of the group’s leaders. This after a long period leaning against Paulo Sousa. Diego started in the first four games, but a pubalgia took him out of action, and Santos took over the position in the following commitments.
Diego Alves with Dorival Júnior, this Saturday — Photo: Marcelo Cortes / Flamengo
Irregular start and first mishap: BH
With no time to pass on his ideas at the beginning of the work, Dorival managed five games in 14 days. He lost to Internacional in his debut and two matches to Atlético-MG (one for the Brasileiro and another for the Copa do Brasil). During this period, he beat Cuiabá (2-0) and América-MG (3-0)
In the triumph over Mato Grosso, however, Dorival lost a trusted man who had already commanded Santos. Bruno Henrique suffered a multi-ligament injury to his right knee during the game at Maracanã, on June 15. Examinations were carried out, and the medical department reported that Bruno would no longer play in 2022.
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Bruno Henrique, Flamengo striker — Photo: Reproduction
Three days later, Flamengo announced Everton Cebolinha, who, after opening the window, would be the immediate replacement for Bruno Henrique. They forgot to let Peter know that.
Pedro, the 7-1 and the formation of Flamengo’s A and B teams
The duo Pedro and Gabigol began to draw in the 3-0 victory over América-MG. On the occasion, Gabriel opened the scoring after an excellent pass from his teammate. The move was born from a good launch with Santos’ feet towards the centre-forward. In the next game, aware that there was still pressure and irregularity, Dorival closed the box with three midfielders in front of Tolima and undid the attack of the goalscorers. In his farewell, Andreas secured the 1-0 with a great goal outside the area.
From there, the strategy of saving in the Brasileiro began, and Dorival divided Flamengo into teams A and B. At that time, Pedro was still part of B, so much so that he was the starter of the alternative team in the 2-1 victory over Santos. He played just over 20 minutes alongside Gabriel, in the second half, and the two scored the red-black goals.
The good performance earned Pedro the title of the main team. And he didn’t waste the opportunity. He scored four goals in the 7-1 over Tolima, provided an assist and a back-heel pass that ended in an own goal.
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There, he assumed the artillery of Libertadores and began the best moment of his career. With Dorival, he scored twice what he had done with Paulo Sousa: 16 goals. In the games in which he started, the average is one goal per game.
From the rout onwards, Flamengo won 14 times, drew three and lost just one game, 1-0 to Corinthians with the alternative team.
With Pedro in place, the attack seemed resolved. After all, at that moment, there were 17 goals in eight matches. But in the same cut, Flamengo was leaked in five of eight games – nine suffered. Gradually, Dorival, with the help of his assistants, found the ideal quartet: Rodinei, David Luiz, Léo Pereira and Filipe Luís. Not to mention Santos lavishing security on goal.
Three months later, Rodinei, questioned by the fans for years, became the subject of Tite’s press conference. Léo Pereira, another who had not yet played with the Flamengo shirt and was coming from a disastrous final against Fluminense, returned to being the player who emerged in Athletico-PR. David Luiz went on to live his best moment at the club, and Filipe Luís returned to play at a high level after the coaching staff correctly managed his minutes on the field.
Flamengo de Dorival conceded just 16 goals in 26 games – an average of 0.6 per match. And look, this is a team whose proposal is always to attack the opponent and that, under normal conditions, would also give many spaces to opponents. That doesn’t happen with Flamengo today.
In Dorival’s 26 matches, Flamengo came out with their defense undefeated in 14.
Diego’s chances, Ribeiro’s consolidation and support for criticized players
In terms of numbers, Flamengo de Dorival is undeniable. There are 19 wins, three draws and four defeats. This campaign allowed the club to continue in the fight for the Brazilian title, qualify for the Libertadores final – the coach’s first in his career and the third of the red-blacks in four years – and leave his situation well underway against São Paulo in the semifinals. of the Copa do Brasil after a 3-1 victory at Morumbi – the spot is defined next Wednesday, at Maracanã.
Since establishing a plan with two teams, Dorival managed to fit one of the leaders of the squad in team B. Diego was used again, scored goals and played some good matches. It is true that, at 37, he wavered and also received criticism, but he came back to be useful after very rare chances with Paulo Sousa.
Everton Ribeiro, in turn, showed good football again. With Dorival, he left the left aisle, where he was selected on several occasions by Paulo Sousa, to play as a midfielder.
Ribeiro is the one who makes Flamengo walk. In addition to attacking, scoring goals and providing assists, he continues to do the marking work very effectively. The sequence of great performances put him back in the national team and made him dream again of the Qatar Cup.
Dorival was also tactful to position Gabriel further to the right. Used to playing centrally, the attacker was convinced by the coach to act differently, moving frequently. The goals decreased, but the delivery and creation of opportunities increased.
The sequence of broken chances brought criticism from part of the crowd, but Gabriel showed himself to be committed to Dorival and the rest of the team.
In addition to managing egos, Dorival made public statements. He spoke out to defend Vitinho, Willian Arão, Diego and other players who eventually received criticism in the period.
After the 2-0 victory over Coritiba, in Brasília, he was firm in expressing his dissatisfaction with boos at Vitinho.
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– I trust a lot in the group I have, in the players that are there. I don’t give up playing any. What happened today with Vitinho is regrettable. He’s been working, he’s been dedicated and at some point he’s going to find his best production. And I hope that happens. As long as the player doesn’t give up on himself, you can be sure that we, the committee, and the directors won’t.
Two months to solidify the revolution
Dorival has two months ahead of him and most likely 17 games until the end of the season. There are 13 for the Brazilian, the Libertadores final and three more if they advance to the final of the Copa do Brasil.
With the group in his hands, numbers in favor and support from the crowd, the coach in three months transformed a team and his own status. If he was once referred to pejoratively as a head coach because Flamengo would not go to the European market again, now he is just a few steps away from etching his name in the club’s history.
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— Photo: Reproduction
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