Saturday, 1 December 2012

Grinders keepers: how Fluminense won the Brasileirão

As title-clinching wins go, Fluminense's victory over Palmeiras on November 11 felt slightly anticlamactic. Sure, Brazilian broadcaster Globo wheeled out treasured commentator Galvão Bueno for the occasion (the Brazilian analogue of the proverbial fat lady clearing her throat) and the match itself produced the goods (Flu won 3-2, simultaneously pushing their opponents further down a path that ended in relegation a couple of weeks later), but the occasion felt flat.


The explanation was simple: the Tricolor's second Brasileirão in three seasons had long had an air of inevitability about it. This is not to belittle the achievement. The Rio giants, while perhaps not the neutrals' choice, were ruthless in pursuit of their tetracampeonato. With one game to play, they have conceded just 31 goals - the fewest in the league - and scored the second most. They have lost just four of 37 games. The resilience that earnt them the nickname Time de Guerreiros (Team of Warriors) has hardly even been needed; relentless efficiency has been the key.

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2 comments:

  1. Jack,

    The truth of the matter is Fluminense won the championship because they were well grounded. They don't play for hype. Beyond being seasoned, their players are by and large devoted to the club and respect eachother in light of competition as well as off the field. Good humour shrouds the Laranjeiras. They have recently been deemed 'the European Brazilian club' for their style of ball. I believe it fits and considering the other serie a sides aren't organized to this extent, they now have a leg up. The club is organized again and barring bad luck and/or 'enganação' I feel there is a good chance the squad can continue on to carve out a better Libertadores campaign if not the coveted taça. The major weakness I have observed though is that they don't have a Neymar- that is figuratively speaking of course. Although they have experience, solidity, and system down pat, they would do good to seek a decent innovator/playmaker to join Deco in the midfield-- one that takes chances. In other words, fundamentals are great because they execute well but they need that little injection of unpredictability too. Nem is the closest to this but he is not a midfielder and Bruno started showing flashes of this confident style of play towards the end of the season (see his goal da rodada 29) but nothing there I would by any means call regularity in accordance.

    I would argue that their defense could use another peça-chave too even that Euzebio, Gum, Anderson, and Valencia are yet a force to be reckoned with.

    Good writing though mate, I enjoy it... keep up the work! I have been a bit disappointed you have been writing articles more for other sites and blogs lately but I will most certainly continue to check in from time to time.

    Cheers!

    -Ryan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Ryan! Agree with your comments.

    As for writing more elsewhere... you can't begrudge a man trying to make a living!

    Abraço

    ReplyDelete

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