Hi again, jag(ettes). Hope yinz enjoyed the World Cup final that featured Argentina using, more or less, a modified version of the 'Crooked Sword Defense' I described in World Cup final preview, opting for the high-risk maneuver of adding the guy who got lost on his way to work into the attack.
While Jesus H. Messi and company suffer misery in their defeat, Brazil wishes they had even made it far enough to feel that shitty. Instead, they were butt-pounded yet again by a team whose nation's people sound like they are speaking German, anyway, so I suppose the psychological connection was in and of itself capable of further derailing Brazil's runaway train.
So, after the Brazilians spend a few months participating in team-building exercises that involve lying on a couch and exploring suppressed trauma caused by their European counterparts, where do they go next to prepare themselves for a return to glory in the years to come and 2018? I imagine Dairy Queen -- or to explain to the population why it was worth investing billions of dollars into a World Cup that produced an effort only valuable for inducing vomit or, in the case of the game against Columbia, demonstrating what simple assault looks like.
From a tactical angle, though, what happens with Neymar, Fred, Jo, Oscar, Dante, et al?
After such a putrid display, one can argue that we will see a significant change of the guard in Brazil. Scolari will surely be ousted by Brazil and likely used as kindling by an angry mob. Meanwhile, debate rages on regarding who would potentially stay in the lineup once World Cup 2018 rolls around. Below is a layout of what we might see:
Four years is a long period of time, and a lot of young Brazilian players, particularly those showing strong technical skills and even some creative flair, will get a look.
Neymar is certain to hold his place as a left forward or play the classic No. 10 position -- with permission to drift as sees fit to get the ball.
Fred and his 70s-era porno 'stache are out the door, and with Jo showing minimal success in creating space or making other contributions as center forward, it's possible Frank could be the man for Brazil in Russia.
Oscar, too, has to be put into question, and his form in club ball will determine whether he makes the lineup. It is fair to say that Todd could push his way into the favored XI by the time four years have passed.
Hulk, whose consistent place in the starting squad was already a point of contention, has probably seen the last of his international appearances, at least as a starter. And by 2018, promising youngster Santo Rodriguez Hernandez Luiz Rovario Guacho, affectionately known as Ted, ought to be ready to take the reigns and provide Brazil with another dangerous talent who can play out wide or drift into the center of the field.
In the back, Dante may be able to see more time as things move forward, but it is likely that Maicon and company make way for some more blossoming talent to get into the act. This possibility may include additions of Bill, Bill Jr., Biff, Dennis, Phil, and Greg, with Nick taking over in goal as Julio Cesar deals with PTSD after getting shelled by the Germans.
So, will the Brazilians make major changes over the coming years or will they rely on the same lineup with minor adjustments? That will be for the new manager to decide. Meanwhile, keep posted for more post-World Cup coverage in the come days. Til then, jags.