Fernando Diniz is an enchanting coach with new methods of considering
Tim Vickery’s Notes from South America: Atletico Paranaense dare to be totally different
The issues of home Brazilian soccer go nicely past the monetary. In spite of everything, the nation’s golf equipment are far wealthier than their opponents elsewhere on the continent. However they don’t dominate the Libertadores Cup, South America’s equal of the Champions League.
There’s additionally a disaster of concepts. If something, the current story of the nationwide group backs this up. With few modifications in personnel, coach Tite took a group which underneath predecessor Dunga was outdoors the World Cup locations, after which led them on a victory cruise to Russia, the place they are going to be one of many favourites. This got here after an software of tactical ideas gleaned from an intense research of the European recreation. However Tite is an exception. There aren’t any Brazilian coaches in high stage European soccer and, bloated by success, the nation’s footballing tradition has mouldered in complacent isolation.
For years there was an obsession with the sport’s bodily improvement. Central midfielders wanted to be six footers to win the bodily battles; there was now not house on the sector to play a possession based mostly recreation; technique needs to be dominated by the counter assault.
After which alongside got here Pep Guardiola, and these castles got here tumbling down.
However Brazilian soccer has been very gradual to react – if it has reacted in any respect. Among the old-fashioned have most popular to dismiss Guardiola. Former nationwide group coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo stated two years in the past that “Guardiola is extra advertising and marketing than coach”. There was no concerted try by a primary division membership to include a few of Guardiola’s considering.
Till now. Fernando Diniz wouldn’t be happy to be described as a disciple of tiki-taka. He prefers to argue that he has developed his personal ideas. Wherever they arrive from, they’re very attention-grabbing.
Now 44, Diniz was attacking midfielder in all probability greatest recognized for a spell with Fluminense firstly of the century. He additionally has a level in psychology, and since embarking on a training profession practically a decade in the past he has been using his information of soccer and of human relations in an enchanting method. His groups are radically totally different from the norm in Brazil. He seeks to construct from the again, with the goalkeeper taking part in an important position in transfer initiation; he favours a again three which incorporates midfielders; his group is compact, with a rotation of positions and a continuing search to create triangles; and their possession based mostly recreation seeks to strangle the opposition in their very own half.
It’s outstanding that a lot time has handed earlier than Diniz was given an opportunity with a primary division membership. His work with smaller outfits had been constantly eye catching.
However the mannequin has its dangers – of being caught on the counter assault, or of shedding the ball attempting to cross out from the again. Membership presidents have most popular to play it protected. However this yr Atletico Paranaense have gone daring.
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Atletico are an unconventional membership. They dismiss the state championship, for instance. Diniz and the primary group didn’t even participate within the Parana state championship. That was left to a reserve squad, whereas Diniz had extra time to drill his group. That is elementary, as a result of the Brazilian calendar leaves little or no time for coaching and innovation if the golf equipment attempt to chase each out there piece of silverware. Diniz and his males have solely performed seven video games this yr – and it’s the two over the previous few days which have introduced them most consideration.
On Thursday within the Copa Sudamericana, a Europa League equal, they blew aside Argentina’s Newell’s Outdated Boys within the first half, racing to a Three-Zero lead, transferring the ball splendidly and forcing their opponents to defend giant areas.
On Sunday they have been at residence as soon as extra, this time to Chapecoense within the opening spherical of the Brazilian League. Diniz made 5 modifications, fielding an inexperienced facet. And regardless of having fun with round 80% of possession, they may not make a primary half breakthrough. Worse, Chapecoense took the lead early within the second half – predictably sufficient, with a header from a set piece.
How would Atletico react? Underneath scoreline stress, would they proceed to think about their mannequin of play? Their 5-1 win would appear to dispel any doubts.
And there’s no doubt that they are going to be an enchanting group to observe on this yr’s championship. Opponents will research them in depth. There’ll in all probability be some heavy defeats alongside the best way. Will the group preserve its religion? Extra importantly, will the membership preserve its religion? Will a foul run result in a fast sacking, as is so usually the case in Brazil? That will be a disgrace. The league is already benefiting from the presence of a coach ready to do issues otherwise.