Friday 25 November 2016

Inter the abyss: Struggling Internacional in need of a miracle as first ever relegation beckons

It wasn't meant to be this way for Internacional. Their opening eight matches of the Brasileirão season yielded 19 points – enough to take them to head of the table, three points clear of the chasing pack. A good season looked in prospect.

Since then, however... well, you could only really call it a disaster. Inter went on a 14-game winless run, sacked three managers and, with two seasons of the season remaining, find themselves in the relegation zone.

They have never been relegated from Brazil's top flight, but the Colorado now need a miracle – or a couple of them – if they're to avoid demotion on the weeks ahead. Read about their situation in my latest for WhoScored.

Friday 18 November 2016

Job security? You've come to the wrong place! Why Brazil's sacking culture is holding coaches back

Levir Culpi wasn't going to go quietly. The coach, axed by Brazilian giants Fluminense, had a few things he wanted to get off his chest first.

"I'm pissed off," he wrote in an open letter to the club. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to be part of Fluminense's history. To work for nine months at a club famous for being the best in the world at sacking coaches is no mean feat."

His ire was understandable. True, Flu had gone six games without a win – a run marked by some fairly miserable football. But Levir had brought stability to a club rocked by behind-the-scenes turmoil and the sale of star player Fred, even guiding the Tricolor to glory in the inaugural edition of the Primeira Liga.

Unfortunately, this kind of thing is all too common in Brazil. While Levir's claim that Flu are the worst offenders is up for debate, there can be little doubt that Brazilian clubs on the whole are world-class sackers of football managers.

Read my latest for FourFourTwo here.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Back to the scene of the crime: Brazil return to the Mineirão looking to exorcise ghosts of Germany thrashing

Even two years on, the memories remain fresh. It was a harrowing, indelible night, one that continues to be spoken about with a vague sense of disbelief. There are defeats and then there are defeats, and Brazil's World Cup capitulation at the hands of Germany – 'the 7-1', as it has come to be known – will forever merit the italics.

On Thursday, the Seleção return to the scene of the criminal defending for the first time, looking to exorcise some of the demons that have taken up residence at the Mineirão. Brazil vs Argentina: it's a match that doesn't really need subplots, but by God, we've got one.

Read my match preview for WhoScored here.