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Stubborn Dunga dug own grave

By Sy Lerman, Sapa | Jul 05, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE ghosts of his stoic and at times arrogant selection blunders will surely come to haunt Carlos Dunga long after he has been delegated to what now seems a certain Brazilian coaching grave.

In a soccer-mad country where failure to win the World Cup is little short of a tragedy and invariably a non-negotiable commodity for any coach, Dunga went out on a limb when he inexplicably refused to include charismatic soccer genius Ronaldinho in his 2010 World Cup squad.

But almost as though fate took a hand in knocking the nails into Dunga's coffin as Brazil slithered to a 2-1 defeat against Holland at Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday, it was Dunga's controversially selected Felipe Melo that precipitated the jarring second-half decline of the five-time champions.

Although a talented player, Melo has experienced an alarming decline in form over the past 12 months so much that he has regularly been booed by supporters of Juventus, in Italy, where he is now based after a series of blunders not dissimilar to those he committed against The Netherlands.

In the first instance it was Melo's header that deflected the Jabulani ball into the net past bemused goalkeeper Julio Cesar for The Netherlands' second-half equaliser.

Then again it was the hapless Melo who was responsible for Brazil being reduced to 10 men in the 68th minute when he needlessly stomped all over Arjen Robben.

And Dunga's world - or should that be World Cup - fell apart after he had also stuck by a combination he had pieced together 12 months earlier while stubbornly disregarding the loss of form of a number of other players apart from Melo.

He resorted to utilising three defensive midfielders following the injury to Elano and playing Dani Alves, one of the world's leading full-backs, out-of-position in a role where his talents are largely negated.

And, apart from the non-selection of Ronaldinho, the implacable Dunga had also turned his back on brilliant AC Milan striker Pato and a host of dynamic, emerging young Brazilian stars.

That is how Dunga dug his own grave.


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