Today, Brazil opened the year with their first match against a valiant Bosniak squad. While Bosnia waited on their own half to storm Brazil with counter-attacks, Brazil had Barcelona-like possessions although they did not create anything during the first half after Marcelo's initial strike.
Bosnia kept to Safet Susic's strategy and Edin Dzeko stole an awful pass by the inconsistent David Luiz and threaded the ball to Vedad Ibisevic, who scored off Thiago Silva's leg.
The second half was very much dull until Mano Menezes took out Ronaldinho and Hernanes and replaced them with Ganso and Hulk.
After that, Brazil pretty much controlled possession but never really managed to get a good shot on Asmir Begovic's net. When Lucas Silva came in for Leandro Damião, Brazil got even more aggressive until Hulk got a ball on the right side of the box and executed a cross and scored off an unfortunate touch by Rangers' defender Sasa Papac.
Bosnia is a team way ahead on their squad construction. Most of the pieces, including the youngster Miralem Pjanic, have been playing together on the top squad for a while now.
While these players alone, except for Dzeko and Pjanic himself, are totally uninspiring by themselves on their club squads, they already have achieved a level of bonding that rivals that of Spain and Germany when they play together.
Their group draw's toughest opponents are the Greeks. Bosnia is ranked 19th best on the FIFA ranking, and while they might seem overrated, this squad deserves to at least in the top 30 of the world.
Due to their easy group, we'll see the Bosniaks in Brazil 2014 if all goes as planned.
Ever since 2005, Ronaldinho hasn't played a lights out, great match for the Brazilian squad. Some of us might even say that since 2005, he hasn't put in a decent performance for the Canarinho.
While the most recent coaching staffs have given him every opportunity to regain his touch, to the point of taking him to the Olympics in Beijing, he has failed at every opportunity.
Against Bosnia, it was more of the same. He did not make a single offensive play and was totally ineffective in the Brazilian midfield.
Enough is enough. Mano needs to realize that Ronaldinho's best days are long gone and that, despite his flashes of brilliance once every six months for Flamengo, he does not deserve a spot in the Brazilian squad. Keeping him in is only slowing down the rebuilding process.
Hernanes is a star attacking midfielder playing for Lazio in the Serie A. With a quality touch and a knack for finding the net, Hernanes has the potential to be the spark that propels Brazil towards their goal of winning the World Cup.
With Brazil, he hasn't been able to showcase his skill because either Mano uses him wide on the right, like today in the second half, or in the position that Bastian Schweinsteiger mans in Germany.
If Mano wants Hernanes to be an effective player, he needs to remove Ronaldinho from that slot and introduce Hernanes there. Along with Ganso, Neymar and Leandro Damião, the Brazilian offense would receive a needed scoring punch. It would add flamboyance to a team that looks dry on the pitch.
David Luiz was a highly touted player that came to Chelsea after having stellar seasons for Portuguese side Benfica F.C. While he has had good matches this season, he has been the symbol of Chelsea's inconsistencies.
On the national squad, he hasn't fared much better either. He's a good defender that still has a long way to go and, similar to Ronaldinho, if he wants a spot in Brazil's starting XI, he needs to regain his touch.
Brazil's defense core for the last decade, composed of Lucio, Juan, and Maicon, might still provide some interesting support while David Luiz finds his form again.
I'm sure that the youngster with 3 World Cups in him, which would make for a total of 12+ years at the helm of the Brazilian defense, needs some time off to regain his touch in order to provide solid defense in 2014.
Neymar is ready for international stardom. While Santos F.C. struggles to keep him and his talent in Brazil, Mano Menezes isn't shy enough to keep Neymar out of the squad. Along with Neymar, Mano regularly calls up Ganso, Leandro Damião and Lucas Silva for friendlies.
It's time for Mano to give a good hard look at the Brazilian national market because he might be able to find some very interesting pieces to solve his puzzle.
Down south in S.C. Internacional, besides Damião, there's Oscar, an immensely talented offensive midfield that, when on the field, is worthy of being called up for the national squad. The only problem with him is his ongoing judicial battle to be away from from São Paulo F.C.
Another intriguing prospect is Vasco da Gama's Bernardo. Also an offensive midfielder, this player has a refined touch and is able to place the ball wherever he wants. However, this player is MIA due to his ongoing judicial battle with his club to receive the wages they owe him.
To finish off, Arouca, an older player for Santos F.C., might be a name that Mano needs to consider for the center midfield position. Arouca has the touch and endurance to form a nice duet with Shakhtar's Fernandinho, Liverpool's Lucas Leiva, or Sporting's Elias, in the Brazilian midfield in an effort to produce a more refined touch for players ahead.
I mentioned that the Brazilian squad needs flamboyance. Why? Because, being a Brazilian, that is what I figure to be the biggest clamor among the public.
Hulk is that player. He's a flamboyant winger with a powerful strike and unrelenting speed, who has the ability, along with Neymar, to create havoc among defenses throughout the world.
Mano needs to find him a place of the starting XI for added firepower Brazil so desperately needs. With Hulk and Neymar teaming up, Brazil would be well on their way to find a starting formation for the World Cup.