Is Dunga the Right Man to Lead Brazil Recovery After World Cup Disaster?

Robbie BlakeleySpecial to Bleacher ReportJuly 22, 2014

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The recruitment process was short. Dunga was confirmed as Brazil's new head coach on Tuesday, as was first reported in the Brazilian press (link in Portuguese) late last week, less than a fortnight after Luiz Felipe Scolari's dismissal.

If his second coming is somewhat of a surprise, you are not alone. Former Corinthians boss Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, perhaps better known as Tite, one of the most successful club coaches in the Brazilian game over the last few years, had been widely tipped to take the Selecao post.

Instead, the man who was vilified for his brand of football the last time he was in charge is back for another crack of the whip. The polar opposite of the outgoing Scolari, the 1994 World Cup-winning captain was famed for his lack of time for the press during his first stint and made few friends within the media.

But in the wake of the most humiliating result in the history of Brazilian football, perhaps this is what is needed. To take a well-coined phrase from Jerome Valcke, the proverbial "kick up the backside."

The 7-1 defeat to Germany should prove to the Brazilian Football Confederation that they are, in fact, light years behind the global leaders in 2014. If the 2018 tournament is to be any different, a harder line and less complacency will be key components of the restructuring process.

Dunga won 42 of his 60 games in charge during his first spell as Selecao coach.
Dunga won 42 of his 60 games in charge during his first spell as Selecao coach.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

During his first four years in charge, Dunga was relatively successful. He won the 2007 Copa America, the 2009 Confederations Cup and finished top of the South American qualifying group for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In total he took charge of 60 matches, winning 42, drawing 12 and losing just six.

But 2010 is where the wheels came off the Dunga wagon. The Selecao fell to the Netherlands at the World Cup quarter-final stage and the former Internacional manager was sent packing.

Dunga was sacked after Brazil lost to Holland in the 2010 World Cup.
Dunga was sacked after Brazil lost to Holland in the 2010 World Cup.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Crucially, he succeeded in getting his team performing without excessive reliance on one man. Going into the World Cup in South Africa, Kaka was in possession of the No. 10 shirt and was the main creative outlet.

But he forged a fruitful partnership between Robinho and Luis Fabiano at the spearhead of the attack. Between them, they netted 41 times during the Dunga years.

That said, his reappointment has hardly caught the imagination of the Brazilian public. Whilst he may have tasted success in some tournaments, the only one that really matters in this part of the globe is the World Cup.

The partnership between Robinho and Luis Fabiano was one of the highlights of Dunga's first spell.
The partnership between Robinho and Luis Fabiano was one of the highlights of Dunga's first spell.Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

And on that count he failed.

Brazilian sports journalist Ricardo da Silva Gomes, of football magazine Placar (link in Portuguese), broke the story last week and thinks there are better options out there for the Selecao, whilst maintaining the former boss could taste triumph:

I got hold of this information [the imminent hiring of Dunga] on Thursday night and we published it soon afterwards. Dunga was a surprise choice in 2006 because he had never previously been a coach.

He was successful in his first spell but I think there are better options out there than Dunga at this moment in time. I was expecting Tite to get the job, but, with talented young players like Neymar, Oscar and Philippe Coutinho, Dunga could do a good job again.

A positive is that the new coach is unlikely to have favourites. One of the most frequent criticisms of Scolari during his second spell in charge was his refusal to explore further options due to his fondness for a particular player.

Scolari's preference for Bernard was difficult to comprehend.
Scolari's preference for Bernard was difficult to comprehend.Buda Mendes/Getty Images

In some cases, it worked out. Julio Cesar was instrumental in Brazil's penalty shootout win over Chile.

But in other circumstances it was harder to fathom, and Scolari's decision to play Bernard in the decisive semi-final against Germany will surely be held up as one of the biggest tactical blunders in a World Cup tie.

There may admittedly have been other, more exciting and fresher names in the picture, but it is Dunga who will have the task of kick-starting the Brazilian revolution.

Ramon Campos thinks someone else may have had a better chance of energising the team:

He [Dunga] has already failed, we should bet on someone with a new profile.

We need to change our way of playing. I have the impression we still think football is the same way it was in 1998.

That theory should have been blown to bits by now. He may not excite, but Brazil don't need entertainment. They need graft, application, and, above all, results.

For the time being, with expectations slightly lowered, Dunga may just be the man to deliver.

All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise stated.