Flamengo is going through a phase of instability. Under constant questioning due to the contested performances in command, the technician Paulo Sousa has seen his permanence in the position of coach of the team increasingly in check. And much of this is due to the inconsistent performances, and also to the bad timing of the defensive system.
Marked by the tactical changes made to the team, moving the team to a system with three defenders with the ball, and a line of four or five defenders behind without possession, Paulo Sousa still hasn’t found a way to stabilize the team and suffer few goals. Especially after the final stretch of the State, this has been a bigger problem.
However, the unstable situation in the Flamengo defensive system has not started now. Since the departure of Jorge Jesus, still in 2020, Rubro-Negro has been experiencing a “roller coaster” in relation to the successors of the Portuguese coach, multi-champion in Flamengo between 2019 and 2020.
If with Mister the team stood out for its offensive power and for quickly recovering the ball and preventing the opponent from reaching its goal, future changes were not so successful. and the success of Jorge Jesus also generated harsh comparisons: with him, 58 games, with only 48 goals conceded; of these matches, in 24 Flamengo left without conceding a single goal.
the average of 0.83 goals conceded per game makes Jorge Jesus the most effective coach of Flamengo in the defensive system since 2019. And his first successor, Domenec Torrent, brought the biggest counterpoint: with the Catalan, Rubro-Negro had the worst defensive rates of the last four years. There were 38 goals conceded in 26 games, with an average of 1.46 per game; there were only five duels, under the command of Dome, with Fla without having the defense leaked.
Subsequently, the oscillations began to occur: Rogerio Ceni took over the team, still in the 2020 season, was national champion, and was fired in the middle of the following Brasileirão campaign. During the period, he commanded the team in 54 matches and conceded 57 goalswith average of 1.06 per game; there were 17 matches in which the team did not concede a goal with him in charge.
After, Renato Gaucho reached the best numbers since Jorge Jesus. With an overwhelming start and many hits applied, the team also showed greater consistency behind and many games without being leaked: in Renato’s 39 appointments as a flamengo coach, in 18 the team did not concede a goal. were just 33 conceded in the entire period, at an average of 0.85 per matchvery close to view with Mister at the helm.
Finally, the arrival of Paulo Sousa put the team in a different reality. Going through a process of rupture greater than that of his predecessors, the former coach of the Polish national team has found it difficult to fit a more cohesive team in the defense; also because of the many embezzlement in the past, as in previous years.
With Sousa in charge, there were 23 games played and 21 goals conceded, with an average of 0.91 per game. In all, there were seven duels in which the team left without being leaked, under the command of the Portuguese, this season.
Embezzlement and changes in defense
It is true that the Flamengo team fit in very well in 2019, especially when finding a more consolidated defensive line. The lineup with Diego Alves in goal; Rafinha and Filipe Luís on the sides; Rodrigo Caio and Pablo Marí in the defense; and Willian Arão as the first steering wheel was decorated on the head of each Flamengo fan in the most victorious period of the Club in this century.
In the following years, the departures of Pablo Marí and Rafinha to European football, in addition to the subsequent injuries of Rodrigo Caio, changed the team’s panorama. Names that arrived to fill needs, such as Léo Pereira, Gustavo Henrique and Mauricio Isla, went through ups and downs, and even improvisations, such as those of Willian Arão in the defense, had to occur.
In the period of rediscovering the best players for the defensive system, Flamengo continues to look for the options that best fit the system. In 2022, with Rodrigo Caio having serious knee problems, and the recent injuries to defenders Pablo, Fabrício Bruno and Gustavo Henrique, Paulo Sousa also resorted to improvisation.
This time, even the owner of the goal is undefined: if Diego Alves became the last option in an open way, the arrival of Santos, a former Athletico-PR archer who also joined the Brazilian National Team, puts a bigger doubt on the disputes for a place with Hugo Souza.
Return of Jorge Jesus?
This Thursday (5), the statement by coach Jorge Jesus, who said he was open to resume Flamengo, echoed. In an interview with journalist Renato Maurício Prado, ‘Mister’ revealed that he did not feel good seeing the Club in a difficult situation, and established a “deadline” to be triggered by Rubro-Negro, in an eventual return.
The Portuguese, who was fired from Benfica in December, and wanted by Fla at the time, said he has until the 20th of this month to be called again by the Rio de Janeiro club. However, the statement disregards the continuity of the current coach of the team, Paulo Sousa, chosen by the board after difficulties in the negotiations of JJ’s return.