III. Under new management
2022: The Calvary, part 1
Campaz in a training session. I deposit a lot of hope on our youngsters Ph: Lucas Uebel/Grêmio
The first thing I wanted to guarantee from the start is that we can break patterns. After the success of Renato Portaluppi, no one dared to break the pattern from his work
, and I knew we were marching to tragedy every time a new manager would mention the word “continuity”, trying to continue a project that evidently had seen better days.
One thing that does hinder my plans, however, is the fact that most transfer windows around the world were already closed when I finally got the board’s blessing on the decision of letting some people go. Because of that, even though I did manage to find new clubs for most of our leftovers, they will take a while to leave
. If you see our u-23 squad playing some 35 year-olds, now you know why.
In the meanwhile, let’s talk about the best ones who will stay:
, goal-keeper, 23 - one of the only good news of 2021, I have a lot of faith that Brenno will develop to be one of the great goal-keepes in Brazilian football.
, right-back, 20 - it is just bizarre that this kid was benched because of Rafinha. Far more talent. Far more potential. Doesn’t sabotage managers.
, centre-back, 36 - given his old age and his deteriorating physical condition, I felt in doubt about keeping Geromel with us. But he’s been a loyal servant of this club and our captain during the 2017 Copa Libertadores title, so he deserves to be a part of the rebuild.
, right-wing, 31 - I don’t know if I would kept him if I thought it through, specially due to his age and salary, but he has expressed his wish to make part of the rebuild, and his undeniable talent convinced me that he could be a part of it.
We have a lot of talent in our youth academy, and I plan on using it. One sector, however, lacks depth: the defense. Even though we have the amazing Vanderson and the competent Guilherme Guedes at the sides, the core of our defensive system has only Geromel and Rodrigues
, and this latter, although enough for Série B, doesn’t have the potential to be a star in Série A. And I’d rather play players with potential to do well in Série A. So I brought two extra defenders:
, centre-back, 24 - despite an unsuccessful venture in the Argentinean football, the 24 year-old Paraguayan is still deemed as a player with a lot of potential, who I think can profit from his last chance to develop in great facilities.
, centre-back, 25 - after the departure of Kannemann, who still had market for European football, I missed the presence of a left-footed centre-back in our squad, so I poached the best one from Sport Recife, who were relegated alongside us.
For our future, I also brought the midfielder Liedson, the Paraguayan right-winger Erik López, and the Paraguayan striker Fernando Ovelar
, whose talents are yet to deserve a full comment on a post.
Tactical-wise, I decided to keep the 4-2-3-1 that the club has been using for ages. Even though I don’t like it specially, it seems to be the tactical figure that suits our squad best
, specially in a season in which we will need more players out front. What I will definitely change, though, is the strategy, switching from an innocuous Tiki-Taka to a more intense Gegenpress.
This formation has 3 players above the age of 25, in opposition to a mode of 8 in 2021
State championships are a peculiar characteristic in Brazilian football. In opposition to Germany, who managed to transform their regional championships in part of their pyramid, Brazil did it only partially, much to the political power that state federations hold to this day.
I prefer to consider it as a pre-season tournament, an opportunity to play our forgotten younger players whose time is running out to have some playing time
and develop their abilities, and most importantly, get myself acclimated to the new signings and the new playing style.
Despite the terror preached by Ítalo Faruk, we weren’t that bad. Despite a terrible display in our first Grenal and a disappointing tie against our fellow releguees
in Juventude, we smashed the smaller clubs, and our wonderkid Elias even managed to get 9 goals in a single game
We do need to improve, but it could be way worse.
With our performance against the smaller clubs, I was positive that we could find the gears to make sure we can present the same offensive prowess against stronger squads. A team that can score 5 against Caxias and 10 against São Luiz surely has the potential to score at least 1 on Juventude
. And I am glad to be able to find these gears for the knock-out stages and push this squad forwards. In fact, much to the delight of Ítalo Faruk, we actually won the thing:
You won’t see me celebrating this accomplishment just yet. State Championships can be deceiving, as 2021 has shown us. We won 2021, and ended up relegated. So there is still a lot of ground to cover.
Copa do Brasil
This year specifically because of the World Cup, the Copa do Brasil will be played in one-legged match-ups, which is an interesting situation for us. Given that our squad is not that bad, one-legged match-ups give us the opportunity to play for just one surprise against the greatest squads in the country
, instead of only two. With some luck, we can be competitive in this very - VERY - lucrative competition.
We started off with two great rounds, beating the non-divisioned side Boavista by 0-7, and then beating the Série C side Botafogo (PB) by 4-1. Next round will be against Coritiba, our first match-up against a Série A side.
Brasileirão 2022 - Série B
Last but not least, the Série B season is about to begin. We are appointed as obvious favorites
, but we are not the only G12 club playing this Série B, as Vasco and Cruzeiro both failed to get back to Série A in 2021. We still can make some more additions to the squad in the following weeks, so it can be that we play a different - and hopefully improved - team throughout this season.