Confederations Cup 2013: Three lessons as Brazil beat Mexico
Confederations Cup 2013: Michael Cox takes a look at three talking points from Brazil's 2-0 victory over Mexico
Did Tottenham let Dos Santos go too soon?
When Tottenham signed Giovani Dos Santos from Barcelona in June 2008, he was set to be the next big thing for Spurs. He never fulfilled his potential at White Hart Lane, but did they let him go too soon? He was Mexico’s best player against Brazil, and arguably, behind Neymar, the best player on the pitch. The Gold Cup winners went a goal down early on thanks to Neymar’s wonderful volley, and against such a good side playing on their own turf, it was always going to be tough for the Mexicans. But their positive play all came through Mallorca’s Dos Santos, it was a similar story on Sunday too, with the tricky winger winning the penalty against Italy. If Gareth Bale is to leave Tottenham then a huge void will need to be filled at the north London club. Perhaps if Dos Santos was still on their books, there would not be as much pressure on Andre Villas-Boas to keep Bale. Playing behind Javier Hernández on the right-hand side, but equally as good on his left foot, he caused Marcelo real problems especially in the first half and Brazil’s 1-0 half time lead looked a vulnerable one. Unfortunately for Mexico, they could not quite find their way back in to the game and the tournament itself, with Neymar, who was brilliant, unselfishly setting up Jo to secure another three points for the hosts. But Mexico have shown, especially through Dos Santos, that they are a decent side, and Tottenham may just live to regret letting the 24-year-old slip away.
Mourinho must play Luiz in midfield
The argument about David Luiz’s best position has been going for a while now, but surely it is starting to edge in favour of a holding midfield position. He is brilliant going forward and great at winning the ball, however he is often caught too high up the pitch, as he was tonight when Hernández released Andres Guardado, who would surely have equalised had it not been for Júlio Cesar’s superb reactions. John Obi Mikel has never really won the Chelsea fans over and they surely would prefer to see the wonderful Ramires partner Luiz as the two holding midfielders at Stamford Bridge. When a centre-half’s greatest asset is his attacking play, then something is not right. Luiz does not seem to have a defender’s mentality and the sooner Jose Mourinho completes his transformation from centre-half to midfielder, the better for Chelsea. Luiz Felipe Scolari has about a year to realise it too, because with Luiz, Thiago Silva, Dani Alves and Marcelo as his back four, he has four excellent players but they are all far too keen on getting up the field and helping Brazil attack.
Paulinho would be a great addition to any Premier League side
One Brazilian central midfielder has already joined the Premier League this summer – Fernandinho arrived at Manchester City last week. If someone picks up Paulinho, they will have acquired a brilliant footballer. Linked with a move to White Hart Lane, the 24-year-old would improve the Tottenham side massively. He almost scored an incredible solo goal against Mexico, picking the ball up in his own half before sprinting past three opposition defenders until he was felled on the edge of the box. His goal against Japan was key to settling the hosts’ nerves and he put in another solid display as Brazil eventually ran out 2-0 winners to all but secure a place in the final four.