`Goose` has Brazil coach Dunga in a stew

Last Updated: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 18:05

Brasilia: Brazil coach Dunga is coming under increasing pressure to include Santos youngsters Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso in his World Cup squad after the pair`s electrifying performances for Santos this season.

With Brazil heavily dependent on out-of-form Kaka for creativity, many feel the pair should be given a chance by Dunga after scoring 10 goals apiece in helping Santos top the Paulista championship.

Forward Neymar, 18, has already been likened to Robinho thanks to his dribbling and was even reprimanded for show-boating by Corinthians forward Ronaldo after his side were on the wrong end of his skills.

But it is left-footed midfielder Paulo Henrique -- known additionally as Ganso (Goose) because of his lanky build -- who has really caught the eye, not least because he plays in the creative midfield role Brazil have found increasingly difficult to fill.

The 20-year-old`s delicately lobbed goal against Monte Azul last month had the air of former World Cup captain Socrates about it.

Although Dunga`s Brazil are lethal on the counter-attack, they have struggled to break down teams who pack their defences as shown by the dire 0-0 draws at home to Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela in World Cup qualifiers.

"The national team doesn`t have a creative midfielder, just Kaka," said newspaper columnist Alberto Helena Junior in a television programme.

Brazil`s 1970 World Cup captain Carlos Alberto Torres told the same programme: "I would take both of them, without any fear. They both know how to play football. The national team is the place for the best, you have to take them.”

However, Pele pointed out that the two have shone only in the Paulista championship, a season-opening contest of a generally weak standard.

"This Santos team has never played a South American side, they have never had to play in Argentina or Uruguay or Paraguay, and they haven`t played in Europe," he said. "This type of experience is important for a World Cup and they haven`t had it."

Carlos Alberto Parreira, who led Brazil to World Cup victory in 1994 and a disappointing quarter-final exit in 2006, said there was not enough time to test them internationally.

"Neymar and Ganso have great potential, but Dunga is the one who knows the right moment to pick them," the current South Africa coach told reporters in Brazil where his team have been preparing.”

"It`s awkward for a coach to take a player to the World Cup without having tested him. Without a test, you don`t know how a player will respond on the pitch."

Bureau Report



First Published: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 18:05

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