Ramires and Willian should have started for Brazil in their World Cup semi-final, claims Phil Neville.
Brazil's embarrassing capitulation at the hands of Germany will be forever etched in their nation's consciousness.
7-1 defeats are not easily forgotten, let alone ones at home in the World Cup with a place in the Final at stake.
Brazil boss Phil Scolari admitted after the game that he should take the criticism, and former Manchester United and Everton midfielder Phil Neville agrees that his team selection held them back.
He voiced his opinion that Chelsea duo Ramires and Willian should have started the game, and this was where it began to go wrong.
Willian better than Bernard and ramieres should be playing - Scolari poor team selection— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) July 8, 2014
Brazil's midfield was weak in the first half, and the thought that the energy of Ramires would have gone some way to preventing them effectively giving up is a sound one.
Yet a look at his contribution after he came on at half-time, suggests he may not have been able to prevent the relentless German machine from crushing the Selecao.
|Team||Won Tackles||Interceptions||Accurate Passes|
No tackles won, no interceptions and only 19 accurate passes during 45 minutes of football suggests that had he been on the pitch when Germany were playing at more intensity in the first half, Joachim Low's side still would have swept them aside.
Where Brazil clearly lacked impact was in attack, and Willian over Bernard is a call which in retrospect Scolari clearly should have made.
In Willian's 21 minutes on the pitch, he created three times as many chances as Bernard made during the entire game.
Had he been on from the very start, and helped create an early goal, everything could have looked different - although you suspect any 11 Scolari put out would have been on the end of a German defeat regardless, but perhaps the Chelsea duo could have made it less severe.