Jorge Sampaoli ended his spell at Flamengo with the style that marked him in the 167 days of Ninho do Urubu. Distant, cold and few words, he did not participate in the meeting that sealed the end of his frustrating career at the club. Businessman Dani Monti and coordinator Gabriel Andreata represented him.
See what Jorge Sampaoli’s time at Flamengo was like
Ephemeral, like the meeting between his staff and Marcos Braz and Bruno Spindel, which lasted six minutes, was the period of Flamengo: five months and only 39 games – with 39 different lineups, 20 wins, 11 draws and eight defeats.
Before his dismissal, Sampaoli led three training sessions when everyone at the club knew he would be fired at any moment. The embarrassment ends a passage that was marked by a coach cloistered in the bubble of his coaching staff. On a daily basis, especially in recent weeks, the Argentine’s complete lack of dialogue with the squad and managers has drawn attention.
Last year, Tite said he would not work in 2023
Tite is the red-black board’s favorite to replace the Argentine, but the former national team coach has not yet decided whether he will return to work this year.
See how Sampaoli spent time at Flamengo:
“Plan A, more than Europe”
Announced on April 14, Jorge Sampaoli was officially presented three days later. The Argentine assured that the Flamengo it was his “plan A”, even above any European proposal. He promised to do his best to bring joy to the fans and restore competitiveness to the team. He failed to fulfill his mission.
The beginning was with victory and showed a conciliatory side that would not be confirmed. He brought Vidal and Marinho, who stood out under his guidance for the Chilean national team and Santos respectively. Both were starters in the first game, the 2-0 victory over Ñublense, at Maracanã, in the Libertadores.
Jorge Sampaoli is presented by Flamengo
They lost in the next game 2-1 to Internacional, but the Flamengo played better. Three days later, he beat Maringá 8-2, in the Copa do Brasil, and said a phrase that would become the target of accusations in the following months: “I want to create an invincible team.”
In the next three games, the first turbulence. They lost to Botafogo, drew with Racing playing with one more for a long time and ended up defeated by Athletico-PR.
The big deal and the first decision that caused turbulence
In the sequence of stumbles mentioned above, Sampaoli achieved the biggest success of his management. He transformed the vulnerable Pulgar into an absolute starter and highlight of the team. In the first game he played with the coach, the midfielder provided a great assist for Gabigol to score in a 1-1 draw with Racing.
On May 13, Sampaoli outraged football vice Marcos Braz and shocked other members of the football department by making five substitutions at halftime in the 3-2 victory over Bahia. The team finished the first half with 3-1 on the scoreboard, but suffered in the final stage, even playing with two extra athletes for a considerable period.
After the match against Bahia, there were many muscle injuries. Gerson had already had a problem in the warm-up against Botafogo, Pedro was injured in a penalty taken against Goiás. Against Corinthians, another injury in the warm-up – Arrascaeta – and another during the match, defender Léo Pereira, who, without physical conditions , scored the winning goal playing as a striker.
Invincibility, historical embarrassment and departure of experienced players
The month of June was marked by different events. The first, with the return of Bruno Henrique, is the end of the attacking duo Gabigol and Pedro. At first, the coach gave each one a chance to start, but then he opted for number 10 and decided to give number 9 a few minutes.
It was also in June that the best performances of the Flamengo under Sampaoli they happened. On the 1st, they eliminated Fluminense from the Copa do Brasil with authority and a 2-0 victory. Four days later, they beat Vasco 4-1 in a game that could have ended with a greater margin.
After the two classics, the Flamengo achieved an important victory over Racing at home and scored 3-0 at Grêmio de Suárez, reaching 10 games unbeaten. The problem was the next duel.
After the FIFA date and the first full week of training, the team returned at a sleepy pace and was humiliated by Bragantino. They lost 4-0 and, if it weren’t for Matheus Cunha, the loss would have been greater.
The scare shook the structures of the Nest, but the Flamengo put together another important unbeaten streak: 11 games, with eight wins and three draws. Within this period, the best game under Sampaoli’s guidance came, the 2-0 over Grêmio in Porto Alegre, in the first game of the Copa do Brasil semi-final.
The good results, although not always with great performances, overshadowed the distant relationship between Sampaoli and his technical committee with Ninho do Urubu players and employees.
Between June and July, after relationship problems and indiscipline, Marinho and Vidal, old acquaintances of Sampaoli, left the Flamengo towards Fortaleza and Athletico-PR. The striker apologized, while the Chilean called the coach a “loser”.
Punches take Flamengo from Sampaoli to knockout
The problem is that the penultimate of the 11 games of the undefeated series knocked out the Flamengo from Sampaoli. After the 2-1 victory over Atlético-MG, coach Pablo Fernández punched Pedro in the face in the dressing room after the match. The professional was outraged by the fact that the center forward had refused to participate in a warm-up in the final stretch of the game.
If before the results swept the cold relationship between coach and athletes under the carpet, Sampaoli’s attitude in handling the fight between a personal friend and the team’s top scorer of the season was essential for the locker room to collapse once and for all.
In a post on Instagram, Sampaoli compromised and placed the attacker (Pablo Fernández) and the victim (Pedro) in the same basket (read below). From then on, the group lost confidence in the commander. O Flamengo was on the ropes. Pablo resigned, and the coach took 16 days to talk to Pedro and give his coach satisfaction.
With the locker room lost and the very bad day-to-day atmosphere at Ninho do Urubu, the Flamengo started to collect terrible performances. They beat Olimpia with a meager 1-0 that would prove insufficient in the second leg of the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores.
The early elimination in the main continental competition was an embarrassment against a much inferior team, which achieved a 3-1 victory in Asunción with aerial goals.
Olimpia 3 X 1 Flamengo | Best Moments | CONMEBOL Libertadores 2023
It is important to highlight: the fall in Paraguay came three days after the reserve team was humiliated by Cuiabá in a game that ended 3-0 and could have had a more elastic result.
Sampaoli rejects truce attempt
In the 1-0 victory over Grêmio, achieved the day after the fight between Gerson and Varela, players celebrated Arrascaeta’s goal with the coach. They gathered around Sampaoli and celebrated him with hugs and slaps on his bald head.
Flamengo players celebrate goal with Sampaoli
Post-game, the coach was asked if the collective celebration could become a milestone and change the cold relationship he had with the squad. The answer was in the opposite direction.
– Football is a hot Roman circus. People come to give a thumbs up or thumbs down, there is no in between. When we talk about violence, this is very violent. People need this violence to live, we are part of it – said the coach.
– Unity is important, but it is more important when things don’t go well. In life, in football, things usually go less well than they go well. So that’s when you really see the human being, when things don’t work. When things go well, when you score a goal, the celebration is normal. Certainly, the coach’s loneliness, in defeat, would have happened today too.
Hope is suffocated by poor performances and vice
In the seven subsequent games, only two victories, one in a very poor performance against Coritiba and another in a solid performance against the leader Botafogo at Nilton Santos, which was the breeze of hope. The result shook the rival and started a series of three matches without winning for the black and white team.
The team, however, had a poor performance against São Paulo in the first match of the Copa do Brasil final, with no shots in the first half, and lost 1-0. On the way back, they had a good, reasonable initial stage, but ended up runner-up. with a 1-1 draw.
São Paulo 1 x 1 Flamengo – Highlights – 2nd game of the 2023 Copa do Brasil Final
The period also saw draws with the reserves of Inter and São Paulo for the Brazilian Championship, as well as a terrible 0-0 with Goiás. The stumbles practically took away the Flamengo of the fight for the Brazilian title.
The last week of Ninho do Urubu was marked by embarrassment. Sampaoli, players and staff knew that that unsustainable environment was living its last days. Even so, no one from the board spoke up or even communicated with the group and committee.
After three days with Sampaoli leading training in the “undead” condition, the Flamengo he made the Argentine the target of the “hot Roman circus” he had mentioned and gave a thumbs down.
End of a period marked by embarrassment on and off the field. The “respect for the balloon” preached by Sampaoli never appeared, and the Flamengo he was not the owner of the ball at any time.
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The Post Sampaoli away from Flamengo: week of embarrassment ends spell marked by coldness | Flamengo
Originally Posted on ge.globo.com