Flamengo fans have been suffering with their team at the beginning of 2023. That’s because in the most important games of the year, Mengão left something to be desired. This happened in the final of the Supercopa do Brasil and Recopa Sudamericana and more recently in the derby against Vasco.
A factor that helps to understand the team’s technical decline is the bad phase of some of the main players in the current squad. Athletes who were protagonists recently are not able to perform well, for various reasons.
Check below who is in debt at the beginning of the Flamengo season.
Gerson – high investment that has not yet been justified
Flamengo paid around R$85 million to repatriate the player from Olympique de Marseille. But so far he is not the shadow of the player who helped command the red-black midfielder.
Even Vítor Pereira barred the player from the first team, leaving him among the reserves in some games at the beginning of the year.
Arrascaeta – main Flamengo player with physical problems
The Uruguayan midfielder assumed the position of protagonist of the team and helped the team to win important titles on the pitch. But this year he’s far below, with just one goal and one assist in 10 matches.
However, it is worth mentioning that since last year he has been suffering from physical problems and this ends up impacting his performance on the field.
Everton Ribeiro – no coach confidence
In 2023, the attacking midfielder is nothing like the athlete who was called up to compete in the World Cup in Qatar. Coincidence or not, he ended up being one of those withdrawn by Vítor Pereira when the coach thought of changing the team. In addition, even when he enters as a starter, he hardly stays the entire game on the pitch.
In 10 games for the year he provided two assists but did not score a goal.
Santos – Rossi’s shadow?
Hired for more than R$ 16 million from Athletico Paranaense in April 2022, the goalkeeper arrived with morale and quickly took over the title. But at the beginning of the season, he ended up failing in games where he was more demanded, as in the confrontation against Palmeiras, in the Supercopa do Brasil.
This fact may help to understand why Flamengo signed a pre-contract with Agustin Rossi, formerly of Boca Juniors and who is at Al-Nassr until the middle of the year.
Éverton Cebolinha – dissatisfaction of Flamengo fans
Reinforcement of weight of Flamengo, the attacker arrived with morale in Gávea. That’s because even in a downturn at Benfica, the fan had memories of the player’s good times at Grêmio, including even defending the Brazilian national team.
But this is another athlete from the current squad who did not perform as expected. In 2023 he appeared in 12 games, contributing two assists. In addition, since arriving at Mengão in July 2022, he has entered the field in 43 matches, scoring just three goals and contributing seven assists, far below expectations for the investment of more than R$ 77 million.
Arturo Vidal – risky bet?
Free on the market, the Chilean player arrived at Flamengo with the status of a great signing. His long spell in European football and in Chile’s national team made the fans believe that the player would take over the midfield.
But that didn’t happen, with him continuing as a substitute and even getting involved in controversies, like when he offered to play for Colo-Colo. But it is worth mentioning the athlete’s improvement in recent games when he has been gaining opportunities among the starters.
Marinho – passage through Flamengo reaching the end?
After standing out at Santos, the attacker arrived in Rio de Janeiro with morale. But this is another case of a player who has yet to succeed at Mengão.
Not by chance, his name is constantly speculated in club negotiations, but the main problem would be his salary.
In the current season he entered the field in eight games and gave only one assist to a goal.
Varela – gap at right-back
Even before Rodinei left, Flamengo went to the market to hire a full-back to be the undisputed holder of the position. Guillermo Varela even competed in the World Cup in Qatar alongside Arrascaeta. But so far he has taken over the position after 13 games.
Pulgar – pressured by Flamengo fans
Finally we have the Chilean steering wheel. Hired in July 2022, Erick Pulgar arrived with morale, after all, since 2015 he had been playing in European football, with passages through Bologna and Fiorentina, for example.
But after 17 games for Flamengo, he has not won the trust of Vítor Pereira or the fans. This is clear from the fact that he is not in the starting lineup even with the sale of João Gomes to Wolverhampton.
Including the midfielder is another that appears frequently on the club’s dismissal lists.
Mengão campaign in 2023
The team coached by Vítor Pereira played 15 games in the season, between Supercopa do Brasil, Recopa Sudamericana, Mundial de Clubes and Campeonato Carioca, with nine wins, two draws and four defeats.
The attack scored 28 times, but the defense conceded 14. In addition, Flamengo performed poorly in the most important games of the year, such as the duels against Palmeiras, Independiente del Valle and the classic against Vasco.
Now the team faces Fluminense next Wednesday (8), in a classic that could leave Vítor Pereira even more pressured in office.