Tottenham midfielder Paulinho played for just over an hour as his Brazilian side recorded an unconvincing win in their opening World Cup group game with Croatia last night. Anyone backing Neymar for the Golden Boot would have been pleased to see the Barcelona man get off the mark with a double but how did our own man do in this tie?

Paulinho had an early, long range shot that was turned behind for a corner before our former keeper Stipe Pletikosa saved from the midfielder after the Brazilians had gone a goal down. That really was about it and although the Spurs man made some useful runs into the box, he made little in the way of a direct impact on the fixture.

Finally, with the score locked at 1-1 and Brazil desperate for a goal, Luis Felipe Scolari replaced Paulinho with Hernanes to create a more attacking central line.

Responses to the player’s performance were mixed on social media. Some say that Paulinho was completely ineffective while others underlined a criticism that has pointed towards the midfielder all season – the suggestion that he plays much better for Brazil and looks far more interested than he does for his club side.

What’s your opinion of Paulinho’s 62 minutes on Thursday night?



  1. Prior to the game I had really hoped that the glimpses of his quality playing in his first Worldcup in his home country would shine though, and we would finally see the complete player which we know exists. Unfortunately this was not the case. He looked slow and lethargic and only on a couple of occasions really got himself into the excellent positions which we know he can, it doesn’t surprise me that he was substituted. Hopefully he can improve and build upon this first hiccup.

  2. He looked like he has all season for spurs, Average! Hes not a bad player but i cant see an area of his game where he stands out above the rest, had great hopes for him when he signed but if we could get are money back id let him go.

    • Same hear. I’m not even sure what his position is (holding, box to box or goal scoring midfielder).

      I hope has a great world cup and come back better. I can be a struggle for foreign players in the PL first year (i.e. Drogba).

      But if Chelsea offer Lukaku for Paulinho, i’d take that all day long.

  3. Whilst it wasn’t a world beating performance, no one (except perhaps oscar and neymar) can say they had a particularly great game. What I did think however was that Paulinho was taking up some useful positions on the field and showed a willingness to get in the box and up with the front man. He actually looked like a potential goalscorer, and was unlucky with a second shot from outside the area that was blocked wide.

    • Whilst we look to be in the minority, I’m inclined to agree.

      Whilst his wasn’t a great performance, neither was Brazil’s but there was a lot of potential across the pitch. It’s worth remembering that Croatia are decent, probably better than England right now.

      The only thing that annoyed me was how well he struck his shots. All year he’s scuffed and spooned at WHL but last night his shooting was half decent. Bring that back with you please lil’ Paul!

  4. Paulinho looks hesitant and uncertain in his play and it was no surprise to see him subtituted. Last season with the Spurs much of the time he was off the speed. Perhaps he is another player who just finds the pace of the PL much too fast and the game tougher than what he was used to previously. Nice guy and I hope Pochettino can bring the best out of him.

    • none of the above.

      Our greatest premier league success was built around fast, attacking wing play (Bale, Lennon) and the creativity of Hudd, Modric and VDV.

      I’m hoping Lennon, Lalmela, Erikson, Dembele can recreate with Sandro playing holding midfield. Granted the pressure would be on Erikson to be extra creative.

  5. I hate to say it, but if he doesnt play well for his country we have no chance him being better in premiership. At lease holtby and dembelee will work for the team…even bentelab. I suspect if he doesnt up his game pochettino will not play him i woild rather see Bernard at the club in his place. Coys

  6. FFS it was the first game of the WC! How can you judge a guy on that? If he’s crap against mexico then let’s hear it. He is a quality player. Last season at Spurs would have turned even a Messi into a Taricco

  7. The real Paulinho plays every time he appears on a pitch, and does well enough. Brazil’s opening performance in the World Cup was nothing special. I thought several official decisions in the course of the match amounted to worrying signs of what is wrong about World Cup 2014, with World Cups 2018 and 2022 just as worrying.

  8. People, I think the guy is totally exhausted. Don’t forget, he left the Brazilian season at its half way point, played in last year’s Confederations Cup and has had a full season in the fastest, toughest league in the world. That’s literally 18 months of non-stop football bar the break for his injuries. I think he started to come into his own late last season. He is most effective going as a goal scoring option from midfield. If he can put in a decent shift defensively, I think he will be a great player.


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