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Jun 20, 2014

Shearer: Fred dragging down Brazil

The ESPN FC crew discuss whether or not Brazil's ability to get results will mask their true deficiencies.

Former England striker Alan Shearer has told ESPN FC that Fred is "dragging down" the Brazil team and should be dropped.

- Rocha: Scolari needs to rethink tactics

World Cup hosts Brazil have claimed four points from their first two matches of the tournament but Fluminense striker Fred -- other than winning a controversial penalty in the 3-1 win over Croatia -- has had limited impact.

"I just don't understand why Brazil are still picking him," Shearer said. "He doesn't move, he doesn't shoot and he's dragging the team down. I don't know if Brazil should change the system or play Neymar as a false nine, but the fact is that Fred is not the answer for what they are doing now."

Brazil struggled to live up to expectations in their 0-0 draw with Mexico but Shearer, 43, feels Luiz Felipe Scolari can lead the Selecao to a sixth world title this summer.

"After the Mexico scare they will know they have to play better," he said. "If there is a team that can get a result against anybody in the world, it's Brazil. But they will need Neymar and Oscar to step up as well. They were rattled by Mexico but they can lift up their spirits with a good win over Cameroon."

Shearer was less positive about his own country after 2-1 defeats to both Italy and Uruguay ultimately ended their hopes of reaching the next round.

"We aren't good enough, there's no other explanation," he said. "We keep on making the same mistakes at tournaments and that is lethal at this level."

Roy Hodgson has selected a young, experimental squad, however, including the likes of Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, and the Newcastle legend said there were "reasons to be hopeful."

He continued: "We created chances and scored two good goals so far and in players like Sturridge we have young players that can build up on the experience here."

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