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Jul 2, 2018



And it ended, may be in a spectacular fashion than everyone anticipated. Lionel Messi bowed out of yet another World Cup with more questions than answers! Despite this Argentina being one of the most horrible teams, everyone agrees that they putup quite a show before they bowed out. The fans would have some consolation that they went out to a better team and their team performed better than their abilities suggest.


Lack of Quality Everywhere in Argentina


Despite all the hope and hype surrounding the Argenitian squad and Lionel Messi; everyone agrees that there was a lack of quality in the Argentinian squad. It is something which the Federation needs to address immediately. In the entire 23 man squad, there were only a select few who plays regularly for the best clubs in Europe.


That never been the case with Argentina throoughout their history. Traditionally their prime players used to play in the top clubs; but with a select few now; their chances were limited. Despite the limitation, many had them as clear favourite due the Lionel Messi Factor.


The Disaster Result against Iceland destroyed Argentina


In normal scenario, a draw in the first match of World Cup group stage is no way a disaster. But it was for Lionel Messi and company. The pressure that was built on the team due to the draw was quite crazy. Instead of looking at situation as it was, people simply pumped up everything.


In that context, it was that Lionel Messi penalty miss which set the tone for Argentina in the World Cup Campaign. It is cruel to blame one man or one moment as the decider of destiny; and as a fan of Messi I never want that to happen. But in hindsight, that miss had a huge impact on a fragile Argentina.


Had that gone in, Sampaoli wouldn't have gone crazy and started experimenting with stupid formation and nonsense selections. They looked very settled in that 4-2-3-1 formation and needed a certain tweaking of personnel. But instead ofthat Sampaoli went for numerous changes and various formations!


Argentina Disintegrates as Sampaoli goes Full Nuts!


The mistake Sampaoli and many pundits did was to read the Iceland draw completely out of the big picture. In the second half, they looked more organised. So what was necessary to bring some good options, like Pavon for Di Maria etc. But Sampaoli had craked under pressure and unnecessarily decided to have a complete different picture.


For a much stable and workable 4-2-3-1 formation, he went with a 3-4-3 formation with Messi as center forward. With a 4 men defense and a double pivot covering, the defense looked fragile at times; so with a 3 men defense there w as no way they could hold. And that too against the toughest team in the Group.


As if that was not enough, he decided to use Messi as a striker, without realising that there is no one to bring the ball to him. Messi works really well as false-9, but people always take it out of context. He played a false-9 in a team with Xavi and Iniesta contyrolling midfield. In that case False-9 is a boon. But for Argentina, they needed Messi in an attacking midfielder role.


Team never Trusted Sampaoli after Croatia Disaster


Sampaoli lost the dressing room after his stupid selection choicves against Croatia. Aguero almost voiced his discontent. For the players he simply didn't matter. And when he decide to bench Aguero in teh Nigeria match, I guess those who had a bit of beliefe also lost that. It was no surprise that it was after Aguero's introduction, Argentina started to find spaces in the box.


Against France, Messi needed Aguero to open some space ahead of him; instead he got Enzo Perez. How he managed to start these many matches is beyong belief. He was a total waste in that position and I guess was out-shone for poor play by only Mezza whose introduction as a substitute in both matches defies common sense. This is a guy who cannot even control teh ball properly let alone create chances.


Argentina came into the Tournament with a fragile state of mind but with determination. Everything was broken down by one man alone - Jorge Sampaoli. He never allowed them to settle, never had a game plan to win matches and was too reliant on Messi, who was craving and crying out for some space. In the end, Argentina bowed out of tournament with a good performance!

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