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  1. By "link up" I just mean to be able to return simple passes to Messi when he drives into the box. Higuain sure is able to do that (he has done it to some extent in the NT and more often for Juve), Aguero should be able to do it (although I don't think it has happened that much for Argentina) and I haven't seen Icardi do something like that so often. But I sure could be wrong, as I said, I haven't seen him play that much and even if I had, Inter isn't the best team to play like that. I don't want any of them building plays outside the box, but I sure would love them to be able to discharge the ball in the box. I have seen in the last 5 or 6 years of the NT that we usually have just one player in the box in any given attack, that means that this man (Higuain or Aguero or Icardi or you name it) is almost always well marked and he has troubles shooting. This means that he has to either have the ability to get loose from two or three defenders marking him or the ability to return the ball to a player coming into the box (and that is almost always an unmarked Messi, and sometimes Di Maria). It has been frustrating to see every time that Messi is just running into the box with nobody seeing him as they just try to shoot some half chance.
  2. Yep, I agree 100% with what you say about Mascherano and Biglia, they sure will get ran over. I would have liked more opportunities for Pizarro, Paredes had some over the last year and failed to impress (he was a little shy against Italy) but I hope he gets more chances in the future, and I would have surely taken him. As a Boca supporter I hate how little we got to enjoy him. I'm personally not that keen on Icardi, every time I see Inter play I feel he has the instincts but he lacks some intelligence (I'm not saying he is dumb, just on the field) and technique outside the box, but maybe I'm biased because I like strikers who can link up. Would we have some better crossing (Di Maria is awful and he is making most of the crosses) I would have taken him over Higuain without doubt. In the NT he was also somehow shy. He had bad luck and came to the team at the worst possible moment and then rejected a call-up because of some minor injury. I really don't know. Dybala puzzles me too, he lacks some consistency but he is capable of changing games. As always the big problem with Argentina is that you have to take into account that you have one player less in defence, and don't take me wrong, I'm 100% on board of Messi not chasing on defence, but it's always problematic, we don't have the best defenders either and need extra cover. That means you can only have one other committed forward. Still, I hope we see some Dybala at this cup, and in the future. IDK why everybody is so sure he can't play with Messi, besides that defensive issue.
  3. That's what I hate about Sampaoli, once you start to think that he, maybe, got a nice formation, he goes and changes it. Why would anyone use Rojo instead of Fazio and Salvio instead of Mercado against one of the tallest teams in the tournament? Why would you play Mascherano AND Biglia against a team that's only known for its defence?? For the rest of the team, it's probably the best we got. Salvio can play WB against a defensive team, I bet he won't be starting against Croatia though. I suppose Sampaoli is starting a team that can morph mid-game from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-4-3 (Mascherano going back and Salvio and Tagliafico coming up), which is probably unnecessary. That would explaing why Salvio for Mercado and why he thinks he would need Biglia in there as the only defensive minded midfielder in the 3-4-3 (Meza would play more central in that formation, and he actually can). Still, I hate it and I'm starting to lose the little faith I had on the team.
  4. Not that I like Sampaoli, but this came from really not trustworthy sources in the Argentinean press. When some other country's fans say fans like to destroy their own team, they haven't seen Argentina fans and press. And I don't like one bit Enzo Perez's call up but neither Pizarro nor Paredes have done anything for the team and Perez was key in the last match of Qualifications. He has been rubbish for River since then, but still, he has proven that he can play around Messi for 30 minutes or so. And the 23th man in a squad (the 24th in this case) won't probably play a minute in the tournament.
  5. Theoretically I would agree that there is no need to listen player's opinion, but what about the coach? Shouldn't he have a say about the preparation of his team? Also, I know it may be different somewhere else, but here the players are far better prepared to make such a call than the FA. Calling them amateur doesn't reflect what they are. They are wannabe politicians and mostly have a sketchy past. In comparison, Grondona, who by all meanings was a mobster, was a consumed pro.
  6. At the end I don't think it was all about the international tension or the threats, it was more about the AFA doing AFA things, and the players taking matters into their own hands when it got a little tense, because, you know, there is a pretty important tournament around the corner and who needs to be dealing with such issues. And now I got mad about AFA
  7. The coach and the players didn't like this friendly from the start, they stated several times that they wanted to travel from Barcelona to Moscow without any other stop. Still, the AFA wanted to cash on it and arranged the friendly. On top of that there was the issue with the city change. And there is the issue of our government being a little desperate for attention from the big guy up north (believe it or not it was a big issue about the U.S. buying or not buying lemons from us -freaking lemons!) and saw all this as an opportunity to get some sympathy. AFA and the government are shameful, the players and the staff have reasons to be concerned, didn't want to play from the start and took the opportunity. For me it was unnecessary to schedule such a match, it was obvious that this was coming. This is what it's so frustrating about AFA and happens time after time, it doesn't listen its players. It's not that hard, just make what the coach and your best players want!
  8. Maradona's 86 squad wasn't that bad nor that good*. He made the difference when it mattered but the team did't make any big mistakes either. Think what would have happened if Burruchaga didn't score the last goal against Germany, all what Maradona had done in the previous two games would have been in vane; that's what Higuain (or Palacio) couldn't do in three finals. *a side note, that team arrived to the tournament in a waaaaay worse shape than any other Argentinian squad since 1974, even Maradona wasn't at his best, the President (of the country, not the federation) wanted the manager ousted, the squad was divided. But still, they weren't bad players, and when it mattered they didn't disappear.
  9. Sampaoli said something about a 2-3-3-2 formation. He is the worst speaker in the world, and we have a good share of bad speaking managers. He probably wanted to sound innovative but was only talking about a typical 4-1-3-2 formation with attacking FBs (in that case Salvio or Ansaldi would start in place of Mercado).
  10. The starting XI will probably be Caballero (although Armani has a slight chance of starting and probably deserves it); Mercado, Fazio, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Biglia (they say there is some chance of Mascherano starting against Iceland as Biglia is coming from an injury, but I hope not), Lo Celso (I hope it´s Lo Celso but it´s between him and Banega); Lanzini, Messi, Di Maria; Aguero. I believe Argentina doesn´t have that much of a chance of getting to the last 4, but i wouldn´t underestimate them. I don´t see a much worse team than last time. I do think there are better teams out there this time around and that could change things a bit. Last time we changed formations in between the first 2 matches and we struggled to beat Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria (Messi made 4 of our 6 goals, including a last minute miracle against IRAN), and somehow still made it to the final and had a good shot at the championship. It´s the first time I can see us failing in the first round as much as losing to Spain in the QF or winning the whole thing.
  11. Yes, a bit weird that Brazil had no friendly before leaving for Europe, but from the outside it seems that they are handling everything really professionally. Is that just an outsider view? It seems as if Brazil is well prepared this time around.
  12. Yeah, there is that component of tradition (or as we call it, "cabala"), but it´s mostly about the money. Going to Jerusalem one week before our tip-off is a bit odd. Still, we probably need every opportunity to practice, and Israel is as good as it could get without the chance of getting embarrassed.
  13. Argentina will play Israel next Saturday (06/09) in Jesrusalem, just for the money in it. Nobody wanted to play but the FA wanted to cash.
  14. Im starting this one in Belgium with RFC Liege Manager Profile Finances Tranfers Made before I took charge Squad Youth Just one as you see Lets see how it goes
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