A rough start for Argentina in the first game of the group beating Bosnia and Herzegovina by 2-1. The shy, but yet fair, result was due to the bad positioning of the players in the pitch, the multitude of defenders and the lack of a skillful passer in the middle.
The defensive tactic by Argentinean coach, Alejandro Sabella, failed in the first half of the match but managed to correct himself with the right substitutions in the second half. A team with players like Argentina should not be looking to defend themselves but rather going for the win.
Argentina is without a doubt one of the favorites to reach the finals of the world cup and even win it, but in order to reach such goal a different approach to the matches must be taken in consideration by the coach. Besides the fact that the initial formation failed, there were crucial players who were, and still are, recovering from injuries, such as Higuain, Gago, Palacio, Garay and Aguero.
Things were not going the right way for Messi in the first half, he couldn’t seem to find the ball up in the attack, he wasn’t able to penetrate the defensive line, and he couldn’t make a solid partnership with Aguero. The moment that Fernando Gago came in the game things changed, Messi was now getting the ball at his feet from the attack, which meant that he no longer needed to come all the way down the midfield to get it. The best thing that Fernando Gago can do is the first pass after the recovery, in this case it was all that the team needed.
Gonzalo Higuain was also a crucial substitution for the attack, although he wasn’t 100 percent in form and shape, he was able to make crucial cutting runs to free Messi and even Aguero, and he was part of the reason for Messi’s amazing winning goal. Higuain has always been a crucial part of the team and the attack, he is Messi’s best partner together with Aguero, he has to be a starter on the next game on Saturday in order for Argentina to have more scoring chances.
In order for Argentina to have a chance at the title they have to go get the result, that is what winners do, once the result is achieved, then there has to be a certain ability to control the game with possession and defense. In order to maintain possession of the ball during the game, Argentina will have to sacrifice a striker and substitute him for a midfielder that can handle timing, such as Biglia or even Enzo Perez. There is a bright future for Argentina if the right decisions are made, and after the first game scare, Sabella already has made some changes during training matches.