GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
Powered by cricketnext logo
»
5-min read

All the King's Men Need to Come to the Party as Albiceleste Face the Odds | SWOT Analysis

The countdown to football’s biggest showpiece event – the FIFA World Cup is generally a phase of great excitement among fans and participating players alike, but for Argentina led by Lionel Messi and coached Jorge Sampaoli there is a tense undertone to the calmness and joy that surrounds the camp.

Abhimanyu Sen | News18 Sports

Updated:June 9, 2018, 10:14 AM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
All the King's Men Need to Come to the Party as Albiceleste Face the Odds | SWOT Analysis
Twitter/ Dugout
Loading...
The countdown to football’s biggest showpiece event – the FIFA World Cup is generally a phase of great excitement among fans and participating players alike, but for Argentina led by Lionel Messi and coached Jorge Sampaoli there is a tense undertone to the calmness and joy that surrounds the camp.

The Albiceleste almost did dug themselves a hole so deep that they were unable to come out of it, till the left-footed maestro Lionel Messi did what he does best. With his back to the wall, Messi produced a hat-trick to remember against Ecuador away from home, a place they hadn’t a happy memory from in recent years to gift his beloved Argentina a ticket to Russia.

Imagine, a World Cup without Lionel Messi - unthinkable. It almost happened as they scrapped through and saved themselves from the wrath of the people back home.

At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Argentina, with a younger Messi was expected to do well, and finishing runners-up is by no stretch of imagination a bad return. Four years later, the spotlight is firmly again concentrated on Messi himself as half the world expects him to perform a miracle in Russia.

Whilst Argentina still awaits the Diego Maradona-esque performance at a World Cup, Messi, who is once again expected to carry the nation’s hopes, has played down his side’s chances.

STRENGTHS


To look for a force stronger than the presence of Lionel Messi in the Argentina strip in Russia would be nothing but foolishness for the 2014 runners-up.

Argentina boast of a plethora of attack minded players in the likes of Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala alongside Messi himself. But it is surprising as to how this group fail to deliver whenever they pull on the national jersey; mind you each one is coming of a fantastic domestic season.

The attackers at the disposable of Sampaoli, who knows how to win tournaments with far lesser, would on any normal day instill fear in opposition defenders. But, unfortunately as a group, it is the same prolific bunch that defies logic and misses the target more often than not.

For the Albiceleste touring party in Russia, the victory in most contests will have to be outscoring their opposition and waiting to catch them on their heels given the speed Sampaoli’s attackers have.

This inconsistent attack but supremely prolific attack is supported by the likes of Javier Mascherano, Lucas Biglia, Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega and Manuel Lanzini.

The strengths of Sampaoli’s squad lies in the final third of their field, but for that to be put into motion like clockwork, the rest of the cogs in the wheel need to be as efficient as a well oiled machine.

WEAKNESSES

The overarching theme with the Argentina squad in recent years has been one of struggle, where in they have failed to keep the oppositions at bay. So much so, that they almost missed the flight. The likes of Nicolas Otamendi and Fazio will have to shore up the defense and continue their stellar form from their respective domestic seasons.

The white and blue brigade have also taken a substantial blow to their hopes of hiding their weaknesses as first choice goal-keeper Sergio Romero has been ruled out of the World Cup. The replacements in Willy Caballero, Franco Armani lack experience and do not inspire confidence.

One of the most important figures in a good defensive unit is a confident goal-keeper and unfortunately Messi and co in front will be thinking about the lack of that in the back of their heads.

OPPORTUNITIES

Placed in Group D alongside formidable teams like Croatia, Nigeria and the passionate Iceland, Argentina is no doubt going to find the going tough. Topping the group will be difficult, but it here, at this stage in the World Cup where they need to build the momentum and those alongside Lionel Messi need to come to the party.

Depending on Messi is definitely a way out for the Albiceleste, but like previous instance like the World Cup and multiple Copa American tournaments, the end result may not be in their favour. A situation like that could lead to the skipper calling it quits which in turn would leave the two time champions at their lowest ebb in the modern era.

Failure to join the party in the early stages will all but squash hopes of a successful summer in Russia.

THREAT

With an attack that posses the qualities that they do, it is surprising at every juncture to see Argentina find it hard to hit the back of the net. The squad does not provide the assurance of being world class, but on their day can be world beaters, mainly due to the presence of a few afore mentioned players.

The pressure to perform, especially to help Messi reach the pinnacle in what might just be his last World Cup, given previous instances of decision making, will weigh heavy on the minds and shoulders of all and sundry, even the man himself.

The World Cup will first be a battle with themselves to freely express themselves and use the talent at their disposal, before they battle able opponents. Argentina, played a friendly against Nigeria in November, and the African side, who are also part of their group, thrashed them 4-2.

The skipper Lionel Messi himself might have played down his side’s chances, but when a man of his caliber is part of a team, like it or not they are always in with a shot at glory.

Argentina Squad:

Goalkeepers: Wilfredo Caballero (Chelsea), Franco Armani (River Plate), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres)

Defenders: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla),Cristian Ansaldi (Torino), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federica Fazio (Roma), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP)

Midfielders: Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Lucas Biglia (Milan), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors)

Forwards:
Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus)
| Edited by: Madhav Agarwal
Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp

Live TV

Loading...
Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results