Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina national football team coach has too much of job to do with little less of time. Lionel Messi did take the onus to carry Argentina on his shoulder once again but he shouldn’t be left alone on the journey. He has already made the job look easy with his splendid display against Ecuador.
Messi gave a hat-trick performance against Ecuador in tough conditions to carry his team on his own shoulder. It was a turbulent ride for La Albiceleste but Messi made sure that Argentina accomplishes their mission of Russia 2018. He has already done half of the job taking Argentina to FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, but it will be suicidal to pass the burden on only one man.
Sampaoli – it’s more of Messi team than mine
Sampaoli will have to assemble the best team who can support Messi when the things do not go right for Argentina no.10. He doesn’t need only players who can make him look strong from outside as friends, he needs to bring in competition in the squad. In keeping Messi happy, Sampaoli will be making the same mistake Edgardo Bauza made.
Bauza’s only contribution for Argentina came as bringing Messi back into the team from his temporary retirement. Sampaoli should be thankful to Bauza to have Messi in his team but it’s Sampaoli time to build a team who can be as competitive as Messi.
He cannot simply say it’s Messi team to pass on his responsibility. In an interaction with media before the friendly game against Italy, Sampaoli said, “He has a lot of responsibility when it comes to passing things on the others. If he is feeling good then it will be his team. The best player in the world has to transmit something to the others. It is more his team than it is mine.”
Sampaoli – We are candidates to win it, we cannot deny our essence
Sampaoli doesn’t deny that Argentina will be one of the favorites. He said, “We are candidates to win it, we cannot deny our essence. But right now my mind is focused on who will make the list of 23 players.”
It’s a tough job but if it wouldn’t have been, it would have sucked. He needs to select the best 23 and he doesn’t want to include players who can disturb the harmony of the squad. It’s not only about Messi and with due respect to Messi, he can’t allow let others feel inferior to Messi.
There are players like Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala, who are consistently performing at the top level for their respective clubs but they haven’t got the room in Sampaoli’s selection. Sampaoli simply can’t find a way for them in his team on merit as he gives a different opinion.
On Dybala, Sampaoli adds, “Either we don’t know how to locate Pablo or he didn’t adapt to our idea, which is different to Juventus. He finds it difficult to assemble and we have to evaluate if those who are better than him”, although in no case did he rule out the possibility of ending up traveling to Russia, as long as he adapts the “anarchy of his game to collective needs.”
Sampaoli easily avoids Icardi’s selection as well. He said, “There is a lot of difference between his game at Inter and in Argentina. Each Sunday he demonstrates his quality but the adaption time is short and we have to prioritize relations on the field.” He referred to his lack of connection with Argentina’s existing squad quite the opposite of Aguero.
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is not fit but Sampaoli wants him to be fit for Russia 2018. The reason he gives is quite simple, Aguero has a very good relationship with Messi alongside Angel Di Maria. He wants to maintain the harmony of the team, which is essential to play a major tournament. Sampaoli said, “He worries about understanding Leo and it will be good for them to connect because we will have a lot of offensive power.”
But Sampaoli doesn’t see it as a different tactic. Sometimes you need to take tough decisions. You can’t simply leave your best bunch of players home because you haven’t been able to make room for them in your squad. Icardi and Dybala play in Italy, they’ll give a different dimension to a game when going gets tough. Both have changed the result of the match single-handedly on many occasions. They can help to ease the burden on Messi in those tough moments.
When you’ll look on your bench, you’ll have players on whom you can rely on. Dybala and Messi can play together, and as an experienced coach, he knows better how to get the best of them together. Icardi simply can’t be ruled out because of sour relationships with his teammates. It takes only one game and a single moment of joy to forget the past at the world’s biggest stage.
A personal acrimonious relationship cannot be bigger than the joy of sharing World Cup glory. The team will bond together itself, he only needs to fit them in. Players will find themselves the esprit de corps in order to achieve the highest glory in world football.
Argentina doesn’t lack quality players. They lack the attitude, motivation and that kick to not give up until the last minute. And for them, if they can hire a professional motivator it will be great. Germany has had with them Mike Horn (great adventurer and modern explorer) during their 2014 World Cup campaign and the result we all witnessed.
La Albiceleste’s boss has little less time to do his job. If he wants to achieve the glory, he’ll have to get rid of hard feelings. He will have to share his glory with more people on board. If he can’t assemble the team together, he must find someone who can do it for him. A professional motivational trainer is must for the Argentina squad during Russia 2018 campaign.