Jorge Sampaoli is to blame for Seleccion Argentina failure at 2018 World Cup
You can blame the team, blame the player individually, but when you’re doing this again, you’re missing the point. It’s not players’ failure, it’s coach who is to blame in this situation. Jorge Sampaoli is to blame for Seleccion Argentina failure at the 2018 World Cup.
We know it’s not all over but it’s not Argentina. They suffered their heaviest defeat at group stage against Croatia and we all saw that coming. Sampaoli has done all wrong since taking Argentina job, but his success with Chile was so overwhelming no one even realized his plans were too fragile for bringing success to Argentina.
He was hired as Argentina boss a year ago, he couldn’t blame he didn’t have enough time to prepare for the World Cup. But, he was so involved in finding the right squad; he forgets that Argentina already has a perfect squad. He only needed to bring confidence in them and let them aware of their potential, but he keeps searching for something unknown.
Argentina never had that problem. Their players are playing for best clubs in the world and you can’t say that they are an average squad. Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Paulo Dybala, Ever Banega, Nicolas Otamendi, Gabriel Mercado, Giovani Lo Celso, Marcos Acuna, Federico Fazio, Eduardo Salvio, and Lucas Biglia play for biggest European club. If they would have been an average player, they wouldn’t have find place in those teams.
You don’t need to feel them inferior to Messi every time, they already know that Argentine great is on another level. They only need to feel that they are also special alongside Messi in this team.
It wasn’t a poor game against Iceland; only the result didn’t come as expected. But some time it happens against determined debutant side because they only defend for 90 minutes of the game. Sampaoli needed to realize that and should have played with the same team and same tactics against Croatia.
He didn’t need to make changes in the formation and the playing XI. His plans were total failure because there wasn’t a plan. You don’t make a plan to play against team like Croatia two days ago. Just like Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said, he planned to defeat Germany six months ago and he got the result.
Sampaoli played 3-4-3 formation against Croatia, and choose to play Messi on right wing. He knew Messi will have lesser of ball in that position. He knew Argentina midfielders don’t have such quality to pass the ball to always crowded Messi by opposition defenders. At least, he doesn’t play those quality midfielders. He left Ever Banega on the bench knowing he needs his quality considering Croatia’s midfield quality.
The boss himself admitted, “I had thought that today’s game would come through giving pressure to our opponents down the middle of the pitch, because Croatia has a lot of talent there. The plan didn’t work and if doesn’t work, it is difficult for the players who were in that plan to make it work.”
And, that’s where he got all wrong. When you know your opponent is so good in the middle you play on the wings to don’t allow someone like Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic on the ball. You had to good full-backs in Nicolas Tagliafico and Eduardo Salvio, but you don’t utilize their potential to go forward.
If your opponent had the quality in midfield, you should have put your quality in the midfield to pressurize them. You shouldn’t choosen the players who were only good in ugly tackling. Ever Banega and Messi would have caused problem for them in the middle and they could have feed Sergio Aguero.
Sergio Aguero has already shown his potential with a terrific strike against Iceland, but against Croatia – he had the lesser of ball along with Messi. Messi only had 49 touches over the match and Aguero even had lesser with only 9 touches in first-half. Argentina lost the game there.
Sampaoli apology at this stage won’t work. He is taking the responsibility of failure but it won’t help after breaking millions of heart back in Argentina. He said as Marca reports, “The responsibility is all mine, you cannot look for explanations based on the players on the pitch. It’s the manager’s responsibility.”
At this stage, we can only say manager hasn’t taken his responsibility seriously. Knowing what’s at stake, he shouldn’t have risked that formation. He must have sensed that in practice but he proceeds with his weak plans and the disaster happened.
Even, the opposition camp can point out to their problems. Craotian winger Ivan Perisic told Mediaset, “Messi is the best just like Cristiano Ronaldo, but you can only achieve something if you play as a team. Argentina need to change something if they are to go forward.”
Argentina is on brink of elimination, but they’re still alive in the tournament. They need a big victory over Nigeria on June 26, at Saint Petersburg Stadium, and must hope Nigeria defeat Iceland. Even if Iceland play a draw against Nigeria, they must not be able to snatch a victory over Croatia in their last group game.