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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:16 pm 
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Coach wrote:
On the contrary, the loss of Aguero was not a rate limiting step, a twist of fate that would prove serendipitous, Aguero was never the problem. The lack of balance is one of many charges vs Sabella, he has been a bungling fool and fortuitously, without one commandeering an endearing display. For those banding out the much clichéd "Tourament Team", an over reliance on Messi and oathetic return from a centre forward, one goal in four or so games, is in no way a feather for the cap. Sabella has been one of the competition's worst.



That's exactly it Coach! Dumb as he has been, fortune has fortuitously given him his lineup. And just as fortuitously, it works! Especially defensively.

Belgium is a tough outfit. I think many people underestimate how difficult it is to beat them. I too before the WC thought they were overrated, but came to see what a complete and quality team they really are...grudgingly, as they won the WC qualifying group against Croatia.

That Argentine team handled Belgium fairly routinely. Belgium really didn't get a single quality shot. Belgium had to ultimately resort to low % high crosses, which even Fellaini found difficult to properly head. Even without DiMaria, Argentina had the guns and formation to handle the game as they saw fit.

The stumbled into it. Foolishly bungling, as you correctly noted. But they've arrived.

And as many of us keep saying, with Mess on board, watch out.

Cheers, Mate

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:34 pm 
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Location: Nembe Creek...Oil Exploration. If you call am bunkering na you sabi.
metalalloy wrote:
txj wrote:
SylverEagles wrote:
This must be the best I've seen Argentina play defensivesly. Romero was practically on holiday! It that just the introduction of Dimechelis and Biglia? Surely no coincidence!

Very impressive defensive performance! :clap: :clap: :clap:


And the injury to Kun which allowed him bring on Lavezzi

I think he's found his tournament team...



Now? 2 games to the end of the tournament? And no complaints from you? No be you wey dey accuse of Keshi searching for an "AM" before and continuing into games at the wc? :D


:D :taunt: :taunt: :taunt: :taunt: :taunt: :D and na by accident too.... :P

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:03 pm 
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^Sabella has not found anything, his sole act of decisiveness, was in his solicitation of Lady Luck and satiating all her carnal concupiscence. Thoroughly useless, none but luck has carried him thus far. One still awaits "Argentina's arrival".


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:06 pm 
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Coach wrote:
^Sabella has not found anything, his sole act of decisiveness, was in his solicitation of Lady Luck and satiating all her carnal concupiscence. Thoroughly useless, none but luck has carried him thus far. One still awaits "Argentina's arrival".



Stay tuned Coach.

On this one, I think you're utterly wrong.

Nobody but nobody wins a WC on luck.

What do you think this is? The European Championship and Greece?!

:taunt:

Cheers, Mate

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Aguero is fit again but it's unlikely he'll start on Wednesday. Di Maria is definitely out but could be deemed fit if Argentina reach the final.

This means more of the offensive load will be on Messi...guys like Higuain and Lavezzi will have to step up because Messi will obviously be the main focus of the Dutch defense.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:42 pm 
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Heliopolis wrote:
Aguero is fit again but it's unlikely he'll start on Wednesday. Di Maria is definitely out but could be deemed fit if Argentina reach the final.

This means more of the offensive load will be on Messi...guys like Higuain and Lavezzi will have to step up because Messi will obviously be the main focus of the Dutch defense.



I think Messi can do it. We'd not even entertain this discussion otherwise.

Like I keep saying, I have a bias for extraordinary individuals. And Messi is proving so. Let's see if he can keep it up against a team that is crystal clear a tier 1 team...with a bit of their own magic.

Holland have a complete team. It's sprinkled with Robben and Sneijder.

But I still spell: M-E-S-S-I.

:)

Cheers, Mate

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:21 pm 
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mate wrote:
Heliopolis wrote:
Aguero is fit again but it's unlikely he'll start on Wednesday. Di Maria is definitely out but could be deemed fit if Argentina reach the final.

This means more of the offensive load will be on Messi...guys like Higuain and Lavezzi will have to step up because Messi will obviously be the main focus of the Dutch defense.



I think Messi can do it. We'd not even entertain this discussion otherwise.

Like I keep saying, I have a bias for extraordinary individuals. And Messi is proving so. Let's see if he can keep it up against a team that is crystal clear a tier 1 team...with a bit of their own magic.

Holland have a complete team. It's sprinkled with Robben and Sneijder.

But I still spell: M-E-S-S-I.

:)

Cheers, Mate


Oddly enough, I think Messi has played a bigger role for Argentina in the last 2 matches (though he hasnt scored) compared to his 3 group stage matches (where he scored in each match). In the group stage, he did not move beyond the opponent's final third of the pitch as he waited for the ball to come to him before attacking. If any other player on the planet played a similar role, they'd be labelled as lazy. However Sabella gave Messi this role to conserve his energy and give him more scoring opportunities. This approach IMO hurt the rest of the Argentina team as they had to defend with 2-3 less players as Higuain, Aguero and Messi had no defensive responsibilities. Also, with Messi playing in such an advanced position, he did not create many chances for teammates.

Ever since the 2nd half vs Switzerland, Messi has dropped back much deeper into midfield and played the #10 role. While he hasnt scored, he has contributed to Argentina's defence (committing 3 fouls vs Belgium) and has created chances for his teammates. He obviously remains a goal scoring threat (as shown by his 1v1 in the Belgium match) but more importantly for Argentina, he is making life much easier for the team's attackers. He assisted Di Maria vs Switzerland, and led the build-up to Higuain's goal vs Belgium. Argentina's attack remains entirely reliant on him but I think it is more prudent for them to rely on him now, now that he is their main play-maker. In the group stage they were relying on him for their offence but had no one to get him the ball.

It'll be interesting to see how Holland defend him on Wednesday. Switzerland double man-marked him. Belgium gave him space to operate. If Holland comes out with a 5-2-3 formation, then I dont expect Messi to be man-marked but Holland will have 4 defenders keeping a close eye on him (assuming Kuyt is allowed to freely roam up the right flank). Another consideration is that Sneijder might be asked to mark Messi in defence, but then Holland will have an advantage in attack as Sneijder will roam forward unmarked (since Messi will not be asked to defend him).

A final consideration is fan support. I believe that Argentina's fans have helped create a winning atmosphere for their team this tournament. All 5 of Argentina's matches have been played in 'home' environments. While these semis will have more of a neutral crowd (more locals and corporate sponsors will be in attendance), I still think Argentina will have majority support just like they did vs Switzerland (which was also played in Sao Paulo).


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:34 pm 
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Heliopolis

I agree with almost everything you said. Messi the orchestrator from depth is opening up more time and space. For the team. For himself, when does decide to go forward.

I think Holland should definitely man mark him. Kuyt might be the guy. Sacrifice a man to keep Messi as occupied as possible, especially as a play maker. Germany in 1990 focused on denying Maradona the ball, as opposed to dealing with him once he got it, retaining possession. Germany feared Maradona and adapted the game plan to this.

I think Holland has to fear Messi as well. Even if he lays back.

All in all, I still tip Argentina. As I said in other threads, I also believe the South American factor will be the margin of difference, inspiring Messi especially. He sure seems to be at home. More comfortable in an Albiceleste shirt than I've ever seen so far.

One more data point: Argentina hasn't been to a semifinal since 1990. It just seems like their time. The stars keep aligning for them.

In fact, I checked the stars outside my window last night. Yes. They were the color of Albiceleste!

:wink:

Cheers, Mate

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:24 am 
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mate wrote:
Heliopolis wrote:
Aguero is fit again but it's unlikely he'll start on Wednesday. Di Maria is definitely out but could be deemed fit if Argentina reach the final.

This means more of the offensive load will be on Messi...guys like Higuain and Lavezzi will have to step up because Messi will obviously be the main focus of the Dutch defense.



I think Messi can do it. We'd not even entertain this discussion otherwise.

Like I keep saying, I have a bias for extraordinary individuals. And Messi is proving so. Let's see if he can keep it up against a team that is crystal clear a tier 1 team...with a bit of their own magic.

Holland have a complete team. It's sprinkled with Robben and Sneijder.

But I still spell: M-E-S-S-I.

:)

Cheers, Mate


:clap: :clap:

It will be difficult but Argentina has to hold solid in defense. Gago and Mascherano need to keep Robben out of the 18. Agreed though that without Di Mario, Messi is on his own for sure.


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