World Cup 2018: 4 changes Argentina need to make to get back on track
Argentina’s World Cup did not get off to the best of starts and now they will have their hands full trying to emerge as group winners. Argentina had a very tough qualifying campaign, with them qualifying on the last day. Their saviour that day was a certain Lionel Messi.
The free-flowing football that had become synonymous with the Argentina teams of yesteryears has given way to laboured performances. In order to get the ball rolling in the right direction, Argentina needs to tweak a few things, tactically as well as with regards to personnel.
An implementation of these changes would place Argentina in a much better position to stake their claim on the ‘ultimate prize’. However, if they continue playing the way they did against Iceland, they are just a calamity waiting to unravel. If they get their act together, they will survive the ‘Group of Death’, but a failure to do so will result in a quick and sudden ‘death’ which will surely affect a million lives back home.
Here is a look at them:
#3 Switch to a back-three
Argentina started the game against Iceland with a back four with Tagliafico and Salvio playing as full backs. Sampaoli played Meza and Di Maria as wingers in the hope that they would provide defensive cover against the rampaging opposition full-backs. However, the few times the full backs came galloping forward, Argentina found themselves outnumbered. This leads one to believe that Argentina will encounter a lot of problems when they come up against better offensive teams.
With a back three in play, Mascherano can partner Otamendi and Rojo at the heart of the defence. Tagliafico and Meza can continue as wing-backs while Biglia and Banega can be the central midfield pairing. This will provide them with the much-needed solidity while it would also give the front three the freedom to wreak havoc.
With the front three not having to burden themselves a lot with defensive duties, a case can be made for playing Dybala right from the start. A trio comprising Messi, Aguero and Dybala would cause trouble to even the meanest of defences.
The system would not be an unknown territory for their manager Sampaoli, with him having employed this system many a time with Chile. This tactical switch has all the ingredients to be the catalyst for Argentina’s change in fortunes.