5 Reasons behind Argentina's collapse and how they can come back
An underperforming Argentina and the poor form of their talisman Lionel Messi have been the biggest surprises of the World Cup so far. While it is shocking to see the team led by arguably the greatest player of all time falling apart in such a manner, it was just the inevitable result of how they approached the tournament from the beginning.
If you were following how Argentina went about their World Cup preparations, you would've foreseen their fate. From squad selection to tactics, there were a series of blunders on and off the pitch which proved to cost them dearly.
Let us see the five big reasons behind the disappointing performance from La Albiceleste.
5. Inadequate Preparation
Argentina's preparation for the world cup could not have been worse as they had to cancel their final friendly match with Israel, just a few days before the start of the world cup. But even if they had played that friendly, it would not have made much difference.
While their rivals at world cup were looking to play with teams with similar playing styles as their group stage opponents, one could not understand what Argentina meant to do with their friendlies. They played Haiti, ranked 104 in the Fifa rankings, in their last friendly before the world cup.
Their supposed match up Israel is no better with a ranking of 93. Argentina had nothing to gain from opponents who could never pose any challenge to them. They did not figure out their best eleven from these matches. Most importantly, it was impossible to analyze their tactics by playing against weaker opponents.
Argentina could have played against African and European opponents to better prepare to meet Croatia and Nigeria in their group stage fixtures. Instead, they went for a central American team who could not put up a fight to them. Argentina should change this approach in their preparations, they have to show a little more professionalism if they are to progress any further in the future.