Summer 2016: Copa America, Euro & Olympics Watch

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Post by alexjanosik Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:31 am

Remind me again why we sold Sanchez? Had another outstanding game for Chile.
We really should have kept him. He struggled in his first season for us and a bit in the second season too. But he constantly improved and was very good in his third season. Should have kept him as he is an elite attacker and has another 4-5 years ahead of him. Even if we were to sell, should have gone for way more. We should have gotten 30 mil more than we got for him(given some of the amounts scrubs are going for).

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Post by alexjanosik Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:33 am

Saw the second half of the Argentina game. They looked very good. They have a very solid team and should win. If they lose, no excuses for the team and for Messi.
Chile are very good too and will prove a tough opponent but a supposed GOAT should be able to lead them to glory.

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Post by Donuts Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:40 am

sanchez would be a great player in the counter attacking system we have now, but back then he just didn't fit in, didn't know when to slow the play or run behind the defense.

didn't do anything spectacular, was scared to dribble and would just pass to messi, he thrives when he's the main guy but idk, would still pick neymar over him tbh.
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Post by alexjanosik Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:57 am

I disagree. He struggled in his first 1 and a half seasons. Then he was indeed scared to dribble and constantly passed back. I believe I even called him Mr Passback then.
But he improved tremendously afterwards. He adpated to playing on the right and was arguably our best player in the run in of the Martino season. Messi had gone awol and it was Sanchez who stepped up. Even scored a blinder in the league decider against Atletico.
Should have kept him. I guess funds required for the Suarez purchase. In that case, we should have sold him for 60 plus.

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Post by Lucifer Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:39 am

I doubt anyone would have paid 60+ for Sanchez 2 years ago let alone Arsenal. Also I don't think he is the player that would/should be riding the bench entire season bar a game or two due to MSN, even Pedro didn't want to do that lol. Sanchez is no doubt good player but him leaving was good decision for both parties imo.

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Post by BarrileteCosmico Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:12 pm

We won against Chile without Messi comfortably, so if it's a Chile-Arg final again and we lose with Messi I can only imagine the banter...

Alex there's no way we would be able to have MSN + Alexis, he had to go in order to make space for Suarez, not to mention that a rather large portion of the fanbase was disillusioned with his dribbling and finishing which I don't think have improved much since.
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Post by windkick Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:57 am

I didn't like Sanchez in our team those 3 years we had him, and I don't miss him now. He's so damn inconsistent it's ridiculous. And when he's bad, he is so useless with pretty much every aspect of his game, and to top it off he results to diving to beat players.

But yea, Messi just had ANOTHER fanastic game. Seems like every game he's been in has resulted in a goal + 2 assists. Walking the Copa.
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Post by Kebab Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:14 am

Messi performing in knockout stages. and scores.
5 goals+5 assists in 3 games (250 minutes)
He performed in the last copa semifinal too.but because he didnt score people didnt count it. This time he does both.
Waiting for next excuses..(cant score against italian teams cant score vs english teams.cant score a free kick. good old excuses). it just never ends
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Post by Bankz Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:32 am

I thought messi has 3 assist and that messi has played 4 games? Anyway, that said, ballon d'or incoming, let the haterz buuurn!!!
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Post by Kebab Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:58 am

Actually he has 4 direct assists+2 pre assists
by minutes (250) he played less than 3 games (270).
6th ballon dor and he retires
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Post by alexjanosik Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:54 pm

What haters? The criticism is well grounded. You can dress up the pig as much as you want. Fact remains that he flopped in the knockouts of the WC.

He is being compared to the GOATS. The standards he is going to be judged by are also going to be different.
All the GOATS have had legendary NT performances. So should Messi. Failed at WC 2014. I thought he arrived in the form of his life at CA '15. Unfortunately for him, it was a very cynical and brutal tournament where the refs offered him little protection. So his dribbling wasnt as effective. He barely moves off the ball and the Chileans closed him down well so he couldnt get the ball in dangerous areas.

The way he plays is not conducive to great NT performances in the modern era. He plays like an old school 10 who walks around as if owns the pitch waiting for the ball in areas where he is dangerous. That might have worked in the era of Maradona and Platini but not now. The modern game requires the entire team to move and cant afford a luxury player like Messi against other elite sides. Especially at NT level.

The question naturally is why then it works for us at club level. Few reasons. At club level, teams can develop tactics to work around this problem. We enjoy 70 % possession and give Messi 50 touches of the ball a game in areas where he can inflict maximum damage. Secondly we have developed tactics where Rakitic does a lot of the work Messi should be doing. He occupies the spaces Messi vacates on the wing, makes sacrificing runs to open up space for Messi. Suarez too does the same. Plus at Barca, we have developed tactics and certain movements to take advantage of Messi's passing. He is exceptional at that diagonal over the top throughball. As a team, we have perfected the art of maximising the effect of that play.
Messi gets the ball wide right, Suarez makes a darting dummy run inside pulling CB's with him. Neymar or Alba makes the outside to in run and Messi picks them out with alarming regularity.

So tactics, possession(enabling him to get maximum touches in dangerous areas) and certain fixed plays that have been practiced to perfection help us overcome the tactical problem caused by Messi's lack of movement.Even then in some games against the big sides, it is a clear problem as it was in some CL games and the return Clasico this season.

Now coming to Argentina. Argentina didnt have these specific tactics to counter the problem. They dont enjoy 70 % possession in games. They dont have a Xavi or an Iniesta who can get him the ball 50 times in dangerous areas in a game. At best, he gets maybe 10 touches of the ball in dangerous areas compared to 50 for us. And because he doesnt move, he wont change that voluntarily. If he moved well, he would be able to change that.
Plus they dont have tactics that can make use of Messi's specific strengths . They dont have a Rakitic who does the dirty work and makes the tactical runs and plays to open up space for Messi. They also dont have forwards and fullbacks who make the type of runs that Messi can pick out with his passes. So his play gets severely limited. He isnt an unpredictable genius like Maradona or Ronnie and when his specific plays are cut off, his effectiveness is reduced at NT level.

UNTIL NOW. What has changed in this tournament? A couple of things. For one, Tata has focused more on possession. Messi is a poor counter attacking player and the 2014 WC model of counter attacking was never going to bring the best out of him. Tata has emphasized possession which means Argentina see more of the ball which means Messi sees more of the ball. Now it is not Barca level possession but it is still more than they used to have. So Messi now sees more of the ball in dangerous areas than he used to see in the past for his NT.
Secondly Tata has clearly worked on incorporating the specific plays to take advantage of Messi's strengths. The over the top diagonal throughball play is clearly a tactic they have worked on in training and they have utilized it to great success throughout this tournament.
You see a lot of players making the sort of runs Messi likes for his passes. eg: The Rojo run against Panama for the Aguero goal. The Higuain run against Venezuela for his goal. There were a couple of other runs in that game. Same today.

So credit to Tata for getting the best out of Messi. He has gotten Argentina playing well even without Messi and has finally helped Messi have a great NT tournament. Tata is a better coach than he is often given credit for and deserves a lot of praise for this.
Lastly credit to Messi for an outstanding tournament. His FK goal today was sublime and the fact it came in the SF of a major tournament makes it even more special.


Last edited by alexjanosik on Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Lucifer Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:08 pm

Great post Alex. Not that I agree with all of it

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Post by Hapless_Hans Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:23 pm

Wonderful post Alex.

The difference between WC 14 Messi and this Messi is staggering.

However I think it's not just tactical, although you make good points; something happened to him personally around the end of 2014, whether physically or psychologically, fitness, health, mentality, who knows, which made him return to absolute greatness and top form.
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Post by Kebab Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:57 pm

@alex,
Maradona and ronaldinho played 4 years in high level and declined (or exposed). Not enough time to get predictable.If ronnie did his tricks 5-6 years more i'm sure everybody would predict what he is going to do. its 10 years Messi plays at high level and his every move is already printed in opponents brain. So lets stop with this predictable comparisons

About tata being smart, he is smart no doubt, and very underrated. But i think messi is the coach himself there. he brought tata to apply his tactics. I'm sure Tata takes all messi's advices. And he is happy because messi made him famous, first appointed him in barcelona now in argentina

I dont think he was flop before, he was great in wc 2010, played like barca's messi despite not scoring. if bielsa was coach instead of maradona they would go further in that tournament. I think he was more entertaining in WC2010 than this copa 2016, because he had better dribbling at that time
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Post by windkick Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:30 am

I like how you know Tata is sitting around taking Messis advice.

People and the assuming.

Also, awesome post Alex. Agree with all of it. Also a reason why Tata gets Ever in there more than what past Argentina coaches used him him, if they even used him at all. He is about the best Barca style mid they have, he gets himself in a great areas, constantly moves, plays defense and is a great passer. Works perfectly with Messi and his "walk into a space and then take off when I get the ball" style.
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Post by Kebab Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:32 am

Of course he does.do you think he doesnt give a shit about what messi says? you react as if my opinion defies law of physics or something. but its perfectly normal to think that Tata does what messi tells him
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Post by Cruijf Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:36 am

Great post Alex. I've accused you before of being overly harsh and irrational towards Messi but you are spot on with everything there, completely agree.
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Post by alexjanosik Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:35 am

Crunch game for Messi. It is certain that Chilea wont give him the space USA did. They will be a lot more physical. If he can have a good game and help Argentina win, his standing will improve in the minds of a lot of skeptics(including myself).

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Post by BarrileteCosmico Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:06 pm

I'm worried so many of our players are not 100%. Banega, Di Maria and Rojo might all skip on this match on account of match fitness if it were not a final.
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Post by Kebab Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:27 pm

So Messi's career depends on this match according to earth population. Nonsense tbh. Considering he didnt even sleep after portugal advanced. Expecting tired and walking Messi
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Post by windkick Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:16 am

I feel really bad for Messi. Had an amazing tournament and will be remembered for his missed PK. Hope he wins with Argentina before it's all said and done

-this coming from a Mexican, who was raised seeing Argentina defeat us.
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Post by Donuts Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:30 am

agreed it's a shame that supposedly argentina's strong point (their forwards) have failed time and time again

higuain is a terrible teammate to have in a final game..
guy somehow gets 1v1 almost every final and somehow screws it up.

can't help but think Tata messed up the tactics as-well, the midfield is too defensive, no width when they went 1 man down.

chile had two defensive midfields on messi and 1 cb/fb on aguero depending on which side he went on and with only the fullbacks applying the width it was easy to nullify argentina's attack.
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Post by Kebab Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:04 am

3 finals is not that bad tbh. he has more finals than maradona already. And with goals record for NT he will not remembered that bad
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Post by windkick Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:32 am

The difference and what people will measure them by (not saying I agree with it)

Is this
Summer 2016: Copa America, Euro & Olympics Watch - Page 2 Maradona3_1017082c

VS this
Summer 2016: Copa America, Euro & Olympics Watch - Page 2 Messii-hiastaphutyun-na63065.1
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Post by windkick Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:35 am

Holy crap, was watching Game of Thrones, but just read Messi announced his retirement from Argentina. Damn...you could tell he was extremely hurt by this.

http://www.espnfc.us/copa-america/story/2902891/lionel-messi-flags-potential-argentina-retirement-after-penalty-loss-to-chile
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Post by Winter is Coming Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:06 am

There are supposedly others ready to leave.
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