Larisano Special: Dear Mr.Batista/New Argie Coach...

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Post by larisano Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:37 am

Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona plays as a forward whose MAIN job is to find the back of the net as a grand total of 100 GOALS in the past 2 seasons shows.

In the creativity dept. FC Barca does not put Keita,Busquets and Mascherano to form a 3-man muscle line and tell Messi track back to get the ball. There are 2 other guys whose MAIN job is to get the ball to FW players who stay in the final third during attack periods. Indeed, as Messi has proven, he CAN create and do it well, but you won't EVER get the best out of him. If there is any hope to ever play like Barca come 2014, it is to inject an AMF in the line-up whose main job is to create for the WONDERFUL array of International Superstar Forwards at your disposal. As of current, there is only 1 Top-Class AMF available to us in Javier Pastore, and with the imminent exit of Tevez, dont put in another FW, but please, give the AMF a chance to get used to the team and allow Messi to actually play like he does for Barca...As close to goal as possible. As you obviously have NOT realised, Lionel Messi is a Forward player and not a Midfielder!

PS: With regards to the CBs you choose, does your selection mean that you are also of the opinion that FC Barca defenders have nothing to do and get shielded by the possession game? You would probly be off putting my now deceased grandparents in CB than the guys you chose for Copa America...Burdisso and the other wordly past-it G.Milito...You sir, obviously have to observe Barca's make-up with a little more attention...and listen to Pep as well.
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Post by BarcaKizz Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:57 am

A very entertaining and poignant post.

No idea what these coaches have been thinking with Argentina. Though, as long as I can remember now (just about) Argentina have been a team who have flopped. They seem like the kind of team that would really frustrate the nation's people, but maybe the underperformance is indeed something cultural.

A great point made by JDeepak the other day was that their problems stem from defence. Because they don't have a good defence, Batista felt the need to make a strong wall in midfield which put all the creative pressures on Messi... which is too much for one player, and although he actually did the job fine, he wasn't where he is best. Its a little silly when people keep saying Messi couldn't score a goal for Argentina so he's overhyped, when he was playing generally where Busquets and Xavi play most of the time for Barca... At the WC he was genuinely collecting the ball from the centrebacks.

I slightly disagree that Messi needs to play as the CF to be completely effective. I think he can play in the hole to great effect as long as he stays up there in and around the goal box. He shouldn't be coming deeper. For me, this means there must be players behind him doing a creative job, and in Banega and Pastore, Argentina have two pretty able midfielders.

However, like JD pointed out so well, the problem stems from the lack of quality defenders, and I'll add to this the abundance of good strikers, making it more tempting to drop Messi further back.

In my opinion, Mascherano should have played in defence like Pique at this tournament, striding out to help the mids when necessary (because tbh... there was no need for so many players hanging back against teams like Costa Rica etc. was there. Have some balls!). Rojo could have added the steel to the defence at left back in the way Abidal does for Barca. This would have freed up space for a 3 man midfield of Cambiasso, Banega and Pastore. Even when Gago played, he played more like Busquets, so it was confusing why he was chosen instead of Banega... (well pointed out that it was rather like playing Keita(Cambiasso)-Busquets(Gago)-Masch(Masch) in the midfield.

They could have gone with:

GK w/ponytail
Zanetti/Zabaleta - Mascherano - Burdisso -Rojo
Cambiasso
Banega - Pastore
Di Maria - Messi - Kun

or

GK
Zanetti/Zabaleta - Mascherano - Burdisso -Rojo
Banega - Cambiasso
Di Maria - Messi - Kun
Higuain
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Post by Albiceleste Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:43 am

Higuain Pastore and Di Maria must play imo.

Romero
Zabaleta Mascherano Garay/Otamendi Rojo
Cambiasso
Banega Pastore
Messi Higuain Di Maria

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Post by BarcaKizz Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:52 am

Lionel Messi wrote:Higuain Pastore and Di Maria must play imo.

Romero
Zabaleta Mascherano Garay/Otamendi Rojo
Cambiasso
Banega Pastore
Messi Higuain Di Maria

Playing on the right is another good option. Too much pressure is being put on him right now. Its as if Messi IS Argentina, which should never be said.
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Post by Khaled Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:19 am

After this Copa America..

I have to say Gago> Banega.. it was ver obvious, plus Gago was better passer, more teamwork when he was playing, Banega who was playing as a CM, was trying to make useless dribbles which made him lose the ball easily more than once!

IMO Messi should play on the Right Wing

Di Maria is a must, since argentina needs forwards who can helpin defence (retaining balls)

Masch as a CB? maybe best option until now..
Samuel in 2014 will be old..

But what about Aguero? were should he play? pastore is a must since they need a CAM ( & he is the best option for now).. waiting for Lamela, let's see what he can do @ Roma..

They need a Pure Stricker, Higuian made very gd movements, Argentina were more dangerous with Higuian on the pitch, but he has to improve his finishing :S

this looks a gd line-up.. in 3 years until WC 2014, alot of things can change, hope Argentina produces better defenders.. Pastore/ Lamela improve as WC Playmakers!
Romero
Zabaleta Mascherano Garay/Otamendi Rojo
Cambiasso
Gago Pastore
Messi Higuain Di Maria

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Post by Albiceleste Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:34 am

@BarcaKizz wrote:
Lionel Messi wrote:Higuain Pastore and Di Maria must play imo.

Romero
Zabaleta Mascherano Garay/Otamendi Rojo
Cambiasso
Banega Pastore
Messi Higuain Di Maria

Playing on the right is another good option. Too much pressure is being put on him right now. Its as if Messi IS Argentina, which should never be said.
He would roam like he has been doing during the Copa, at times hes on the wing sometimes hes in the middle

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Post by messixaviesta Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:44 am

Interesting comments guys but the way I see it is there is no quality solution as yet. Consider the following scenarios.

1. If you play 4-3-3 with Messi as false number 9, Pastore plays the Iniesta role and I doubt he has the maturity and tenacity to handle it.

2. If you play 4-2-3-1 with Messi as AM, well that's just what was being done against Uruguay. Maybe you can improve the personnel and style a little but what more can you change.

3. If you play a 4-2-3-1 with Pastore as AM, then Messi has to move to the right where he will play fine. However don't forget this means you take the team's by far best player and put him in a peripheral role while placing the crux of responsibility on a somewhat untried and untested player.

To be honest after what I have seen so far I have little idea what is best. I am not convinced by any of the solutions though. My only suggestion is to experiment with various on paper sensible ideas and see which one actually plays out best in practice.

As for the defenders, yes Batista made bad choices, but I would also say he didn't have too much quality to choose from anyway. I agree quite a lot with what kizz said on these aspects.

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Post by shinigami99 Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:36 pm

@messixaviesta wrote:Interesting comments guys but the way I see it is there is no quality solution as yet. Consider the following scenarios.

1. If you play 4-3-3 with Messi as false number 9, Pastore plays the Iniesta role and I doubt he has the maturity and tenacity to handle it.

2. If you play 4-2-3-1 with Messi as AM, well that's just what was being done against Uruguay. Maybe you can improve the personnel and style a little but what more can you change.

3. If you play a 4-2-3-1 with Pastore as AM, then Messi has to move to the right where he will play fine. However don't forget this means you take the team's by far best player and put him in a peripheral role while placing the crux of responsibility on a somewhat untried and untested player.

To be honest after what I have seen so far I have little idea what is best. I am not convinced by any of the solutions though. My only suggestion is to experiment with various on paper sensible ideas and see which one actually plays out best in practice.

As for the defenders, yes Batista made bad choices, but I would also say he didn't have too much quality to choose from anyway. I agree quite a lot with what kizz said on these aspects.

Well you have to remember that Batista only implemented the Messi as attacking midfielder tactic since the game against costa rica. Before that, he was obsessed with his little 4-3-3 that couldn't even beat a pretty mediocre US team. Due to this, the team would not have had match experience playing with this formation. The 4-2-3-1 idea is good with Pastore an AM. Only problem is that Pastore has to be at the center of all attacks. Now we don't know how he will perform because Batista used his friendlies VERY BADLY and made no effort to integrate Pastore into it. I say that if Batista decides to get out of his 4-3-3 obsession and starts consistently playing 4-2-3-1 with Di Maria/Aguero-Pastore-Messi(Higuain up front), then all we need is a good defense, a solid holding midfielder(Gago/Banega) and DM(Masch), and we're set. Chemistry can make almost any formation work. However the coach needs to be competent enough to accelerate and manage the process of "gelling" the team together.

As for the defense, the situation is not as bad as you people may think. Of course, that's only if Batista is thinking like I'm thinking(highly improbable).
Otamendi, Mussachio and Pareja have all been consistently good performers with their clubs + they are very young. On the wings we have Ivan pillud, who in all the games I've seen, has been really good there. He plays on the right. On the left we have Ansaldi who has been very unlucky over the past few years to have been given the cold shoulder by many clubs.

The only good thing I really got out of this copa is that Romero is actually pretty damn good.

MY formation for 2014
---------------------------Romero(Andrada)---------------------------------
Pillud(monzon)---Otamendi(Pareja)----Musacchio(Munoz)---Ansaldi(Insua?)
-----Banega(Gago)---Mascherano(other DM)----------------------
--Messi(Lamela)-----Pastore(Ricky Alvarez)-------Aguero(Di Maria)
-----------------Higuain(Facundo Ferreyra)
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Post by messixaviesta Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:59 am

@shinigami99 wrote:
Well you have to remember that Batista only implemented the Messi as attacking midfielder tactic since the game against costa rica. Before that, he was obsessed with his little 4-3-3 that couldn't even beat a pretty mediocre US team. Due to this, the team would not have had match experience playing with this formation. The 4-2-3-1 idea is good with Pastore an AM. Only problem is that Pastore has to be at the center of all attacks. Now we don't know how he will perform because Batista used his friendlies VERY BADLY and made no effort to integrate Pastore into it. I say that if Batista decides to get out of his 4-3-3 obsession and starts consistently playing 4-2-3-1 with Di Maria/Aguero-Pastore-Messi(Higuain up front), then all we need is a good defense, a solid holding midfielder(Gago/Banega) and DM(Masch), and we're set. Chemistry can make almost any formation work. However the coach needs to be competent enough to accelerate and manage the process of "gelling" the team together.

As for the defense, the situation is not as bad as you people may think. Of course, that's only if Batista is thinking like I'm thinking(highly improbable).
Otamendi, Mussachio and Pareja have all been consistently good performers with their clubs + they are very young. On the wings we have Ivan pillud, who in all the games I've seen, has been really good there. He plays on the right. On the left we have Ansaldi who has been very unlucky over the past few years to have been given the cold shoulder by many clubs.

The only good thing I really got out of this copa is that Romero is actually pretty damn good.

MY formation for 2014
---------------------------Romero(Andrada)---------------------------------
Pillud(monzon)---Otamendi(Pareja)----Musacchio(Munoz)---Ansaldi(Insua?)
-----Banega(Gago)---Mascherano(other DM)----------------------
--Messi(Lamela)-----Pastore(Ricky Alvarez)-------Aguero(Di Maria)
-----------------Higuain(Facundo Ferreyra)

Wonderful post - great read. You are right that the 4-2-3-1 was not given enough time. Still can you answer one question of mine. Why was the 4-3-3 working so well in the friendlies?

As for your point about the defense I think since they are very young Batista didn't trust them immediately. However now that we have three years we should blend them in immediately. Your post does give a little more hope in this area.

I am noting down your final lineup. It will be interesting to check against it as the months go by how things are developing.

I just read that there is a good chance Batista will be sacked on Monday.



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Post by shinigami99 Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:32 am

@messixaviesta wrote:
@shinigami99 wrote:
Well you have to remember that Batista only implemented the Messi as attacking midfielder tactic since the game against costa rica. Before that, he was obsessed with his little 4-3-3 that couldn't even beat a pretty mediocre US team. Due to this, the team would not have had match experience playing with this formation. The 4-2-3-1 idea is good with Pastore an AM. Only problem is that Pastore has to be at the center of all attacks. Now we don't know how he will perform because Batista used his friendlies VERY BADLY and made no effort to integrate Pastore into it. I say that if Batista decides to get out of his 4-3-3 obsession and starts consistently playing 4-2-3-1 with Di Maria/Aguero-Pastore-Messi(Higuain up front), then all we need is a good defense, a solid holding midfielder(Gago/Banega) and DM(Masch), and we're set. Chemistry can make almost any formation work. However the coach needs to be competent enough to accelerate and manage the process of "gelling" the team together.

As for the defense, the situation is not as bad as you people may think. Of course, that's only if Batista is thinking like I'm thinking(highly improbable).
Otamendi, Mussachio and Pareja have all been consistently good performers with their clubs + they are very young. On the wings we have Ivan pillud, who in all the games I've seen, has been really good there. He plays on the right. On the left we have Ansaldi who has been very unlucky over the past few years to have been given the cold shoulder by many clubs.

The only good thing I really got out of this copa is that Romero is actually pretty damn good.

MY formation for 2014
---------------------------Romero(Andrada)---------------------------------
Pillud(monzon)---Otamendi(Pareja)----Musacchio(Munoz)---Ansaldi(Insua?)
-----Banega(Gago)---Mascherano(other DM)----------------------
--Messi(Lamela)-----Pastore(Ricky Alvarez)-------Aguero(Di Maria)
-----------------Higuain(Facundo Ferreyra)

Wonderful post - great read. You are right that the 4-2-3-1 was not given enough time. Still can you answer one question of mine. Why was the 4-3-3 working so well in the friendlies?

As for your point about the defense I think since they are very young Batista didn't trust them immediately. However now that we have three years we should blend them in immediately. Your post does give a little more hope in this area.

I am noting down your final lineup. It will be interesting to check against it as the months go by how things are developing.

I just read that there is a good chance Batista will be sacked on Monday.


I was actually thinking about why the 4-3-3 worked well in friendlies. Well, apart from Brazil, we played mostly Non south american teams in friendlies. As we found out, South American Defenders have a much more no nonsense approach to the game and apply lots of pressure on attacking players. In our midfield at the beginning of the copa, we had cambiasso-masch-banega midfield. Banega aside, cambiasso and mascherano are not very good holding midfielders(they more defense oriented) and can be pressured out of the game. Banega himself had a very poor copa. Therefore, with a lack of in form holding mids, Messi was coming down to the midfield for the ball(which shouldn't happen if he is the false 9), Lavezzi and Tevez were running like headless chickens due to frustration.
Against Brazil(in Qatar), pastore actually started, with banega and masch(Pastore in the 2nd half was subsituted for d'alessandro-who is pretty good in his position) which provided the midfield attacking power necessary to instigate attacks
Apart from that, all other teams were non South american teams, which allowed even our very static midfield to dominate.
I felt that if Argentina played with this formation against a European team, it would probably work. However, the fact that it was south american teams requires a much faster transition from defense to attack(lest you are pressured off the ball). The team was not prepared to play at this speed, and that is why I think it failed in the copa.
In the other games, Messi and Di Maria were pretty much in the midfield and gave us much more of a chance.

BTW I'm not saying South American teams are BETTER than European teams, It's just that you need different tactics when playing against the both of them.
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Post by messixaviesta Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:59 am

@shinigami99 wrote:
I was actually thinking about why the 4-3-3 worked well in friendlies. Well, apart from Brazil, we played mostly Non south american teams in friendlies. As we found out, South American Defenders have a much more no nonsense approach to the game and apply lots of pressure on attacking players. In our midfield at the beginning of the copa, we had cambiasso-masch-banega midfield. Banega aside, cambiasso and mascherano are not very good holding midfielders(they more defense oriented) and can be pressured out of the game. Banega himself had a very poor copa. Therefore, with a lack of in form holding mids, Messi was coming down to the midfield for the ball(which shouldn't happen if he is the false 9), Lavezzi and Tevez were running like headless chickens due to frustration.
Against Brazil(in Qatar), pastore actually started, with banega and masch(Pastore in the 2nd half was subsituted for d'alessandro-who is pretty good in his position) which provided the midfield attacking power necessary to instigate attacks
Apart from that, all other teams were non South american teams, which allowed even our very static midfield to dominate.
I felt that if Argentina played with this formation against a European team, it would probably work. However, the fact that it was south american teams requires a much faster transition from defense to attack(lest you are pressured off the ball). The team was not prepared to play at this speed, and that is why I think it failed in the copa.
In the other games, Messi and Di Maria were pretty much in the midfield and gave us much more of a chance.

BTW I'm not saying South American teams are BETTER than European teams, It's just that you need different tactics when playing against the both of them.

Very interesting.

Something is seriously wrong with Banega. At times we have seen him play brilliantly and most consider him very talented. However he just doesn't show consistency and is developing the bad habit of letting you down when you need him the most. Gago who has never been rated that high and was also lacking minutes throughout the season managed to out-perform him.

I forgot the lineup for the Brazil game. Still can't quite recall Pastore starting but I do remember D'Alessandro played for some time and had a valuable role.

Apart from all that you said I would add that the three man midfield that we played in friendlies was usually Mascherano, Banega and Gago. That means we had at least two passing midfielders in the center. Replacing Gago with Cambiasso may have made it even more difficult to move the ball. That Cambiasso was not in form and was coming off an injury may have made it even worse. Replacing Di Maria with Tevez was of course a horrible decision which spoiled the link up play in the front line.

As for your overall point that this formation would work better against European teams than South American teams, I find it quite ironical. You may recall that Jose Pekerman's and Coco Basile's Riquelme based teams were built perfectly for facing South American teams but had problems against a more dynamic European game. Brazil must be mentioned as an exception here since in their best years of the last decade they managed to combine the best of South American and European football into their game. However we just haven't been able to find the formation and tactics to be able to handle all kinds of teams and this has been the case for more than ten years now which is very sad.

Lastly I would say that Batista's inexperience showed in all this. He was not able to see through the shortcomings of his side in time just because we were winning the friendlies - something a shrewder and more experienced coach would have been able to do.




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Post by free_cat Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:35 am

The authors of Soccernomics would argue that Argentina is lacking "know-how" and that they should hire a european coach.

I've read many times that the argentinians claim Argentina should play the "argentian way" of playing football. In today's football, you can't succeed with a "national" way of playing football (this is also a point made in Soccernomics and I agree too). You need to get the best tactics around, which are a combination of different countries, mainly European (italian defending, dutch passing, german organisation). Barça is an island in world football with it's own set of tactics, although in the end we also have italian defending (not Herrera's Catenacio, but Sachi's high line), dutch passing (in abundance), and German organisation (Barça play is the most organised), but with a prevalence of passing and posession.

If you watched this Argentina, it is obvious that this teams main flaw was the lack of unity, teamwork, colectivism. And it has been the same under the last coaches. Perhaps Argentinian coaches just don't know how to give this colectivism to their teams. I think that's the biggest problem Argentina has, much important than the players chosen, the formation or where Messi plays.

Definitely, they need a European coach.
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Post by messixaviesta Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:16 am

cat, interesting thoughts.

I won't say all Argentina teams lacked collectivism. Riquelme's team was based on wonderful team play. The 6-0 against Serbia and Montenegro lives on in memory. It's just that the team wasn't tactically smart enough to deal with tough modern opposition and would fail at the final hurdle or a little before it. Also Argentina have rarely been blessed with quality in all positions. In these teams also there were one or more players in the starting lineup who were the weak links that could cost the team.

I actually do think Argentina could try out a foreign coach. However it's a sensitive issue. Some top football nations consider it humiliating to have to hire a coach from another country for their national team. We used to make fun of England since they were the first major footballing nation to do so if I remember correctly. Therefore I very much doubt Argentina will do this and/or the public will accept the idea.

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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:21 pm

I don't disagree with Free, but it's worth noting that for the past 3 years we've had sub-par coaches that got to the spot through cronyism rather than because they deserved to be there. It is also clear that Argentina needs to export more coaches so they can get a European experience and thus improve the range of their tactics, because so far using Argentine tactics on players that play predominantly in Europe leaves a lot to be desired. That's why I was excited to see Simeone try with Catania, but he only lasted 6 months before he decided he wanted to go back to Argentina to coach Racing.

Anyways, today is a big day at AFA. Batista will likely get fired, and Sabella seems to be the favorite for his replacement.
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Post by free_cat Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:26 pm

I always laughed at some statements, from Maradona and also Argentine journalists, that players in the NT had to "realearn" how to play the Argentine way. Forget everything they've learned in Europe. First because the Argentine way seems to be very vague and undefined. Second because I think that if it exists an "Argentine way", it's no competition to European football.

Well, now you have Bielsa at Athletic. Maybe if he does well, in two seasons he can come back and coach Argentina.



Last edited by free_cat on Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:50 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:41 pm

True, but many people here feel that Bielsa got his chance even though I would take him back in a heartbeat. Pochettino is also at Espanyol, and had a good last season, but we'll need him to keep repeating success and hopefully win anything before being considered.

I also agree that the 'Argentine way' is very ill defined, I think it's merely a phrase with sentimental value now.
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Post by messixaviesta Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:31 pm

@BarrileteCosmico wrote:It is also clear that Argentina needs to export more coaches so they can get a European experience and thus improve the range of their tactics

100% agreed alfred. Argentina will feel proud if they can continue with one of their own but the man in charge must know much more about European football.

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Post by BarrileteCosmico Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:36 am

Batista has been sacked cheers
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Post by shinigami99 Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:31 am

awww yeaaa, now bring in an actual COACH with experience to the NT and please bring pekerman in for U20
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Post by messixaviesta Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:36 am

alfred and shini, let's defer the celebrations till a proper coach is chosen who we think is suitable. Desperately hoping it won't be Maradona once again.

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Post by Albiceleste Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:38 am

@messixaviesta wrote:alfred and shini, let's defer the celebrations till a proper coach is chosen who we think is suitable. Desperately hoping it won't be Maradona once again.
I'm pretty sure since Maradona has publicly criticized AFA quite a few times since being fired he won't be picked again, I don't see why they would take him anyway.

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Post by Albiceleste Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:41 am

@BarcaKizz wrote:

No idea what these coaches have been thinking with Argentina. Though, as long as I can remember now (just about) Argentina have been a team who have flopped. They seem like the kind of team that would really frustrate the nation's people, but maybe the underperformance is indeed something cultural.
My father told me the other day after crashing out of the Copa that "Se sufre con la seleccion" which means that you suffer with the national team, and ever since I can remember that's what it has been :/

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Post by messixaviesta Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:16 am

Lionel Messi wrote:
I'm pretty sure since Maradona has publicly criticized AFA quite a few times since being fired he won't be picked again, I don't see why they would take him anyway.

Yes I had the same thought and I really need to have that thought so that it gives me hope we are well and truly past the days of that circus.

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Post by free_cat Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:20 am

Lionel Messi wrote:
@BarcaKizz wrote:

No idea what these coaches have been thinking with Argentina. Though, as long as I can remember now (just about) Argentina have been a team who have flopped. They seem like the kind of team that would really frustrate the nation's people, but maybe the underperformance is indeed something cultural.
My father told me the other day after crashing out of the Copa that "Se sufre con la seleccion" which means that you suffer with the national team, and ever since I can remember that's what it has been :/

You are an Argentine living in Miami?
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:38 pm

All the names that are being rumored have a reasonable amount of experience. Bianchi is the best argentine coach in the past 20 years, Sabella only has two years worth of managing but has been Pasarella's assistant and already has a Libertadores in his trophy cabinet, and Martino has been doing great for Paraguay (although I don't want him at all, his style is too negative). So I don't think experience is much of a concern. Sabella looks likeliest to get the role, if rumors are to be believed.
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