Copa America: Time to Rise From The Ashes and Claim Argentina's Glory
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New year has started and by now hopefully everyone has moved on from the debacle of WC 2010. Its time to rise again, its time to shine again and take Argentina football to where it once was.
As one would have noticed by watching Barcelona and Spain, paradise is not formed over night, it takes months if not years but one has to be patient, Maradona's regime as a manager even though a failure did show us some important pointers about the team.
1. One cannot play eleven strikers on the team, to win a tournament you have to defend as good as attack if not better.
2. Argentina attack is much dependent on Messi, much more than Barcelona thus stopping Messi makes Argentina look like amateurs, thus defense becomes more important.
3. Sergio Batista is the best man for the job, finally he gets the credit and the job he has deserved for so long. It has been interesting to see the way he has used Messi so far and I am happy with it.
I believe there is one and only one way Argentina can win the World Cup, the way Maradona of all the people should have known: DEFEND WELL AND MESSI WILL DO THE REST. If you do not concede a goal and with the attacking power at your disposal, goals should never be a problem.
I know you must be thinking that we have won plenty of Coma Americas, whats new about this one? This time we have the best player of the generation and if we cannot utilise his potential to the best..when will we ever win a World Cup?? Copa America is important because it is a stepping stone, can you believe how much confidence EURO 2008 win gave the Spanish Squad and thus, even with a new manager, they were the best team in the World Cup.
Its all about making a structure, believing in it and making it work.Time to see what i believe is the best lineup to make it happen, suggestions are most welcome!
Goal Keeper : Sergio Romero
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At present most trusted and reliable option in front of goal. Is getting good playing time with his club and more matches in the national team will help him grow.
Right Back : Pablo Zabaleta
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One of the most unfortunate player in the Argentine squad if not the most. Continuously overlooked by all the managers for Zavier Zanetti, Gutirez and Otamendi???? At 25 has a lot left in the tank and its high time he gets his chance. His versatility to play anywhere in the defense makes him all the more important.
Centre Back : Cristian Ansaldi
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Those who do not know about this man, he is a 24 year old young man who currently plays for a Russian Club named Rubin Kazan? the European football watchers would know and certainly the Barcelona fans like me know him. He was instrumental in stopping Barcelona from defeating them in past 3/4 encounters with amazing backs to the wall defending.
There are other options like Walter Samuel and Gabriel Milito but have been struggling with injury and I do not see them playing competitive football 4 years from now.
Centre Back : Nicolas Otamendi
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One of the few talented defenders Argentina have at present, usually deployed on either flanks, I would like to see him in the cetre of the field because i believe this is where he will be most effective.
Players like Ezequiel Garay and Ignacio Canuto have been ignored due to lack of playing time for their clubs however may be included in the substitutes.
Left Back : Emalino Insua
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Has been ignored for too long now, even though Gabriel Heinze is a good defender I think its time for this young gun to fire all cylinders.
Centre Midfield : Javier Mascherano
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Has been struggling to find playing time at his current club and by the way Sergio Busquets has been playing, he is not going to get any anytime soon. Has to find a loan move to any other club or find more time. He is one man Argentina cannot afford to miss in the midfield, too important.
Centre Midfield : Ever Banega
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Another young gun who is in stunning form for his club and has been given the recognition by Batista. Amazing creating abilities and sound defensively perfect man for the midfield.
Centre Midfield : Facundo Bertoglio
You might think that I am a fool to ignore Cambiasso,Gago,Bollati and Pastore to give this guy a place in the playing eleven. The reason for this being that Cambiasso is too old, Gago cannot get a game, Bollati is too defensive and Pastore is more of a second striker and thats not what I am looking for.
Right Forward : Kun Aguero
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Has been chosen over Carlos Tevez solely because of his telepathic communications and link-ups with messi. Quick, clinical and unselfish, he is a perfect attacking partner for Messi.
Left Forward : Ezequiel Lavezzi
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El pocho is one of the best dribblers of the football at this moment in the world. An amazing passer of the football, a guy who works very hard for the team, a nightmare for any defender to face.
Striker : Lionel Messi
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Time to sit back and enjoy, such players are special, enjoy what they present for as long as we can.
Gonzalo Higuain has been ignored due to his injury crisis and even if he is back it is seen that he needs time to mature on the ball, even though he gets into amazing positions to finish the attack, does not combine that well in the build up of play. In a nutshell, A NECESSARY EVIL, i would definitely have him on the bench.
Angel Di Maria has been ignored because he needs a lot of maturing before he can play at this level, he looks to finish off moves by himself far too many times but definitely a good sun to have.
Other substitutes would include : Juan Pablo Carizzo, Fernando Gago, Ezequiel Garay, Gabriel Heinze, Javier Pastore and Mario Bollati.