Italy, Belgium and Morocco among possible opponents

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Pablo Aimar Argentina Italy
Pablo Aimar Argentina Italy

Italy, Belgium and Morocco are among the possible opponents for March’s friendly matches.

It has been a disastrous week in Italian football (and not the best one for Argentina following a 4-2 loss against Nigeria). Possibly the biggest black eye in Italian history after the team’s playoff elimination which meant they would not be at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Many (myself included) think that Argentina are very close to being like Italy and the only (or at least major) reason they are at the World Cup is because the Albiceleste are fortunate to have Lionel MESSI while the Italian team doesn’t have a MESSI.

However, MESSI or not, we might get the chance to see how these two world heavyweights compare because according to several reports, there are big chances that Argentina play Italy in March with the friendly taking place in Basel, Switzerland.

The other possible opponent are Belgium, Argentina’s opponent in the quarter finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Red Devils, unlike the Azzurri, will be at the World Cup next year.

Third and final (for now) possible opponents are Morocco, who have qualified for the World Cup for the first time since the 1998 edition in France. As it stands, it appears as though it’s going to be one of Italy or Belgium for the first match and Morocco in the second with the match taking place in Casablanca.

99 COMMENTS

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  2. Call me crazy but i was watching the against Nigeria game and i loved it because something changing. If anyone remember last Copa or even our any game before there was alot of issues and so many times i was complaining that we never have enough man on opposition box. Like there was time when there was only our striker alone and isolated by opposition defender. There were No run from midfield,no overlap running,No running behind the defence,Off the ball movement was bad (only Higuain was top class in of the ball movement). But now it is changing. Every time we were crossing there were at least 2-3 players in the box and this was excluding Aguero. There were some beautiful run from Enzo. Now from that match i will take the first half and make it more ruthless and polish it by practicing over and over again. Needs to reinforce midfield. I have second thought now playing Mache in 5 as sub sometimes not CB

  3. One Player who has been a Revolution for us is ENZO PEREZ, such a great under appreciated player. Only guy who can match his attributes is AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ would love see both in our 23 List for WC.Both are hard working players.

      • You really like Battaglia a lot don’t you, He he. And of course Nacho Fernandez too. Battaglia looks intimidating, has to say that, we haven’t had a tall Midfielder like him for sometime. Frankly speaking is there any time and matches left for Sampa to test all these players?? Lanzini, Battaglia, Lamela, etc etc

  4. Sub 15 matches in order:

    Argentina-Columbia 3:2 youtube.com/watch?v=YWoOGxHux7U

    Argentina-Uruguay 2:2 youtube.com/watch?v=ZV87iwS-YPA

    Argentina-Czech Republic 8:2 youtube.com/watch?v=8_2dxrbBKZU

    Argentina-Chile 2:2 youtube.com/watch?v=pdtsDv5oQEM

    Argentina-Paraguay 3:0 youtube.com/watch?v=lvLLTa1Ven8

    Argentina-Peru semifinal 4:1 youtube.com/watch?v=8ULZ9ejHn_I

  5. Our under 15 team beat Peru 4-1 and qualified for the final just now ! They will be facing against the brazilians who beat Paraguay 2-1 in the other semifinal.

    Hope we can win this as we’ve never won this category before and revive the dignity of our once honorific youth team. Again kudos to Diego Placente !

      • 2 days time Gonzalo. Im quite excited over our chances as we are the host nation as well. Win or lose we’re right on track in terms of our youth system development. If you watch the matches, you’d be impressed with some if not most of our attacking players. Bet many of them if monitored and trained well would join the senior team soon. Vamos argentina!

          • That’s true although we may have a fine ‘cost effective’ youth development structure as well since we’re not as affluent as compared to our european counterparts. Let’s see what happens in the final. Tapia has comprehensively impressed me since assuming duty.

  6. Just finished watching sttutgartvs dortmund….Both argentines had a good game today…is Ascaibar too young for national team?
    If E.Insua is consistant and can play for argentina like he did today then we have a super left back.

    • Insua was damn impressive, I guess playing in the 2nd division has done him some good, if he keeps this up he should go to Russia.

      El Russo is doing well also but he’s still abit reckless with his tackles (wasn’t like that in the primera) still it’s quite understandable since the bundesliga is much more challenging and he’s getting used to the new land.
      He’d be a solid choice for a DM but for me Battaglia is way ahead.

  7. One thing I find strange with all our coaches is this.
    For example Player A is called up. Player A doesn’t play e minute. Next round, Player A is called up again but this time Player B is also called. Player A who was first in the squad again doesn’t play a minute while Player B who was called this time is a starter. Next round, Player A is again called while player B goes from starter to not called up at all. Player A never gets to play.
    My logic is if a starter plays bad he should firstly be relegated to the bench and then after that if he doesn’t improve should not be called.
    While a new player should work his way up, first get a call then play and if given a chance should not give them up fast.

    • I 100% sure..he never call higuain at friendly but include him at 2018 wc squad…i think he got infected by coach argetine error

    • simple answer those players may not impress sampa in training u have to impress in training if ur not a star lets see sampa has 2 more matches still left to try out things but i assume we may see more preferred squad in last 2 matches with hardly 2-3 changes here and there mayb in midfield and defence

  8. The truth and the fact remains; Argentina haven’t produce great young players since 2007/2008. The young players Argentina currently produce are way inferior to young players from Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, England, Brazil etc. Have you guys been paying attention for the last several years? The young players in Argentina, while decent, are not world beaters. Stop kidding yourself here fellows, we’re witnessing the decline of Argentinean football for the last several years. A country that was fortunate to even qualify for the 2018 world cup. How many U20 world cup have Argentina win since 2007? Better yet, how many U20 world cup semifinal/final have Argentina made since the team won in 2007?

    Germany is taking 2010/2014 world cup players like Mulluer, Kroos, Gotze, Draxler, Kheidera, Ozil, Howedes, Boateng, Hummels to the 2018 world cup while people on here think mediocre players from the Argentina Primera will compete with these guys.

    Spain is taking 2010/2014 world cup players like Ramos, Pique, Iniesta, Busquet, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta, Koke, Javi Martinez, David Silva, Raul Albiol and even David Villa to the 2018 world cup yet some people here think local Primera players will be at the level of these world cup contenders.

    The days when Argentina Primera produce quality players are long gone. The league is mediocre; this doesn’t mean Pavon is not a good player. The reason why teams like Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, and Colombia will never win the world is because their roster is mostly made up of local Latin players. This is the same reason picking a team of locals from Argentina will never win the world cup. The local league is a Joke man, even the MLS is better and attracting bigger names.

    You really think Banega is the one stopping Argentina from winning a world cup? Why didn’t Veron or Ortega win the world cup?

    The truth will set you free, stop overrating mediocre young players and open your eyes. Argentina can’t even win youth tournaments anymore yet I’m to believe a bunch of rookies from Argentina is going to compete with the likes of Kroos, Ozil, Khedira, and Reus or Busquet, Silva, Iniesta, and Koke or Pogba, Kante, Matuidi, and Rabiot in Russia come 2018? Give me a break man, I’m signing off from this nativity, and people here really call themselves football fans.

    • 8I disagree with you. We have very good young players. I think Mammana, Foyth, Angel Corea, Paredes, Ascacibar, Dybala LoCelso are decent players. The problem is people like us who beleive that we have to wim the wc with no preparations. Spain build their team during 2 decades, Germany did the same France was so disappointing that they missed wc94. They beleive in process, they work on it and it gave results. Since Bielsa no coach has stay 3 years in NT. What do you think we can achieve in those circumstances? We have to praise our players they are fantastic some of them give their soul for the NT while the federation is doing nothing to help. We continue to have good players with no system that’s our problem.

    • Honestly kid you remind me of some of the bipolar patients I used to treat when i was doing my psych run and I’m honestly not trying to be rude. You are so up and down, in and out with your comments.

      Argentina’s talent pool is still flowing, but it means nothing if a manager cannot utilize such talent.
      In attack there is Icardi, Dybala, Correa, Vietto (Was a ‘world beater’ in his 1st season in spain atleast) Pavon and maybe Lautaro Martinez if Simeone doesn’t manage to screw him up also.
      In midfield there is Ocampos, Cervi, Depaul (his effort in Udinese is sadly going unnoticed), Lo Celso, Paredes, Ascacibar and most certainly Lanzini. The primera has Gonzalo pity who most certainly deserves a chance.
      In defense there is mammana and Foyth while the primera has Barboza, Bustos and Conti amongst others.
      Rulli is definitely a talented GK who is being undone by Sociedad’s non existent defensive set up.

      Argentina’s struggles in the WCQ were due to one thing and one thing only the AFA! This lead to 3 coaches within 2 yrs and a disjointed squad.

    • What you say is somewhat true, Cant Argue, But its a Cycle man we cant expect a Messi or a Maradona caliber players from every Generations, They r once in a millennium gems.

      Talent is always there in Argentina but we need a proper system & guidance which we have now under Sampa, so expect a better future. But completely neglecting the Local player is illogical i feel. We found out that PAVON is really gud, May be we will find other better players from Local League players too. Without seeing them at least 2 or 3 matches for us how can we suppose to blame them.

      Nobody is saying the European based players are bad but we need to try other alternatives too when some European players are not clicking for us. Thats it but , respect ur opinion though.

  9. Hey guys I don’t wanna interfere in your argument but Redondo is the BEST midfield that we ever have if we consider that fact that Maradona was a stricker. Please be careful he is not comparable to anyone!!

  10. Sabellista: It’s the same old, same old tired platitudes coming from you when talking about Lanzini yet reality say otherwise. You said it is a ”fact” that Lanzini is better than Banega, now list all the facts?

    Banega won the Olympics. Facts

    Banega won Back to back Europa Cup, plus one final man of the match award. Facts

    Banega only started in one game during the 2015 Copa America and that was the first game of the tournament. Masche, Biglia and Pastore started in all the other five games including the final. Facts

    Banega was Argentina second best player after Messi during the 2016 Copa America. Facts. He picked up an injured against the USMNT during the semifinal which affect his overall game in the final against Chile, the same Chilean team he scored against and assist Di Maria earlier on in the tournament. Facts

    “Banega is a fantastic player. We’ll have to be plugged into the game to render him ineffective,” Pep Guardiola said. Facts

    “Mascherano knows him very well and Ever Banega is a player that I love.” Xavi Hernandez. Facts

    Vitolo: Ever Banega is an important player for us, he can decide a match, the team is better when he plays. Facts

    Every Sevilla game, commentators always said if Sevilla is going to be competitive against such and such team, they will need Banega to be at his best. Facts

    Banega had an assist against Barcelona for Sevilla two weeks ago. Facts.

    Banega won his team a crucial three points in the UCL two weeks ago including motm performance award and scored a beautiful long range goal. Facts
    Banega scored against Nigeria. Facts! While Dybala is yet to score for Argentina after 12 appearances. Even Pratto have more goals than Dybala for Argentina playing less games.

    Mascherano and horrible goal keeping was the reason Argentina conceded the first goal against Nigeria. Facts.

    Enai Emery is a HUGE Banega fan. Banega was always in his plans at Valencia and Sevilla. Facts.

    Eduardo Berizzo rate Banega highly. Facts

    Pellegrini rated Banega highly despite never coaching him. Facts

    Banega ran himself over with his own car. Facts (Sarcasm)

    Banega is not going anywhere. Facts When you play against teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona twice in La Liga right before the world cup, your chance of making the world cup squad is pretty darn high!

    Now onto the Nigeria game. Sampaoli was the reason for the defeat. He had no business continuing with Mascherano in the second half of the game given that he already played a full 90 minutes against Russia. Sampaoli need to understand that Mascherano is not agile and mobile like he used to be several years ago. Mammana/Fazio should have been substituted on the pitch for Masche as soon as the second half got going.

    Now, if anyone here watch the game carefully, you will realize that Aguero substitution at half time was what change the whole mindset of the Nigerian team in the second half. Aguero abilities and reputation as a football player was one of the main reason Nigeria was pecked back in the first half and show little effort going forward into the Argentina half of the pitch. The Nigerian players treated Aguero as if he was Messi. Dybala was unable to command such respect from the Nigerian players during the game which goes to show that Dybala is not as good as many people claim. Without Aguero in the second half, the Nigerian team had no fear running at the Argentina backline because they knew well Benedetto wasn’t even close to the level of Aguero. The second half against Nigeria was just bad coaching on the part of Sampaoli, he should have seen this change of play coming from Nigeria and adjust his team accordingly.

    Lanzini is a good/talented player but as far as reality is concern, his resume is Al Jazira and West Ham United, which are two average club. If Lanzini is good as you claim, then why haven’t he been promoted from mediocrity to a top level team? If Lo Celso was any good then I would have chosen him over Lanzini, but with the bar being so low, I had no choice but to say Lanzini was one of the better young players Samapoli called up. With Lamela back in training, Lanzini has little chance now of making the 2018 world cup (I doubt he ever was going to anyway).

    As for the other guy who reply to my comment, he need to stick with sport such as synchronized swimming and Badminton. This is the real world man, not the Upside Down, where reality doesn’t matter.

    Anyway Sab, I’m cool with you man. You seem like a good guy.

    • One day you told us that Biglia and Banega are far superior to Redondo, Veron, Requelme, and many Argentine retired midfielders. So you are ok with underestimating Lanzini and making your favourite Banega super star. I really doubt that you know about football coz someone who has a football knowledge never analyzes football with the way you do. I remember once I asked a very simple question and you failed to answer it. I wanted you to tell me what Banega achieved that Redondo and the likes of him didn’t? When someone asks you how Biglia is better than Simeone? The only answer you give is another question which is: how many world cup finals did Simeone play? I bet Banega will not be part of the squad if Lanzini performs well for the rest of the season and remains fit. Do you think Sampa is a blind fan of Banega like you? No! Sampa has no mercy on the players who hold back the team like Banega. Let us use a common sense here why we don’t Banega in the squad and we want say for example Otamendi to be in the team? It is obvious one plays badly for the team so he is not a fan favourite and the other plays well for the so he deserves to be a fan favourite. Anyone on Mundo will struggle to understand tge logic behind your arguments. Firstly, try to learn the basics of football and then use well established arguments that you have supporting answers for it. No more Banega! That is my slogan hate it or like it!

      • You constantly underestimate the quality of the local league players and in your eyes they don’t deserve to train with Messi and your beloved Banega. And all of a sudden you said Pavon is the new Levezzi. He is a Boca player. Enzo plays for River and he is a starter for Argentina, while Banega is a bench warmer. Russia game was more important for Argentina than Nigeria game and Banega was in the bench. The final game of the qualifiers was the most important important game for Argentina in recent history and once again Banega was in the bench. When Sampa became the head coach he thought Banega is a good player but he has realized something that led him to put this overrated player on the bench. Guess what will happen next? Dropping Banega from the team. It’s the beginning of the end! You will watch Argentina without Banega and you have to deal with that.

        • There’s many many new or young players coming from local league to Europe (and playing well) or coming to NT after the moment KidultHood started his campaign against young or local players condemning them all indiscriminately. He started the regular critic after WC yet. But the fact is we see around NT many new players coming from the sources he said are empty. Dybala, Icardi,Acuna,Funes Mori,Benedetto, Alario, Lanzini, J.L.Gomez, Tagliafico, Pavon, Paredes,Lo Celso, Rulli, Ascacibar Kranevitter, Pereyra, Guido Rodriguez, Pizarro, Rigoni, Mammana, Pratto and more. I think all the players were or are “a joke” for him. We heard this milion times “he is a joke” or “who is …”

          But ATM I doubt there’s a single player (excluding Messi) of that famous generation he loves who seems to be good starting eleven choice for upcoming WC. Of course people may say now: Aguero. I’m not a prophet but what I see about AGuero is nothing new. Just Deja vu. He is no better than Aguero before last WC. Watch his games against Bosnia, Romania, Slovenia, Peru, Paraguay. He was even better form than today, droping often deep to show some playmaking moments as little Messi. But then… Again and again the same story. Unreliable player. The probability Aguer will catch injury or just give shadow performance in crucial games is at least 80% I think.

    • Nice analysis again, Agree with you about Banega, I don’t think Sampa will drop Banega at such a critical moment.Such a classy midfielder(Creativity wise best after Messi & Di Maria – I think)and we don’t have that many good players in midfield position too. But i feel frustrated sometimes while watching him play out of position & bad for us. Why cant we try, Biglia – Enzo – Banega like Copa 2016 where it was Masche – Augusto – Banega, Banega was playing great in that tournament.

      I would love to see how LAMELA is progressing, He can be a great addition for us if in form, Lamela – Lanzini combo may happen at Tottenham cool??

  11. Italian Football Federation are interested in Sebastian Driussi. FIGC want to build a project from scratch like Germany did in 2000 and Driuissi is part of their plan.

  12. Peru, the last team that make the World Cup. Actually they do it with many young, not European players. I like to see the country celebrating the qualification as if they won WC gold coin.

  13. Let me just make one observation,

    Sampoali did NOT need to leave his previous job to manage ARGENTINA, he did it because they desperately needed a proven coach and the man answered the call for less money and a MASSIVE weight of an entire country, so let’s not forget that baggers can’t be choosers and we were on all fours begging for a manager.

    • Did i say less money, i meant no friggin money.

      I would love to know what happened to the 25million Euros or Dollars that was given to ARG at the conclusion of 14WC??? that they had no money to Feed, feed!!!!! The U20 team, lousy travel plans, managers not getting paid and security detail left to ask Messi for their wages!!!

      LET’S not forget.

    • Also adding no one wanted to take the risk and job. Like Simeone or Bielsa. I don’t care if we don’t win in 2018 at least we have a plan and structure for youth now. They all will be familiar with the system. But i still hopeful for Russia

  14. If you ask me, i don’t think that we can draw a complete conclusion about the state of our team after the result of the last match. Was i frustrated after the match? Of course i was and especially when conceeding four goals after having a lead of two. But when you are leading by two goals and finally ending up loosing by two, is something that barely happens, not only to Argentina but to a below average team as well. Therefore this makes me skeptical, i mean we were superior in the first half and suddenly after the incident with Aguero and due to the fact that Sampaoli was making lots of subs in the second half, because it was a friendly and he was trying to see other players, we collapsed. How can anyone in here be so sure that players haven’t been affected by the incident with Aguero? And how do we know that Sampaoli’s main goal wasn’t really to win this game but to make his trials? I was very frustrated indeed by i can’t really say that we are an average team because of this match.

    Moreover, noone here can predict anything about the world cup. Most of predictions were proved way to wrong in the previous world cups, the only right prediction i personally made throughout the last six world cps, was the two finalists of the previous one. So don’t make prefictions, especially eight months before the world cup.

    I think that Sampaoli is trying to implement the system that Argentina used to play under Bielsa in 2000-2002. The three men at the back is not such a problem to me because if Sampaoli manages to implement this specific type of play i think we will be ok. If you ask me, the team which played the most attractive football for the last 20 years and one of the most attractive i have ever seen and at the same time spreading fear to every opponent was this Argentina throughout the qualifiers prior to wc 2002, but unfortunately luck and Bielsa’s stubborness not include the most in formed players as well as injuries, cost us the world cup. We may didn’t advance to the second round but we only conceeded two goals, one non existent penalty and a free kick and we were way too unlucky to draw with Sweden as we had numerous chances for goal.

    But Sampaoli is more flexible than Bielsa, yes he called up many players indeed but as a fellow Argentina fan said below, he has to make a competitive bench as well. However, i agree that experiments have to stop now and players to start settle to the team for the next friendlies. The only thing that worries me is that this system is a kamikazee system, if it works you can be deadly but if it won’t then you will pay it big time, it is a very difficult system to implement and requires technical, skillful and physical players. I hope Sampaoli make it work and i am happy for Rojo and funes Mori, especially for Rojo who i would personally prefer seeing him pairing with Otamendi.

    VAMOS ARGENTINA!!

  15. Sampaoli have now played eight games as Argentina manager, four competitive games and four friendlies. Samapoali had the chance to test players against Brazil, Singapore, Uruguay, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Russia and Nigeria since taking over as manager. What more do Sampaoli need to know? If Argentina is still in experimenting mode, going into the 2018 world cup the team will be in big trouble. New schedule friendly games are not necessarily going to tell us anything new six months from now.

    Samapoli have called up all these players since he took over as manager of the Argentina national team, both new players and previous called up players that fell out of favor with the past two Argentina coaches;

    Jonatan Maidana, Manuel Lanzini, Nicolás Tagliafico, José Luis Gómez, Joaquín Correa, Guido Rodríguez, Federico Fazio, Ignacio Fernández, Eduardo Salvio, Alejandro Gómez, Lucas Alario, Mauro Icardi, Guido Pizarro, Lautaro Acosta, Javier Pastore, Augusto Fernández, Javier Pinola, Nicolas Pareja, Darío Benedetto, Emiliano Rigoni, Fabricio Bustos, Enzo Pérez, Fernando Gago,
    Milton Casco, Agustín Marchesín, Germán Pezzella, Leandro Paredes, Emanuel Mammana, Pablo Pérez, Matías Kranevitter, Lo Celso, Diego Perotti, Cristian Pavón.

    What more do Sampaoli need to know about the players? He got to see the veteran players and the new players he called up in action both in official games and training drills. Sampaoli should be having an idea who is main players are for the 2018 world cup, at least sixteen to seventeen players. Rojo is in as long as he is fit. Lamela will most likely make the final team if he regains his form and stay injury free. Garay is a wild card, he might change his mind on the Argentina national team if Valencia continue to challenge for the La Liga title right until the end of the season.

    So are we going to see another fifty new players being call up for the next two to three friendly games Argentina have schedule in 2018? We saw Guido Rodríguez once against Brazil when he came on as a sub yet he is nowhere to be found in Sampaoli recent squad. Too many players, too many changes, and a stupid 3-4-3 formation will lead to Argentina downfall at the 2018 world cup. One or two more friendly game will not make a difference in terms of team chemistry. If Sampaoli team doesn’t have an identity right now and team chemistry, what makes people think he will find one with another two or three friendly games before the 2018 world cup?

    Argentina is a big team; they shouldn’t be struggling to put a starting XI together in the first place. From all the new midfielders I have seen since Sampaoli appointment, only Lanzini and Guido Rodríguez caught my attention. So if you ask me, the new midfield additions should be Guido Pizzaro, Guido Rodríguez, and Manuel Lanzini. New wingers are Salvio, Perotti, and Pavon (he need to brush off some of the rawness though, and fine tune his playing style. He can be Argentina new Lavezzi). For new striker I like Alario, he will gain experiencing playing in Germany.

    So right now, the Argentina squad should be coming together because there is no more time for these radical experiment.

    • Not so long ago you were saying that Lanzini was an average player in a mediocre league and club. Now all of a sudden he caught your attention. Pavon is still a Boca player in Argentine Primera, a league you despise. Are you starting to change your mind? Alario was a River player until very recently too. Guido Rodriguez plays in Mexico, nowhere near your beloved elite European football. What’s up with all that?

      • I never said Lanzini was better than Banega. I compare all the new players under Sampaoli and came to the conclusion that Lanzini was the one that stood out the most in terms of quality on the ball. Lanzini problem now is that David Moyes is West Ham new manager, this can’t be a good thing going into the 2018 world cup. David Moyes shouldn’t be coaching any Argentinean international given is track record as a coach. Banega is not keeping Lanzini out of the Argentina squad. The same as Higuaín was never the one keeping Icardi out of the Argentina squad. Reports came out during the Russia tour that Icardi wasn’t even injured. Sampaoli is playing both Banega and Di Maria out of their normal position. Banega should play closer to goal just like how he was for Sevilla against Barcelona two weeks ago. Is it Banega fault that Samapoali choose to play him right in front of the Argentina backline? Don’t you think if Lanzini was put in the same position in front of the back three he would struggle too? Sampaoli is using Di Maria on the pitch just like what we saw from him under Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. Sampaoli need to play Di Maria more centrally who will then occasionally drift on the wings. Di Maria don’t even look happy in his role.

        As for Argentinean league, I never had a problem with the Argentina Primera. All I’ve said is that most of the players are not good enough compare to past local base players. The league has regressed, and people here tend to throw up names and act like everything is all good and merry in the local Primera. I’m never into the whole lineup thing but for me, this would be the strongest and most experience lineup Argentina can use in Russia. Now as the tournament goes on, sure other players might improve and challenge for a starting spot, but right now this is the strongest Argentina team imo. I have nothing against the new blood, but winning the world cup and progressing through the rounds will take more than the team having a few baby faces.

        ———————–Aguero/Higuian/Icardi

        Perotti————————————————Messi

        ——————Di Maria—————-Enzo Perez—–

        ——————————–Pizarro

        Insua———–Otamendi—————-Rojo—————Mercardo

        ————————————Romero

        Sampaoli might have good intentions but what he is currently deploying on the pitch is not sustainable especially for a tournament like the world cup where you will need stability throughout the entire roster/ team

          • Banega is useless in the team. Look at Nigeria’s second goal. Banega was outclassed by the Nigerian player who
            passes the ball to Iheanacho. Does any sane coach in the world put Banega on the pitch to face teams like Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, and Belgium? I am tired of seeing this guy in the squad, now it is time to remove him completely from the team. I hope Samps will realize what we already realized. No more Banega!!!

        • Yupp thats a great point if we play any player no matter whoever it is out of position his impact will be lesser. Lets say about the JEWEL Dybala for us.And of course Di Maria at Man U was a best example too.

          Banega for me is a better player than Lanzini quality wise no doubt(Based on Club performance),But Banega hasn’t been performing well for NT recently (May be playing in different position, slightly deeper). But We don’t know whether Lanzini will be good for NT or better than Banega for us without seeing him play for us. Lanzini playing great at West Ham may not mean he will play great for us too. At least he would have been tried in the last friendlies.

          Banega was playing great at Copa 2016 because he had 2 other Mid fielders supporting him. May be Banega is not apt for a high pressing system under Sampa. The Talent is there but its rather frustrating to see such a World Class talent under performing whenever playing for our NT so many times(Pastore is same too, Ironically both r mid fielders, Imagine if Banega & Pastore was playing well for us would have lessened the head ache). So why not try Lanzini as an option. I would like to see both in our 23.

  16. Now we have another forward C.Pavon.He is young fast skilled.We should use him on left wing as he is right footed. His explosive movement s and tight ball control makes him difficult to mark.Till now we were lacking something on left wing pavon may be the answer.Pavon Augreo Messi is best 3 men forward line.
    Sampaoli please call for 4 or 5 new faces for midfield and fullbacks.

  17. Now all teams for the WC are known, we can start looking at possible groups. We could for example get the same group as in WC2002 with England, Sweden and Nigeria. That will again be very tough for us. We could also end up with Spain, Denmark and Marocco. More easy would be Switzerland, Costa Rica and Saoudi Arabia.

  18. I like these friendly opponents. Neither powerhouse nor weak, just good tough practice matches.

    Losses are the best lessons. I feel very happy about the last match. It was a great lesson to the coaching staff on tactical consideration and exposed the expired players. Now this opens up new possibilities for deserving players like Lanzini, Mussacchio, Caballero, J Correa, A Correa, Battaglia, Ascasiba, Paredes, Mammana, Pizzaro, Pavon, Lamela, Papu Gomez, Perrerya etc.
    The different here is these players have the energy to run and work for the team as opposed to some past legends. We don’t need midfield general or deep playmaker just simple midfielders who can effective on taking the ball to danger areas in quick transitions.

    • Same here. I was shocked but i wasn’t sad. Was happy. We need this kinda game before WC. Unlike Maradona’s team. Beating Germany in their home 0-1 than got humiliated in front of whole world. I think we won’t see what Sampaoli trying to play untill world cup. After World Cup camp everything will fall in place. I hope and wish all the club has our players gets eliminate from Champion League. Most importantly now Messi gets rest.

  19. What I see is improvement. We r playing a new system and its gonna take little time to adopt. I can see we r playing more with balls, more and more passing is there, mids r moving and trying to help in attacks – that’s all positive but its another thing that we r lacking a creative mid. But Sampa is doing his job turning a below average mid to a good one. I guess Sampa is trying to create sub players. If we don’t get Biglia then Kran will do. If we don’t get Messi then Dybala will do – its brilliant! He is trying every possible subs. Di Maria, Salvio, Benega, No.9, even GK. To win WC we’ll need a strong bench too. I like it.

    But we need more friendly to play together. Think abt Tite, he did same with Brazil, the difference is he got lot more match then Sampa to make his team work. 3 man defense got no problem as long as there ia a DM to help in defense. Biglia is that man for us. Kran may play as Biglia but he needs more lesson. We really need someone to play with brain in our mid. Benega is good when he is good but he is inconsistent, depending on him is like playing blind poker. Lanzini may be an option, I’m sure Sampa will do something. I just don’t know why Di Maria plays like that. Why he is so bad sometimes. Why he is like the worst man we have in our team. He can do better, he can be a threat like Messi.

    When we play with Messi, our opponents r always in threat, they knows that and there defense remains guarding him that weaks their attk, that’s a big part. I actually like Kun, he is somewhat like Messi. He can dribble, he can shoot, he can score and he can play as AM too – thats what we need. Icardi may be a very good choice but he remains isolated and I don’t think he’ll fit in Sampas plan if he only thinks he is the target man to just shoot when he gets the ball.

    Well, its better we loose now then in the WC. We can improve now. I thank to Nigeria for defeting us, surely it’ll make Sampa bring new improvements.

    Vamos Argentina!!

  20. I think maybe Argentina can copy Pep’s 4-3-3 formation at Man City where Pep uses double No. 10’s with David Dilva and Kevin De Bruyne.

    In attacking phase both fullbacks will move to center alongside defensive midfielder No. 5, while the two 10’s will push forward in support of the No. 9. This way Argentina don’t need out and out wing-backs and instead can opt for makeshift fullbacks who are also defensive midfielders. Just like how Javier Zanetti played in his later years at Inter or Fabian Delph currently plays with Man City.

    At the same time, the two wingers will stay outwide to provide width but they also have the license to go inside and change position with one of the two 10’s.

    Below is the sketch of Man City 4-3-3 formation.

    https://s33.postimg.org/8fjzf9b8f/4-3-3_MC_Formation.png

  21. So you guys want to see us playing beautiful free flowing attacking football and play 4 at the back right?

    News flash – It aint happening.

    First of all, to achieve that you need fullbacks who can literally play as a winger or a wide midfielder in possession AND most importantly – YOUR CENTERBACKS CANT FUCKING DO THAT.

    I mean, whats with the temptation with playing with CBs as fullbacks? Didn’t we see that already what problem that creates? If we cant put our defense up high, we wouldn’t be able to play the vanilla football we all want to see.

    Then again, if we use those huge and abundant CBs that we have as fullbacks, our defense is going to be as watertight as a virgin’s honeypot, but our attack is also going to be isolated like the fucking Sahara.

    So that’s that. If we attack more the opponent is going to create more chances against us. We just have to spend more time on the practice field so those individual errors doesn’t happen more. And honestly speaking, I’m sick and tired of those fucking boring useless no width lineups. If we die, we die attacking. I just don’t wanna see the face of Banega and Di Maria no more. Both of them are fucking useless.

  22. Every new system needs time to adapt. I’m not sure playing with 3 men defence is fitting system for Argentina but it looks like Sampaoli is not far than at best in middle way to adapt the system effectively and without doing more harm in next firendlies. I think he should rather turn back from the way of reforming all system and back to our well-known 4:4:2. He is rather obsessed with abbundance of wingers and short, technical players in central midfield (tasted technical skills and beautifull ball control dominated physical aspects). I wonder if he will back to idea of call up player like RB Bustos when he will be available again after injury. I think Sampaoli really wanted to try him well. Bustos + Ansaldi would be good idea IMO

    …………..Romero
    ……..Pezzella..Otamend
    Bustos………………..Ansaldi

    …….Battaglia..Paredes/Lo Celso
    Nacho/Pavon……………….Lanzini

    ………..Messi..No.9

    Perhaps Sampaoli thinks as many of us resently: no midfielder who is commited only to defensive tasks. No midfielder without offensive contribution. That’s fashionable idea here now. As a result Sampoali plays with Enzo, Banega, Lo Celso in middle. But none of them will be always at post to stop and destruct oponents attacks, (especially the quick) as once Masche do that many times to save us just like Deus Ex Machina. None of Perez, Banega, Lo Celso plays like boss of the middle, as span which support all construction of midfield hence there’s a lot of chaos when it comes to intervene and stop opponent. Sampoli should sacrifice one of his technical favourites of the middle and apply once again more or less classic No.5, warrior-kind. So I think one of Paredes/Lo Celso + No.5,the warrior or (if 3 central midfielders) No.5 + 2 box-tobox around like Enzo, Nacho or Lanzini. Generally Nacho and Lanzini may be used on the wing of midfiled and on CM.

      • Yup thats the real dilemma, Cant blame him there is not enough friendlies to test players, But Lanzini should have been at least tried in place of Lo Celso i think. Lo Celso is good too but lanzini is better experienced at the moment. Paredes hasn’t got a real chance till now, So as Nacho. Battaglia no idea he hasn’t been considered at all till now.

        There is so much time left for next friendlies nearly 4 Months. By the time next friendly comes i m sure Sampa will have to finalize the players.He have no choice too. So these 4 Months will be critical in analyzing players. Lanzini, Lamela, Rojo, Mori Can they make it?? Lamela has lesser chances, Pastore Oh goshhhh what happened to him. He really need to get out of PSG get some playing time, has so much talent utterly wasting.

    • An opinion about Ansaldi from his Inter days: “One of the stupidest players I’ve ever seen, truly amazing. In the first half vs bologna, he gave the ball away like 90%? of the time. There was one situation where he had 2 passes open to him, so instead, he decides to hit the ball aerialy out to the other side back, fucks it up, and loses play. Why would anyone do this? He does this sort of thing over and over. Ignores the obvious, reasonable option and decides to lob it 30 yards over the man infront of him, to the player whos got a person marking him heavily. The pass may find it’s mark, but you put the reciver in an impossible situation, and he can’t control it with someone trying to take it from him, and its just gone. Same with grounded passes, instead of passing to the mid whos traveled 20 yards to recieve the pass, he fucking rifles it infront of him to the marked player, and its lost. He never seems to consider the consequences of his actions, he never thinks “oh this guy might have trouble controling this” he just does whatever, every time. He is fucking retarded. Complete and utter shit.

      And like I said, he COULD be good, he has a very good skill set, but he has no sense, utterly absurd player. “

      • And so on in a later comment, not his biggest fan, but after this i must see this player closer:D ˇ”

        I just checked his history, he played in russia straight from his move from argentina for 8 years… no wonder hes so fucking clueless, he never learned how to play football, hes just a technically capable player with good physicality, with no brain whatsoever. I wish someone would make vs vids for him so i can highlight his every move and what hes done wrong, you just wouldn’t believe it… i can’t believe this guy has even happend. he hasn’t the intelligence of a professional player, that isn’t something you learn and suddenly forget. some decennt skills on the ball, some good passing, good techically, actualy has most things he needs, but no understanding of absolute football basics. guarin was awful, awful player, stupid, completly selfish and absolutely no idea how to play the game without the ball, but even he understood how the consequences of his actions, he knew that passing to a guy being heavily marked would lead to lossing possesion, he was selfish and had no mind, but he understood the dynamics of the game on the ball, he choose to ignore everything and just go solo 90% of the time, but he actually had some football awarness….. this guy has none, zero, its absolutely unbeliveable, sheer retard, complete and utter retard, never should a player this bad mentally belong in a top league

      • “actually the least intelligent player I have ever seen. At the start of the match, he a made a sane pass to maintain possesion and I thought to myself, wow, maybe hes been instructed on how to play? Within the next min he had given play away with a long ball to no one, then right after he passed to a man with 2 people marking him, with no space for him to go anywhere, he is so fucking bad. he plays like a complete amature… im only 13 mins into this match and hes lost 90% of everything hes touched, any play he gets dies. edit: got to his next touch, what does he do? hangs onto the ball too long and passes to someone with 2 people around him, instead of the two people completly free in the mid, luckily the player was kondogbia who deals with those situations, but he has nowhere to go so hes forced to play wide, and perisic has nowheere to go so he just crosses to no one… thats not a good example of how bad he is, but its a culmination of events that lead to this, hes usually a lot more blatantly bad, but thats just a minor incident that just highlights when he touches the ball, the play will be lost, everything is the wrong choice and if they manage to keep possesion after his pass (80% of the time they don’t), play will be lost any way because the pass he made forced to into a dead end, or at the very least a poor postion to be in to maintain possesion. next time in possesion, 5yards away pass success, next pass, 5 yards away success again! next time in possesion, 3 people free in the mid, plays a 40 yard areial pass to the wing… with no one on it. “

      • LOL Ansaldi is like a ghost. I have been hearing about him for as long as I can remember. We have been through 4/5 coaches yet nobody ever played him(perhaps 1 friendly, not sure). Does this guy really exist or is he just a Mundo Myth? 😛

    • Ideal team if Argentina had a squad like that I would say they can beat any team but Sampaoli with his bad tactics is stubborn. Ansaldi is a really good player. He needs to be given a chance.

  23. its called karma chile!!!!! as you screwed your selves hahahahahahahaha

    Chile’s successful appeal over the eligibility of a Bolivian player in a Fifa World Cup qualifying match has ended up costing them a shot at the finals in the playoff with New Zealand.
    Chile finished ranked sixth in South American qualifying, one spot short of where they needed to be to continue in qualifying. Peru finished ahead in fifth, earning a place in the intercontinental playoff against the Oceania champion All Whites.
    Chile and Peru were separated by goal difference having both accumulated 26 competition points from the arduous South American qualifying series in which all teams played 18 matches.
    In September, Chile battled to a 1-1 draw with Bolivia to claim one competition point. They later appealed the result, protesting the eligibility of Bolivia’s Paraguayan-born defender Nelson Cabrera. Fifa accepted the appeal and awarded Chile a 3-0 victory – and the three competition points that go with the win, rather than one for a draw.
    Peru would also benefit from the appeal with Cabrera having played against them in their qualifying match just a week before. Peru had lost that match, so their change to a 3-0 win gave them three extra points compared with the two extra Chile gained.
    In the end those extra competition points would tie Chile and Peru on 26 points, leaving the ranking to goal difference. Peru was ahead with a goal difference of 1, compared with -1 for Chile.
    Had Chile not appealed over Cabrera and other results remained the same, they would have finished in fifth place on 24 points, and Peru in seventh on 23. Paraguay would have been sixth, also on 24 points but behind Chile on goal difference.

    • Payback is a mother F******* and could not have happened to a more lowlife and pity team.

      ENJOY watching the WC at home all you kiss my ass Chileans.

      I really hate Chile if I wasn’t clear enough from all my comments on the subject.

  24. When your team winning 2-0 then losing 2-4 something goes drastically wrong. Messi not only helps to create chances or soccer goals but also helped in defense as no team attack with out marking messi therefore messi indirectly helped defense a lot. After messi its aguero who is thread for any team. Kun might not be successful like city but in epl aguero man marked which helped city defense and inform kun impact is same like messi in Argentina. First half against Nigeria while Aguero played Argentina looking superior but when aguero substituted and c grade benedito came and out of from dybala playing Nigeria became superior and exposed defense with pace. African sides always create problems due to pace not forgotten what Ghana did against Germany n Portugal in WC2014. Argentine defense is extremely poor badly need pacey F.Mori n Rojo back in the team, frankly i don’t have problem with 3man defense if they are fast and defended with 5man depending on situation. Rulli Romero Cabearo should be our GK, beneditto must be dropped and higuain/alario will be the 3rd striker behind aguero/icardi. Lanzini is best and young midfielder Argentina have and mark my words post worldcup lanzini name new superstar will born. Win covered many flaws but lose exposed everything therefore i have no problem losing pointless game if it helps in development more over this Argentine team isn’t ready for worldcup but potential winner hope they find right combination before worldcup and peck at the right moment which matter 2002 pre world cup campaign for both Brazil n Argentina were best example

  25. One HUGE concern about Sampaoli – I believed he saw everything as we did, e.g. the use of Mascherano, Di Maria and Banega, but he never attempted to make changes. Maybe he still wants to give them another chance? But IMO, the problems of Banega and Mascherano are not fixable.

    That reminds me of Sabella, who dropped Gago and FF after the first match in 2014.

    My expected line-up will be 4-3-3. Rulli/Mercado Otamendi Fazio Ansaldi/Biglia Perez Dimaria/Pavon Messi Aguero

  26. I watched the highlights and the obvious must be stated:

    It was a friendly to learn from, sure it hurts but I’d rather we lose now instead of losing in the summer.
    Messi this and messi that, messi doesn’t play defense and to think ARGENTINA is average without him is ridiculous because the rest of the SOBs need to man up and play instead of make excuses.

    They created chances and were up 2-zero….thats a positive, nm Kun scoring on two consecutive games is even a bigger positive.
    Sure up the damn defense and don’t play that imbecile goalkeeper again, while looking for a better backup for Romero because whatever the F his name is is not the question.

    Play more friendlies.

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