Jorge SAMPAOLI press conference ahead of Singapore match


Argentina National Team coach Jorge SAMPAOLI held a press conference ahead of his team’s match against Singapore on Tuesday.

With Lionel MESSI not playing and SAMPAOLI going with fresh faces for the match against Singapore, Lucas BIGLIA has been named captain. SAMPAOLI also spoke about a number of topics. The coach commented on Mauro ICARDI, the goalkeepers and more. Here’s what he had to say:

Jorge SAMPAOLI on the match against Singapore:

“We’re going to go for it from the start of the match, the way we always will. We’ll need that for the four World Cup Qualifying matches, not just for tomorrow. The team is well, we’re still in the preparation stage after a complicated match on Friday against Brazil. We’re convinced that we’ll win.”

Jorge SAMPAOLI on the goalkeeping situation:

“The decision to play GUZMAN is to have the possibility of seeing him in action, of communicating with the back line. ROMERO has been working very well and this will give us the chance to see GUZMAN, beyond just his good performances for his club. One can’t say who will be the starting goalkeeper for the WOrld Cup Qualifiers. They’re all very good. Looking forward, it’s going to be tough to decide who starts on the pitch and not just the goalkeepers.”


“We’ve had a lot of doubts about Mauro’s participation but we are excited about him having the chance to play a match. Not just for what he can bring from an individual point of view but for the group. Even though he couldn’t play, him staying with us has given us the chance to speak with him, for him to know what we need from him. This contribution of his speaks very well of how much of a professional he is, knowing very well that he probably wouldn’t be able to play, he could have been enjoying his vacation.”

The match is at 8:00am Eastern (New York), 1:00pm in the UK on Tuesday.


  1. while one cannot really call this a game (it was more of a high profile practice game) I was glad to see Argentina win and witness the debut of so many new faces.

    Regarding the players:

    Guzman – Hardly tested but he showed a great level of composure when he had to clear ball from his penalty box using only his feet.
    His distribution is better than that of Romero’s and he’s much more comfortable with the ball at his feet so I’d like to see him give Chiquito a challenge for the starting GK berth.

    Fazio and Mammana – Both were excellent but again they weren’t tested at all. Fazio’s goal was both cheeky and showed a considerable level of skill from a CB.

    Acuna and salvio – Both played as make shift fullbacks and did quite well. They ran throughout the whole match and never showed signs of slowing down, infact Sampaoli might want to try Acuna as a LB when the next friendly comes around because with his speed and defensive tenacity he might actually do quite well there.

    Biglia – He was fine, a solid one dimensional midfield bulldog who might be useful as a late subs to close out games but he shouldn’t be a starter.

    Banega – Also fine, some good passes but I’m much more interested to see Paredes or Nacho leap frog him in the selection process.

    Nacho and Paredes – the MVPs of the match IMO, paredes was lethal with his long distance shots while Nacho showed some amazing one touch passes, I would like to see these 2 anchor the midfield in the future.

    Lanzini – I keep hearing comments about how disappointing he was but I honestly don’t know what match people were watching because he was excellent throughout the first half, superb with the ball at his feet and made several incisive, dangerous passes. I for one want to see a Lanzini-paredes-nacho midfield sometime in the future.

    Dybala – Not a vintage performance from him by any means but never the less he showed some fantastic touches throughout, initiated a lightning fast counter in the 2nd half and provided an assist.

    Correa – Not a center forward by nature and shouldn’t be considering the fact that Argentina has 3 CF in Higuain, Alario and Icardi and doesn’t know what to do with all of em, but Correa’s off the ball movement was excellent, his goal was well taken and he’s versatile i.e. the boy’s a keeper.

    Alario – Clinical with his finishing but I’ve noticed that Sampaoli’s system doesn’t seem to do Center forwards any favors because both Higuain and Alario was anonymous through most of their playing time and that was not to any fault of their own.

    Papu Gomez – His goal was pure class and he worked his butt off the entire time. I wouldn’t mind him getting the node ahead of Higuain if he plays as a CF or Dimaria if he’s playing at the wing and speaking of Dimaria…..

    Dimaria – Ran alot and had some nice touches throughout but as usual held on to the ball for too long and the only time he didn’t was when he got dispossessed. I think Dimaria should be a supersub who comes on in the last 20 min to run a tired opposition ragged and not a starter because I believe there are better options out there.

    Lastly I have to say that even though the opposition was nothing to write home about the mere fact that our boys kept up the intensity throughout the entire 93 mins is something to applaud because speaking as someone whose been to Singapoure and who’s gone on long runs over there the country’s humidity and heat makes running atleast 30% harder.

  2. it was Syngapore and we cant really draw much conclusions from it bt we can see in an offensive phase what worked and what didn’t work.

    Mammana on the ball technically is probably the we have back there. I dont know what he’s lacking defensively since he wasnt tested but this guy will earn his spot very soon.

    I liked acuna and salvio as fullback. it gave us speed and more options going forward. I wish we’ve faced a tougher opposition where they would get tested more defensively but oh well Argentina doesnt have that many good attacking fullback with speed.

    Biglia’s passing is very subpar for his role, and it showed even against this weak team. Sampaoli has to be very careful on who he choose in the role. My preference is Guido Pizzaro + Paredes, but Paredes + Banega , or Paredes + Nacho could work too.

    Lanzini and Dybala in a free role is probably not a great idea. The team need a playmaker, and neither one of them can orchestrate the midfield. Dybala dropping deep in midfield isn’t the solution. His passing, first touch need work. Lanzini didnt get to do much. I dont blame him.

    Papu didnt really impress either beside that goal in the 2nd half.

    I dont like Correa as CF and I think Alario did much better and also gave the midfield and Di maria more options.

  3. So Icardi the only player that have not played. I would not be surprised if in upcoming games Sampaoli prefer Correa.

  4. Sampaoli may stick with 3-4-2-1 . the first match against brazil


    maidana Otamendi Mercado

    Luis Gomez Banega Biglia Dimaria

    Messi dybala


    But i think after vs singapore that formation should be

    Mamana Mascherano Mercado

    Nacho fernandez Paredes Biglia Dimaria

    Messi Correa


  5. Fazio,manmanna, Joaquin correa ,Paredes ,Alario ,Nacho Fernandez are all useful for national team especially paredes . Acuna ,Salvio and taglifrico did not pass the test . Dybala still Played below par. A gomez should be a sub in national team .

    Paredes instead of Banega , nacho fernandez may be a sub for Biglia , Joaquin correa can be a striker or a winger,tactically he is very useful . Alario and icardi together with simeoni will be the future Number 9.

    Dybala i think he should be a sub ,his place should be franco vasquez

  6. I had to work for second half .. grrrrrr… man I would have loved to see Alario and Paredes play.. looks like paredes played well corresponding with time and stats… I think lanzini played well still needs some more playing time before a starter..

  7. That’s pleasure to watch all the new players but I’m not going to draw any conclusions since it’s Singapour. Need to see the players much more and against much much stronger opponent. I wanted to see mifield: Nacho, Paredes,Lanzini but they were nowhere near each other. It’s hard to distinguish best players here while everyone was good but Paredes and Nacho played pretty well.

    • Nacho was good, but Alario cannot dominate, except the goal he was a caricature of a good centre forward, OK only his first match, Paredes shooting technique is great, Lanzini a big disappointment for me, Salvio and Acuna did their jobs nothing more, Banega was definitely better than Biglia in the first half, some great long defence splitting passes

      • As far as I saw level of the Singapour I’m far from any statement. Rather angry they need still a lot of minutes against “normall” rival.

        Sampaoli has his own vision on what positions all the players should playing. Jose Luis Gomez as RM, Correa as forward, Salvio and Acuna defensive wing backs, Paredes AM, Nacho RM’RF. It’s quite new perspective. Although I think RB is right position for Gomez and Correa would be beast as CM/AM. Kind of Lucho Gonzalez.

        • Nacho is more like Lucho Gonzalez for me, Correa seems a worse Draxler, i bet after these 2 games, the lineup will be against Uruguay: Romero—Mercado-Mascherano-Otamendi—Di Maria-Biglia-Salvio or Gomez—A. Gomez-Messi-Dybala—Higuain or Icardi or a more conservative formation with Banega except Alejandro Gomez.

          • Nacho similar to Lucho Gonzalez when playing as CM but he often drwaing to wing.

            Actually Nacho reminds me also Di Maria. Not only because of lean.

    • Still goal+assist and a lot of creative passes, Lanzini unbelievable alibi player, the DM Paredes does 10X more in his position, Dybala with intelligent movements like Messi but with very low effectivity, always a heavy touch in his goal scoring opportunities

      • Di Maria so many times lost the ball. And against Singapour! THe rule is: he must lost 10 balls to give one creative one. That goal and assist so easy

        Mark my words. This player will lead us to ruin in crucial moment. Just wait for World Cup.

          • Oh really? The last two games were our best. Even if without goals. In final we had more opportunities than before with Di Maria. It’s different matter that few players didn’t scored. Lavezzi did creative works instead but better than DI Maria while without so many losts.

      • Agree with you Dybala has to work on his touches which are rather heavy in the past 2 games. He needs to work hard on his close control more than his dribbling. Disappointed that he wasnt able to score despite beiing gifted a few chances.
        I think Salvio worked hard/did enough for Sampaoli to consider him as his right overlapping wing back in the next qualifiers. He has proven to have amazing stamina from what ive observed and would be able to take advantage of spaces given to him which jose luiz gomez couldnt capitalize on the other day.

  8. Feel sorry for Acuna and Salvio. They must play that more deffensive roles while everyone want to attack

  9. overall very decent half. Not seeing much from Papu Gomez yet.

    Alario need to comes in.

    and biglia misplacing a couple passes.

  10. When you are so close to the equator the humidity is a factor, players are sweating buckets. Decent first half overall.

    Dybala, Correa and Di Maria without fixed position, roaming all over the final third.

  11. Nahuel Guzm谩n; Emanuel Mammana, Federico Fazio; Eduardo Salvio, Lucas Biglia, Marcos Acu帽a, 脕ngel Di Mar铆a; Alejandro G贸mez, Manuel Lanzini, Paulo Dybala y; Joaqu铆n Correa.

  12. We must have missing something about Biglia’s ability or what. Like he gets criticised more often here and more recently in Argentina too but yet he is captain in Lazio and their best player. He is linking to AC Milan move and i remember his name came up with Madrid couple season ago aswell. Last few days with Sampaoli training Biglia looks important piece in his puzzle. I have seen in some videos Sampaoli talking to Biglia alone for while,it was intense. Now don’t jump one me guys bcoz i am not biased on Biglia’s favour. All i wanna say that are we and those tv pundit missing something what Sampaoli can see. Plus i feel like Lanzini is best suited in Dybala’s place or maybe another attacking midfielder maybe. But again i am not professional coach or anything. Just a thought.

    • To be fair, I think it was more about Biglia & Masche playing together being redundant than anything else. Biglia is a decent player and long as he has a more dynamic presence alongside him I don’t have a problem with him playing.

      • totally agree, its about the failed time after time after time experiment that every one but 2 managers could see was not at all working, never did and never will work, these two players simple do not compliment each other on the field in the center.

        bil by his self is a useful player and i for 1 are hoping their will never be another bil-mach partnership in the center for us.

    • he and guido are the only two pure DM in the current squad.
      when he is used properly pairing with a CM in the middle will work for sure.
      i do prefer to see peredes with biglia over banega because peredes is more effective playing with a DM.he can play as a pure 50-50 midfielder like playing with gattuso in Roma.
      my playing 11 vs Uruguay
      otamendi macherano mammana
      biglia paredes nacho
      messi lanzini dimaria

  13. Makes sense to make Biglia as Captain – he is the captain for Lazio..No issues.

    else Romero needs to be roped in just to be a captain..and goal keeping spot cannot be experimented.

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