Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni: “This is a national team that will be difficult to beat”

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Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni gave his thoughts on the team’s performance in their last two games following the 6-1 win vs. Ecuador.

Lionel Scaloni was full of positive things to say about his team. Speaking to the media after the match, here’s what he had to say:

“It was a positive tour. We got what we wanted which was that the kids get some minutes and for them to be able to show that they could be here. I’m excited because of the way they understand what it means to play with this shirt.

“There are five or six players which are the base of my team. They don’t need to play as much anymore because they’ve shown and have given us so much. After that, you could win or lose because the best team doesn’t always win. No one is unbeatable but this is a national team that will be difficult to beat.”

89 COMMENTS

  1. We threatened alot through crosses, especially from the left side and that’s a big improvement. We scored plenty from left channel against Ecuador and also scored from similar goal against Germany. Acuna and Ocampos put some really great crosses and Alerio proof to be a good header. Nice improvement by Scolani.

    The goalie was sleeping though, that Ecuador freekick should have been preventable. Lautaro almost scored but was unlucky as the defender made a goaline safe.

  2. We improved alot. At first our offensive display was horrible it was completely because of lack of chemistry. Now our passing is better but it will get better in future. Also we have to improve our counter attack.
    I think the experiment is done. Now it time cement our best starting XI.

  3. Tony @tony-montana

    A serious question mate:

    We had Mascherano as our holding player, how did that free up another midfielder to help the attacking trio? Add Biglia to the mix as well. Like Sabarish mentioned, we were solely depending on the attacking trio to create something and score goals. We were overly dependent on them, particularly one little player. It was so predictable.

    Currently the team is nearly attacking and defending as a unit. The fullbacks maybe slightly put on handbrakes. The previous regimes no different. Remember Zabalaleta. He was in his form of life during the 2012-15 seasons, but Sabella never allowed him to roam free making buccaneering overlapping runs he did at Man City. So why do you want to change the formula?

  4. Higuain, Aguero and Tevez. All world class players at club level but underwhelming on the international stage. Higuain certainly better of those three, but he will always be remembered for all the wrong reasons, 3 in specific. The other worldclass player we have/had is Di Maria, who’s had a mixed international career. Great under Sabella especially the qualifiers and below par under the rest of the successors and predecessors. These are all the worldclass or alleged worldclass players we have/had in this decade barring one little man.

  5. On a conservative note, I would not call any of our players ‘world-class'(even if few of them already are). As the saying goes ‘a chain is just as strong as it’s weakest link’, we’ve always had(since the dawn of the century) one weak link or two amidst great/good players. We’d have greatest players playing at 2-3 positions and the rest we leave for anyone’s grab. That’s how players like Biglia(I’ve nothing against him for the professional he’s) find space in the team while others who are miles better in terms of overall game proficiency get constantly overlooked for one reason or the other.

    We played football like defenders are meant to defend, so we put 4 CBs(or players who’re basically defenders turned fullbacks) at the back, midfielders meant to hold the ball and distribute(technically they call it controlling the pace of the game but in reality they’re those who’d just keep passing back and forth like painting a whitewashed wall over and over again). Then we will have three forwards(wingers and second strikers included) who’re supposed to not just begin all the offensive moves but also end them with the goals. And at times even that narrow strategy has worked especially against teams that come with zero strategy. But in big tournaments at crucial points, teams that employ proper strategies would manage to keep them at bay and them score from a counter-attack/set piece and somehow win by skin of the teeth.

    But now we are playing a kind of total football. There is still great deal of work to be done, which is quite evident. But take nothing away from the new guys, they are gelling and they are capable of delivering. They have the grit, vim and vigor to win. And that’s a big reason for fans to feel happy about the growth of this team.

    • @sabarish-menon – Agreed. I don’t understand Scaloni.

      1. In 1 match, Germany players are having a field day with Otamendi & Rojo..there was no midfield play..
      2. In the 2nd match – we score 6-1 and GK made a basic mistake. He had all the time in the world to see the ball…it was not bullet freekick..

      Scaloni calls Arg difficult to beat..he mentions there is only 5-6 starters decided.

      1. Messi
      2. De Paul
      3. Paredes
      4. Martinez (Inter)
      5. Tagliofico/Acuna?
      6. Pezzella/Pavon? i am saying Pavon..because Scaloni is unpredictable

      we see so many players in so many matches..how can we confirm on starters..unless we see all River players in lineup..

      very puzzling!!

      • I do believe we need new options for defensive midfielder, cause paredes’s behaviour is harmful for the team chemistry and his performance is not up to the mark(back passing),ascaciber and other viable options needed consideration .

        With Messi coming back I want a striking duo of dybala and alario both are technically good but Martinez isn’t far behind .

    • “We played football like defenders are meant to defend, so we put 4 CBs(or players who’re basically defenders turned fullbacks) at the back”

      Tagliafico CB turned LB, Foyth CB these two with minimal attacking contribution, some thing never change. Peak Biglia was a great DM, much better DM we currently have, but lack of ZM ARG had produced that time, he had to play out of position.

    • Can’t argue with any of that Sabarish. Except maybe Biglia’s case, he’s underrated but good nevertheless in my opinion. One of the main reasons, the team became solid defensively in 2014 WC starting from the quarter finals. He’s also a decent ball player which many here overlooks or doesn’t give enough credit for. He’s good with ball in tight spaces and never shy of receiving a pass in difficult situations.

      • Agree. The issue we had with biglia is that he was slow.. and its not a problem, only a problem if you also have Enzo.Perez, old Masch, Banega, etc surrounding him and a slow back line as well. Combine a highline defense suicide tactic like Sampa and he becomes a liability. The right move for that generation of players was to play deep and counter, like Sabella did, and in that format players like Biglia and Demicheles shined, as their weakness (speed) was diminished. We seem to now have speedier youth, so we can change tactics.

  6. The press was quite aggressive in these two games. I wonder if he will continue doing the same going forward. The thing is I’m not sure which backline and goalkeeper are best suited for that. Pezella and Kanneman are not really used to that. foyth needs more time and can be shaky and anyways it seems both his club and NT like him on the right where at least you can hide his deficiencies a bit more. can’t really write much about balerdi at this point. You would imagine someone playing for pep guardiola now would fit that too, but he doesn’t seem that trustworthy at club let alone NT. Only martinez quarta is possibly a fit for that style. but at least he shows he can get the goals now throwing numbers from the flanks and the forwards. now we have to see if he can find the balance without over committing. brazil will be good test for that.

  7. Team is doing good everyone knows each other better.Now we can say ”whole is bigger than it’s parts.”Messi Aguero will bring something more positive.Scaloni did not give heed for Lanzini and Lamela.May be because of their fragile nature.They are injury prone and not consistent but talented.Pereya should not be called again.Dybla is not gelling with team.He is overrated just like Lo celso.These small stature players need something special in their game like Bernardo Silva of Man City otherwise you are not good enough.Tagliafico also need something in his game which would make him unique only fighting nature us not enough.Acuna is good in left back but defensively he is little weak

    • Yeah u can say that dybala is not gelling with the team inspite of many chances……but u can’t say lo celso is overrated ….he is the most talented midfielder we have….he can be very important part of our team and I know he will be bcoz that guy is pure class….that guy knows how to pick a final pass and how to score and he is a wonderful dribbler too…….I think the problem with lo celso is with mentally otherwise he has immense talent.

  8. After a long long time I feel hopeful. We are scoring goals. We are winning by big margin. We are falling behind but able to come back. I hope these are not anomalies and its a true reflection of the team coming together.

    I see players running after a long time. High energy and high motivation performances. Some of these guys have really stepped up – De Paul, Ocampos, Alario, Foyth etc. I don’t think we need to get anyone other than Messi and Aguero from the so called previous gen.

    Hope we build strong from here.

  9. Vamos Argentina, All we want is that the players always give more than 100% for the Albiceleste shirt, no matter what the result is we will always stand behind the lads.

  10. There are lots of things that are positive against Ecuador, one of them is the corner. We can see lot of work has been done during the training sessions. It’s a huge upside if we can score on corners, especially in a competition like World cup when everything is so tight. Anyone can score(defensive players, subs), the confidence is definitely back to the team. The team can rely on each other now. Very glad to see that. Last but not the least, the physical strength and intensity was impressive, never easy to play at Ecuador and they dominated physically their opponent.

    • Yeah..for setpieces…Alario goals are what Icardi should be doing for NT! If you asked me several years ago to bet if Icardi or Alario would be #9, i would have laughed at the thought of Alario. Boy did he make me eat my words. Great to see corner goals!

      • Yeah unfortunately Icardi is way too static, which is a shame because he is capable of holding the ball and make the difference outside the box. On the winger side, i think Ocampos and even Vargas with very limited playing time seem to take Angel Correa and Joaquin Correa places.

  11. As a die hard fan of Argentina since maradona’s era in 1986 I can say that this team somehow is tending towards the best version of Argentina in many many years AS A TEAM but not AS NAMES. Probably AFA has realised not to rely on world class names with no team spirit and this mentality is what really going to build a strong and solid national team that can be classified among the superpower national teams. Hopefully we stay humble and don’t let those wins get up into the players’ & coach’s heads and stay focusing on how to progress and keep building the team and get ready for WC 2022. We are on the right track so far so keep it up boys!

  12. We don’t necessarily need THE BEST players at each position. We just need a group of above-average players who can work as a closely-knit team able to comprehend the gameplan implemented by the coach, balance the game by accentuating the positives on one side and compensating for the shortcomings on the other side. We have a group of above-average players now(if not great).

      • “No fancy so call world class weak
        Players.”
        World class players are world class players, shit players are shit players, we have too much nowadays Tagliafico and co.

        • No, Coutino is a world class player that played like s**t for Barca, same goes for Pogba with Man U.
          Regarding our boys, Dybala is a world class player that played like s**t under Allegri but seems to be getting back into form with Sarri; Maria is a world class player that played like s**t for Man U but took off at PSG.
          And you mentioned Tagliafico, he played at a world class level (highest scoring fullback in the CL last season) but is sub-par for Argentina.
          Conclusion: Any and every player needs the right system to have their potential realized and teams need a combination of the best players and the RIGHT players to win. The team needs warriors like DePaul, Lautaro and Acuna as much as it needs Lio, Kun and Dybala.

        • One thing is for sure
          Csabalala and Co will be disappointed
          When it comes the new generation
          Of the arg nt. Leading by tagliafico.
          Cose those give new hope for the nt.

          • It’s evident some people are not happy with the fact that new generation is going to be competitive just as the famous 87-88 one (even without single player of that generation).

    • > We just need a group of above-average players who can work as a closely-knit team able to comprehend the game plan implemented by the coach, balance the game by accentuating the positives on one side and compensating for the shortcomings on the other side

      ill start off by saying i agree with you but i do have to point out the following:

      Even using your own example, where do you draw the lower bound? I could replace your words “above-average” with “below-average” and your sentence would still make the same point. I could even use the words “well below average” and it would still hold the same meaning.

      It’s rather logically lazy to say world class payers that aren’t fit for a system are bad while avg players that do fit the system are good. Thats pointing out the obvious.

      Hands down, the best option is to have to WORLD CLASS players THAT DO FIT THE SYSTEM. Does anyone disagree?

      The problem is that there’s this dumb narrative happening on Mundo …some form of ugly protest against the previous gen that are trying to diminish world class players or players from Big Clubs. It’s really weird and irrational to be honest.

  13. Great Win. We always look’s way comfortable while playing Friendlies…

    I think we now know the core set of players whom Scaloni will rely heavily, Paredes and De Paul r irreplaceable in the middle, Lautaro is set in attack, Defense Tagliafico has made the LB his own, Pezzella is a fix too. These player’s look’s to be the core. In Goal Keeping the Hierarchy is Andrada, Armani and Marchesin. So there is no chance for the likes of Rulli, Benitez etc etc. Anyway Messi and Aguero will return too. Hope they all can form a better understanding and have a better performance at the Copa next year, there is ample time left for Scaloni to improve.

  14. Scaloni: “This is a national team that will be difficult to beat”
    I don’t believe that. May be he and his players have confidence. Still there are many problems in the team to resolve when comparing to top teams.
    1.CB pair: Otamendi and Pazella good on paper. Still not sure Who will be CB pair. And who will be the back up? We lack speed and concentration at the back.
    2.GK position: Armani..the best Argentine GK..? My God..! Yes he won many titles. But still far from world’s best. Andrada, Marchesin, Musso, Rulli…no we are far. I want Musso progress well in this season and earn this spot. We are far behind top teams.
    3. DM: We don’t have a proper DM..? A destroyer who is fast enough, can read the game well, who can win the ball back and can do a clean tackle when necessary. Ascacibar can’t be an option..? We will suffer against big team just with Paredes.

    • Some very good points but there are others as well.
      •Question marks on transition defense of parcedes, foyth and tagliafico. Acuña is a must in midfield because he works and runs to make up for the others lack of defensive tackling and positioning. If we had a real DM #5 we could use the other midfield position for an offensive player to help out Messi, aguero and Martinez up top.
      • RB is a problem with foyth making an average of two big mental errors a game always puts us at risk.

      • > If we had a real DM #5 we could use the other midfield position for an offensive player to help out Messi, aguero and Martinez up top.

        this point doesn’t get brought up nearly enough.

      • You are right. As long as Paredes playing as DM we will need to use Acuna at left and DePaul at right against good teams to cover Paredes. That leave the attacking mid position only for one of LoCelso or Palacios.

        DePaul-Paredes-Acuna
        LoCelso/Palacios
        Messi-Lautaro/Aguero

        When it’s necessary to use 3 forwards against top teams like last Copa, LoCelso/Palacios will be cut for third forwards.

    • you’ve nailed our weak points right now, although of the 3, GK worries me the least. (pure wingers concern too but not as bad os former 3)

      CDM in particular is giving me nightmares. I just don’t see us performing well against a team like France where the pacey destroyer role is crucial.

  15. The transition seems to be working. Scaloni is making a refreshing and much needed change. Although I think the defensive still shows weakness. I didn’t like Foyth I think that Belardi is safer than him. Marchesin was probably the weakest player. A couple of miscalculation almost create serious danger and in the Ecuadorian goal he was not well positioned although I think he just hit a rough patch. He is a good goalie. I loved Rodrigo De Paul. Oh man that long pass to Acuna on the second goal was nothing but pure class. Alario is probably a real threat for any defense and he should be a great option to play with Lautaro. Nico Gonzalez is a promise to watch closely. He had a great debut in the NT. Acuna is such a complete footballer besides he is the kind of player that energize any team. Parades is not Mascherano and most likely he’ll never be but he is got technique and vision and that gives the team plenty of play making in the midfield. Nico Dominguez and Ocampos played a great game and Dybala coming off the bench this time around showed why we call him “La Joya”. Now the big question is if these kids we’ll be able to play with Messi and Aguero the same way and not suffer from scenic panic.

    • I don’t know why people here are focusing on result in friendly games ,these games are supposed to increase chemistry ,tactical implementation experiment ,providing chance to young players ,defensive organization etc
      Rest I hope that we will do good in qualifiers and copa with solid defense

  16. Scaloni doing exactly what he learned in couple of months. He is filling the gaps that left by our earlier coaches. Scaloni wins 70% in tht. Now scaloni needs to raise his team in top foam .He finds good players in every spot.
    This is the time Team should takes challenges to beat good teams like Chili Brazil Belgium Holland spain italy…

  17. Not bad, Scaloni and team understanding is improving, OK this was a very weak Ecuador, but still good…the last time ARG beat a normal opponent by 5 goals was in Copa 15 semi against Paraguay, we are still far behind that team, but with Messi and Aguero would come close. Acuna over Tagliafico confirmed. The guy has attacking skills, full backs have to give the width in this team with so many strikers and central midfielders.

    • If ARG will beat Brazil we can say the team is really improved and strong. The problem Scaloni cant win against strong opponents, 2 match vs Brazil 2 vs Columbia. vs Germany, only 1 win vs Chile. You can win Copa against Uruguay, Columbia, Brazil, Chile and WC against Germany, Spain, France not against Mexico and Ecuador.

      • @ Csabalala.
        Its very harsh to criticize Arg NT & scaloni. even after they showing a very good display last night.
        We have better players in our team like brazil , germany , spain. the thing is that we need to unite our player & make more coordination in the pitch. Scaloni already resolved much in his tenure,, only very few snags, i hope he will resolve completely before copa 2020.

        And please don’t compare chile with our NT, its frustrating. the team which play rugby in the football pitch. no class of football. (from min 1 to min 90 they play for a draw).
        i still wonder the womanizer refree , who gave red card to Rojo in 2016 copa centunario final. which changed all our game format in final

    • Now some so called pundits will come out from hole. They takes some times to makes negative argument against such a wonderful performance. They will present new standard after almost every game for Scaloni and team. But the unfortunate is ARG management don’t give a shit on their wisdom. One thing I can assure you that their pain will only be increased by good performance by Scaloni and team.

      # ARG football is in safe hand
      # Vamos Argentina.

  18. i am very happy with yesterday NT performance, but in-spite scoring 6 goals i feel we need a bit of improvement in attacking.
    Lautaro should combine with his striking partner, Alario running past the defender often but lautaro rarely deliver the balls to him. attackers should dribble pass the defender & should provide killer pass, should combine & play wall passes near opponent D-box.
    This gives more confident for a striking partners.
    i like lautaro attitude, he is more aggressive player but he should improve his quality in the final pass.
    watching Domniguez goal is so cool for eyes, other than that all goals come under set pieces & silly deflection..
    As a Argentine fan, i enjoyed thoroughly yesterday’s match. because we played collectively as a team.

    De paul is awesome, i pray he should play all matches with full fitness. he is the heart of our midfield, without him i cant imagine any other could fit in that position of scaloni playing system.

  19. It is not easy to beat SA team by 6 goals anymore. A lot of positive news. Scaloni did learn and improved a lot and steadily find the new players that deserved the call. The team is solid and work as team work, ball possession and fluidity are great although still have a homework and final touch. Main goalkeeper and dual CB needed to be solved immediately. With the new young players along with Messi; this is Argentina golden chance to win something that all the fans are waiting for, the Light are approaching and darkness dispelled

    Vamos Albiceleste

  20. I still believe if The Officials were fair we could have won the last Copa America. But now the team is better and more balanced. I dont believe the Yellow team can beat us in Neutral Ground. We ve had the better of them and been the best South American team in the last decade. With ups and downs ofcourse. Even with an unsettled backline and coach we gave France a run for their money (their hardest opponent) in the WC. This is Argentina. Watch how we come back after this temporary slump. (there wil always be problems and complains but the fact is fact) We are the only South American team that got deft close to winning a WC in this modern era. We can do it again.
    Vamos

  21. Good set of friendlies in the end when we did not have a lot of players available. Too bad had to waste 45 minutes in dortmund to relearn some lessons.

    “THERE ARE FIVE OR SIX PLAYERS WHICH ARE THE BASE OF MY TEAM. THEY DON’T NEED TO PLAY AS MUCH”
    I wonder who he considers these five or six are. Seems paredes and depaul are the absolute guarantees for him. I guess tagliafico and lautaro could be two more.

    In any case for me these friendlies answer two questions – if we are going to see double nines alario has forced his way to the bench at least in front of icardi and others etc. ocampos can now be given more and more time to solidify that left side. If I was making a 23 today I feel quite confident calling these for november:
    andrada, marchesin, musso.
    foyth, montiel, otamendi, pezella, kanneman, matrinez quarta, tagliafico.
    acuna, paredes, guido, locelso, palacios, dominguez, depaul, ocampos.
    messi, dybala,alario, lautaro, aguero.

    I only hope messi and kun make themselves available for next round and River Plate do not ‘pressure’ scaloni to not call anyone if/when they make the finals.

  22. Amazingly in here less comments
    When the nt won so comfortable
    Play beautiful football.
    If the nt were play badly yesterday
    Here will have been full of negative
    Comments right to left .

    • bro, why you always seem stirring the pot that encourage division?
      the actual match threads had about 140 comments combined. can we have a peaceful day at mundo? your comment has nothing to do with the match at all.
      if you think there are less comments, what do you think the reason behind having less comments? is it because you think that some like the team to lose? or is it because they are disappointed that the team played well against Ecuador?

      maybe because it is Sunday, and on Sunday there are usually less comments.

      • You make me laugh.
        What the division you talking about.
        Bro you know I’m saying is true.
        Last friendlies matches in September.
        People were critical to the team
        When almost everyone were saying
        Mexico will beat arg tata martino
        Will teach a lesson to scaloni.
        After we beat Mexico 4 0.
        Again people were criticising the nt.
        Say oh were luck. horrible to watch
        Park the bus so on. Come to Germany
        When we play bad first half you see here Was full negative people.
        I believe there few people in here
        whom buring inside seeing
        This group are doig good game
        After game.
        People may think csabalala and mrinal are the only negative people here .
        No but there other few guys whom
        Playing smart.

        • “You make me laugh.”
          If that is the case, then good bro, we need the laughter in here 🙂
          I think all are happy when the team play good. but they don’t comment because there is nothing major to criticize

          but
          “I believe there few people in here
          whom buring inside seeing
          This group are doig good game
          After game.”

          I don’t agree with you on that.
          no reason to be vindicated

  23. Impressive win over a not so-easy opponent and an even bigger win especially after coming back from a 2-0 score to the Krauts playing in front of their fans.
    No longer will ARGENTINA be slow and sluggish against faster and bigger players because they are just as fast and big.
    Brazil AKA the cheaters have tied twice and lost once since their unjust trophy win and I hope IT GETS WORSE.

  24. Everything is very ok till now. I just want to say that pls stick with Marchesin for no.1 gk position. He is a regular fc porto keeper & deserves it as well, no.2 should be Musso & 3rd can be anyone.
    & I really think that Dybala isn’t that much special for our starting XI & surely he is a something overrated vibe only!

    • Surely he is not special but he also in our teams, football is 11 men team, we suffered a lot with special man in the team before, don’t get me wrong Messi is always special, because of everything he had to take on his shoulders because of us fans, media and some coaching stuff had thrown on him Made him suffer a lot of pressures and the result we all known, so just get behind Dybala, please don’t critics the players.

  25. Now it is very clear that Argentina has regained their confidence which was disappeared for some years. Scaloni did it! Now it is the time to get strong-stronger-strongest day by day. Now the team is fearless, united & confident. Carry on guys!
    Vamos!!!

  26. Scaloni should stick to the same players, obviously he should have messi and aguero but rojo , otamendi should be omitted. Argentina gelling in good time these players need more exposure I would like to see acosta (playing in USA) included.

  27. This win is def. a confidence booster for the squad and the fans.
    Let us hope that Scaloni will get everything or ‘most of the things’ in place by next month so we can go to the qualifiers with a strong group.
    Looking forward for Boca/River players to join the NT along with Messi and whoever Scaloni sees fit.
    Vamos

  28. This words is exactly what every Argentina fan desires.

    i hope future will show us that it will not be just words but reality.
    Good job today Lionel.

    Good job today Seleccion.

    VAMOS ARGENTINA.

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