LAST Friday of their first match after the World Cup, Argentina had been clearly Lionel’s staff – however not Lionel Messi.
As an alternative, former West Ham proper again Lionel Scaloni stamped his imprint on to proceedings.
He has been named as caretaker coach whereas Argentina go searching and take their time making a everlasting selection.
Given his lack of teaching expertise, Scaloni’s appointment is understandably controversial.
However the man himself is displaying no indicators of timidity.
When he known as up his first squad final month, Scaloni was filled with daring claims.
“We consider that soccer is changing into extra direct, and that’s the kind of soccer we like – successful possession to get ready to shoot as shortly as potential,” he grandly declared.
“Within the World Cup it was clear that the successful groups had been those that transitioned the ball shortly.
“France and Croatia gained the ball and had been in on purpose in Three or four seconds.
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“It’s the means the sport goes, it’s what I like and that is the second to implant it in Argentina.”
It comes throughout because the speech of a person with at the very least half a watch on successful the job on a everlasting foundation – which might be a really daring transfer.
It might solely occur as a consequence of convincing outcomes and performances on this 12 months’s friendlies – and Scaloni actually obtained off to a wonderful begin with a Three-Zero win over Guatemala.
In Lose Angeles, Argentina produced a Hollywood first half, completely dominating the sport and scoring all of their objectives earlier than the interval.
Even allowing for the weak point of the opposition, Argentina’s efficiency was spectacular.
The staff contained simply three gamers who went to the World Cup.
There have been 5 debutants – and 6 extra got here on within the second half.
And but, after just some coaching classes, Argentina seemed like a coherent staff with a transparent thought of enjoying.
Probably the most spectacular space was central midfield.
Leandro Paredes moved the ball fantastically, and it was no coincidence that the staff declined when he got here off at half time.
His substitute, Santiago Ascacibar, did nicely in his marking duties, however lacks the identical vary of passing.
Alongside Paredes, Giovane Lo Celso seemed like a category act along with his motion and his left footed high quality.
And with the ball flowing shortly via the staff, Argentina’s wingers had been introduced into the sport shortly and will trigger havoc behind the opposing defensive position.
Clearly, although, stiffer assessments will come.
There’s an apparent drawback with Scaloni’s need for soccer which is direct – or ‘vertical,’ as it’s referred to on this a part of the world.
In opposition to higher groups, the clear hazard of transferring the ball ahead shortly is that when the transfer breaks down the staff can be left stretched out – and Argentina’s sub-standard present crop of defenders can be uncovered.
Tonight in New Jersey Colombia will present extra attention-grabbing opposition – and much more fascinating can be subsequent month’s conflict with Brazil.
If Colombia at present have a caretaker coach, Brazil have retained Tite and, underneath stress to win subsequent 12 months’s Copa America on house floor, will certainly put out a robust and skilled line up.
All of it guarantees to be an intriguing problem for Argentina’s new Lionel.