10 - Lionel Messi - v5


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There has been a huge overreaction to the draw today, Messi and Argentina played pretty well. They just have to make a few changes, that lineup above looks pretty good especially with Pavon and Higuin on the bench to make a change late on if needs be. The defence needs serious work though, i felt like Iceland could have scored a couple more with better finishing. I would take a draw with Croatia and then beat Nigeria in the final game if it works out.


Best midfielder around
Someone else should be taking the penalties for Argentina, but Agüero is far from a good penalty taker himself. Even missed two in one game a couple of seasons ago. His often looks just as soft as Leo’s.


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Front five: at least 3 incredible players and 2 very good.
Back five (or six): seems a B team, 1 good guy and the others are average.

This unbalanced team can win games against weak opponents but will never win against top squads.

Maybe Sampaoli should have chosen better.


They barely escaped being eliminated before the tournament. I wouldn't be shocked at all if they didn't make it out of the group.


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He looked devastated after the match: http://www.marca.com/futbol/mundial/album/2018/06/16/5b252bb3468aebd4768b45c9.html

I don't think he'll recover mentally and Argentina will crash out in the group stage.
Sad to see. Only got himself to blame unfortunately. He can be forgiven for losing the ball a bunch of times but to be in this bad of a physical condition is shocking. He looks worse than Iniesta to me. Has three sprints in him for the duration of a whole game. And his defensive «work» will kill Argentina vs Croatia.

A shame it went like this. I’ve been looking forward to this WC a looong while hoping for the Messi show


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In part, the problem for Messi is that he formed himself as a player playing in the greatest football team ever, with 2 of the best midfielders of all time, and one of the best right backs of all time. So he was kind of used to move less, conserve energy, knowing that the ball would get to him in the right spot, with the right pace, just the way he wanted it and the way the Barca style demanded to happen. Playing with prime Xavi, Alves and Iniesta makes your job so much easier you wouldn't believe. Now he is a position where the service he gets is of way lower quality, the difference is like night and day. Passes being made towards him are struck too hard, either short, either too late, or with the wrong angle, all sorts of passing problems, that he just didn't have at Barcelona. This delay is critical because it allows the opponent to prepare and block him better.

The fact that Messi carried Barca back in the day is the most idiotic idea I've ever heard. He had a lot support. Like really a lot. Now that's gone, and he declined physically (that's clear, he's way slower and less explosive than at his best) it's unsurprising that his performances aren't the same against the big teams. His fans say he's more of a playmaker now, picking passes of genius left and right, but that mostly happens against weaker sides that aren't defensively disciplined. Top sides and hard working teams who put in big defensive displays aren't that impressed by playmaker Messi. They can isolate him and crowd him and force him to play safety passes.

He can get around those issues and continue to be decisive, but in the absence of great service, you basically need to compensate that by being more motivated, working harder off the ball. In short, making himself available more, rather than just assuming that the other players will do their job and will find him with clever passes. Again, he ain't playing with Xavi, Iniesta, Alves, Villa, peak Busquets, Eto'o, Ronaldinho, Henry etc. Solution is to stick to a more advanced position, put in more intense effort and don't try to cover a lot of ground.

I'd move him back on the right, not hugging the line, but playing as a forward coming from the right side in on his left. This Messi that drops deep and acts like a no10 midfielder, a la Pirlo, ain't impressing me.

I disagree somewhat regarding the first part. Messi was our most dynamic and consistent forward under Guardiola, he was our most effective and efficient player in winning the ball back and pressing, in fact that was the thing that Madrid fans used to point out when they talked about Messi & Ronaldo, as to how hard Messi worked for the team and wasn’t a selfish player who was a defensive liability, so I don’t buy the fact that he always used to ‘move less, conserve energy’ . Messi had to be decisive for us in the big games because to score for Barcelona means having to play through in a congested small area to create any kind of space. Cristiano would’ve struggled to score any where near the amount of goals that he did for Madrid. Xavi and Iniesta needed Messi just as much as he needed them. In order to get the most out of Messi at this stage of his career, Argentina need someone to get him the ball in the final third. That is when he is most effective, when he collects the ball deep I think that’s a win for the opposing team, Argentina need to find some formation or system where Dybala and Messi can co-exist. The problem will be the balance of the squad defensively, can you have two players whose work-rate isn’t good enough without the ball. Aguero isn’t that great with his running into channels or working defensively either.


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It’s always going to be hard to pick out passes from deep when you dan’t have great runners without the ball. Especially when teams are defending deep.


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I know it's too late to try it out, but I'd consider moving him to the right, and Dybala into the center. He will either have more space there, or draw the players making space for the rest of the team.

Messi playing as 10 and dropping deep isn't helping.
I agree because this thing isn’t going to work out. They should try playing their two most creative players. The problem will be defensively as to how to compensate for two guys that are just ineffective in pressing and harassing opponents without the ball.


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it would be better if he kept silent,they have no foundations to make bold predictions like that after they only managed to draw with iceland,even if it's scripted answer for media


La Masia
It's safe to say this thread has gone into meltdown again as predicated yesterday by someone here if Messi didn't play well

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