Originally posted by Alia_Khan50I still cant understand/believe that Messi could not score a single goal at the WC. And with the new season he gets a goal in the first game!
England got another good win against Switzerland. Glad Rooney scored. But another poor performer at the WC.
I have no expectations from England though, they qualify easily for the Euro, but then they will bottle it as usual at Group Stages or there favourite stage QF! Seriously I was so optimistic about there chances at this WC, and actually thought that they might go all the way!
Yeah France are in right mess aint they. And yeah more of Zidane please! Love him!
Oh plenty of reasons. I can write an essay on this if I want to actually.
Anyways, according to me, the main reason for Messi's lack of goals is because he never really played as an out-and-out attacker in the world cup. He was given a free role in the team, the license to roam around wherever he wanted; he didn't start in his usual position in the right wing, but behind Higuain and Tevez.
Now typically this would not be a problem if Argentina had a solid midfield - but Argentina's midfield, however, was far from being strong. I mean you had one holding player in Mascherano (who is good), Angel Di Maria (who is more of an attacking winger than a midfielder - and a bit of a redundant addition to the team when you already have three world-class strikers.) and Maxi Rodriguez (again not really a gamemaker but a winger) - so they failed to control the midfield and service the ball to Messi - which is why he would have to drop deep in games to get that ball and service it to Higuain/Tevez. Now the problem with this strategy that it solely depends on Messi for creativity. This is a pretty dangerous approach to take, cause when you solely rely on one player to provide the creativity/fulcrum to the game, then rest assured, the opposing teams are going to take note and man-mark the hell out of him. Plus, sorry to state the obvious, but Messi isn't a midfielder - he is an attacker.
Yes man-marking Messi left Higuain and Tevez to score, but what happens when you face a team that completely dominates the midfield and provides a potent attacking threat on top of it? Who services the ball to Higuain and Tevez there?
That's basically the problem Argentina faced with Germany. Plus Germany unlike Argentina did not just depend on one single player to provide the skill to their game, it had plenty of players who contributed to the game and played like a team.
Anyways, the reason he does so well in Barcelona is because in Barca he actually plays in the position he's strongest at, plus he's got the likes of Xavi/Iniesta to back him up. And btw, this is one of the reasons why Argentina played so well against Spain in the friendly, granted it was a friendly on home soil so the advantage went to Argentina's favor obviously not to mention that Spain's back five was virtually absent, but this Argentina team had some talented midfielders like Cambiasso and Banega along with Mascherano and one of the best right full-backs in Zanetti who basically eased the pressure off Messi's shoulders and allowed him to do his own thing - i.e destroy teams defenses, without having to worry about trying to get the ball. Moreover, like a website mentioned (I forgot which one), Messi occupied the front-line this time instead of behind Tevez/Higuain, providing more width to their offense. And, most importantly, this time - not just Messi but all three of the strikers were given a free role to move and interchange amongst themselves - which makes the job that much harder for the opposing defenders and again eases off the pressure on him. Basically now the team doesn't solely and completely depend on Messi for the game, and that makes all the difference.
Nevertheless I should add that there's no doubt in my mind that had Argentina played with the full strength Spain NT, Spain would've won the game, or at the very least tied with Argentina (since Argentina have the home advantage and all that.) Argentina NT still has a long way to go but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Edited by ProdigalStudent - 10 September 2010 at 2:07am