Friday, 11 November 2016


today brazil played argentina in world cup qualifier . the match might have just confirmed brazil's qualification for the world cup while argentina's world cup hopes lie in balance . the way brazil played and the way they used the field and kept argentina  at bay was commendable . the most important factor in this game was the mobility of the players and their speed and brazil had that and they used it to maximum . had agrentina did one thing correct then this humiliation would had been avoided and that is that both neymar and coutiniho exploit or are dangerous from one zone ( i will show that in the lineups ) from where coutiniho scored . had argentina just closed that zone then i think that they would had atleast half stopped brazil because jesus wouldnt had been able to beat otamendi and mori in the air and had they played deep then there would had been little space to exploit behind the back four .
brazil started the game with 4-3-3 formation with fernandiniho sitting in front of the back four while he was partenered by renato sanches and pauliniho . argentina started the game with 4-2-1-3 formation. the formation was a bit odd because argentina had three in the middle with mascherano,perez and biglia in the middle . of the three in the middle perez or biglia would try to fill up the space on the right of argentina . they didnt had a fixed right sided player . brazil knew that if they stop messi and stop him from getting time and space on the ball then would have stopped half of argentina's offense . so brazil didnt man mark messi instead they just let him take the position and the player that was occupying that position would try to close down messi . the second thing that brazil did right was that they played deep compared to argentina who tried to play a bit high even though they had problems the back four . the most important facet of the game was the mobility of the players or atleast the mobility of the back four and the front players and the cohesion between them .
the first thing correct that brazil did was that they played and this stretched the game and argentina didnt want the brazilians to have the ball so in trying to do that they tried play a high line and tried to close down brazil since they knew that the brazil players given time on the ball would hurt them . brazil played their tactics beautifully by playing deep but initially they were just trying to soak up argentina's pressure and they were trying to stop messi . there was audition for man city forward role for gabriel jesus and the did it perfectly well . his job was to play high on the shoulders of mori and otamendi  and keep stretching the game and keep mori and otamendi occupied which he did . argentina were worried about his pace . now neymar's movement was unpredictable . untill the first goal brazil were flat but coutiniho changed his zone for the first goal and linked with neymar. mas couldnt come out of the back four since renato sanches would fill coutiniho's position and exploit that space . coutiniho got the space in the hole and he is one of the best shot taker beyond the box . brazil's first goal was a combination of various factors and coutniho excelllence over the ball . the other two goal were nothing excellent counters by brazil and argentina's inability to deal with it .
the trouble with argentina is not the defense but the offense . i had said that in my previous articles that if you have good offense then teams dont commit too many players forward and are afraid to come upfront because they can be exploited of the space that they will leave . argentina were very bad in their offense  . they rely heavily and his ability to open opposition up . first off i dont understand his plan to play three defensive minded players . even though brazil did the same but then you can understand that because they had messi to contain . but at the same time brazil's middle three are more mobile than argentina's middle three . now the thing is that when he played them he compromised the right sided offense although perez or biglia dropped there and tried to occupy the zone and work but brazil were able to always contain them . seconldy there is poor link up play between messi ,higuain and di maria . for me di maria was poor . firstly he started out wide trying to stretch the defense was always solo in his effort .
the most important factor in nullifying argentina was to just stop higuain . he was man marked by marquinihos and miranda . most importantly marquinihos who is quite mobile . the thing is that higuain cannot beat miranda and marquinihos in the air . seconldy brazil played narrow and deep  to allow argentina any space behind the back four to exploit so that balls could be played in the space . the other wrong thing is that after the first goal argentina got rattled and messi started to drop deeper to get the ball upfield and this where i think argentina and bouza got it wrong . he should have kept messi upfield because who has the more fear factor than messi when he has the ball near the box . messi coming from the deep allowed brazil to close him down or foul him or bring numbers behind the ball and crunching the space . i think villanova was correct in playing upfont on his own which created space for the entire team to play although messi may not have that much off the ball that he desires . in the second half he bought aguero but by then the contest was over and argentina were overwhelmed by brazil's counters .
i think argentina genuinely missed banega or lamela who would take that right side and is good dribbler . banega is the same he would had linked better with higuain . i dont know as to why bouza didnt changed things after first goal . why not ask messi to drop on right side where on he plays for his club and try to stretch brazil and try to test one of their fullbacks . messi upfield would had always created chances . secondly why didnt they tried to drop deep with the play and let brazil cover more of the grass and try to get more players behind the ball . i think bouza's job would be on the line if he cannot get them to play more efficiently in the next match against columbia and all marks to tite for getting things right .
lastly i think in the form of jesus man city are going to get an upgrade of aguero and gaurdiola would love it .