Sunday, 1 July 2018


argentina played france in the first round of 16 . i read sampoli talking that argentina tried everything to messi but to be honest can he say that a single tactics that he played the team he got it correct . it had always been the struggle for argentina . he didnt knew his best team and tactics that he devised were just not  on the same plane with the players available at his disposal . while looking at both the teams you can clearly make out that france had the better teams  both athletically and technically . they were a better youthful side than argentina and that was the difference maker .
both argentina and france started the game with 4-3-3 formation and it was rightful because both wanted to have maximum player behind the ball when they losse the possession . even though france had the youthful side they choose to sit back and play counter . it wasnt that argentina was dominating or anything but a clever tactics to pull argentina out of shape and then hit them on the counter with pace of mbappe and griezman . the warning signs were from the start with mbappe making the run and winning the penalty . there were some obvious things that were missing in the argentinian defense . first off they are trying to play pressing football but dont have the legs . secondly they are playing a high line compare to france who even though younger took the cautious approach of playing a deep line because they had seen as to what messi and banega can do with that kind of space . both teams like to play out of the back but the problem is that when the ball comes into the final third . argentina just didnt had any ingenuity when they would bring the ball near the france's box . 
argentina played messi upfront with di maria and pavon alongside him . both played wide in a bid to stretch defense but france were not going to get pulled into their trap who choose to stay compact . when messi was upfront for the first 15 min argentina were not able to work the ball to messi . secondly argentina were spend too much time on the ball for me .argentina's buildup was slow  the extra touches gives defense time to adjust themselves and make that much difficult for the  offense to conjure a move that would open the opposition and question there organisation .  when messi was not getting the ball upfront he becomes restless and that is a good sign to be a football but at times you need to ask a player to hold his position just like gaurdiola ask jesus to hold his in the man city formation so if messi was to come inside either pavon or di maria should had taken his to pose that threat . the thing that was very baffling was argentina trying to work the ball from the right . what were trying to do because untill they dont have a credible threat in the middle them working the ball there and trying to overload that side had no meaning . what argentina were trying to do when they had the ball was not making no sense . france had shut up shop in the middle and they had bodies in the middle with very little space there . aerial crossess were of no uses for argentina because messi was not going to win aerial duel with varane and umtiti . the wide players run were just hopeless because they were just one dimensional trying to run down the line and then crossing aerially and wasting the ball . there was no ingenuity in their runs and they just couldnt trouble france's defense . di maria scored a wonder goal but was absolutely hopeless in the open play . most of all where was argentina's defense on the fourth goal which just went to sleep where on they let france score a four pass goal .
france got the tactics right but still the performace needs some introspection because france's front three are not on the same page . mbappe brightened their day other teams will not let him have that easy . pogba too needs to needs to release the ball early just keep the ball rolling. deschamps needs to show him that he is not making proper choices because at times he trying to pass the ball to a player where on the play is going to get bogged and that there is not further passes to that move or that the player might just end up lossing possession . when france take that ball which they generally do on the flanks they are struggling to bring it inside or continue that play and are ending up in lossing possession . they need to work that offense because they kind of got easy against argentina but others will not be that easy .
portugal played uraguay in the other round of 16 . now for the last three seasons real madird had won the champions league and it is nothing because of the finishing power of ronaldo who is just deadly in and around the 18 yard box . but here i was surprised by fernando santos tactics . i waiting for the crosses because when you have ronaldo in the box you just have to take advantage of the world's best header of the ball . portugal started the game with 4-4-2 formation while uraguay started the game with 4-5-1 formation .
the game was going to go in familiar lines with uraguay sitting back and portugal dominating the possession and trying to open up uraguay's defense . portugal had jao mario and bernardo silva on the flanks both like to come inside try to link up with the front players . but both have that bad habit of spending time on the ball . this slows down the offense and an opportunity is gone to catch opposition flat footed . from the first kick of the game till queresma was put in the game i was waiting for crosses to be made and just put one on ronaldo's head . instead portugal were trying all different things but they were just not crossing and whatever they did crosses were just too much off the mark . uraguay had too shots on goal and they scored two and then just stopped portugal  . really dont understand fernando santo's tactics as to why his plan A was to take the ball the ball wide and cross and then improvise . he has ronaldo in the team just ask him to stay in the box and there about and we have the game . disappointed in the coach's tactics plus the wasy the players executed them .