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July 7, 2011

Deceiving Copa America for Argentina

The ghosts from the past keep on haunting a team that is always considered a favorite in every competition that they dispute, but that rarely fulfill the expectations.

By Andrew Hill

Having the best player of the world, Lionel Messi, as their leader surrounded with other great players that live successful careers in Europe, added to the boost of disputing the Copa America at home, made of the Argentinean national team the favorite to clinch title, one that has been resisting to them since their 1992.

But things haven’t start with the right foot for them despite having all this conditions on their side, and ties in a row against Bolivia and Colombia have compromised their chances of clinching a berth in the quarter finals. Although this is unlikely to happen, what is a fact is that the confidence from their fans has been lost, and therefore they will confront the decisive game against Costa Rica with a lot of pressure.

If there are any doubts of how their fans lost their faith in the national team it is enough to playback the end of the 0-0 draw against Colombia. Frustrated fans couldn’t find answers to the poor game that their team had, and booing their players was the method they chose to let go their rage.

It would be pointless to blame the poor performance to just one line or player, for the defensive unit, midfield block, and attack front have been far from their level , and the same goes to the starters as to those in the bench who have seen action.

Despite the deceiving games that the competition has had, many are confident that in the knockout phase everything changes.

The idea of using the same tactic scheme (4-3-3) as the one that Barcelona successfully utilizes in Spain is not giving good dividends to coach Sergio Batista, and the obvious reason is that his players don’t have the same characteristics to do so. With time he could end up adapting them to it, but if good results don’t start to come along we doubt that Batista will have that time to do so.

Argentina needs to focus in its necessities first, and before playing like Barcelona they need to defeat Costa Rica to guarantee their presence in the next round. Out of their three rivals (Bolivia, Colombia and Costa Rica) the Ticos are the most inexperienced ones, for they have brought mostly u-23 players, making the hosts optimistic about obtaining a good result against them on July 11th at Cordoba.

But Argentine isn’t the only team considered as favorite that hasn’t met the expectations yet, for Brazil and Uruguay also deceived their fans with a draw in game one against Venezuela and Peru respectively. Only Chile is fulfilling the expectations after they came from behind to defeat the Mexicans 2-1 in their debut.

Despite the deceiving games that the competition has had, many are confident that in the knockout phase everything changes, because the defensive schemes that small teams have used against the favorites in the group stage are only good to pull out a draw, which doesn’t exist in the playoffs.

Therefore they will be forced to risk more defensively in order to attack, leaving more space for talented players to make a difference.

About the Author
Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the Sports news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS Sportsbook. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.

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