04 Jul Argentina’s Copa America exit: Lionel Messi, Nicolas Otamendi, Angel Di Maria and the gamers who should keep and go
The PSG and Manchester Metropolis stars have been deeply disappointing in Brazil and may very well be sacrificed as Argentina proceed to resume their ranks
Argentina’s Copa America journey could have ended with their heads held excessive, however as soon as once more it was proven that the Albiceleste fall brief relating to difficult for main honours.
With a host of latest faces within the squad and captain Lionel Messi in removed from optimum kind, the team coached by Lionel Scaloni stumbled by way of to the knock-out phases in Brazil.
A single win in opposition to Qatar together with a stalemate performed out with Paraguay and defeat to Colombia in Group B was not precisely spectacular, but it was simply sufficient to seal a quarter-final place.
There, they lastly gave followers one thing to cheer, dispatching dogged Venezuela 2-Zero to ebook a mouth-watering Superclasico within the final 4.
However whereas hosts Brazil got a number of scares alongside the way in which, targets from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino meant that, not like in 2015 and 2016, there could be no closing look for Argentina.
Whereas the third-place play-off nonetheless stays for Messi and Co., ideas have already turned in the direction of what’s going to come after the Copa.
A big a part of this inexperienced aspect ought to nonetheless have a task to play when World Cup qualifying kicks off in 2020 – others, nevertheless, could have performed their final match for the Albiceleste.
The No.1 shirt appears to have settled on the again of 1 participant over the past 12 months. Franco Armani is but to excel between the posts for Argentina, however the River Plate star has proved reliable sufficient and can hope to retain his place past the Copa.
Armani’s place is in no way safe, although. Behind him America star Agustin Marchesin and younger Udinese expertise Juan Musso have been his deputies in Brazil, and can hope to place stress on the shot-stopper within the brief and medium-to-long time period, respectively.
Musso, 25, is taken into account top-of-the-line bets for the long run within the Argentina ranks and is probably going so as to add to his single cap because the nation makes use of the remainder of 2019 to arrange for qualifying. There is also room for Esteban Andrada of Boca Juniors, who was compelled to overlook the Copa by way of sickness.
Behind that quartet the choices are scarce. Geronimo Rulli has by no means fairly managed to comply with by way of on his early promise, whereas Tottenham reserve Paulo Gazzaniga has additionally been thought-about below Scaloni.
May there be a manner again for Sergio Romero ? The Manchester United man has been fully neglected by Scaloni however, at 32, is youthful than Armani and will come again into competition if there’s a change of coach post-Copa. His lack of first-team motion, although, will proceed for use in opposition to him regardless of the keeper’s enviable observe file at main competitions for his nation.
IN: Andrada, Romero.
As soon as extra, Argentina’s backline proved the aspect’s Achilles heel when it most counted. Brazil benefited from two large defensive errors to attain in Belo Horizonte and far work must be finished in that sector to revive the Albiceleste to worldwide football’s prime desk.
Of the present squad, Renzo Saravia and Nicolas Otamendi fared worse than most. Saravia was erratic at right-back and ended up dropping his spot to Tottenham rookie Juan Foyth , whereas Otamendi confirmed an alarming lack of pace throughout a calamitous marketing campaign, whereas his distribution was typically atrocious.
With Ramiro Funes Mori additionally more likely to face the chop after failing to play a single minute in Brazil, Argentina are usually not precisely blessed with options within the again 4.
Gabriel Mercado may benefit from Saravia’s woes to regain his place on the best, whereas younger centre-back pairing Emanuel Mammana and Lisandro Martinez are maybe best-placed to enter the fray.
IN: Mercado, Mammana, Martinez.
OUT: Saravia, Otamendi, Funes Mori.
Of all of the Argentina gamers who didn’t shine on the Copa, the case of Angel Di Maria was maybe probably the most telling.
Introduced again from the worldwide wilderness after a yr out simply earlier than the match, the PSG winger was immensely irritating and persistently amongst Argentina’s worst performers. At 31, and with recollections of his best shows for the Albiceleste quickly fading, it could be time to as soon as and for all shut the door on Fideo.
The remainder of the midfield was sharply divided between those that took benefit of the Copa to advance their Argentina trigger, and people who fell flat.
Leandro Paredes , the aspect’s new midfield marshal, Rodrigo De Paul and, to a lesser extent, Giovani Lo Celso, fall in that first group and look set to stay within the Albiceleste’s plans for years to return.
The jury continues to be out, although, on Guido Pizarro , who acquired simply 23 minutes in the whole Copa, whereas Marcos Acuna by no means stopped working to present the team stability and defensive cowl, even when his particular person contributions have been restricted.
On the opposite aspect, the likes of Guido Rodriguez and Roberto Pereyra didn’t shine and can most certainly be ditched as Argentina discover different choices in the midst of the pitch.
Amongst these could also be Manuel Lanzini , Santiago Ascacibar and younger Superliga pair Exequiel Palacios and Matias Zaracho , who each fell sufferer to damage and have been unable to make the airplane to Brazil.
IN: Lanzini, Ascacibar, Palacios, Zaracho.
OUT: Di Maria, Rodriguez, Pereyra.
Barring accidents or different misfortune, Argentina’s assault ought to decide itself for the forseeable future.
Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero fashioned a promising partnership over the past three video games of the Copa America, scoring three of the nation’s final 4 targets to take them into the semi-finals.
Behind them stays Lionel Messi , who if Tuesday’s fiery criticisms of the refereeing in opposition to Brazil are something to go by, won’t be repeating his retirement announcement of three years in the past after defeat to Chile.
Whereas that first-choice trio appears set, there must be loads of competitors behind them. Matias Suarez was the fourth striker in Brazil, a curious selection who barely featured and, we belief, won’t be repeated.
Mauro Icardi ought to come again into competition as soon as his interminable cleaning soap opera with the Inter board is resolved, whereas Angel Correa and Gio Simeone are two younger faces hoping to play themselves again in competition after being neglected for Brazil.
IN: Icardi, Correa, Simeone.
Regardless of battling by way of to the semi-finals, Lionel Scaloni’s future on the Argentina is way from sure as soon as the team makes its manner again from Brazil.
A whole teaching novice at senior stage, the previous Deportivo and Lazio defender seemed manner out of his depth at first of the Copa.
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And whereas outcomes improved, a few of his choices betrayed his inexperience, notably up in opposition to an previous warhorse like Tite with virtually 30 years of tweaking ways below his belt. The substitutions in opposition to Brazil for one did nothing to help Argentina’s fightback and unbalanced the Albiceleste at a vital time.
The choice on Scaloni’s future can be made by AFA president Claudio Tapia and Argentina supervisor Cesar Luis Menotti shortly after he returns to Buenos Aires. Early indications recommend he could nicely keep within the job, for lack of different choices quite than any nice confidence in his work to this point on the helm.
If Scaloni is eliminated , Gabriel Heinze , at present impressing with Velez Sarsfield, is a well-liked option to succeed him; whereas Marcelo Gallardo can also be coveted following his two Copa Libertadores titles with River, however could be powerful to amass, given his dedication to the Millonarios.