Back in 2011 after a dismal Copa America, a relatively unknown person (at-least for the fans who live outside Argentina) Alejandro Sabella was appointed as Argentina manager. The two things which I knew about him was that he won the 2009 Copa Libertadores with Estudiantes and his Estudiantes side almost beat Barcelona in the finals of 2009 Club World Cup.
Sabella started his journey at the Mecca of Indian football, the Salk Lake Stadium Kolkata were Argentina defeated Venezuela 1-0 thanks to a Nicolas Otamendi header from a Leo Messi corner. We started the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers defeating Chile 4-1 with Higuain scoring a hatrick but on match day two we lost to Venezuela away by 1-0 margin. From there Sabella’s Argentine army reached the finals of 2014 Fifa World Cup and we could have won the title if Messi, Higuain or Palacio had converted their chances (anyways past is past). In between we overcame many obstacles. During the qualifiers and friendlies Sabella’s army played eye catching counter attacking football and also defeated top quality oppositions even in the absence of players like Messi, Kun, Mascherano, Di Maria etc. During Sabella’s reigns we just lost 3 competitive matches that is twice in qualifiers and also in the World Cup finals. We lost to Uruguay in the last match of the qualifiers were we rested Messi, Di Maria, Mascherano, Kun, Higuain, Zabaleta, Garay, Rojo, Lavezzi etc still we fought hard but we lost that match 3-2 at their home and not to forget Luis Suarez dive which resulted in a penalty.
Sabella showed us how to win matches even without star players. After the World Cup Tata Martino was appointed as our manager and most of us never wanted to see him as our manager. Tata era started with a 4-2 win over Germany but followed with humiliating defeats to Brazil and Portugal. Tata should be blamed for those defeats as he played high line defense and possession football without penetration with relatively slow center backs.
Even a football follower with 1% brain knew that these tactics won’t work against teams which play counter attacking football. Under Tata we scored 5-6 against weaker teams and also against the one’s which play open game but when we played against a team managed by a decent manager, we just kept possession for the first 20 minutes and after that our players hardly touched the ball. I won’t blame our players but it’s Tata’s tactics which is the reason we ain’t performing well.
I lost complete faith in this man after our first match in this years Copa. When we were leading 2-0, he replaced a striker and a midfielder with two strikers and from a comfortable position we went on to grab just 1 point. We played as a team under Sabella and he guided as to the World Cup finals but it was only because of our players that we reached the Copa finals this year. In 2016 we have two major tournaments, The Copa Centenario and the Olympics but I have no hope if Tata remains as our manager. I think, AFA must sack Tata as soon as possible otherwise we have very less chances of making it to the 2018 World Cup. Finally let’s hope the AFA will appoint a sensible tactician.
Argentina Por Siempre | Vamos Argentina