Disappointing Argentina on Brink of World Cup Exit
After just one point from their opening two World Cup group games, Argentina are on the brink of exit from the tournament. Their opening draw to Iceland was not the best we have seen them, but it was a lot better than their performance last night, when they were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Croatia. The team cohesion is simply not there right now, and cracks are showing all over the pitch, Argentina are in a mess at the worst possible time. Their players and coaching staff have asked for forgiveness after their performance against Croatia, but unless they dig themselves out of the problem they are in, that won't be coming from the football mad fans back home.
When speaking about Argentina, the focus is all on their attacking players. However, those players are simply not getting a chance to shine at the World Cup. Sergio Aguero was subbed during the game last night, and had single figure touches on the ball, it is not his fault if the ball doesn't find him, without the ball there is little he can do. Argentina don't have a midfield capable of winning the ball back off the opposition then picking out a pass to get their attacking players involved. What is worse for them is that their midfield is not the biggest problem they have right now, that award goes to their defence. We know Argentina are not going to be strong defensively, but they have to show much more than what we have seen so far. Every time Croatia attacked last night they looked like scoring, and it was a similar case when they drew with Iceland in their opening game. There appears to be no leader in the defence, and there is certainly a lack of quality at the back.
Regardless of how good Messi and Aguero are going forward, without the ball they cannot have any influence on the game. With their defensive setup, Argentina are inviting pressure onto them, and their players are simply not good enough to cope with the pressure they are under. After being fancied by a few people ahead of the tournament, Argentina are now 25/1 to win the World Cup, showing just how bad they have been. A win for Iceland against Nigeria will make things very tough for Argentina to get out of the group, and they can no longer win the group. Just when things needed to remain tight last night for goal difference purposes, Argentina exploded and conceded three to Croatia, those final 20 minutes of that game could be what comes back to haunt them if goal difference prevents them from sneaking through into the knockout round.
Argentina take on Nigeria in their final group game which takes place on Tuesday. The bookmakers have priced them up at 4/9 to win that game, and all eyes will certainly be on them when they take to the field.