Raining on Argentina’s parade

Argentina has three wins and a +5 goal margin. All the Argentines around me are quite enthused. Maradona is telling everyone who criticized him that they are idiots and should apologize.

Well, y’know, I hate to be a downer, but Argentina had one of the easiest groups. Argentina has the best players in the world right now, and the best player in the world in Leo Messi.

I thought Argentina was distinctly unimpressive, considering their opponents.

Good for Argentina: right now Argentina’s side of the bracket looks to be distinctly weak. It’s quite possible that one quarter of the bracket could be Holland, Italy, Brazil and Spain…and Argentina wouldn’t face any of those until the finals. If so, this would be extremely lucky, but so far Argentina has been extremely lucky. At the end of World Cup qualifying, every game fell Argentina’s way. That ball fell to Palermo in extra time. They draw one of the weakest groups.

But Argentina hasn’t really played flowing football. They’ve had possession, yes, but too often it has been pass it around a perimeter 30 meters away from the goal while the defense organizes and collapses. The off the ball movement has been underwhelming, and the team which supposedly is to play for Messi…has not created space for Messi. Besides having Messi, this team isn’t terribly well equipped to play against Jose Mourinho against Barcelona “park the bus” tactics.

Obviously I’m hoping Argentina wins the World Cup. If they keep getting as lucky as they have for the past 9 months, it should be no problem, considering that they do have the best players. Yet I don’t feel particularly convinced watching Argentina so far.


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