There is not much room for big regrets. The defeat with Venezuela, difficult, unappealable, must have marked this low profile team, who is excited to take the post and start again. Now that Wanda stumbles – the second of the Scaloni cycle in seven encounters – is history, at least four reasons for concern arise in the face of what lies ahead. Or restlessness, if you want to be more benevolent and less dramatic. Four aspects in which the National Team, less than three months before the Copa America debut, will have to concentrate.
Argentine soccer players trained in Valdebebas, the sports center of Real Madrid. (Photo: Maxi Failla / Special Envoy).
- 1.- The Messi case. That he returned to the Seleção after nearly nine months, led the team with touches of his talent, even far from his physical fullness, and departed the next morning through the back door, holding a silence that began before the debacle with France, in Kazan, also speaks of leadership problems that outweigh football. Messi persisted in his habit – justified in a chronic annoyance – of giving the gift in the first game and hit the foul in the second. And it is true that on the night of Madrid he took command of the driving and at his pace the national team pushed in the second half to be inside a photo of the goal of draw. But the captain was expected, in addition to his undisputed football, some public gesture that did not appear after the World Cup and has not yet appeared. Like a good surgeon, he arrives, picks up the instruments, does what he has to do, picks up the plane and leaves. Much is revered by colleagues who have placed idolatry before, as long as justified, to try to see it as a companion, exalted and famous, but companion in the end. It is not noticed, neither in the field nor by what is counted nor in the coexistence, nor in the presence of a leader, a motivator, a leader, a referent. It was not and will not be. It is time to accept it, ask him to continue playing as always, as no one plays, and set up a team that will shelter him and free him.
- 2.- The Scaloni factor. It is not the time to discuss whether it is the appropriate name for this moment or whether it is supported by the fund. Lionel Scaloni is the confirmed technical director until the Copa America inclusive, and in addition to the healthy statements from the beginning of his cycle, translated into the appeal of a new group with players of value, it is clear that the Madrid tour leaves huge question marks who start driving. Because you may or may not agree with an idea, with an initial proposal or with the choice of surnames to take it forward. What is difficult to understand is the distance between what the technician had in the head in the previous days (4-4-2 or 4-3-3) and what he ended up choosing: a 4-3 -3 enunciated in the collective of previous press that had mutated in 3-4-3 as the game began and again in 4-3-3 until the quarter of an hour of the game, with players located in positions for other infrequentes. What did the National Team play? It cost so much to see Mercado de última hombre as Tagliafico on the left, Lisandro Martínez as an impromptu "3" or the one on the right Blanco. A confusion that started in the bank became disorienting inside and ended up being easy prey for a team that, yes, had things clear. Did he really want to recover the ball, the greatest treasure of football, with a single defensive midfielder who also has no "remove and scrape" his DNA? And another thing: the first reactions of the defeat Scaloni pos, it must be said, were not the best: to attribute the fall not to the choice of the game system (all his), but to a matter of attitude (the interpreters) must have done some noise among football players. Both the noise and the result. Will it leave footprints? All a stranger.
César Menotti, Director General of the National Teams, did not travel with the Scaloni team. (Photo: AFP / Ronaldo Schemidt)
- 3.- And the director of selections? Does anyone know more about this whole thing than César Luis Menotti? However, it looks as though the former National Team coach is standing at the edge of the pool in his bathing suit, and does not dare jump even if he's swimming next to the one he costs. Take it by hand to the other end. He insists on supporting Scaloni, but prefers to talk about big projects, about the value of caring for the player, about the wealth of Argentine football, instead of taking a flight to Madrid and approaching the scene. Do not drive, of course, but at least put on a sanity cloak when the compass is lost. What are not parties, but trade commitments? That's what it is, Caesar. The AFA needs money and these are the times.
Paulo Dybala in blue and white. Is he going to play against Morocco? (Photo: Maxi Failla / Special Envoy).
- 4.- Question of names. Eight archers have been called and we do not know who the owner is. Soccer players are chosen with good ball handling, but end up becoming assistants, not compadres, the best of all. And there is the emblematic case of centroforward: the DT has the right to choose Mauro Icardi over Sergio Aguero. But if one is out because he does not play in his club, and the other is well valued by the technical team to the point of being in Brazil, his absence is not explained. When is the time to test and not search results? ? It will mean then that the setback with Venezuela will not cause waves. And that does not seem to be the case. Having called 54 players and not finding a reliable eleven suggests problems in the interlocutor and lack of reliability in who is called. Or both.