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Posted by ZiggY (ZiggY) Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Go To Comments

A Replacement for Gago?

So today's main headline is that Fernando Gago has picked up an injury that will sideline him for 2 months. Though this is bad news for the Albiceleste, this is not a surprise at all.

We all know Fernando's fragility as he has always been troubled with injury, and this is the main reason why he failed to compete in Europe. However despite his on and off appearances, under Sabella Argentina's midfield has been significantly stronger in Gago's presence.

Gago has proved himself to be the perfect link between midfield and attack, forming an excellent understanding with Messi, Di Maria and Mascherano in the middle of the park. His work rate, defense, composure and tireless availability for teammates in possession have made all the difference for Argentina during their games with him on the field.

So now here's the headache: Two months. That's exactly when Argentina kick off their first group match against Bosnia. Of course, Sabella always thought of the possibility that Gago would not make the tournament, but now the decision just became tougher. Now he knows that he will make it (at least for the second game if not the first). However will he be fit enough to compete at the highest level upon returning? Should he risk keeping him in the team instead of bringing a replacement who is already fit and ready?

At this point in time, Sabella definitely wont make any decisions. He will obviously wait until the end of next month and monitor Fernando's progress. Only then can he make a rational decision. However for the sake of discussion, what do you all think? If it turns out that Gago has to be replaced with someone else as the starting central midfielder, who do you think it should be?


Who would replace Gago as Argentina's starting central midfielder?
- Ever Banega
14.4% (19)
- Lucas Biglia
34.8% (46)
- Esteban Cambiasso
28.0% (37)
- Ricardo Alvarez
2.3% (3)
- Pablo Guiñazú
0.0% (0)
- Augusto Fernandez
1.5% (2)
- Jose Sosa
1.5% (2)
- Rodrigo Braña
0.0% (0)
- Javier Pastore
5.3% (7)
- Enzo Pérez
8.3% (11)
- Other
3.8% (5)

View all votes (132)
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Abs
(United States)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 11:25 PM
2
@Trini Pupi:

Well, it is your opinion to agree or not with me saying Maschy and Cambiasso doesn't work, but to clear something..

I have based my comment on past experience, and I don't think it is the time to experiment .. Exactly like those who don't want Tevez back based on past "conflict" between Tevez and Messi !


Aurelius
(United Kingdom)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 1:31 PM
0
Lucas Romero has played defensive midfielder. He replaced Gago in the Libertadores for Velez and was better than him. At 19 he is the key player for Velez. He can pass accurately, dribble has a good accurate long shot and would fit in seamlessly.


TheVickerman
(India)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 8:10 AM
1
@Deb- thanks, great discussing with you. One thing about the Romania game - take it with a grain of salt. It was practically 2-3 days after league games for many of our players who traveled, had very less time to acclimatize , and really not much of a reason to overly stretch themselves. I too would be very happy to see Sabella explore a 4-4-2 as an alternative, a 2nd option!

@ElPipita - we are on the same track man. I, too, would love to see Banega come on as a sub. I doubt that he has energy to last a complete game, but the guy can be a pretty impactful and useful sub. In fact, there's that X factor about him which really helps. Imagine if we are chasing the game and we need impetus in the midfield- look at the subs bench and we can see Banega there as a guy who has the capability to do something with the ball, find the pass, and also has a goal in him. Similarly, if we want to tighten up the midfield towards the final 20 of the game, he again can prove quite useful!

@ElPrincipe- Even I initially thought that Sabella would have called Banega for a DM role, but upon seeing his games this last year (early with Valencia) and also the games he played for the NT - his positioning was much advanced compared to a typical DM. He was almost playing a No. 10, given less defensive responsibilities and a green signal to go forward- a point reinforced by the fact that he managed to get a couple of goals and assists during out WCQ!


Pradi
(India)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 6:46 AM
0
Banega is talented for sure... Against spain's style f play banega, gago, pastore etc will shine, even this frmtn... Bt in this frmtn wen we play banega along wit masch against other teams our dfnc will gt exposed... If sab use 4-2-3-1 sacrificing either kun/hig adding 1 attacking mid, placing messi behind striker, den we can use banega along side masch to triger attacks frm deep... Bt at prsnt frmtn der need little more physical, quick more dfnsv kind f player... Hence biglia cnsdrd as 1st choice... One criticism against him n pastore is inconsistency n non reliability...


Leandro
(United States)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 6:44 AM
0
@el Principe, stick Biglia under any coach or system and you will get consistent performances.. Biglia is an intelligent player, he keeps it hard and simple. Banega is elite one half and an amateur the next, at DM or CM he is a liability. Banega has tons of talent, but he is not as elegant and tactically intelligent as Biglia. What our midfield needs is substance and work ethic being limited to 3 men and one being a spaghetti.. Biglia all the way.

Cambiasso and Banega are excellent subs though.. especially Cambiasso.


el principe
(United States)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 6:37 AM
0
Well I don't know about that, but I am not a fan of 3 DM formation. You guys say Banega is AM, but for SABELLA (not for Mundo Albiceleste group), he is a DM. Never even once Sabella used him as AM or winger.


baker
(India)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 5:21 AM
0
i will be happy to have banega in place of first 11 if he concentrate only one defense and link up with offense.
But his dribbling in the center of the pitch is invitation for counter attack.


mamoun "elpipita"
(Iraq)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 4:45 AM
3
@elprincipe I personally don't hate Banega, infact when I first saw him play in 2007 u20 WC I thought he was going to be Argentina's next best thing in the midfield but it is his inconsistency and his indiscipline that has me worried, not to mention the fact that alot of you guys who are currently watching the primera are saying that Banega isn't doing much better than Gago.

Ever's performance in copa has never been a factor in my mind because the whole tournament was a mess but even before then you never knew which Banega would show up, will it be the monster that dominated spain's midfield in the 4-1 friendly or the mere shadow of a player in the friendlies against Brazil and Portugal.
In comparison Gago was one of the most consistent players Argentina had.

I would like to see Banega come off the bench where he'd replace one of the forwards (either kun, Angel or pipita or even messi) and forms a midfield trio with Biglia and Masch especially when Argentina is trying to close up shop. When he's on his game Banega can inject a considerable amount of creativity and attacking verve into the team not to mention that fact that he tends to put in the effort and often tracks back to defend.
With that being said Banega should not start in Gago's place because unlike Gago he tends to overindulge with his dribbling thus leading to loss of position a number of times (remember the last WCQ against Uruguay) and in the world cup that is some that should not be allowed.

So in conclusion because of his ample talents I would gladly have Banega on the bench and unleash him late in the game as the enganche but due to his inconsistency and his tendency to lose the ball I would advice against starting him in the central midfield role especially with Argentina's perceived defensive frailties.


el principe
(United States)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 4:29 AM
0
You know Icardi is ex Barca. He is a team player. He'd do good for Barca as he can fill the missing role of David Villa. If Icardi keeps getting better, I feel he'd follow Fabregas way to return to Barca.


el principe
(United States)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 4:25 AM
1
I feel that a lot of us here hate Banega way too much. I know he had a bad Copa America JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE but Gago, but Banega under Sabella has been different.

When given minutes, he never disappointed. He had a couple of assists in the WCQ in limited minutes. In a game where he started, he was one of the best. I don't know about you but if I have to choose between Biglia and Banega, I'd choose Banega. Biglia is better defensively but is not a quick passer. The third man in midfield must be able to be somewhat a deep lying playmaker. I think Banega is good for this job.

I am not saying that Biglia is bad. I won't be upset if Sabella ends up starting Biglia, but I am saying Banega offers just almost as good as Gago did. If you don't like Banega, just tell us why. But don't give me the evidence of Banega in Copa America 2011. That'd be like giving example of Di Maria is a bad player, the example is Di Maria of WC 2010. Give us the examples of Banega's bad matches under Sabella. I tell you, you will hardly find any.

I am talking about Banega of Sabella not Banega of Copa America 2011.


pablo.d
(New Zealand)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 3:36 AM
0
a digression of topic:
http://www.sportsvibe.co.uk/news/football/tottenham-target-heading-to-atletico-madrid-33303/

this would be a good move for icardi as costa seems to be done to cheatski for 50 mill g.b.p


Deb
(India)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 3:27 AM
0
@TheVickerman: Excellent points (referring to your response yesterday). I have no doubt Biglia will be the man to replace Gago. And in all fairness, he deserves that. If we have to think of someone who 1. has good defensive capabilities, 2. can contribute to forwards with relative ease, 3. is fit, strong and in form, 4. has been comfortable in the NT. Biglia surely qualifies.

However, after the Romania match we had a discussion here in Mundo on whether our midfield is not as thin as 2010 anymore and if we need to add an extra support in midfield in the knockout matches in Brazil. Most of us agreed that while 4-3-3 remains our best formation under Sabella, but as and when the tournament progresses we may actually see him exploring more options to address that midfield problem. The Romania match actually brought forth this problem more than ever.



TheVickerman
(India)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 3:17 AM
0
@ElPipita - absolutely agree with you . I like Gago myself for pretty much the same reasons you stated. He tends to generally keep things simple and links up play pretty well, and is fairly good with 1 touch passing.

However, match-practice or sharpness is exactly what scares me with Romero and Gago. Even if Gago is fit, I really doubt he is going to be match-sharp since there'll be so little time from his recovery to squad announcement to camp. Romero , though fit, has no club level match practice either, and there are better replacements.

From Sabella's track record though, it looks like he will eventually call both of them up. Match fitness or sharpness doesn't seem to matter much to Sabella!


mamoun "elpipita"
(Iraq)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 2:51 AM
3
Few things to add:

On the the question of whether Gago should be taken to Brazil if he recovers ahead of expected time I have to say NO!
Look anyone here who knows me knows how much I love Gago, he's right up there with messi and kun as my favorite Argentine footballer! Not to mention the fact that I admire his elegance, work rate and spirit when he puts on the blue and white BUT even if Gago recovers his fitness (or lack thereof) will be a liability when going further into the tournament where the games will only get harder and more intense.

Biglia has shown that he's the best backup option for Gago, he's a good passer (not as good as Gago though), very defensively disciplined (on par or even more so than Gago), full of spirit and would give his left shoulder (literally) for the shirt (much like Gago).
The only issue is that biglia doesn't connect with messi as well as gago does but remember that Biglia (like gago) has played along side messi and kun in the youth level (2005 U20 WC) and with a few weeks of uninterrupted training I think he'll develop a solid understanding with the strikers.

Cambiasso has now become a necessity regardless of whether he or Biglia end up replacing Gago because with Biglia now likely to be promoted to first team status, there needs to be someone to back him or Masch up in case of a card or an injury.

@TheVickerman you make a good point my friend and speaking personally I really like Romero but the problem with him is that he isn't getting any playing time with his club unlike Gago who has been playing with Boca.
For me personally if a player have proven themselves CONSISTENTLY with the NT then they deserve a spot regardless of club form provided that they get to PLAY with their club and sadly Romero hasn't been playing AT ALL and the matches against paraguay and peru (where he made 2 vital mistakes that directly led to goals) proved that he is lacking match sharpness.
Willy deserves a shot but he isn't getting any and there is nothing we can do about it, but it were up to me I would give Orion the nod since he's getting alot of action in the primera unlike Romero and Andujar.


Ayr18
(United States)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 2:19 AM
0
Players to play in copa america 15:Lucas Orban,Gino Peruzzi,Mateo Mussachio,Icardi,Lamela,Salvio Iturbe or Ocampos, Bruno Zucculini...


Pradi
(India)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 1:35 AM
0
Gaitan, perez n salvio dfntly deserves de call... Sosa is nt even in de starting 11 of atleti... Look hw phil cald frrnandinho n de impact he made... Same in de case f willy n speroni... Atleast shud b cnsdrd in 2nd n 3rd spot... Andujar is just a funny piece... Hwz orion...???


Pradi
(India)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 1:26 AM
0
Banega is just a waste f spot...


SulaV
(Canada)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 1:11 AM
0
Banega cant be gago's replacement in my opinion... he is not that good defensively he is more like a sub for the fab4 when we need to slow things down.. we dont ave many goal scoring mid fielders who are defensively sound.. gago's injury has given sabella to add cambiasso now.. he brings everyhting with him experince.. goals ...he will strengthen our midfield too


Julker9
(Bangladesh)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 12:50 AM
0
In Peckerman era Argentina played possesion based football. Thats suits for Cambiasso & Mascherano. But now our possesion based football is killed by Sabella ! Who likes to play Argentina as a Counter Attacking based football & it works perfectly ! Cambiasso is not fast enough to play for a Speedy Counter attacking team what we have right now. Obviuosly he played excellent in this season for Inter but mind it Inter is not playing attacking football ! I thing this is also a point for Sabella not taking him in NT squad. So, I believe Sabella take Biglia as Gago's replacement not Cambiasso. Biglia has all the ability to perform in that spot & he already proved that against a physically strong Uruguay side !! Than whats the point to take Cambiasso over Biglia ?

May be some remind me about his World Cup experience. If that the point than tell me, 'Who the hell in our defence has WC experiene' ?

And you should mind it this is 'Sabella Era' not 'Peckerman Era' !!


TheVickerman
(India)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 12:46 AM
0
Very interesting comments and opinions out here.

I totally agree with those who said that Biglia will probably be the direct Gago replacement in the starting XI. Biglia seems to have "traded up" this season, getting into the Lazio starting XI and putting in a few good shifts. Haven't seen much of Gago and Banega once they moved back to Argentina, but reports haven't been very encouraging.

I'm very curious to see what Sabella does with the rest of the midfield positions. I am guessing if Gago is even remotely fit, Sabella gets him on the trip to Brazil. In the past too, he has even included injured players to maintain squad uniformity instead of trying out a couple of newbies. Here is how I see it:

1. I can't really find faults with Gago's performance with the NT (not talking about club here). But is it worth that much of a risk, taking a guy who has been so injury-prone, to the tournament that matters?

2. I'm a bit curious about this one. Many of us on here give Gago a free pass because he performs fairly well for the NT (there have been some really good games, and some ordinary ones). This is despite the fact that his club performances have been more often bad than not (reports). How come we don't extend the same leniency with Romero , who , despite his inability to get chances at the club level, seems to have done little wrong for the NT of late?

I myself struggle to answer the 2nd one. Don't get me wrong, I do completely feel that Cabellero or Speroni are better keepers , and would feel more secure with either of them between the posts. But Romero, to his credit, has not done too many mistakes in the recent past, and has kept us in games. Is it simply because the GK position lends itself more easily to blame when errors are made, and 1 single midfielder's deficiencies can be hidden ?


guled
(United States)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 12:43 AM
0
sabella knew gago was fragile but he resisted to try other players just in case, now he is confused. one more thing his interview with fifa.com he was asked his selection for the three goalkeepers so early since now they are out of form and he said they will certainly go the world cup , the man is very stubborn


SulaV
(Canada)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 12:27 AM
0
Biglia has really impressed me ...his move to lazio this season couldnt have come in a better time.. he is more like a box to box player similar to gago.. with good defensive abilities but offensively he isnt as good as gago. I havent watched gago play for boca lately and reading some comments from fellow mundo members he wasnt having a great time there.. but gago has shown us how good of a player he is when wearing that national jersey.. there is no doubt he must be taken to the WC but as pablo.d said chances of him breaking down again is high... i want cambiasso to be taken as a backup in place of lamela as he doesnt seem to get his fitness back.


Julker9
(Bangladesh)
Posted on 4/16/2014 at 12:03 AM
0
I wouldn't be so happy to see that " Old Fish " back again ! My vote goes to Biglia.


baker
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:45 PM
0
@pino : it is sad to hear about banega , he is wasting his talent.

i believe biglia can make up the role of gago


Sudhirfadi
(Japan)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:43 PM
0
Looking as the formation it depends whom to replace gago! As sabella view, his plan (B) is definetely sosa or agusto. I hate 4-3-3 formation it doesnt suit argie coz we dont have box to box modfielder( centre mid or anchorman or heart of mid). If sabella go 4-2-3-1 or christmas formation then yes he need cambiasso. But i want enzo , including enzo means loosing one player either higuain or kun. Compairing cambiasso and biglia both are rock solid game reader and destroyer of opponent mid tactics but later one is really poor in passing dead balls to stricker.banega is still immature in big games( goal against italy is just friendly) and this is not time for yacob , experimenting with yacob now is foolishness. About gaitan he can be super sub for Di maria . He is not true central midfielder.mu gago replace will be either enzo, cambiasso or even try for zacullini. Zacullini have less age but talency is way better than age eg. 19 yrs messi hattrick against real madrid in 2007.


Pino
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:37 PM
0
Dinucci

I haven't seen Zucculini play, but I heard him and Cerro are really good. Besides Correa, there's a midfield in San Lorenzo that's really good as well. Hopefully Sabella has something up his sleeve.


cleanball
(Indonesia)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:37 PM
0
No new names will be called by Sabella; he already have Biglia,Banega,Maxi, Augusto, Ricky, Sosa, Enzo which he like and prefer. No more space for Salvio,Gaitan, Cambiasso,Yacob,

Gago's injured is not a really shocking news and refer to his previous friendly games, Gago lost his best form and did not shine with N/T and club level


Pino
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:33 PM
0
I heard Banega is back drinking in Rosario. I thought he went back to Rosario to get his mind back right, I guess I was wrong. Hopefully he can manage to leave the drinking for two months before the WC. If not, don't expect Banega to have a good WC in Brazil.


marindrianto
(Indonesia)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:31 PM
0
Since we have best attackers (I never worry about this line) I think we need MF with strong defense ability. Young, energetic, having double lungs, good tackle and confidence are things in my head. Biglia is a good replacement for Gago.


Messicrew
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:21 PM
0
I often like to stay quiet in here most of the time and read other comments people like kidulhood, elpipita, to name a few, but guys what I don't understand is if we are talking about a country selection it supposed to be all the players who deserve a call up, don't get me wrong as I'm not and will never support the call up of Tevez..but we have A lot of other players Sabella should call or even mentioned them, Salvio, Gaitan are on top form at the moment I know as a coach you have different system but right now without GAGO we have no better option .I know a lot of you guys here want Cambiasso my question is:can he compete with all the young guns opponents we will be facing in June this need to be addressed too


mmh007
(Argentina)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 10:44 PM
0
@pablo.d
Agree with you. Really wish he would been out for one month or 15days. Really shuttered by Gago's injury blow:(


pablo.d
(New Zealand)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 9:53 PM
0
mmh007: its is possible he will be back but their are also questions if he does.
how will his form be? will he be match fit? what if he breaks down again?
my self i think forget about gago for now as we need to find some one else to, as best as is possible replace gago but if gago does regain his fitness and form in time for the w/c then that will be a big bonus for us having gago back and another player as back up who best fits his position.


mmh007
(Argentina)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 9:05 PM
0
I still think Gago can make it. To announce the squad it still has one month. I don’t think it would take exactly 60 days to recover. It's all about Gago's mental strength and support from familly and friends and coach. I think he would miss first 2 group stage match and will be back for third. Look at Falcao!! They said he will miss the WC and now they saying he can make it. So it's about how Gago recover from injury. Anyway Sabella was saying he will monitoring Gago for week before he say anything and I am sure he already spoke to Gago and thinking about the Solution. Still finger cross


Dinucci
(Argentina)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 8:38 PM
0
Tyc sports was saying zucculini is a possibility


Trini Pupi
(Trinidad And Tobago)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 8:08 PM
1
Mascherano + Cambiasso only does NOT work when Argentina played the false no.9. Basile played him in a 4-3-3 and he played where Di Maria plays now...it worked when Argentina dominated possession in copa america 2011 and then with a pacey physical Brazil in the final he was exposed. Personally i think Cambiasso would have been great at last world cup if argentina used the 4-2-3-1 formation as a DM. Batista also made the same error trying to use the 4-3-3 and played Cambiasso in a Midfield 3. Lets not forget even though Cambiasso didn't perform great but so did the rest of the team. Banega basically scored and own goal and back like was shakey and the formation did not get the best out of Messi. Please understand this is not me saying Cambiasso is the best and ONLY choice i think based on his Characteriztics and seen him play in that role before he has the competence to play...but saying Mascherano + Cambiasso doesn't work is something i RESPECTFULLY cannot agree with.


Abs
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 7:21 PM
2
I can't vote for one in particular, but Cambiasso must not be included in the list of 23 .. Maschy and Cambiasso doesn't work, and it'll really hurt our chances for winning the world cup !


Pradi
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 6:24 PM
0
Bt strtng lavezzi as striker is wasteful. Last psg game he n cavani was almost like 2 strikers of a diamond mid apart frm dat normal left wing pstn... He was nt been effective... I think de best pstn for him to shine will b right wing, as navas role in man city...


Pradi
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 6:20 PM
0
imo if we win earlier matches, den front 4 shud b rested for the last group match... Then front 4 can b filled wit gaitan, salvio, palacio n lavezzi...


miskan
(Indonesia)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 6:17 PM
0
i prefer take striker for gago...icardi or zarate or correa ....but i trust to zarate..he is real argentina.,chili want him but he said no...


Pradi
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 6:15 PM
0
Bt i think our benfica boys r not in same touch as dat as in the last years... Without doubt de best sub for angel currently is gaitan n perez n salvio will b handy than banega n sosa...


Pradi
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 6:12 PM
0
Wen compare wit pasng range only pastore n banega r near to him, bt both r not reliable - offensively n defensively...


El Payaso
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 6:09 PM
0
Enzo Perez has only been selected twice by Sabella so far. First time, against Peru he came on for Lavezzi and played 16 mins. That game ended as a draw.

He was called for a 2nd time for the Sweden friendly. Unfornately, he couldn't make it because of an injury. That kinda messed it up for him.


Pradi
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 6:06 PM
0
Any way i think sabella shud b forced to include 2 subs in dat position... If masch n biglia is de 1st choice, 2 back ups will b a must... Enzo perez n augusto will b de best in my opinion... Sab may go for 1) banega n 2nd ...? May cnsdr cambi... Who knws wat s in his mind...???


outlaw
(Poland)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 5:07 PM
0
Alvarez, Maxi, Sosa, Fernandez - he playing on quite different position.


outlaw
(Poland)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 5:05 PM
0
By the way: Alvarez is shitty however.


outlaw
(Poland)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 5:03 PM
0
What are you talking about? Alvarez for Gago? Maxi for Gago? Even Banega will be useless in that role. We need player who could be play very well in defence as offence. Maybe Biglia, Guinazu. Kranevitter and Romero are great but too young for Sabella.


Dinucci
(Argentina)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 4:22 PM
0
Roman biglia has done a good job. My theory isHim and cambiasso will be on the squad


pablo.d
(New Zealand)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 3:44 PM
2
Jack: sir its great to see you back!!!


Chalz
(Oman)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 2:38 PM
0
Just wishing Fernando Redondo was 20 younger. . Just think :
.
++++++++Redondo++++++Mascherano++++++++++


TheVickerman
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 2:15 PM
0
@ Deb, I also forgot to mention a crucial aspect that we miss when we play Messi higher up - his ability as a playmaker. Remember the 3-0 game against Uruguay where Messi wrecked havoc playing an almost no.10 role in one of his better games! He is a unique player who has speed to run at defenses with the ball, vision to make incredible passes , skills to take players 1v1, and fantastic finishing. Why limit him? :)


TheVickerman
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 2:09 PM
0
@ Deb - I did read your entire comment :-), you sure made your point well! Allow me to respond- please don't take it as criticism, but just as a differing viewpoint. Also do note that I do rate Banega very highly, but really just wish that he was far more consistent than he has been.

1. Agree that our defense is OK but perhaps slightly inexperienced.

2 &3 . I get the sense that you are quite keen to see Arg play a 4-2-2-2 with a double pivot :-) and a guy like Banega working his magic potentially from the centre. I love the formation as well, but I personally am not sure if it's the right one for Argentina given the circumstances and the nature of players we have. From right up front - Higuain is more of striker in the box type player or a kind who can purely play much higher up, but Messi isn't. In fact, he is of the nature who drops back to collect the ball to do something with it. In fact I think that's where he is more effective, when there is more space for him to visualize and use, run into along with Aguero. It's that off-the-ball movement that gives us the edge. I'll talk more about this in the next point. I do agree that Banega is an excellent midfielder in his own right, and definitely offers something of an X-factor (with goals and through balls) which I fear the likes of Biglia, Mascherano and Gago don't. This is why I think he is an excellent option off the bench, when we need more midfield solidity, or when we chase a game, - bring him in for Biglia .

4. I see your point with Zabby an Rojo coming up to support in attack, but that requires a lot of defensive discipline. I'd rather Zabeleta take a more defensive position and this is why: remember our weakness in the past- crosses into the box? This used to happen quite often when we were playing 4 man midfield. This happened often because Zabby and Rojo would lack defensive support when they get caught in possession up field, and not track back quickly enough. The opposition would work our flanks, drawing Masche/ Gago out, leaving Garay and FF to man-mark with minimal support from others. I feel much better with Zabby not bombing way too forward like he does with City, and allowing Mascherano and Gago to aid in defense closer to the box .

Here's how I think of it. Who are our true WORLD CLASS players? I would say: Messi, Aguero, Di Maria , Higuain and just below them , Zabby and Mascherano (in the def midfield position). There might be slight difference of opinions, but I am sure that there is little argument that atleast 4 to 5 of the above 6 mentioned players will be first choice in most other teams as well.

If that's the case , you play them to give you the best chance to WIN. You get a bunch of other very good players ( Garay, FF, Biglia/Banega) to support and help them win. Defensively, we may be suspect (I don't think it will change much even if we play the double pivot - due to the nature of our players), but the opposition have NO choice but to respect the quadruple threat we pose.




Richard
(Netherlands)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 2:02 PM
0
Is Lucho Gonzalez an option? He had a good first half season at Porto providing assists and scoring goals. Knows how to defend. No idea how he performs in the desert these days, but he surely brings lenght and experience.


Akash
(Suriname)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 1:52 PM
0
The first option is Biglia. Sabella is also following Lucas Romero (Velez) and Kranevitter (River Plate).


sandy
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 1:18 PM
1
To me, Gago has been the best player after Messi in the World Cup Qualifiers. The best match i have seen among 2014 WCQs was the match against Sweden and the best player on the field was Gago. Recently I watched him playing in Bocca and he was not even a shadow of the real Gago.

While thinking a replacement of Gago, Biglia is the best option. He is equal to Gago in his commitment to the NT. He adds more energy to the midfield and is able to play nice one touch passes like Gago even though Gago is far more better in that art. Both of them are equally selfless. In creativity and vision, no other DM can equal Gago. But defensively, Biglia is better.

If what we want is a creative midfielder, why cant we opt for Hector Canteros. I dont know anything about his present status. I think he is playing for Velez. After that friendly against Brazil, i thought he will lead us in midfield in 2014 WC. But Sabella never called him again!


Trini Pupi
(Trinidad And Tobago)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 1:10 PM
1
Even before Gago's Injury i would have taken Cambiasso. Not as a starter but someone who can come off and close. Those who say Cambiasso has not performed for Argentina need to rethink that statement. In the Pekerman era he was one of our BEST players. After that he was often asked to play out wide left in the midfield of 3. (4-3-3) It didn't work but when playing as a Defensive Mid and Rightsided Central midfielder he performed well.

He has very different Characteristics to Gago but thats ok. I am sure we have other players who can probably give the role a good shot but with the world cup being so close Sabella will have to make a decision to stick with Gago and Start Biglia/Banega or make up his mind about a replacement.

I am 100% sure sabella has backups for all positions like all international coaches do. So i am also 100% sure he already has a solution to this.

All the names mentioned in the survey as valid, but i think (just my humble opinion) Don't entirely rule out Gago but start integrating possible replacements which i think should be Cambiasso in the interim. Sometimes and i say sometimes players recover and come into the world cup FRESH! and perform amazing and sometimes they don't and come into the world cup rusty and out of it. I think this is an important factor to consider. Does Sabella trust Gago to not only recover and perform at a statisfactory level? That remains to be seen! I just want our best 23 to go.


Jack!
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 1:00 PM
1

I don't see why anybody is complaining. If you watched any Boca game this season you would see how poor Gago has been, beyond poor would be accurate. He has not been fit, and if you think he was just go to turn it on when he put the albiceleste shirt, you are mistaken. He had good showings at Valencia and Roma, but has shown ZERO positive showings at Boca. Just because he has a "connection" with Messi, does not mean he should go because he has not gained his fitness nor his play merited a spot for him.


Alam
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 12:48 PM
0
i vote for enzo perez. enzo is the heart of benfica football club. i just hope benfica wins all their three trophies this season and enzo get his selection in our albiceleste natinal team.


stocky
(Grenada)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 12:45 PM
1
Cambiasso off course because of his current form....


argentuban
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 12:45 PM
3
Cambiasso is 33. Campagnaro, a regular in Sabella's list, is 33, by comparison.

Pirlo and Xavi are 34. They both will play for their respective national sides.

Milla was 42 when he played for Cameroon in 90. Matthaus was 33 in 94. Maldini was 34 when played for Italy in 2002.

Zoff was 40 when he captained Italy to win the Cup in 82.

Cambiasso isn't off the charts old. Give that argument a rest, folks.


Pino
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 12:42 PM
1
I voted for Biglia to start, but I would still take Cambiasso and Gago if healthy. Cambiasso can sub for both Macherano and Biglia, which we need, a good back up for Macherano and now Biglia and Gago.


SulaV
(Canada)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 12:23 PM
0
we need a backup for biglia now!!we need cambiasso now... gago might be fit for the world cup but chances are he might not even last a full match against a physical side.. he is like hargreaves ... made of glass


Deb
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 12:18 PM
1
@TheVickerman: I will try to express my thoughts in an understandable manner. Few points:

1. I trust our defence. Even Rojo for me isn't that bad. But one drawback is our backline is a little less experienced. There is no Thiago, Kompany or Lahm like leader in our back 4. And even Romero may be nervy in Brazil. That's why the more protection they get, the better for them. Mascherano and Biglia together can make this work. We all know how committed and strong Mascherano is, and Biglia is an emerging solid defensive minded midfielder (loved him in the Uruguay match). Although we don't play in double pivots, this may actually work like one with Biglia being an attacking assist more often. Two defensive pivots on top of our defense isn't a bad idea for me.

2. Messi, Aguero and Higuain are all prolific goalscorers. With an adequate ball supply from the midfield, 2 of them will be enough to score as many goals as we want. I really think sacrificing 1 of them and start an extra midfielder instead would actually ensure that ball supply. Banega, if given enough protection behind him, can easily be a match-winning midfielder for us. I don't know what kind of form he is in right now, but I am a huge fan of his passing, through balls and creativity up front.

3. I want Lionel Messi to maintain a high line on the pitch. I don't want him to drop deep and collect balls and stay far from the opposition box all the time. He needs to stay right up there, we all know just one or two good touches and he can score for fun. Plus these fast counter attacks will demand more physicality from him. I love our counters, but still want a little bit higher line in our midfield. After all, despite not being a striker he scores more goals than anyone else in the world. We can't deploy him halfway down the pitch.

4. Zabaleta is known to play a more defensive role with Argentina than with Man City. With just a 2-man midfield behind Di Maria, when Gago takes up the right wider area in the midfield, all we are left with in that big midfield zone is Javier Mascherano. We have seen how that creates a huge no man's space in the Romania match. With this formation, Banega (or whoever plays that attacking midfield role) will have more license to try out his tricks. There are 2 solid men covering the defensive midfield in Mascherano and Biglia. This may also give our full backs more opportunities to surge forward. There is always a 1 man advantage in the middle. An extra layer of protection against the opposition full backs. We saw in 2010, the Germans took seconds to reach from their box to ours.

This is my 4-2-2-2. Although unlike the conventional 'magic rectangle' formation, we are not using box to box midfielders and deep lying forwards here. But teams have used this formation often and got success. Teams with an average defence need to ensure extra protection and constant ball possession in midfield, making it more dynamic and balanced at the same time. May just work best for us. Actually (I don't know how that will sound) we can have Lavezzi in this role too. That makes the formation more classical.


If you have managed to read the full post, your comments please!! :)


Notoraj
(Finland)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:50 AM
0
Cambiasso is FREAKING OLDDDDDD


argentuban
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:43 AM
0
If Gago is not 100% fit it's a mistake to take him, period, and frankly, I don't think he can be if he is out for 8 weeks and just getting back into playing shape.

Sabella will be stubborn and take him anyways, which already weakens our weak midfield. Anyone with brain would scrap Gago and call up Cambiasso.

This type of thing was foreseeable, and Sabella's unwillingness to try out other players is why we are int his position now. As goo as he was in fixing the front line, his stubbornness is going to cost us dearly i am afraid.


Roman
(Canada)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:42 AM
0
my vote is for Banega, Cambiasso and Pastore.

ricky alvarez would be a good sub. please no biglia!


Roman
(Canada)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:36 AM
0
please god anyone but BIGLIA!


TheVickerman
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:13 AM
0
Deb, what if he is not in good form? :-)

You pose an interesting approach , where perhaps it's more of a 4-man midfield. Banega is a capable guy, I'm a big fan of his abilities, but like most others, not of his consistency. It remains to be seen whether Sabella will test this approach out. I see a couple of issues though:

1. Sabella , when asked about his strike force in the past year, believes that they are his best bet to win games. They seem to understand and gel really well. Barring some niggles to any one of the 4 , I find it hard to imagine that a guy like Sabella will look to change his base approach.

2. I really believe that one of the fulcrums for Argentina, especially going forward and attacking the way we do - is Di Maria. He has the pace, skills , and vision to set Aguero and Higuain free in the box, and combines really well with Messi. He has also been playing the same role in his club (midfield alongside Alonso and Modric - linking up with Bale, Benz and Hair-Gelaldo). Di Maria's biggest strength is on the counter, quick runs from box to box, finding the killer pass. Reverting to a 4-man midfield could crowd it up a little, slow the game down and potentially take away Di Maria's involvements and not play to his biggest strengths.

What's your take?


Johnny
(Argentina)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 11:06 AM
0
@Vick-for me if Gago is fit he's one of the 23.


ForeverBatiGol
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 10:59 AM
0
Gago may have had a good time in sabella's team but its not at all wise taking a not fully fit player (& injury prone!but none can predict whats gonna happen on injuries) to the worldcup.. definitely others should be given a chance.. I would go for Yacob in the squad & also Fazio who is versatile(can be used as CB or CDM) & can be handy in set pieces..


guled
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 10:55 AM
1
lucas biglia will start he is more energetic and tough guy he will be good against tough atlethic teams


TheVickerman
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 10:53 AM
0
Welcome back ZiggY- with a bang as you say :-)

Johnny - seconded. From whatever I saw in the games gone by, it looks like a straight switch - Biglia gets drafted into the starting XI in place of Gago. At least that's what Sabella seems to have done in the previous games. Masche in front of the front 4 , Biglia to play the link, and Di Maria to provide the impetus going forward , look for through-balls, use his pace on the break, and drift into the wings and cut back in.

Sabella will no doubt evaluate the progress of Gago's rehabilitation in the next month or so. As well as he has been performing for the NT, is a squad option worth it for an injury-prone player? What do you folks think? If you had the power:

1. If Gago gets fit before the WC - will you include him in the final 23?
2. Or will you plan to look for other options for the midfield squad in the final 23 right away?



ForeverBatiGol
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 10:50 AM
1
Biglia should start & Yacob should be in the squad..but Sabella will most probably call brana,guinazu or sosa(who already is)..


Deb
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 10:46 AM
1
From here on, we can just wait and hope Ever Banega to strike some form. For me, he is a very creative midfielder. In almost every match he has started with Argentina, there have been spells when he has been our best man on the pitch. I still rate him very high.

In case Gago is missing, Banega can be a good start. My setup (although no one here seems to like it) will be a Mascherano-Biglia-Banega-Di Maria midfield, Messi on top and Aguero/Higuain the striker. That way Banega can lose a few dribbles if he wants, we have solidity behind him. That will help unleash his full creativity.

ONLY if he is in good form that is...


Caniggia
(Hong Kong)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 10:39 AM
0
I voted cambiasso to make the squad in his place, but not necessarily have him start. Have to agree with Johnny that Biglia is not an inspiring straight swap.


ddr1123
(United States)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 10:39 AM
0
The natural replacement is Biglia and he is already in the squad. He is the close to a #8.

I have voted for Cambiasso to be included in the team. Experience will help.


Johnny
(Argentina)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 10:28 AM
1
I'll vote for Biglia, but without much passion I'm afraid. I hope Sabella has enough time to work with the squad to arrive at the right decision. It could make all the difference.


ajith
(India)
Posted on 4/15/2014 at 10:21 AM
0
no salvio no gaitan.... both of them are top class mid fielders... may be they might not be playing in the same position....

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