Maradona creating Barca around Messi

One of the great disconnects in the Argentina World Cup qualifiers was the anemic performance of Leo Messi when compared to his stellar Barca exploits. It was as if there were two different performers inhabiting the same body.
Maradona might have come to the realization that Messi needs the sort of laissez faire environment that he enjoys at Barca where his creative genius alongside that of Iniesta and Xavi create parallel points of attack. But this takes place after players become familiar with one another over time. Without them, Messi would be about half as effective. It appears that Maradona is now trying to bring in players and experiment with positions that can replicate Barca. Its noteworthy that the team chosen to play Spain has not one domestic player as all of ply their trade in the European leagues.
But is it worthwhile building a team around one player? Even Maradona with his precocious talent and superlative ego would say that it is an onerous responsibility. After the opener against Italy in the 1986 World Cup, Maradona said, “I wasn’t alone; we had a team. Bilardo had found the team he was looking for.”
In the 1986 World Cup, Carlos Bilardo employed a unique defensive position as Jose Brown was positioned as sweeper back behind two stoppers in Oscar Ruggeri and Jose Cuciuffo. The wide midfielders were Ricardo Giusti on the right and Julio Olarticoechea on the left with Sergio Batista holding and Hector Enrique in the center. Jorge Burruchaga was the attacking midfielder sitting behind Maradona and Jorge Valdano.
Given the paucity of quality full backs in the Argentinian team, a full four man complement might be difficult. Bilardo’s 3-4-1-2 formation should get consideration or rather another variation, the 3-4-3. You have three decent central defenders in Daniel Diaz, Walter Samuel, and Martin Demichelis. Maxi Rodriguez and Jonas Gutierrez can provide the speed down the flanks, tracking back to help out defensively, in effect creating a flexible five man defensive front while Mascherano holds the center and Pablo Aimar takes over the attacking role.
The Benfica man is finally healthy and in great nick. With Aimar and Messi you get a protean attack that can change shape and speed. Veron introduces predictability like he did against Paraguay keeping Messi in stasis. Angel Di Maria plays down the left, Gonzalo Higuain in the center, and Messi off to the right. I think Maradona should keep Veron ready for his set piece expertise if the attack is stalling or Argentina has fallen behind.
In fact, Maradona can tap into a ready resource. With Aimar, Di Maria, and Javier Saviola at Benfica, you get the benefit of a cast of players playing together in key attacking positions who can complement Messi. Benfica rather than Barca is a more realizable route.

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One comment on “Maradona creating Barca around Messi
  1. —dem-sam-henz—
    id love a peckerman copy 4-4-2 even tho not a fan of 4-4-2…

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