Argentina’s weaknesses exposed by rampant Germany

By Michael Owen
diego maradona

Diego Maradona

When Diego Maradona was appointed as manager of Argentina we expected to see an abundance of attacking talent grace the field.

We were certainly not left disappointed. The deadly trio of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuaín and Carlos Tévez showed just how effective they could be on their way to the quarter-finals in South Africa and those who had been critical of Maradona’s managerial ability in the past were gradually beginning to be swayed.

But on Saturday Germany offered something totally different to what the Argentina legend’s side have had to face in the past.

Joachim Löw’s side are a team that were quietly confident coming into the competition and have gone on to show exactly how good the current generation of German footballers are.

The side that Löw has constructed is rather stereotypically German, with their incredibly efficient and organised football at times making up for an absence of big-name players.

This Germany side are solid from back to front, and against Argentina they demonstrated the ability to stifle even the best attacking line-ups whilst pushing forward themselves and being clinical in front of goal.

Argentina lack that balance that their conquerors posses. Although the South American outfit have an abundance of attacking talent they are weak at the back and have been fortunate not to have faced a real test up until facing Löw’s men.

But that is not to say this World Cup has been a complete failure for Argentina, far from it.

Most had completely written off the side’s chance of progressing to the latter stages in South Africa thanks to Maradona’s tactics. Yet they have demonstrated—admittedly against weaker opposition—that they are a forced to be reckoned with.

So should Maradona keep his place in the Argentina hot seat?

It is difficult to say. Whilst he has succeeded in ensuring Argentina’s attacking players work fantastically together, they are lacking at the back and one must question whether Maradona is the right man to instil the required defensive stability.

Germany, clearly now the in-form side at these finals, progress to the semis where they will meet Spain.


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