The 2-0 in Lima to Peru gave more back to a Scaloni who had a great success in Nicolas González. The commitment of the Flea, growing bigger.
The atypical year of the coronavirus pandemic also felt strong in soccer. Only four games played the Argentine National Team in 2020 (all for Qualifiers) and the sensations improved after the very good victory in Peru. Lionel Scaloni’s team played from good to very good in La Paz and Lima, and left doubts when they met Ecuador and Paraguay in the Candy box. Could it be that you feel more comfortable playing with spaces, running into the void and arriving at the area with many people from behind?
The Copa América in Brazil and a couple of friendlies had left a good feeling in 2019. The idea of consolidated renewal is still latent. But it is true that in 2020 there was a stagnation when it comes to gambling. Perhaps it is a logical product of the pandemic. A fact: Scaloni put aside 4-3-1-2 and 4-3-3 to bet on a less complex 4-4-2.
The duel against Peru marked a turning point: in case of losing, the critical voices would have been amplified. But the team showed personality to stand in Lima and win a key match. He was effective in offense and supportive in defense. Lionel Scaloni added thus a little more back to work with peace of mind. You will pass the Holidays without surprises.
Franco Armani seems to have earned his place in goal. The one born in Casilda is more endorsed by his enormous performances in River than his performance in Argentina. Joined Emiliano Martinez this year, a brilliant appearance from Arsenal in London, who later signed with Aston Villa in search of greater continuity. It was thought that Martínez would keep the National Team’s arc, but Scaloni decided to respect Armani’s position. And it fulfilled the “1”. Other interesting alternatives for the position are Esteban Andrada and Agustín Marchesin.
Another positive issue was that a defensive line was consolidated that began to come out of memory, with Montiel, Martínez Quarta, Otamendi and Tagliafico. Although it should be clarified that the returns were not conclusive. Perhaps Martínez Quarta was the most prominent. Otamendi continued to be affected by the lack of filming, which in 2021 seems to have insured at Benfica. Gonzalo Montiel is still tied, although little by little he is looking like River’s. Tagliafico always delivers. The most offensive variant, Marcos Acuña on the side, did not work. The good thing is that Egg plays there in Seville. Juan Foyth went to look for minutes to Villarreal and was injured quickly. Germán Pezzella finds it difficult to set foot in Fiorentina. On another plane, the juveniles Nehuén Pérez, Facundo Medina Y Leonardo Balerdi they add miles but no field experience.
The tandem of the middle that was a guarantee in 2019 was a little in debt in 2020. Rodrigo De Paul played more of a midfielder on the right than of mixed and only in Lima he raised his level. He is a tireless runner on the right foot. Leandro Paredes alternated good and bad: he is still looking for his place as a stopper and starter midfielder. It is the great bet of Scaloni. The entry of Exequiel Palacios against Bolivia was hopeful, but he was injured ugly against Paraguay. Giovani Lo Celso perhaps had his best moments in Argentina against Paraguay and Peru. He is a complementary player for Paredes and Messi. What worries about Lo Celso and Palacios is that they play little for their teams, Bayer Leverkusen and Tottenham, respectively.
Lucas Ocampos was presented as the best appearance of 2020. But a bad game against Paraguay was enough for Scaloni to send him to the bench against Peru. Entered the multifunctional Nicolas Gonzalez, who, less than an archer, can play anything. And then González became the big appearance of the year. He played as a winger against Paraguay and scored a goal; He was a midfielder against Peru and he also celebrated. The former Argentinos Juniors plays without inhibitions and that is not an understatement. Ángel Di María was pardoned but they did not get all the punishment. He was called up in this last window, but in both games he was a substitute. Papu Gómez added 5 minutes in 4 games.
As for Lionel Messi, he is plugged in like few times. In Peru it ran like never before. The flea He gets frustrated when things don’t go well for the team, but when the wind blows in his favor, he feels very involved. He settled into the new group and is now leader by nature. Scaloni tries to surround him with upright footballers. There is a search there. Lautaro Martínez is an area bull who won the 9 from Argentina and can afford a couple of bad performances.
Taking stock of the year for Scaloni and the National Team is positive. An atypical year closed well. The numbers are better than the performance. But the triumphs give oxygen and tranquility to work. The big measure will be next March, against Uruguay in Santiago del Estero and with Brazil as a visitor.