July 8, 2014Albiceleste clash with the Clockwork Oranje
Messi and company are set to take on the Clockwork Oranje in a few hours; many eyes will be glued to this particular match from all over the globe. Rightly so, after some critics vouched both teams to be considered dark horses since both sides performed abysmally in their regional cup competitions before the World Cup. Argentina has been described in this tournament as being dependent on "la Pulga " (Lionel Messi). Holland in the group stage was clinical but at certain moments was pushed and the Dutch were more than bumped around in the knockout round.
Albiceleste currently do emulate their squad from the past, when Juan Roman Riquelme was the provider and supplier of much of Argentina's goals. Currently the role and responsibility of that Argentina number ten shirt rests on one Lionel Messi. After what was a very upsetting and dismal season with FC Barcelona, "La Pulga" looks motivated and determined to make up for that horrid season in La Liga. During the group phase of the tournament Lionel Messi would score four out of the six goals scored in the group. After the Group Albiceleste faced the resilient Swiss, who managed to take Argentina all the way to the end of extra time losing to a Lionel Messi assisted goal to Di Maria. Argentina would also edge Belgium in the same manner they did Switzerland, winning on a goal based on Messi's determination, this time finished by Gonzalo Higuain inside 90 minutes.
Argentina proved to show some kind of defensive fortitude as well limiting their opponents to three goals in the group and none in the knockout round. The goals in the Nigeria game although were made by players who had pace to run at the Argentine back line, Holland might have some attacking threats facing the Albiceleste that fit that criteria. The Argentinean defense must be vigilant when handling the Dutch, Marcos Rojo, Garay and Mascherano will be working overtime.
Clockwork Oranje is one interesting machine to look over, their veteran attacking lineup is one to stand up to take notice for. The likes of Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie (going through stomach issues possible food poisoning, he may not play tomorrow), and Wesley Sneijder are all massive threats to observe. Robben is a massive attacking threat (no matter what Rafa tells you) the man has pace if a defender falls asleep on him, Arjen can punish you. Nigel de Jong might possibly make a return also for the Netherlands, which should be a massive defensive boost in the midfield. Louis Van Gaal has so far done everything right in regards to tactics and set up for his side.
Louis Van Gaal has one more test left, if his tough determined Oranje side could get pass Messi and company. Will Holland perform and make it to another World Cup Final with the possibility of finally gaining World Cup glory? Or will Sabella's Argentina book their place into final instead of Holland? Only time will tell who will progress to the final and who will emerge as the best football nation in the world.
Posted by Gio Franco at 11:07 PM