Franco Armani might gatecrash the World Cup occasion after a collection of positive shows for River Plate
Tim Vickery’s Notes from South America: Argentina’s Goalkeeping Dilemma
World Cup squads are normally composed of two gamers for each place – and three goalkeepers. The third keeper, then, is commonly a glorified vacationer, the participant least more likely to see motion.
However within the case of Argentina, latest outcomes have left the present scenario very confused – and the battle to be the third keeper might even find yourself having an impact on the primary staff.
The nation’s long run keeper is Sergio Romero. Promoted from the facet that gained the World Below-20 title in 2007, he turned first alternative within the construct as much as South Africa 2010, and has been there ever since. Closing in on a century of worldwide appearances, he’s Argentina’s most capped keeper. However he has spent a lot of his membership profession on the bench, and his lack of recreation time at Manchester United is a trigger for concern.
The traditional again up is Nahuel Guzman of Tigres in Mexico. However he has been given only a few alternatives; a part of the Argentina squad for 3 and a half years, he has performed simply six instances, all of them in friendlies. And within the period of coach Jorge Sampaoli his solely motion was as a privileged spectator in a 6-Zero win over Singapore.
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Since then, Sampaoli has given precedence to taking a look at different keepers. Agustin Marchesin (America of Mexico) performed in final November’s match in opposition to Nigeria – and did himself no favours. Argentina’s defence collapsed within the second half, and Marchesin collapsed together with it. A 2-Zero lead become a Four-2 defeat – which turned all of the extra worrying a couple of days later when Argentina and Nigeria had been (but once more) drawn in the identical World Cup group.
The latest friendlies had been used to check out Willy Caballero of Chelsea. He carried out effectively within the 2-Zero win in opposition to Italy, making a number of necessary saves. Just a few days later as he took his place on the bench for the sport in opposition to Spain, Caballero might have been forgiven for believing that he had performed sufficient to win a spot on the aircraft.
However then Romero was injured conceding Spain’s first aim, and Caballero got here on. He made no saves, was overwhelmed 5 instances and took some poor choices. Argentina limped away from a 6-1 thrashing with all the pieces in a state of flux, together with the goalkeeping place.
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Spice has been added to the sauce by the emergence of a brand new challenger. Franco Armani spent seven years with Colombian giants Atletico Nacional, and spent the final 5 of them as undisputed first alternative in a extremely profitable facet. Colombia had been taken with naturalising him. However initially of this 12 months, on the age of 31, Armani moved again residence to hitch River Plate. He had half an eye fixed on crashing his means into the Argentina World Cup squad. Transferring to a membership the scale of River would definitely give him a platform.
And, within the run as much as Russia, issues might hardly be going higher. River’s suspect defence is giving him loads of possibilities to shine. He’s hardly the world’s most elegant instance of Armani, however he’s a formidable barrier, looming massive and filling his aim.
On Sunday he was in prime kind as River dug deep to win 2-Zero away to Racing. Sampaoli was on the stadium, and needed to put up with the house followers calling for a World Cup name up for the brand new sensation, centre ahead Lautaro Martinez. However Armani stole the plaudits with a succession of positive saves. The sports activities day by day ‘Ole!’ described him as “a keeper who wins matches.”
However is he doing sufficient to win a late name up from Sampaoli? Is Argentina’s coach now considering of together with Romero, Guzman and Armani? And may the trio are available a unique order?
Try our World Cup information on Argentina and each different certified staff right here – World Cup Homepage
Additionally try our World Soccer 500 lists of an important gamers on the planet right here – World Soccer 500 Homepage