When It’s all said and done, the sun pictured above could be burning a little brighter for the Argentinian Footballing Nation

While any football fan young or old can appreciate the passion of Diego Maradonna and his approach to celebrating his teams first World Cup victory of the 2010 campaign, one has to think that had they played more capable opposition it could have been a very different outcome.

Nigeria featured a good amount of pace and were probably wishing they had introduced Martins into the strike force earlier than the 70 minute mark of the game. A couple of great attempts that left something to be desired of Martins peers however allowed Argentina to sneak out a victory from what was a toughly contested battle.

It was one of those strange games where seemingly dozens of chances by either side were squandered, at least that was the case with the Nigerian forward line who could have easily converted two or three of the chances they had on goal. While Higuain was particularly wasteful, special mention is due for Vincent Enyeama Nigeria’s goalkeeper who seemed to be Messi’s kryptonite over the course of the 90 minutes played. Two finger tip saves and a few other impressive one on one denials kept Nigeria in the game. A snap 15 Million Euro offer from Real Madrid would have been a distinct probability if they didn’t already have one of the Worlds best in Casillas.

The only piece brilliance that couldn’t have been saved was Gabriel Heinze’s diving header off a Veron corner, the two Argentinian veterans combining for what was arguably one of the best World Cup header goals in recent memory. The spot Heinze needed to slot the ball through couldn’t have been more than 2 ball lengths by 2 ball lengths but managed to squeeze through much to the disgust of Nigeria’s goalie who gave it his all.

If Argentina hadn’t been so wasteful upfront I think its fans would have been more upbeat about their performance, which managed to create trouble upfront almost at will for its opponents. An incredibly encouraging sign and probably why they will be one of the most entertaining strike forces to watch in the coming weeks. Whether they manage to be one of the most efficient is yet to be seen.

The real worry for most has to be how easily Nigeria was taking apart the space between their defensive midfield and penetrating the back four. I hate to bring this up, but I have to believe that denying Esteban Cambiasso a spot in the Argentinian squad might continue to expose what seems to be their Achilles heel, the defensive midfield position.

It is important to note however that just the DMF position isn’t the only area leaving something to be desired, as since the last world cup there has been almost a completely cleaned slate to build upon at the back and not all of the additions made looked particularly comfortable. Samuel seems more of a club player than an international hero at the back and Dimichealis who had a great spell at Bayern Munich this season exposed himself as no more than a poor mans Ayala with a series of tactical mistakes but was still the better of the two in the central partnership somehow in my opinion.

Whether this Argentinian side was simply suffering from a bout of nerves or not will ultimately shine through in their next performance, one thing is for sure. No side with such a wasteful attacking force combined with such a poorly organized back four can win a knock out tournament and be crowned champions of the world.

The aberration that was a South American teamless tournament called Euro 2004 was over 6 years ago and despite the parallels you might want to draw, was a one in a billion in terms of how it was won. Get over it. Only consistency over all three sections of the pitch will allow you near the greatest prize in sport and right now, Argentina ain’t got it.

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