The Bielsa method: the keys to neutralizing and dominating world champion Argentina

Someone may say that luck – or chance, or destiny – played in favor of Marcelo Bielsa. Or from Uruguay of Bielsa. And he will have a little reason: because Uruguay began to beat the world champion Argentina in the result – in the development of the match they did so from the beginning – with the goal of Ronald Araújoa right back who played in that position due to the injury of Nahitan Nandez.

Almost no one noticed it and that’s fine, because Bielsa did much more than that circumstantial change to neutralize and dominate the Scaloneta on the Boca court, and thus achieve another milestone in the short time he has been in the Celeste: if in October he had defeated Brazil after 22 years, in November they beat Argentina for the first time in the Bombonera and left them undefeated in these Qualifiers. Uruguay, a country that captivated him because of its simplicity, almost tailored to his personality, now he worships him.

But what was Bielsa’s method? How did he completely annul the world champion? First of all, know that to beat the Scaloneta you had to suffocate her and hardly give her space. It may sound like a slogan, but Uruguay did that from minute zero. And to achieve this, in addition to the defensive line, the two central midfielders were key: Ugarte for recovery and Valverde for distribution once the ball was in Uruguayan control.

Uruguay, Bielsa and after

“We defended with great intensity, after recovering the ball we tried to keep it. And there were those coincidences that we defended well, that after recovering we kept it, and that adding passes, after having defended well, normally offers some goal situation like the ones we had to unevent the game,” described Bielsa, with his characteristic tone. and the gaze is lowered but attentive.

Scaloni knew that facing Bielsa implied an additional challenge for him and his coaching staff, who had Loco in the Argentine national team between 1998 and 2004. Pablo Aimar –how beautiful that hug they gave each other, that “my friend” from Zitarros, that “I see you triumphing” as a sign of admiration–, Roberto Ayala and Walter Samuel They were directed by Bielsa for many years. Scaloni a little less. But that is enough to know each other and to develop diagnoses that were later translated into tactics and strategies. Because if Ugarte recovered and Valverde started the ball associations, the line of three made up of Maxi Araujo, De la Cruz and Facundo Pellistri was the one that built the offensive opportunities.

A method that persists and yields

The keys are not limited to goals, goals are a consequence”Bielsa said. It took Darwin Núñez just a few minutes to have the goal in his face. However, he defined it wrong. I do not care. Because Uruguay kept going. He won due to a dynamic made in Bielsa that was not about attacking in an offensive position, but about constantly wearing down and string together plays from the middle or even from below. Ronald Araújo was not once: he was many. And the occasional pressure paid off, because the first goal came that way.

“Defending well, not losing the ball after recovering it, and adding passes generates the possibility of finding options to convert. And somehow that’s how it happened,” rehearsed Don Bielsa, whose usual temperance was sharpened by time. And he continues to show her that his method persists and pays off, even when he plays against the world champions.

Future Brazil

◆ After the defeat against Uruguay, the National Team returned to training on Friday to prepare for Tuesday’s match against Brazil at the Maracaná.

◆ The footballers were divided into two groups: those who added minutes against Uruguay separated from those who did not, such as Leandro Paredes and Paulo Dybala.

◆ Despite the defeat against the Charrúas, the good news for Scaloni is that none of his team ended up with physical problems nor were there any suspensions.


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