Messi needs to show leadership...
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Messi needs to show leadership - John Duggan

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

12:31 22 Jun 2018

Lionel Messi needs to step up to the plate and improve if Argentina have any chance of staying in the World Cup, according to John Duggan - Off the Ball's man in Russia.

Talking on OTB AM, Duggan gave us his insghts from being insight the stadium in Nizhny Navgorod last night.

“For me, if you’re talking about the greatest player of all time, someone who has scored over 600 goals for club and country, I think you need to see a little bit of leadership.

“Unlike Ronaldo, who I watched the other day against Morocco, who is constantly berating the players, preening, sometimes doing the Torville and Dean act, the theatrical act, but there’s a constant narrative of Ronaldo in the picture, whether he has the ball or not.

“When Messi isn’t firing or he doesn’t have the ball or he isn’t creating something or accelerating and showing what a brilliant player he is, he’s not in it at all he’s just moving around on his own.”

Duggan believes that Messi simply is not happy playing Sampaoli’s system. “He had 116 touches against Iceland, he had 49 last night. He had 11 shots against Iceland, the stats said he had no shots last night maybe he had one, a follow up in the second half.”

“Well I was at the game on Saturday as well and I saw the same thing on Saturday as I did last night. The Guy’s not enjoying it. No smiles, no handshakes, no glad handling. When he came out he was all business.”

Duggan is also highly critical of Sampaoli’s management style with Argentina. “The coach has got a lot to answer for, he looked like he wanted to get into a nightclub before the game. He looked like a nightclub bouncer who had lost the head.

“He, for the 13th time, changed his team. He went for a 3-4-3 now. How can you change both, he took three players out of the team and you change your formation in the space of days.

“He doesn’t know what his best team is, doesn’t know what his best system is, and i think the players can see that there’s a complete lack of leadership from the get go and I think they’ve suffered as a result dramatically.”

All that and more on this morning's OTB AM, and as usual you can get your comments and thoughts into us on Facebook by following Off The Ball.

You can watch OTB AM from 7:45 every weekday morning on our Facebook, YouTubeand Periscope channels. If you would like to see more sporting videos, like and subscribe any of our pages or log onto offtheball.com.


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