Argentina boss vindicated in decision to drop Carlos Tevez
Albiceleste claim fourth straight win without Tevez in the team
The Spoiler loves a man prepared to take a risk and Argentina coach Sergio Batista did just that on Monday night by ditching the 4-3-3 formation that he had chosen in his side’s first two Copa America matches and switching to a 4-2-3-1.
Perhaps the most notable personnel change saw national hero Carlos Tevez shunted out of the side, a decision many expected Batista to make before the tournament but one that he eventually opted for at the make-or-break moment in his side’s campaign.
The consequence was that after the uninspiring draws with Bolivia and Colombia that the Albiceleste played out in their opening fixtures, they strolled to a 3-0 victory with Sergio Aguero scoring twice and Lionel Messi looking far more at ease.
Tevez therefore has a fight on his hands to get back into the team and while that might seem harsh based on his record at club level with Manchester City, and it won’t necessarily be a popular call, it is a hard one to fault statistically.
This was the fourth competitive tie in a row that Argentina have won without the forward in their starting line-up. In total, they have triumphed in seven and drawn three of their dozen competitive games without Tevez starting since he moved to Europe in 2006, losing just two.
By contrast, they have lost four of the last ten in which the Corinthians-linked star was selected from kick-off, winning only four of those, with humblings like the 6-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Bolivia and 4-0 quarter-final thrashing against Germany coming with Tevez on the pitch.
His record of 13 goals in 59 international appearances is at best unremarkable, especially as Sergio Aguero – who replaced him against Costa Rica and struck twice – has netted as frequently in 28 caps. As a result, it will be no shock if he spends the rest of the Copa America on the favourites’ bench.