FourFourTwo: Zabaleta calls for 'balanced Argentina'
- 29 June 2014 08:54
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
Argentina defender Pablo Zabaleta believes his side must find the right balance of attacking flair and defensive stability if they are to progress in the 2014 World Cup.
Although La Albiceleste qualified for the last 16 having finished top of Group F with maximum points, defensive frailties were evident in the victories over Nigeria and Iran.
Alejandro Sabella's men face Switzerland in the next round and Zabaleta has warned his compatriots they cannot afford to make mistakes.
"Beyond having qualified first, we know that there is always room for improvement and can work to adjust," he stated.
"We are entering a decisive phase in which there is no margin for error.
"I think the important thing was learning about how rivals may pose [threats] in matches and how important it is to be more cautious about some things, and braver in other [situations].
"Now, the situation is different because each stage is crucial. We hope our rivals are more open and we can take advantage of these spaces. The important thing is to keep the balance."
The City skipper missed his side's final group match against South Korea through injury and apparently, Wilmots is yet to decide if he (and Thomas Vermaelen) will be available for the next encounter.
"It is impossible to say now whether Vermaelen and Kompany get fit for the United States," he asserted.
"I am pleased that we now have more preparation; we will have to wait and we need to look at their availability day by day. Kompany is struggling with an overload on the abdominal and groin."
Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery, Vinnie!
Elsewhere, according to the Daily Mail, Bacary Sagna has admitted France's World Cup campaign would be deemed a 'failure' if they do not manage to lift the trophy.
Writes Chris Waugh: "Sagna, who completed his free transfer to Manchester City from Arsenal earlier this month, said that France will look to progress 'step by step' in the tournament."
Quoted in the article, the right-back declares: "As players, we aspire to go as far as possible, to win the trophy.
"The World Cup will be successful only if we go to the end. If we do not do it, then it would be a failure.
"The goal has been refined over time - it is four matches to the title and we want to do it."
That's all for today. Check back to mcfc.co.uk at the same time tomorrow for another round-up of City-related World Cup media stories. In the meantime, why not have a read of our match report from Brazil's victory over Chile? You can find it here.