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Argentina Trying To Win 2022 World Cup

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Hello folks and welcome to Australia for the 2022 World Cup! That’s right, after taking Vauxhall Motors through their most successful season in Football Manager 2011 it was time to take care of Argentina and try to push them to a memorable World Cup tournament. As you know I have already won the Copa America and the Confederations Cup with Argentina but those tournaments are nothing compared to the World Cup, the Holy Grail for any football player or manager!

I was not very optimistic before the tournament to be honest and that is because I couldn’t count on most of the big Argentinian stars that you know today: Messi is too old and slow now, Aguero is in a similar situation, while Di Maria is just an average player. My shortlist of possible call-ups featured 51 players before the World Cup but 15 of those 51 were just prospects for the future (players that could be called up in a year or two) and five others had long term injuries. So I was left with 31 players to choose from for a 23-man squad, I guess it’s good that I didn’t have too many difficult choices to make…

Despite my pessimism the bookmakers seemed to think that we had what it takes to win the tournament, we were joint-favourites with Italy, France and Spain! The Argentinian FA was not so demanding though, their expectation was to reach the semi finals.

As you remember my new Bulldozer tactic has won me the Confederations Cup with Argentina and also a clean sweep of silverware with the Motormen last season so you might expect me to use the same tactic for the World Cup. Well, I decided to use a different tactic and that tactic is… Darren’s Manchelona! Let me explain why, there were three main reasons:

1. I felt I needed a more balanced tactic for a big tournament like the World Cup, I would have chosen the Bulldozer if I had the players that I have at Vauxhall but the Argentinian national side is, believe it or not, weaker than my Vauxhall squad!

2. The most good Argentinian players in 2022 are central midfielders so I thought it would make sense to make use of that wealth of talent by using a tactic with three central midfielders.

3. I had promised Darren that I would test the Manchelona sooner or later and, unfortunately, I never did.

And there’s another reason, an unofficial one: I wanted to blame Darren for an eventual poor tournament! :) Just kidding, obviously :)

So, I chose the Manchelona tactic for the World Cup, now here is the 23-man squad: (click on the names to view the player profiles)

Goalkeepers: Gonzalo Maidana, Sergio Romero, Nicolas Gamboa

Defenders: Sergio Garcia, Fabio Ortiz, Nicolas Otamendi, Fernando Pereyra, Javier Godoy, Osvaldo Rufino, Matias Asencio, Ezequiel Munoz

Central Midfielders: Marcos Fernandez, Gustavo Iglesias, Ismael Fischer, Franco Zuculini, Javier Pastore, Hilario Giaccone

Wingers: Leandro Velasco, Juan Pablo Yavar, Claudio Vicente, German Pacheco

Strikers: Lucas Cuello, Sergio Araujo

As you can notice there are four Vauxhall players in the squad but only three of them are really important: Fernandez, Velasco and Cuello while Godoy is a reliable backup in defence. I had a friendly against Turkey 10 days before the first group match and I was beginning to worry as we only managed to get a goalless draw out of that match! The team played well though and the players proved their worth in the opening group match as we thrashed Ghana 5-0! Velasco scored the opener inside the first minute of play and then it was all downhill, Velasco was the man of the match but Vauxhall striker Cuello also got his name on the score sheet. (Click here to watch the highlights.)

The second group match was against Greece, a team that had lost the opening match 1-0 to Mexico. Well, this one wasn’t as easy as the game against Ghana but that was all because of bad luck, the team played even better but the Greeks scored two lucky goals and kept the match in balance for a while. My lads were too good though and we won the game 5-2 thanks to another vintage performance from Cuello. (Click here to watch the highlights.)

We only needed a draw against Mexico to finish top of the group and that’s what we got although we would have deserved much more. We hit the woodwork no less than four times during that game and if you add some clumsy defending to that you can understand why the game ended 2-2. It didn’t matter too much though, I had rested a few key players and we were prepared for the next round. (Click here to watch the highlights.)

Ghana qualified from second spot and that is quite strange considering that they were the weakest team in the group from what I have seen in the game against them. Anyway, we were through and that was the most important thing for the nation.

We were not going to have an easy opponent in the second round, we were going to face Holland! That was because the Dutch had a very tough group and they finished second behind Germany… I wished we had played New Zealand, they were by far the weakest team to make the second round…

Argentina vs Holland (World Cup 2nd Rnd)

Venue: Adelaide Oval

Attendance: 33,597

Starting line up: Gonzalo MaidanaSergio Garcia, Fabio Ortiz, Nicolas Otamendi, Fernando PereyraMarcos Fernandez, Gustavo Iglesias, Ismael FischerLeandro Velasco, Juan Pablo YavarLucas Cuello

Team Talk: For the fans!

The first half was totally under our control, the Dutch players rarely managed to come out of their own half. They were doing a great job in defence though, we only had a few shots on target but nothing special until half time.

Half time score: 0-0

Half time team talk: For the fans!

Half time substitutions: Claudio Vicente for Velasco

The domination continued after the break and we managed to create the first clear cut chance after five minutes when a fine move released substitute Vicente inside the penalty area but his shot was somehow parried by the goalkeeper. We continued to add more and more pressure on the Dutch defence but they were hanging in there, the game was heading towards extra time… I was quite frustrated to play an extra half hour and risk losing a match that we had dominated so clearly but fortunately we found the decisive goal in the first minute of stoppage time: the Dutch defence finally made a mistake and Cuello slotted home from inside the penalty area! Get in!

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Lucas Cuello

Flop of the match: Leandro Velasco

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

Match Stats

Hoping for an easy opponent in the quarter finals… Yeah, right… We got France, the number 1 team in the FIFA rankings!

I could go on about the French side’s strength all day but I’ll say just one name instead: Yaya Sanogo… However, we had beaten the Frenchies 3-1 to lift the Confederations Cup last summer so I was quietly hoping to do that again… Did we do it? Go to the next page to find out!

Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.

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  1. Matt Clark

    September 2, 2011 at 18:30

    Hey Johnny, brilliant world cup so far especially the win against Uruguay though i assume they aren’t as good as my Uruguay team in 2020.
    Quick suggestion if you’re going to start a new save use the Romanian team you support.

    • Johnny Karp

      September 2, 2011 at 19:53

      Thanks for the comment mate and also for the suggestion. I have already explained that my favourite Romanian club doesn’t exist any more so it would be a bit weird to manage that team in FM.

  2. vaibhavc

    September 2, 2011 at 19:00

    Hey Johnny
    Brilliant world cup so far! The Manchelona is brilliant, obviously knowing from Darren’s progress. I don’t think I will join you in the final though, I probably will be out with friends. But good luck! And blame everything on Darren if you lose the final :P

    • Johnny Karp

      September 2, 2011 at 19:54

      Hey Vaibhav, thanks for the comment. No worries, you will still be able to see the text after the live session is concluded. It won’t be as much fun but still…

  3. Laxeyman

    September 2, 2011 at 19:14

    Brilliant so far Johnny, fantastic performances from your Argentina side, and they have certainly bettered your expectations :) Cuello has been fantastic and hopefully with his help you can win the final too! Good luck!

    • Johnny Karp

      September 2, 2011 at 19:54

      Thanks Laxeyman, I hope you will join us for the “live broadcast”.

  4. Michael

    September 2, 2011 at 19:24

    How do i get this tactic the link is broken on the download? It looks amazing?

    • Johnny Karp

      September 2, 2011 at 19:51

      The link works just fine, I checked it a few seconds ago. (assuming that you were talking about the Manchelona tactic).

  5. Darren Smith

    September 2, 2011 at 19:57

    Well done Johnny, I’m delighted to see you gain some success with the Manchelona…your side look brilliant and must be favourites for the crown.

    Also, congrats on the live update too…that is a fantastic idea IMO. We could use this for short, pre arranged Q&A sessions also. I will be there mate, sitting on my bed with a can of Coke and face full of optimism. :) Look forward to it.

    • Johnny Karp

      September 2, 2011 at 20:01

      Thanks Darren. I have already thought about having a weekly or monthly Q&A session using this tool, we’ll discuss more about that via email :)

  6. riggsy

    September 2, 2011 at 20:14

    Well done Johnny great results so far! Looking forward to seeing the live commentary which I will definitely be watching! Good luck for the final!

    • Johnny Karp

      September 2, 2011 at 20:20

      Thanks mate, I’m looking forward to the live thing as well since I’ve never done anything like this before :) See you on Sunday then!

  7. Frank

    September 2, 2011 at 20:15

    Hey Johnny
    A brilliant World Cup so far and your team seems strong enough to win the finals, the Manchelona tactic has certainly been succesful with your Argentinian team. I will be joining the q & a session ( which is a great idea IMO ) . Good luck with the final :)

    • Johnny Karp

      September 2, 2011 at 20:20

      Thanks Frank, the tactic worked great indeed.

  8. Birdy

    September 2, 2011 at 21:35

    Hey Johnny, nice to see you down here in Australia. In the game were all of the pitches massive ovals? The only rectangle stadium you played at was suncorp as we play AFL and cricket on all of the others. And well done good luck for the final

    • Johnny Karp

      September 2, 2011 at 21:39

      Thanks for the stadium info Birdy, I really didn’t know those facts! :) And thanks for the good luck wish, we’ll surely need a touch of luck to get past Italy.

  9. Nathan

    September 3, 2011 at 00:47

    Well at least SI have their head screwed on and have the World Cup in Australia, where of course it should be.

    • Johnny Karp

      September 3, 2011 at 08:31

      I’m sure that there will be a World Cup in Australia sooner or later, maybe even in 2022 like in the game.

  10. Mariano

    September 3, 2011 at 08:24

    Hi Johnny,

    Well done in the World Cup, do you want to manage the Argentinian national team?:)

    The live game I think it´s a fantastic idea, to watch you play live, I don´t know if I´ll be able to assist but I guess you will record it.

    I believe the best thing to watch you playing live is the posibility to be able to ask you questions about what you are doing and why.

    Would be amazing if you could talk by a mic explaining your moves and thoughts about the pre match and the match itself. Maybe I´m asking too much………

    I didn´t read your whole post just had a quick look as it´s 4:30 am and I´m going to sleeeeeepppp!:)


    • Johnny Karp

      September 3, 2011 at 08:33

      Hey Mariano, you can talk to the FA and let them know that if they make me an offer I will not refuse :) The live text session will be available to read after the end of the game, no worries. The microphone idea is too much for now but I am considering it for the future ;)

  11. Kevin

    September 3, 2011 at 09:51

    Hi Johnny
    Well done on reaching the final and it’s great to see Darren’s tactic working for you. At least he’s safe …for now LOL!
    I’ll be there for he final and i’m sorry I missed the live chit chat…too busy at work at that time.

    • Johnny Karp

      September 3, 2011 at 10:00

      Hey Kevin, I was quite sure that the tactic would work, I studied it a bit before trying it in the first game. See you tomorrow for the final and don’t worry about the chit chat, we might have more of those in the future ;)

  12. Lye

    September 3, 2011 at 10:32

    Hi Johnny,

    Well done in the world cup. Machelona should suit the Argentinian team, that’s why the team perform so well. Regarding the live game, most likely i am going to miss it as it is sleeping time here. Good luck for the final and love to read the good news.

    • Johnny Karp

      September 3, 2011 at 10:58

      Hey Lye, I guess the Manchelona tactic suits any team that has players that can pass the ball. Sorry that you will miss the live game but I hope you will enjoy reading it afterwards.

  13. Sayam Khan

    September 3, 2011 at 13:08

    Well done Johnny, It’s obvious the Argentina team is the best in the competition, they way you have beaten France and other teams. Very wise of you to choose Darrens tactic, and good luck in the final.

    • Johnny Karp

      September 3, 2011 at 13:26

      Thanks Sayam. I had a look at the Italian team today to prepare the final and they have a few world class players, especially a magnificent striker… It will be tough but I hope we will pull it off.

  14. Mariano

    September 3, 2011 at 15:40

    Hi Johnny, maybe out of topic sorry , but today was published an article on one of the most important newspapers in Argentina called La Nacion about Hagi.

    Here is the link:


    • Johnny Karp

      September 3, 2011 at 15:53

      Thanks a lot for the link Mariano, much appreciated! I have just watched a second league match this morning involving Hagi’s academy team, they won 5-1 :) He is doing a great job with that academy and I am impressed with his decision of investing his own money back into Romanian football.

  15. Sears

    September 4, 2011 at 12:07

    Congrats on reaching the final Johnny, looking forward to the live match!

    • Johnny Karp

      September 4, 2011 at 12:20

      Thanks Sears, it should start in about 10 minutes… :)

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