In a half-decent showing, El Tri was able to defeat Iceland 3-0 on Friday. Even with the win, there were some downs.
3-4-2-1 was formation used for this matchup. Quite honestly, it’s sloppy and the midfield was the weak point. A 4-3-3 would have made more sense, with the starting XI. Jesús Manuel Corona would have been better off playing next to Carlos Salcedo. Andrés Guardado looks more comfortable working at the center of the field with Diego Reyes and Jesus Gallardo. Marco Fabian and Miguel Layun could have be spread out a little bit more to the sides. Raul Jimenez’s position was perfectly fine.
Now with this formation, the strength would have relied on the counter-attack. The offense could have played further down the field and anticipate long passes from the midfield. The defense won’t even had to play a huge role, offensively speaking. The key here would have been to draw out the opponent’s offense and weaken the midfield for easier possession.
In this 4-3-3, Layun was set to cut through the defense, as he is best once he goes on the attack. With Osorio placing Layun on the midfield, he looked out of place. Then we saw Marco Fabian also looking awkward amongst Iceland’s defense. Fabian’s only saving grace was his awesome goal.
Then there was Diego Reyes. Here is another attacking midfielder playing as a defensive midfielder. Having another offensive player on the defense just exposed the lack coordination in the line-up. Antics like this are lead to the dismantling of a team.
It’s easy to argue that this was only a friendly match. Sure, that’s a valid point, but the problem is nailing the line-up and formation. As of right now, Gallardo, Jimenez, Corona, and Araujo don’t seem to fit in.
Mexico has four more opponents before Osorio finalizes the squad for the World Cup. Against Croatia, Osorio can tweak the line-up and formation again. By the time El Tri faces Denmark, the roster should only consist of the players that are going to Russia.
The last two times that Osorio put together a squad for an intense tournament was at the Copa America and Confederations Cup. Mexico was handed a 7-0 spanking by Chile and overwhelmed by a young and determined German squad.
At this pace, the team that beat Iceland wasn’t the usual Mexican squad that puts up good performances, it was FIFA 18’s computer. Easy to beat, once you pick a tougher team.