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War & Football 2010: Chile

Canadian SupportersOperation El Loco

The General:

Marcelo Bielsa lacks the long list of league coaching stops that many World Cup managers do in fact possess, but the former Argentina national team coach from their 2002 South Korea disappointment knows all about failure to rise to the occasion on the world’s biggest stage.  The manager who goes by the nickname El Loco or “The Madman” will look to his new adopted nation of Chile this summer for new found World Cup success.

The Plan of Attack:

Chile is one of the boldest teams playing in the World Cup this summer and the side loves the offensive crazy formula of the 3-4-3 with three center back style defenders, four midfielders, two wingers up top, and the key striker in the middle.  The squad is among the most talented offensively playing this summer in South Africa.

The Key Troops:

Chile has one of the most underrated attacking units in the impressive trio of Alexis Sanchez, Mark Gonzalez, and Humberto Suazo.  Suazo is currently hampered by injury and is questionable for the World Cup, but the squad enjoyed more offensive success then just about any other South American team in the WCQ.  The midfield unit is led by Matias Fernandez and Arturo Vidal and Claudio Bravo is the side’s reliable keeper in between the posts.  

The Mission:

Chile has the offensive talent to hang with just about anyone and this WCQ the nation enjoyed a more successful run than any other in their history since the modern day WCQ system was set in place.  The squad won more matches than any other squad playing from South America and earned over 30 points for the first time in their long history.  They have the offensive firepower to stay in any match and the leading goal scorer from their continent in Humberto Suazo.    

Potential Duds:

The bad news is that Suazo, like many stars of the most beautiful game, is currently hampered by injury and might not play this summer.  Even without the 10 goal man, Chile still has an excellent offense, but their defense is another story.  Chile averaged giving up more then a goal per game in the WCQ and their offensive minded tactics will likely lead to a few matches that will be great to watch, but not so much if you are Chile keeper Claudio Bravo.  The team will advance to the second round, but will likely be matched up against Brazil or Portugal and will be unable to contain either offense.

Final War Movie Rank:

Well it’s not the greatest war movie, but if Chile wants to advance deep into the World Cup tournament then they need their main man, Humberto Suazo, to become a Sniper for the squad.   But if the leading goal scorer can’t play then maybe Chile should look to Tom Berenger to be their finisher?  On second thought Berenger isn’t a reliable footballer and probably would not even understand the role of a striker, so without Suazo this summer things will surely end up ugly for the squad.  Perhaps the squad will Tumbledown because of the key loss?

Creative Commons License photo credit: marktci