Argentina head coach Alejandro Sabella has said he has no problems with his team`s most important player, Lionel Messi, airing criticism of his tactics in public.
Messi was unhappy Sabella played with five defenders in their FIFA World Cup™ opener against Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was only in the second half, after they had reverted to the usual 4-3-3 formation, that Argentina began to look impressive.
Argentina face Iran in Belo Horizonte in their second Group F game and Sabella insisted that Messi had been right to speak out. "I was not hurt by Leo's comment and he has said that before," said Sabella. "He likes to play 4-3-3 with (Angel) Di Maria up front.
"He was asked how he likes to play and he answered what he thinks in a respectful way. We respect each other, we have a very strong team spirit. It is good to have an open dialogue with my players. Sometimes players learn from us the coaches and sometimes we learn from them.
"We can all make mistakes you know. Tomorrow we will start with a 4-3-3 formation and we will take it from there. We may have to change the formation or not."
It was only after the change against Bosnia that Argentina started playing fluently, culminating in an excellent individual goal by Messi, who said a 4-3-3 formation makes it much easier for him and fellow striker Sergio Aguero.
Messi said: "As strikers we prefer that system as it gives us more attacking opportunities and if we don't use that system we suffer a bit. We as strikers favour that line-up. In the first half I was often on my own and so was Kun (Aguero) and it was very difficult, so there are things to be improved on."