Özil, Klose, Boateng -- not names yinz would typically stumble upon in a discussion of something sounding German.
People change, however, as do dispositions; and now the Germans, too, have turned over a new leaf, relying on their cold, uncanny efficiency and professionalism not to wipe out throngs of humans whose race, creed, political convictions, sexuality, or whatever arbitrary characteristic they considered inferior, but instead to ruthlessly disembowel those of inferior soccer-playing acumen -- proverbially speaking, of course.
Meanwhile, the Argentinians have made it to the World Cup Final by means that resonate from all great success stories: hard work, determination, and a path that, by pure coincidence, happened to be significantly easier than the one mostly everyone else had to take.
Of course, the Argentinians are now put into a weird historical and political paradox: once the country that gladly housed escaped Nazis and offered them a cushy life of seclusion, its national team now faces a German machine that has completely separated itself from its violent past, but only by displacing it into the pain and suffering of opponents on the soccer field and their fans. The Germans have shown that they aren't afraid to provide a good metaphorical fist-fucking to one country in South America, and they seem posed to lube up and have another go.
So how do the Argentinians defeat the Germans if they can't compel them with a respite from being convicted for crimes against humanity? To begin, let's look at the standard formation Argentina has employed throughout this tournament.
Initial Formation, a.k.a., "Messi and Company"
If the Argentinians wish to cling blindly onto serendipity and the potential of one player actually scoring a goal during the course of the game, then they can stick to their standard deployment.
Argentina, after an unsuccessful bout with a 3-5-2 formation, have landed upon a somewhat staggered 4-2-3-1, giving Messi license to roam as a playmaker: dribbling forward in some cases, coming deeper to collect the ball in others.
This formation is typically much more successful, however, when the guy who runs like a horse is available and the guy with thinning hair is able to overlap, causing an overload for opposing defenses who concentrate on Argentina's Jesu... err... Messi. The guy who runs like a horse's injury puts this formation into question already.
Furthermore, the defensive onus has more or less been bestowed upon the guy who looks like a gremlin. It's hard to believe, though, that the gremlin will be able to deputize the midfield so readily when the Germans will overload it with so many technically-skilled players and possibly a strongly-worded symposium on the need for finance reform in the EU. By overstimulating the gremlin, he may begin attacking his own teammates in a state of insatiable bloodlust, and the gremlin keeper hasn't proven enough in this World Cup to show he can overcome it.
If the initial formation doesn't work, then what other options stand ready for Argentina? Well, Chuck K has drawn up a couple options for them to avoid complete utter embarrassment that would result in further rioting throughout South America.
Strategy #1 -- Crooked Sword Defense
If Argentina would like to hold on for dear life -- hey, it got the Dutch as far as it did -- then they can attempt to utilize the 'Crooked Sword Defense.'
This proactively defensive 9-1-1 formation not only provides a powerful line of defense in the final third, but will also remind the people of North America the phone number to call to report the gruesome scenes of soccer-related manslaughter they are witnessing in the stadium or on TV.
Argentinian defenders can close their eyes and whisk themselves away to those glorious days when the only thing to fear was death of inhalation by toxins or the mine shaft collapsing -- not Toni Kroos breaking your face with a blistering volley, Mesut Özil snapping your ankles on the dribble, or Manuel Neuer beheading you with a knife-edge chop just for shits and giggles.
Further up the field, Messi H. Christ can wander around the field dribbling through six opponents, only to be bust by the seventh, while Gonzalo Higuaín can make runs to nowhere and get mad when he doesn't get the ball, failing to realize that Argentina has only possessed the ball 0.6% of the time.
Strategy #2 -- Messi at Sea
Some people think it is remiss to boil Argentina's approach down to what Messi can deliver for them, referencing the play of the gremlin against the Dutch and versatile players, such as the guy who runs like a horse. Those people, simply put, are imbeciles.
But, if Argentina would like to prove a point that they can succeed without relying on Messi, the 'Messi at Sea' tactic may work for them.
In this formation, the players create a shield around the penalty area, giving them the opportunity to protect a player, in the rare case that one actually touches the ball, so that he can blast it up the field to Messi who will have already broken in behind the German defense because he will be offsides by a three-mile stretch.
Defensively, instead holding a higher line and getting pegged in the face with shots, the outside players can also get crushed in the family jewels attempting to block crosses from the wings.
By just getting out of Messi's way, the Argentinians can remain pious by attending church on the Sabbath and hoping, like usual, someone will bail them out in the end.
So, what strategy will the Argentinians go with in Sunday's final? Whatever the case, be prepared for the game to be ended prematurely after the U.N. judge it to be on par with a global injustice.
Regardless of the final result, don't forget to check in after the World Cup for some more soccer articles about this year's tournament and where some teams will go next. See yinz.