Saturday, July 01, 2006

Day 1 after WC (July 1st)

First of all, I’m sorry for not being able to write something down immediately after the match. I think sometimes, the best one can write comes out in the heat of the moment. When everything is still not digested. When a cold analysis is yet to be made. When the dust is still not settled.

But in all honesty: I was unable.

Because I couldn’t find rage, anger or any of those feelings which make you want to offload them by typing and letting it all out.

I was simply filled by sadness. A huge disappointment. Surrounded by friends, we were in deep silence for a long time and I was able to see they were feeling the same. I can’t count how many times we said: “No lo puedo creer” (I can’t believe it!). It was the most repeated sentence all over the afternoon.

Even at a friend’s birthday party I had last night, it was the main subject in every conversation.

Italy advanced. England is facing Portugal right now and Brazil will play against France later today. But I couldn’t care less (nah…not true, but I guess you know what I mean). This is another World Cup now. It’s not the same.

It’s not what was pictured on my mind. Not what we all dreamt for the last four years.

We were 10 minutes short of getting closer to that dream. We were 10 minutes from making justice on the pitch.

That’s one thing I want to make clear from scratch: We were the better team yesterday. We fully deserved something else. And player by player, we are superior. That’s why it hurts even more.

That will be a part of another analysis I’ll make in another entry. I’ve got plenty of things to say and plenty of people to thank.

I wanted to let you know how gutted I am right now.

Again, I would like to thank you very much for the huge number of e-mails I’ve been receiving from everywhere. Some have been very heart-warming, some gave me reasons to feel optimistic about the future and all of them made me a happy man.


Keep writing me at:

Today, more than ever:



Anonymous said...

was just scrolling through the news articles on yesterdays game and a few interesting points came up. Since i left my friends house immediately after cambiasso missed,i didn't see the melee that followed and frankly it is of little importance. Even if some players get suspended, there are no competitions for a while so who cares.

Another article was that maradona didn't attend the game live. Now i know he has given advice o the team during half time before and i wonder if it could have made a difference yesterday. Probably not

Still i am left with so many questions,
Who will be the next manager?
What formation will he use? etc.

well the day after the end of the dream was only made bearable by the fact that brasil and england lost.( both are teams i dislike)
If i could pick a winner it would be italy as it would give their public something to celebrate in light of all the drama in calcio serie A.

well there is a long way to go till 2010 and football and life will no doubt give us both pleasure and pain.

Argentina, spain, brasil all teams who played well in the opening round are knocked out while france and italy who struggled through their groups are playing great football
I guess football is a funny game, thats why we love it

Seba said...

Great points!

Those questions you're asking are the same everybody is asking right now in Argentina.

I'll talk about it in my next articles.

One quick thought. I'm not happy with Brazil or England crashing out of the tournament. I'm just pleased that those who celebrated our defeat yesterday in those two countries (especially the members of the press) are having a little extra something to deal with!

Guillermo Borelli said...

Hola Seabastion,

Te escribe un Argentino nacido en La Plata pero viviendo mas de 25 años en los Estados Unidos. Yo me siento horrible un dia despues del partido. La pregunta es esta:

No puedo creer que Messi no jugo en este partido, se podia notar que Crespo y Tevez estaban completamente GASTADOS con 30 minutos hasta el fin de los primeros 90 mins. Un error grande de Pekerman, poner Cruz adentro y no Messi. Mi hermanito e yo no lo podimos creer. Si queres mandarme un email, por favor hacelo. Me siento mal, peor de mal.

Dan M said...


He should be called Pekerhead!!!!!!

How do you play defense with 30 minutes left on the clock....????

HOw do you justify playing defense with Germany who plays only only one type of game...ATTACK...

HOw does Pekerman justify taking out our top offensive players? Grant you they where spent...But they would have sucked it up for team and country...That's why they were there...

Pekerman's mistake cost us a World Cup...

This guy should have been fired !!!!

Sebastian said...


Now that Pekerman has resigned, who is tipped to become the next coach of Argentina? Here in Poland, we don't have much insight into the speculations, which are taking place in Argentina right now... Are there any clear-cut favorites for the job? I would be delighted if they chose Hector Raul Cuper. He's had some great results in Europe with virtually every club he coached, and what's important - he's free at the moment (as far as I know). Does he stand any chance? Please, give us your opinion on the future of the team.

Seba said...

Guillermo, te entiendo perfectamente. Las derrotas de Inglaterra y Brasil calmaron un poco a la gente. Pero el dolor continúa. Sobre todo sabiendo que teníamos un buen equipo como para ganar la Copa. Una lástima. Los cambios de Pekerman son el gran tema de conversación. En mi opinión estuvieron mal. No se pueden explicar facilmente.

Dan m: I won't be so hard on Pekerman. If anybody is to take credit for this great group of players is him. Granted, he made a mistake and we all (him included) paid for it. I don't think he should be crucified because of that. He was unfortunate to make a substitution and conceed a goal 1 minute later (ending up with no other options to change the team).

As for his replacement. People in Argentina want him to stay. I guess time will tell. The president of the AFA (Julio Grondona) will try and convince him (hope he can!). If he can't, then the people's choice appear to be Carlos BIANCHI (according to some internet polls I've been seeing). CUPER has not been mentioned so far.

Personally, I don't like none of them. They don't share the same philosophy. They are too defensive-minded and at the moment I don't see a natural successor to Pekerman.

zamBie said...

I'm not an Argentine, but my allegiance has always been with the blue and white of Argentina... ever since I can recall... it's been a story of heartaches and passion whenever Argentina has played. Can't explain how gutted i feel to have seen Argentina so close to victory yet so far.

To me, it was a game, that undeniably Argentina was superior, in ALL aspects. Unfortunately, Abbondanzieri got injured at a very crucial juncture and Pekerman did a very very foolish thing by substituting Riquelme immediately after the goalie change. It put the team in a state of confusion, the placid passing and possession game went right out of the window for 10 minutes, and, the defense also fell asleep ONCE.. just once.. and that's all it took for the germans to score! Messi definitely should have been brought on for Riquelme or atleast in place of Crespo. Cruz was a total waste since the motto of bringing on a sub so late was to either hold up play or atleast get good moves going. Unfortunately with Cruz, he did neither. Cambiasso is no play maker either, and though he's an amazing footballer, he's not the one who ought to be marshalling the midfield. Aimar was totally underutilized, i feel sorry for the lad. He's such an awesome talent, yet was used so so sparingly! I have no hesitation in saying that the loss is Pekermans fault in his inability to forsee events. He just cost Argentina a shot at being World Champions again. He cost all of us dearly. May we all regroup and live to fight another day! Vamos Argentina!!!!!!!!

zamBie said...

It's a pity it came down to a bad error in judgement by Pekerman; I'm sure hez made a lot of contributions right from the youth level to make the team what it is today, however, in the crunch period, sanity just evaded him, and it all backfired...

Anonymous said...

Well pekerman said that two of his subs were forced. meaning abbondanzeiri and riquelme were both unable to carry on.
Would it have made a difference if they weren't injured or if different subs were brought on, i guess we will never know.

Lets examine his substitute then excluding the one concerning the goalie.

He brought on cambiasso for riquelme. Although i love aimar as a player cambiaso was the smarter choice imo because he would be less likely to give the ball away and he would be more defensive minded which was what argentina needed at the time.
The crespo for cruz sub was a direct swap in the way that they are two big center forwards who could slow down the pace of the game and hold the ball off until reenforcements from midfield arrive.
Lets not forget maxi and lucho had a chance to kill the game off in normal time not to ention the pk appeal.
Yes coaches are judged on results and a quarterfinal exit is not something to be proud of. But on the other hand a quarterfinal exit to the hosts who are 3 time world champions on pks in a game we dominate is not something to be ashamed of either.
The only criticism i have of pekerman is that i wish he was more vocal and fiery. Look at klinssman and scolari who have instilled that belief into their team that this is their year.
But even quiet coaches like domenech and wenger have done well so i think its more a personal preference than an actual criticism.

Nick said...

I think Peckerman's squad selection throughout the competition was suspect. He was to conservative throughout, to European. The Ukraine game is deceptive... There is no manager who could have underutilized Messi, Saviola and Aimar the way he did... Instead he went for reliable players without the creative spark... without the magic... Learn from Barcelona... quick, creative players can outgun any physical opposition. The best defence is attack... Messi should have started every game of this world cup. Once we scored he should have brought in Messi upfront and Saviola or Aimar... We had quality but it was left lying on the bench throughout the campaign... what a waste!

Anonymous said...

I have several points to make
First of which is how the referee ignored Klose offensive clash with the Argentinean goal keeper as if nothing happened???? Klose should at least get a yellow card for this.

Where is Maradona during the game?

Why didn’t Pekerman push Messi (atomic flea) to the filed, he is a great player and he can make a difference, especially with the Apache on his side.

One important thing left, no replays were provided when the Argentinean team was attacking, Rodreagez was fowled and deserves to get a penalty and a Germany player touched the ball with his hand and every1 ignored the thing and didn’t provide a closer camera shot?????

And just for the Record I come from Jordan in the Middle East next to Palestine and we love Argentina and supported the team through history

Anonymous said...

The clash was an accidental collision and we were just unlucky that our goalie got injured.

Maradona was granted 4 vip tickets but wanted to get 5 people in and Fifa refused cuz the fifth member had been abusive in prior matches so maradona did not enter the stadium.

The referee apart from the pk decision did a good job i think. Luckily we didn't get a card waving lunatic like in the portugal/holland game.

Lets remember how we felt in 2002. I personally felt extremely embarassed and shocked that a team that was considered favorites crashed out in the first round. The feeling then was horrific and the pain stinging.

Four years on although there is still disappointment, the siver lining is there and we leave will our heads held high having confirmed that on our day we can beat anyone.

Anonymous said...

argentina deserved to win. they're class. and that's that. it's the end of the world cup. i'll enjoy the rest but won't be biting my nails for anyone.

pablitoaimar21 said...

hey. unfortunately we 've seen our team being kicked out of the world cup.the failure of the world cup made us all feel sad.even if we had played better than germany(that's my opinion) we've lost due to several mistakes of pekerman. i know, he's got so many trophies with the youngsters but yesterday he proved to be unable to lead the team to another victory. many of you i believe might say that it was matter of luck, the team was in front for 80 minutes and was really close to the victory. pekerman tried to defend but unfortunately we received a goal. i believe nobody would had judge pekerman for playing more defensively if we weren't so unlucky receiving a goal in the final minutes. but can anybody please tell me why did he substitute riquelme? and even if he was injured why didnt he use a player like aimar(i say aimar because he's my hero) or messi for example and cambiasso as a substitute of crespo? i believe putting cruz in was a fatal mistake. what would cruz do better than others? maybe pekerman had in mind to do other things but he was unlucky with the goalie's injury.but im sure if messi or aimar were in , we wouldnt lose because such players can keep the ball, break the rythm of the game and cause severe damages to the opponents defence. i feel really sorry for argentina but this is football! i think the one to blame is pekerman and i hope argentina will substitute him with a more talented coach.

moreover, i'd like to thank you seba for giving us the opportunity to express our thoughts and ideas through your blog and even if you prefer riquelme than aimar( i'm sure you do)i hope you'll still writing in the net cause you are great. i guess this is the end of argentina and i feel really bad because latin teams are the ones who know how to play football but the europeans are the ones who know how to get what they want(even if i'm european, i prefer argentina)

Anonymous said...

I still wonder why Messi 'Atomic Flea' didnt play side by side next to Tevez 'Apache'????

lets hope Argentina youngsters will win the near FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 since they have been doing great as in 2005

Anonymous said...

I am Asian and have been an Argentine soccer fan for a long long time.

Yes, like all of you I am very sad that we did not emerge winners of WC2006. However, I take heart this competition shows we have the youngest and most talented pool of players.

Therefore, we should all be optimistic and continue to support the team's rebuilding.

Finally, I hope this forum should continue as a platform for fans to learn and hopefully to provide constructive support to the team.

Best regards to all.

Anonymous said...

It's hard for any fan to see reality of a game he just observed. I'm a big fan of Germany, and I could stick to the very common belief that Germany outplayed Argentina in the 2nd half or that they're the team of destiny, etc., but I won't do that.

Germany won simply because your goalie got subbed. Period. The problem wasn't so much that the replacement goalie wasn't up to the task (although he clearly wasn't in PK's), the problem was that this loss took away a HUGE sub option for Pekerman. No Messi, no Saviola, one less pair of fresh legs in the last 15 minutes.

Once the game was tied I knew that, if it got to PK's, my team would prevail. That's the beauty and tragedy of WC football; it's not always the best team that wins. As fans, we've all experienced both sides of this equation.

spvn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seba said...

First of all, I'm glad so many comments are coming through. It's such a fantastic thing for me and it makes me wanna continue with this blog even after the World Cup.

Thank you for that.

I guess many of the things you're talking about (the substitutions; the lost chance; the defensive-minded approach after we scored; the referee; the penalty shoot-out; the fight in the end, etc.) will all take part in my next article (still trying to find the time to sit down and do it properly -thank you for your patience-).

I still have to talk extrictly about the game. I've just gave you my first reactions but I'm yet to tell you how I saw the match. Which were the keys to our elimination and basically, my opinion of the whole 120 minutes and those fatal 5 or 10 minutes in which our keeper trusted his instincts while their keeper trusted a piece of paper that was handed by his goalkeeping staff (with notes about where each Argentina penalty taker use to place their shots!).

Nothing wrong about it, but it's worthy of a mention.

Attention to detail. We needed to pay attention to those immense but tiny details and now we're out.

subh said...

i still am very surprised how no-one ..absolutely none of the commentors otr analysts ever showed replays and highlighted the penalty that argentina deserved due to that foul on rodriguez.... it is ESPN who broadcasts here in India and I find this thing absolutely pathetic.
The referee may make a big mistake in the game but how come no one highlights that even when it is so blatant.
I was very sad initially but now looking back probably we should settle down and try to take away the positives from this campaign and carry on. Argentina have found Messi, Tevez in the world stage and i guess if Crespo can maintain his form he wil still be around in 2010 unless someone with better pedigree replaces him.
With all the hue and cry over the coach, Pekerman did make a horrible mistake, 1stly Riquelme shudnt have been replaced and also Crespo cud have stayed on and probably I feel Tevez cud have been replaced by Messi.
Whatever I still will say Pekerman did a lot with this team which had so many young guns and yet played like a team unlike any of the other countries in the WC. Unlike the brazilians they showed what is really a team game and how it is to be played.
So Pekerman deserves all the credit and probbaly it will be great if he remains at the helm and carries fwd the team to 2010. A coach needs a long run to get results. If Pekerman himself doesnt want to go on then I guess the other choices really doesnt impress me.
Argentina had always had defensive minded coaches (even Bilardo was bit defensive) but it was in 1986 that the brilliance of one man which changed everything. So what argentina needs is a manager who has all teh knowledge of the game with a shrewd mind to read it and also play with flair and arrogance. To give an example Arsenal's Arsene Wenger is the kind of a coach any team wanting to play well needs.
Surely i m not suggesting wenger for the job bcoz he is unlikely to get that. But in case of severe dearth of choices, probably it wont be such a bad idea to give Maradona a run and see how he does. it will be a gamble maybe but i strongly feel its a gamble worth taking.
and finally put some links in the blog page so that we can learn about developments of Argentina football, news on Argentinan Media reports and players because i harly know of some genuine places catering wholly to Argentinan Foootball.

Anonymous said...

I am a Chinese soccer fan living in USA, and I love Argentina soccer team. I have watched world cup for 20 years, since Mexico 86, and Aregentian and Maradona were my first love, and I loved them ever since. Just in case you don't know, there are millions and millions Chinese who love Argentina, millions of fans who cried their hearts out after Argentina's elimination. I still couldn't believe that Aregentian is no longer in the world cup.

Anonymous said...

First of all let me just say that I'm glad to know that there are plenty of support for Argentina coming from all over the whole. I share the same sorrow and sadness with u all. But let me just say this, unlike england or brazil, we did had left a very impressive mark and everyone knows that for a fact.

All of our players gave everything they could for this i salute them. and i believe there is always a great future in tevez and messi. the question is, who should be in charge? Cuper....Bianchi.....Pasarella again???.....or lets pray that Pekerman might change his mind.....because he should.....

Yes this blog must go on even after the world cup. its the only place where we argentinian die-hard supporter can able to share our views and exchange opinions. perhaps during the next 4 years, we could plan for some trip to watch argentina play in the monumental. that would be something

Blue and White till I Die!!!

John, Malaysia

Allan Ng said...

I don't understand why Pekerman started with Tevez when he had previously used Saviola to partner Crespo. I think when he had to substitute Riquelme he was not really prepared to do it and went for the safe Cambiasso rather than Aimar or Messi or Saviola.

If Cruz and Crespo were similar, why make the substitution at all? It was a total waste.

If you look at France, when they were ahead by 1-0 they still brought on strikers for strikers to try to make it 2-0. Pekerman was just too defensive. Germany always attack right until the death as we have seen in many World Cups before.

Maybe Argentina should consider using a foreign coach like Big Phil Scolari.

Hopefully we can celebrate an Argentine victory at South Africa 2010.

A Chinese soccer fan said...

I am the Chinese soccer fan who just left the message. I just read the story of Messi. I am so deeply moved. This poor child was forced to leave Argentina with his family because of economic crisis. Even though he obtained everything in Spain, he chose to play for Argetian instead of Spain, which deeply moved me. I mean, it is natural if he chose to play for Spain, just think about all the sacrifice he had to make to play for Argentina. And think about how Pekerman treated him!!! If he play for Spain I am sure he will the center star in every single game. Poor Messi! I simply couldn't imagine how heartbroken he is, sitting on the bench to see Argentian being eliminated!

Seba said...

I've finally put together a few thoughts and I've published them up here.

But I wanted to keep on thanking everyone of you for posting here and for showing me your unconditional love for Argentina!

John, your idea of a get together to come to Buenos Aires and watch Argentina play (maybe a World Cup Qualifier) at El Monumental is great!

Of course I'll do whatever I can to help you out organising the trip.

I'll keep on posting here because I think there are plenty of things to talk about Argentina.

Hope you keep on coming to read them!

Saurabh said...

Great Napoleon once said "victory speaks for itself". It indeed does.

Back in 98 we blamed Ortega for our loss and this time the gun is pointed towards Peckerman. He has had phenomenal success with the Argentinian youth teams and certainly is a more shrude tactician of the game than most of us who write in here.The problem that Peckerman had was that he could not play more than 14 players in one game. Not many would have crtitcised his substituitions had it remained 1-0 at the end of the second half.

Considering the fact that he had to bring on a goal keeper who hadnt played in this world cup,he chose the holding cambiasso for Riquelme.Even i did not like the substitution as there were aggressive players like saviola and messi waiting. But then again 1 goal was good enough to win the game and under the circumstances it was the right decision.

Crespo was tired (Trust me he was) so subsituting him also made sense.A defensive lapse rather than the manager's fault was the problem. Peckerman's resignation is an indication that the faith he had in his players to stop Germany from scoring in the last 10 minutes was broken. Once it came down to penalties Lehman had the upper hand since he has had an unbeilevable season at Arsenal.

I dont know if you remember Seb but in one of my first emails i mentioned that penalty kicks seem to be the only way this Argentinian juggernaut could go out of this World cup. As a die hard Argentinian football fan i was sad and it took time for me to recover. Im ready to wait till 2010 for my beloved team to prove to the world that 2006 was sheer luck that kept us at bay.

In the words of our dearest correspondent
Today, more than ever:


Seba said...

Yes Saurabh, I remember perfectly when you said that about the penalty kicks. I also seem to remind that I told you not to worry because we had ABBONDANZIERI, who in my opinion is a better penalty shot stopper.

To bad he didn't have the chance to prove it.

And I'll teach you those words (Today, more than ever) in Spanish:

"Hoy mas que nunca!


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi there everyone,

This is John again. First of all thanks Seba for your response and for initiative to be our correspondent from Argentina. However let me stress out to everyone who is reading this blog, why don’t you do the same in your country as well. You know like form a fan club or have get together session among Argentina supporters. Me and my friends here in Malaysia are doing it and its time you should too….

Allan Ng, you idea of having a foreign coach (Big Phil Scolari esp) has been the main topic of discussion among my friends. I do admire what he has done for Portugal and with squad fill talents such as Tevez, Messi, Heinze, Maxi, Riquelme, Aimar and Mascherano and it makes us wonder what he can do?? Wonders of course. But is that the right move? A Brazilian to coach Argentina??? Something interesting for us discuss, don’t you guys think…..

Anyway I firmly believe that the future look bright for us. And in 2010, there no denying that we will another shot at the Cup of Life. Isn’t it amazing to imagine the Great Nelson Mandela presenting the trophy to our captain??? Hopefully it’s a reality not an imagination. So everyone please keep the support coming in coz in times like these our team deserve our support much more then ever.

John, Malaysia

keep the mails coming in at