Tuesday, September 26, 2006

AIMAR, AYALA and CRESPO back in the Albiceleste

The friendly match against Spain is shaping up. And there are great news for some talented players that have been relegated in favour of others during the last few months.

Alfio BASILE named a list with an exciting mix of experience and youth. Amongst those who can help the youngsters with their advice and leadership in the pitch there are a couple of stand-out figures like Roberto AYALA, Hernán CRESPO and Pablo AIMAR.

In AYALA's case there is a special incentive because if he plays, he will equal Diego SIMEONE's record with 106 caps for Argentina.

Before further explanations, here is the list of players that will be making the trip to Murcia:


Roberto AYALA
Gabriel HEINZE
Gabriel MILITO

Leonardo PONZIO
Leandro SOMOZA
Daniel BILOS
Federico INSUA

Lionel MESSI
Carlos TEVEZ

The local players (those still competing in Argentina) were left out of this list because logistics and travels and time and competition being at the highest peak in Argentina were big obstacles.

I expect to see Fernando GAGO, Hugo IBARRA and Rodrigo PALACIO (to name just 3) to feature in our coming friendlies.

Highlights in my opinion:

I'm glad to see CRESPO back in the mix and listed amongst the finest of our younger talents.

Happy to see AIMAR looking as favourite to cover for RIQUELME as a playmaker. I've seen him playing for Zaragoza this season and he is looking fast and sharp, full of confidence.

Roberto AYALA played a great World Cup and he deserves to be back in the squad. He looks as number one favourite to claim the arm-band and become our new captain.

What would I like to see in the future?

A chance for Diego MILITO (provided he stays healthy) to widen our chances upfront even more.

And I hope Fabricio COLOCCINI is not called up again. I've got nothing personal against him. I simply don't think he has the tools needed to play at the highest international level.


Seba said...

Just to add a quick fact: Rodolfo ARRUABARRENA makes his comeback for the Albiceleste after playing for the last time in 2000 a friendly match against England at Wembley (0-0).

John said...


I have full faith in this squad. We all know the capabilities in each and every players there is. But what I'm eager to look forward the style that he is going to instruct them to play. Anyhow this match is sure to be a cracker.


linda said...

A great looking squad, much more balanced than the one that played against Brazil. I agree with your comments, especially about Diego Milito. He could take over where Crespo leaves off, in my opinion, if he gets enough chances.

Coloccini...is sometimes really good for his club, but sometimes disastrous. I have no idea what's going on. His form is as erratic as his hair.

John said...

Frankly speaking the idea of bringing back Ayala is not really encouraging for me. I would not deny the talent and wealth of experience that he has but lets not forget he's 32 years old. We should give our young walls a chance. I reckon Gonzalo could be the best option. What do you think of this, Seba??


Seba said...

Spot on with your comment about COLOCCINI's hair, Linda!

Regarding AYALA, I believe he could be way past his prime for South Africa 2010 and I doubt very much that he'll be able to play in that WC. But I think 32 years are not an age you have to keep a great defender from playing in a national team.

Let's not forget there's a Copa America next year and he might want to play there (and be very useful too). Same with ABBONDANZIERI's age: 33.

Agree also about GONZALO being the future but don't forget he is still slowly coming back from injury. I think we're leaving in a transition period and in my opinion, it is a great thing to find the nucleous of our 2010 WC squad as fast as we can but it's not the end of the world, if in the meantime, you select players that won't make it to South Africa but can give you a lot with their experience in the previous 4 or 3 years.

alwin said...

I dont see D'Allesandro there, Any idea why? Has Basile overlooked him? Would appreciate some comments.

Anonymous said...

Yay!!! Aimar gets to play. So happy about that. If he starts I'll be even happier :)
On a more serious note, I like including Ayala at the moment. I agree that he won't make it till 2010 but at the moment he came out of a great WC and has a wealth of experience he can offer the team and younger players. Not only that, I haven't really seen him show his age so to speak so I say give him a chance. Cannavaro plays for Italy and is considered to be one of the best CB in the world and he is 33.
Hey Seba or anyone who watches Villareal. How does ARRUABARRENA play? I haven't seen him but I know he plays left back. How is he compared to Heinze (Heinze plays leftback for ManU so I'm assuming he is going to play leftback for Basile though I could be very wrong since he played CB for Pekerman)?


P.S. Yay Aimar :)

linda said...

Looking at the call-up list, I assumed that Heinze was going to play center-back, but maybe Basile will go for Milito-Ayala at center-back instead.

I'm a Villarreal fan, and while Arruabarrena is a good leader (he's captain sometimes) his on-field performances are not consistent. I'm not opposed to giving him a go, but am not quite convinced of his quality. What do you think, Seba?

Seba said...

I think BASILE is trying his options. In my opinion he is yet to find a left back that really convinces him.

He tried with Clemente RODRIGUEZ but against Brazil he played below everybody's expectations. He still has chances in the future, though.

Now he'll look for ARRUABARRENA to become a bigger figure in defense (not asking him to go forward all the time like Clemente). I like ARRUABARRENA's ability to mark and cover that portion of the field.

As for HEINZE he can play centre-back or left-back and I'm not sure what's on BASILE's mind regarding this match against Spain.

I would think he will use the pair of MILITO-AYALA at centre back and then HEINZE and ARRUABARRENA will fight for a place at left back.

And he could also be thinking of playing with 3 at the back (like 2nd. half against Brazil) and in that case the defense will look like this: MILITO-AYALA-HEINZE.

As for D'ALESSANDRO, at the moment he is running behind AIMAR and INSUA in BASILE's preferences. But I say he still has chances to play in the future. Especially if he continues to show the level he is having at Zaragoza this season.

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