Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The countdown to the Copa America begins

May will be a very busy month for Alfio BASILE and our national team in the final preparation for the Copa America.

Before May 28th, COCO will announce a list of 40 players that will be pre-selected thinking of the Copa America that will begin on June 26th.

COCO has until June 21st to decide who are going to be the chosen 22 to play in Venezuela. But before that, Argentina will have a busy schedule with a confirmed friendly in Basel against Switzerland (June 2).

For that friendly against the Swiss, COCO will use Europe-based players, so it'll be great to see who of them gets a chance.

In the final list of 22, COCO has said that he will include 3 goalkeepers.

BASILE will travel to Europe next weekend and he will interview some players. He'll take Argentina's physician to run some test on them, similar to those test ran with the local group of players that have been training for several weeks now.

Argentina will play another friendly in June (the 6th) but apparentely, it won't be against Australia as BASILE thought it was a very long trip to go there. Instead, they are looking for another opponent to have a friendly match in Europe. There is a list of 5 candidates of which 3 are Africans (Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon). Expect some news in the next few days.

So let's start a discussion here. I'll throw some questions to the air and I want to hear your opinion. Here we go:

1. Should TEVEZ have another chance to play for Argentina against Switzerland?

2. Who, in your opinion, should be the three goalkeepers Argentina will take to the Copa America?

3. Who would you like to have as a rival on that friendly match to be played in June 6th?

4. Do you want RIQUELME and/or VERON back with the Albiceleste for the Copa America?


Anonymous said...

It depends on Coco ,whether he serious about this title or he just wasnted to try the new blood .But I want Albiceleste to be the Copa champion ,anyway
1 Tevez has everything the great striker has now except the heading .There"s no reason he won"t be involved in the squad
2 I want Coco to give the new chance to Ustari
3 I want them to rematch with German .I think we are the better side . The result in WC was unfair
4 I want to see Aimar or D" Alessandro

John said...

Ok, my opinion as follows: -

1)There is no reason for TEVEZ to be left out. A few months ago maybe, but not now, not when his form is hitting at the right time. So why stop this great momentum, let it flow all the way to Venezuela.

2)I would love to see a new face, USTARI for example. But I believe that COCO is very serious about winning our first title in 14 years, therefore he might want to play it safe by sticking with PATO. After all isn’t he having a great season with Getafe?

3)I would love to see us playing against Germany or Italy. At least we can prove that their World Cup success was nothing but a fluke. Or how about England?

4)Given a choice between RIQUELME and VERON, for all his right motivation, definitely VERON. But I still feel D’ALLESANDRO or AIMAR for that matter should not be left out

John said...

Not great night for San Antonio SPURS, Manu GINOBILI or Fabricio OBERTO as they lost at home to Phoenix SUNS 81-101. MANU only had 6 points, 5 rebounds & 5 assists. OBERTO had no points but did posted 4 rebounds & 1 assist. The series now is tied at 1-1.

johnny said...

#1-Yes for Carlitos. That said, Coco has many options and since I love Coco, whatever he decides is fine with me.

#2-Pato definitely. In my opinion one of the best in the world.

#3-Doesn't make much difference to me, though beating Germany would be nice.

#4-I like Veron and Riquelme, and both are playing well. But, I think Riquelme is still unpredictable. I would like to see Aimar included. I don't think he gets the credit he deserves.

risingson said...

Hey Seba, Hey John

I agree with what anonymous said. It depends on whether Coco wants to win this tournament at all costs or whether he wants to try new blood.

1. With Tevez my only concern is perhaps he's TOO good. Maybe Coco might want to use this tournament to give younger, less experienced players a chance?)

2. This is a tough one because I only know of goalkeepers in Europe. Abbondanzieri is playing great in La Liga, Leo Franco is good, and Ustari is the young talent.

3. I'll take any rival, the harder the team, the better.

4. I want neither! Riquelme and Veron should give way for the younger guys who havent had the chance to prove how good they are. I want to win this tournament, but the younger players need experience too. We've got Aguero and Messi who can both play behind 2 strikers. I agree that Aimar is overlooked, I'd rather see him in there over Veron or Riquelme. Veron had his chance, and Riquelme can't retire and comeback whenever he pleases.

Keep up your great blog!

Soy de River said...

1. If Tevez wants to play then he should get a spot.

2. I think this tourney should go to younger keepers. Ustari should get a long look.

3. i think we should play am english type team. Maybe Wales or Ireland.

4. Riquelme should only watch from the stands. He turned his back on the team and should not be allowed back. I wouldnt mind having Veron on as a second half sub. The playmaker's role should go to Gago or Messi.

ajay s said...

Yes for Carlitos ofcourse. Veron - no. Absolutely not. How could anyone forget 2002? Please don't tell me its not Veron's fault. His passing was off, he played without passion and generally sucked. Riquelme on the other hand is the only other #10 after Maradona who has had a positive impact on the national team - barring decisions from Pekerman.


Anonymous said...

1:teves yes play him hes in great form and its time he shows he can do it at the next level.
2;g.ks ustari and abbondanzieri im not convinced by franco but who else is their?
3:england i despise them and its about time be beat them.
4:no to both veron and requelme.we have enough talent to start again ie gago,aimar,d'allesandro just to name a couple.we must look long term and not short term fill ins and to me it would be a backwards step for the 1st two to play again.

Anonymous said...

1) Yes Tevez should go. He is one of my favorites (not that that is going to influence Basile

2)Abondanzieri should be first choice, then Carrizo and finally either Franco or Ustari

3)Out of possible African nations I would like either Nigeria or Cameroon. I think they would be good practice for us. Especially regarding speed. If not I want a South American team. We should be preparing to play teams similar to the ones we will encounter at Copa.

4) I would like either Riquelme or Veron but not both. I would also like Aimar (everyone beat me too it, hehe) to get another shot, particularly since I think he would be a better alternative to Belluschi at the moment (I haven't been impressed with Belluschi as of late). Both Riquelme and Veron link up well with him too which could be an interesting formation on the field.


Anonymous said...

One more thing. None of this "This player is too good to go to Copa, we should start new people." I don't know about you but I want to win. We are definitely due a big victory.


Seba said...

A big "thank you" to all of those who sent us their comments. I really appreciate it.

One more thing, unfortunately at my work they have blocked the access to the blogs hosted in Blogger. I can read your comments and access the site, but I can't post new articles while I'm there and I can't even post comments on here. So my bloggin' time is reduced to the little time I can spend in front of the computer while I'm at home.

So here I go with my comments. I have to say that my thinking is very very similar to argentinafan's.

I agree in everything he said. I have to be honest with that.


I don't want it to be a "testing ground" for young players or a time for experiments. We need to field a strong team and go for it.

What I'm seeing from more than one of our best players is that they are VERY INTERESTED in playing the Copa America.

AYALA, ZANETTI, HEINZE, TEVEZ, MESSI, AGÜERO and probably a few others that I forget right now, have all said publicly that they will gladly skip their vacations in order to play for Argentina in the Copa America.

It's been a long time since I've seen such a determination from a huge number of key players.

And I think we must build on that.

AGÜERO and HIGUAIN even said they would love to play the Youth World Cup if they are not called up to play the Copa America.

So I say: "Take the best we have and WIN IT".



He already showed what he can do at a Copa America. He was arguably our best player last time around in Peru (when we conceeded a late ADRIANO's goal to lose the final in the following penalty shoot-out).

He's hitting form with West Ham right now and he's got the desire to play for Argentina and to win a trophy.


ABBONDANZIERI is the best we've got at the moment. So take him. CARRIZO and USTARI should fill the other two spots.

Rival for June 6th?

I agree with argentinafan. I think it could be a good idea to play against a team that will also take part of the Copa America. But we did play Chile a couple of weeks ago and it wouldn't be a bad thing to face an African team. To test our physical strenght and the reaction of our players.

So that would make a friendly with a South American team (Chile), a European team (Switzerland) and an African side (my pick would be Cameroon -but only if they play ETO'O-).


I had my moments with both of them. I loved them and I hated them. But I think they are great players and if they are at the top of their conditions, they can give our team a great balance and depth. I'm not against their inclusion.
As for AIMAR, I'm concerned about his fitness and his tendency to get injured.

Anonymous said...

Hehe. First off, I thought I should clarify that I am actually a girl. I guess that my screenname doesn't really give much of a hint in that regard.

Second, regarding Aimar. I do agree that his fitness and injury-proness are a problem which is why we can't rely on him alone. I was thinking back to Basile's lineup against Chile where Montenegro was the playmaker while Belluschi kind of helped. Veron or Riquelme fill the Montenegro role while Aimar, Messi, Lucho or Maxi (depending on if he is healthy which I'm not entirely optimistic about, that and I'd rather he not rush back since we will need him for the World Cup Qualification which begins in September) can stay more to the right. I know that Aimar links up well with both Veron and Riquelme which is why he was my first choice.
But yes, until Aimar goes through a considerable period WITHOUT injury I wouldn't consider it the best of ideas to build the team around him or anything (despite the fact that he has been one of my favorite players dating back to his times at River, and I'm a Boca fan).

I actually had another question to pose to the group if this thread keeps going. Which defensive/ holding midfielders should go? Gago, Mascherano, Ponzio, [Fill in other name here]?
Also, how do you think we should utilize them?


John said...

Argentinafan, thanks for clarifying. You really did got Alwin and me on that one. Hahaha!!!

Anyway back to your question, I would certainly prefer to see GAGO and MASCHERANO pairing in central midfield. Simply because GAGO is a creative player and could go up to help the attack, while MASCHERANO…. hhmmm…. is there is anyone else better than him to guard the back four?

Other players that could provide proper back up for the team are LUCHO and SAMOZA.

risingson said...

If Argentina puts its best team out there, they better win. Brazil have already stated that they will use this tournament to field younger players for experience. It'll be a bit silly if we over-celebrate a victory where we field our best team possible while beating Brazil's B team.

That being said I think we have some young players that could use more experience and are good enough to start on any great team. Messi and Gago particularly. Mascherano was already the standout player of the last Copa America. If we had the attitude of fielding our "best players," it is highly possible that Mascherano would never have been able to show his talent in the last Copa America.

I've recently heard that Aguero & Higuain are playing the U20 which is good news for me, since I'm watching those games. Anyone here Canadian? Maybe I'll see you at the games...

It's gonna be an exciting summer for us Argentina fans. The U20 and the Copa America!

Anonymous said...

One of the issues regarding Brazil though is that Copa America coincides with the Pan American Games which are going to be held in Brazil. Apart from not having any television coverage to spare for Copa, I know that they were trying to figure out a way to send teams to both competitions. The latest I heard was that the youth team might being going to the Pan American games.
Also, while Brazil might field some younger players they are also probably going to be taking Kaka and Ronaldinho at the very least.
I think that we should take a similar approach, yes take some up and coming talent because it would be a good experience for them, but the backbone of the team should be as strong as we can make it. Also I don't think that anyone is arguing against Messi and Gago going. In fact, if Messi doesn't go then I might just fly over to Venzuela, meet up with the team and beat Basile with a stick, hehe. So yeah, if you hear any news about crazy girl assaulting the Argentinian NT coach you will know who it is ;) Seriously though, I consider Messi to be a real asset to the team and not within the "experimental" group.
What might be a conflicting opinion here is that I don't think that we should take Aguero and Higuain. I think both players would actually be better served going to the U20 WC. Not only that but judging from the qualifiers we could definitely use their attacking and finishing skills. However, I feel that the a lot of our top players have been well served by attending the U20 WC first and I think both players would benefit from it.
So to sum up, Messi and Gago should go but Aguero and Higuain should go to the U20 WC instead.

Also, going back to my earlier question; I have mixed feelings about Ponzio so I would prefer to take Gago and Mascherano as well as possible Lucho though I think he could actually play to the right rather than in the center. As far as putting both Gago and Mascherano on the field...It does look like an attractive option but I would be concerned about the team being a little too defensive. That and Gago actually prefers to play by himself...Still, I would be open to the idea of playing the two of them together provided we have a strong foward line.


johnny said...


Don't hurt Coco !!!! I agree about Higuain and Aguero, and I also agree that if Gago and Javier are in the middle, we will need mucho firepower up front. Gago is very good at moving the ball, but not a scoring threat at all.

pablo said...

i agree you have to play with gago and mascherano in the middle.if you control the middle you control the game.we do need good fast wingers as maxi is still not match fit.who to play out wide?the game at the moment is about fast players out wide ie messi at barca,or ronaldo.c or robbin.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Please, I would never hurt el Coco. It was a joke. I was just illustrating the stupidness of not taking Messi along. In all truthfulness I would be very surprised if Basile didn't take Messi. He has said that he really admires him and when he isn't injured Basile always uses him in foreign friendlies.


johnny said...

From today's online ESPN, Carlitos says he has terminated his english lessons, and admits "settling in" in England has been difficult. Seems to be more evidence that he is more than willing to move on. Come on Barca ! Looks like they could use some scoring after being shutdown by Pato and Getafe yesterday.

Anonymous said...

yeah... Carlitos is better than Ronaldinho, i think Barca should buy him and use a 3 Argentinian attackers...
what do u think guys

johnny said...

I like it, but the rabbit appears to be headed to Real Madrid. I think Barca is going to let E'too go before next season, and will rebuild with new offensive players around Dinho and Messi. Maybe they will keep Deco, but alot of things will change, including the possibility that Rijkaard will be replaced. It's funny how things can change. Just two to three months ago Real Madrid was in an uproar with much dissension, and now they appear at least as "stabile" as Barcelona. Should be fun to watch as things unfold !

pablo said...

johnny re rijkaard he will be off to ac milan soon maybe next season,milan are his love and its an open secret that he will coach them soon.
real will be great with the trio of the rabbit,gago and higuain.throught reals great history the have won with argentines so they need us.
just of intrest were is everyone from in the world?im an argentine living in new zealand.

risingson said...

I agree with what argentinafan said after my post. a solid backbone for this team would be a smart idea. messi & tevez included. and if we beat kaka & ronaldinho with messi & tevez, then that would be impressive.

Gago & Mascherano playing at the same time might be a little bit like England playing Gerrard & Lampard at the same time. Nice in theory; in application, not so nice. Who knows...

How about Tevez? Where would you guys like to see him?


pablo said...

you cant compere gago and mascherano to lampard and gerrard.lamps is not of international standard autho a very good prem and good euro player and gerrard is played on the left for eng but even when he is center he again ia an ok international player but not world class.people cant confuse what those 2 do for club and then call them world class as they dont do it for country.mascherano is of international standard a very classy player but gago is very unproven.it would be worth trying them.

Ashley Gray said...

Speaking as an outsider (an English journalist who is looking forward to going to the Copa America) I would have to make Argentina the favourites to win in Venezuela.

While Brazil's Brazil's top stars are dropping like flies (Kaka, Ronaldo - Ronaldinho next?) Argentina's enthusiasm is commendable. Everyone seems to want to go.

I hope Tevez does go - he has said he will. He started badly here in England but has ended the season looking like the world-class star he promised to be.



risingson said...


i think you can compare because i'm not talking about "international standard" vs. domestic. I'm comparing 2 players who are too similar in style to play effectively on the same field.

Gago and Mascherano are both classic Central Defensive Midfielders who have based the vast majority of their soccer experience playing alone in their position.

The same with Lampard and Gerrard. They're very similar in style as midfielders. And England in 2006 is an example of how you can't successfully play two players of the exact same style at the same time.

Whether somebody is of "international standard" was not really my point.