Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It wasn't meant to be for Javier

He did have a great game.

He did keep KAKÁ at bay in which appear to have been his mission.

He ran 8,935 metres in 78 minutes.

And to prove my point, read this:

KAKÁ, the most dangerous AC Milan player (and one of my favourites in the World), had a real quiet first half and the only action in which he had some influence was in the 44th minute when he suffered a foul (was it foul??) from Xabi ALONSO.

That free-kick by PIRLO took a deflection on INZAGHI's arm but it was close to his body so I don't think there is an infraction in that action. AC Milan 1, Liverpool 0.

Against the run of play, because in my opinion, Liverpool were the better team during that first half.

During the second half, AC Milan improved and Liverpool showed no ideas up front. A lot of energy from Steven GERRARD and Dirk KUYT but not enough danger created to scare DIDA.

Javier saw a yellow card after a couple of sliding tackles (one on KAKÁ which was not signalled as a foul and one over PIRLO which was a clear yellow card).

He controlled that part of the field and really supported Xabi ALONSO to keep Liverpool's balance.

But tragedy stroke for Liverpool!

Rafa BENITEZ had no choice but to send another attacker to the field. He decided to replace MASCHERANO with Peter CROUCH. And that move, the way I saw it, costed the Reds the trophy.

Only three minutes after that substitution, KAKÁ appeared free on the ball with A LOT OF SPACE to work.

Nobody to close him down. To chase him. To tackle him.

And in a blink of an eye, boom! A perfect assist to INZAGHI and 2-0 for AC Milan.

There was none of that Istambul magic floating around, even though Dirk KUYT scored (in offside position) to add a little drama in the final 2 or 3 minutes.

But it wasn't meant to be for Rafa's Red Army.

And overall, the best team have won it.

Even though I hated to see that horrible man, Silvio BERLUSCONI, with a perfect smile surrounding the AC Milan players as they lifted the club's 7th European Cup trophy.

23 comments:

alwin said...

Hello There Seba and the Gang,

The article seemed to sum up the night perfectly. Milan won and that is history although until now I still question their eligibility in the competition from day one. Liverpool did not do enough to win it in an attacking sense and ZENDEN was very poor from the start, they could have started either GONZALEZ or KEWELL from the start and on the right wing, PENNANT just didn’t seem to deliver a decent cross.

MASCHERANO did his job as he was asked too and in fact KAKA was anonymous for most part of the first half. He chased almost every ball and almost won all the tackles he made except for the one on PIRLO. He gave it his all and I would think if it’s not for the yellow card that he collected, RAFA would have kept him battling on. Instead RAFA had to roll the dice and took the gamble by replacing him and the rest is history.

My Verdicts:-

The Result = Milan just did enough to nick it.

Best Players = Filippo INZAGHI for clinical finishing and Javier MASHERANO for endless industry.

Disappointments = ZENDEN and PENNANT without a doubt.

What could have been = Liverpool need some world class wingers (LEFT & RIGHT) and that would have made a difference. Stevie GERRARD should have had his shooting boots on.


Overall this is a splendid season for MASCHERANO and he is still a hero to me no matter what because of what he went through this season. He seems to fit in the Liverpool system well and I can only see RAFA making his move a permanent one.

Now its time to look forward to the COPA AMERICA and with the squad named by COCO BASILE, it seems pretty much complete and its time to finish off with glory, a glory that has eluded the Albiceleste since 1993 (with the exception of the ATHENS Olympics). I believe we can do it and let’s paint Venezuela “BLUE & WHITE”.

Vamos Argentina,

Alwin
Malaysia

Ashley Gray said...

Excellent post Seba, I wanted to post a Kaka v Mascherano entry on my own blog before I read yours - and our reading of the game is very similar.

Not a classic final - I never thought it would be with two such cautious managers involved - but the game had its moments and could have gone either way.

Kaka played a big part in both goals, but whenever he was up against Mascherano, the Argentinian came out on top.

-Ashley

http://copaamerica07.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Yeah
as Always...
you argentinas NEVER STOP...
any decent guy over here who wants to follow Milans champions League Campaign from the start...
i Bet that this campaign signifies what might be the best single performance by a single player in the history of the competition... KAKA..
he carried the team on his shoulders every single time that i am too tired to start mentioning his remarkable moments now... i will post you a video to watch if you want too..
Mascherano...! an average midfielder he has been in the ELEGANT TACTICAL plan set up by what i think the best coach at making the best of his players...
never mind...
down came the final...
you never seemed to notice Kaka when he is Brilliant... neither do you notice mascherano when he SUCKS at some games...
but u are euphoric about the fact that Mascherano shut down kaka in a cpouple of positions ( that is his Job, otherwise he better go cook ) and u are ready to forget about REALITY...
i will Give you a taste of REALITY
hear me,

Anonymous said...

1. Milan won their Game against Liverpool 2-1 they won their 7th champions league...
2. Liverpool Lost. and i swear that you don't give a dam shit about liverpool losing or winning you are just Angry that your pal mascherno never gets to Hold the Cup...I can swear my mom's soul that you were cheering for milan then so Crespo get's the cup... oops niether crespo nor Mascherano.. too bad... thank god milan lost 2 years ago...
3. Mascherano Played a BRILLIANT game yesterday he was very very very effective in shutting milans attack, kaka too. although all liverpool players played equally good. thumbs up to the young fella, i am like seba, he admires kaak and i admire Mascherano too...
4. KAKA,
-He aquired the near-box free kick that allowed milan the first goal
-he perfectly set up inzaghi for the second
otherwise he was -normal-
he wasn't superb, he didn't make pennant chase him the whole length of the pitch before he scores a goal simply because he couldn't, simply because this is liverpool, simply cuz this is BENITIZ not mascherano... and pennant isn't messi and liverpool isn't argentina...
remember arg-bra friendly...
kaka wasn't Extraordinary as he has been the whole champions league campain and STILL he managed to assist a goal and set up another... that's an excellent game for me i will give him a higher score than to mascherano for those 2 perfect tackles...
this is what DEFINES greatness.. it is when you Set up a goal and assist another and they say you didn't do good.. that's greatness to me..
maybe next time you want kaka to take on the WHOLE liverpool team and score so that you say he LIVED UP to the expectations of SUCH a great PLAYER...
i agree with you all, kaka IS WAY BETTER THAN HE WAS LAST NIGHT
ALTHOUGH HE ASSISTED A GOAL AND SET UP ANOTHER...
and i agree with you that MASCHERANO is such a great great player...

Peace...

Anonymous said...

Untill KAKA wins the BEST player of the year award, i hope you get over the fact that he did it over The likes of Hienze and Mascherano...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eofY8pkDfUw

John said...

Lets me congratulate all Milan supporters on your teams victory in the Champions League. From a neutral point of view, it wasn't the best game I've seen (unlike two years ago), but still you guys deserve it. Forza Milan!!!

As for MASCHERANO, thought it is sad to know after what he has gone through the whole season and it had to come to this end, I'm still very very much proud of him for how far he has come. He has thought me great values such "never give up" and "always believe in yourself". Lets remember, he is still 22 years old only and time is still on his side.

As for the game, he did what he had to do and he did it superbly. VAMOS JAVIER!!!

I'm not going to get depressed over this because at the end of the day, victory or defeat, I'll always stand beside my beloved Albicelestes and will always be proud of it.

Once again, congratulation AC Milan

VAMOS ARGENTINA!!!

Seba said...

Dear Anonymous: I guess before you go on and on and on that you have to really understand the idea of this blog. I wouldn't have posted a single word about the Champions League final if there were no Argentines playing. We follow Argentines around the World and we support them. We do so no matter what club colours they wear.

If you understand that, then you'll see that the focus of my comments had to be MASCHERANO.

Now, it happened that he is a holding midfielder. His job is to neutralize his rival's playmakers and that is a job that normally don't get to fill many pages. It doesn't matter if he becomes a crucial part of the game.

I suscribe EVERY SINGLE WORD you said about KAKÁ.

He is very high on my list of the best players in the World.

I would rather have him on my team than Cristiano RONALDO, for example.

And I think you are spot on when you say that what KAKÁ did yesterday describes greatness. You don't need to have 90 minutes of brilliance if you can provide one or two sparks and give your team the victory.

I could write a book about KAKÁ's talent and skills, as I've been following him since his Sao Paulo's days.

But I won't do it here, as I believe this is not the place.

I want to beat Brazil every time Argentina face them. But I have nothing against their players as I admire many of them.

And yes, I think KAKÁ was by far the best player of this Champions League. Period.

Thanks for posting here and it'll be great if next time you could give us your name or something.

We would really like to have you posting here as a regular and exchange our points of view.

johnny said...

Fine words from Seba, who is obviously a classy guy. Milan deserved to win the match, and Kaka was outstanding as usual. Pirlo played well as always. I have been a fan of his, and thought his performance in the World Cup was overshadowed by the Zidane fervor and the match fixing fiasco. Javier played well also, and there will be other days !

johnny said...

More on Javier. I note that on ESPN's "Soccernation" page this morning, there is a poll as to who was the "Man of the Match" yesterday. The finalists: Carragher, Inzaghi, Maldini and Javier Mascherano. I think that puts to rest any doubts about Javier's performance.

Anonymous said...

So sad for Javier . He played well but it didn"t enough for the triumph . Milan is so strong .Hope u keep your strength for Copa and bring trophy for your fans
Vamos Argentinos
.....Tonymed

Pal said...

I would love to have a Guy like you posting for Brazil Seba...
you really make things look exactly the way others want it to... :-)
it was nice hearing those UN-BIASED words coming Off your mouth really...
I just feel sorry for all those little Argentines who understand too little about soccer and when they cross roads with some guy like you they will probably get ILLUSIONED... they will grow up with the idea that mascherano or who ever your new-maradona is the BEST in the WORLD and then when they face REALLITY they get DEPRESSED...
I respect all what you said i really respect that...
but you OWE it to them, the argentines, to give them the truth uncovered...
no need to thank me for posting here i enjoy it ;-)
i am the one who must thank you for Welcoming me over here...
And by the way, the name is Pal...

Seba said...

In a way, Pal, I'm flattered by your message. But then you take an unnecessary blow on the Argentine supporters and your praise vanishes in the air. I know you don't mean all of the Argentina supporters, but I guess you mean the majority of us.

You have to understand that a lot of us are FANATIC. Fanatic people don't stand out because they are "cool-thinkers" or intelectuals. It's more because of the opposite. And I love fanatic people. They are 100% heart. 100% passion. 100% commitment! Oh how I wish all the politicians in the World were a little bit fanatic about their real job!

So I don't judge fanatic people so harshly. I rather understand them and, in many cases, I envy them! Because they live football (or whatever their favourite sport is) in its purest state.

There is no truth in football. There are different points of view and thousands of ways to achieve success in the game. What's closest to be true today, is a complete lie tomorrow.

I know (and you know it too) that Brazil have a lot of supporters like those Argentine you are criticising. People who disrespect or deny what Diego MARADONA was as a player, for example. And I'm OK with that. I think it's part of the beauty of football and the nature of a bitter rivalry.

I hate those labels that are quickly installed on our new great players' shoulders. Every guy from Argentina who can really kick a ball, becomes the new Maradona and the pressure on him grows ridiculously. I'm against those labels as I think there will be no-one like him. But I accept it is a game the press likes to play. And there are a lot of people who love to buy those stories and they really look forward to welcoming a new legend. A new hero who could take Argentina to the top of the World again. And I accept that too.

What really makes me proud of Argentina, our team and our players is that our players LOVE to play for Argentina. All of them are really keen on going to the Copa America and forget about going on vacations. And all of them have had a busy season that followed a World Cup that followed another busy season the year before this.

They might not be the best in the World. But they are committed and they put the Albiceleste before anything else. Before club and vacations.

MARADONA never asked for a couple of days off. He rather died on the field. Like that time in Turin (World Cup 1990) when he played with an ankle the size of a tennis ball. He couldn't even tie his shoe laces properly and yet he would have kill BILARDO if he wanted to take him off. He took the ball in a moment of brilliance, skipped past a couple of Brazilians, attracted all the attention and then set up Claudio CANIGGIA with a perfect assist, for our blonde forward go round TAFFAREL and score the only goal of the game.

That's why we love our players. Even if they are not so classy, like Gabriel HEINZE or Javier MASCHERANO. They don't fancy going on vacations. They just love the Albiceleste. And that makes us love them even if they can't pass the ball.

I insist, I would love to have your views in our blog regularely as I think your comments will be a great addition to our "family".

And let me tell you...if the price is right, you can have me writing about Brazil at any time! hahahaha! (Please don't believe that! It was one of my not-so-funny jokes!).

By the way, Pal. I'm currently living and working in Rio de Janeiro. Are you Brazilian or just a fan of the "Canarinha"?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Milan, they capitalized on the chances which is why they are the winners. Mascherano had a wonderful game, best player on the pitch last night for Liverpool (though Jermaine Pennant was also very good) Milan were only able to score their second goal after he came off. I'm so happy in that regard and hope he gets to play in Copa America.
For Pal: Kaka is always class, no one denies it. He had that beautiful little turn at one point that I'm still gushing about to people. I mean it didn't really amount to much in the long run (the ball was intercepted eventually) but still so pretty. I have to say though that best player for Milan last night had to be Inzaghi so I think he deserved his Man of the Match award.

So I have a kind of related question for everyone (though it might deviate from our Argentina-focus). As you might of read, former Argentinian player and soccer philosopher of sorts Jorge Valdano was very critical of the semi final between Chelsea and Liverpool calling it "s*** on a stick." Do we think the final was better?
Overall I still thought the game was kind of stiffling despite some moments of brilliance. It's funny too because Mascherano was, in a sense, responsible for the lack of creativity in that he prevented Milan for doing much for good chunks of the game.

-argentinafan

Anonymous said...

Seba,
Both your posts show just what a classy guy you are. Glad to have you leading our discussions. I of course agree with everything you posted except that I actually happen to think that el Jefecito is a classy player. I guess we can't agree on everything, hehe.

-argentinafan

John said...

Hi there,

First and foremost welcome to our blog, Pal. Great to have you with us.

I’m John from Malaysia. First thing that you need to know about me is that I am, to put in your own words, an Albicelestes fanatic. After that like you and everyone else, I’m a football fan begging for good football. Regardless if it’s played a big nation like Brazil, England, Spain or in places like Mongolia or Nepal, as long if it’s good football, I WILL enjoy it.

The truth is I respect Brazil for being of our great rival and I do admire the great talent of your players. In return I only expect you to do the same. We can our difference but any argument or comments must be constructive.

On the 1st of June, Brazil will be playing England, another great rival of ours. Do you think I’m going to skip the game just because it is irrelevant for someone like me? Of course not, as a matter of fact I’m hoping for a Brazilian victory.

So I hope that clears the air.

As for the other issues, Seba as summed it all up in his previous comment and truly is a great guy

Anonymous said...

This is off topic but Boca Juniors have just beat Libertad and are going to the Semi finals of Copa Libertadores. Riquelme and Palacio both scored goals and Riquelme's was especially nice.

-argentinafan

johnny said...

Vamos Boca ! Great match, and Boca broke through despite Libertad playing a billion players in the back. Ha ! That strategy backfired on one great goal by Roman (who is playing injured).

Anonymous said...

Vamos Argentina,

What a good player Mascherano is now and he will achieve greatness very soon.

Good for me as it is good for Argentina ... we now have young individual superstars in almost every department.

I really hope the Argentine coach can gel everybody together.

Let's enjoy what I believe will be a prolonged period of pleasure for Arg footbal supporters worldwide.

Best regards to all !
Diehard Argentina Fan from Singapore.

Mal said...

Well done Javier. He played a great game. It's a pity we lost but Milan took their chances while we didn't despite the fact that we dominated for large periods. Do you guys know anything about Leto? He's a left winger who's joining Liverpool this summer from Argentina.

pal said...

Correction
I meant a "few" argentines who understand little about soccer...
a few of them who will get illusioned...
i Do think that argentina is 2nd or 3rd greatest soccer nation of all-time..
it's silly to say all of em dont understand soccer...
my bad...

Anonymous said...

I agree about most of what you said, i also must thank you for showing class when you should have jumped over me for
(Unintentionally making a mistake by not saying few) i apologise again.
Fanatic or not...! that's a point of view you got, for the biggest part it's nice to be fanatic.. it keeps you going on and on thru this life. But i do hope for every FANATIC in this world -including the few of you- to get rewarded at the end cuz it hurts to wait and come out empty handed...
what do you say argentines,
Copa America?!!!
to be honest i think you are favourites for this one cuz like Seba said, I AM TRUELY ANGRY ABOUT SOME OF THE BRAZILIANS LACK OF MOTIVATION TO ACCOMPANY THE TEAM TO EVERY SINGLE CHAMPIONSHIP although i still believe they are humans and deserve a rest sometimes and i rather ADMIRE Maradona's commitment to the national team -in that WAY undeserved win over brazil in that 1990 WC- than complaining about kaka... whatever, we didn't deserve to win the copa america in 2004 with a 2nd team and still WE DID...
we don't need kaka nor ronaldinho... i am ok with a bunch who are ready to give it their all for the national team this July...

in the end, let me say that i am from Palestine, i am a medical student and i have no connections whatsoever to Brazil except for SOCCER and COFFEE... oh i love Coffee so much...

Regards,

alwin said...

Dear All,

People are entitled to opinions and it doesnt take a genius to pick out the good from the bad as perceived by various individuals. Keep the good and ignore the bad, it would not and should not make any difference in our lives, just take it as a "Pinch of Salt" if it ever mattered.

Regards,
Alwin
Malaysia

johnny said...

Pal,

Anybody who loves coffee and futbol is OK in my book. I think it is great to have a contributor to the blog who is not a diehard Argentina fan. Like you, I am not from this continent, but live in Buenos Aires, and have become a big fan of the national team and Boca Juniors. If I had relocated to Brazil, I am certain I would be a big fan of the futbol there. Between the two of us, we can be fanatics for Brazil and Argentina.....and hate Chile ! Nah, just a joke ! Welcome !