Sunday, June 24, 2007

Does COCO already know the starting lineup?

"It hurts not to be in the starting eleven. I'm a football player and all I want is to play. I will support my team-mates from the bench" said Carlos TEVEZ after Argentina completed a couple of training session in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

That opens up a question?

Does Coco BASILE already have his starting lineup confirmed? Did he tell the players or is this something that TEVEZ is just assuming?

Apparentely, there is some truth in Carlitos' statement. COCO's been testing and the Apache is not a part of the starting lineup that on Thursday's Copa America debut will take on the USA, crowned today as Gold Cup champions by defeating Mexico 2-1.

Our plans here at Mundo Albiceleste, were to break down the whole list and eventually, all together, arrive to our very own conclussions and see what's everybody's favourite starting eleven.

Forget about those plans, then!

The team for Thursday should be:

Roberto ABBONDANZIERI on goal. A back four of Javier ZANETTI, Roberto AYALA, Gabriel MILITO and Gabriel HEINZE.

Up to this point, no major surprises. But starting from our central midfielder, up to the main striker, EVERY position has a legit candidate to be picked. There are a lot of options to COCO to use and that could turn into a very difficult puzzle to solve.

Let's continue unveiling the whole formation.

Javier MASCHERANO has edged Fernando GAGO for the central midfielder role. The inclussion of RIQUELME have played against the Real Madrid midfielder as the team will need more balance and for that, it is imperative to use the most defensive-minded player.

Juan Sebastián VERON, as anticipated here, will play on the right, taking Lucho GONZALEZ' place, while Esteban CAMBIASSO is the choice to occupy the left hand side of midfield.

Juan Román RIQUELME will of course be the play-maker and he will sit behind Lionel MESSI and Hernán CRESPO.

Player by player, a very strong line-up. One that should have no problems in beating the United States.

VERON, RIQUELME and MESSI will all play together and COCO insists with the formula he used in the USA 94 World Cup. He had all his best players (maybe TEVEZ is the exception) together from the start. I remember that tournament in America when Fernando REDONDO, Diego SIMEONE, Diego MARADONA, Claudio CANIGGIA and Gabriel BATISTUTA were all starters. Argentine became the best team in that World Cup until the MARADONA-GATE that saw the team morale take a deadly blow and the dreams of reaching a third consecutive World Cup final faded out.

What I really like about this group of players that COCO took to Venezuela is that they can't fall asleep. There are too many options available for the manager and the moment one player underachieves, he knows he can be replaced in no time.
* Lineup image courtesy of the excellent blog


John said...

You’re absolutely spot on about this group of players. This whole team reminds me of that squad that which “El Loco” BIELSA had in 2002. Class and quality in every angle.

As far as the goalkeeper and defenders is concern, there should not much to argue about who should be in the first eleven.

However I’m little a bit concern about the midfield line that you’ve mentioned. I’m not so sure whether VERON will be effective on the right when most of his sorcery on the ball comes from the center.

Nevertheless it will interesting to see how this formation really works as I’m sure COCO would have got all that figured out

linda said...

I agree with John. Looks like a great team on paper, but can they work together? And I share his concerns about Veron as well. Veron, Riquelme and Messi might just be one creater too many. Plus, we still don't know if Riquelme's style and Messi's pace are compatible. But we'll see against the USA, I guess.

Anonymous said...

i think this 11 is very old... Ayala, Veron, Crespo, Zanetti 30+, Cambiasso, Riquelme8 Heinze8 Milito25+, Only Messi and Masche r young... i wanna see our youngstars...

Anonymous said...

Think about it this way. If Veron doesn't work there is always Aimar who works very well with both Riquelme (it's both players dreams to play on the field together) and Messi. Another option would be to push Messi back into Veron's position and add Tevez to the line up. Finally there is always Lucho.

For all my criticisms regarding Veron I'm going to reserve judgement until I see him play. How he played in 2002 does not mean he is going to be the same way this Thursday.

Linda: The WC showed Messi and Riquelme working well together. Look at the Serbia Montenegro game and the Mexico game. There were some very nice combinations between the two of them.

Anonymous: Coco wants to win this tournament which I have no problem with. Our lineup might be older but it is really strong, definitely an "A team". Keep in mind too that a lot of our younger players are competing in the U20 World Cup which has produced a lot of top senior players. I would like to keep the tradition we have in that tournament as well. Keep in mind that we can introduce some more of the younger players during qualifiers as well as during the friendlies we have scheduled right after Copa America.

Overall I am pretty happy and am just waiting for the competition to begin!

Vamos Argentina!!


Rio said...

LOL, you people believe ole so full hearted and I thought I was naive (based on the opinion over roman's return earlier)

there's chance tevez won't play, but VERY VERY unlikely. logic is simple:

there are 4+1 fowards on the team. crespo milito tevez palacio and messi. Crespo and milito same type, palacio and tevez similar, and messi different from all of them.
So benching tevez = benching 2 out of the 5 fowards (because tevez obviously > palacio and therefore higher on the packing order).

this is a team of 22, 3 went for goalies so coco had to make a choice by bringing 7 defenders (instead of 8) to allow 5 attackers on the team. This is also on top of the fact that Ayala could be not 100% healthy!

Does it make ANY SENSE AT ALL that coco would bench 2 forwards he brought in at the cost of could-be-crucial defender subs. Not only that, by having only 7 defenders he also couldn't bring any left wing backs as options, and had to bring in a right wing back substitution for zanetti!

Rio said...

and Aimar+ Riquelme combination is out of the question also unless we play flat 4 midfield lineup.
or it would be aimar enganche and roman on support, is that fair?

Aimar is probably easier to cooperate with, but if other midfielders can sync in with riquelme, he'll be way deadlier than Aimar.

I see Aimar 2nd choice enganche in the case riquelme cannot perform, as he had done plenty times in international matches. Roman is difficult to work with sometimes, he's like an alien from another planet.

on other hand

playng flat 4 midfield means no mascherano and possibly even no gago. Aimar at the cost of mascher and gago ok to you guys?

alwin said...


If this is the starting lineup then it looks balanced to me. I would think there would be massive movement in the midfield which might work in dismantling the opponents defense. MESSI might drop deep and support the midfield leaving CRESPO upfront alone to finish things off.

I would not anticipate much crossings from the wings but then again, it not what Argentina have been famous for doing anyway, so its going to be mainly central penetratation with the odd crosses coming in when the opportunity arises.

I can't wait for this tournament to start and lest all hope and pray we triumph like we did in 1993. Vamos Argentina!!


Anonymous said...

no crossing so no need for veron

John said...

I do agree with your sentiments out there that the average age of our squad in quite old but at the same time I do also share Argentinafan on her sentiment that COCO wants to win this competition badly. That’s why he is choosing the best players he has both in terms of young & enthusiast and old & experience.

In that way it keeps the whole squad in balance. At the same time I think she is spot on regarding on the abundance of option that available to COCO incase things don’t go according to plan.

Rio, I don’t believe both AIMAR and ROMAN will start in central midfield, as one needs to make way for the other, in this case it is most likely that ROMAN is certain to be a starter. MASCHERANO will get the nod to partner alongside him to do ball winning job.

However I’m not too sure about putting CAMBIASSO on left as it makes the entire left side looks more defensive, further to the fact that HEINZE will be playing behind him. Maybe Seba or some of you out there might want to elaborate more on this?

Frankly speaking I would prefer to see CRESPO and TEVEZ up front up and MESSI on the right, as he does play there for Barca.

It is definitely going to be interesting how does this entire team is going to work.

Asil said...


I think at left side, Sorin/Pinola & Cambiasso would be more balanced rather than Heinze & Cambiasso, more defensive like you said. Maybe, due to Riquelme love to be at left side, then that could be the reason.

Love to see Riquelme-Tevez-Messi Triple Threat!

Rio said...

messi plays RF for barca, alot of people mistake that to a RW because he does what cruyff used to do -- channel back to lose markers.

I think I can say that he's had RW experience in 442 diamond only from national teams. when he was in youth and some matches last WC. I don't know what he played in barca youth team.

It's common to misintepret messi's club position as RW because barca also occasionally play this 3-4-3 diamond (like against real madrid) and ppl would stick messi's name there when drawing lineup. In that formation, oleguer thuram and puyol are def, marquez DM, deco CAM. Iniesta LM so leaving Xavi to be the RM. Again, Messi's forward channeling could of made it confusing.

Rio said...

and John was right about cambiasso making the left wing stiff. He also played that swiss friendly with heinze on the left wing, it was ugly i tell ya. remember mascherano subbed in and immediately chased a ball all the way into our left corner then recover? that one act was more memoriable than the entire match played by those 2.

Cambiasso's offensive ability is really questionable too despite he's hardworking and often getting close to scoring.

I also chose cambiasso-messi as the wings but that was before Veron got called up. Now veron-messi = best side choices for diamond.

Rio said...

Sorin would of opened up ALOT of options if he was on the team. 352 isn't even a possibility right now because the lack of left wing back.

anyway, i forgot to say. with veron taking 1 of the side midfielder spot, tevez can also wing play, let messi and crespo sit high. Tevez played alot on the wings for WHU, and because he's 1 more offensive, 2 quicker, 3 better dribbler, 4 better at tackling and 5 better friend with mascher compared to veron...

let me draw out the formation and link the picture. since i've not seen ppl say this on bigsoccer, I was going to screw around then show it later :D

John said...

Rio, I beg to differ about TEVEZ on the wing because that was where he struggle the most at West Ham. To me the best position for him is either a forward centre or perhaps maybe behind the front two.

Seba said...

Rio: Interesting bits about the number of players COCO brought to Venezuela and how the strikers are similar or different to each other.

But let me tell you the way I see it.

COCO was prepared to take PINOLA (8th defender and second-choice left-back) and play with a midfield of GAGO-VERON-CAMBIASSO-MESSI (Lionel being the play-maker).

That set up an attacking combo of CRESPO and TEVEZ.

The big losers with RIQUELME's comeback are PINOLA, of course, but also Fernando GAGO and Carlos TEVEZ.

TEVEZ because MESSI will move up from his play-making role and will leave him no room up front.

And GAGO because with ROMAN now taking complete control of the ball distribution and possession, the team needs a natural-born ball-winner. A hound-dog that will be happier to chase the opposing play-makers than to get the ball and try and join the attack.

Unfortunatelly, somebody has to defend!!!!

Regarding VERON and CAMBIASSO, I think they are key to COCO's plans. They are complete midfielders and VERON will not necessarely be asked to put in some crosses from the right. He will give MASCHE a hand in ball-recovery tasks, help ROMAN in ball possession functions and eventually deliver his trade-mark through balls or long distance shots.

Same with CAMBIASSO. He is a road-runner and his abitility to surprise everyone by getting into offensive positions is not a secret.

I would think this is a standard 11 from COCO. But he obviously has a more offensive lineup at his dispossal anytime he needs to.

He can sub CAMBIASSO with AIMAR, sending VERON a little deeper to stay with MASCHE.

He can put TEVEZ in for CAMBIASSO and tell MESSI to play 10 meters deeper. To allow TEVEZ to play as a second striker with CRESPO. Or simply use TEVEZ and MESSI as wingers to feed CRESPO and give him some more space to work.

There are plenty of options and the question would be whether COCO will know how to make the most out of this. I hope, with his experience, that he will be able to do it!

Rio said...

check out. I think this is something worth drooling over.

johnny said...

Fantastic posts above from some very knowledgable people. What a wonderful blog for me, as it helps with the technical learning curve. I would add in that I understand the concerns that some have about the age of some players, but the World Cup is still a good ways off. I think there will be plenty of time for Coco, or whomever, to arrange a fine team by then. Coco, like any coach worth his salt, wants to WIN !! That is what he is paid to do !!

Saurabh Bhattacharjee said...

I am a bit worried about the width of the team in this predicted line-up. While realising that wing play has never been the strength of Argentinian teams and that splitting through the middle has more been the style, we must not ignore the role of Maxi Rodriguez and Sorin in Germany.

I hope Zannetti can put some pressure on the wings to drag out defenders to wide areas and create space in the middle.

Do you think Zannetti, when in possession, is going to come forward into 3-5-2 position like what Sorin did in the WC?

allan ng said...

I think this team is certainly capable of winning the Copa, but it is true that with so many attacking options now available, it will be difficult to determine who is going to start.

While Riquelme performed for Boca, I still think the Argentinian and Brazilian clubs are not at the same level as the European clubs. Look at how Tevez, Aguero, Gago and Higuain have to spend time to adjust while Riquelme just seemed to do wonderful things straightaway for Boca.

Which means I rate Aimar further up the pecking order than Riquelme for now. Also, will Coco allows Riquelme to come on and off the national team as he pleased? I think/hope Aimar will start.

I also rank Diego Milito slightly ahead of Crespo for now. Also, given the first game is against an under-strength USA team, I think Coco will want to experiment a little.

Seba said...

Good point Saurabh. I would think that if any of our wing-backs is going to advance when in possession of the ball, that will be ZANETTI.

I don't know if ZANETTI will join the attack as a resource the team might use or if he will do it sistematically (as part of the game plan).

Another thing that I would like to add is that I like the fact that both, VERON and CAMBIASSO (our "wide" midfielders) can adjust at any time and dedicate solely to help MASCHE in recovering the ball. They can form a pair of defensive midfielders with MASCHE if the team needs it.

If that's the case, and for example VERON joins in MASCHE to just try and win back the ball, I clearly see ZANETTI moving forward with the ball at every chance there is.

The bad thing is that I don't think HEINZE will be able to do that at any stage. So we don't have the surprise factor coming from the left...

Also...who needs HEINZE in attack when you have MESSI? haha!

johnny said...

For you all with more experience-I watched alot of Manchester United this year and Heinze often came up the left side to join in the attack. Does he not have a history of doing this for the national team, or is it the opinion that he is not effective at doing this ? Thanks !

alwin said...

HEINZE did come up on many occasions for MAN UTD this season, at times fruitful but on the whole he is a typical hard tackling defender. The reason why he was doing it often was to push EVRA out of the team as the latter loves going up front. As for the national team, i don't think we would need him to come up too often because of attacking calibre from midfield onwards looks good.

HEINZE is more suited as the "Stay Back" left back to do the job from bottom. I would think ZANETTI would do more of the running on the right side and that is where he would cover for VERON for whom i think would cut into the center and dictate play more often than never.


*nice string of thoughts we have here..keep it up guys :)

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's natural for him to do that. Heinze, in reality, is a CB and not a FB and so is used to staying back. It's what he did under Pekerman. During his first seasons at Manchester United he didn't come up either (as a FB). It's only recently that he has started to attack more and that is most likely because Evra (his main competition for the starting spot) is very offensively minded.

My suggestion earlier regarding Riquelme and Aimar would have had Aimar playing in the wing. Yes the guy is more of an enganche but he can play out in the wing. At Zaragoza he and D'Alessandro would alternate as to who would play in the center. If one of them was already there the other would gi out into the wings. It seemed to work there which makes me think that Aimar could play in right wing if he had to.

Lucho is also very good there and can also handle himself well defensively (which would make the back 4 feel better).

Messi has also stated that he doesn't consider himself a foward but a midfielder and he likes to play a little deeper down, which is why he could also act as a wing of sorts and give Tevez some playing time (who is a true foward). If you had Zanetti behind him they could link up very well.


Rio said...

I agree Roman leans left. but not sure we're talking about the same thing.
He doesn't let the triangle formed with the 2 outside midfielders to reach the right edge. but when the triangle is turned 180 degrees he let the 'hight' be like 1/6 of the width of the pitch.

the mexico game for example. we started out like this:

scaloni ayala heinze sorin

when we were attacking right:
------scaloni ayala heinze





and when we were going left.
--scaloni ayala heinze






The triangle is to restrict space as well as creat routes to move the ball around opponents. So the 2 midfielders can't just leave position and go help his side. They need to move in the stagged form. breaking the triangle eliminates its function to restrict midfield space.

of the 2 center mids, 1 of them need to be more offensive and stay higher than the other. this way the triangle "stands up" and you can 1-2 over people.

this rotation of the triangle is actually the main advantage of playing enganche, so the formation doesn't just move horizontal and perpendicularly.

the lateral choice for the 2 midfielders depend on the backline setup. because they tackle with their perfered foot. the side with wing back need more defensive midfielder, so the other side should provide the more offensive one.

in 06 case, Scaloni was sub for burdisso, so he was there to play full back despite he's more oriented towards wing back. That's why he always stayed inline with the CBs through out the 1-1 period
on the other edge, sorin playing wing back so cambiasso was the defensive choice.

Now, in the current case, our defensive midfielder needs to start from the right side. between veron and cambiasso obviously cuchu was more defensive, so if veron really get the right spot, he's chosen to be the more defensive oriented outside mid, and Tevez should be first choice for the other side instead of cambiasso.

couple other things could also help tevez getting the job:
1. his tackles are top rated in EPL.
2. the routes maxi ran last year are almost identical to some the routes tevez ran in west ham.
3. he's faster than almost everyone else on the team.
4. he played upper midfielder (the more offensive outside mid) more than Veron and Cambiasso. Veron played enganche so I dont doubt his understanding of the movements, but cambiasso always played lower midfielder.

johnny said...

Damn Rio ! Let me go back and get my physics and geometry textbooks !

Seba said...

You really are into tactics and formation, Rio! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. It is not very often that someone studies tactics the way you obviously do.

However, let me disagree in one thing: TEVEZ should not play in midfield.

It doesn't matter if he can do a decent job. He is, what we say in Spanish, "Un animal de área" ("An animal that lives inside the box" could the the closest possible translation into English).

If you take the animal out of his habitat, eventually, he will die.

Yes, he did play a lot in midfield for West Ham, but it was mainly during the bad run of results as PARDEW kept him playing wide open in midfield. And he suffered.

Then CURBISHLEY played him up front (as part of a one-two combo with ZAMORA) and CARLITOS started to deliver. And boy he did deliver!!!

For much as I prefer TEVEZ to CAMBIASSO, there is no way that I will rather have CARLITOS as left-midfielder over CUCHU.

MESSI, AIMAR and TEVEZ (probable options to play in left midfield, following your way of thought) are all one-track-minded. They live to attack. Forget about TEVEZ being able to tackle. He WILL tackle, but he will do it inside our rivals' box to win back the ball only to shoot and try and score!

He won't do it as a main task. Same with AIMAR and MESSI.

Your point about having one "offensively weak" wing-back and another "offensive-minded" one, and how midfield should provide the balance is accepted.

But don't forget that the examples of SORIN, SCALONI and the last World Cup all happened during PEKERMAN's era. And now we are talking about a different manager that will surely have a different mentality (even though they liked pretty much the same players).

Alwin is spot on! Keep this tactic-talkin' comin'

I'm loving it! Is it Thursday already?


Bollocks! I want Today to be Thursday and watch our Albicelestes in action!

Seba said...

As for HEINZE...just as argentinafan pointed out, he is a centre-back turned into a left-back.

He clearly is not at his best when on the ball.

He doesn't even feel (or look) comfortable on the ball. I wouldn't trust him to command the majority of our attacking plays (which I don't think will ever be the case!) but the sad thing is that I don't even trust him to do that once or twice a game.

I'll feel there is something very wrong with the team is that was the case!

Gabriel can score with headers from corner-kicks and he even started taking some free-kicks. But, despite having made a lot of progress in controlling the ball, he is still far from being an option to support our attack.

I trust him to cover his wing with his undeniable tackling and marking ability, but nothing else, really.

Rio said...

I typed the above while eating, so there were some typos and some definitions ambiguous. I think it'd be necessary to clarify how enganches work though.

the triangle i refered to was the triangular/stagged shape formed between the CAM and the 2 outside midfielders. the triangle can pivots around the CAM like a helicopter blade. By changing the distance between each player and the CAM, it can also shapeshift. They can also move with the CAM laterally and horizontally while maintaining angular and distance relationships with him.

the 2 forwards also form a triangle with the CAM. These 2 triangles pivot around, shapeshift and move with the CAM simotaneously.
The CAM is therefore the mobile pivot point, and enganche.

so the idea is, at any instance, the relationship between the enganche and the other 4 offensive players would be defined by these 2 triangles (4312 is 5:5 formation, so 5 offensive players including the enganche. This also means the 2 outside midfielders are both offensive players by definition) Enganche therefore 'steer' the 4 guys via these 2 triangles so they could be oriented and displaced at the position he wanted them to be.
In other words, the organizational duty of the enganche is to tell the 2 triangles to be in proper shapes and face proper directions so the offensive players can form a route for the ball to go through.
one must try to picture this dynamically in order to appriciate the quality of enganches.

essentially, the offensive purpose of enganche doctrine is to prevent opponents from man marking the offensive players. the enganche can maintain control over the offensive players without the restriction of fixed "positions". so to opponent defenders, these guys would be all over the place and impossible to mark, so they have to drop into zone defense, which yiels room for attacking plays. (the only offensive player they can usually mark is the enganche himself)

Enganche also needs to consider the defensive responsibilities of his players. He respond to this by repositioning himself, bringing the offensive players back to correct defensive positions.

football tactics are constantly evolving so what i explained is just the very basis. nowadays, they need to break formation, rejoin, cross forming triangles, etc. they also need to excute set plays between all of them, not just within each triangles. Alot of group to group coorporations without going through the enganche himself...

One element need to mention though.
The wingback is essentially an independant element (could be wrong, this is what I heard). and when he displace to higher ground, the overall formation goes from 5:5 to 4:6. so things need to be done by the others to compensate this in order to sustain the quality of defense.
A usual solution is to use a more defensively minded midfielder natural to the side of the wingback, and he'll generally stay at the lower corner of the triangle between him, the enganche and the other outside midfielder. In argentina's case, zanetti and ibarra are the right wing backs (and sub), so the defensive guy also needs to be natural to the defensive playing on the right hand side.

cambiasso is better at defense than veron, this is the clear half.
the unclear half is whether cambiasso is also better defensively than tevez.

if he is, then he'll likely start right. and since basile is training veron, it's likely tevez won't get to play.
if cambiasso isn't better defensively than tevez, then training veron means cambiasso won't be starting.

What i'm trying to say is, veron training on the right half doesn't mean he'll be starting on the right. he was just learning to work with riquelme when he is to the right of him.
the more important thing which the stupid ole article didn't say is whether he was playing lower or higher than riquelme. If he was playing lower than riquelme, then 70+% chance we get tevez.

Anonymous said...

Rio.. thanks for pointing out the role of the enganche. well done..

the one concern I have about this lineup is that there is just not enough speed, top to bottom. Both in attack and defense. Which is why Maxi is so crucial to this team as he along with Cambiasso and Mashe can atleast cover a lot of ground real quick. But Veron, well, I don't recall the last time I ever saw him make a tackle or keep the triangle moving as he used to be the number 10 but now will have to play the number 8 role.

In South America, we can get away with this, but vs. Euro based teams, we will be punished. And even vs Brazil as with Kaka they are deadly on the counter attack and can expose us (like they did in the friendly).

Finally, Tevez just cannot play MF. he even admits, he trains according to his strengths, which is speed burst / acceleration based conditioning as opposed to long distance running / cardio that a MF would need to do. he simply does not have the stamina to last a game in MF.

Niraj said...

Guys a news on our starting 11 on

6/25/2007 12:32 AM

Argentina Announce Starting XI, Tevez On The Bench

West Ham striker Carlos Tevez is disappointed about being left on the bench for Argentina’s opening Copa America group match against the United States of America next week.

zoom - galleria Alfio Basile has already named the starting eleven for Argentina's Copa America opener, and Carlos Tevez is not in it.

Basile has chosen Lionel Messi and Hernan Crespo as his strikers for Argentina’s debut, while Juan Roman Riquelme and Juan Sebastian Veron have been confirmed in midfield.

GK: Abbondanzieri (Getafe-ESP);

DF: Zanetti (Inter-ITA), Ayala (Villarreal-ESP), Milito (Zaragoza-ESP), Heinze (Manchester United-ENG);

MF: Verón (Estudiantes), Mascherano (Liverpool-ENG), Cambiasso (Inter-ITA);

AMF: Riquelme (Villarreal-ESP);

FW: Messi (FC Barcelona-ESP); Crespo (Inter-ITA)

Tevez, who was one of Argentina’s best players in their preparation matches for the competition, understands that the national team has several players that can do a good job in the attack.

"It hurts to not be a starter, because I think I did enough to earn my place. I’m a [soccer] player and I always want to be there," he said.

Tevez is still eager for the Copa America to commence and states "I’m more motivated [by starting on the bench] because I can demonstrate that I’m worth a starting eleven role."

'El Apache' was the main reason West Ham United avoided relegation last season: "Right now I’m going through a great moment. In England I discovered that if I’m prepared well physically I can take better advantage of things."

Saurabh Bhattacharjee said...

Brilliant work, Rio! Your elaborate and engaging explanations are informative indeed.

Tevez as a midfielder does not really convince me. His initial days at West Ham should act as a warning against any such experiment in the NT.

Do you people think Veron is as good a multi-dimensional player as Lucho Gonzalez (who has simply been outstanding this season)?

Rio said...

Heinze tackles and heads well, has good reaction, lacks leadership skills, and is well experienced.
He either can't or doesn't like ordering his teammates around, so he's not very ideal for CB. eventhough he can pull out saves inside the box like ayala. but CB needs to deal with 2 defender teammates, LB only need to deal with 1...

IMO heinze's been on a slump ever since his injury b4 wc. Although he does seemed to play harder for NT.

Rio said...

thanks saurabh, but my understanding of tactic is really very limited, I've only read stuff like football magazines :D

I think ray hudson said something like, you need to understand enough so you can appriciate the brilliance of some players, but knowing too much detail makes the game less enjoyable.

back to topic. I think you guys that are against tevez LM have a good point. he's too offensively minded. That's probably also why basile won't let messi play RM.

but one thing for sure, Basile won't start the same lineup through out the tourney. Especially if we go far. And he probably will play at least 2 radically different formations too. Historically our coaches did.

Seba said...

You see, Rio? Your last paragraph is what really makes me feel this team can be very special.

I think the ability that COCO will have to switch formations, strategies, mentalities without even making substitutions!

The ability a lot of players in our team have to multi-task, or play in different positions, really makes me feel positive.

And rest assure COCO will experiment and work around the various options.

Also, he knows how to motivate, so I expect the players that unfortunatelly won’t have a place in the team from the start, to jump to the field whenever they have the chance and do it with all their contained “rage” to use it to the team’s advantage.

Kind of, if I’m allowed to compare something I shouldn’t compare, what Manu GINOBILI does when he comes from the bench.

He plays with so much energy that he can turn a game around, motivate those around him. Inspire them.

TEVEZ did that during the last Copa America. Started as a substitute and finished on a high, even scoring crucial goals, on our way to the final against Brazil.

Believe me, I wouldn’t want to be CRESPO or MESSI and have TEVEZ pushing hard to replace me! So they’ll try harder than ever so they make sure to keep their place in the starting eleven.

cresporules said...

Wow, I must confess that many of you know a great deal more than I do and it is great to learn from so many knowledgable fans here. Tevez I think will definately get his share of playing time one way or another, If we need more attack at any time what a weapon to have Carlitos(desperate with something to prove) coming in full of passion and energy. Also, what does it say about our team that Tevez is even on the bench at all? He could start for any team in the world Club or national! I am very excited to see what Argentina can do this Copa.

David N said...

Argentina's strength is obviously the variety of attacking options at Basile's disposal : hes got potentially 5 world-class strikers, 4 playmakers, a couple of attacking midfielders, a couple of players capable of playing as deep-lying playmakers, and many of these players are capable of switching roles mid-game or mid-move. If the team plays with the fluidity it seems capable of, and Basile rotates the line-up effectively, then it should be beautiful to watch.

I'm interested to watch Veron play with Riquelme, but my ideal attacking line-up would be:

Messi Cambiasso

Tevez Crespo

John said...

Wow Rio!!! I’m amazed by your incredible knowledge on tactics. Gracias my friend, for sharing all these wonderful information with us.

To summarized this as a whole, COCO has plenty of option at his disposal and it doesn’t matter on what formation or which dimension, he has the wealth of talents at his disposal to utilized them.

Of course right now it is hard for us picture how the team is going to be play but you know what, that is what makes this whole thing so beautiful.

The match against USA will be played on Friday morning (8.50 am Malaysia Time) and right now it is Tuesday morning here, it feels like a long, long time to go. I just can’t wait any longer.

allan ng said...

I am going to take a day off to see my beloved Argentina thrash USA on Friday morning here in Hong Kong.

Rio, your knowledge on football tactics is really interesting. I think on Friday we won't have to worry about defence so much. I am happy to accept a 6-0 win. Two each for Crespo and Messi, one for Roman and one for Tevez (as a 2nd half sub).

Our strength in depth is unquestionable, when you see that Saviola, Higuain, Aguero and D'Alessandro didn't even make the team.

John said...

I’m really happy for you, Allan Ng

Unfortunately for me I’ll be working on that day, as it is my company’s financial year ending :-(

Most likely I’ll keep myself update through and of course I will not be alone as I’m sure they will be other who’ll keep everyone update in this blog as well.

Seba said...

I'll sure be here!

TV on (finally Argentina is on TV here in Brazil! I guess they don't want to miss the show! haha!), computer too!

I'll be giving you a complete play-by-play detailed action. Comments after 15, 30, 60 and 75 minutes. Half-time report and everything there is to tell you all!

I know I can make it for this game against USA and I hope I can do it for the rest of the matches. Being so close to the PanAm Games opening ceremony (which is where I work here in Rio) means that I might miss some action (especially if it is an afternoon kick-off).

But I'll make the most of this opportunity to bring you updated information and to have Mundo Albiceleste provide you with a space to gather and share our feelings during these crucial 90 minutes!

To borrow a little something from Liverpool fans: I know I'll never walk alone!

BRIAN said...

"The ability a lot of players in our team have to multi-task, or play in different positions, really makes me feel positive.
elieve me, I wouldn’t want to be CRESPO or MESSI and have TEVEZ pushing hard to replace me! So they’ll try harder than ever so they make sure to keep their place in the starting eleven"

that's right on the money man. Now aimar probably earned a spot.

BRIAN said...