Friday, June 08, 2007

Playing the waiting game...

Everything is in COCO’s head. The days go by and we are still waiting to hear those 22 names that will wear the Albiceleste in the Copa America.

BASILE has time until 21 June, and by the look of it, he might just wait until the very last minute to announce his full squad.

However, slowly but surely we are getting some hints as to whom will play and whom will be left behind.

On Monday, nine of the players that participated in the tour around Switzerland and Spain will have to show up at AFA’s training ground in Ezeiza, in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, to start a series of training session that will run from Monday to Friday every week until the team departs to Maracaibo, Venezuela.

It is important to consider that those who went to the tour and play in Spanish teams have obviously not been called up for Monday. They will join the trainings once La Liga is over. In ABBONDANZIERI’s case, he’ll have to wait until the Copa del Rey final (23 June) to join the team.

So the first nine (practically) guaranteed of a place that will start trainings on Monday are:

Carlos TEVEZ
Gabriel HEINZE

So we’ve got the first major surprise with Javier PINOLA in the list (player profiles are coming soon to our blog). And I must admit that I’m very happy to see Javier ZANETTI back to play in a competitive tournament with the shirt he always honoured.

Who’s next?

Well…obviously the Spanish Gang will have an advantage over the rest.

COCO might call up a few players from the local league after the next round of matches are played this weekend and the list will be closer to be finalised.

In the meantime, let’s play the waiting game and try and complete the list.

Here, here, let me try (numbers are just there to help me count up to 22. Nothing to do with the numbers that will be on the shirts):

10. Lionel MESSI
11. Pablo AIMAR
13. Gabriel MILITO
14. Roberto AYALA
15. Fernando GAGO
16. Diego MILITO
18. Juan Sebastián VERON
19. Hugo IBARRA
20. Rodrigo PALACIO
21. Leo FRANCO (GK)
22. Juan Pablo CARRIZO (GK)

My reasons?

There are a few obvious choices like MESSI, AIMAR, AYALA, MILITO, ABBONDANZIERI and COCO’s favourite Fernando GAGO.

As for the rest of my list:

I think COCO will give MAXI a chance. He didn’t call him for the recent tour but I think he already knows what MAXI can bring and my gamble is that we will see him in the Copa America. That’s why Jonas GUTIERREZ will be left out (becoming the only one left out from the Spanish Gang that went on tour last week).

From the domestic league, it’s been almost an open secret that Juan Sebastian VERON will make his international comeback.

IBARRA has been a long-time favourite of COCO and will be a perfect back-up for Javier ZANETTI as right back. He might even give PUPI a hard battle for the starting spot.

Rodrigo PALACIO has not been playing like he can, but his pace and finishing skills will be welcomed.

COCO said he will take three goalkeepers to Venezuela and that’s why I include ABBONDANZIERI (sure bet), Leo FRANCO and Juan Pablo CARRIZO. I wouldn’t be surprised if USTARI is called up instead of FRANCO. But CARRIZO, in my opinion, has a lot of chances of joining COCO’s Army.

So…out of these 13 names…how many do I have to have right in order to pass the exam??? Will I pass with 10 out of 13?


linda said...

I think you'll probably be spot on with most of those. Personally, I would like to see Ustari go to another major tournament (and by the way, good to see him go to an European team friendly to Argentinean players next season).

El Pato has been extremely impressive in La Liga this season, but his performance in the friendly against Algeria did not reassure me at all. It's not all his fault, of course, but he's usually a lot better in those situations. I wonder what happened.

Seba said...

Hey know something we don't know?

What do you mean USTARI is going to a European team friendly to Argentineans next season?

I heard rumours and he is wanted by a lot of European teams, but nothing's been confirmed as far as I know.

The list of teams interested in USTARI are:

FC Barcelona
Manchester United

Seba said...

By the is Javier MASCHERANO's 23rd birthday.

Anonymous said...

HBD to Javier , Vamos Argentinos

John said...

Happy Birthday To EL JEFECITO!!!

linda said...

Oh, I just heard that he had signed for Villarreal in a fairly final way, but we'll see, I suppose.

Happy birthday to Masche. What a fine young player he is.

johnny said...

Anybody know anything about Pato's injury ? He was replaced during Sunday's match. Maybe he was hurt before the Algeria match. I hope so.:)