Sunday, July 15, 2007

Life goes on...Little Argentina facing Mexico

I dreamt of this Argentina v Mexico for the U20 World Cup quarterfinals to be the icing on the cake.

Now it has the face of a consolation prize to avoid going to sleep in a very sad state of mind.

Our U18 playing at the PanAm Games have disappointed too! We only managed to get a draw (1-1) against Haiti in our debut.

We need to win this U20 match and advance to the semifinals, where Chile is already waiting for us, after scoring 4 goals in extra-time! 90 minutes ended 0-0 against Nigeria and then they scored 4 in 30 minutes.

The match is being shown live here in Brazil and we've got 15 minutes of the first half. Still 0-0. (but check on the comments' box when you read this, if you want to be updated!)


gonzo said...

w.e. screw soccer, it does not reward quality and brilliance, just go total football and fuck everything, 10 guys that run and tackle and waste the clock, get the gold. just look at the pack of mules that took down the picaso of soccer today.

Seba said...

1-0 Argentina!

We scored in the last minute of the first half.

Maximiliano MORALEZ.

Anonymous said...

Nice pass, first time all day I got a smile on my face but I got a frown a second later.


alwin said...

Jack, it takes more muscles to frown than to smile i its better to smile, after all i have to agree with you, it was a lovely pass and it stays in my mind for some time...during halftime break i was going to get myself a cup of coffee but before i got to that cup..i actually tried to immitate that wonderful pass by giving the eye and kicking the air...Go Little Argentina!!!

Anonymous said...

Gonzo, I do have to agree with you on that. I can not say much. We are just destined for heart ache, when I get my hopes then they come falling down in a heart beat. How everything seems to perfect changes in a flash. As we grow older, a new generation flocks to give us hope. Year after year, many Argentines are praised for the style of football they play, what are they rewarded with? A loss to a rival they somehow can not beat. Brasil had no right to win this title, but they did. Argentina could have scored 50 goals in 5 games that would not matter with out having the crown as Champions. The loss has not yet really hit me because I do not want to believe that Argentina lost. Why does Brasil seem to have all the luck and Argentina just fall this close to achieve their goals? Time will go by and I will let this go but will not for get it as I have done with Copa America 2004, the World Cup and so on. Life goes on, time passes by and players come and go but the memory’s stay with you till you are crowned a champion. What have we learned from this? Nothing, just will have to go out and try again and again till we become a champion.

Anonymous said...

little Albicelestes beat Mexico and Dos Santos...

Seba said...

At least a little smile...

Thursday. Semifinals vs. Chile.

Rio said...

zarate's last appearance in NT...

Anonymous said...

How so?

Anonymous said...

This will push Messi to great things.


John said...

Sorry for taking a long time to post a comment here. I guess everyone here should no why?

Well it has been a real mixed day for me. But all I can do is complain and feel sad.

But in case if you wonder has anything changed in my feelings towards the Albiceleste. Nothing will changed because the life of an Albiceleste supporter is filled with an extra ordinary journey like no one else. Thats what make our beloved team so special in my eyes.

This journey does not stop here and I ask each and everyone of you to join me hand in hand as we continue this journey together.

Till that great moment comes, I will continue to wait patiently

VAMOS ARGENTINA!!! We Still Love You

John said...

And not to forget,

A BIG Thank You to all of you out there. In many ways you've made my life fill with joy especially through out those times when I had to be at work when a game was going on.

The match commentary and all the comments that was displayed at our blog is a testimony for the love we have for beloved team

Muchos Gracias!!!

Roy said...

And we've beaten Mexico! Sadly, the highlight of my day, since I wanted it to be Argentina holding the Cup. What I don't get is how our U20 team can be so good and show up and play when it matters. Yet our NT dosn't. Don't get me wrong, I carry the sky blue and white on my heart and always will, but I'm just disappointed thats all.

Also, not to change the subject, but what happened to Sorin? The guy went from being Captain in the WC(which I disagree of BTW), to not being on the Copa America squad. I know the rumors between he and Veron, but is that the only reason why he wasn't called? Because Veron was on the team?

Anonymous said...

The future is very bright for Argentina. I enjoy watching this U-20 team, very strong in the back.My only worry is that Argentina need to find a play marker, in a drop of a hat Riquelme can retire again. Who will be that#10? I also enjoy watching Kun play, he is what Messi was a few years back, I just love his hesitation with the fake kick, he dribbles less Messi. I think he will be fighting to get playing time with Tevez.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

great site. I read it frequently, first time poster on here. Here's what I had posted on a different site earlier:
Well well well….

another finals and our NT decides to stink up the joint and take a monumental dump infront of the rest of the world against the yellow shirts! Welcome to reality folks. What is it about us and playing brazil in a crucial match?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not for a moment blaming any individual player. The team played sub-par against Brazil in the finals, and full credit to brazil, they played to their strengths , executed well , and deservingly won it (for the nth time )

Here’s why i feel we lost:

1. Strategy and Execution : we were simply NOT playing to our strengths, and we were NOT allowed to by Brazil. How have we typically played so far? A typical move consists of patience - a series of passes averaging in the 12-15 range, waiting for a play to develop. This did NOT happen throughout hte game. Why? a. Brazil ensured that they disrupted the pattern/flow ,ensuring that no series lasted more than 5-8 passes , by good and water-tight marking of key personnel, and some good fouls at good moments. (b) We then started playing right into Brazil’s hands by trying to play like them. Within those 6-8 passes we’d try to force the issue and try to go as forward with the majority of our players as possible. Upon losing it, Brazil has the speed, skill and personnel to counter-attack with elan…which brings me to point number 2.

2. Slow defense - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: our NT defense is very slow. Heinze got owned in the first goal. Ayala and Heinze had trouble keeping up with the Brazilian speedsters throughout the game. Mascherano was ineffective. Hell, in the last goal, we had Riquelme (thats right RIQUELME) back trying to defend!!!! World class speed players such as kaka, C. Ronaldo will run circles around our defense all day. (think back to 1998- this has been an issue all the time. Remember how michael owen made the defense look like snails??)

3. Lack of patience in Attack/Wrong attacking strategy: Why in the world were we crossing so often to the centre -hoping for headers? We have messi and tevez leading hte attack for god’s sake. Juan and Alex look like Yao Min and Shaquille O’ Neal in front of these two and won every header and more. It looked ridiculous.If we had a Crespo in the centre, this might have made sense.

4. Numerous wasted free-kicks and corners- Riqueleme is great at dead ball situations and set-pieces. But sometimes, its just NOT your day. Accept it and let someone else have a shot - or try a couple of variations.

5. Brazil - These guys come up trumps in the last few times we’ve faced them. Sign of changing times and strategy. They looked extremely European (good tackles and marking, timely fouls, disciplined play, great speed and counter-attacking skills). It was always going to be tougher for Argentina to face such a team and we knew it. Brazil, Uruguay play very different from the rest of the S.American teams these days. Accept it and try to out-think them. Riquelme and Messi operate best in space. The rest of the teams gave them acres of charity football field space for them to run amok. Brazil WONT do it. The european teams WONT do it. THIS is how it’s going to be against the best/effective teams. What kind of strategy works best against such teams? I am not sure yet. I was hoping Mr. Basile would figure that out though!!

6. Luck - it was just not with us in this game. No complaints though. There are no ifs and buts in a game. We got a little lucky with Mexico (they had few great chances which hit the woodwork). We didn’t here. Winners find a way to win and create their own luck. We DID NOT. We came in as strong favourites and didnt live up to it in the finals. There was way TOO MUCH hype and articles and what not going around. A CURSE!!! grrrrrrrrrrr

That’s my rant. I am proud of the way we played in the tournament-with the finals being an exception. We are at the cross-roads right now. It remains to be seen who goes out, who comes in, will our game-play change, and how will we handle it. Personally , I don’t blame the players. It’s more of a mind game and a mental thing in these knock-out games. Winning is a habit and we need to cultivate it. I expect a few personnel changes on the defensive front- I expect a few new players to break through. I expect tighter strategies from Coach Coco . His strategies will work in open games against south american teams where there’s tonnes of agricultural land on the pitch, but not against the top teams. Looking good is one thing. Winning is another. Winning while looking good finally - is a dream. We should still try to follow the dream.


To respond to a couple of comments from here:

1. The future has always seemed bright for the last decade and a half as Argentina has had tremendous success in the junior ranks (U-20, Olympics etc), but somehow, that hasn't translated to victories in tournaments at the senior level.

2. Sorin wasn't the captain of the WC 2006 team . He wasn't part of the squad itself. His last world cup was 2002. I'm pretty sure about this.

3. Leadership = Gerradesque. That is what we need. That is the sort of passion we need when the chips are down. Argentina did a great job not stopping the play like brazil did, but lets face it, it wasn't enough to win.


johnny said...

Interesting comments Vick, but Sorin was on, and did play, in the 2006 WC. Keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

Well done for the U 20 team .

Anonymous said...

Johnny, Roy

I stand corrected. Sorin was indeed the captain of the 2006 squad. Thanks on that!

Difficult to keep the faith - feel extremely bad for the players too. I'm sure they'd be feeling much worse than we can imagine.


Rio said...

all those talks about how they weren't underestimating brazilian...
they went ahead playing offensive football. how the ******** is that not underestimating?

the 4-3-1-2 basically wasn't working.

it divide the team into 2 halves. 5 on attack, 1 DM screen and 4 defenders. The brazilian congestion in the middle meant 1 DM is never enough.
basile's plan was to have 2 CB pushing to almost DM position to strengthen the screen and keep brazilian away from direct freekick range, which leaves only 2 fullbacks at home.
This still could of worked if the 5 men offense was sufficent.
but it wasn't due to brazilian shutting us down in the air.
so we had to push the fullbacks too. When roman ordered heinze to go, zanetti was still high up, and we ended up with zero person at home...

After that goal, basile made no adjustment and our players went into panic. veron and cambiasso constantly dropped back to midfield screen, while ayala and milito were still there. At one point I saw 5 people on that line. That meant we only had 5 players total between the front and the back.

At the same time, 3 midfielders staying far back meant they couldn't support the offense from close range. so there were all those long passes and lobs eventhough we knew we were getting killed in the air. our attack could not sustain continuity and brazil kept on breaking our possession.

When mascher started missing tackles, I think most of us knew it was over. That actually happened three times. Ayala and Zanetti ran back in time and cleared out the first 2. The 3rd time we weren't so lucky.

why do we have to play offensive formation against brazil?
why did we not make tactical changes when we had already found out the strategy wasn't working?
why do we let an imperfect strategy dictate over our entire campaign?

good teams build their strategies around their talents. Argentina does it the opposite way. We determine our offensive approach based on some kind of blind faith. Then figure out a set of strategies to play offensive football. Then select players that would suit these strategies.
It's the wrong way of doing things, that's why we've been sucking for 2 decades.

look at what this guy said. he thinks the exact opposite.

he rather see brazil lose than to see them win with defensive styles.

I rather see argentina playing negative football than seeing her lose with offensive strategies.

because that guy is brazil fan. They don't know what continuously falling from top of mountain is like. They don't care about winning. Argentines hate losing.

Kirat Hang said...

Argentina Has "always always always" dissapointed us when it comes to Big Games.They've never won and i think they will never win any tittle.Beside having such a potential player playing such a beautiful games,when it comes to the Judgement Day,they are doomed.If not in the gameplay,in the Final Score.Today's Final,3-0 what the fuck is that?We were thrashed and beaten ruthlessly.
I'm just numb and cant think of any solution except criticism.damn....!!!I was humiliated in front of my brazzilian suppporter friends.When Will i get a chance to see my Team winning the tournament?When Can i hit them hard adn return their comment.Gosh!!!I couldnt sleep tonight even itz 5:00 am morn.
But No mater what,I will be supporting Argentina for my Entire life.Moreover till the eternity...
Viva La' Argees....!!!
Hasta La' Victoria Siempere.

alwin said...

kirat hang...i understand how you feel, i come from MALAYSIA where the majority support ENGLAND and BRAZIL, 2 of our greatest rivals and it really hurts when we fall to them, its been happening in very frequent over the past years..i think its got to do more with a proper MENTAL approach rather than a technical approach.

I dare say that ARGENTINA lose to their greatest rivals because our players are not mentally prepared and always fumble emotionally to these rivals..there is nothing got to do with skills or tactics on most occasions because when it comes being "LEVEL HEADED" we are no where near them. Its time to really focus their minds mentally when we play both this teams. A comprehensive victory against both this rivals will only convince me that we have buried whatever "ghost" that is haunting the players minds. I really long for victories against both these teams and as it stays now..looks like i will keep longing for it...

Seba..i would really like to know where is DIEGO MARKIC (Captain of the 1997 Youth World cup team) playing these days?

Anonymous said...

That was not how any of us wanted it to end and frankly, after the way we played all tournament, that wasn't what we deserved. However, after crying a little bit and getting somewhat drunk last night, I have decided to focus on the positive, such as up until the final we played the prettiest soccer in the tournament.

Honestly, while the loss hurts and I'm bitter about it and all, I would rather lose having played our traditional pretty passing game than conformed to the European defensive style and won. Throughout the tournament we stayed true to ourselves and our soccer heritage and while it did not pay off in this tournament it will at some point. The U20 tournament shows that the future is bright and with players like Mascherano, Messi, Tevez, Aguero, Banega, Moralez, Maxi Rodriguez and all the rest we will win and hopefully playing it our way. We have to keep hope :) We didn't win but I think it's safe to say that we are true holders of "el juego bonito"

I also wanted to send out a cosmic thank you to our truly dedicated players, it didn't pay off for you guys this time but it's truly comforting to know that you will always put country before club.

Aguante Argentina!

P.S. Tim Vickery wrote another article for Sports Illustrated where he expresses disappointment in how the final played out:

Also, in a effort to lose somewhat gracefully, I would like to congratulate Pal and the other Brasilian supporters who read this blog on their victory.

There, now I can go back to hoping we kick your asses in WCQ and the Confederation Cup :)

Vamos Argentina


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Wright said...

Jack, it takes more muscles to frown than to smile i its better to smile, after all i have to agree with you, it was a lovely pass and it stays in my mind for some time...during halftime break i was going to get myself a cup of coffee but before i got to that cup..i actually tried to immitate that wonderful pass by giving the eye and kicking the air...Go Little Argentina!!!