Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The new list is out, and with it, some surprises

Couldn't be online as the list was announced because I was playing football myself! haha! 2 goals and 5 assists, not bad (it was 7-a-side).

But let's talk about the important issue here...

The list of 20 players that will travel to Oslo to face Norway on August 22nd for a friendly match.

First, the list, then my comments:

Juan Pablo CARRIZO, Lazio, Italy
Oscar USTARI, Getafe, Spain
Sergio ROMERO, AZ Alkmaar, Holland

Gabriel MILITO, Barcelona, Spain
Fabricio COLOCCINI, Deportivo La Coruña, Spain
Nicolás BURDISSO, Inter, Italy
Ezequiel GARAY, Racing de Santander, Spain
Daniel DÍAZ, Getafe, Spain
Javier ZANETTI, Inter, Italy

Luis GONZALEZ, Porto, Portugal
Maxi RODRIGUEZ, Atlético Madrid, Spain
José SOSA, Bayer München, Germany
Javier MASCHERANO, Liverpool, England
Fernando GAGO, Real Madrid, Spain
Cristian LEDESMA, Olympiakos, Greece
Federico INSUA, América, Mexico

Javier SAVIOLA, Real Madrid, Spain
Diego MILITO, Zaragoza, Spain
Lionel MESSI, Barcelona, Spain
Ezequiel LAVEZZI, Napoli, Italy

OK, first thing first, I got the goalkeepers and the forwards completely right! haha!

To be honest, I threw a lot of names to the table and that's why I mentioned those players that are in the list.

But COCO really fooled me with the defenders and midfielders.

Very happy to see SAVIOLA and MAXI back and it is also great to see GARAY, SOSA and LAVEZZI.

I can't believe COLOCCINI is back with the team. It really escapes me. He was slow four, five years ago, imagine now!

But let's talk about the famous players that were ignored...starting from the back.

Pato ABBONDANZIERI: It comes as no surprise. It is time to give our team a fresh option between the posts. Pato won't make it to the next World Cup and we've got three very very valid options in USTARI, CARRIZO and ROMERO. In my opinion, COCO is spot on with his decisions there.

Roberto AYALA: He said "That's it, I won't play international football again". That pretty much gives us no option to discuss the matter any further.

Gabriel HEINZE: I can see some of you are panicking with him being cut by COCO this time. But I believe it is more a matter of the manager being concerned about Gabriel's situation. He doesn't know where will he play club football this season. I don't think it'll be beneficial for both, HEINZE and Argentina, to have him travelling to Oslo. I'm sure he'll return in the future and play in the World Cup Qualifiers. Javier PINOLA, a natural replacement for HEINZE as left back, is injured and that's why he is not on the list. And fan favorite Juan Pablo SORIN, is out of favour with COCO and he didn't show a great form playing for Hamburg last season.

Esteban CAMBIASSO: COCO knows what Cuchu can give him. He'll probably be back in the team in the future. I believe BASILE wants to try someone else in this friendly and see what are his options for the future. We'll discuss the probable lineup and tactics further on.

Pablo AIMAR: No RIQUELME meant that El Payasito had another chance to prove himself as a playmaker for Argentina. But he was ignored and the only natural-born playmaker on this list is former Boca Juniors and Borussia Moenchengladbach, Federico INSUA (now at America of Mexico), who completely fooled me when I considered the possible squad yesterday! I thought only European-based players were being called!

Carlos TEVEZ: I see his case as something similar to HEINZE's. He's just joined Manchester United (he could make his debut in a friendly match on Wednesday! We'll stay tunned). I wouldn't be good for him to interrupt his first month at Old Trafford by going to Oslo for this friendly.

Hernán CRESPO: Hmmm...tricky one. Should this omission mean that he will no longer be considered? Will COCO start looking for a long-term replacement? I've got a lot of questions but very few answers!


Sergio ROMERO will cap an excellent 2007 after clinching a move to Europe (from Racing Club to AZ Alkmaar) and winning the Youth World Cup in Canada. A breath of fresh air and hope for the future as our goalkeeper position seems to be in good hands (very appropriate!)

Ezequiel GARAY should be one to watch and could be on COCO's plans for the near future and also thinking way ahead. I'm really curious on whether he'll have a chance to start and what he can bring to our defense.

José SOSA is one of those classy, talented, modern midfielders who can do everything. I can barely wait to see him in action this season for Bayern München (I hope he becomes a starter) and I know he can give our midfield a lot of things we need. Don't want to jump the gun here, but I think COCO will use Lucho on the right and Maxi on the left, leaving SOSA sitting on the bench waiting for his moment.

Cristian LEDESMA will clearly be a back up for MASCHERANO and/or GAGO. Gives us depth in that position and a good option if we want to turn our midfield into a more defensive line.

Federico INSUA was already called up by COCO for those friendlies before the Copa America. He didn't show what he really can do and he is good option if we want to have a playmaker. Not playing as good as RIQUELME (different kind of game), but can be just as effective.

Ezequiel LAVEZZI should have no problems in seducing the San Paolo crowd that once had the pleasure to enjoy the best player in the history of football, performing at his best wearing the Napoli number 10 shirt. He's just arrived there and should not be a starter for Argentina in this friendly. But he has the ability to change a game at any stage and could become a great sub.


I doubt we can consider this friendly as a re-foundation of our team as a whole. We can't jump into conclussions and start crucifying the manager because he left this or that player out of the list.

But at the same time, I think this list sends a clear message to some of the players and to the supporters in general.

The time for the new generation is slowly coming. The Old Guard is fading out and, despite there are exceptions like ZANETTI, a lot of key players of the past probably won't return to the Albiceleste (ABBONDANZIERI and AYALA, for example).

And the list is also a vote of confidence to many of the players that went to Venezuela and crashed in the final against Brazil, just after giving us some moments of brilliance and impressive attacking football.

I could very well be the case that we will see a team containing up to 8 starters of Venezuela 2007:

USTARI (new)
BURDISSO (right back), Daniel DIAZ and Gabriel MILITO (center backs) and Javier ZANETTI (left back)
MASCHERANO, Lucho GONZALEZ, Maxi RODRIGUEZ (new), Federico INSUA (new).
Lionel MESSI and Diego MILITO or Javier SAVIOLA (new)

It's very soon to start talking about the possible lineup, but my point is that COCO is not changing the foundations of our whole team, he wants to work with them and keep building for the future.


Rio said...

The number one issue of future NT: Lack of fullbacks, is not addressed.
Zanetti will be almost 37 by 2010.
Of the 2 CB introduced, Cata Diaz is 28. Garay is a good choice.
Coloccini is a complete liability problem.

Lucho is not a reliable winger, and worse as outside midfielder.

C.Ledesma is totally unnecessary if we're playing the same old 4-3-1-2 (which coco plays 90+% of the time). How many DM do we need for 1 spot?

Insua instead of Aimar for CAM when Riquelme is tangled up in other matters? WOW!

Diego Milito is the only scheduled target person. How did Basile so quickly forgotten that he had to resort to Tevez-Messi combo because Diego Milito was incompetent in Copa?

Norway is full of tall people...

John said...

I do agree with Seba that for the many reasons that COCO call upon this team is to seek from freshness for our National Team.

This is important if we need to move away from our past mistake. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but in the past our squad often remains the same names for around 80-90% of the time.

Maybe the time is just right for these changes.

Rio, I do agree with that Diego MILITO was not very effective in the Copa America but then again how many opportunities he had in the first place. CRESPO has been a stable diet in the team for long time by 2010 he is way into his mid 30s. Something we should ponder about right now.

I do feel ZANETTI time in the National Team might be over soon considering his age as well.

RIQUELME needs to get club issue sorted out and when that happens I’m sure he will be back in the team.

gonzo said...

garay is the king, the deputy, the president, the capo. im glad hes on the team.

Rio said...


besides Garay, where is the freshness?

Seba said...

Freshness? SOSA, LAVEZZI, MESSI himself, ROMERO...

You have to keep in mind that we are not building our Olympic team here.

Yes, I do agree that ZANETTI will probably not be around comes 2010, but I don't think we are supposed to call up players under 25.

DIAZ is 28. OK? What's the big deal? He'll improve by playing in La Liga and facing better players than those he is used to face. And he'll be 31 in the next World Cup.

You need experienced players to win the World Cup. Fabio CANNAVARO was 32 when he captained Italy to the World Cup title last year.

There are plenty of examples.

Roberto AYALA was also 33 in Germany 2006. And he was one of our best players in that World Cup (penalty missed against Germany aside -a day in which he also scored to put us 1-0-).

I admit I would have called Federico FAZIO instead of COLOCCINI, to start giving him the feel of our full national team. But then again, he's got a lot to prove and I would have called my aunt Isabel to play instead of COLOCCINI!

Point taken as to Gabriel MILITO having a bad Copa America.

So we have to crucify him for that? So you don't give him another chance and waste the chance of having one of FC Barcelona's new recruits and one of the players with more praise in that position?

And Diego MILITO, poor guy, scores more than anyone but Van NISTELROOY in La Liga last season, starts only one game at Copa America, scores one goal, but still he is useless...

Yeah...no chances should be given to him again...bring in Gabriel BATISTUTA again, even if he is 38 now...

Roy said...

Hey! If Batistuta still has the shot power and accuracy why not? Hahahahahah.

I think this is the last straw for Coloccini, I really do. Out of all this list, I think theres one good thing coming out of it. Abbondanzieri is "gone". He showed no reliability what so ever in the Copa. A bit off topic, but hopefully one of those 3 are monsters are penalty kicks. Penalty kicks are rare, but when they come they're important. Hopefully Romero is the guy.

I'm still confused as to why Aimar was left out. You take out Riquelme and put in Aimar, its as simple as that. Honest to God, Coco better have one hell of an excuse.

Diego Milito... I'm not sure what to think. Its as if Coco is forcing the #9 onto him. Has Coco ever heard the expression "If it ain't broken, don't fix it?". Well Crespo isn't broken, so don't try and fix him. I dont mind have Milito on this squad instead of Crespo, I suppose Basile has to try out a few players before the WC qualifyers(where I EXPECT to see Crespo). But it seems as if he wants to completely eliminate Crespo from the team. However, there are some people that play well for their clubs, but somehow can't seem to "cut it" for their NT. Hopefully Milito isn't one of them.

I take it Sorin is gone for life. But hey, if Coloccini can get the call, why not Sorin down the line? Poor guy, goes from being Captain of the WC squad(which I thought Ayala or Crespo should of been for the record), then goes to what it seems to be Basile's hit list.

So am I pleased with the list? Goalkeeper wise, I couldn't of been happier. Defending wise, aside from Coloccini, I suppose its alright, but I would of preferred Heinze on there. Midfield... Meh. I haven't seen much of Ledesma, I suppose Sosa is fine on that list. But what about Cambiasso and Aimar? Especially Aimar. For Christs sake, its a simple, logical thing! If Riquelme isn't there, you put in Aimar!

Forwards, I suppose I'm happy. I'm GLAD Saviola is back, I just hope he dosn't have to take a backseat to Milito, but I guess he will because Milito is taller and we are facing giants in Norway.

Anonymous said...

Wow the other thread got crazy. I was going to answer John's Boca question but just decided to post it here instead.

John, I looked that the players that are going to participate in the Champions Youth Cup and I don't really know any of them (granted I can't see many Boca youth games here in the States). The only player that sounds familiar is the keeper Josue Ayala. I think he is pretty good and won something at another tournament but he hasn't gotten any first team action that I know of. Still, since you are going to be able to see the tournament, you'll be able to tell me who to look out for :)

Count me in as someone who is surprised to see Coloccini (despite the fact that he is a Boca alum). I haven't seen anything from him lately that would warrant a call up to the NT.

I agree with Seba as to why certain players were left out and stuff but I have to say that I am still a little surprised that Basile has gone back to Pocho and ignored Aimar (I'm starting to sound like a River fan, gasp!). I know that Pocho was great at Boca and that Aimar seems to work best when he is paired up with another attacking midfielder but overall I still think Aimar is a better player and shouldn't be dismissed (especially since I haven't been super impressed with Insua as of late). My only guess is that since this is a friendly he is trying him out to introduce new blood. Still, if that is the case, I don't see how he has been called up 3 times without showing a lot and D'Alessandro is ignored. If we are trying out new people el Cabezon should get a go too.

Also, count me in as someone who is completely dismayed that Maxi Moralez is going to Moscow. He is such a promising talent and it's all going to get destroyed. I'm very upset about that.


Rio said...

i can tell you right now, sosa won't have many international opportunities. Also if anyone thinks lavezzi is among our best strikers, he's smoking crack.
Messi ran all summer long. Crespo is more fresh than him at this point.

Who else you got? Romero? Romero is playing the mascot...

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that wants to see Di Maria on the ntl team soon?


alwin said...

Jack..You're not alone..DI MARIA is quality and can seriously help our left side alot.

As for COLOCCINI, well i think he's been given too much of stick and giving him this chance to proove himself is neccesary because we lack height in defense and what he lacks in pace he can compliment on other areas i hope. Some of you might think in mad but i think he deserves this chance.

gonzo said...

i want fazio in the team! guy is about to become a huge star.

johnny said...

Reported today that Zaragoza is chasing Coloccini.

Seba said...

Johnny...Zaragoza must be very slow if they are chasing COLOCCINI and they can't reach him! :)

Also Zaragoza are prepared to give Diego MILITO a new contract and he'll earn similar money to AYALA and AIMAR (source Ole.com.ar).

Gonzo, I want FAZIO in the team as well. He's still young, though, and central defenders tend to peak at an older age (25-29). I hope he can manage to get a good number of La Liga matches for Sevilla this season. If not, go on loan somewhere else.

Seba said...

Jack, Alwin, I think DI MARIA is a huge talent. However, he'll find it hard to compete with the players that are above him in COCO's pecking order.

Advantage to DI MARIA? He's got age on his side and with time he can add some extra muscles to his exciting style. He should definitely go to Beijing 2008 as one of our striking options.