Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Argentina v Mexico: Team news. Three at the back?

It's been said many times that Coco is still hurt after losing his last two matches against Brazil (0-3 in a friendly in London and 0-3 in that horrible Copa America final). BASILE will probably work on a new formation as an intent of changing that bad run against the classic Argentina rival and he could use both of the friendly matches in the USA (against Mexico and the home team) to see if he can find a system that works for him and his players.

Without RIQUELME (on duty with Boca Juniors that very same Wednesday night in a Copa Libertadores semifinal), BASILE said he won't try to use another footballer to play in Roman's position or to cover his same role.

That said, the most significant changes we'll see could be at the back.

Here's the probable starting lineup:

The goalkeeper will be Pato ABBONDANZIERI and he will be behind a back-three of domestic league champions in Europe composed by Nicolás BURDISSO, Martín DEMICHELIS and Gabriel HEINZE. Javier ZANETTI (another league winner this season) will play a free role joining the midfield line and helping the back three when needed.

Maxi RODRIGUEZ (the scorer of that extra-time screamer against Mexico in the eight-finals of Germany 2006) will play on the left hand side of the midfield while Fernando GAGO and MASCHERANO will cover the middle.

MESSI will play all over the attack but just behind a surprising striking duo formed by Sergio AGÜERO and Julio CRUZ.

What do you think of this lineup? Surprised by Coco's new tactical approach? Any names you don't like or you'd like to see and are not there?


johnny said...

Yes, I think Coco is all about Brazil preparation now, and I think that his main focus in that regard is toughening up the midfield (where Brazil kicked butt in the Copa America). How else to explain the transfer of Zanetti up the field a bit ? With Zanetti, Gago and Mascherano, Coco will have some very ball minded fellows, who I am sure will be instructed to get down and dirty (like Brazil in the Copa America). I guess its a case of if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I hope the midfield can do the job, because the bottom looks a little scary. I like Demichelis, but Burdisso is not a favorite of mine, and Heinze is unpredictable. I don't get why Coco doesn't call up Cata Diaz ? For me, he is an improvement over Burdisso. Well, we can discuss all of this alot ! It will be a very interesting next few months for the seleccion.

johnny said...

One more thing about Coco focussing on Brazil. What do you think the chances are that Coco gets canned if he doesn't beat Brazil ? Particularly if the team plays poorly ? My guess is that Coco is aware his job may be on the line.

progott said...

I like the fact that Basile is trying to chance the style, but i don't like that Cruz and Burdisso are in the team.
I would've prefered Gonzalo instead of Birdisso.
I'm not sure about heinze. I hate it when he goes forward, but i guess that won't happen much with only three at the back.
Zanetti in the MF is o.k as he played in the Inter MF for most parts of the season.
Cruz as a striker is a serius problem. He simply never impressed. Even when he scored some goals you still know that he will fade away with time.
I hope that basile brings up Cavegol if Cruz fails in the friendlies.

AKASH said...

The lineup is good,but i would rather see LISANDRO LOPEZ or FERNANDO CAVENAGHI up front with AGUERO and not CRUZ.

AKASH said...

The lineup is good,but i would rather see LISANDRO LOPEZ or FERNANDO CAVENAGHI up front with AGUERO and not CRUZ.

John said...

In some ways, I believe that Coco is playing safe. In times, I wonder what is main purpose for a friendly match?

I am a little bit skeptical about Pato in goal. Do not forget what happen to him in the UEFA Cup match against Bayern Munchen.

In defense, DEMICHELIS is a sure starter. I would prefer either Cata DIAZ or Gonzalo RODRIGUEZ instead of BURDISSO.

I am also worried about the fact that HEINZE plays on the left-back throughout his club career but Coco prefers him at center. It's not like HEINZE plays badly in that position but as what Johnny said, his can be unpredictable.

If there is one thing about this
game that I'm happy at the most is that finally we get to see something new from Coco.

This is very true in midfield. MASCHE can handle the entire ball winning duty while GAGO can contribute more in attack. ZANETTI as always is the bullet train of the team. He never stops all the
time; one must wondering is he 25 OR 35 years of age?

MESSI taking over the engache role is something that I've always like to see. I feel he will do fine there because of the freesom that will be given to him.

If I were in Coco shoes, I would have handed this responsbility to him a long time ago.

Up front, Kun AGUERO is necessary but not Julio CRUZ. What ever happen to CAVENAGHI? He is coming from an explosive season in France and yet he does not get the oppurtunity to start up front. We need to start thinking long term about this.

Mauro said...

Cruz plays tall and is a good complement to the faster, but smaller Messi and Aguero, he too has been having much success in a tougher league and I'm excited to see him get another chance in person tomorrow!

allan ng said...

I guess Basile is still haunted by the Copa defeat by Brazil, when Riquelme sent in free kick after free kick into the area, only for the diminitive Messi, Tevez, Aimar...etc to completely miss the balls. That's why we have Cruz.

I think Cruz is useless. He thinks he is so tall that he doesn't even bother to jump. I prefer Cavenagi or Diego Milito. But at least Coco is not using Messi as outright striker this time. I hope Aguero scores a couple.

Diego said...

Fair points from all of you. As you know, I'm not a fan of CRUZ. But I'm happy for him. This is a guy who never complained when he was made to travel the entire planet for a friendly match only to be destined to be on the bench, over and over and over again.

He is coming off one of his finest seasons in Europe and I believe he deserves his chance. He is also a proven legit goalscorer.

What concerns me is that COCO is using players that are rather old (or will be old in 2010). Such as ABBONDANZIERI and CRUZ. That said, if you have the game against Brazil in 15 days and not in 2 years, then fair enough, go with the players you consider the best you have at your disposal now.

I wouldn't be happy if CRUZ or ABBONDANZIERI are used as part of a long-term project because that would be worrying.

ZANETTI? He is a different story. He can be the star of a redemption story that will move even the toughest person on Earth if he gets to play in South Africa 2010 after being incredibly ignored by PEKERMAN for 2006.

BASILE has said PUPI is in such a perfect shape he believes he'll have no troubles to continue playing at the top level even after 2010. I'll be delighted if he is considered in our next WC squad and I think we don't have another player with his versatility and his experience in that part of the field (be it as a right back or as a right midfielder). Long live IL CAPITANO!

By the way, Mauro, I have replied to a message you wrote in a previous post. Good luck in the game tomorrow!

Alwin said...

Seba and John,
Keep up the good work of updating this blog. It's been a while since I posted due to working commitments.

Anyhow, I’m actually disappointed with COCO with this "BASILE said he won't try to use another footballer to play in Roman's position or to cover his same role."

Is Argentina going to keep relying on RIQUELME forever? Nothing against him, but we sure need to look into this for a backup because if RIQUELME gets injured or suspended, who is going to take this role. Pulling string in midfield is the most significant part of the ARGENTINIEN machine, we need a maestro to do that and RIQUELME fits the picture perfectly. The question is when he is not there, who is going to step up?

For goodness sake COCO, please use this friendly matches to experiment with players and find an alternative. It incensed me, when I realized that COCO seems to only have a “PLAN A”. Just like BIELSA last time, with a “PLAN A” only and incase the game turns on its head, we end up like headless chickens. BRAZIL is coming up, we don’t need another mauling, we need a “PLAN B” and “C” …etc. ARGENTINA needs to switch between situations and circumstances.


Regards from “Freaking HOT” Kuala Lumpur,

John said...

Interesting response from all of you, I enjoyed reading each and every one of them.

Firstly welcome aboard Diego and Mauro and Alwin, always great to have you back buddy.

Mauro, I’m happy for you amigo. I really do hope you have a great moment which I’m sure you will.

I think what Alwin is trying to stress must be taken into serious consideration. History will tell you that our national team has always had a habit on depending too much on one particular player.

Don’t get me wrong here, but I feel this whole thing started since the great Diego playing days as well. Of course when you have some like him, which coach will ever leave him out of his sight. But remember, people do get older. We have never seem to thought about what would happen when the day comes he decides to hang his boots.

This trend continued when Juan Sebastian VERON took over that helm and we all know what happen after that. In the 2002 World Cup, he marked out completely and when BIELSA called upon AIMAR to take over the duty he doesn’t seems to fit the picture (Remember the match against England & Sweden).

In 2006, Roman was marked out in the match against Germany and struggle to feed the ball to both TEVEZ and CRESPO. That moment was repeated in the Copa America Final.

I appreciate Coco’s philosophy in attacking football and believing in the engache role but he needs to be diversified and versatile in his approach in various matches.

There are games which you must pound the opponent and win the game by a mile but there are also games where you must win smart rather than win hard. Each approach may require different personnel to execute the task perfectly.

I know it is easy for me to say but hey I’m just like any other fan who just wants express his humble opinion.

As for the most preferred partnership up front, let me put it this way. The truth is I’ve got nothing against Julio CRUZ. In fact when he was banging the goals for Inter, I was furious at Coco on why CRUZ does not get the call instead of Hernan CRESPO. And the funny thing is, this happens when CRESPO sits on Inter's bench and CRUZ is out there doing his thing.

But at that point of time, I felt we lacked plenty of option for someone who is tall, with ariel ability and great instinct in the penalty box. But all that has changed when Fernando CAVENAGHI started to get back to his usual self (after being left cold in the Russian wilderness) and started scoring goals after goals for Bordeaux.

Furthermore, he has age on his sight and I’m pretty sure he is hungry for more. I would have felt the same way for Lisandro LOPEZ whom I believe should also see more action in the National Team. Maybe German DENIS for the matter.

ajNYHC said...

This is essentially a 3 - 4 - 3 with Messi and Aguero flanking Cruz. This was the system used by Bielsa - but the main difference being Zanetti and Messi are in a free role meaning - Zanetti's obligations are towards the defense and Messi obviously the offense.

Furthermore Coco is playing it safe because Cruz is a lethal finisher and Basile's first order of business is qualification for 2010. Then we can try different strikers upfront.

Roy said...

I truly think this is "put up or shup up" for Cruz. If he can't perform versus Mexico(who is a tough team) there's absolutely no way he's playing versus Brazil or even Ecuador.

Why oh why is Pato starting? I'm really starting to think that Coco has it in his head that Pato will be our Number 1 goalkeeper in 2010. Which is retarded considering we have Ustari and Carrizo... heck even Romero from the U20's.

Going with 3 in the back?... versus Mexico? Not sure about that one to be honest, but it might work. We need to work on getting the ball from our back line to the midfield. With Rodriguez(and Messi when he draws back a bit) in midfield, we shouldn't have a problem getting the ball to our strikers.

Seba said...

To everyone: Those comments you see signed as DIEGO are from me, SEBA!

A friend came to visit me at home yesterday, signed in to Gmail, didn't sign out and then I came here, I comment and I didn't notice I was signing as DIEGO!

VJ Rabid said...

Hey John and Seba,

I hope all is well. We've featured two Argentines on our signature Rabid Rankings series.

Manu Ginobili and Diego Maradona have made the Top 5 Hands of Divine Intervention in Episode 8 (Season 1)!

Check it out!



VJ Rabid

"The Best Non-Porn Men's Daily on Earth"

p2bn said...

Umm...Team selection is good! Anythign will work for me. I just wish they play to score goal then just beautiful. And alot of strikers should help that. Anyways I am gearing for the second leg of the match of Boca and then the match. Sleep at 7AM. Good that I got holiday tom.
Vamos Argentina
Vamos Boca

Anonymous said...

Boca lost to Flu. i m supporting argentina since world cup 1998. i also want be a member of ur community. i m from india but now in australia. great news match just started.

Jaggs said...

colochini istead of heinze

Jaggs said...

Boca lost to Flu. i m supporting argentina since world cup 1998. i also want be a member of ur community. i m from india but now in australia. great news match just started.

Jaggs said...

first corner for mexico but safe

Jaggs said...

Mexico are pressing

Jaggs said...

great play by aguero

Jaggs said...

burdisso scored the goal 1-0

Jaggs said...

this game not looks like friendly very fast game from both sides

Jaggs said...

and one thing i m reading ur blog for yrs this is first time i reply

Jaggs said...

2-0 messi score the goal fantastic play

Jaggs said...

yellow card for cruz for unnessary foul

Seba said...

Thanks for the updates, Jaggs! And welcome to the comments box!

A pleasure knowing more fans like us joining us!

What a great start for Argentina. BURDISSO scoring to the delight of John in Malaysia (hahaha!) and then a lovely team movement with a nice, unselfish low cross from CRUZ, a beautiful dummy from KUN and a lovely first touch by MESSI to fool the keeper.

All in all, a very entertaining match.

Seba said...

Great stuff by Argentina!

Maxi RODRIGUEZ scores again against Mexico (like in the World Cup. This was a rebound. Not at all like the one he scored in Germany.

That's a curious note. This is also not the first time that MESSI scores against Mexico (remember that incredible goal over the keeper in the Copa America?).

Why can't we play the Euro in Austria and Switzerland????? Why???

John said...

Welcome to our blog Jaggs!!!

Just came back from lunch only to find out BURDISSO scores, where did I heard that before?

A superb 4-1 win. Once again, I have to miss the game because of bad timing.

Will catch up with you guys later.

Anonymous said...

Well Well Well now that was a good showing. I told a few of you guys do not worry about that little friendly they had a week back or so in Spain.

Argentina turned on the style tonight. I watched the game@ my cousins, I had a ticket to go but I had to be someplace today and the trip to Los Angeles-San Diego is about a couple hour ride but that is another story. Now when the game was starting they gave former mexican gk some honor and he put on a GK jersey, I told my cousin that is right they will need two GK's to stop us.

Almost right away Argentina scored, with a head save by the Mexican defender on Kun's shot, that is why I love Kun he never gives up on a play, he took the ball from the defender and went 1 on 1 with the GK and almost got his name on the sheet, but do not worry he will be talked about shorlty... Then the Mexicans had a chance but shot wide right. Argentina got a FK and they made it work when Burddiso scored on a deflection. The second goal was all team work, pass after pass, and a nutt meg between Kun's legs to Messi for the nice tap in, Sanchez was frozen he could not do anything@ all. The 3rd goal was a hard working goal, the ball bounced around a few times in the box and Mascherano pounced on it. The Mexican did not threat the defenders very much.

Second half, 2 goals that should gone but wasted the chance. Cruz had a wide open shot but shot it to the 10th row. Kun had somewhat of a 1 on 1 but could not get the shot he wanted and a easy save by Sanchez. Mexico finally got on the score sheet by a nice little goal that Pato could of saved but he decided to let it go because he thought it was going out. The Mexicans pushed on, but they were given the KO punch when Messi gave a nice little pass to Kun for a shot that Sanchez was not expecting and was too late to react. I was quite proud of the team and they looked very good. I still say a true#9 is needed and Messi/Aguero duo was a nice sight. Gago/Mashcerano played well and the back line was very solid.

With all this said, the team played very well wo Riquelme, I am not saying the team needs Riquelme to win it all but Messi had the ball @ his feet most of the time and it was a free flowing side. Now on to the US, lets hope another good showing and please let the side only play 60min a couple key games are coming up and that flight from NYC-B.A is bit of a flight. So lets focus on the next game in hand vs Ecuador then off to Brasil. From watching Sky Sports news not too long ago, they say Kaka will be out for that game as well as Dino. Can we finally go to Brasil and take a game. If we come away with 4 points in the qualifers that will be good but I do want the 6points.

I was a bit sad to see Boca lose today, just foolish mistakes killed them, and playing in Brasil is never too fun, espically if you have 120,000 people yelling and rooting aganist you, well the Boca fans were out and causing problems again lol, but hey what else is new.! Well that was that! Goodnight fellas!


Seba said...

Thanks for your report, Jack.

The only thing I would say is that it was Maxi RODRIGUEZ and not MASCHERANO who scored the third goal for Argentina.

Besides, this is not the same team or the same category that played in Catalunya a week ago. Despite the two teams having a few players in common (GAGO, BANEGA, MESSI, AGÜERO) the team that played in Catalunya was the U23 that is preparing to go to Beijing (and they played last week without the addition of the over-aged players).

That comment on Jorge CAMPOS and how the Mexicans were going to need 2 goalkeepers to stop us was very very funny!

Anonymous said...

Yeah when I was going to work today, I was like did I put Maxi or did I put Mascherano. And ofcourse the IT's have blogging websites blocked! But yeah thanks for the correction.


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