Friday, October 31, 2008

Diego's visit to England canceled

Too many things to do in a very short time.

Diego MARADONA wanted to go to England this weekend to watch MASCHERANO and TEVEZ in action and to have a chat with them and then be back in Buenos Aires in time for his official presentation as Argentina boss on Tuesday.

That very same day, Diego is expected to announce the list of players that will play against Scotland at Hampden Park (19 November).

So the trip to the UK got canceled and Diego will follow the action on TV and through the internet.

In other news...

It's confirmed that Sergio BATISTA and José Luis BROWN will join MARADONA's coaching staff.

According to the sports newspaper Olé, Diego will play with 3 at the back.

The names this newspaper is mentioning are:

CARRIZO as goalkeeper


His preferred midfield will be composed by Maxi RODRIGUEZ and Angel DI MARIA on the flanks with Javier MASCHERANO and Fernando GAGO in the middle.

Juan Roman RIQUELME will remain in the radar but if Diego plays a 3-4-3 formation, he'll probably not start against Scotland.

Up front, at least for this friendly match against Scotland (which Lionel MESSI will have to skip due to the arrangement between AFA and Barcelona that allowed him to play in the Olympics), MARADONA will be using trio of Sergio AGUERO, Ezequiel LAVEZZI and Carlos TEVEZ.

Olé also says Diego will be contacting Gonzalo HIGUAIN to have him ready to be called up in any minute.

Players from Argentine sides like Marcos ANGELERI (Estudiantes de La Plata) and Emiliano PAPA (Velez) will be joining the squad, together with Olympic champions Fabián MONZON and Pablo ZABALETA.

While BASILE's captain and all-time leader in caps, Javier ZANETTI and Esteban CAMBIASSO, will most likely be ignored from now on.

This is not definite and it's a version Olé is working with. I thought I'd share it with you to start thinking of how the team could look from now on.

Happy with the 3-4-3 formation?

Would you drop RIQUELME?

What about that midfield?

Will a trio of small but fast forwards work?


Joe said...

It looks like he will be going back to the way bielsa played or almost. Bielsa used to play 3-3-1-3
I like this system alot. According to bielsas filosofi it was the best way to cover the hole field. I belive he played with


Placente Samuel Pochetino

Zanetti Simeone Sorin


Ortega Batistuta C. Lopez

I remeber those days when i read that teams where afraid to face us before the world cup in fear that we will win and lower there confidence. I still belive that tie we hae a stronger team than today, honestly. Bati,Crespo, zanetti, sorin, almeyda, simeone, ortega, kily, Lopez...were considerd among the worlds best.

If we would play the same formation maybe will hae a team looking like this.


Zanetti Demichelis Zabaleta

Maxi Macherano Di Maria


Messi Aguero Teves

Downside - Not as good defensive,
No big target man

Upside - Faster players and alot
more thechnical players
- Messi!!

But to be honest even thou we failed when it mattered. I truly belive we were stongest under Bielsas regim. Sow if Maradona i copying that play with some adjustments i hope. Then i will be more then happpy.

johnny said...

What all this says to me is that there will continue to be passionate debate about which players make the seleccion, what strategy and tactics are used, etc. It is a difficult situation for Maradona, just as it would be for Russo, Bianchi or Popeye the Sailor Man. I won't be unhappy to see Cambiasso or Zanetti leave. As for Pupi, great player and great guy that he is, it appears lately that he has lost a step or two. As for Cambiasso, another gentleman, but without great skills either on offense or defense. I do hope Roman remains in the mix. I personally think that the greatest challenge for Argentina is to find strikers and attacking midfielders that work well together. There has been way too much inconsistency in that area. In a way, I think the incredible riches Argentina has with attacking talent may have been a problem at times. The focus should be on which players interact with each other the best, which might mean having a really talented player coming off the bench rather than starting. And, I don't mean Messi !:) But, I can't see Maradona not starting Aguero. So, for Maradona, lots of possibilties and problems, just as there were for Coco. I think if the players buy into Maradona's philospohy, don't pout or become a distraction if they don't get their amount of desired time on the pitch, then Argentina can live up to their potential. But, as a retired northamerican football player once said, "potential is a french word that means you ain't done shit yet".

John said...

Well I’m happy to see there are some changes taking place in the new Diego’s Revolution.

I must say that coaching any national team, even more so the Argentina’s National Team is all about making big decision, taking big risk and doing it all under immense pressure from everyone. Never to easy.

Daniel PASSARELLA went through some trouble for leaving out Fernando REDONDO. Marcelo BIELSA receive plenty criticism for ignoring RIQUELME and SAVIOLA. PEKERMAN had the same reception for leaving out ZANETTI and SAMUEL.

At this point, I wont be to keen to talk about selection as there is plenty of grey area to cover and the match against Scotland is only a friendly. There will plenty of speculation about who’s in and who’s out until our next major assignment, which will be the WCQ in April.

Am I happy with the 3-4-3 formation?

1) Yes, if you’re playing against weaker opponent because with our strength it allows you to kill your opponent.

2) No, because we might find ourselves in trouble against team that play with tactical and defensive style game. There will be danger on the counter attack.

RIQUELME being drop? Well I guess maybe for this friendly but it will be interesting to see which player Diego would want to take up the playmaker role. GAGO perhaps.

In a 3-4-3 formation, the flanks has to be versatile in both defensive and offensive. In terms of attacking I wont argue with anyone but I’m not sure about Maxi and Angel in terms of the defensive game.

About the trio? Preferably we should have a tall hit man in the middle. Since HIGUAIN is now on the radar for sure, better have him alongside AGUERO and LAVEZZI.

What about TEVEZ? I have to say this that it is not a good idea since he has been sitting on the bench more often lately with Manchester United. He needs to play some games and score as well.

Joe, I do agree with you that during BIELSA’s time we had some of the finest player in the world but I still believe tactically we got it all wrong under him. He emphasis a more European style of play. Yes we did dominate during 2002 WCQ but our weakness was well exploited during the World Cup (especially against England and Sweden).

Our game suited the Europeans very well because we were throwing long ball every now and then rather than keeping it on the ground. We were attacking more from the flanks instead of penetrating from the middle.

I wouldn’t want to go back to that type of play ever again.

pisingh said...

Hi all, I'm new to this blog but a huge Argentinian soccer fan in the UK and have been following the national league for a good 5 years. I look forward to posting here more often.

I thought Pekerman's team was the best equipped as playing Eurpoean style against European teams makes there life easier, and harder for our players.

I hope Riquelme remains important and regains his sharpness soon as he has the skills that no current ARG player has at the moment. I agree that Lavezzi is better than Tevez for obv reasons but would also like to see Zarate given a chance.

I wud also like 2 see the coach to show faith in Diego Milito who is still underrated as a Crespo like finisher in the box and not that bad outside it too. One of Milito, Higuain and Lisandro should be kept in the team as we need someone to score the number9 goals and keep the other defence guessing.If G Bergessio keeps improving he will be a lot better than German Denis.

As Cambiasso and Zanetti, they are still good players but I think with Gago, Cambiasso is less important as his club form seems to have dropped. Zanetti maybe 2 old for 2010.

Its in defence where we need most changes. EL Negro Garay, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Daniel Diaz these guys should be given a chance and Heinze and Burdisso dropped please. They have no sense of position and cause so many problems. Also what about GK- I prefer Ustari technically better than Carrizo and once he is playing again he will prove it.

pisingh said...

Also I meant to add Federico Fazio and Diego Valeri to the list of my new hopefuls for ARG.


John said...

Welcome Pisingh! ZARATE has been a real badass lately for Lazio. He should be in the radar too.

Don't forget Fernando CAVENAGHI, he too has been very consistent for Bordeaux.

GARAY, RODRIGUEZ and FAZIO, I think will make a better defensive trio at the back.

John said...

Carlos TEVEZ come's in for NANI. Will he score today?

Seba said...

Welcome to Mundo Albiceleste, pisingh!

I agree with a lot of the points you make.

I also agree with Joe to a certain extent. With BIELSA we dominated our continent and were impressive in some friendly matches prior the World Cup but I think we lacked a legit Plan B if things were to go wrong.

I remember us playing in a way that suited England to perfection. Their centre-backs (I believe they were Sol CAMPBELL and Rio FERDINAND -but I may be wrong in the latter because I'm not checking-) got tired of clearing away the many useless crosses we sent all day.

Having players like ORTEGA and AIMAR, who can both unlock any defence in the world with their skill and their inside play, we should have at least tried something different.

That...and BIELSA's belief that he couldn't use BATISTUTA and CRESPO at the same time, was all we needed to collapse.

I still recognise BIELSA's job and I think he is a hell of a manager (one of the best around).

Regarding Argentina playing that 3-4-3 formation...

Hmmm...I don't think we could do that with DI MARIA on the left. Maxi can help a little bit on defence but he is not the kind of player you'd want to play on your right flank with that system.

Ironically, I think ZANETTI would do a better job there.

With BIELSA, that system worked so well because you had SORIN on the left and he was immense playing in both defence and attack.

I just don't see how this could work defensively.

I would like us to have a tall target man in the box. 2 speed demons can be enough (MESSI and LAVEZZI, or MESSI and TEVEZ, or MESSI and AGUERO), but a combination of the three of them could cause a lack of space for them to make the most of their abilities. They need an open field and a big man to distract the centre-backs.

John said...

Luciano BECCHIO scored again! Leeds United defeated Cheltenham 1-0 with a solitary goal from the former Boca Juniors midfielder. Perhaps Diego should make a trip to Yorkshire just to check out on this fella.

Seba, you’re right. It was CAMPBELL and FERDINAND. I also remember ORTEGA finding it really hard to make an opening on the right forward position as he was marked out completely by Ashley COLE.

But then again as you’ve said, we always lack the Plan B when things go wrong.

Anyone watching the Spurs/Liverpool game?

Abs said...

Finally someone ready to take the risk !! I have been asking for this formation since the world cup, I don't know why they keep playing 4-4-2 if we have nothing to lose !! 3-5-2 --> 3-3-4 is the best formation ever for such a team !!

I don't think he'll drop Riquelme, and even if he do drop him for couple of games, he'll know how important this genuis is for the team !!

Dropping Zanetti and Cambiasso, should be since the world cup. It is true sthat Zanetti play with the heart, but we need ne bloods. And about Cambiasso, I just can't see him fit in the national team, he is a great player, and actually a reason for Inter to win in the last few years, but he just can't play with Argentina the same way.

For the moment, am fine with backline, but by the time I hope Diego get Gonzalo, Garay, Fazio... etc.

Midfield.. If Riquelme playing then Maxi and Di Angel shouldn't and instade a third DM should join Gago and Maschy, andjust play a straight 3-4-3 (which I haigly prefer) !!

And fast small forwards can do the job as long as the play as a trio and no long balls !!

John said...

Barca 2-1 up with Lionel MESSI scoring the second goal against Malaga.

Kun AGUERO has scored to put Atletico in the lead against Mallorca.

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Lot of interesting thoughts. I agree with most of you that with Bielsa we did not have a plan b. But we completly dominated posession. Againt England in 2002 we had 65% and against the swedes 65% Nigeria 55%. And most of you know when you controll possesion then you controll the game. And that must be the basic of our play. The opposition must not have the ball. We must set the standard against the teams, the teames must go in the games against knowing they will have to defend. Bielsas formation was spot on aswell as the players. But i have read that Bielsa never ever bothered to focus on the oppositions weekneses and strengths he only focused on our teams on tactics and play. That is way we lost!! Sweden and England adapted to our play and figured out ways to block us. Bielsa honestly would have succeded had he not been sow arrogant thinking with his tactics and the great players at his disposal he would win. He did not adapt the play at all on penetrating throug the oppositions weakneses.

I remeber when we faced sweden and i saw how the swedes blocked our flanks by putting two defenders against Lopez and Ortega. So you are truly right Seb we lacked a plan b.

I live in sweden but i am a truly die hard argentina fan and you will find a few that is passionate as me (exept all of you o course :) )When we went out because of the draw against the swedes i was completly devestated and my swedish friends knowing i am a huge argentina fan tormented me. That is without a doubt the worst world cup i have experienced. (Fan since 1990).

To conclude it all a belive that we need to have a base on our on play. But adapt to the oppositions weekneses. Also we have sow man good players that we should play them against eachother. He who do not fight will loose his plays in the team. I mean we have Messi, Teves, Riquelme, Zarate, Lavessi, Auguero, Higuan, L Lopez, Milito, Cavaneghi and moore. Rotate them let the fight to show they deserve to wear the argentina jersey.

Finally i can tell you all. Maradona has always spoken highy of Messi, Riquelme, Augero, Macherano, Teves. These players will no be mooved.

And i disagree with many of you, i think that Zanetti should play. He i very consitent and versitile and better then all of our right defenders.

pisingh said...

Hey Joe,
I agree with most of your points and that Bielsa was and remains a coach that we should refer to in our comparisons. But, I think Pekerman also had ARG dominating possession, killed the qualifiers, and played more tika taka style soccer. So I don't think Bielsa is above Pekerman.

Regarding Zanetti, my worry is that in 2010, 1.5 years down the road, his age may show in the South African pitches. He is an absoilute master but if we rely on him too much, Monzon will not develop before the WC. That said, Zanetti can be taken as a reserve.

Living in England, I see Tevez a lot. But, I think he does not suit Messi, Aguero and Riquelme. He is too physical when cutting inside, always looking to power his way through, often ignoring team mates who are free both inside and outside him. If he then loses the ball and tries to recover it with desperate tackles he gets red cards- and we can't afford that again. He does not have the variety that Zarate has or the better vision of Lavezzi (see how many assists he has). If we want a powerful player then Lisandro is a better option, he can finish far better, is good in the air and holds the ball up much better. BTW I think Tevez will bebetter of leaving England or Man Utd cos the way Utd play has made him more physical and less skilful which is a shame.

Lets see what the other boys think.

John said...

I've got agree with Pisingh on ZANETTI. Yes he will always be remembered as one of the all-time greats in the Top 10.

But the last thing I want is another is CAFU story reflecting on the Albiceleste. In Germany, it was obvious that he looks too old and slow.

We have Pablo ZABALETA and I believe he is the man to take over ZANETTI throne in the NT.

Our main problem is that we rely too much on fast/short type of forwards.

We need those tall/target men type of players as well.

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