Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No identity. No shots. No points. No nothing.

Not so long ago, I was faced with a fact that really makes me sad. When I was growing up, supporting Racing Club de Avellaneda, there was a manager that seemed to be a wizard.

He was one of the best players in the glorious 60s for Racing, when we won the Intercontinental Cup (1967) and became one of the best teams in the history of football in Argentina. I wasn't around at that time, but my father and my grandpa told me.

When I started going to the football, Racing went through some hard times. Relegation, a run of more than 20 years without a league title and then he came along.

He won promotion back to the first division (1985) and then he won the Supercopa Sudamericana (our first title since the 60s). Not only that...his Racing team was a pleasure to watch. Offensive style everywhere we played. Beautiful passing. Everybody loved him. So did I.

That man was no other than Alfio BASILE.

His first spell at our national team saw a run of undefeated matches (more than 30. I think it was 36) and some beautiful football, but ended with MARADONA's USA 94 doping scandal.

I felt destiny was unfair with him and I was more than happy when he got a second chance. After all, he won everything he could with Boca Juniors.

Perhaps that's why it hurts so much to see him losing his grip with reality. Getting out-coached more than he out-coaches his colleagues and especially falling out of love with the media and most importantly with us, the fans.

He seems to have changed through the years and I don't like this new version of BASILE. In fact, I hate it!

I was prepare, when he was hire this time around, to play as BASILE's advocate. Here at Mundo Albiceleste or talking with friends. Anywhere. Because I still had those sweet memories very fresh in my mind. Well...not anymore.

I don't want to be extremely critical of him either. I'll try and state some facts and to express my points of view in a fair manner.

Here we go...

1. We played with blue shirts tonight. Was it because it was a similar colour to Chile's like what happened on Saturday with Uruguay? The answer is: "NO". It was because BASILE wanted to use those shirts (and the one he was wearing) because he believed it was a good luck charm. What next? Will he pick his players based on tarot? What about I-Ching? The more I grow up, the less I admit those kind of superstition when it comes to football or sports in general or in any aspect of life.

What now? Should we never play in dark blue again? Should we not play with our traditional albiceleste kit? After all...we went 5 games without a win before beating Uruguay on Saturday. What about a green one? Or a Brazilian yellow?

I'm out of words here...

2. Why don't you give some confidence to your chosen striker tonight? Why did you play Diego MILITO only 45 minutes? (one of the best men during that first half. Always trying to find an opening. Always playing the ball to his teammates. Always holding up to the ball like a striker should). Why do you do that after you did the same to him last time you played him? (Peru in Copa America). After all...near the end you had to use Jose SAND, a great striker but far, very far from MILITO's talent or resume. I just don't get it.
AGUERO played far worse than MILITO and he was coming back from an injury and yet you kept him until the end.

3. Why do you play MASCHERANO out of position? Don't you see he is not as effective playing on the right? Don't you see you're killing him if you move him from the centre of the pitch?

4. When you were down 1-0, why did you replace MILITO with BERGESSIO (a very talented and powerful player but with less than half the scoring power MILITO has)? You did none of them a favour. Why not using DI MARIA? Why not taking one from the back four? Oh! I'm sorry...I forgot Don Corleone...(you can call him Julio GRONDONA) have asked you not to play with three at the back anymore.

I'm not putting BASILE off the hook, but I must talk about the players too. They were responsible in a way. MESSI and AGUERO. Why do you only pass the ball to one of you and only one of you two? It's OK that you are friends, but you are not playing alone and you are not the owners of the national team.

CAMBIASSO: What's going on with your passing? Why didn't you connect a single pass to a teammate in the entire second half?

HEINZE: played as you always do. I can't ask anything from you. I still don't know why you are our first choice at left back. Unbelievable.

Despite this being an awful performance as a team, I think a few players did OK.

CARRIZO was not at fault in Chile's goal, DEMICHELIS was solid at the back (except for one mistake when he couldn't make a clearance) and LEDESMA showed some composure and some interesting things.

Chile played a great game. That's true. In fact they were excellent, but with the kind of players we have at our disposal, the fact that the opposition had a good game just doesn't come as a relief for me and it doesn't work as a valid excuse.

If we are to qualify to the World Cup like we should, then I think we are going to have to change more than the colour of our shirt. Do you agree, BASILE?


Lopez,India said...

I am very sad today ... Not the great game from my favorite team .. Its clear the we have lots of dependency on Riquelme.. Riquelme absence was the key factor for us ... But at the same point I am very diappointed that coco dosenot have any B plan . If Riquelme is not playing then Coco must have Plan B.

I am not saying to sack coco cos we are in very bad situation. Future for Argentina is Uncertain now ...
Can anybody tell me where we sand now in qualification table ?

How many more games to go ?

Please console me


Anonymous said...

It is a horrible day, and I do agree with pretty much all the posts, even though I am not a Milito fan, i'd rather see Crespo. The guy never had true pace but is a born goal scorer so who cares he is 33 he can put goals in the net. You know I just got done flipping through a few ch and I saw Brasil tied again vs Colombia at home. I think they are in the same boat as us, even though they are one point up. And yes IF IF Argentina qualifies I hope to God the man leading them is not Basile. Brasil cracked the Da Vinci code, which is stick to the team on glue and do not give them space and everybody else has done the same. Is it me or does the Youth play a 100x times better then the national squad. The U-23 team for the Olympics were pretty darn good and I just do not know I am scratching my head and saying what is going on. I think it is a footballing virus, Portugal tied Albania at home as well. Argentina will get a whipping by the media and you know what the team should get its nose out of its you know what and find them itself. Where is that team that I saw in San Diego when they murdered Mexico 4-1? That was the last great showing I saw from the squad. The team is hot and cold days, right now they are in Antarctica. You know I normally would get on Riquelme if the team does bad because I think he slows the team down but you know what it is not Riquelme it is the team and it is the puppet master Basile. If he sees a mistake he just lets it go on for his vision to come to life. First 15min of the Uruguay game, I was like alright this is what we have been missing, the Uruguay goes down and scores a goal the team puts its tail between its legs and play casual ball. Argentina's new couple games will be vs Venezuela and away at Bolivia. That should be 6 point and yes playing in the altitude in La Paz is horrible but they must collect all 6 points, and anything less then 4-5 goals for Argentina at home vs Venezuela will also be a failure.


John said...

It’s time to put things into a logical perspective.

First thing, let me tell you this; please mark my word that Argentina will qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

But my only concern is that will our opponent fear us the way they should after watching our performance against Chile. I hate to say this but look at teams like Germany and England who at one time look like rubbish are getting more respect than us.

Will be the new Dutch team? A team with plenty of talent (in terms of names) but as a collective can fall into pieces. I hope not.

The truth is in every WC we always have a team that is more than capable of just winning it. In fact in the last WC, many agree that we played the most beautiful football in the entire tournament.

If the answer to all this problem is Coco than maybe the time has come for us to ask to him leave is now rather than later.

We need a fresh face from the coaching scene. Someone who can bring something different to the table. If there is one name that I can think of is Diego SIMEONE.

I also feel it is time that we learned to adapt against team that will place a physical approach against us. From what I’ve learned from the last two games, Uruguay and Chile were always battering and bruising us every time we the ball. To some extent, that approach did work in their favour.

Another thing that I can tell is that there many ways this squad selected by Coco can be improve by thousand miles. The names like ZARATE or CAVENAGHI and LICHA could have provide the extra fire power that we needed.

Players like Lucho GONZALEZ or Pablo AIMAR would have been able to provide the much needed back up Roman’s absence.

There is still time and all we need is some drastic re-inventing process and almighty revolution that should start right NOW.

Juan y Fer said...

this game is a continuation of the horrible second half against Uruguay last saturday.
(a blog about sport in English and Español)

johnny said...

Well, I finally made it up today and read the match thread and this thread, after watching the match last night. My most clear impression is that Coco has lost control of the team. We can talk tactical or strategic errors forever, but I don't think the players (with some exceptions I am sure), have sufficient respect for Coco. And, once that happens to you as a coach, you are done. The squad needs a new coach and a new outlook. Discipline needs to be restored and a consistent game plan with the players signed on to that game plan. If they don't sign on they need to see some time on the bench. That includes ALL players. And, yes, even Messi and Aguero. Without Riquelme, they both ran around like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to do everything themselves and as Seba pointed out, not passing to anybody else. Ledesma was invisible. Cambiasso adds nothing.

I think that before the next set of matches Coco should step down. I don't trust however that the right decisions will be made as regards his successor, but it can't be any worse than we saw last night. That was by far the worst performance I have seen from Argentina.

I would say that Cata Diaz had a good performance and Carrizo looked good.

Wish us luck !

John said...

Hey Johnny,

We need a new coach that’s for sure. But I hope we’re not the only one who share this sentiment. The people in the AFA should open up their eyes and find out what is the problem with this team. Is it the players? The coach? This can’t go on.

I’m glad that our next qualifier (though we’re Scotland next month in a friendly) is in April next year. At least this will give us the much needed time to this whole saga behind us.

Now I have some news about our favourite son, Carlos TEVEZ.

In an article with the Guardian, Carlitos has admitted that he lost something. I’ll leave it you guys to read more about it. This is really scary as last season he was amazing for United and this season he might find himself being left on the bench. Plus with his absence from the National Team due to suspension, nothing seems to be going great for TEVEZ.

Does all this has anything to do with him playing in England? Like everybody else, I want to see the old TEVEZ again. The one that ripped every opponent apart in Argentina, Athens, Brazil and last two season for United.

The latest news surrounding TEVEZ is that Real Madrid might make a move for him if United fail to sign him permanently.

Anonymous said...

It "s such a shame my beloved team losed. As i always said ,Basile is not proper for the Argentine manager . May be his tactic is too old ,etc .Our team has a great deal of potential .Every manager in trhe world might be envy of Argentina .But look what he did .He brought the team draw with Belarus ,though the 2nd team .He has no creativity ,we need some change to be greater in WC 2010


p2bn said...

Cool down guys! We all share the pain. We all want to blame someone. My friends are so totally destroyed by the way we played. I mean its not that we should never loose but its about how we loose. We should have at least some dignity, at least with Chile. All I can see is that the team is not functioning as a team but individuals. The only positive out of this all is our keeper. Now I don't hold my breathe every time the ball comes towards our post. That is going to be a big achievement. I am afraid that I might have lost the passion or maybe I am more matured as I do not feel the intensity I used to or most probably, its just another qualifier and we did not became world champions on 06 cause we did great during qualifiers. We will qualify, I have no doubt but I hope till then we will know what we are doing and what we want. All over again, right guys. That's football and more importantly that our beloved Albiceleste. ;-)
Vamos Albiceleste