Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Match Coverage: Scotland v Argentina

We're finally here. After and endless soap opera around BASILE, the potential candidates for the position he left vacant, the assistant manager saga, Giannina's health problems (all sorted out now), Terry BUTCHER's comments and everything else, Diego MARADONA is set to make his debut as Argentina boss in the same place where he scored the first international goal in his illustrious career.

Despite a growing hype around MARADONA and his visit to the most Argentina-friendly country in the United Kingdom, there are reports suggesting that Hampden Park will not present a sold-out crowd.

MARADONA looks set to field a lineup that, at least when it comes to the names, has a lot of similarities with what BASILE's been using, but the main differences are in the formation Diego will use and the position in which some of his footballers will play.

A 4-4-2 formation that has been forced by the absenses of Juan Roman RIQUELME and Lionel MESSI. Without them, Diego doesn't have a natural play-maker (RIQUELME) or someone who can play just a little bit behind the two strikers and eventually become a key to open up the opposing defense with through passes or with his dribbling ability (MESSI).

With this scenario, Maxi RODRIGUEZ and Jonas GUTIERREZ will be key to help the striking duo of TEVEZ and LAVEZZI. Carlitos and Pocho will need those two to be very active going forward and feed them regularely.

MASCHERANO will have the captain's armband and to me, the bit question mark will be upon Fernando GAGO's position. Will he run forward more than usual? Will he be asked to stay back all the time to help Mad Masch and cover for Maxi and Jonas' runs forward? Will he be doing a little bit of both?

At the back, CARRIZO is confirmed as Diego's first choice goalkeeper. A great choice, if you ask me. A goalkeeper with a lot of talent and youth on his side. He'll have 2/3 good European seasons under his belt when the next World Cup comes and he is arguably the best goalkeeper we have these days.

Javier ZANETTI will have 15 European seasons when South Africa 2010 comes! I was very happy to see him in Diego's first list as rumours were suggesting he was going to get the axe. I think his versatility and his experience are great assets for our team and he is still the best we've got on our right flank.

Martín DEMICHELIS gets the call at centre back and I think it's a good decision. His speed, his timing and his aerial game are second to none and he'll be as determined as nobody else after missing out on the last minute on both the Germany 2006 World Cup and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

He'll be joined by Gabriel HEINZE, who abandons his left-back duties (a good thing!) and will now try to show his worth in his original position. If you've been following Mundo Albiceleste for quite some time now, you'll know I don't like HEINZE. But I'm willing to give him a chance as a centre-back. Good luck to him.

Finally, there's Emiliano PAPA. A mystery for most of Mundo Albiceleste's readers. Well...this is Diego's first gamble and I think it is one that will pay off. For some reason we had Gabriel HEINZE playing as left-back when we have some proper left-backs waiting in the shadows. Emiliano PAPA is one of them and after having a great season with Velez, Diego felt for him and will give him the nod. Behind him for future tests are Real Betis' Luciano MONZON (Olympic champion in Beijing) and Emiliano INSUA (still a very young but interesting prospect at Liverpool).

Feel free to share your comments with us and enjoy the match.

69 comments:

Roy said...

The weather is supposed to be heavy rain, hopefully it doesn't play too much of a factor.

A line-up I was expecting. This is Lavezzi's chance and possibly Tevez's last chance(as long as he's at United). Mascherano gets the armband, our backline is an interesting one none-the-less(especially with Papa in there).

I say 2-1 Argentina.

Vamos Diego, Vamos Argentina!

Seba said...

Hi Roy! How are you?

Regarding the weather, I'm already watching some images live from Hampden on TyC Sports (the TV channel) and there are no signs of rain. Hopefully it'll stay like this.

And hopefully this is not TEVEZ last chance!!!!

I love Carlitos and I think he (if only because of his huge heart) must stay in our national team. I don't know if he should be a starter or not, but he should definitely be a part of the team.

Roy said...

Hey Seba! I'm good, I got out of class early to watch this one, lol.

About the weather, you're right. Its because I checked the weather this morning and it said rain. Glad I'm wrong though.

I love Carlitos too, but time is ticking. He has to get more playing time. We can't keep pickng him ahead of other strikers if he doesn't get playing time. That and his record for the NT is not good at all.

Seba said...

Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Caldwell, McManus, Broadfoot, Brown, Hartley, Ferguson, Commons, McFadden, Iwelumo.
Subs: Marshall, Alexander, Naysmith, Maloney, Clarkson, Berra, Miller, Robertson, Barr, McAllister.

Argentina: Carrizo, Zanetti, Demichelis, Heinze, Papa,
Rodriguez, Mascherano, Gago, Gutierrez, Lavezzi, Tevez.
Subs: Romero, Coloccini, Denis, Cata Diaz, Villagra, Burdisso, Sosa, Lopez, Montenegro, Gonzalez.

Seba said...

Teams are on the pitch.

Great ovation for Diego as he appeared on the big screen.

Argentina dressed in traditional Albicelestes shirts.

MAD MASCH with the armband and the anthem goes on as a new ovation sounds with Diego's face on the screen again.

Some drops of rain in the cameras.

Now the beautiful Flower Of Scotland sounds loud.

Seba said...

A minute of silence in the memory of Pedro POMPILIO late president of Boca Juniors and an AFA director who died a few days ago.

Seba said...

Captain Masche with a rocket from outside the box. Good reaction from McGREGOR.

Roy said...

Nice build up by Maxi and an even nicer shot by Mascherano! If that would of went, I would of went ape-shit.

johnny said...

Definitely raining, though tough to tell how hard.

John said...

A very good morning to everyone from Malaysia.

It's 4.11 am here.

So far we're looking good.

Roy said...

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL MAXI! I was just thinking to myself saying that Maxi would score. Beautiful play by Tevez and Gutierrez to pass it to Maxi.

1-0 Argentina!

Seba said...

GOALLLLLL!

1-0 Maxi RODRIGUEZ.

Great combination between TEVEZ and Jonas who sets up Maxi for an easy goal.

1-0 in 8 minutes.

johnny said...

That didn't take long !

johnny said...

Nice to see some unselfish passing in the area.:)

Seba said...

Morning John! Great timing from you!

Are they showing the match on Malaysian TV?

John said...

No. What a shame! Instead it's the all time low Germany/England match.

Thanks for the links, by the way.

Seba said...

Got any luck with those webcasts?

John said...

I'm looking at a few options here.

This one looks good.

http://www.ustream.tv/videoplayerpopup/channel/343149

Seba said...

Emiliano "POTATO" PAPA is having a good first few minutes in his international career but now is hit in the face by the boot of one Scottish player (or maybe he wasn't!)

He's fine now.

TEVEZ to LAVEZZI. McGREGOR saves.

John said...

Why on earth did somone gave him a nickname like that?

John said...

Bad pass from TEVEZ....

Seba said...

Scotland with their first chance in 20 minutes.

Good work from McFADDEN, DEMICHELIS deflects his shot into the corner kick.

John said...

That was close from the Tartan Army!

John said...

Now where did that came from???

Seba said...

John, POTATO is not PAPA's nickname. What happens is that PAPA is the Spanish word for POTATO.

So...his name is POTATO, really! haha!

John said...

Beautiful move from TEVEZ but Maxi's crossed was too high.

John said...

Beautiful move from TEVEZ but Maxi's crossed was too high.

John said...

Let me see if I can find some snacks to much. PAPA chips maybe?

John said...

So far what I can say about the newly launched Diego's Revolution? Those nice, short and beautiful pass are back!

It looks like TEVEZ a bit down, making the formation look a bit like 4-2-3-1 with Pocho the lobe striker.

John said...

Free kick to Scotland....

John said...

TEVEZ!!!!!.........ooooooohhhh!!!!

Seba said...

What is HEINZE doing kicking the hell out of that player without any need of doing it?

Those are the things I hate about him.

John said...

Corner kick to Argentina....

John said...

What the fuck was DEMICHELIS thinking? Thank God nothing happen!!!

Seba said...

He was probably thinking of his girlfriend:

http://images.google.com.ar/images?hl=es&q=evangelina%20anderson&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

Do you blame him???

Seba said...

Nasty foul by CALDWELL on TEVEZ from behind.

It looked painful!

Yellow card for him.

Seba said...

End of first half.

A great start, lovely goal, interesting exchange of passes and then the team took a nap and the match got boring.

Thumbs up for the team after this initial 45 minutes.

John said...

Ahhh. Footballers and their WAGS!!!

John said...

Gotta agree with you Seba. This team reminds me a little bit of the Pekerboys.

Roy said...

Good half. Excellent half if you want to compare it with how we've been playing lately.

Zanetti is done fine, Demichelis aside from that one slip up is good, Heinze has been playing very good, Papa loves to get forward and knows when to track back.

The Gago/Mascherano duo that we saw in the Olympics seems to be back. Gutierrez sort of disappeared a bit, but played a good half and Maxi has been everywhere!

Tevez has been doing the dirty work between he and Lavezzi. Speaking of Lavezzi, was he even on the pitch? Aside from the first few minutes, he's barely had a touch of the ball.

If I had to make a change, depending on Tevez(if he can continue or not), I would take Tevez off for Denis or Lavezzi off for Lopez. Aside from that, so far so good:)

p2bn said...

hello guys!!been watching from myp2p using sopcast..channel no 6008...good english commentary always from cable soccer channel. Good to see Diego's first match. I think it was a good perfomance overall especially the first 25 mins. Was thinking how would it have gone with the trio of our best. nice passes.. a bit bad in defence as always...now the managerial decision of diego comes as he wil have to substitue some of em...lets c....i hope to win with 3-0 margin or maybe 3-1. dont wana see the scottish get hammered. got enough enemies i guess.:-D

Vamos Diego
Vamos Albiceleste

John said...

I really want to see Lucho and Lisandro coming in. I'm hoping that Diego will utilize their combination, as they always do at Porto.

Seba said...

POTATO went down after BROWN barely touched his ankle and the crowd though he was cheating and now everytime he's on the ball he gets booed.

Ridiculous...

John said...

Pocho!!!!.....arrghhhh!!!

Seba said...

LAVEZZI with a good intention but shot wide.

Where should I sign to see Lisandro LOPEZ?

The cameras show Claudio CANIGGIA in the stands.

Diego is really serious now...

Seba said...

Lee MILLER heads wide from inside the small box.

Now it's Lucho replacing Jonas.

Seba said...

ZANETTI with a GREAT run and then a HORRIBLE pass to Lucho.

Good effort though.

Seba said...

Great play by DEMICHELIS!

First he wins the ball to stop Scotland from counter-attacking. Then he keeps it and generates a free-kick that looks very dangerous.

Maxi, Carlitos and HEINZE are near the ball.

And HEINZE hits it horribly.

Get back to your normal activity of hitting knees and ankles instead of the ball, HEINZE.

Thanks very much...

Seba said...

German DENIS is coming to replace his Napoli team-mate LAVEZZI (who had an off game).

johnny said...

Weird choice for that free kick, no ?

Seba said...

Lucho touched three balls so far and lost them all.

Not a good performance.

Seba said...

Whatever choice that involves HEINZE kicking a ball is weird, Johnny. It's as simple as that.

John said...

Lucho!!! Why does he keep doing this when given the chance???

John said...

Lisandro comes in for Mr.Potato.

johnny said...

Cata coming on ! For me he is the logical partner for Demichelis in the back.

Seba said...

Cata DIAZ replaces Emiliano PAPA.

Diego kisses POTATO and congratulates him soundly (to answer to the boo-boys whom have been on PAPA's ears all night).

Are we playing with 3 at the back now and ZANETTI joining the midfield?

Possibly. Let's see...

Seba said...

Johnny...I still prefer Ezequiel GARAY.

And Federico FAZIO is not ready yet, but he's got time until we reach Brazil 2014. He'll be about ready there.

Seba said...

Carlitos TOO selfish there. We don't need those kind of things.

johnny said...

Righto Seba-I like Garay as well. I'd like to see the squad without Heinze and Curly Colochini (spelling ?).

Seba said...

José SOSA getting ready to come on, but there's not much time left.

It'll be one for the statistics.

John said...

Opps my mistake but they do look alike :(

Seba said...

Close enough: COLOCCINI.

SOSA replaces Maxi (my man of the match -not only for his goal-).

Seba said...

DIAZ and LOPEZ look-a-like? Are you really having a glass of Scotch for breakfast, John? hahaha!

Seba said...

Full-time whistle.

Well done, Diego!

He looks so happy. Now he'll take a plane to go to Madrid and be with his daughter.

Seba said...

Diego hugging EVERY player and congratulating them.

I've never seen a manager doing that!

Well...Diego is unique, isn't he?

John said...

Game over. 1-0 to Argentina. A winning start for Diego.

It's almost 6 AM and I'm off to work now. Will talk about the game later.

See you guys and have a great day.

p2bn said...

well good game..the best part was the commitment of the players and the nice little passes....would have been better with messi and roman but still good enough from diego i guess. and the way he hugged his players at the end....nice....would definitely increase respect and the passion for the team....now onwards to the game with France but before that a grandchild i guess..the new diego ver 2.0 (even better)...hehe...

vamos diego
vamos albiceleste

andaman said...

Good game. Beautiful goal. Nice football from Argentina again.

Diego looks calm and collect. Didn't let out til the end. Go be with Giannina now grandpa-to-be!

Anonymous said...

Hello Seba

Papa likes getting forward like Juan Pablo Sorin.

Good game for him

France next in FEB09

Gabriel