Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Argentina sing La Marseillaise with a 2-0 win

First of all...let me express with a picture, just how I feel about Diego MARADONA's bright international managerial career start!

Perhaps it was because that day in Glasgow Diego received the news that his daughter Giannina had some health problems back in Madrid and he couldn't quite focus entirely on the game. Maybe it was because France meant a tougher test than Scotland. Whatever it was, Diego MARADONA collected his second win in as many matches in charge of Argentina, and this time he lived it walking tirelessly along the sidelines.

Marseille received Diego as a cult hero. After all, some 20 years ago, MARADONA was very close to sign a huge contract with the city's iconic club: Olympique Marseille, but Napoli's president refused and Diego stayed put in Italy. In a way, he got the same treatment he received in Glasgow and his team paid with the same coin by beating the hosts.

Such is the attraction Diego can generate that I dedicated my first few paragraphs to his figure, instead of focusing on the match itself. OK. I love him. I plead guilty of that.

The coverage I got from Argentine sports channel TyC Sports since very early, contained a bunch of useless commentaries, internal jokes the anchors kept playing to each other and only a handful of interesting images or information.

My favourite was when one of their guys managed to get into Argentina's dressing room at the Velodrome and we could read some signs Diego wrote on a few sheets of paper that he then stuck on the walls.

It read: "We're not here just to play a part. We are here to wear this shirt"; "There are no starters and substitute. The only irreplaceable thing is our shirt" and one other sign I couldn't get to remember but also said something about the camiseta (shirt).

John will surely upload videos from this match and I won't waste your time by describing our goals. The videos will do the job.

I want to breakdown one-by-one, our players' performances:

Juan Pablo CARRIZO: He showed safe hands and was quick to react to deny ANELKA in a mano-a-mano situation.

Javier ZANETTI: Never got in trouble. His experience is a valuable asset for our defensive unit.

Martín DEMICHELIS: Man of the match for me. Won everything in the air and on the ground. Kept ANELKA in his pocket the entire game and then took care of BENZEMA too.

Gabriel HEINZE: He committed a blatant foul on TOULALAN inside the box in the first half. The referee didn't see it. He fouled more than what was necessary, but was pretty solid throughout the game.

Emiliano PAPA: Had some problems trying to control RIBERY, but who wouldn't? He has a tendency to exaggerate the fouls he receives, but he joined the attack effectively at times (try and see him coming up free on the left when MESSI scored our second goal).

Maxi RODRIGUEZ: Anonymous at times. I get the feeling he was asked to worry a little bit more about defending than joining the attack and that prevented him from doing what he likes the most: running forward.

Javier MASCHERANO: He wasn't spectacular as he often is, but he was solid enough. I like it when MASCHERANO doesn't stand out as the best player because it means we had more possession and didn't need him to be on his backside trying to win the ball back.

Fernando GAGO: He makes a great case for the man-of-the-match award. Just as he did two years ago in Paris, GAGO had a great game against France. Great display of ball control and tackling. Very intelligent player.

Jonas GUTIERREZ: Two shots on goal, one of them went in. It was more than what you can ask of him. Worked hard on the left to help PAPA deal with RIBERY.

Lionel MESSI: He is from another planet. Simply brilliant. He is one of the few players that can get you excited whenever he is on the ball. Eleven goals in 35 matches with Argentina for him. Not bad. He made Diego happy in his debut with him and looked thrilled himself after the game. If only he could keep (or improve) his current form for when South Africa 2010 comes...

Sergio AGÜERO: Kun was not very active in the first half, but the first chance he had to control the ball, he had an assist in Jonas' goal. He improved in the second half, but we've seen better games from him.

Carlos TEVEZ: Only played 15 minutes, but it was enough for him to record an assist in a trademark TEVEZ move.

Gastón ANGELERI: Not much to say other than congratulations to him on his first international appearance.

Finally...this is how I feel about Raymond DOMENECH still being France's manager!



Dave P said...

hey sebastian,

yeah as you can tell by me doing the player ratings comment on your earlier post i am huge into Albiceleste. I love you blog its amazing for me, visit all the time. I have recently been expressing my opinion on the players and I figured I would give the player ratings thing a shot. Im glad to see that we are on the same page of the analysis of the game. I would love to write about and express my opinion on the the NT anytime. Whenever you wanna have a conversation or ne thing let me know. You will most likely see me making more posts here.

20 from USA. Yourself?


John said...

I’m not going to rate the players as I was unfortunate not to watch the first half due to some unforeseen circumstances. But this is my overall opinion of the game.

First thing, lets talk about Diego. What is there not to like about him? The fans were in frenzy mood when he was in Glasgow. It became even crazier than I could have imagined when he visited India. Now the French are celebrating Diego-Mania. Looks like to be like a rock band some sort of the Beatles and Rolling Stones on tour.

This just goes to show that no matter what many football aristocrats can condemned about him, it is always the people that have the final say. We say he is the best, we say is he greatest, period.

About the match, many people had been asking me what on earth Jonas is doing in the starting eleven. I was critical too but you can’t deny that he was workaholic on the left and for his effort he was reward with the goal.

Not too sure what went wrong with Maxi. In my opinion he was just simply okay but I will admit he can do better than that.

Then of course our upfront. Now this is an area I'm going to be critical with Diego. He brought with him the likes of German DENIS, Ezequiel LAVEZZI, Lisandro LOPEZ yet neither were utilize for this game. Not to sure about Pocho LAVEZZI but my guess is that either German and Licha ould have been use as a No.9 or target man.

Now the most important topic of the day, Lionel MESSI. Yesterday in one of our local tabloid, the headline for the sports section stated "Dua Maradona Tiba Di Marseille". Translate that in Malay it means "The Two Maradona Arrives in Marseille".

How true it was! The second goal had some of that element which resembled a little of that goal scored by Diego against Belgium in 1986 (I'm not sure was it the first or the second). To find out that many people are being soo ignorant at the same time, pisses me off because this people are simply blind just never know how to appreciate football.

Watching the Atomic Flea is just what excatly stated in the lyrics of Pink Floyd's classic "Comfortably Numb"

Now I get that feeling once again,
I can't explained,
You will not understand,

Joe Gergi said...

I am on the same page as most of you regarding the players performanece last night. I am going to put in another insigth on how i saw the game.

I actually try to analyse on how the Maradona mind works, how does he want the team to play? I believe that Maradona is a very clever person he has a great desire to learn and is not a shamed to learn from others because he wants Argentina to progress.

I believe Maradona i aproaching the game and training the team in the same matter that Rafael Benitez aproaches and trains Liverpool. As i am a huge Liverpool fan (thoug a much greater fan of Argentina of course) i know that Benitez filsofi is if you have a strong defense you will win a lot of games. I can compare Jonas G to Dirk Kyit of Liverpool both not spectacular players both extremly hard working payers who cover alot of grund. Jonas has the energy to help out in defense, midfield and attack, the same way that Kyut does. Another resemblence that I see is that Benitez always wants his forward closing down the defenders, not alowing them to build up play. I saw that in Messi and aguero many times. Argentina worked very hard last night and grinded out a win without actually playing very well against won of the stongest teams in the world (not based on form, but on players), and on away turf. That is mighty impressive. Sow what makes me sow happy, proud and exited for the future is that the albiceleste have won two hard away games by working hard and not playing that spectacular. That is the way the Liverpool and Man U teams win sometimes. They have a bad playing day but win the games thanks to hard work or some individuall performance. (like Argentina dd yesterday).

The future look bright my fellow Argetinian friends.

Anonymous said...

Seba I had a question for you. Where would Argentina be without a Messi?


andaman said...

Great reads guy. Thank you. I felt the same about the defense last night. Loose defense would end up conceding 1 or 2 goals to France.

Diego seem calm and collected but still very passionate. Nice to see that.