Saturday, June 06, 2009

Argentina win three vital points against Colombia

A very difficult match to play that is even harder to analyse.

I heard that great teams are those who manage to win even when they don't play a great game.

There are many examples of this through history. Teams that are intelligent. Effective. Teams that will destroy you when they play against you in a good day for them, but most importantly, teams that will manage to find a way to still beat you when they don't play a good game.

Now I'm not saying Argentina has a great team. We do have a lot of great players, but we are still not performing well as a team.

The demolition we took in La Paz is proof of that. So is tonight's performance. In Bolivia we were punished because the home team happened to play a great game and we struggled under those conditions in the altitude.

Tonight it was different. We had the edge. We have better players than Colombia, but still, through a good tactical approach, impressive determination and a lot of running, they made us look average.

They never let us control the ball at will. They forced us to do a lot of tracking back to defend and cover their wide midfielders and under those circumstances, plus the obvious tension that everyone of our players had to make us forget about the La Paz incident, we looked pretty poor at times.

So I believe these three points are much more important than if they had come as a product of a comfortable 5-0 win.

It took a lot of character and guts to win tonight. It wasn't easy, but we knew it would be that way, because for Colombia it was like a cup final.

The fact that the goal-scoring hero was as unfashionable as Daniel "Cata" DIAZ, tells a story, but as I said in our chat room, Italy won a World Cup with Marco MATERAZZI scoring their only goal in regulation. And I add examples: Barcelona won the Champions League in 2006 with BELETTI scoring their winning goal (and KOEMAN did in in 1992 for them). Anyway...there are a lot of examples. In the meantime, let's enjoy Cata's goal and the three points it gave us:

Dave P. will come up with the player ratings later and I honestly feel bad about the job he has right now. It was a very tough match to read, but I'm sure he'll get his ratings right, as he always does.

There'll be time to talk about who was man of the match, where was this game won and what were the things that went completely wrong.

In the meantime, I think we should all embrace these three points as if they were a can of water in the middle of the Sahara.

With these three points, we guarantee ourselves that we will stay in the Top 4 after the Wednesday fixtures and falling from that position was what we all feared before tonight.


messidona19 said...

Just one word: PHEW!
How we managed to get the 3 points in this match is something that I still don't know how.
Unfortunately I have to admit that our team doesn't have the Argentinian flair that we used to have during the Bielsa days. I also got annoyed at the fact that Colombia had so many chances on goal and our Maradona was celebrating at one of their missed chances instead of shouting at his players for allowing the opposition so much space.
There wasn't a particular player that really impressed me but Messi and Veron did combine well many times but nothing effective there.
Thank you Diaz for the 3 points with your goal! You saved the day.

messidona19 said...

I have to admit that Maradona might not be so great when it comes to teaching his team how to penetrate defences and hold possession the Barcelona way but there's something that he really knows to do and that is his substitution changes, all were spot on and at the right time and that won us the match with a bit of luck ofcourse.

Anonymous said...

Maradona is just horrible. We all knew this; I tried to trust in him, considering that, due to his temperament, was probably going to make important changes in the team no other coach would have had the balls to do. But he keeps using the same players (Heinze, Diaz, Agüero), making the same tactical mistakes previous coaches had... I really dislike him.
This is not all his fault; it's been years since Argentina doesn't plays as it should (or could). He wasn't the adecuate coach for this moment.

Thankfully, we won. Yet, it's pretty obvious that he lacks a complete understanding of what's going on, and that's not good.

Anonymous said...

Our team is not world class, far from it, today's game is another exemple of this.

Anonymous said...

Another thing is apparently we have a friendly against Spain in November right?

We should cancel it IMO. If you want to avoid embarassment, that would be the best to do.

Sebastian said...

WOW! Anonymous! You really hate MARADONA, don't you?

Let's see his record so far:

1-0 win over Scotland in Glasgow (friendly)
2-0 win over France in Marseille (friendly)
4-0 win over Venezuela at home (WCQ)
1-6 defeat against Bolivia in La Paz (WCQ)
1-0 defeat over Colombia at home (WCQ).

4 wins, 1 defeat. 2 wins, 1 defeat in official matches.

If that's "horrible", then I take horrible any day of the week.

I think you are judging way too fast. Diego still didn't have much time to work with his players and he took the job when the seat was REALLY hot with Argentina winning one of the last seven WC qualifiers (2-1 at home vs. Uruguay).

I prefer to be patient and wait a little longer before making a judgement. That are entitled to your opinion and I respect it.

Anonymous said...

Sebastian: It's not that I hate him; you know this playing "style" is the same one we have been playing for so long with no clear result. Winning against Scotland or a friendly against France means nothing. We have won 3-0, 4-0 matches against Mexico in friendly or C. America games -- then remember the 2006 WC: they were a pain in the ass. Anyway, you're right: considering his short time in the bench, he is a winner.

I have some hope for him. Actually, there's nothing, we Maradona-dislikers-before-we-win-something, can do more than expecting him to win.

Respect for your opinion too, and let's see how well we have it with Ecuador.

Anonymous said...

Well after a long day of drinking and eating and watching the game I have to say I am very upset from the showing of our national team. The goal scorer was Cata Diaz? So this what we are have rely on, Cata Diaz who will likely score no more then 5 goals in his entire career for the NTL team. Sure we got the 3 points and are closer to South Africa but if we think we can just turn it on when get there I have to say we will learn a difficult lesson. The problem with the team is they have no style, they just do not link up well right now. If Colombia sits backs and defends and does a good job then I have to say other teams will do the same and have better outcomes. Nothing but sheer frustration when I watch them play. Again Milito played for about 50min or so and showed me NOTHING. I understand he needs more chances and needs to play entire games but if Diego is not making that move and starts the three little guys how will we ever know? I say give Milito a few starts and if he does not deliver then time to have him canned and call up Higuain who still has not even the day of light for the national team. If Argentina go to Ecuador and win 3-0 I will not be shocked but if they get their butts handed to them then it will be another lesson learned.


Anonymous said...

i didn't see the game (i live in germany and they didn't show it) but the only thing that counts is that argentina won. now they will definetely qualify. people don't be upset the didn't play well, these games had just to be won and the performance is secundary. and such hard fought victories will give the team more confidence than a 6:0. also if they win all the friendlies and qualigames then maybe the presuure at the wc will be too big, like in 2002.

i hope argentina meets germany in 2010 and then it is payback time for all the robbed games (1990 and 2010).