Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No HIGUAIN and no ZARATE in the list for Russia

It's not official yet, but I'm posting the names that are widely regarded as those who will travel to Moscow to face Russia in a friendly match to be played on 12 August.

I'm doing this (publishing the squad list before it's official) for two reasons:

1. Because the sources are rather strong and trusted.
2. Because I don't know if I'll have the time to post it later on Tuesday (when the list is announced officially).

So...here are the names and you can start discussing right away.

Juan Pablo CARRIZO (Real Zaragoza, Spain)
Mariano ANDÚJAR (Catania, Italy)

Daniel DIAZ (Getafe, Spain)
Emiliano PAPA (Velez, Argentina)
Nicolás OTAMENDI (Velez, Argentina)
Gabriel HEINZE (Real Madrid, Spain)
Martín DEMICHELIS (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Nicolás BURDISSO (Inter, Italy)
Javier ZANETTI (Inter, Italy)

Fernando GAGO (Real Madrid, Spain)
Mario BOLATTI (Huracán, Argentina)
Javier MASCHERANO (Liverpool, England)
Maximiliano RODRIGUEZ (Atlético Madrid, Spain)
Sebastián BATTAGLIA (Boca Juniors, Argentina)
Jonás GUTIERREZ (Newcastle United, England)
Jesús DÁTOLO (Napoli, Italy)
Juan Sebastián VERÓN (Estudiantes de La Plata, Argentina)

Lionel MESSI (Barcelona, Spain)
Sergio AGÜERO (Atlético Madrid, Spain)
Carlos TEVEZ (Manchester City, England)
Lisandro LOPEZ (Olympique Lyon, France)
Diego MILITO (Inter, Italy)
Ezequiel LAVEZZI (Napoli, Italy)

OK, here are my initial thoughts.

Good to see OTAMENDI confirmed and starting to get a regular spot whenever MARADONA has to call up a squad.

A couple of new boys. The excellent Mario BOLATTI gets in the picture after a great season at Huracán. He was regarded, together with OTAMENDI and PASTORE, as the best players in the last Clausura tournament. A central midfielder with great ball control and distribution but who can also stop and break the opposition's attacking plays in the centre of the park. Great header of the ball too and he also has a powerful and accurate shot from outside the box.

The other new boy...I'm not so happy about. It's Jesús DÁTOLO. Not a bad player, by any means, but not one that intrigues me or excites me. He used to play for Boca Juniors and now he is at Napoli, which will prompt many of you to think Diego is calling him because of the shirts he wore and he wears. The reason MARADONA gave in an interview with Olé to justify DÁTOLO's call-up was the absence of Angel DI MARIA. Diego said he needs to have an option with a midfielder that can play wide open on the left. I doubt he'll start the friendly match in Moscow, though.

No HIGUAIN and no CAMBIASSO. This disappoints me, I can't deny it. Especially the absence of HIGUAIN and the presence of Ezequiel LAVEZZI. Yes, they probably play different roles in the attack, but based on form and on recent developments for both players, I'd pick HIGUAIN every day. Another name is Mauro ZARATE. But I tend to think MARADONA believes LAVEZZI can offer him a threat on the wing, rather than a forward who would play more in the middle (like HIGUAIN or ZARATE). For that, he already has AGÜERO, TEVEZ, MILITO and Lisandro LOPEZ.

LAVEZZI, by the way, is in the middle of a crisis at Napoli. The President of the Italian club criticized LAVEZZI publicly and I don't know if this is the best moment to call him up.

Same goes for Carlos TEVEZ. He is injured to this day. I doubt he had the chance to run and train since last season ended. This was a perfect opportunity to leave him out and let him concentrate on adapting himself to a new club. By calling TEVEZ, MARADONA is complicating his pre-season (especially when the player is injured) and he is wasting the chance of having a look at HIGUAIN.

But at the same time, it really goes to show that Diego doesn't want HIGUAIN in his set-up. If he doesn't call him now, I don't see him calling him at a later stage (if nobody gets seriously injured, but even if that was the case, I wouldn't think MARADONA will call HIGUAIN). This is obviously a sign that those rumours about HIGUAIN not seeing eye-to-eye with some of his team-mates at Real Madrid and the national team surely make sense.

A real shame.

Regarding CAMBIASSO. I don't know if Diego has an personal agenda there too. It could be a case of him thinking that player is not one that can adapt to what he wants. I don't know.

As I always say, there are many examples of players enjoying a great run of form and yet being ignored by their national team managers. MARADONA himself suffered from that when MENOTTI left him out of the 1978 World Cup or RIQUELME and SAVIOLA in 2002.

Maxi and Jonas are getting another vote of confidence from MARADONA and in their cases, I hope it helps them gain in confidence. Especially Maxi as he really needs to recover his best form.

I have to say I'm not happy with this list. I do think some players deserve to be back with the team, but overall, Diego is missing a great chance to rotate a little bit and most importantly, test and observe new players that will give him more options.

Again...this list is still unofficial, but I doubt we'll see many changes (if any) when it comes out.

In the meantime...let's hear from you and see what do you think of these names.


Anonymous said...

If this is the team that actually plays vs Russia all I have to say is "what else is new!!!". The guy refuses to call up players that are needed. This will be similar to next WCQ and etc. I would not blame Higuain one bit if he played for France nor would I be angry towards him. So no Samuel,Cambiasso,Higuain, Zarate. He will start Messi and either Tevez or Kun up front, then have them subbed about 60min in and Milito will come in and will not have his time. Well the rat himself gets buzzed again! Come on Diego, it is not that hard.


ZiggY said...

VERY disappointing indeed! Seems Diego is one of those stubborn coaches who refuses to change an already failing system. Not dynamic at all (which is very important). I cant believe he sticks to crap players like Gutierrez, Heinze and Papa... and inconsistent players like Aguero, Gago, Lavezzi and Burdisso! As the Argentine coach he has the luxury of highly talented players out there who are also IN FORM!!! There's Samuel, Higuain, Zarate, Pastore and Cambiasso for instance! We are gonna lose Higuain to france as a result of his stubbornness.

Anyway, since this isnt the official list yet, maybe its too early to be talking. He did say that Palermo would "definitely" be on the list (not that i want him called) and i dont see him there, so.... lets hope for a better looking official call up! Now is the best time to experiment and find solutions to problems. He's not gonna solve them with his usual tactics.

Sebastian said...

The list is official now, Ziggy.

You can go crazy now! ;)

As far as PALERMO is concerned, MARADONA did say the Boca striker will definitely be on the list, but for New Zealand and Mexico. Not for Russia. Hope that clears up the situation.

Anonymous said...

BUENOS AIRES, July 28 (Reuters) - Diego Maradona named uncapped midfielders Mario Bolatti and Jesus Datolo in a 23-man squad on Tuesday for Argentina's friendly against Russia in Moscow on Aug.12.

It will be Argentina's last match before their World Cup qualifier at home to arch-rivals Brazil on Sept.5.

Bolatti was widely regarded as the best player of the Argentine Clausura championship in which Angel Cappa's brilliant Huracan side finished second to Velez Sarsfield last month. The 24-year-old was called up by previous coach Alfio Basile in 2007 but was not capped.

Datolo, 25, has received his first call-up since joining Napoli this year.

Maradona included Manchester City's new signing Carlos Tevez although the striker is nursing a left ankle injury.

National team physio Luis Garcia was travelling to England on Tuesday to help with Tevez's treatment, the Argentina Football Association said on its website (www.afa.org.ar).


Goalkeepers: Juan Pablo Carrizo (Real Zaragoza), Mariano Andujar (Catania)

Defenders: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan), Emiliano Papa (Velez Sarsfield), Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid), Daniel Diaz (Getafe), Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan), Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Fernando Gago (Real Madrid), Sebastian Battaglia (Boca Juniors), Mario Bolatti (Huracan), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle United), Jesus Datolo (Napoli), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Lisandro Lopez (Olympique Lyon), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli)

Mohd said...

well well, here we go:

--Burdisso: nice move selecting him over Samuel while at club level one is a starter while the other rarely plays.
--Papa: no decent NT in the world would settle for Papa as even a sub left back--but hey the drug adict lives him so he got to be there!
--Battaglia: not ever you can consider this player world class. but he has to be there because our genious coach thinks he is better than Cambiasso. what did Cambiasso do? nothing just being in the Calcio best 11 for 3 years in a row!
--Aguero: he has to be there guys, he is his son of law and this is a family team no more.
--Tevez: two red cards and no goals but he is loyal so he has to be there also.
--Lisandro Lopez: common now seriously...
--Lavezzi: yeah he should be selected especially with his "great" time at Napoli.
--Higuain: he values more than all our forwards put together, but it is logical he is not selected. after all it certifies the state of maradona's mind.
--Zarate: best young player in Italy, in the best 11?? naa nothing special, bring in the loosers instead.

sorry for this long post, but i just had it...

Anonymous said...

Mohd, I am right behind you. I am about to throw away my 1986 Maradona jersey away in the dumpster! My patience with him has ended and I could care less what he did in the past. How people turned on Passarella so quickly. How Passarella did not call up Redondo in 98 because of his hair and just dislike for him. Maradona has a handful of players he is not going to call up. I do not get how he refuses to call some of our finer players. Tevez is hurt but he still calls him up. That is brilliant. If he does not call up the right players for the next WCQ I am just going to refuse to watch any of the games till he does. I am sure it happens if one or 2 players get left behind, but calling up players he is friends with and does not call up players that are worthy I say the hell with him! 4 or 5 key players are easily missing here that can help our team drastically. If Zarate goes and plays for Italia I will not complain one bit, the same goes for Higuain if he picks France.

P.S. What is Papa doing in this team? The guy is shorter then a midget on it's knees! He plays defense!


Anonymous said...

My god talk about getting behine your team maybe this blog should be base on people who dislike argentina, cos thats all i'm reading every day.... look the what i see it things are not that bad am i with you seba as long and milito starts and gets some game time and plays well. i really think we need him in the next two WCQ.... anyways its about time i can start reading good things about my team...

msi2 said...

IMO, you should forget about Cambiasso for now and after:


The defence and part of the midfield is the most dreadful i have seen in years.

John said...

Wow!!! I would need some to digest here before I can comment about this list.

Mohd said...

Jack, i do not think either Zarate or Higuain will drop Arg for either Italy of France, but yes i believe they will never be called by maradona even if they win the ballond'or.

Lucas, where did you spot that we dislike argentina. we are against the coach selection. that's it! the selections and the way maradona is handling the team is a disaster. that is what we are against. nothing more.

sirus said...


Gonzalo-Solid defender has a lot of experience at a club level...

Garay-Young prospect and Tall

Zabaleta-Zanetti's successor

Cambiasso-Midfield leader of Italian champions

Higuain- RM's leading scorer and la liga's one of the most dangerous striker...


Heinze-Terrific defender
Diaz- too avaerage + old
Di Maria-He has great future but not now...
Battagali-average player


Zarate is selfish player... not now...

John said...

Okay guys, here are my thoughts about this list.

First of all, I’m with you on the fact that is it really sad NOT to see Gonzalo HIGUAIN in this list and for so much we all have been arguing about, I’m thinking that will Pipita go back on his words about playing for Argentina. I still can’t find any good excuse for why he is excluded from his squad.

Perhaps it is true that all the gossips about him not seeing eye to eye with the rest of the squad. However for any reason that is, there is no excuse for Diego to keep doing this and he is the manager and he should exercise his power in the dressing in the best interest of the National Team. Not by trying to keep some players happy because of this.

I can’t seem to understand why would Diego call up TEVEZ who is currently nursing an injury. I would prefer to not to bother him in his preparation for the new season with Manchester City. I would need all the time to adapt with his new club and this little less important match can only be nuisance for him in my opinion.

Our defense is something that really makes me wet in my pants. Not in terms of that they are the most solid line up for us in terms defense but they’re just the kind of players that can only put a smile on our opponents face. Whatever happen to Walter SAMUEL after having a superb year with Inter. Where is GARAY?

Speaking of Inter, where the hell is Esteban CAMBIASSO?

As much as I like Jonas GUTIERREZ and I dare to say that the last few months for him Newcastle has been devastating and he is far from the player that we all remember watching during the early part of the season.

CAMBIASSO has been (and will always be) the unsung star for our NT but at Inter he is different proposition all together.

sirus said...

Heinze going to Marseilles...

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