Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mundo Albiceleste Pod - Samba coming to town




We are here to present what is, perhaps, the most anticipated edition of Mundo Albiceleste's podcast!

The whole team is back together as John, Roy and Seba discuss all things Argentina-Brazil.

We analyse the lineup, the players, the potential scenarios that could develop and we predict not only this match, but also the entire round of WCQ that will be play this weekend.

Do you feel you are an obsessive Argentina fan who can't think of anything else other than the big clásico on Saturday? Fear no more! You've found a place where three loonies suffer the same disease.

If you want, you can simply click the audio player above or right-click on the following link and save it as an MP3 file or listen to it in your computer: download.

Enjoy! And don't forget to send us your views to argentina.correspondent@gmail.com or right here in the comments' box.

58 comments:

Allan said...

This has to be our biggest game of the year. I am surprised Maradona is not planning on starting with Aguero who had a good game against Russia.

In Scandinavia, Denmark is playing Portugal and if Denmark wins, Portugal will have trouble qualifying, since they already lost at home. Imagine the most expensive footballer in history missing the 2010 World Cup... Ha ha Messi will surely take home the Golden Ball.

salvio supporter said...

Thanks for the podcast, I was missing it.

About the pressure on Messi... it's very sad to me that not many people here in Argentina appreciates him (it's not that much of a dislike anyway). He was, in my modest opinion, nothing short of genius in the last Copa América, no matter the final result -- and not to mention his essential role in Beijing. It's clear he's a key player, whether he scores or not, whether he receives the ball from his partners or not; and Maradona knows this well, but I don't understand why he would use him as a forward and not as a midfielder. Maradona himself said that every ball should pass by Messi so the other team has to take care of any unpredictable action he could trigger. Messi as a forward is not a good idea, he can't create unbalance if Brasil aggresively keeps the action on our goal.

I'm also not sure about Dátolo. It would be way better to switch his position with Messi.

I share Roy's (I think) opinion about Heinze. It's really scaring to think about a brazilian counterattack with Heinze out there doing "his things". He definitely does his job just fine, or makes the Mistake of the Century. Please call-up someone else, Diego. Who would the readers here like to have in that position? I insist with Clemente Rodríguez (poor guy, I'm obsessed with him).
The defense is weak. It's weak weak weak, but at least our goalkeeper is really good. I really like him, he's fit for this game, and everybody supports him.

And about Licha López... he should start as the "misterious" second forward (we can bet the first one will be Messi). He deserves it. He can not work properly, just as anyone else, but it wouldn't be a crazy decission to have him there from the very beginning, specially when almost everyone would agree with it.

So until the big game, let's just be possitive. Today, there are three local matches to watch and forget a little about the saturday clash.

ZiggY said...

Nice podcast guys, i enjoyed it...

Seba, i definitely know how you feel. To be honest im just as pessimistic as you are about the game. I mean, judging from the current form of the national team, i think it only makes sense to be very worried about the Brazil game.

First off, i think you guys touched on most of the essential topics, but kinda missed out on one of the most important ones: the performance of our national team coach. I mean, Diego has come under so much criticism as of late for his controversial decisions. So far we have suffered two humiliating defeats in the qualifiers at the hands of Bolivia and Ecuador, and displayed a very poor form in our win against Colombia at home. Despite this poor form, Diego continues to show stubborness when it comes to his choice of players and tactics. Frustratingly, he has totally neglected big and established names such as Cambiasso, Higuain, Samuel, Zarate, Garay, Gonzalo...etc to name a few. These are luxury players who Argentina are lucky to have, and its a big shame that we are not benefitting from their availability. Under many national teams, most of these players would be starters! And its not like Argentina have been playing well without them to say "we dont need them". On the contrary, after closely examining our week points, its obvious that many of these players could hold solutions to several of our problems.

For example Cambiasso would be very handy in orchestrating midfield and keeping posession (which we are clearly failing to do). Higuain would add lots of depth to our attack with his big build, effectiveness in the air and fighting spirit. Samuel would add lots of experience and safety to our back line. Zarate would add lots of creativity up front, and with his excellent shooting ability from long distance, he can be very helpful in earning us shots on goal, or unexpected wonder goals, when facing tight defences. Also, he provides a great option during free kicks (where we are lacking in ability in the absence of Riquelme).

Instead, Diego has been calling up unexperienced players, mostly from the domestic league, as opposed to established players with big clubs in Europe. Not to mention, in the biggest game of our lives on saturday, he is entrusting only 3 time capped Otamendi and no-time capped (debutant) Dominguez to the heart of our defence! How is this justifiable??? I think this makes a mockery of our national team, as if we have no experienced defenders to rely on. Dunga and his men are most probably laughing at us right now. Fine, they play well for Velez together, but playing for club is much different than playing for country.. especially in a big game such as this one. Dominguez, no matter how good he is, will be very nervous and shaky the first few minutes.

ZiggY said...

Also, i dont know why many people approve his reliance on Gutierrez, but in my opinion i think he's the biggest joke after Papa. Fine, he's a hard worker and all, but watch closely and you'll see that he does absolutely nothing in contribution. Just coz he's a hard worker doesnt mean he's efficient. All he does is throw the ball ahead of him and run with his wobbling giraffe legs, almost always resulting in tripping or reaching the corner flag without him knowing. He doesnt know how to combine with the central midfielders well. Remember the days of Kily and Sorin and their partnerships with Riquelme and Veron. Gutierrez has no clue in that aspect of the game. His best attribute is probably in his defensive ability, but other than that, he's a total waste of a position. Im not surprised that nobody signed him from Newcastle after they were relegated (and him on the bench). I hope Datolo proves to be a better option, and if not, then bring back Di Maria..

Concerning the attack, i agree with you guys that this is where we have the most options and depth in players... so many to choose from. But i honestly dont understand why Diego insists on playing Messi up front as an attacker. That is clearly not his position, and he has failed to shine for Argentina simply because he hasnt been utilized correctly. He is a star at Barcelona where he essentially plays as a right winger and has a free role in midfield and attack. He's one to get passed defenders and link up with the AM's and forwards, or score himself. He should not be placed up front with his back towards goal. He should be the heart of creativity, not the player to assist to and rely on for scoring goals. He should be playing in Maxi's position. The two men up front should be reliable goal scorers. I agree with Roy that Tevez isnt the best option right now. Yes, he's a great player, but his form hasnt been excellent lately. True, he has excellent work rate, but that's not enough anymore. We need play translated into goals. Enough concentration on beautiful football, we need to win. We need results. Diego Milito and Lisandro Lopez are proven goalscorers. They should be the ones up front.

Anyway, in conclusion, i just wanna say that im very worried about this game, for many reasons. I am not at all happy with our situation, nor the football we are playing, nor the line ups i am seeing. With all respect to Diego, the greatest player ever, but he has been making a circus of our national team. Nothing he's done has paid off so far. What worries me most is his extra friendly relation with the players. Im afraid this treatment brings him too close to them to the point where he promises them his faith and trust, no matter how bad they play. This causes him to be more reluctant to make changes to the team and call up other players. I think he's got too much bias and stubborness. He should be more of a manager and more strict with bad performances. I dunno, but this is just my opinion. The way i see it, so far Diego has shown total incompetence as a coach. Dont get me wrong, i'll be the happiest guy in the world if we beat Brazil on saturday, and i hope Diego proves me wrong... but i dont think it will happen. If we dont beat Brazil convincingly, then i will still hold my opinion on his poor coaching ability. We better win this game, or at least draw and win over Paraguay. If not, then we are in serious danger, and the only good thing happening after that is seeing Diego replaced...

GK said...

Kick off is 9:30 Rosario local time correct? That would be 8:30 North American Eastern time.... can someone confirm this? Seba?

Gracias.

Paulina said...

Maradon's saying that they are going to "attack Brazil" is a complete ruse.

I think that they are going to play just like they played Brazil in the Italia 1990 world cup, with Messi in the Maradona role. I'm not sure how many "hard men" were in that team versus this team..i don't really remember the game other than the goal that Canigia scored..but if they play man to man open against Brazil they might as well throw themselves in front of a moving train.

8:30 eastern -- yes i think that's right. Ecuador / Colombia at 5:30pm EST.

Roy said...

Paulina, I'm not sure Maradona's gonna play it the same way as 1990. Brazil hit the post(literally) about 6 times that match, give or take 1. They bombarded Sergio's(goalkeeper) net.

And for those confused about the time zone, it's being played at 8:30PM eastern time, 5:30PM California time and 9:30PM Argentina time.

Isaac said...

Nice article. Thanks for your comment on Lionel Messi Fan. I appreciate it. Did you sign up on the site?

Anyway, nice article. I believe Argentina will win the game. What a clash!

Rune said...

Great work, guys. Enjoyed the podcast.
In a derby game like this anything can happen. But I have to say I will be VERY surprised if Dominguez and Otamendi don’t do lots of mistakes. They will be very shaky. It’s crazy to start such a big game with these unexperinced players. From this squad Heinze and Burdisso should have been the centre backs, not because they’re not two clowns, but because they are experienced clowns at such a high level. I do not trust Andujar either, I am afraid. I have a feeling our defence plus Veron and Datolo will be eaten alive in this game…..
But maybe…. if we can just score the first goal, we have a big chance. This Brazil team is not great, they play like an european side, only fast counter attacks. IF we can score first, maybe we can sit back and counter attack them??? Would be nice, though it wouldn’t be the real Argentina. But as I said, I’ll take anything tomorrow if we win. We need a win. We haven’t beaten these bastards for over 4 years now. And we are close to losing out on a world cup..........

johnny said...

Great podcast gents ! Vamos Argentina !!

msi2 said...

An interesting article from José Pekerman:

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/deportes/Crisis/talento/Argentina/elpepudep/20090904elpepidep_3/Tes

King Polo III said...

I've said this before on my blog: http://footballisyourlife.wordpress.com, I'm gonna say it here again, Brazil will win against Argentina by at least four goal! I know the match will be difficult for brazil because Argentina coach Maradona will not accept a lost from brazil! He must admit thoough that his team have not been in full form for a real long time.

Anonymous said...

Great podcast fellas. Boy oh boy, I think I could smoke a pack of cigarettes. I am ultra nervous. Just under 30hours before kickoff. Argentina and their players need to step it up. I have never really criticized Messi, however if there is a game that he needs to show us he is our next great hope this is the game. Don't get me wrong, if the team wins and Messi does not do much I will take it. But if the game is at a deadlock and just like Roy said, Messi will need to make some magic and help us. Because if we lose this game, the only 3 points I can say that is a lock is vs Peru. Because traveling to Paraguay and Uruguay will be no fun trip. I am happy that Santa Cruz is out for Paraguay when we face them. But I do think our players will rise to the occasion and win. I would say Argentina will win 3-1. I feel Tevez is due for one. If not him then the player that gets subbed for him. Expect a goal from somebody who we wont normally see scoring and I want to say Messi as well. However if we do go down a goal and it is late, expect Maradona to put on Lisandro,Aguero and Messi all up front. But I say this will be worse case.

Jack!

salvio supporter said...

Rune: we kicked them out the Olympics last year... where were you? They even had Ronaldinho! I know it was the U-20, but it's important...

Paulina said...

I'm not a "fella"... :)

Seba -- after all those arguments. ..After all that cyberspace yelling at little old me and others..you predict that Brazil is going to win????

I don't know what to say. This has been the craziest days of anticipation to a game that I've ever seen. I have no idea what to expect tomorrow. (I do think that Ecuador can beat Colombia).

msi2 said...

Why dont you never criticize Messi? To me he's not untouchable... on top of that, we are partly in this situation because of him (and Aguero and Tevez).

The game against Russia also showed we dont necessarily need Messi at all cost. We pull out a coherent formation and you can play decently.

I expect if we lose against Brazil and Messi put out a disappointing performance, then his statut of untouchable will be doubt. Right now, he beneficiated from the support of the argentinian press but that might not last on the top of not doing unanimity among argie fans.

msi2 said...

I was talking to Jack btw. :p

Anonymous said...

Paulina I think Seba was just trying to jinx the Brasilian team, like yeah Brasil is going to take it.

msi2- I know if Messi has a poor showing and Argentina loses all the critics in Argentina will be out on him. Headlines will read, He is a Barca player and not Argentina. So far when Messi needed to step up for Argentina he has in major games. Cancel that Copa America final game in 07 and he has been quite stellar. I agree Messi is not the be all and say all of our answers, but he is a player that can change a game in a blink of an eye. Messi for me now is what Batistuta was a decade ago. The man could do no wrong. For me I rank Messi as the 3rd of 4th best player I have seen for Argentina. Too young to recall Maradona's 86 WC(I was born in 84)and afer 1990 Maradona was never really the same. For me the list will go as.

1-Batistuta
2-Redondo
3-Crespo
4-Messi/Riquelme.
5-Palermo, haha just kidding

Jack!

Rune said...

I know, Salvio. But like you said, just the Ü-20's. We need our real NT to win now.

johnny said...

I see Messi getting set up by some to be the whipping boy if things don't work out tomorrow. I think that is all wrong headed. Messi isn't likely to win the match by himself and ought not to be expected to. You can bet he will be marked closely. I think another player will have to step up if Brazil crowds Messi. Carlitos, Aguero, Veron, somebody. I think Brazil's recent history under Dunga points to taking away the big player, whether that be Riquelme or Messi.

Raj said...

Thanks for the analysis. Always a pleasure to listen to all your podcast. I have been following Argentina football from 1986 world cup and am a big fan of Argentina soccer team. Some of the key issues that have haunted Argentina in the last 4 world cups have been:

1. Inability of our midfielders to score (Brazil team is the best in this). With our best of class strikers being marked, invariably the opportunties fall to midfielders who have time and again failed miserably. The best all round team was in 2006. Maxi and Cambiasso did well in 2006 WC. But Maxi is very inconsistent. I like Cambiasso but he does not fit in Maradona's plan.

2. Too much churn in defence. Look at the number of defenders used by Argentina in the last 5 years. It is always a concern. I am hoping that Maradona continues with a fixed pair through the rest of the qualifiers. I wished that he tried this pair up against Russia. Going by recent performance of all the defenders and considering the churn we have had in defense, to play two players from the same club side is not a bad option

3. Going back to players like Veron and Heinze who have failed consistently in the past and not holding on to players like Aimar who have always done well for Argentina irrespective of their club performance

I feel the area which would really benefit Argentina is training on long distance shots. Zarate seems to me a player more needed than Higuain. I know most of us have been very critical on Maradona's selection. But it is the players who decide a match and not the coach. If you give a list of coaches to pick Argentina team, am sure every coach will have 6-7 players from the current team and the rest will always be different. For me other than the Bolivia match we have done quite okay under Maradona.

Keeping my fingers crossed for Saturday's game and hope Messi triumphs. In the current squad Messi and Aguero are the only two players who can turn the match around on their own. Would have loved to see Aguero or Lopez start instead of Tevez considering their recent form.

Brazil have not been playing great football in the last two years except that the results have been favourable to them. Their defence is well settled but I am not very convinced with their midfield. Inspite of all the pessimism history has mostly favoured the home team. I dont see it to be any different this time. Prediction: 2-0Argentina with goals from Messi and Dominguez

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