Friday, March 12, 2010

The trouble with Pipita

Awake at 5:48 AM after feeding Felipe, the youngest Albiceleste fan I know, I find my self wanting to discuss one situation with you.

I've seen it sparked some debate in the comments' box of our previous post and so I want to hear more about the Gonzalo HIGUAIN situation and how from one day to the other he seems to be the main culprit signalled by all the pro-Real Madrid Spanish media and, it has to be said, some of Pipita's team-mates.

I missed the match between Real Madrid and Olympique Lyonnais, but I watched some highlights (more than 6 minutes of it) on YouTube.

My initial reaction was of honest disbelief when I saw some of the chances Pipita missed that night. I remember having watched highlights of the Real Madrid 3-2 win over Sevilla this weekend and I recall having thought the same as Pipita crashed two shots against the woodwork and missed some other opportunities (though he was instrumental for Madrid to come from behind in that match and reach La Liga's first position together with Barcelona).

For all the goals Gonzalo HIGUAIN scores, lets face it, he is going to miss more than a fair share of chances.

And here's when my point start (before you all start pointing your 'you-say-that-because-you-are-a-Diego-MILITO-lover' fingers at me): HIGUAIN is one of the bravest players I've seen and he's been Real Madrid's more reliable player so far this season.

When the parade of new signings of the like of KAKA, Cristiano RONALDO and Karim BENZEMA started walking around the Santiago Bernabeu, we all thought Pipita was doomed.

"Why start him over players the White House had bought at such high prices?" "Surely he is going to be benched now. After all...he is only 22" and a few other thoughts along those lines were going through our minds.

But HIGUAIN didn't let the critics or the high-profile competition get to him. He galvanized against all that and he worked as hard as anybody to make sure that striker role belonged to him, even when he was ignored by his national team manager.

With 25 games of La Liga gone, Pipita (16) is only behind Lionel MESSI (19) and David VILLA (17) in the goalscoring charts in Spain.

He is ahead of Cristiano RONALDO (14), KAKA (7 -though we know he is not exactly a striker and he has been injured-) and Karim BENZEMA (7 goals).

Sure, any striker is going to go through a rough patch and any striker is going to have an off day, but that doesn't mean young Pipita is going to have to shoulder the burden of this heavy Real Madrid early elimination in the year the Champions League final is going to be played at the Bernabeu.

I'm reading reports now that suggest Cristiano RONALDO is angry with HIGUAIN because the Argentine didn't pass the ball to him and I can't believe it! If those reports are true then I really don't get it. We are talking about Cristiano RONALDO. Incredibly talented but do you remember his first few seasons at Old Trafford? He needed a ball all for himself to be able to play. He wouldn't pass it for his life.

I would understand if players get frustrated but by no means I'm going to agree with Cristiano or any other Real Madrid player or member of the coaching staff or even boot-licking journalist take it on Pipita.

We, as Argentina fans, should at the very least be happy Pipita won't be burned out come World Cup time. He will have more time to rest as he will be solely dedicated to play in La Liga and his legs will be fresher.

Our only worry is that he gets benched (which could happen at a club where the pressure is so high), but I'm confident he won't. He'll bounce back from this low point and he will do it by showing everyone what he does best: scoring goals for fun.


Mohd said...

you know the world is nearing end when ronaldo blames someone else for not passing the ball!

anyway, i do not agree at all that Higuain was wasteful. against Sevillia he had two shots against the bar. Against lyon he rounded the keeper and off-balance he also hit the bar. the other chance he had was saved brilliantly by the lyon keeper...all this is a spell of bad luck, nothing more.

however, if ronaldo blames Higuain then he will suffer. in a club like Real everything is possible.

anyway, it felt damn good seeing Real getting their ass kicked so badly.

King Aguero said...

Bench your top goalscorer? good idea thats a good start for a winning season no?

If they don't want him then go ahead and sell him with all the money and talent that team has its a shame to have an Argentine play for them! thats how shit they've been the past couple of yrs! maybe they can sell him and go spend 80 million to get Ronaldinho? loool what a joke that club has turned into!

batigol9 said...

i feel sorry for higuain,but he shouldn't have wasted that chance,the goal was completly empty.

johnny said...

Ha Ha ! Great stuff from Mohd and King Aguero ! And Seba, thanks for sharing your late night, early morning thoughts ! I agree with Mohd that what happened against Lyon could happen to nearly anyone. Well, maybe NOT C Ronaldo:), but nearly anybody else. Pipita didn't take his time on that long miss off the post and the keeper made a very good save on the other. There will always be some crap going on at Real Madrid and nothing management does there would surprise me. I think Higuain will be strong through whatever happens. If he starts losing time on the pitch though, Maradona can't help but factor that in his plans regarding the starting eleven.

Mohd said...


knowing Maradona, i think if Higuain is relegated to the bench, then this will guarantee him a starting place in the WC!
Maradona will not allow Perez and specially Valdano to have the final say on this Higuain issue...

anyway, to me the perfect team where Higuain might fit will be barca because he likes to move and switch positions. However for sure this will not happen.

GK said...

I assure you that Higuian will not be benched after that game. Sure he missed 2 GOLDEN oppurtunites but every player misses chances once in awhile, unfortinatly for Higuian it came in a really big game. It is totally unfair to say that Higuian single handedly eliminated Real Madrid fro the Champions League. Is he the only player on the team? Was it not a two legged tie? Ronaldo scored in the seocnd leg, big deal. Where was he or Kaka in the first leg? Why isn't Kaka getting any greif for the chance he missed in the first minute of the match? I believe that if Higuian would have scored either of those two chances Real would have qualified for the quarter finals but that still doesn't mean he is to take full blame. I think this is only going to make Higuian better, he is going to continue to score goals in La Liga and silence all these dumb Spanish reporters and Real Madrid supporters.


GK said...

Oh, and good job Seba.... I think you just opened a can of worms between LM10ARG and Jack!


LM10ARG said...

Well, I am a Diego Milito fan but I can't be happy at Higuain's misery coz I am Argentina fan first. But I still believe Milito deserves as chance in starting 11 and higuain can easily be his sub.

LM10ARG said...

This is very frustrating to see Argentines like Garay and Higuain playing in joke of a club like real madrid. However I am satisfied with Garay's performances so far. Any1 thinks Garay deserves to be a back-up centre-back at wc? He is very good at set-pieces.

GK said...

I have been saying I want to see Garay go to South Africa for quit sometime now. I think he would be a perfect sub for Demichelis or Samuel if they go down with injury or just need a rest. Garay has been great for Madrid since Pepe was injured. I have to admit, I have never seen Garay take a free kick but I've read that he could be deadly in set peices (and PK's) and Argentina is missing that key factor on the national team. I think Diego will take him to the World Cup.

Anonymous said...

fuck ronaldo portguesse wank he needs to grow up and work well with other team members and higuain get insulted because of that bastard

johnny said...

Pipita isn't the only player on the receiving end of grief in Madrid. Kaka was booed off the pitch by the home fans. Funny, Kaka probably wishes he had never left Milan, and CRonaldo apparently is always talking about how much he misses ManU. And, on top of that, Benzema has been nearly a complete waste of money. Higuain is making a very thin fraction of the money being made by the players noted above. Real Madrid management and their fans should be very thankful they have a bargain like Higuain. If they piss him off maybe he'll look elsewhere, rather than negotiate a new contract in Madrid.

johnny said...

FYI-Inter and Milito are playing this afternoon versus Catania.

Anonymous said...

1. Ronaldo (Brazil) once had 12 games or so without scoring for Barcelona where he finished as the team top scorer in la liga. Still, he won 2 WC and is one of the best players ever.
2. Oscar Cardozo, the other deadly top scorer in Europe who's the leading top scorer of Portuguese league was even worse than Higuain in one on one. Check out Benfica latest portuguese league video where they won 3-1 on youtube. He tried to round the goalie, but it was horrible and it was an easy clearance. Does it make Cardozo a bad striker?
3. 1 goal in 77 minutes is an incredible number that can quiet every Higuain doubter. OK now maybe 1 goal/90 minutes since he didn't score in his last 2 games. So now he's not a good striker...he doesn't deserve to start for either Madrid or Argentina. Gimme a break... When he scores, he didn't get enough credit. When he doesn't, we make him a hot and spicy topic. Are we really Argentina fans?

I can't think of any better main striker for Madrid or Argentina than him. That's the bottom line.

For me, the last 4 times he hit the post is great news!!! Why? Now he must learn to be even more focused on not hitting the post. I used to be an athlete as well...If I missed a golden chance or 2 that costed me the game, I would do everything so that the next time I wouldn't miss it.....when I had that opportunity again, I made it!

Oh yeah let me add 1 more:

4. Martin Palermo missed 3 PK in a match in 1999, now he scores PK.


salvio supporter said...

This is just good news for Higuaín. I remember when Maradona put, I believe Carrizo, in a starting eleven, 'just' so he could "make the italians shut up" because they didn't like him.

Higuaín should obviously put all of his energies on this WC so he can get the hell out of Real; no doubt some really serious team would appreciate his services. Real has been dead for a long time, and so will it remain as long as it keeps that 'let's do some money laundering buying the most expensive players instead of playing football' mentality.

LM10ARG said...

I heard higuan gave licha and delgado some foul mouth after the game. Is that true?

LM10ARG said...

Anonymous, u said u can't think of any better striker for Argentina? Who is Diego Milito then??? Well higuain deserves to be in Argentina squad. But Diego Milito deserves to START.

GK said...

LM10ARG, apparently Lisandro and Delgado taunted Sergio Ramos after the match because Ramos predicted a 3-0 Madrid win and when the two confronted Ramos, Higuian stepped in.....

Needless drama.

Rune said...

Amen, Seba! Higuain will bounce back, no question about that. It was a terrible miss, but these things happen. Ronaldo should shut up. He is a great player, but as a person he seems to be a c***.
Even if I am sad that Pipita missed that chance, I am happy that he now will get more rest before the world cup.

Anonymous said...

pipita is a class striker. no question about that. this is 1 week of poor finishing. i know he missed some two great chances but thats football. why doesnt anybody complain for kaka, he was the worst against lyon

Paulina said...

1) The foreigner (and by that I mean the non European) ALWAYS gets the blame when Real Madrid fails. ALWAYS. They are even blaming Kaka, when it's patently obvious that Kaka is being misused in a formation that is catered to Ronaldo. Look at how brilliant Kaka was with Brazil against Ireland, and it's obvious that he is still a wonderful player.(The foreigner always gets the blame with Barca as well, see how they ditched Dinho and Deco, and then kicked out Eto'o). Higuain is politically unwanted in RM and he doesn't sell tshirts. The Perez cadre will jump at any excuse to kick him to the curb. And the fans are stupid fall for the Perez fueled media machine.

2) Higuain didn't pass when he should have against Lyon, true. But I feel that that's just how true strikers are. They are like surgeons - arrogant pricks who think that they are the only ones who can get the job done. Higuain isn't notoriously selfish - no where near as selfish as Cristiano ROnaldo - he just likes to take his shots. That's what makes him a top striker.

3) Hig will be rested for the WC, cause RM only has the league to worry about now. That's it. If Pellegrini goes, then Higuain is in trouble. For now they'll keep playing him.

johnny said...

Paulina cuts to the chase. Heppa !

Anonymous said...

I watched the game vs Real Madrid and Lyon. I was hoping for a 4-3 game and Lyon would progress and Pipita would have a Hat-Trick but Real Madrid got bounced which was a bit bittersweet for me. Right away RM were on the attack and Pipita laid off a wonderful ball to Kaka in the first 30 seconds of the game but Kaka did not finish.

6 min in RM did score, Cristiano could of laid it off for a 100% goal to Higuain but he shot it and went in between the GK legs. Nobody ever seems to talk about that because it went it.

Pipita just did not finish his chances, it is very clear. Hit the side of the net, did not lay the ball off. I think some people are forgetting that if you are a striker you just look at the goal and fire it away. Higuain has hit the post 3 times in the last couple of games. 2 should of been goals, the other I do not fault him because it was a wicked curve on the ball vs Sevilla.

I been watching a lot of the RM games this seasons, and I have noticed there have been plenty of times that Pipita had the chances to score but Ronaldo and Kaka did not give him the ball. Now I do not think he will not even get the chances he was getting earlier. RM supporters say he can score the tough ones but can not finish the easy ones.

I feel the problem maybe all of a sudden he has this unwanted attention on him. The fans and media(even Marca) maybe saying "we may have something here with Pipita". Now he has to live up the expectations of being a goal scorer.

I believe this either weaken him or make him stronger. I hope he got on the phone and spoke to his father and brother Federico and had a talk with them. I also hope Valdano had a talk with him not to lose his sights, but I doubt that is going to happen. If Pipita gets benched I think Diego will urge Higuain to leave the club more then ever, we know Diego's dislike for Valdano.

This will be a complete disaster for us because Diego is setting his sights on playing the same style vs Germay. Pipita is our fastest striker that has size. I am very curious to see what is going to happen later this month and the rest of the season.


Anonymous said...

Side of the post*


Sebastian said...

Just edited the post and added an image that is on the cover of Marca. Based on that image, I don't think there is a possible defence to make of HIGUAIN. Especially because the shot he took (that some people say was very well saved by the keeper) was awfully weak and not very well placed.

I think the only possible defence is that the player accusing him is probably the one with the biggest history of not passing the ball around.

In other news, Inter was defeated by Catania tonight, but Diego MILITO was in the scoresheet again.

Speaking of unselfishness, we have a few forwards with a dangerous tendency to 'eat the ball up' and never pass it around.

MESSI is learning all the time and he is a great passer. Light years away from the player he was when he first came to be famous.

But TEVEZ and KUN (apart from HIGUAIN) are also very dangerously selfish (especially Kun).

This could be a problem going forward.

On the other hand, I don't see Diego MILITO as a selfish player. That's exactly what I like the most about his game. The ability he has to find his teammates and the lack of a problem for him to pass it around if the play asks for a pass.

Diego MILITO is still my first option as a striker and if I was the manager I would try and use TEVEZ-MILITO-MESSI together somehow.

Anonymous said...

Higuain has his bad day. Unfortunetly, it happens in crucial match. C'mon...every footballer have had bad moment.No exception! Messi too.And now, people thinking Pipita should not make a starter for NT based on RM-Lyon performances. Some people point his finger on Milito. What the hell is going on here? I don't mind whether Milito or Pipita become first choice in NT. In these moment, Higuain needs support. Do you think Milito can raise his level in crucial match like this? I hope so. But the fact, Inter never fulfill and prove his status as Calcio king in Champions league level.

Anonymous said...

Amazing...when Higuain missed the post, we're saying that he doesn't deserve to start and how Milito is better than him. When he scored a hattrick last night, no one talks about him as if we're hoping that it'd have been better had he never scored again until the end of the season if that means that Milito is going to start for the national team.

Guys, face it...even if a huge miracle happens, Higuain isn't the starter for our national team, in Maradona's order it's not Milito, but Tevez. Then it's Aguero. Then it's Milito or Palermo.

Someone says that Higuain deserves to be in national team but Milito deserves to start. Look, I'm not really a fan of Higuain, but I think it's the other way around. Higuain is to start, Milito is the third back up in our national team. Face it. It's the fact. 3 goals against 1 goal in their weekend answer for their value.

PS: had it been Milito who scored hattrick last nite, would we post nothing here? Ehm...

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