Friday, May 07, 2010

Diego: "I never doubted PALERMO"

If you listened to our latest podcast, we discussed him a little bit. We came to the conclusion that Martín PALERMO was absolutely going to be in the list of 30 and I said he will also be in the World Cup squad of 23. Well...a few hours after we recorded that pod, Diego made it clear in an interview with an Argentine radio station.

Here's the juiciest bits of that conversation:

"I certainly will not make every player happy, especially those I won't be taking to South Africa".

"When you see the list, you certainly won't agree with all the names I choose. But I'm the one who decides and I'm the one who will take 23 players. That's my responsibility"

"That's the nature of this. When you choose, you have to eliminate some players. I wish I had a list of 26 to bring to South Africa, but I can only take 23".

In that moment the host of the show (Mariano CLOSS) enumerated the forwards and went like this: "MILITO, TEVEZ, AGÜERO, PALERMO, HIGUAIN, MESSI, LAVEZZI...I don't think I've left anyone out. Out of this 8 players you know you'll disappoint one of them?"

Now this guy failed to see he only named 7, not 8.

MARADONA then said..."I will probably disappoint one or two from those names. We have to decide whether we bring less forwards. Even if they are having a great season, my limit is 23".

And all of a sudden...knowing that MARADONA confirmed PALERMO (saying: "I never doubted Martín"), I'm afraid one of those forwards he will disappoint could be Diego MILITO.

Call it a hunch. A bad feeling. The thing is, I don't see Diego MILITO clearly being in the squad and that makes me nervous.

Moving on to other areas and players, Diego said some other things:

QUOTE: "BRAÑA was one of my 30 players".

MY TAKE: This means he'll be out because of an injury he suffered that will keep him out of action for at least the entire month of May and probably further, so he is out of contention.

QUOTE: "I saw CAMBIASSO training, I talked to him...I decide for what the players tell me on the pitch and everybody has his own taste in football. In choosing 23 players, you have to eliminate some and that's the saddest part".

MY TAKE: That's CAMBIASSO eliminated by Diego then. Terrible news as far as I'm concerned.

QUOTE: "GABBARINI really impressed me. Is it him or POZO for the third goalkeeper spot? It will depend on the next two matches".

MY TAKE: Interesting thing here...I take it GABBARINI impressed Diego in training or playing for Independiente because he wasn't tested against Haiti. But the most important dilemma now...will Diego name 4 keepers in his list of 30? The list goes out on Monday or Tuesday -need to confirm that and I'll let you know-, which means there aren't 2 more matches for Diego to decide who's going to be the third keeper. There's a match for each of them this weekend and then the list of 30 has to be announced. I hope he doesn't name 4 goalkeepers in that list of 30 because it'd be like a waste of a spot that could go to another field player that could fight for a place in the World Cup squad and provide Diego with more options.

QUOTE: "ZANETTI is playing at a good level. I'm going to see what I do with him and Clemente RODRIGUEZ".

MY TAKE: Good news for Il Capitano? Will Diego decide on bringing some players that will enable him to use a Plan B (use FB)? If so...then Pupi has a chance.

QUOTE: "I'm not worried about MESSI's current form. Playing at the level Lio does is very difficult. Now they know him more, they surround him and it's tough. He has to play free."

MY TAKE: Nothing to add from me here.

QUOTE: "Nobody wants to play like MOURINHO's Inter. Except if the match leads you to that, nobody wants to play like that".

MY TAKE: In a clear reference to that Champions League semifinal second leg at the Camp Nou. Is Diego getting ready in case people criticize a possible cautious approach his team could have?

QUOTE: "Can INSAURRALDE be a surprise call up? We'll see...I liked him a lot. He is solid and he doesn't escape from contact. When he has to hit someone, he does. He's not afraid of doing it. He left me a very good impression".

MY TAKE: Now...INSAURRALDE is, in my opinion, one of the dirtiest players in the Primera División in Argentina. He is a tall central defender who plays for Newell's. He can adapt to a back line of three men and is good on set-pieces. He is a hot transfer rumour for....Boca Juniors! Surprise, surprise! As I said...he is a dirty player and he is not even close to the level of performances we see from other central defenders that will be left out by Diego (GARAY, FAZIO, PAREJA, to name just a few).

QUOTE: "It could be that Juan MERCIER will be in the list of 30".

MY TAKE: Defensive midfielder who plays for Argentinos Juniors. A good player, yes. But a definite downgrade to Javier MASCHERANO and waaaaay below players like Mario BOLATTI, Fernando GAGO and of course Ever BANEGA and the aforementioned Esteban CAMBIASSO. He is not a proven player and it could be a 'hit or miss' situation for Diego. A gamble that could be costly for the team if he doesn't step up at the international stage.

QUOTE: "We are following Ezequiel LAVEZZI and he is playing deeper for Napoli. It could be an option for us to use him starting a few metres behind. We will see. Of all the forwards maybe one of them will be left out. Or maybe two".

MY TAKE: How do we read that last quote? Will Diego sacrifice a spot that should go to a midfielder to bring LAVEZZI in order to accommodate PALERMO and the rest?

If we are thinking of playing 4-4-2 and you're taking 7 defenders, 7 midfielders and 6 forwards, wouldn't it be too much to give LAVEZZI a spot a midfielder would occupy? I mean...if you use four defenders and you bring seven, you have a replacement for three of the starters and then you can cover if one of those players can perform at different positions (HEINZE can play LB or CB, OTAMENDI RB or CB, same for BURDISSO, etc.)

But what about the midfielders? How many can play on the right the same style Jonas plays? And who could replace DI MARIA on the left if he goes down or gets suspended?

So you take your four starters in midfield: Jonas, MASCHERANO, VERON and DI MARIA (already confirmed by Diego) and then you bring only two more natural midfielders so you can make room for LAVEZZI? Who would you pick then? PASTORE? One from BOLATTI or GAGO (if you insist in leaving out CAMBIASSO -who could play in the middle or on the left- or BANEGA) and all of a sudden you are in deep troubles if MASCHERANO and VERON are unavailable, let alone of you have three casualties in that area.

That's because you'll bring 7 forwards to use only 2 in your preferred formation.

If he was planning on playing 4-3-3 then fine. No problems with bringing 7 forwards (or at least you could get away with it), but it would still sound a bit excessive.

That was something that struck me when I saw Ghana's preliminary squad. They have a thousand midfielders and just 4 forwards. Now it could be a case of them not having as much depth (I frankly don't know), but it seems to me that their manager has identified the midfield players are those who will be more likely to get injured or suspended and those who he will be using more.

Lots of questions still in the air and Diego was right in one thing he said. He will, like any other manager from any other country at any other World Cup, disappoint a few people with his list. I just hope the number is as low as it can be.


Anonymous said...

Crap! No Banega nor Pastore?

Zanetti is good news and hope to God he makes the squad.

Anonymous said...

So who is on the list for the 30?

Anonymous said...

Dan said
My list of 23

Romero Andujar Pozo

Otamendi Samuel Demichelis Heinze Burdisso Zanetti Rodriguez

Jonas Mascherano Veron DiMaria Pastore Sosa

Palermo Messi Tevez Aguero Higuain Lavezzi Milito

Tevez, Lavezzi and Messi can play midfield or enganche.

Mohd said...

maradona reminds me of Mancini's Inter Millan. they used to have 5-6 strikers and 4-5 midfielders in their full squad. and non of the midfielders were creative.

i just cannot believe that players like Banega, Cambiasso, Lucho will most likely to be left out. and even a player like Pastore, if selected, will be a fringe player.

cannot stop thinking how in hell a midfield made of veron-mascherano-jonas will be able to create chances?! even we have the best strikers in the world.

Joe said...

It really looks like Diego Milito will be the one to miss out. I also got a strange feeling it could be Aguero? Maradona seems to be falling in love with Palermo.

I think this will be the squad of 30


Clemente R

Di Maria
F insua


I think this will be his provisinal 30 man squad

p2bn said...

Looking at what Diego is doing; I just have a feeling, this would all end like the last sentence of the movie Apocalypse Now!


Anonymous said...

To win the WC, it's a lot better to have some key players (Messi, Mascherano, Samuel, Di Maria, Higuain) + some role players (Gutierrez, Heinze, Otamendi) + some SPECIALISTS (Palermo (great in the air better than all we have), Schiavi (can take PK)) than to have 23 best players...that's my formula. Aragones did that for Spain in 2008. He took some "strange specialists" like Guiza instead of the famous Raul. That's one of the examples...and it paid off!

It's easy for us to get disappointed that the likes of Cambiasso, Gaby n Diego Milito, or Zanetti won't get selected, but that's OK for me! Even if they are selected, they wouldn't be that much impact for the team:
1. Diego Milito: Yes he's at least the second best striker in serie A, but we'll be fine totally without him. Why? Because Maradona's pecking order for forward is: Messi, Higuain, Tevez, Aguero, Palermo, then Milito/Lavezzi. So for me having a specialist in the air like Palermo would be much helpful than a "good striker" that likely wouldn't get any minutes but garbage time during the WC.
2. Zanetti: I never say that he doesn't deserve to be selected, but if he won't make it, we'd be fine. How? Maradona clearly likes his starting 4 (Otamendi, Demi, Sammy, Gaby). His first 2 back ups are Clemente and Burdisso, so is the 7th man really worth that much? I compare this situation to Raul situation before Euro 2008. Zanetti would be a great help only if Maradona agrees to play him as the second DM.
3. Cambiasso: Maradona clearly underestimates him. I personally think that he and Banega should make it, but when I think in Maradona's way, maybe Gago is Mascherano's-Veron's back up..and believe me, Mascherano will play all WC matches without needing any back up. So maybe 1 back up for DM is enough. In this case, Gago is fine, not Bolatti or Mercier though.

As for Lavezzi, he's our best attacking right midfielder. If we have 6 forwards, I hope one of them is Lavezzi.


GK said...

Of the four Argies in the Inter Milan discussion....

Samuel will be in the final 23 list for sure.
I'm certain Samuel will be joined by Zanetti in the 23 man roster.
Cambiasso will not be in the final 23, although he should be.
Milito, in my opinion will make the final 23 man roster as well.

If it were up to me and I could only pick one of the two (from Inter, I realize they are different players/positions) between Cambiasso and Milito I woud pick Cambiasso hands down. I know I will probably get alot of grief for this but I don't feel Milito was as good as he was in the first half of the season. He has been missing more chances lately and is constantly caught offside. He reminds alot of Insaghi for Italy back in the day.
We could use Cambiasso on the team more so than Milito, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...


i have no idea who INSAURRALDE is. but you sait two things about him:

1: he is a very dirty player

2: he is good at set pieces

well maybe that's exactly the kind of player Argentina needs for the wc? think of materazzi 2006: very dirty and very good at set pieces, and it was crucial in italy's wc win.


LM10ARG said...

YES, lucas "traitor" barrios has failed to win the german golden shoe as well as champions league qualification. May all traitors FAIL.

LM10ARG said...

Where the hell are you Abs? LMAO you said beautiful football is not effective and Barca will lose against sevilla. Well, in ur face HATER and stop living in denial. Beautiful football RULEZ. Beautiful football should be the answer for Argentina too no matter what. Ole ole ole campeone campeone ole ole ole...
Visca el Barca y vamos Argentina!!!
45 goals for MESSI...

salvio supporter said...

Ehm, I don't see why Maradona would choose Lavezzi before Milito. He can take Palermo and Milito, instead of Lavezzi. I myself don't see any reason to have Lavezzi. That's my prediction, no Lavezzi on June.

Anonymous said...

No need to instigate a fight LM10ARG, you could take that elsewhere. And stop trying to use Catalan and Spanish terms, you're from Bangladesh.

Anonymous said...

cambiasso is way to slow

bolatti is a perfect cover for both veron and mascharano

pastore is cover for both wings and veron

i see him taking 5 or 6 forwards no more

as regards to the wings he has his starting two but both messi and tevez can do a job there as attacking wingers i think that's were lavezzi comes in he is a second striker and a winger so i can see his point

i think he wants a dynamic midfield and bolatti fits that cambiasso does not

but we need more than pastore and bolatti we need gago or banega too i think someone is going but who

id love lucho to go so many possitions he can cover veron both wings even mascharano in a emergency he is a creative replacment for jonas and he can tackle

to tell the truth i like the starting 11 solid yet attacking and set peaces all those big guys will be great lavezzi maybe used as dimaria cover just like the Olympics well it started the other way around lol but dimaria took over as the better player

Jamie said...

I hate to sound so pessimistic, b/c I really do want ARG to advance this year...but reading those quotes shows me that Diego is too concerned about taking the home league player over a proven one.

It only cements my impression that he has no inkling how to manage a squad. Is there a chance that Maradona is sacked at the 11th hour by Grondona ?

Jamie said...

"i think he wants a dynamic midfield and bolatti fits that cambiasso does not

but we need more than pastore and bolatti we need gago or banega too i think someone is going but who "

I agree re: Cambiasso, but I think Gago is too timid to fill in such an important midfield spot. I think Banega has the fire and cockiness necessary to help Messi.

Anonymous said...

i think should stop having a big mouth and work in order to find out the right to lead argentina to the glory ,riquelme says something ;messi's the best payer in the world and his teamate should adapt to his way of playing an make him decisive

Anonymous said...

cambiasso slow henze slow ARE YOU GUYS INSANE that is were brazil punished are asses

we need greasey speed on the wings dimaria/jonas and we need BIG BALLS in the midfield veron mascharano i do not want a left footed cambiasso and a left footed henze in the same side the midfield guy is slow and the fb/cb guy also NO FRIGGING WAY dimaria on the left is fast as shit of a stick and veron is more mobile and creative than cambiasso and samuel is more solid inside left so heze is covered

bolatti is a deep creative player and his fast tall and veron like (not in class obviously) he makes sense cambiasso does not

Anonymous said...


with time to work-on train that back 5 so to speak looks amassing maybe a flutter at the book-makers on argentina winning the wc without a single goal scored against them (i keep thinking this in the same way the nintendo wii kept itching my brain and i madfe a lot of money in nintendo shares responding to that brain itch with nintendo share purchose) i just keep thinking that back 5 so to call them could very well be amassing (or totally flop lol)

they call 4-3-1-2 a 5/5 balance

i think maradona is creating his own idea of a team of 5/5

the back 4 plus mascharano is the defense 5 and what a 5 it is

then we have a kind of half and half in veron and jonas that leaves 3 out and out attacking going from 3 to 5 or even 6 in attack with this 11 is easy the cb's will be lethal in set peaces they cannot mark everyone down and veron and messi will take the kicks scary indeed

Anonymous said...

i agree JAMIE Banega has got it all man i really mean that hes got the pace the defending the attacking mind creativness he's our BEST BOX TO BOX MIDFIELDER. I swear to jesus if Palermo is included in the squad and banega is not i will shit my pants

Anonymous said...

follow ur drift guys regarding banega but theres times when he doesnt move so well or trys to dribble out from his own D or from a goal area and gets too cocky he is also likley to spark when pushed and get sent off i love the guy think he can go far but im a bit so/so with the idea of him in the NT he also made argentina look bad with his smashing up the hotel antics at the youth world cup maybe maradona for all his own sins feels that isnt right and banega must be punished by being ignored this time around i also red somewere he was the out cast in the u20 team and messi and aguero dont like him i have a feeling its that keeping him out sad , shallow and silly but football players are like that henze is suposed to be a bit two faced and a tit-tail to diego on players behind there backs snitches course so much trouble

Anonymous said...

accually guys balotti arrives in the opersions box better than banega and also shoots better

Anonymous said...

Yes banega had drinking problems a few years ago but he's completely changed his game and his attitude i've been followin him all year the guy is phenominal and what your blaming him for having confidence on the ball? he knows what he's doin with the ball his movement is spectacular, and regarding his shooting i haven't seen much of bolatti's shootin but i can assure you banega has a nice shot....

some nice moves too

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Anonymous said...

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