Monday, May 10, 2010

A preview of Diego's list + a look at my list of 30

If anything, I'm doing this for two reasons:

1. I couldn't join the rest of you when this exercise was done some time ago.

2. It's fun!

Right...before I throw my 30 names on the table, I'll give you the latest info I heard about the most important list of all, the one that Diego will announce on Tuesday.

- The members of the media are expected to be at the AFA Ezeiza Headquarters Today at 3 PM Buenos Aires. Check your local time here

- Mundo Albiceleste will be with you following the latest information, covering the rumours, the news and everything that will be of interest to all of us.

- Latest rumours/versions/gossip. To take with a lot of caution:

Javier ZANETTI will make the list of 30 (source: La Nación - a very prestigious newspaper from Buenos Aires)

ZANETTI spoke to TyC Sports and made clear one thing after some nasty rumours: "I have no problems with VERON. We always tried to achieve the same goals. I shared some time with him at Inter and with Argentina and we never had problems. I've never been one to fight with people. Those rumours don't worry me."

And he added: "I have the dream of going to South Africa to represent Argentina".

Gabriel MILITO will make the list of 30 (same source)

Fernando GAGO, Jesús DÁTOLO and Ever BANEGA will fight it out for two spots (same source)

Ezequiel LAVEZZI will make the list of 30 and will join the other six confirmed forwards: MESSI, HIGUAIN, TEVEZ, AGÜERO, PALERMO and Diego MILITO (again, La Nación)

From the domestic league, apart from the obvious Nicolás OTAMENDI, Juan Sebastián VERÓN and Martín PALERMO, the list will contain the names of: Clemente RODRIGUEZ, Marcos ANGELERI, Juan MERCIER and José SOSA (La Nación)

But now it gets more interesting....

Because according to Olé, Marcos ANGELERI is risking not even being in the list of 30 (because he still has a long way to go to get to his best form after his knee injury)

And Olé goes further and makes me smile with another rumour: Lisandro LOPEZ could (the key word being COULD, of course!) make the list of 30 as the 8th forward.

Also...according to La Nación, Maradona will only include three goalkeepers in his list: Sergio ROMERO, Mariano ANDUJAR and one from Adrián GABBARINI and Diego POZO.

Right...I think that's enough rumours for now.

Here's my prediction for Diego's list of 30.

Numbers in no particular order, comments to the side when relevant:

1. Sergio ROMERO
2. Mariano ANDUJAR
3. Adrián GABBARINI (From what Diego said "He impressed me in trainings", I think he can beat POZO).
4. Walter SAMUEL
6. Gabriel HEINZE
7. Nicolás OTAMENDI
8. Nicolás BURDISSO
9. Gabriel MILITO (Will Diego make MESSI happy and bring his friend -who is also a great player-? I think 'Yes')
10. Lionel MESSI (I was following an order by positions, but I can't give somebody else the Number 10!)
11. Javier ZANETTI
12. Clemente RODRIGUEZ
13. Marcos ANGELERI (Though Diego hinted he could be out, I don't see it. I think he'll fight with Pupi for a place in SA)
15. Juan Sebastián VERON
16. Angel DI MARIA
18. Javier PASTORE
19. Fernando GAGO
20. Juan MERCIER (With BRAÑA out with injury and Diego not liking CAMBIASSO, he is the alternative in that position)
21. Ever BANEGA (Gut feeling. Even though he wasn't much in Diego's radar, he knows him and he could find a place)
22. Gonzalo HIGUAIN
23. Carlos TEVEZ
24. Martín PALERMO
25. Sergio AGÜERO
26. Diego MILITO
27. Ezequiel LAVEZZI (I don't see Licha being called by Diego. I think I'm holding back and I'm trying to reverse-jinx it!)
28. José SOSA
29. Maxi RODRIGUEZ (I'm not too convinced on having him here. I think he is ahead of the likes of Cuchu and AIMAR)
30. Mario BOLATTI (Again...not so sure, but he scored the goal that sent us to SA and I see him ahead of Lucho and Cuchu too).

Let's see how many of the 30 I'll guess.

The next challenge? See how many I'll guess of the 7 players that will be axed!

But before we get to that. As promised: here's the list of my dreams:

1. Sergio ROMERO
A beast. Great move by Diego in giving him the job.

2. Mariano ANDUJAR
Low profile. Good guy. But most importantly...great keeper. Playing great for Catania after shining at Estudiantes.

3. Oscar USTARI
I'm bringing him to make Lio happy. A 3rd GK will not be used, so give him a function off the pitch.


4. Walter SAMUEL
The Wall-ter SAMUEL. Needless to say more.

I keep Diego's central defending pair.

6. Javier ZANETTI
Still going strong. Can play in many positions. Experience. Good guy. What else do you need?

7. Nicolás OTAMENDI
I'll bring him as a sub CB to get a WC experience that will do wonders for his future

8. Nicolás BURDISSO
No other Argentine player in activity has won more club titles. A sub CB with a chance of being my first-choice RB.

9. Gabriel MILITO
Sub CB or LB and helps keep MESSI happy off the pitch.

11. Ezequiel GARAY
Sub CB. Another one with some good years ahead of him and can already do a job if I need him.

12. Clemente RODRIGUEZ
I don't see another Argie LB with his speed and ability to mark and attack. I'd still use ZANETTI as my 1st-choice LB.

13. Pablo ZABALETA
Can play in both flanks. Can play in midfield. Deals with fast and strong players every week.


I'm sorry, but I'll give the armband to ZANETTI. That said, MASCHERANO is irreplaceable in the heart of my midfield.

15. Juan Sebastián VERON
I will still have Seba. I won't start him. He'll be a good sub. Can keep the ball when leading and control pace of game.

16. Esteban CAMBIASSO
A manager on the pitch. Can play CMF/LMF/LB/CB, you name it. Tons of experience. Even bigger brains.

Experienced. Plays with his heart. Knows what a WC is. Can play on the left or the right. Works hard. Can shoot.

18. Angel DI MARIA
Only if he learns to pass the ball. The minute I see him wasting his talent, I'll sit him.

19. José SOSA
Can be my starting RMF -could also play on the left if needed-. Deadly at set-pieces. Better feet than Jonas.

20. Javier PASTORE
Our playmaker of the future. Great 1st season in Serie A. If he's not ready, my number 24 is.

21. Fernando GAGO
Still trust him. Not to start. But he can be a decent sub if he can control his reckless tackles and focuses on playing

22. Lucho GONZALEZ
Give me his passing and distribution. Can help in defence and join in the attack and shoot from distance. Takes PK.

23. Ever BANEGA
An option just in case Masche goes down with injury or suspension. Can also be used with different formations.

24. Pablo AIMAR
Just behind PASTORE. MESSI loves him. Beats D'ALESSANDRO because Andrés is a loose canon.


10. Lionel MESSI
I will keep him happy and he will keep us happy in return. Perfect world.

25. Gonzalo HIGUAIN
Sublime. But I'll tell him he needs to start making better decisions. Shoot when you have to. Pass when you need to.

26. Carlos TEVEZ
Still has credit despite weak WCQ campaign. Can terrorise our rivals and bring the X-factor.

27. Lisandro LOPEZ
No way I'd leave him out. Can play anywhere up front. Shoot with both feet. Head. Hustle like Carlitos. Complete.

28. Sergio AGÜERO
His raw talent keeps him here, but only just. He needs to play more with his team-mates or he won't play a single min.

29. Javier SAVIOLA
Proven goalscorer and team player. LAVEZZI is a head-case and I rather have other kind on my team.

30. Diego MILITO
You thought I was leaving him out? Think again! My first-choice striker. Deadly combo with MESSI. WC top-scorer.

I would still need to cut 7 from that list and I'd be gutted to have to make that decision.

But with the elements I have in this squad, I can make a million combinations.

I left out RIQUELME because he can be a difficult one to handle in the dressing room and having him means having to play his style of game or no style at all. I love him to bits, but not enough to sacrifice my whole idea of a team.

You won't see HEINZE even if you looked under the carpet. He's gooooooooooooone!

I'm not taking Jonas and I feel for him because he is such a warrior and a great guy, but he doesn't fit in my idea of a team and neither does PALERMO.

AGÜERO keeps his place despite his average form because I don't like LAVEZZI or Mauro ZARATE's attitude.

I tried to keep a balance between great players and great guys. There could be one or two head-cases or rotten apple in the making, but I guess I'd keep them in check.

I have the feeling I could have worked a little bit more around my defence and being sleep deprived and doing this with a lot less time than I would have wished could mean that I'd re-write my list tomorrow! Hey...I still have time, don't I?

But overall, I'm happy with my picks.

My formation and lineup?

Some options (and of course I'd need to work with the players a lot)



Ultra-offensive 3-3-2-2






My more defensive 5-3-2 (or 3-5-2 depending on ZANETTI and CAMBIASSO's positions)







Am I too crazy?


Sebastian said...

For some reason, after playing with the space bar and everything, the players don't seem to show up in the exact position I meant for them to be.

But I hope you get the idea.

Estadio Nacional said...

Good blog, I will be checking in here more now the World Cup is nearly here, its my only english language source for Argentina news, keep up the good work.

I was hoping Riquelme would have a chance of a call up if he and Diego made up, I guess thats not going to happen and theres no chance he will be at the WC?

Does anyone know when the 30 will be confirmed?

Anonymous said...

List is already out.check the link of ur prevous thread where someone post the link and now sheba u wrote this after the list announced.wat a crap.

Mohd said...

An option just in case Masche goes down with injury or suspension. Can also be used with different formations.

wow. could not disagree more. Banega is Xavi style (not necessarly as good), not Mascherano style. he is not a traditional def midfielder like Masche, Toure, Lass,..he is a deep playmaker. he should play instead of veron

Anonymous said...

Arqueros: Sergio Romero, Mariano Andújar, Adrián Gabbarini o Diego Pozo.

Defensores: Nicolás Otamendi, Martín Demichelis, Walter Samuel, Gabriel Heinze, Javier Zanetti, Clemente Rodríguez, Gabriel Milito, Nicolás Burdisso, Marcos Angeleri.

Volantes: Jonás Gutiérrez, Javier Mascherano, Juan Sebastián Verón, Angel Di María, Mario Bolatti, Javier Pastore, Juan Mercier, Maximiliano Rodríguez, José Sosa, y Fernando Gago, Jesús Dátolo o Ever Banega.

Delanteros: Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuaín, Carlos Tevez, Diego Milito, Martín Palermo, Sergio Agüero, Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Sebastian said...

To the anonymous sayin the list is already out and having a go at'd be perfect if you stop making nonsense.

Mohd, BANEGA would replace VERON if I was to play same formation Diego uses. But I'm not doing that. I'd play a different system.

Appreciate your thoughts and views.

But what about the rest of my list?

You love it?
You hate it?

Dave P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave P said...


I like your squad list the 7 players I would cut from your list are
-Garay (Samuel, Demi, Zanetti, Burdisso, Milito, Clemente are all solid)
-Zabaleta (Zanetti and Clemente are solid if we play with 4 CB's and have Cambiasso and as well we can play around with our wing backs)
-Sosa (Not a big fan of Sosa when we have good forwards that can play wing as well)
-Lucho (with Veron Pastore Aimar Banega our CM is fulfilled)
-Gago (No need for him if we have Mascherano Banega and Cambiasso)
-Saviola (Too much talent with our other strikers the one to go)
-Lisandro (Tevez, Aguero, Messi he would be another one that I cut)

Seba I like your creativity in the formations I would start with a formation of a 4-2-3-1 that would look like this (dream of course but off of your 30 man and after my cuts the starting XI would look like this)

----Messi---------Di Maria---

Roy said...

Seba, your list would likely be the same as my list. Though I would probably include Gutierrez in there somewhere. Believe it or not, the guy has grown on me. He's a work horse and I think in a World Cup you need someone like that. Someone to try and grind out the last few minutes of the match if your winning. The question is who I would take out and the answer is I don't know.

The midfield has a very good balance of defending, attacking, youth and experience. Alot of versatile defenders as well, again, something you need in a World Cup. No complaints with the forwards either.

MoonBear said...

For the most part, Sebas list makes a lot of sense. Much more than Diego's ultimate list I am sure. There are a couple of factors I would VERY strongly when comprising a list besides technical skill and measurables.

1) Current Form: What you did several years ago should not be as important as what you are doing these days.

2) Position Flexibility: Shit happens as they say...especially at the World Cup. Injuries, Suspensions, specific opponents matchups, etc. I would lean towads the players that are most versatile in the roles they can play on the pitch

3) Locker Room Atitude: We have all seen 'medicore' talent rise to the top due to tremendous chemistry, teamwork and love for the common cause. A cancer can spread pretty quickly in tight quarters over the course of a couple of months.

4) WINNERS: I cannot stress this one enough! It goes hand in hand with current form, but it is also its own category. I would lean towards players that are coming off of winning campaigns. Winning is contagious. And so is momentum. I don't care if you scored a hundred goals but your team was relegated. I want players from Benfica, Marseille, Inter, Barca/RM, etc...players who have tasted winning recently and know what it takes. That's why I would lean towards guys like Aimar and Lucho to round out the squad if they are in consideration.

All that said, I'm not saying you discount skill. I'm just saying that IF it's close between 2 players, you always look for the factors I've mentioned.

Sebastian said...

Very interesting points there MoonBear!

To me...the locker room attitude is a must. To have a unite dressing room is easier to achieve at a club compared to a national team.

Why? Simply because the national team players are the best in the country and with their quality and status usually come a higher profile and a bigger ego that are harder to control or to keep in check.

As for the winning mentality. I couldn't agree more, though I don't think I'd rate the players coming from winning teams over others that are of a better quality.

"Form is temporary. Quality is permanent" or something like that says a famous phrase. I subscribe to that.

One more point about it...if you manage it well, that boost you get from winning at your club can be translated into success at the national team level.

If you don't manage it well enough, it can lead to complacency. A silent enemy to any team with serious aspirations.

Alex Camacho said...

Seba for Manager! I made a list of 30 just as you did and it is almost identical to yours. The only exceptions are

- Carrizo for Ustari (tho I like your idea about keeping Messi happy, so I could change my mind)
- Jonas/Perotti for Sosa (tho I admit I have not seen Sosa play much, and Perotti is currently injured)

We are the same otherwise. I'd vote for you if we could.

Anonymous said...

veron is central to this team you wouldnt start him

i think you have seriously miss guilded brain BUT THATS YOUR COUGH OPINION GHOD I HATE THAT WORD

i think the germany team is clearly the starting point the datum point of all things to come

samuel the wall COUGH COUGH COUGH


please please take g-milito diego he is the classiest of all the cb's samuel more solid but also more stupid

i hope we see banega or gago even both but one of the two will do for me

bardisso has floped as a right back at roma whitch i didnt expect otamendi clearly very solid there but i was also thinking bardisso like in 2006 before diego even used a solid back 4 like 6 months before the uraguay game my back 4 was always

bardisso-demi-militio-henze samuel for militio if he didnt return well after the knee thing

look guys mascharano and veron are key so drop the anti veron BULLSHIT no one on earth is passing and controlling a team like him not even xavi FACT

id drop datolo and keep levezzi and have bolatti and gago as central cover and pastore

it would be funny banega ended up going


Anonymous said...

i've just read the list and i realise the nightmare is stil ...

Sebastian said...

24 out of 30 guessed right.

It remains to be seen whether we've got the 23 that are going to the WC inside those 24.

And you, caps guy, you're just a very complicated case.

You slag off SAMUEL and you still pick him?


"You are more stupid that Gabriel MILITO"

"Now go out there and play for me, would you?"

What a funny case, this guy. Though I appreciate that you have a crush on me!