Thursday, June 17, 2010

ARG 4-1 KOR: Player ratings

Another match, another win. It makes it easier to give higher grades even for me and you know I'm not famous by doing that. More of the opposite, I'd think.

Dave P is still travelling, so I'm rating the players again myself.

Here you go:

Sergio ROMERO (6): Not at fault in South Korea's goal. Otherwise, he was his usual solid and sober self. One curious note? He had a shot on goal! I don't know if they gave it to him officially, but that was what happened when he cleared a ball running out of the area and it ended up in the hands of the Korean goalkeeper.

Jonas GUTIERREZ (6): Much better than on Saturday. Was helped by Maxi's inclusion on the right. Joined in the attack in a couple of occasions and he even showed some dribbling skills in the first half! He got a second yellow and will miss our next game. Was he thinking about it and did it throw the ball away on purpose to clean himself up for the rest of the tournament? I don't know, but it sure looked like a silly way of getting booked.

Martín DEMICHELIS (3): Our weakest link this time. Lio MESSI came to his defence and attacked the vuvuzelas after the game. Apparently Micho didn't hear his team-mates telling him he had a man on. However, that's no excuse. He can't be that careless in that area of the pitch. Just a quick turn of his head before receiving the ball would have helped him be aware there was someone coming. He costed Sergio ROMERO his second clean-sheet in his World Cup career.

Walter SAMUEL (N/A): As a rule, I don't give a grade to players that are less than 30 minutes on the pitch. The Wall got injured after only 23 minutes and had to leave. We can only hope it's not a serious injury and that he is available at least for the second round.

Gabriel HEINZE (4): Same old Gab was back today. He looked shaky. He saw a very silly yellow card after touching a ball with his hands and then delaying the resulting Korean free-kick. Got exposed in the second half when he lost his man and got off the hook because their player missed what would have been an equalizer. Never lacked the same intensity and attitude, of course. But that's not enough to give him more than a 4.

Javier MASCHERANO (6): After committing only one foul v. Nigeria, he went up to 5 today and that could be because he had more room to cover and wasn't getting to the man in possession as comfortably as on our first match. He was the player with the most completed passes of our entire team, but was careless in a tackle that resulted in a yellow card for him. Not happy with that, he kept going to the ball full-strength when the match was already 4-1 and he stayed down for a while grabbing one of his knees in pain. I think he should be more careful and manage his effort and his intensity level more wisely.

Maxi RODRIGUEZ (7): A silent warrior. Not flashy to the eye, but his inclusion gave the team a lot of balance and helped our forwards do their game, whilst helping Jonas deal with his defensive duties. He ran more than any other Albiceleste player with 10.363 km. Good to see him perform like this for Argentina and don't forget he played BURDISSO inside the area for Nico to flick it towards Pipita for our second goal.

Angel DI MARIA (6): Started off really brightly. Showed some quality early on and had a great shot on target but was denied by the goalkeeper. Faded out a little bit as the match progressed and was busy helping HEINZE in defence too. He was the only other Argentine player to run more than 10k.

Lionel MESSI (7): I'm tempted to give him an 8 because he played a part in three of our four goals. Took the free kick for PARK to score an own goal. Forced the goalkeeper into a save, captured the rebound and hit the post for HIGUAIN to score his second goal of the game and then sent a brilliant pass to AGÜERO for him to cross it to Pipita for our fourth. He didn't score. So what? Maybe, as MARADONA said after the first match, Lio is saving his goals for later.

Carlos TEVEZ (8): If it wasn't for Pipita's hat-trick, he would have been my Man of the Match. His first half was excellent. Sent a ferocious shot that went close and participated in the game a lot. He also placed a ball between two defenders for DI MARIA to cross it for HIGUAIN only for the Real Madrid striker to be denied by the keeper from close range. That was a really sweet pass from Carlitos who combined very well with MESSI. Maybe the best they have ever combined as my friend Matías pointed out to me by e-mail after the game.

Gonzalo HIGUAIN (9): I'm not giving him a 10 because I think he didn't play the perfect game despite scoring three times. He missed some clear chances and cast a shadow over his level of confidence and his overall form early on, but then he scored three striker-like goals and put the game out of reach for South Korea whilst getting to the top of the scoring chart in this World Cup.

Substitutes:

Nicolás BURDISSO (7): Great game by Nico. Not easy to come on as a sub in the first half for an injured team-mate, but he had no problems to cope. He even had an assist after deflecting Maxi's ball towards the path of Pipita for Argentina to make it 2-0. Very solid at the back when he was called into action.

Sergio AGÜERO (N/A): Talk about making an immediate impact! Replaced Carlos TEVEZ in an attempt to give the team some fresh lungs in that area of the pitch and to have more explosion in the final third of the pitch. And he did just that. Helped create the third goal when he found MESSI against the run of play on the left and then he sent the cross for HIGUAIN to get his hat-trick. The only bad thing he did was not releasing MESSI late on the game and trying an individual effort that was too difficult to manage. Again, I don't grade players who have played less than 30 minutes, but I'm tempted to give him a really high note.

Mario BOLATTI (N/A): Another good decision by Diego. Replacing HIGUAIN with BOLATTI gave Argentina another player in midfield to better distribute the pitch between him, Maxi, MASCHERANO and DI MARIA. At the same time, we still had Kun and MESSI to attack if needed. BOLATTI played 8 minutes in his World Cup debut and didn't have an impact, of course, but he did complete 6 of his 7 passes.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

A.T.:

Romero: 7
Guti: 6.5
Demi: 5
Heinze: 5
Mascherano: 7
Rodriguez: 7.5
Di Maria: 6
Messi: 9
Tevez: 8
Higuain: 8.5
Kun: 8.5
Burdisso: 8

lz said...

I agree with Sebastian wholeheartedly on his appreciation of Maxi's role: "A silent warrior. Not flashy to the eye, but his inclusion gave the team a lot of balance and helped our forwards do their game . . . " and it showed. [I would rate him a little higher than 7. His presence today really made a difference in the way we played].

As per Messi, I would definitely give him more than 7! Using your metaphor of "silent warrior" for Maxi, I would say that Leo today played as a "silent, team-first, humble warrior" with a genius and a humility that one does not see from other so-called cracks anywhere else. For that humility and team-first spirit I applaud you, Leo. Vamos Leo, vamos Argentina!

Anonymous said...

this team had 1 thats right 1 midfielder in it i find that amassing

mascharano evcery other player you could say isnt a midfielder yet they play like that so impressive,clearly argentina are in first gear not really trying at all,we havnt seen any of the fighting charactor just so impresive,i think veron would have helped keep things solid when he returns to think we got messi in a midfield diamond its just remardable maradona is turning messi into him and its great

Anonymous said...

fantastic display and with 1 midfielder on the pitch that is shockingly good
to think of england with gerrard lampard and a winger and a anckor man behind

we played with mascharano everyone else was ether a defender or a forward or a winger messi in front of mascharano simply amassing stuff against bigger teams we need veron in there with out a seconds dout aguero is clearly the player that has that SS abillity more than the others he sliped into that front 3 and was devine much more natural than tevez

and milito fans please step into realityt higuain leaves the guy for dead
MILITO IS NOW SOMEONE SAYS IN A ARTICLE MILITO IS NO WERE ANY TIME show me one single thing he has done for argentina dont make me giggle and dont run this blog like a dictator from your youth you should know better

Anonymous said...

I said it in my last 2 posts:
1. The players that we criticized would play great against Koreans.
Gutierrez, Di Maria, and especially Higuain proved it.
2. The BEST number 9 in the world (statistics wise, value wise, age wise, skill wise), named GONZALO HIGUAIN did miss stupid chances in CL this year against Lyon, but he scored 2 goals 4 days after. He'll score the next game.
The result it...hattrick shows it all. Let me say it again...ever since his debut for the u-23 friendly against Guatemala 2 years ago where he scored 2 goals, I was one of the very first guys who declared that we have finally DISCOVERED Bati n Crespo's successor as our great number 9...his name is Higuain.

Now let me make a prediction again... Higuain will at least score more goals than Crepo for Argentina in his career.

My rating:

Romero 6.5: not making mistakes. Was quick to rush out in Koreans only chance.

Gutierrez 6: better defensively but wasn't that good offensively. We need to seriously reconsider him for the second round game as our Right back.

Demichelis 4: poor Demi...he blamed "zuzuela" or whatchamacalit...the positive thing are Maradona trusts him and he won't make that mistake again in the whole tournament.

Samuel 6.5: didn't make any mistake when he played. Not tested that much against a very defensive team in the first half.

Heinze 6: I don't think he's as bad as you guys rated him. At least he got activated Di Maria tonight.

Mascherano 7: amazing defensively.

Maxi 7: look better than Veron despite playing a bit out of position. Good set pieces.

Di Maria 7.5: was activated...this should confirm that he is safe in the starting 11. I'm totally against the idea of getting him benched.

Tevez 8.5: great, sharper than usual, one of the best Tevez performance for our senior team. Could have been the MOM.

Messi 9: it's so unfair that he didn't score. The scarriest player on the planet. Great teamworks especially with Tevez, Aguero, and Higuain. Finally Maradona figured out how to unleash him.

Higuain 9: MOM. It's a close one between him and Messi. He made it look easy. His positioning is great. After Bati and Crespo, there was just one player that has goal/game ratio. His name is Figueroa. His problem is one. He's someone who'd play good only in country level. He's never a star for club level except his brief spell in Mexico. Ever since we'd been searching for number 9. Tevez and Aguero weren't number 9. Lisandro isn't good enough. Milito is never convincing (don't tell me that we never played him 90 minutes), Cruz is too shaky, Pavone, Denis, Saviola, Palermo, are too raw n old. Finally we have this one guy who's as good in his international level as he is in club level. It's Higuain. I was never a fan of him, but unlike the progressions of Saviola or Aguero was in their early Europe career, Gonzalo has made an improvement each year. I'm sure it won't stop next year.

Principee

p2bn said...

Wow French are playing SHIT. And I thought Diego had bad tactics and player choice. The French just seem like they don't care. So now in my point of view; we might possibly meet the Mexicans again like last time in the last 16. And maybe, the Germans in the last 8 like last time.

Vamos Argentina

Anonymous said...

oh no, not the mexicans once again! this will be very difficult, and they foul all the time. they were unlucky many times in the las world cups, so i fear they can become lucky this time.

however at that point we play against greece, we know who is first and secong and group A. maybe we should shoot some oen goals:) if demichelis does it, nobody becomes suspicious:)

Vitalij

Apocalyptic Creator said...

I read this @ http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/2010-06-17-3443961789_x.htm
"Although as unassuming as a turtle in its shell off the field, Messi is growing as a leader on it. That was clear from the way he ticked off Gabriel Heinze for drifting out of position as the Koreans were looking to equalize after Park Chu Young's own goal gave Argentina the lead after 17 minutes. Messi jabbed a finger at the spot on the field where he wanted the defender far older and more experienced than him to go."
I didnt notice it in teh match as it was not on the broadcast but if this is true, I am mightily impressed. It truly shows how much Messi cares and will give and also shows the team spirit and zeal to win.

Happer said...

Haha, but hey Vitalij if we finish second, we probably will have to face Brazil in the semi-final (or Spain if they also finish second in group H). As for me, I'd prefer beating them in the final :D

Mohd said...

will the yellow card that mascherano got be held into the second round also?

also any news over Samuel's injury?

Sebastian said...

Players get a clean slate after the eight finals. All cards will be erased once the team reaches the QF. So, yes, MASCHERANO and also HEINZE will carry their yellow cards all the way to QF (so don't expect to see them against Greece).

As for the Anonymous who accused me (or us) to run this blog like a dictator...oh boy...what can I say? Nothing. So I'll shut up because I could never write something as amusing as what you wrote.

Want me to be a hypocrite and say I think HIGUAIN is better than MILITO? Look elsewhere, because I won't. And I still think it's unfair to judge MILITO after he only played 90 minutes ONCE in his career with Argentina (v. Uruguay in 2003 and he scored twice that night, by the way). There's a reason why newspapers or any football analyst with a brain won't rate players that played less than 30 minutes in a game. Honestly, I don't know how much back into time you have to travel to find the last time MILITO was given at least 30 minutes.

I'm sticking to my opinion and in my opinion, HIGUAIN is one of the best strikers in the world too. It's just that I prefer Diego MILITO. Is that a crime?

If so...I wouldn't mind. I'm a dictator after all. That's what we do, no? What a joke! What a stupid joke your comment was.

Sebastian said...

Oh...and one more thing: AU REVOIR FRANCE! You won't be missed with that kind of heartless performances. I wish Ireland would have played instead of you. Robbie KEANE alone has more heart than the 23 players you brought to South Africa.

What a shame we won't have the chance to meet you in the second round and send you packing. There's only one hand of god, OK? hahaha!

Mohd said...

oh that's great regarding yellow cards.
because most probably we will face Mexico in the second round and the players must play with no fear of getting a yellow card.
Mexico though looks to be a very difficult oponent, even much harder than 2006.

wondering now if maradona plays Messi against Greece. Personally i hope not. and i REALLY hope that Pastore gets the 90 minutes to show what he can do. i was very disappointed that he did not play today.

Mohd said...

oh that's great regarding yellow cards.
because most probably we will face Mexico in the second round and the players must play with no fear of getting a yellow card.
Mexico though looks to be a very difficult oponent, even much harder than 2006.

wondering now if maradona plays Messi against Greece. Personally i hope not. and i REALLY hope that Pastore gets the 90 minutes to show what he can do. i was very disappointed that he did not play today.

Raj said...

I am happy with the result but based on pure play the match against Nigeria was far better excluding the positioning of Gutirez and the finishing . If it were a better team today we would have been exposed at the back. I have never been convinced with DeMichellis and Gutirez. They are of greater concern than Heinze.

Regarding the rating my opinion is different

Maxi: Did not deserve 7. He never built up plays except for the set piece that led to goal. Any day I would prefer Pastore to him on current form

Tevez: How many times did he get caught with defenders when he had a chance to pass. I still feel he is not in the same wavelength as Messi. I would anyday opt for Aguero to play with Messi because I feel Aguero is better one on one. Aguero has better footballing sense than Tevez

Messi: Today's win is purely his. Be it the free kick that led to the first goal or the vision for the last two goals.

Hope that Argentina plays with a sense of purpose like they did against Nigeria, that is play the ball through Messi. Otherwise against the bigger teams we stand 40- 60 chance. Scorelines can be deceptive. If you follow the match closely today we played like the qualifiers except that Messi lifted his game and Higuain positioning was great.

The best that happened in the match was Gutirez not being available for the next match. My hope is on Burdisso playing as a right back. And the worst that happened is Mascherano's yellow card. We just dont have anyone even at 50% of his level. Just praying that he doesnt pick up another card before the Quarters.

Relief that we are more or less into the second round. Concerned that the bench looks extremely lean in midfield and defense. Hope Samuel gets fit for the round of 16.

Anonymous said...

well, we can have a difficult road to the final or a grateful one.

the most difficult:
1/8 Mexiko
1/4 Germany/England
1/2 Brazil/Spain

the most easy (realistic?):
1/8 uruguay
1/4 USA/Slovenia/ghana
1/2 portugal

ok, in the semis it can also be swiss or paraguay, but that is too unrealistic.

is there any team you would like to avoid at any cost till the final, except brazil and spain?

Vitalij

pablo.d said...

im also very happy with result of the day but the mid at times was non existant and mexi run a lot but did little and pastore should be ahead of him.
ive said before demi is not the same since the head kick and tevez run run run and whet??not enough end result for all the bell he has.
de maria has not shown his potential yet as well.
rom 7
demi 5
bud 7
hein 6
guti 6
mash 7
messi 8
maxi 5.5
de maria 5.5
tev 6
hig 9

Apocalyptic Creator said...

Seba,
Can you enlighten us with the details of the coaching staff and their roles that Diego has.
Here in USA, I watch in ESPN and Rudd Gulitt was saying that Bilardo is in charge of all tactics and strategies and Maradona is just there namesake. I find that hard to believe considering the way I have seen Diego interact with the players on the pitch and also by following the news for sometime.
Is carlos Bilardo is still with the team in WC, what is his role?

p2bn said...

http://gabrielbatistuta.net/index.php/2010/06/17/batistuta-visited-argie-training-session/

Now I know where Higuain learnt to score Hatrick!!!! ;)

Vamos Argentina!!

voili said...

I absolutely don't agree Messi's score is less than Higuain's. Messi is the king, is everything. Higuain is just normal forwarder, any Aguero, Millito or Palermo can do that if have Messi's support

Anonymous said...

The odd makers are made Argentina the favorites now. Crap, do not like this title.

Sebastian said...

Off topic. Four N. Korean players went missing:

http://www.portugoal.net/index.php/more-oppostion-watch/12025-north-korea-players-go-missing

Anonymous said...

NO! It looks like we might have to face Mexico after greece!!! They have the ability to punish our defensive errors

Cabañas said...

Does anyone think DI MARIA has been under performing a bit lately by his high standards? (I swear i am not whining because i made him the captain of my fantasy football team instead of HIGUAIN)

Well this may explain why:

Benfica has finally reached an agreement with Madrid. 5 year contract with a salary of €2 million/year.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify. Diego Milito started in 3 games in what I can remember. Against Norway, in a friendly in 2007-2008 where we lost. Then against Paraguay with Tevez upfront in Copa America third game where we won 1-0. Then the game after in quarter final. I forgot the opponent. Milito didn't score at all I think in those 3 x 90 minutes games.

So I think either Basile or Maradona has every reason not to start him, especially now Higuain's goal/game ratio for Argentina is very good.

I recorded every single Argentina game on video tape since 1998. So I can easily watch any game I want.

Orr said...

hi everyone..
does anyone knows what's SAMUEL's condition is?
and I think you are wrong about the yellow card thing, because I read fifa decided to delete the yellow cards for the teams that would reach the SEMI FINAL,(so everyone can play in the final) so it's doesn't make sense thay would do it also in the QF. don't they usually do it after the group stages? makes more sense..

Anonymous said...

after 24 hours i think Argentina didn't play really well. we had 1 owngoal, 1 goal after a freekick where the koreans defended stupid, one offside goal and one great goal when game was decided. we controlled the game, but we played again a much weaker opponent who didn't even seem to believe that he can win.

our defense didn't look good, the one chance for korea to equalize after a counter should never happened. and i think higuain's hattrick doesn't mean more than batistuta's against greece. i think we played better against nigeria, maybe not in the attack, but all combined.

but we will defeat mexiko or uruguay, no doubt about it. and then there are three 50/50 games.


Vitalij

M3SS! said...

It is outrageous to even think that higuain is better than Milito coz of this hattrick. If we see last two games, higuain was easily one of Argentina's worst players. The three goals he scored yesterday were absolute freebies in my opinion. Even yesterday, he missed sitters like he always does. Now some smarta$$es are gonna compare a guy who played 160 minutes with a guy who played 10 mins. In the first 80 minutes, he was the WORST player of the team. Period.

Gabriel said...

I absolutely agree with your qualifications, maybe with the exception of Heinze, whom I saw having a better game.

I have to say, I didn't think Argentina's victory was impressive. We have a very strong offence, so you can expect these guys to score three, four goals in a match. But our defence still looks shaky and our midfield is still a little confusing. We shouldn't have had to suffer like we did for the first 30 minutes of the second half.

Here are my posts about this game:

My own blog
CBC's Superfan

Anonymous said...

A.T.:
M3SS!, Higuain was one of our worst players??? WOW that's new!
Germany just lost hahaha! How amazing is that, we are the only team with real quality so far, I hope it stays that way.

Anonymous said...

yes i agree with M3SS! about Higuain. i mentioned it above, this hattrick is like batistuta's hattricks in 1994 and 1998, nothing to really talk about. ok, maybe he is the best striker in the world, but the hattrick doesn't have any validity.

germany lost. unbelievable, but i wanted them at least to make a draw. now hope for germany-england in the 1/8. great to see the germany suffer in the groupstage. the toughest group (but not the group of death) for germany since 44 years!!!, now maybe they get a little bit taste how Argentina feels for decades. and even the referee was against them!

any news about samuel?

Vitalij

hugo said...

How about Brazil-Spain-Germany-England on the same side of the round of 16 bracket?? It can happen, is how things are shaping up...

Sebastian said...

To the anonymous saying he has recorded every Argentina match since 1998 and saying MILITO started AND PLAYED 90 minutes in thee matches. Are you sure?

I heard another source saying he only played 90 minutes v. Uruguay in that friendly I mentioned.

Now you seem so confident in your information and you're making me doubt that source I trusted.

BUT! I remember that match he started in that Copa America (because CRESPO got injured by taking a penalty kick) and I remember MILITO starting but he was also replaced and he didn't play the second half. I remember it clearly.

So I don't know if I can entirely go with what you're telling us here.

My memory is fragile and I don't have an archive here with me, so that's what I'm asking. I remember MILITO scoring a goal in that tournament coming on as a sub (I think against Colombia), but he wasn't given the chance to keep playing.

Sebastian said...

Hugo: Add Holland, Spain and Italy too!

It's possible!

It's possible we see the round of sixteen (thanks Sam!) looking like this:

URU-KOR
ENG-GER
NED-ITA
BRA-SPA

And on the other side of the bracket:

ARG-MEX
SLO-GHA/SRB
PAR-DEN/JPN/CMR
CHI/SUI-POR/CIV -that's Ivory Coast-

How do you like that?

In order for all of that to happen, England, Brazil and Holland have to win their groups (looks likely and possible).

And Germany, Italy and Spain have to finish 2nd.

Now if Ghana and Serbia beat Australia (very likely) and Ghana hold Germany to a draw or they beat them, the Germans could very well be out.

Italy and Paraguay will fight it out against the other two. After Paraguay drew Italy, I think they stand a chance to win their group.

And I guess all I could say about Spain you already know it.

What about that possible round of 16????

Maxi Lopez said...

I will never understand why you guys keep rating the players like they were Basket Ball ones. Teh defence is in trouble because they need to take care of Jonas who is not suited to his position. VAMOS DE MICHELIS! VAMOS HEINZE! VAMOS HIGUAIN! VAMOS ARGENTINA!

Anonymous said...

Seba, Milito did start n played 90 minutes against Norway in 2007-2008. We lost 2-1. Carew scored both goals. I watched the game again. In Copa America, Milito was supposed to replace the injured Crespo, but Basile didn't like what he saw because Tevez did more as a sub. As a result, Tevez was the one starting from the semis until the final game.

Yes, your source is clearly wrong because I have my video tapes available.

Anonymous said...

Seba! i am thinking about these possibilities all the time! but i afraid to speak them out loud! after so much bad luck in the last world cups, i don't thrust hopes, i only believe in facts, like the disappeared big caps guy (where is he???)

our group was a joke after all. nigeria were so weak, we saw it against greece. corea also weak against us. so we didn't lose any substance this time, not like 2006.

maybe a little bit of luck returned to us with maradona? but let's do it step after step, we even don't know who will play in the 1/8.

Vitalij

Anonymous said...

A.T.:
Maxi Lopez, are you ever wring? :D I totally agree w you! I don't understand some of the opinions expressed by the guys here! too irrational sometimes.
Vamos Demi, Heinze, Higuain
Vamos Argentina!!!

johnny said...

The USA was F****d today by that piece of s**t, cheating scumbag. Monitor his bank account.

Sebastian said...

Thanks for the info, Anonymous. I have no intentions to fight with your or anything. But I see you lower your number of starts and 90 minutes for MILITO from 3 to 1 after my message.

Plus...MILITO did score in one of those matches you mention (a 4-2 v. Colombia in which he was a sub).

Then, he played only the first half in the following match.

A friendly v. Norway and a friendly v. Uruguay are the two definite and confirmed matches in which he played 90 minutes.

Not a bad record. He scored 2 in 2 matches, then.

Again, this is with no intention to fight or anything. I'm just tired of people killing Diego MILITO even when he didn't have enough chances to prove his worth for the national team.

That's not disputable. It's a fact. How can you judge a striker if you never see him play complete matches on a regular basis?

I would present a case for ANY player that's criticize without playing. ANY player.

Where is the love for Diego MILITO? If you read some comments here it looks as if he was Brazilian!

Sebastian said...

Johnny...sorry you were busy and we couldn't meet to watch that very exciting match together! You were absolutely robbed!

Is this theory I have a bad one?
Or you could say that a match like this would help 'soccer' become popular in the US?

I mean...it had everything!

An early 2-0 disadvantage. An improbable comeback and then a horrendous call by the referee to deny the USA of what could have been a well-deserved win.

What else do you need to make people at least start talking up there, north of Mexico and south of Canada?

That said...If England were to win today, I think the USA have the upper hand to make it through. They would only need to beat Algeria in the last round (by any score) and for England to beat Slovenia (again, by any score) and that's that.

They're through.

What do you think?

I'm off now. I'm watching Algeria-England at a pub. Should be interesting to see David JAMES coming on as a starter! A calamity waiting to happen????

Sebastian said...

Back to the MILITO thing, I guess we need Roy to help us out here and we need him to settle the argument when it comes to complete matches played.

I don't have those numbers with me.

Obviously my source was wrong, but it seems that Anonymous was also wrong with some of the information he shared with us here.

Gotta go now.

Mohd said...

no matter who we will face in the second round, maradona will be committing suicide if he plays the same formation he's using in the group stage.
one of DiMaria or Tevez has to be dropped because the midfield looks so weak.

i do not know who agrees but this is how i see it..

again i ask; any news about Samuel injury? the team doctor said yesterday that it does not look serious but that was not final...

johnny said...

Thanks for your comments Seba. I rarely use the word "gutted", but I am, and furious. It wouldn't be so infuriating if the ref had explained (he hasn't to my knowledge) where they supposed foul took place. No replay I have seen indicates a foul, except by maybe more than one defender !

Unfortunately this type of event most likely poisons the well for futbol in the states. The more "non-global" of american citizens will be absolutely certain that a fix was in and blame whatever international thieves there are to blame. As evidenced by the title of an email I received from my brother within minutes of the matches end-it read "F**k Soccer". That says it all.

Raj said...

Mohd

I feel the same as you. We need holding midfielders if we play against better teams. We have limited choices in the midfield. My choice would be Pastore or Veron over DiMaria and Maxi(based on current form). My 11 with the limited resources we have would be

Burdisso DiMichellis Samuel Heinze
Mascherano
Veron Pastore
Messi
Higuain Milito/Aguero

We just need to ensure that we play the attack through Messi and based on whatever I have seen of Pastore at Palermo he seems to be the best choice. Not sure how he will play with the pressure of world cup. DiMaria can be used as a super sub along with Tevez.

If we don't play the possession game I am sure we will not stand any chance with teams like Brazil or Spain with our fragile defense.

Maru said...

Hi! I'm from Argentina and I've been reading your blog since the World Cup started. I have a few friends from Canada who wanted to root for Argentina this year (thanks to me not being able to talk about anything else since the year started haha) and found this website for them with great information in english, so thanks!

Today the press conference was led by Mascherano and Samuel and I have to say I enjoyed it, I really like Masche's answers and the way he expresses himself, it's pretty important for a captain.

We are not in the round of 16 yet, so we have to win against Greece. We can't assume it's going to be an easy game, especially after all the upsets that the "better" teams had up to now. In a way I'm happy that Jonas accumulated yellow cards (i think he did it on purpose btw, to be clean for the hypothetical round of 16, I mean if it wasn't on purpose it would be really disappointing and tremendously unprofessional). Anyway, I'm kind of eagear to see the defense without him, and a replacement there becuase I feel it's our weakest side, we get the rivals coming to our area many times from that side. I wonder who Maradona will play...

Not so happy to see Samuel hurt though, since he's the only one I actually trust in the defense (except for when he missed that ball at the beginning against Nigeria). But we REALLY need to word with our defense. Now, against teams like Nigeria and S. Korea maybe people shake it off, but once we are up against a bigger threat, or once an opponent team raises the stakes, I'm sure that's going to be our downfall. I hope Diego, or whoever, is doing something about that and not thinking that the game was all around perfect like he said in the conference. Because clearly, and I mean clearly, there were mistakes and pretty important ones at that.

Mohd said...

Raj-->

Spot on, I would love for Pastore to start. but i would select DiMaria or Tevez with Messi and Higuain/Milito. Aguero can be a super sub. See DiMaria and Tevez both have defensive efforts and track back but Aguero does not.

but i really hate the fact that Pastore does not seem to be in Maradona's plans

Anonymous said...

Seba, this tournament become unpredictable. Do you see any posibilities even germany and england out early. If algeria held england to draw O-O, usa will in 2nd place (by goal margin). In the last game, not easy for England to beat Slovenia. Germany too. How they played agains Serbia, it's not easy for them to beat Ghana. Or even Germany and England finish in 2nd place.

- charlie-

Anonymous said...

england are so awful and i hate them sooo damn much. but they are very hard to beat. they can't beat anyone and anyone can't beat them. i hope they draw against slowenia and go home.

hey man, after all we had really luck with our group. our opponents underperformed against us, played much under their potential. this is a good thing.

Vitalij

johnny said...

England looked petrified today. Horrible performance. Are they afraid Capello is going to give them a spanking so they tighten up ?! On the attack they stood around like a bunch of mannequins !

Anonymous said...

Samuel says he is ok :)
http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/newsid=1249902/index.html#maradona+ease+argentina+pretty

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one very nervous about the prospect of us facing mexico???

aaks said...

IWANT TO SHOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MESSI AND KUN TOGETHER IN THE PITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

aaks said...

I WANT TO SHOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!

MARADONA TOOK PALERMO:::::SO PALERMO COULD BE TEACHING SOME SECRET STUFF TO HIGUAIN AND MILITO THIS WHOLE MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sebastian said...

Maru! Bienvenida! (you are a woman, aren't you? If not, I apologize!)

Thanks for sharing some quotes from MASCHERANO from today's press conference. I was out and missed it so I couldn't post anything here.

I'm glad you have recruited more fans for Argentina and I'm glad they are enjoying this blog.

Welcome to Mundo Albiceleste again!

Thanks for joining us in this crazy ride!

Maru said...

Thanks for the welcome Sebastian! I am indeed a woman haha.

You are welcome about Mascherano's conference. I actually just watched parts of it again on the news... I can leave some quotes that stuck with me. I apologize for my translation if it's bad! (I really like Mascheranos' answers):

"We are not looking ahead of these games. We are not yet mathematically classified. The coach will decide who gets to play against Greece, and in the case that I do, you are always going to be a bit conditioned by the yellow card"

"I felt comfortable playing both ways (with Veron in 1st match, and alone in the 2nd). My position doesn't change in spite of that"

"Like I said yesterday there are many things to work on. The important thing is that we realize these things, and know what we are doing well, and where we have to get better. We are on the right track, and these victories help us gain confidence to grow after each match"

"I agree that Argentina today has many people attacking, and even though that can be seen like we don't have balance, it's also a benefit because if we put a lot of people on attack the rival has to defend with more people, and attack with less people. So that depends on how you look at it"

"We know how we are as Argentines, we don't have balance, we go from one extreme to the other one. That's why we have to cool off the euphoria, because it should come way later on... We have to stay calm. We only won two matches and that wasn't enough to put us through yet, so we have to be focused. "

Anonymous said...

Hello All,

I am AsianFan from Singapore ... 2006

Good to see this site bubbling ...

Mohd said...

what a player/person:

http://www.goal.com/en/news/1863/world-cup-2010/2010/06/19/1983973/world-cup-2010-javier-zanetti-is-argentinas-good-luck-charm

Sparrow said...

I was told by a friend from Guinee (I couldn't contain a burst-out laugh) that : 'Tevez c'est pas un etre humain, c'est un animal man!'

meaning Carlitos is not a human being man, he is an animal!

gebrihell (kuala lumpur) said...

Seba, I'm so happy that you have managed to gather many albiceleste maniacs here. I've been a big fan since 1990, was just only 9 years old at that time. I still remember shouting in happiness when Diego put the ball perfectly at Claudio's feet to kill the Brazilians. And the penalty shootout against Yugoslavia and Italy never escapes my mind. And I shared D10S' tears when they were robbed in the final.
Hopefully, after 20 years, I finally get to see them lift the greatest Cup of all. VAMOS ARGENTINA! TENEMOS QUE GANAR TODOS LOS PARTIDOS!

Anonymous said...

Someone tell me please. If the points are the same, what will make a team qualify? Head to head record or goal difference?

For example, if England is draw with Slovenia; and USA is also draw with Algeria. That means Slovenia will be first with 5 points, who will be second? USA or England?

If Germany won their final game against Ghana; and Serbia beat Australia. Serbia and Germany will have 6 points. Who will top the group?

Please help

Sebastian said...

Gebrihell, I guess the age difference works on my favour here! I'm 4 years older than you. So I was 9 when we did win it in 1986 and got to really enjoy those moments. 1990 was terrific too, not so much for our football, but for the epic nature of that campaign that ended in the final. It pains me to see that we never made it back all the way to the 7th game in a World Cup. Fingers crossed now!

And welcome to Mundo Albiceleste!

We're glad to have another maniac on board! hahahaha!

Mohd said...

the goal difference will be the judge. if the goal difference is the same then the head to head result will decide.

Sebastian said...

To the anonymous asking about the tie-breakers. Here's how to break it down.

GROUP C scenarios. It's a rather long explanation and I'm trying to contemplate every possible scenario here.

SLOVENIA:

-They are through with a win or a draw.
-They win the group with a win or a draw (provided USA don't beat Algeria)
-They finish second if they lose and Algeria v. USA ends in a draw or if they draw and USA beat Algeria.

USA:

-They will win the group if they beat ALG and England beat Slovenia by the same score (say...1-0). At the moment, the tie-breaker between USA and ENG is goals scored. Even though both teams have 2 points and both teams have same goal-difference, USA scored 3 whilst England scored 1. Now if USA beat ALG say 1-0 and ENG beat Slovenia say 3-2. They will be absolutely tied!
The next tie-breaker? Result between them. And they would be tied too because it was 1-1.
They will have to decide which team is the group winner by a draw performed by FIFA. Have in mind that it wouldn't be so tragic because both teams would advance. The draw will be just to determine which team wins the group. Both of them would have 5 points and Slovenia will be third with 4.

-They are through with a win regardless of the result between England and Slovenia.

-They are through as second team from the group with a draw combined with a win by Slovenia or a draw between Slovenia and England.

-They will be eliminated with a loss.

-They will also be eliminated with a draw combined with a win from England.

ENGLAND:

-They are through with a win, regardless of the result between USA-ALG.

-They win the group with a win combined with a draw between USA-ALG or a win by Algeria.

-They win the group with a win combined with a win by USA v. Algeria if they get a better goal-difference than the USA.

-They are through as second placed team with a win combined with a win by the USA if they get a worse goal-difference than the USA.

-They are eliminated if they don't win. A draw or a loss by England will make it impossible for them to advance because any result from USA-ALG would kill them.

ALGERIA:

-They are eliminated with a loss or a draw.

-They are through as second-placed team with a win combined with a win by Slovenia v. England.

-They can't win the group.

Sebastian said...

GROUP D scenarios (I hope you don't mind! I love doing these things!)

GHANA:

-They win the group with a win over GER or a draw combined by a win by AUS.

-They are through with a draw, regardless of the other result, but if Serbia beat AUS, GHA will be second.

-They can still qualify with a loss v. GER. But they need AUS to beat Serbia with the combined goal-difference from those two matches of no more than 6 goals (for example: lose 1-0 v. GER and AUS beat Serbia 1-0 and GHA are qualified. However, if GHA lose 1-0 and AUS beat Serbia 4-0, then Germany and Australia will advance.

GERMANY:

-A win and they are through. They would win the group provided Serbia don't beat AUS by a difference of four or more goals than they score against GHA.

-They advance as 2nd-placed with a draw combined with a draw between AUS and Serbia or a win by AUS provided the Socceroos don't win by 7 goals!

-They will be eliminated with a draw combined with a win by Serbia by any score.

-They will be eliminated with a loss regardless of the result between Australia and Serbia.

SERBIA:

-They qualify with a win, regardless of the result between GER and GHA.

-They win the group with a win combined with a draw between GER and GHA or a win by GER, provided Serbia win by a difference of four more goals than Germany.

-They advance as second with a win or a draw combined with a win by GHA.

-They will be eliminated with a draw or a loss combined with a win by GER or a draw between GER and GHA.

AUSTRALIA:

-They are through with a win combined with a win by GHA over GER.

-They can't win the group. All they can aim for is to advance as 2nd placed team.

-They are eliminated with a draw or a loss.

-They are eliminated with a win combined with a draw between GER and GHA provided AUS don't win by 7.

I think that covers it!

Sebastian said...

Cameroon OUT OF THE WORLD CUP.

First team to be eliminated. Holland are the first to advance to the round of sixteen.

Cameroon have 0 points, Japan and Denmark have 3, whilst Holland have 6. Problem for Cameroon is that Japan and/or Denmark will get at least a point when the meet each other next, making it impossible for Cameroon to get ahead of both.

A shame to see an exciting-to-watch African team crash like this so early, though they didn't deserve to get much from their two matches so far.

Anonymous said...

african teams totally disappoint. many people, me including, believed and feared that africa would show their big potential at this cup. but it seems they are worse than 20 years ago. but i don't really care, i don't support them.

Vitalij

Sebastian said...

Forgot to add that Australia can still advance with a win combined with a win by GER, though they would have to do it on goal-difference so they need to win big and wait for GHA to concede a few too.

Anonymous said...

I thought the first team to be eliminated was nigeria

Anonymous said...

nigeria still chances to reach the 1/8, and these chances are not small. if we win and nigeria wins, they are in the 1/8.

however i hope we draw greece, 0:0 would be the best result. it is not good to win all 3 group games.

Vitalij

Maru said...

Maybe I'm being a bit pessimistic (when it comes to football, and especially in the World Cup- I admit I've always been pessimistic) but I'm getting really worried about this...

I mean ¿what if we lose against Greece? I know most people are going to be like "we are obviously not going to lose". Maybe the odds are in our favor, and maybe it's only fair for us to win, BUT what if we don't? I mean, after all Spain lost to Switzerland, Germany lost to Serbia... And in BOTH cases I think Spain and Germany were the better teams... So it's not crazy for me to think that MAYBE we'll get a shock on tuesday and lose to Greece...

And so I think between S. Korea and Nigera, S. Korea have much better chances of winning. I'm really mad at the stupid Nigerian player who committed that stupid foul (stupid, stupid, stupid) that ended in an obvious and inevitable red card. Without his mistake I'm pretty sure Nigera would have won, and we would be classified.
Anyway, if - as probable - S. Korea wins against Nigeria, and we shockingly lose against Greece (so far in the World Cup we've seen proof that it COULD happen), we wouldn't be classified!!

So, bottom line, I'm getting really worried about this.
Also, comparing that to England, with a team that from what we've seen so far doest NOT deserve to clasify to the next round... If that scenario w/ Argentina does happen (toco madera) and England wins their last game they are clasified and we are not. How unfair is that? I mean they would be on to the next round having won only ONE game, and we would be out having won TWO... I mean, I know this is all mathematically calculated, and the worst case scenario, and I'm being really pessimistic, but after all the upsets we've had at the World Cup, I can't help but get a bit nervous about this... After all it's not like our team showed perfect football, there are mistakes and big one... And I still don't completely trust (or like for that matter) Maradona as our coach...

Anyways, just worried I have... I thought maybe I could write them down to make them sound silly and then I wouldn't have them anymore!

Anonymous said...

Maru,

Even if Greece beats us and S Korea beats Nigeria all three teams will be on 6 points. Our goal difference is +4 and S Korea and Greece's goal difference is -1. So unless there is a repeat of the Bolivia mauling (I hope not!) we should qualify as the first placed team in Group B!!

Does anybody have videos from the latest training session? I read (article link below) that it was open to the press for an hour and Maradona took lot of free kicks against Andujar and Pozo
http://af.reuters.com/article/sportsNews/idAFJOE65I04Q20100619

Maru said...

Thanks Anonymous, I guess that is good news... I just can't seem to get away from my pessimistic mentality, it's probably due to many disappointments in every world cup since I was born (1989).
¡Vamos Argentina!

Anyway, here is the video you were asking for. Of Diego with the free kicks (you have to click on "Video" right above the picture) The part that shows the free kicks isn't that long, but it's something!:
http://www.ole.com.ar/mundial/Aprendan_0_282571890.html

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the video Maru! Yes, I too understand our disappointments in every world cup...and I don't know how far we'll go this world cup but I know that every player will fight for the team and for each other every minute they are on the pitch...and that is something!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation! What I hope is Germany finish second and England finish first or third (not qualify). If that's the case, they both won't meet us in the big eight if we won our second round.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation! What I hope is Germany finish second and England finish first or third (not qualify). If that's the case, they both won't meet us in the big eight if we won our second round.

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