Wednesday, June 09, 2010

HEINZE and BOLATTI at a press conference

This was the most entertaining so far.

I felt like Gabriel HEINZE was rallying the team with every word. He sounded like a true leader.

I enjoyed some of his statements. BOLATTI was not asked as many questions, but when he was, his answers were good too.

And there was a moment in which HEINZE even gave an answer in French and then got a standing ovation from the Argentine reporters in attendance. Very funny moment.

Right...this is all they said:

Gabriel HEINZE

On his opinion on Nigeria:

"We saw Nigeria's last friendly (v. North Korea). I think many of us know them well. A lot of their players are playing in France or in England, where I played against them. They have a new manager and they play a system that is probably not the one they will use against us. But we are focused on what we need to do and not on what they will do".

"They have very athletic players. They have an enormous physical power. I've got a team-mate, TAIWO, who plays with me in Marseille and I'm impressed by him. I never saw him needing a massage or being tired. They too want to be stars in this World Cup. But we need to see how they are playing collectively. They are going to put pressure on us and they will play a direct kind of game because they have some fast people in their team".

On how he sees Argentina shaping up for their debut:

"We're in good shape. You will see that on Saturday. We feel great. We have been training really hard. At a high level".

Now this was funny. Juan Carlos PASMAN, the same journalist Diego said: "You have it up yours!" in Uruguay, because he has been very critical of his process, decided to ask HEINZE the following question: "From what I hear from our audience, I work in TV and radio, I take it there are a lot of people who are questioning why you are in this team. What do you think about that?"

And HEINZE started looking visibly mad at this guy. Then he said the following:

"I think facts will speak more than words. My opinion is very different to yours. I have been always criticized by the media and never by the fans. If four or five national team managers have trusted me, I thank them and I give each one of them all I can. I'm at peace".

On how the team would change if Jonas GUTIERREZ was to play at right-back:

"Our team could change with Jonas playing as a right back. He is more used to join our midfield. This could give our team more options starting our movements from the back. The rest of us in the back-line are out-and-out defenders. The manager will want the rest of us to focus on marking. From what we saw in training, we will always have four players at the back. I'm telling you this based on what we've been doing in training".

On what are the differences heading up to this World Cup compared to 2002 and 2006:

"I can't speak of what happened in 2002 because I wasn't there. I don't like to talk about things I didn't live. In 2006 we arrived to the World Cup in a good shape. I was coming from an injury but I did OK. As we were playing each match, we were doing better. And then it happened what you all saw. Today? We are in a good shape too. We can't wait for Saturday to come".

On what he thinks after nutmegging MESSI in training:

"I did! But I could only do that in training. I wouldn't dare doing something like that in a game. The good thing is that we take things with a good humor and with joy."

On what has changed after the WC Qualifiers and up to this point in which people are starting to think Argentina could win the World Cup:

"We need to ask the people what has changed. From the inside, I can't help thinking about how well our players are playing individually. This is something that makes people think we are favourites. I'm not interested in statistics and opinions from the outside. What I do care about is for us to be 23 players ready to give our everything for this shirt. The qualifiers were tough. Very complicated. We couldn't show the real Argentina. The Argentina we wanted and you were waiting for. But now we're OK. I hope things work out well for us. If our players are at such a high level individually, I don't see why we can't work just as well collectively".

On Lionel MESSI:

"MESSI is a human being. Some people tend to forget that. He could have a bad day every now and then. It's normal."

On whether Diego MARADONA is a better coach now than what it was when he first took over:

"I think you get more experience as you go. I can tell you MARADONA is a coach that gives you a lot of confidence. He lived many things as a player and he can relate to what we are living now. It's our responsibility to make Diego a better coach. Like it's the responsibility of every team to make their coach better".


On how his career changed from being ignored at Porto to being about to play in a World Cup:

"Every player has always in his head the idea to play for the national team. At the beginning of 2009 I didn't have much chances at Porto. I needed to reinvent myself. I wanted to get some first team action and that's why I went back to Argentina to play for Huracán. Today I'm leaving a dream and I'm enjoying it. But I have to keep working, keep improving and give my best".

On how he sees Argentina's preparation to the World Cup:

"We've been working very well. We are not sorry for not having played in friendly matches. The positive thing about this is that our group is intact. No injuries at all" (NOTE: KNOCK ON WOOD, BOLATTI, KNOCK ON WOOD!).

On whether he sees himself more suited to replaced MASCHERANO or VERON:

"I'm willing to play wherever our manager asks me. My natural position is central midfielder, but if Diego wants me to cover any other position, I'm willing to do it".

On who he tips to the be start of the tournament:

"I hope the team is the real start of the tournament. If I have to choose one player from Argentina to shine, then my pick is Lionel MESSI. We all know what kind of player he is. He is unique. He is extraordinary".


GK said...

Seba, I have never heard you speak so highly of Heinze :)

I think a lot of people's opinions on Heinze will change following the World Cup. He seems poised and ready to compete in every match and any situation.

johnny said...

Nice work from Heinze ! I don't know of many who have questioned his leadership skills, but rather his bull in a china shop mentality. Let's hope he nutmegs a few Nigerians !

Maxi Lopez said...

Well responded Heinze!!! VAMOS EL GRINGO!!!

Alex Camacho said...

A long article on Veron:

Anonymous said...

Heinze said: "They have very athletic players. They have an enormous physical power."

yes that's why i fear nigeria! corea and greece are much much weaker, i really have big respect before nigeria.

Heinze said: "I think facts will speak more than words"

Hahahaha! now we know who the big caps guy: gabriel heinze!

Heinze said: "The manager will want the rest of us to focus on marking. From what we saw in training, we will always have four players at the back. I'm telling you this based on what we've been doing in training".

WHY is he telling this? he gives information for free to other teams! this is stupid i think, even if he is lying.

Vitalij from Germany

Anonymous said...

what he says and what is going on MIGHT NOT BE THE SAME THING did you even consider that jesus human beings are so easy to trick

ARGENTINA renown for there irish gypsy like trickery and you think henze is giving away vital information THINK AGAIN

Sebastian said...

GK, don't be fooled! I think don't want HEINZE anywhere near our national team!

Today, I spoke highly of him because he wasn't playing! hahaha!

Joe said...

Seba or anyone, do you have any info on Diegos assistants? I mean we critisize Diego for his lack of coaching experience sow i was wondering do you know anything you could tell us about his assistants and there experience?

I really want to know about the people around Diego if they are competent.

Here in Sweden they follow Nigeria because of Lagerback the swedish coach coaching Nigeria.

And they value Lagerbacks coaching experience and ability a great deal moore then Maradonas. But they believe Diegos assistants and coaches have the ability to organize the tactical aspect of the game.

Thats why i am a bit qurious about the people around Diego.

Alex Camacho said...

Great question Joe.

I don't have insight for Joe on his question, I think it is a good one. Bilardo has considerable experience and tactical knowledge
(though I am not a fan of his philosophy, as a River-Menotti fan), my understanding is this is why he was initally brought in.

But since the bust up between him and Maradona (and subsequent supposed reconciliation) I don't know what his role is now. Does anyone?

The rest of the assistants are not particularly well known for their tactical acumen, as far as I know. But I'd really love to hear what others know on this.

lz said...

Great answers, both of them. On a different front, I just read a post from the blog links (right column), "Maradona's Daughter Beg Him to Dress Smartly" for the World Cup -because it seems that daddy sticks to his team tracksuit and the girls are not happy with that. Ha ha.

As the saying goes, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." But then again, who cares? Their daddy have other things to think about these days other than fashion, spoiled princesses.

Joe said...

Alex, i agree i am also more of the Menotti philosophy of play. And I also thougt they had to bring in Bilardo to be the man "behind" Maradona. To give him a hand on the tactical aspects of the game.

The two assistant coaches Mancuso and Enrique as i have found out have zero coaching experience. Could atleast no find anything. Both of them played with Diego and as it seems this is there first coaching experience.

I am truly hoping Diego is a Guardiola in disguise. Diego either way has Masterminded victorys against great teams. Germany, Russia, France, Uruguay.

I really do not know where to stand. I do believe that Diego did make the right choice to bring the team early to south africa. They leave the press back home and do acclimitaze to the weather and the soroundings.

I also think its great having a coach who has been in the world cup final twice.

But i am hoping that if we face England that Capello will outsmart Diego easilly.

Diego has of course since becoming coach evolved. He keeps starting line ups and closed training sessions. Before he would talk to much and reaveal the line up a day before.

Joe said...

Sorry about the Capello remark:). Of course i am not hopping Capello outsmarts Diego. But instead i am afraid he will.

Sebastian said...

Great questions indeed, Joe.

As Alex pointed out, BILARDO was the man who somehow gave me some kind of insurance that there will be someone behind Diego calling the tactical shots. But they had many arguments and now BILARDO is just a decorative figure. He doesn't even sleep in the same complex where Diego and the players are.

The ongoing fight between GRONDONA (head of the AFA) and Oscar RUGGERI meant that the former Diego team-mate from 1986 and 1990 was not allowed to join Diego's coaching staff.

And here's when it gets even more interesting.

Diego's right hand in this coaching staff is Alejandro MANCUSO. He used to play for Velez Sarsfield, Boca Juniors and even Flamengo in Brazil. He was also a member of our World Cup squad in USA 94, he won the Copa America 1993 (our last major trophy) and he was a team-mate of MARADONA when both of them were touring with the Showbol (something like an indoor football exhibition 'league' in which players like CANIGGIA, ALMEYDA, GOYCOCHEA and others have also participated).

Diego forged a great friendship with MANCUSO and it was Diego himself who said MANCUSO was always there for him at the toughest of times and that he trusts MANCUSO 100%.

The problem is when you think about what kind of experience MANCUSO has as a coach.

The answer is: NONE whatsoever.

When Diego took over for Argentina, the second assistant manager was Miguel Angel LEMME. A joke. Someone who was close to BILARDO and who was famous for trying to punch a journalist when Argentina arrived in Montevideo for our crucial qualifier in October.

Soon after that episode, he was removed from the coaching staff and they hired Héctor ENRIQUE.

Who is he? Most notably, not only he won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986. He also passed the ball to Diego for MARADONA to start that amazing run that ended in his second goal v. England in the QF.

As a coach?

He did some work with youngsters and he was appointed as manager of the U15 of Argentina, though he didn't work with them that much before being named by MARADONA.

There you have it! MARADONA is more experienced than MANCUSO and ENRIQUE put together.

Joe said...

Thanks for the great and quick response Seba.

It worries me the limitations aswell as experience our coaching staff have. As i mentioned before i am keeping my fingred crossed that Diego is a Guardiola in disguise.

I also hope and do think Diego is taking advice from the moore senior/vital players of the squad. Such as Veron, Macherano, Messi, Heinze.

I have this theory that Diego is trying to apply all training and tactical methods of Coaches such as Benitez, Mourinho, Guardiola.

In the beginning when Diego went to see the players in diffrent countries he visited coaches such as Mourinho and Benitez. I believe he wanted an insight on how they work and there after apply it in the national team.

For instance his behaviour to lecture/turn aginst the media is very "Mourinho" like. Aswell as when i read the players pressconference where most of them say how he installs confindence in them. That also is "Mourinho" like. The Benitez way of coaching is to pressure the opposition at all time. That is something i saw against Canada. The players kept pressuring the opposition all the time.

On the other hand i can inform you about this. There was an interview with Nigerias assistant manager (also a swede) where he pointed out that we hade a weak defence and that his players must seize the opportunity to challange the argentinian defence. He was a bit confident they would get a result against us.

I gotta a hunch that we will run circles around the Nigerian defence and beat them comfortably. I also believe it will be our easisest group game. Final score - 4-1.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an update about today's training session? Did the players split up and play a game?

Anonymous said...

Hey Seba,

What is with Signorini blasting FIFA today about Messi? Is Leo okay?

Joanna said...

does anyone know where I can get a video of this press conference???

Anonymous said...

Anon, Signorini's been saying Messi's very tired after the season he's had, basically, and that FIFA are more concerned with anti-doping tests than they are about giving the players enough rest to arrive at the World Cup 100%. 'The damage is already done,' in his words.

To me it sounds like, with all the positive noises coming out of the Argentina camp, someone's decided to make at least a bit of an excuse in case it all goes pear-shaped. Of course Messi's tired, but no more so than any other of the tournament's top players will be...

lz said...

In his interview with Sport (Spain) Signorini was blasting the FIFA in general --"Fernando Signorini protests against the system. . . . [he] does not like the FIFA's ways" because the games' calendar is too jammed, and players have to play an insane number of games per year. About South Africa in particular he was complaining that the players must get up ridiculously early for the anti-doping controls (7am) and the FIFA does not even care whether the players rest well.

About Messi specifically this was the exchange:

SPORT: Messi llega muy cansado?
(Is Messi arriving at the WC too tired?)

FS: Sí, llega cansado al Mundial. El daño ya está hecho y es irreversible. Se preocupan por los controles antidoping pero no se preocupan porque los jugadores juegan setenta partidos por año y tengan que viajar de una punta a la otra.

--(Yes, he does arrive tired to the WC. The damage is done and it is irreversible. They worry about the anti-doping controls but don't care that the players have to play 70 games per year and travel from one end to the other" (from one corner of the world to the other, he meant). That is, he is tired, but he is not saying he is the ONLY one. He is blaming the abuse that the FIFA system inflicts on players.

Source: (link to article in Spanish):

Anonymous said...

again my very stupid idea: use messi only as substitute in the groupstage! he can rest and stay healthy, we need him in the big games.


Sebastian said...

Thanks Sam and Luc for your clarifications and your translations respectively. Gracias!

Regarding MESSI and his tiredness, well...he did play more than all the other players in our team this season. The exact number escapes me right now, but it was slightly bigger than 70 (I'm supposed to check this, but I don't have the time right now). Second in that list is MILITO with 65. And VERON tops the chart when it comes to the players from our local league with 44. That's nothing compared to the number of games MESSI played.

I'm hearing MESSI is OK. He is ready to go for Saturday.

Sebastian said...

That's an interesting idea and I'm predicting a debate.

Should MESSI be rested in the group stage?

My quick, short and brutal answer is: "NO WAY!"

Why? Because more important than resting him is getting him match-fit. With rhythm. High in confidence. Players want to play. Let him play and rest him only if we win our first two matches and are qualified for the next round.

That way he'll be high in confidence and well rested for the eight finals and on the other hand you give some minutes to other forwards to keep them sharp in case you need them in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Seba...also we need other players to gel around messi in the earlier games so that he is comfortable playing in the team before the big games come up

hugo said...

Going back to Maradona's assistants: why is AFA/Grondona so much opposed as having Ruggeri as assistant? Not that he brings a lot more experience, but sounds too much when Grondona gets to the point of asking to be told if/when Ruggeri gets close to the HPC...

Mike said...

My 3 Albiceleste players to shine in this world cup.


I think DI MARIA will be a household name around the world after this tournament.

Great to see HEINZE with so much passion. I'm happy they didn't play too many friendlies, I think they needed the time to train in south Africa. I think it will help them play as a team a lot. We are amazing on paper, but they need to
play together and show that beautiful passing football that we are so well known for.

Can't wait for saturday

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