Who should suceed Diego Maradona ?

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18 April 2011
Argentina have to play friendly vs Albania ... im really happy

sad match its not in Albania , if was here sure i go in stadium but argentina farrr lol i really hope for this match can be so important for us special if we get positiv result we will be so much motivation for our important matchs


Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
Argentina have to play friendly vs Albania ... im really happy

sad match its not in Albania , if was here sure i go in stadium but argentina farrr lol i really hope for this match can be so important for us special if we get positiv result we will be so much motivation for our important matchs

I am sure Argentina will have played everyone in the world by 2018 just as Messi is about to retire and probably played several of the European top sides a dozen times with quite a few games against countries in the Middle East plus China and India.

It's known as Grondona's pension plan. :RANT:

It should be a good game and hey knowing how useless Batista is Albania have a great chance of getting a result.

Meanwhile sparks are flying in BA. Passarella the Kaiser has stated he wants to overthrow the mafioso as AFA president.

River Plate have always had a remarkably bad number of refereeing decisions in matches during the long reign of the evil dictator Grondona.

Perhaps Passarella is trying to insure referees feel more pressure in giving River Plate decisions as they fight to avoid relegation (caused by the unusual point staggering scheme that operates in the Argentinian league).

It would be great if El Kaiser could nut Grondona and do away with him. He is a hindrance to Argentinian football. Until he is removed it is unlikely any decent coach and there are plenty will want to coach the seleccion.

Gabbarini is not bad at all PLF. Solid and dependable. Carrizo has been in good form but he is prone to howlers and lapses in concentration.

That is what makes top goalkeepers stand out. He has all the ability but isn't quite right in his head.

There has not been a world class keeper since Fillol. Shame really as Amadeo Carrizo was a great and the originator of the keeper sweeping behind his defence in the thirties.

The AFA should have looked at this problem like the CBF and how they solved it when Brazilian keepers were treated as a joke.

But Grondona like his buddies at FIFA Teixeira, Leos, Warner and co have more important things on their mind like lining their pockets or as with Bin Hammam seeing that journalists doing their job get locked up for no reason.

Fair Play, Respect, the beautiful game, a game for the fans.....what a joke.


I like Unicorns
17 August 2007
Estoril | Knicks
Argentina squad - Copa América 2011

Lionel Messi (Barcelona-España)
Javier Zanetti (Internazionale de Milán-Italia)
Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid-España)
Juan Pablo Carrizo (River Plate-Argentina)
Gabriel Milito (Barcelona-España)
Ángel Di María (Real Madrid-España)
Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City – Inglaterra)
Enzo Pérez (Estudiantes de La Plata-Argentina)
Sergio Agüero (Atlético Madrid-España)
Nicolás Burdisso (Roma-Italia)
Javier Mascherano (Barcelona-España)
Luciano Monzón (Boca Juniors-Argentina)
Esteban Cambiasso (Internazionale de Milán-Italia)
Diego Valeri (Lanús-Argentina)
Ever Banega (Valencia-España)
Fernando Gago (Real Madrid-España)
Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar-Holanda)
Mariano Andújar (Catania-Italia)
Ezequiel Garay (Real Madrid-España)
Lucas Biglia (Anderlecht-Bélgica)
Carlos Tévez (Manchester City-Inglaterra)
Nicolás Pareja (Spartak de Moscú-Rusia)
Marcos Rojo (Spartak de Moscú-Rusia)
Javier Pastore (Palermo-Italia)
Ezequiel Lavezzi (Nápoli-Italia)
Diego Milito (Internazionale - Italia)

No 'Portuguese' players in there. :(


Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
Preliminary squad for the Copa:

GK: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Juan Pablo Carrizo (River Plate)

DF: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Nicolas Burdisso (AS Roma), Nicolas Pareja, Marcos Rojo (both Spartak Moscow), Gabriel Milito (Barcelona), Ezequiel Garay (Real Madrid), Luciano Monzon (Boca Juniors)

MF: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan), Ever Banega (Valencia), Fernando Gago, Angel Di Maria (both Real Madrid), Javier Pastore (Palermo), Diego Valeri (Lanus), Lucas Biglia (Anderlecht), Enzo Perez (Estudiantes)

FW: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli)

My own selection:
GK: Juan Pablo Carrizo, Sergio Romero & Agustin Marchesin.

DF: Javier Zanetti, Pablo Zabaleta, Cristian Ansaldi, Ezequiel Garay, Marcos Rojo, Nicolás Pareja, Ezequiel Munoz & Nicolás Burdisso.

MF: Enzo Pérez, Javier Mascherano, Lucas Biglia, Javier Pastore, Claudio Yacob, Ever Banega, Esteban Cambiasso, Angel Di María & Ricardo Alvarez.

FW: Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuaín, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Pablo Osvaldo & Sergio Agüero.

Which selection do you think is more balanced and reflective of form ? Disappointed not to see Yacob as cover at defensive midfielder and Munoz left out too. Batista's selections are mystifying.Take Biglia who is nursing a shoulder injury.

Valeri over Alvarez ? Diego Milito over Osvaldo or even an aerial threat like Stracqualursi at Boca and picking several players who have barely played this season and picking a disaster in Gabriel Milito in defence who is finished as a defender after his injuries not that he was much god before it.

Batista is also showing he can be pushed around.The best leaders to paraphrase Sun Tzu must show a degree of intelligence, a degree of credibility in terms of trust and competence. A small mixture of humanity in dealing with those under your command and some courage to make tough decisions and finally discipline.

He lacks all of these qualities. This is not to say there is a dearth of qualified coaches.

Sabella outperformed Ferguson when he took his Estudiantes side ever so close against Barcelona. Pochettino has done well at Espanyol and Luis Zubeldia nephew of the great Osvaldo whose Estudiantes team beat Manchester United in 1968 who are all cogniscent of modern coaching technologies with Luis being just 30 odd years of age.

Now there appears to be a falling out between Batista and the mafioso over including Tevez. Grondona dislikes Tevez and no doubt his alliance with Maradona who has been attacking the mafioso in the Argentine press with allegations that the Don doped the team before their WC playoff match against Australia in the cafe veloz affair.

The Don hit back alleging he had to in order to cover up Diego's coke habit.

It's all rather grubby and sordid and with the AFA controlling the TV monies for the clubs most of the club presidents have lined up behind the mafioso.

On the pitch the domestic squad beat Paraguay 4-2 with impressive displays from Napoli bound defender and youngster Federico Fernandez and Enzo Perez. Coco Lamela made his first team debut as such and after a shaky start displayed a nice passing range and almost scored.

YouTube - Argentina vs Paraguay 4-2 (Friendly) - All Goals & Highlights - 25/05/2011

The u25 squad which still inc.Zabaleta lost 4-1 to Nigeria:

YouTube - Nigeria vs Argentina 4-1 - All Goals - Full Highlights - 01-06-2011 - Nigeria 4-1 Argentina

It was an appalling display by players who seemed to lack motivation as many knew they had no chance to make the Copa squad or like Garay and Zabby were trying to avoid injury as they had been picked.

Nonetheless this is a special jersey and the effort shown was extremely poor. The players should have been showing a determination to press their claims to being seleccion material ie Fazio. Only Tino Costa really showed much displaying his skills at set pieces.

Batista's madness in pursuing a high defensive line when the players lack pace was also revealing. Simple longballs over the top caused no end of problems. In his ineptitude I sincerely hope he decides not to play Masche at CB. Barca can keep the ball but with his idea of 3 DMs keeping the ball is more problematic and Masche has not been up against a top class tall striker either.

If he did play Pastore with Banega this would solve the posession problem and ensure Messi would not have to be scorer and creator not to mention eliminate the gaps between defence/midfield and forwards which are noticeable.

Argentina were playing the tiki taka a long time before 2010 and peaked with it 2005-7 with the team playing as a cohesive unit in defence and attack and dominating posession in the process.

Batista's idea is to give the little flea the ball and hope something happens. He seems not to realize there are several players not far off Messi in terms of ability to create and score as well and that it is a team game and getting them to lift their game rather than passing to Messi all the time.

Or even use Messi as a decoy to create space for others on the pitch. Even when crowded players seem to wish to pass to himwhen others are free. And others like di Maria who plays more collectively in Real seem to be more selfish with the seleccion.

He is not getting the team to perform to their potential at all. He has multiple threats ie Kun , di Maria and does not utilize them or lacks the awareness to make tactical subsitutions at the right time when the opposition might be tiring to throw on someone like Kun or Tevez or alter the shape of the midfield.

He has got just one thing right in getting the fullbacks to push up the pitch attacking wise but then any one could have seen that.

Set pieces are still a shambles defensively and in terms of attacking potential. Roman is sorely missed at these yet he omits Tino Costa who might help with this or even Tevez.

Coming back to the Nigeria match ,Argentina's penalty after Nigerias extremely dubious penalty was also a farce being awarded for a non existent handball EIGHT minutes into injury time. As a result the match is being investigated for being fixed.

What a world football is. Fancy FIFA investigating corruption within the game....:P

Batista is a fraud but until the mafioso is removed from the AFA to which he has clung to obdurately for night on four decades no decent coach wants to accept the position because of all the interference involved.

It's amazing and simultaneously galling with all the talent available and the best player in the world and more talent in the pipeline that there has been such a lack of sucess in international competition recently.

If the team wins the Copa bearing in mind the abilities of Brazil, Uruguay and Chile it will be down to the players rather than the coach.

There are plenty of transfer rumours .Kun to Real seems a possibility which might mean Higuain moving on amazingly. Messi would like to have Pastore at Barca but the price is a sticking point.

Banega to Internazionale is another firm possibility alongside Tevez to keep the Inter tradition of Argentines at the club. Lamela is being linked to their city rivals AC and Roma and Biglia with free spending Malaga who made a bid for Pastore.

Iturbe has signed with Porto, Piatti is also likely to move to Atletico and Ansaldi may well end up at Marseille and at last migh remind Batista he is still alive.......:P

All this transfer activity is rather disturbing to players prior to the Copa and hopefully any deals will be concluded before it.


Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
Another defeat from the third stringers and debutantes against Poland:

YouTube - Friendly - Poland 2-1 Argentina | Highlights (5/6/2011)

The idea of these games is right in principle but thoroughly mucked up by the AFA.

Batista ought to be in Argentina coaching and preparing the side along with Garay and Zabby and a coach like Pochettino ought to have been given the European based kids and had a fixed base to play their games say in Barcelona at Espanyol's ground.

None of this travelling from Nigeria to Warsaw and then further exacerbated by changing the team around again so they have little or no time to prepare.

It renders the purpose of obtaining useful information worthless.


I like Unicorns
17 August 2007
Estoril | Knicks
Definitely, your selection is much more balanced than Batista's one. I totally agree with the picks of Osvaldo and Muñoz (didn't watch the others though), that selection is much more accurate to the form they had during the season. However I still think that a piece is missing: Belluschi. He had a fantastic season with Porto, a key player in that glorious and dominating team, a maestro in Porto's midfield. Definitely he deserved the call.

Honestly mate, I don't see the point of these friendly matches. I mean, Argentina has a wide range scouting area and there are several players that deserved to be given a try under Batista's manager. Nonetheless I just think that this is not the perfect timing at all to see different players. There's no point in that when you already have chosen the players you're going to bring to Copa América.

Good luck to next july albi. Surely I going to follow Argentina as close as I can.


Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
Thank you amigo. :TU:

The problem might be there are too many players to look at. There is also the possibility that these friendlies might be used to keep Argentine players hopeful of a seleccion spot in order to avoid them being pinched.

Tino Costa I am sure has Portuguese antecedents for instance. ;)

There was talk of Batigol heading a European office to keep Batista informed of all the European based players but that has come to nothing as yet.

It is a similar idea to that employed by the rugby union team the Pumas which has worked very well.

Belluschi did play in these friendlies and did reasonably well but did not catch the eye as such. Otamendi was not even considred but I think he still has a lot to learn positionally.


I like Unicorns
17 August 2007
Estoril | Knicks
Gotta search about Tino Costa. Costa is very common Portuguese name. :)

Yes, Otamendi has a lot to learn. He has started slowly this season, honestly I thought he would made impact right in the beginning of his career at Porto. In the very first games of the year André Villas Boas used Rolando-Maicon pair at CB position. However, and considering the improvement Otamendi had during the year, he gained a solid spot in the starting eleven, even scoring some crucial goals (e.g. at Braga). His header is really a great extra.

Oh I've been told that Bellushi got hurt against Poland. Seems that its a long term injury so he wouldn't make it anyway. :(

That would be great to you having a European scouting base, especially if it is ruled by a person like Gabriel Batistuta who knows well how different football is in the old continent.

Talking about Pumas, 2011 is World Cup year! In September next I guess. Since Portugal isn't qualified I'm with Argentina and England. Don't if Wilkinson is still there, I've been aware of rugby lately, if not I'm Argie all the way! :BOP:
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Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
Wilko will be there amigo. But as backup to Toby Flood.

I also hope the Pumas do well but I think under Phelan they have not sparkled plus Juan Martin Hernandez is unlikely to be fit in time.

The backs have improved greatly but the pack is not as dominant as it once was. Still the juniors are doing well and the Pampas XV won the Vodacom Cup in South Africa against very strong teams like the Blue Bulls.

Regarding the Wolves it is a shame they missed out. They really lit up the last world cup with the immense pride and no little skill many of them amateurs playing against fulltime professionals, that they showed.

They've done well in the ENC and the real benefit will be in ten to fifteen years as more kids in Portugual took up the game.

YouTube - Portugal (Hymn) Vs New Zealand (Haka) @ 2007 World Cup Rugby

:WORSHIP: This time round Russia should benefit and hopefully Portugual will be here in 2015. :))


I like Unicorns
17 August 2007
Estoril | Knicks
Impressive moment so far, every time I saw this I feel the emotions like it was the very first time. Despite losing a spot in the World Cup our Wolves are improving year after year. We finished 2nd last Six Nations B Tournament which is a good, although not great, result for Portugal. However, what really worth is the importance Rugby as gain in the country since 2007. The NT is currently a semi-professional team. Besides, people are loving this sport, you go to Cascais (where I live, a very beautiful town near Lisbon, you gotta visit me ;)) and the beaches are full of kids playing rugby (not playing exactly but they do the moves if you understand what I mean).

Backing to football, we've apparently snapped Enzo Pérez. A well-known Portuguese football expert said Enzo is the best player in Argentinian League nowadays. I don't know if he is right or not although I'm glad that he's joining us. Do you think he is a good replacement for Salvio? The former Benfica #8 were my favourite player so far. :( Looking forward to see Enzo at Copa América.

Looking forward to see other Argentinian League player: Monzon - One of the most exciting scout prospects these days. People talk wonders about this kid. Moreover he plays in a position that lacks a truly starter for Argentina (Zanetti is still the best solution but he's getting older).
I'm also curious about the likes of Pareja and Rojo. Barely watch the Russian League so this time I can watch them and realize if they are that good.


Looking for a Manager
25 July 2005
Arsenal Thread
The Arsenal FC
Don`t know where to post , but The Rich "River" got the drop .... No more River plate in FIFA 12 :p . Fans won`t be able to cope really a massive blow. To think so many big players came from River! Sad news really..:COAT: on the other side I do like Boca :BOP: No more clasico :JAY:


2 August 2004
I heard there's gonna be massive riots in the streets! this isn't gonna be pretty.....


Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
What happened to River Plate ?

The truth is the club has been run really badly by the former chairman Aguilar.

River and Boca have two of the biggest fanbases not just in Argentina but right across Latin America indeed the world.

However their merchandising operations are poor. The TV deal is not on a par with Globo in Brazil. Furthermore the Argentine economy is not as buoyant as it should be.

The club have sold £200M of players in about fifteen years. So you'd expect the club to be stable with a nice modernized ground etc etc.

Far from it. Much of the transfer monies go into the pockets of superagents and companies who own stakes in players. The club receives little of the benefit.

Fortunately certainly for River it's cantera rivals anything else on the planet in terms of producing players. Be it Mascherano or Higuain to emerging talents like Ocampos, Simeone junior and Cirigliano.

However all the financial problems and huge exodus of players mean that Argentine clubs are struggling to compete in the Libertadores and too many youngsters go to Europe before they are developed and struggle or just waste away in reserve sides.

Facundo Bertoglio for example.


23 March 2009
Boca Juniors
Albi, are you argentinian or just a fan? (I mean, for your nickname)

Anyway, you want to know what happens here, I can tell you, but you'll have to excuse my english.

The truth is, Pasarella is doing the same as every other club president here in Argentina: have a part in each transfer, and fill his pockets with the club's money. Most of those millions income from the transfers of Buonannotte and Lamela, have dissapeared, that's all. Nobody knows about it, nobody speaks about it, not the club, not the media, not the fans.

Also, another big problem for River is the fact that their coach doesn't know about being a coach, and he does plenty of wrong calls, absurde formations (full offensive 3-4-3 against counter-attacking teams, full defensive 4-4-2 against defensive teams, WTF!?) and also weird substitions in game that only help to confuse their own players.

Instituto will be their next rival, and they are the leaders in the B Nacional, plus they are playing a wonderful and beautiful football. Also, Quilmes and Rosario Central are pretty near to River, and are achieving plenty of victories since they do have decent coaches and a clear idea of what they are playing in the pitch.

If River doesn't wins the upcoming game, that can be disastrous, because the players are already nervous (plenty of red cards just because of violent motion against the ref or other players) and Almeyda has lose the temper almost 10 matches ago. Even more, the fans are furious red, and you can see them insulting their players almost every match, and that doesn't help neither.

About Boca, is having a pretty good season, but the fact that the club was emptied by Amor Ameal (even if he says he left more than 50M pesos in the arc, the truth is there are less than 5M) and they can't afford Cvitanich nor Sosa (the GK), plus they have to sell inmediatly as much players as possible if they want to keep others will make a second half of the year very "dark": we don't know who will still be in the club. But we can lose Blandi (amazing forward who can easily be our next 9 for the years to come), Insaurralde (who will be the defense leader when Schiavi retires in a few months), Mouche (who's getting better and helping a lot), Sauro (young defender, the Swiss are interested in him), Gaona Lugo and Sanches Miño (another 2 amazing youngsters who are proving themselves each match)

Also, the continuos Riquelme-Gates are ruining the locker atmosphere and you can see it in plenty of matches. I don't hate him but he's really negative for the team's psychological health.

Hope it helps to keep you informed, tell me if you need to know anything else.



Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
Hallo deranzeef.

Thanks for the excellent contribution. I couldn't agree more with what you have said. River with the playing staff it has ought to be doing much better.

Fans that I know who live in BA are very angry about the coach's selections and particularly the defence. I thought Pezzella and Gonsalez Pirez ought to have become the starting pair alongside Abecasis.

Insituto are playing extremely well with Paulo Dybala getting all the credit.The team however play very well as a unit and it is part of a trend that sees clubs outside of BA showing more and more strongly.

Perhaps in part to the loss of any emerging star to Europe. It is a shame also what is happening with Boca. Mouche has been long watched and Blandi had an excellent Apertura. I don't know if the cause of the tension within the Boca dressing room is down to JRR's wages. It was certainly amazing to be told someone like Luciano Monzon was only earning £200 per week a couple of seasons ago. And how well (sadly not for Boca) but as a wingback with Nice he is doing.

As I said these clubs should not be in the position they are. Only Velez seems to be run on an even keel.

As to your question deranzeef I'm English but paradoxically some might say an ardent fan of the seleccion ever since 1986 when I was going on seven years of age.

I can't tell you how frustrating it has been since 1990 despiet the sucess at u20 Youth Cups, the Olympics to see such great squads in 1994/1998/2002/2006 fall by the wayside.

I am praying Sabella can turn it around and what a sweet triumph 2014 would be.

The AFA really needs root and branch reform and all the old corrupt members removed starting with Don Julio.
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Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
It has been a while. Come on and contribute to the thread !! ;)

The seleccion under Admiral Sabella seem to be sailing onto a path free of storms.

A convincing 3-0 win over Switzerland who are up and coming followed by an excellent win over Ecuador:
YouTube - Argentina 4 - 0 Ecuador FIFA WC 2014 Qualifers All Goals HD [02/06/2012]

was followed a win over the fierce rivals Brazil 4-3 in the States inc. Messi's superb winner.
YouTube - Brazil vs Argentina 3-4 June 9th, 2012

Sabella clearly had a gameplan with 3 central midfielders to break and disrupt and hoping that Messi, Higuain and di Maria can work some magic aided by 2 fullbacks pushing on.

Well it is working. The counter is deadly and the three are forming a very nice rapport. That is not to mention Aguero who has a telepathic link up with Leo.

Then you have some of the other firepower about Lavezzi and Tevez. Perhaps the latter is best left alone though as the team spirit is excellent.

Midfield is anchored on Mascherano. Gago appears to be Sabella's choice though Banega if he ever decided to realize that he is capable and has the talent to be one of the world's top midfielders in his position is a better player.

Sosa is not a popular choice. Slated and perhaps rightly so along with Rojo and Brana as being Estudiantes favourites from Sabella's time at the club one cannot fault Sosa's application.

He carries out his orders and in the friendly against Germany won the penalty and did his fair share of work.

Sabella does not prefer an enganche that he sees can hinder the side if not performing as with Riquelme. So Pastore despite his immense talent remains on the sidelines and perhaps that will be the fate of Erik Lamela who was showing signs of his immense ability for Roma at the end of last season and in the pre-season friendlies.

Nonetheless although given the advantage of a ten man Germany after half an hour this was the best passing performance of an Argentinian side since 2007.

YouTube - Full-Time Highlights - Argentina vs Germany

Knocking the ball about with ease and one touches in fast triangles and one twos led by Fernandez from the back and culminating in two excellent goals and several other chances. Who needs an enganche ?

di Maria for the first time looked comfortable in a tucked in midfield role when Kun came on which was pleasing to see.

Sabella does rely on the counter which dictates that a side must be able to defend.

His tactics seem clear. A concerted press from the front. It worked against Ecuador to an extent as the midfield decided to sit back allowing Ecuador and Brazil easy out balls into midfield.

Against Germany Gago,Sosa and Masche also pushed on forcing Badstuber and Howedes into giving the ball away.

However question marks remain on the defence as seen in the games against Brazil and Germany.

Romero can pull off great shot stopping saves but he does not communicate well with his defence and can make a howler each game.

Garay does not convince either. The leftback role remains problematic. Clemente is getting on and Rojo is not a natural leftback.

Zabaleta despite an excellent season for Manchester City has not grabbed his chance either. All of his performances have been unconvincing.

Which is a shame as he has been excellent normally. Going forward he has been good but in defence he still tucks in and get caught for pace.

So overall Sabella is doing a pretty decent job.

Better than his predecessors since Pekerman. Messi for instance has scored 10 goals in 10 games and has matched the great Batigols's record of 5 goals in 5 consecutive games for the seleccion.

Chances are being created freely despite no advanced playmaker and against Germany even prior to the sending off.

Sabella does need to bear in mind the need for an enganche and width when sides will sit back. Germany and Brazil for instance are as befits their standing quite prepared to attack and suit the countering game.

He also needs to drop selections like Guinazu who will not be there for 2014.

There is real talent emerging in the fullback spots. Gino Peruzzi of Velez at rightback along with more of a wingback in Matias Rodriguez and Sanchez Mino of Boca at leftback.

The last should certainly be integrated into the WCQ's against Paraguay and Peru on the 7th and 11th of September along with other bright talents like Cirigliano (Masche's heir apparent) and Canteros.

He would also do well to consider Nicolas Tagliafico though he needs to leave relegated Banfield and Cristian Ansaldi.

And for Garay he should take a look at Mateo Musacchio. Though Villareal were relegated he still remained one of the better defenders in La Liga.

The development of young keepers like Damian Martinez and Andrada cannot come soon enough to challenge Romero who really needs to up and work on his game at crosses and decision making.

Arsenal de Sarandi the club of the mafioso won the Clausura. So no real cause for celebration in a way. The Apertura is underway as has been the bleeding of talent to Europe.

For some it may have been too early as with Lucas Ocampos who still has a lot to learn as a footballer joining Monaco and Sergio Araujo joining Barcelona and Valentin Viola Sporting Lisbon.

While talent continues to emerge (Racing's cantera is proof that it just isn't River or Boca who can produce) the powers that be would do well to consider that they need to stay on top of things.

Other countries are overhauling their youth football and if Argentina isn't careful it could lose it's place at the top table of the game.

Onwards and upwards. :APPLAUD:
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11 September 2010
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Boca Juniors
Nice post, albiceleste. I support Sabella, specially because I enjoyed a match of our NT for the first time since Copa America 2007 :D
I don't know If you speak spanish, but this video is really interesting. He clearly knows about tactics. We really needed a coach like him, I was tired of those '86-Gen pseudo-coaches.

YouTube - Anotá Mou- Sabella explica el secreto para jugarle a Barcelona.mp4

About the young players, I really believe in Sanchez Miño and Peruzzi. Our main weakness is the defense and those guys are showing the you can have good technique and be a great defender, too.

PS: Sorry for my english :P


Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
Don't apologize lerp. ;) Your English is far better than many native speakers (more a reflection on the terrible education system in this country).

Sabella has shown he can do it. He assisted Passarella in 1998 and but for a moment of madness from Burrito and also the decision to leave Redondo behind:BRICK: could have seen Argentina into the semi-finals there.

He took Estudiantes who to be honest weren't the greatest team about in Argentina to new levels. He led them very close to beating Barcelona with a spot on tactical game and when he left Estudiantes they fell apart.

I really enjoyed the game against Germany too. Not just for the result but the way the team played from the back and their one touch passing football.

It more than matches anything Spain could do and really throws one back to the era of Bielsa and Pekerman when the team was unmatched.

Messi is really coming into his own. Kun is near his level and hopefully his injury from yesterday is minor. He always seems to flourish then pick up a knock.

di Maria partly thanks to Mourinho is also seemingly set to burst into full flower.

I would like to see Banega show the world what he can do. We know what he can when he puts his mind to it , but too often that mind is wandering.

And like you say lerp the need to introduce new blood into the fullback spots.

I know Sabella seems fixed upon developing this Fernandez-Garay partnership. Federico really has impressed. Aerially he is dominant in both boxes but he anticipates well. I hope he gets his playing time with Napoli this season.

But Garay I am still not sure about.

The converted wingers Matias Rodriguez and Sanchez Mino definitely need their chance. Both are lighting quick, comfortable on the ball and defend well.

At least there are now options in these positions. A couple of seasons ago the cupboard looked bare.

In addition to these two as mentioned there is Peruzzi, Tagliafico and Ansaldi.

Sabella's needs to time his choices just right. To drop the players who will be too old by 2014 and bring in the kids some who are just 21 now and give them experience over the World Cup qualifiers and friendlies so that they enter Brazil in 2014 , not green but hardened campaigners.

I was thinking although it might be detrimental to the Libertadores campaigns of clubs that we let some kids to find their feet in Brazil that we might need in 2014. ;)

For the record Yacob was MOTM for WBA versus Liverpool. Messi scored a brace and Higuain was off the mark and unluckily hit the bar from an exquisite di Maria chip pass.

Tevez scored a dubious offside goal and unfortunatelt as mentioned Kun picked up an injury.


Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
So what a year it has been for the seleccion.

Sabella slowly but surely has fashioned a side which is potent upfront and reasonably solid at the back.

Messi and his co consipirators Higuain, Aguero and di Maria have produced some sparking football with key support from a rejuvenated Gago.

Even central defence is more mobile and reasonable in the air too. Zabaleta has emerged as a crucial piece of the defensive line.

However Sabella will need to look at other options. Gino Peruzzi looks very capable as a rightback and once again shut down Neymar in the recent friendly between domestic based sides between Brazil and Argentina.

Banega needs to improve though while Erik Lamela under the guidance of Zdenek Zeman is flourishing while the former meteoric star of Pastore seems to have dimmed somewhat. He needs to leave PSG and seek a new club and learn more discipline.

As for sucessors to Mascherano, Yacob and Rinaudo can do a job as has been seen in the respective leagues in England and Portugual.

On the goalkeeping front Agustin Orion and Barovero have been the better keepers in the Apertura but it is a position that still has little depth.

Meanwhile the future players of the seleccion have the u20 CONMEBOL qualifying tournament to look forward to. The top 4 teams will make it to Turkey next summer.

After 2 disappointments in 2009 and 2011 Marcelo Trobbiani and Tata Brown will be looking to deliver an improvement.

The squad is:
1- Andres Mehring Colon de Santa Fe
12-Walter Benítez Quilmes

4- Eros Meraglia Velez
2- Facundo Onraita Independiente
6- Lautaro Gianetti Velez
3- Lucas Rodríguez Argentinos Juniors
13- Alan Aguirre Boca Juniors
14- Lisandro Magallán Boca Juniors
15- Jonathan Valle Newells Old Boys
16- Carlos Ruíz River Plate

5- Matias Kranevitter River Plate
10- Manuel Lanzini River Plate
11- Ricardo Centurión Racing Club
17- Pablo Carrera River Plate
18- Erick Remedi CA Banfield
19- Agustín Allione Velez
20- Alan Ruíz San Lorenzo

9- Luciano Vietto Racing Club
8- Lucas Romero Velez
7- Lucas Melano CA Belgrano
21- Giovanni Simeone River Plate
22- Carlos Luque Colon

Each u20 side produces on average 2-3 players who later play for the seleccion. The most likely to do so from this lot are Manuel Lanzini, Ricardo Centurion and either Vietto or Giovanni Simeone.

The squad though will be bolstered should it make it through by the addition of Leandro Paredes and from Europe the likes of Juan Iturbe, Mauro Icardi, Alessio Innocenti and Paulo Dybala.

A small reminder of the figurehead of Argentine football this year Lionel Messi:

YouTube - Lionel Messi with Argentina - 2011-2012 | HD

And as he once was:
YouTube - Lionel Messi - World Youth Championship 2005.wmv


Champions League
13 July 2006
Argentina & Watford
Just dusting the cobwebs down.....

Everything looks rosy in the garden. An impressive 2-1 win friendly win over Italy in Rome. A friendly but nonetheless a fairly comfortable win without Kun, Messi, Zabby and several others in attendance.

Caballero and Scocco need to be called up as soon as possible.

One of the clouds on the horizon are these recent injuries to Messi which do not seem to have cleared up. Perhaps Leo could do with Pep taking charge of his preperation programme.

World Cup qualification should be a formality now allowing Sabella time to experiment.

The bulk of the spots seem to have already been decided but there are probably 5-6 up for grabs. Hopefully the likes of Musacchio, Ansaldi can grab some of these.....

The u20 despite their talent failed to qualify for the u20 World Cup thanks to an inept coach but the u17 will be competing this October in the UAE.

user name 99

Death Ramp
25 May 2011
Buenos Aires
CA Independiente, Arsenal
Players that in my opinion HAVE to go to Brazil:

-Willy Caballero
-Mateo Musacchio
-Cristian Ansaldi
-Mauro Icardi
-Fernando Gago (injured at the moment, he has previously had quite a lot of caps under Sabella's management, but now that he's found Banega and Biglia more reliable I'm not quite sure...)
-Ignacio Scocco (replacing Palacio, that guy can't shoot, dammit)
-Ezequiel Muñoz

lo zio

24 October 2005
not so sure about munoz and icardi. icardi is definitely a very good prospect, but i'm not sure he's already national team material.
as for munoz, he's a good player, no doubt about that, but i would hope a team like argentina had better options than him for the cb position.

also i haven't seen much of scocco, be he'd have to be really one hell of a player to take palacio's spot :))


26 April 2008
Players that in my opinion HAVE to go to Brazil:

-Willy Caballero
-Mateo Musacchio
-Cristian Ansaldi
-Mauro Icardi
-Fernando Gago (injured at the moment, he has previously had quite a lot of caps under Sabella's management, but now that he's found Banega and Biglia more reliable I'm not quite sure...)
-Ignacio Scocco (replacing Palacio, that guy can't shoot, dammit)
-Ezequiel Muñoz

what about gonzalo rodriguez and otamendi? if I was the coach, I'd pick this 2 plus roncaglia and musacchio for center backs. ansaldi should be a lock for the left back. it's a no brainer imo. caballero as the gk, too. ridic that none of these 6 players have been given a decent chance by sabella. I'd love it if a miracle happens and alfio basile gets the job. :D
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