Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hernan Crespo talks himself out of the Argentinean NT

...well, at least I think he's going to end up frozen out, if he doesn't watch what he says. I usually love how straight-forward Crespo can be, like when he defended Messi after the first leg of Chelsea vs Barca last season, breaking ranks with the rest of the Chelsea team.

But when you have incidents where (at the tail end of World Cup qualifying) he criticized the NT for playing too slowly - which was taken amongst the press as an attack on Riquelme and his particular characteristics, partially leading to the rumours about antipathy between the two (which, by the way, I don't think have a single grain of truth to them) then you'd think he would learn to be a bit more careful.

Whilst complaining about the lack of respect he gets - about which he does have a point:

"During the World Cup I was sorry that many people wanted other players in my position.

"Everyone can have an opinion but you can't say anything against statistics."

Ah, yes, talking about how people wanted Tevez and Messi to play instead of him and Saviola (mostly Saviola, it has to be said) is really going to help in the new Basile era which will probably see him building his side around players like Tevez and Messi. Pekerman stuck by Crespo as a starter all the way in Germany - as he should have. From my perspective poor Saviola was the one who constantly saw his place threatened by 3 (the aftementioned, and Palacio) similarly-built players despite putting in great displays initially.

Don't get me wrong, Crespo will probably get called up again because of the perceived need for a big central striker. But his comments won't help atmosphere within the team, and whenever a reliable, young replacement is found who offers a similar goal-to-game ratio, I think we'll see the back of him. It's unfortunate, because I do rate him highly. But it's clear that the new management of the NT have one eye on the Copa America and the other on the next World Cup, and the simple fact is that Crespo belongs to the wrong generation.

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