Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Basile Interview: my take on his comments

Thanks to the guys at Soccer Mad In America (great blog, by the way, very informative and entertaining) us non-Spanish speakers can get a better idea of what Argentina coach Alfio Basile is planning for his new team. For an hour Basile spoke about the players and his approach. My thoughts on the whole thing, laid out in simple good/bad form:

The Good: He sees the light about Messi! Thank God. If he continued playing Messi as a striker I would have had to spend a lot more time writing blog posts about why it was madness. If I'm reading his words correctly, he's likely to give the Barca youngster more of a free role directing the attack, which would be just about perfect.

The Bad: He says that he'll probably play 4-4-2. A lot of teams play very exciting football using that formation, but somehow it just doesn't seem very Argentinean to me, perhaps because it might mean no single playmaker.

The Good: He wants a traditional central striker there to put away the chances.

The Bad: He hasn't got one in the squad against Spain.

The Good: Generally lucid comments on the status of players such as Aguero and Maxi leads me to think that he's been paying close attention to their club performances.

The Bad: While his comments about Mascherano were correct, it left the poor guy in a difficult position, PR-wise.

The Good: He'll only use one holding midfielder.

The Bad: He doesn't like wing-backs. Bye bye Juan Pablo Sorin and Javier Zanetti.

The Good: He wants to get a group of players together to train often in preparation for Copa America.

The Bad: These would be players based in Argentina. Nothing wrong with that, but most of my favourite Argentinean players are based in Europe and it would be sad if the team was deprived of their talents because of a location problem, especially for young players who moved abroad recently or who are just about to move - Aguero, Biglia, Zabaleta, Paletta and probably Gago.

So to sum up, I'm excited by Basile's ideas but apprehensive about how he's going to go about them. Am currently trying to figure out how what he described above would fit with a 4-4-2 and the players he's called up. This combined with what I've since read about Spain's change of formation (to a counter-attacking 4-4-2, sadly) means that I'll have to rewrite my preview post. We'll see what happens as the match inches closer.


downincognito said...

Forget about rewriting thy post. At the rate Spain is going downhill (they just lost to Sweden 2-0), the tricky pygmies might be more than enough to do the trick.

Yep, Albiceleste needs to discover Crespo's successor soon. How good or bad is Palacio?

linda said...

I was just blinking in shock at all of the results so far. Wow. Who said the minnows were useless?

Anyway, bye bye Aragones. If they don't fire him now, the Spanish FA are bigger idiots than I thought.

Crespo's successor is probably Argentina's biggest problem right now. Palacio is the best striker in the Argentinean league, period, but he's not a very big guy, which could be problematic if one was looking for some height up front. I'm also not sure he's a proper no.9. My pick would be Diego Milito of Zaragoza. He's not as young, but definitely deserves a chance.

fiy said...

Good for Messi! Being a striker only restricts his enormous abilities...and now that Pablo Aimar is the (most likely) playmaker, I'm sure there'll be more opinions in attack.

It greatly disturbs me to read that he wants to form a squad based on players in Argentina...No offence to players there, but the more talented players usually play in Europe. They way the interview was looks as if Basile's (somehow) choosing geographical factors over talent.

I heard rumours about Gago...a few EPL clubs are interested in him...rumours have it he'll be moving to Europe next year.

I've always liked wing-backs..But I guess it's a matter of personal choice. Pity Sorin and Zanetti.

linda said...

There are some great players based in Argentina, IMHO, but to me it's stupid to ignore the players based abroad. I do see why he's choosing to do things this way - the European clubs don't release their players very often or for very long, so the team has no opportunity to train together. But still, if he snubs Messi for Copa America because he's based abroad I'll be pissed.

The Gago to Real rumours persist, and now he's even being linked to Barca. I think it's only a matter of time until he moves, but where is still up in the air.