Saturday, June 30, 2007

Argentina v US fallout

Argentinean post-match comments:
  • Basile: "We stayed calm," he said. "My players worked and were rewarded."
  • Riquelme: “We knew USA would be a difficult opponent because they stay back and don’t let you play your game. But we were able to find a way to break through and were able to record a valuable victory”, said Riquelme.
Analysis of the game:
I wanted to pick up a couple of points that I've seen discussed in the above reports:
  • Aimar for Cambiasso was the key to the game, and Alfio Basile deserves a lot of credit for being brave enough to field four playmakers (Aimar-Messi-Riquelme-Veron) at the same time and doing it in a way that doesn't unbalance the team.
  • As the report from That's On Point pointed out, the substitution was the antithesis of Pekerman taking off Roman for Cambiasso in the World Cup quarterfinal last year. I like Pekerman. I've written tributes to the man. But that decision still smarts today.
  • I would very much like to see the 4-2-3-1 (with Veron or Cambiasso and Mascherano as defensive midfielders, and Messi and Aimar supporting Riquelme) we were fielding in the second half again.
  • Oh yeah, and Tevez probably deserves to be in there somewhere too. But where?
  • I don't think Paraguay are going to be as difficult for the US as they're anticipating. Having said that, they really need to look into their strike partnership.
  • Yes, Gaby Milito is probably one of the slowest world class defenders ever. But his positioning sense is excellent.
Lastly, congratulations to Hernan Crespo for equalling one Diego Armando Maradona's record as Argentina's second highest scorer in international competition (34 goals, and it only took him 63 games), behind the great Gabriel Batistuta (56 goals in 78 games). Crespo is criminally underrrated as a striker and he fully deserves his great achievement.


Rio said...

I have a long page of ratings you could check out here:

but basically (copy/paste)
Messi 7
no lateral movements till 2nd half. due to that he didn't work actively enough with riquelme and could not help out the left when they got the ball upfield.
he improved drastically 2nd half. Basile probably put in Carlito to show Messi how it's done right, cuz Tevez obviously better at that job. so Messi went from a 5 score to a 7 imo.

Crespo 8.5
running all over the place, doing his job and helping out offensive on both sides. Crespo's efforts was above 9 but since the team wasn't supporting him accordingly his overall performance only get a 8+.

Tevez 10
If Messi failed to change and Basile insist on playing 4-3-1-2, then he better be starting Tevez ahead of Messi.

Riquelme 7.5
He put in good effort through out the game. But wasn't playing very intelligently in the first half. He let US took control of the tempo and let them overload to our left, forced us into a position we didn't want to play at. Haven said that, Roman's performance in 2nd half more than made up for it, and averaging a first half 6 and 2nd half 9, he gets 7.5 in my book.

Cambiasso 7
Cambiasso's job is to do what roman tells him to do. he did just that. Nothing creative from cuchu though, while his defensive efforts weren't remarkable. For example, when Heinze pushed, why wasn't cuchu with him? Why no one was with him. I DONT ********ING UNDERSTAND THIS CRAP.
he could of done better than getting an 7.

Veron 4-
his shot on goal was the onlything helped him not getting an EGG. bad passes to messi, ************ lobs right onto Crespo when 2 defenders are on him, no lateral movements and therefore no support to the left field. Veron's current performance does not meet requirements for our outside midfielders.

Aimar 9
excellent performance. Aimar not getting 10 only because when he first came onto the pitch he almost went into the left defensive vicious cycle. IMO he could of started pushing a little earlier.

Mascherano 8
Did his job and did it fairly well. We weren't expecting to see good ball distribution from mascher, so his bad pass didn't hurt his scoring too much. His positioning and tackling were excellent, in mascher we trust.

Gago ~
unnesscary sub to waste time

Ayala 7
Ayala and milito were constantly checking eddie johnson. Then towards 90th minute EJ checked ayala in their end of the pitch, something was going on between those guys.
Having such a hard time against this 2nd rated runner doesn't say much on their resume. However, the cooperation between Ayala and Milito was way better than in the friendlies. They controlled the spacing between backline and midfield very well, and that's why only few of the US counter attacks successfully developed, and only 1 scored. However, that's still too many setplays to give up against an overachieving USMNT, so captaino gets 7 althought he probably deserved alittle more.

Milito 6
Milito's performance should of bought him a 5 at the most. but he didn't show alot of efforts also partly because Twillman sucked.
DIsagreeing from many of you guys, I think Milito's positioning when in box defense was good, that's where he get 1 more point from me.

Heinze 9.5
Heinze pushing for width was because the inactivity of Zanetti and Veron. The right side looked so dead I thought it was towards the end when I tuned in for the game. For someone that doesn't push, I'm totally impressed with Heinze! I take back all the crap i said about him earlier this year. And he was right there locking down his corner and defending the box when US was on offense. The left wing was highlight of the game and Heinze was crucial part of it.

Zanetti 6
He gets a 6 for doing nothing. Nothing good, nothing bad.

Pato 8
he made a save. Well, his positioning was good so he was right infront of the long shot from Feilhaber. He also positioned himself well to take out one on the right, and he punted the balls out like he always do. Pato has pretty good control over the box, just not extrodinary defending the goal.

atleti said...

Off topic, but have you read any news (or, even rumours) about Fernando CAVENAGHI? I was pleased with his move out of Spartak Moscow, but I haven't read anything about him since his move to Bordeaux.

linda said...

Rio: thanks! It's fascinating to see different people's view of the game.

Atleti: Unfortunately I haven't heard much about Cavenaghi. He doesn't seem to have played many games for Bordeaux, which is a pretty bad sign in itself.