Thursday, June 28, 2007

Argentina v US preview

Well well well, the Copa America has definitely provided some excitement so far. Mexico have to be congratulated on their performance against Brazil, especially coming right off the back of another tournament where they suffered a loss in the final. Even if the two line-ups are substantially different, that's gotta hurt morale. By the way, it's good to see Rafael Marquez back in form. Hopefully he'll hold on to that when the next season comes around.

Argentina are due to take on the team who beat Mexico in the aftementioned final. Well, not quite, given the differences between the US squad for the Gold Cup and the Copa, but I'm sure it was a welcome boost at the time. That's On Point has great coverage of the US squad and the group in general. (As opposed to Goal.com, who somehow managed to call Real Zaragoza 'relegation-bound' while trying to shed some light on Gaby Milito. They've corrected their mistake now, but geez. It only takes a couple of seconds to check a league table.)

Anyway, I've already posted about the Argentinean starting line-up, which was announced well in advance by coach Alfio Basile as a player-management tactic. And here's my earlier post on the squad in general.

As commenter Rio pointed out, a lot of the reservations I expressed in the post about line-ups were related to one Juan Roman Riquelme. It's not that I don't rate him - see sidebar and numerous posts for evidence to the contrary - but he is rather unique. La Nuestra has two excellent posts exploring the upsides and downsides of Roman. On the eve of Argentina's first match, he says that he's very happy (the original interview has him saying that his family are very happy too), which is definitely a good sign from such a moody player. When he's on, Roman's the best player Argentina have, no question about that.

Basile himself is wary of the tag of 'favourites' before we've even played, and rightly so. Most of the time premature arrogance will only come back to haunt the team, after all. That's why it's good to save the gloating until after one's victory, which is a rule that applies as well to football as it does to supervillains. So let's see what happens first.

Here's hoping for a good game, and as always: Vamos Argentina!

1 comment:

pdp_risingson said...

Hooray for Mexico eh?

Both goals were sublime. And it's not like Mexico fielded their best team. The first goal especially.

On a side note, I'm sure you read about Riquelme being linked to Atletico Madrid. I think you dubbed him as the "tragic genius."

The tragic genius going to the haven of all tragedies, Atletico Madrid??

How Shakespearean is that?