Monday, September 10, 2007

Argentina vs Australia squad news

This is the list of 21 players who have been called up for the friendly against Australia, to be played in Melbourne (in the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground) on the 11th of September:

Goalkeepers: Roberto Abbondanzieri (Getafe, Spain), Oscar Ustari (Getafe), Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar, the Netherlands)

Fair enough, given the situation with Carrizo (which I'll touch on below). I'm becoming increasingly concerned about playing time for Ustari at club level as well.

Defenders: Daniel 'Cata' Diaz (Getafe), Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid, Spain), Fabricio Coloccini (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain), Nicholas Burdisso (Inter, Italy), Javier Zanetti (Inter), Gabriel Milito (Barcelona, Spain), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich, Germany)

I can understand the need to experiment, but I would have liked to see Garay get another call-up. He's definitely a solid performer, and the defeat to Norway cannot be blamed on him. (Playing Gabi Milito at leftback, however, has to be one of the strangest decisions I've ever seen. With all the players Argentina have, you'd think we would have a couple of leftbacks to spare when Heinze isn't available.) I've put Demichelis in this category because Basile has called up so many defensive midfielders that I doubt he also wants Demichelis for that position. Still not too sure about Coloccini, although I hear good things about him at club level playing rightback.

Midfielders: Fernando Gago (Real Madrid), Maxi Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Jonás Gutiérrez (Real Mallorca, Spain), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool, England), Cristian Ledesma (Olympiakos, Greece), Federico Insúa (Club America, Mexico)

Gago must be getting concerned about his amount of playing time at Real now that the double pivot era seems to be over, especially when he's competing with the brilliant Mascherano. Gutierrez has been called up a couple of times, and he's done well for Mallorca in the past, but to be honest, I'm not sure he's the answer. Ledesma is a bit of an unknown for me, although I've heard good things. Insua has been on good form since going to Mexico, and it will be interesting to see if Basile intends to give him the responsibility of being the playmaker.

I'm still advocating for Aimar and D'Alessandro, but they've been off-colour for Zaragoza so far this season, so we'll have to wait and see.

Forwards: Javier Saviola (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Hernán Crespo (Inter), Carlos Tevez (Manchester United)

I'm glad to see Aguero called up, since he's very much deserving. Other than that, my concern is still the lack of no.9 options other than Crespo.

Unfortunately, Diaz, Crespo and Maxi Rodriguez have all had to pull out of the squad for various reasons. This means that Basile is left with a squad of just 18 players to face a difficult opponent on their home ground.

That doesn't even touch on the urgent and very serious problems that Basile must address before World Cup qualification starts with a match against Chile, which is our next game:
  • Many of the countries went to the Copa America with an experimental squad in order to prepare for the qualifiers. We didn't.
  • This lack of preparation has been compounded by the inactivity at club level of several important players, like Crespo, Riquelme and Carrizo (who has been loaned back to River but is at risk of not starting).
  • Riquelme's case is the most severe, since he won't get called up if he's not playing at club level, and Basile had built the team around him in the Copa America.
  • The team doesn't have the time to look for a new playmaker and to calibrate their strategy to that player.
  • There is uncertainty in defence with the retirement of previous leader Ayala.
So to sum up, we don't know how we're going to play, and who should be playing. Needless to say, this is not a good situation to go into the qualifiers with.


andaman said...

Bad situation for Roman at the moment. Just when he's hitting top form with Boca and the national team. Are we not gonna see him for a while? I think I'm gonna cry.

The forwards in this selection are small people, aren't they and I hope Abbon is just temporary. I like Sergio Romero, he had a great U20 tournament. We need new guy between the post and they need to gain experience and confidence as much they can with the national team.

Just like to say I really enjoy your writing on Riquelme and Argentina, Linda. He's my most favorite player. Shame about the mess he's in right now. Football is lesser with Roman on the stand.

Linda said...

Yeah, I'm really frustrated about Roman's situation myself. It's crazy that a player like him isn't on the pitch.

We do need bigger forwards, but if you pick someone like Diego Milito, then there's a sacrifice of mobility.

As for goalkeepers, I really like Ustari myself, but as I said in my post, he's not getting playing time at the moment.

Thank you for your kind compliment! :)

E. said...

Micho, of all people! Still, I'm glad for him, as he's been off the map for so long.

Linda said...

Yeah, I'm pleased for him, and happy that we at least got a win to boost confidence, especially with the absence of so many key players.

andaman said...

Micho was so excited with that goal from a Lio freekick. Good for him. And Messi is king! His never say die attitude is so great to see, just get up and play on no matter how many kicks he gets. Something he already got use to I think, like a certain Diego did a long time ago.

Must give credit to Australia that played with spirit but couldn't get pass Argentina's skills. Missed a couple of should be goals same as us. It was quite an enjoyable game. Wonderful atmosphere.

Linda said...

I always find it hilarious when people worry about Messi's response to being kicked off the park - he's only been dealing with it his entire professional career so far, after all. He really does seem to love playing for Argentina as well.

The MCG is a great ground, and there was a big crowd especially given the weather. A success all around, I'd say.

Amol Diego said...

Linda .. U doing superb job .. keep us updating about Argentina and Barcelona . Messi was outstanding. He scored with Lyon too. He is really great EL messi .I dont know whats wrong with Juan Sorin . Where is he now .

Anyway thanks for the update . take care

Linda said...

Thanks! Messi is the shining light of Barca right now, which is great to see. Sorin went to Hamburg last season and didn't have a great time, but they started doing better in the second half of last season. Not sure if he's playing regularly though.