Starting lineup against Germany

July 2, 2010

Maradona has not confirmed the starting eleven for tomorrow’s big quarterfinals matchup against Germany but according to Argentine media reports and from what was seen in yesterday’s training session, the starting lineup against Germany will be:

GK – Romero
D – Otamendi
D – Demichelis
D – Burdisso
D – Heinze
M – Maxi Rodriguez
M – Mascherano
M – Di Maria
F – Tevez
F – Messi
F – Higuain

I don’t like it.

Once again, Argentina will not have a strong play build up.

Once again, Messi will be isolated and will struggle to find someone to link up with.

Once again, Argentina will waste having the best player in the world.

Once again, Argentina will rely on its goal scoring power instead of its collective play and creativity from its play build up.

It worked against Mexico but I don’t think I need to explain that Germany is not the same as Mexico.

Basically, Maradona is betting on a defensively strong, counter-attacking strategy that will rely on the forwards making a great individual play, depend on a great goal by the forwards.

Pastore was right to say that the way to beat the Germans is “jugando a la pelota”. By playing football, the Argentina way.

Too bad Maradona was not listening.

Demichelis press conference

July 1, 2010

Martin Demichelis speaking to the media today.

Argentina-Germany battle of words

July 1, 2010

Maradona talks about Germany game

July 1, 2010

Messi did not train today

July 1, 2010

Messi did not participate in today’s training session because he reportedly has a fever.

Maradona interview

July 1, 2010

The most feared Germans

July 1, 2010

Pastore-Pozo press conference

June 30, 2010

Javier Pastore & Diego Pozo speaking to the media today.

There’s alot of speculation in the Argentine media that Pastore will play against Germany.

That’s all it is at this point.

Today’s training session

June 30, 2010

Maradona revels in new-found respect

June 30, 2010

Maradona revels in new-found respect

Argentina coach Diego Maradona is delighted that he is finally receiving the praise he believes he deserves after leading the country to four successive victories at the World Cup finals.

Maradona was heavily criticised towards the end of the qualifying campaign when it appeared there was the chance at Argentina would not make it to South Africa. That now seems a long time ago as Argentina played with confidence en route to a quarter-final showdown with Germany.

Maradona said: “I feel very proud to be part of this moment. Because as a manager before they said I am clueless and a c**k. But now after four games they say I’m great.

“The main difference as a manager now is I would like to put on the shirt and get on the pitch. But it’s beautiful to be among those players and that group. The win is always beautiful as a player and a manager. When you’re on the pitch you can run and say things that you can’t say from the bench.

“We will try to find the best team, the elite team to play Germany. But it will be the team that gives me guarantees to win the game.”

Argentina have so much talent on the bench, including Sergio Aguero, that Maradona has trouble juggling his team. He added: “But my relationship with the lads is excellent. The heavyweights that are left on the bench when they come on they do well out of respect for the group, the manager and the shirt.

“We didn’t come on holiday, we came to leave our skin here to make the Argentina people proud of us. We can manage them and help them and give them love. But what we are achieving is the effort of my 23. We are very proud of our 23 players and I think those four games belong to them.”

Meanwhile, Carlos Tevez admits he cannot bear to think of losing to Germany in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final.

Tevez told “Why not think I can be a champion? Every night, I do. I have a hunger for glory so great that I can not imagine the great sadness there would be without the cup. I could not bear to lose on Saturday.”

Tevez’s non-stop approach and skill have made him a crowd favourite, and he is desperate to deliver the biggest prize of all for the fans. He said: “It makes me really happy. It must be my way of playing. I give everything for every ball, and people identify with that. Hopefully, with all the boys, we can give them the joy we all hope for.”