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Friday, June 16, 2006

EXTRA: Argentina runs riot

Last night TDH was asking a friend if Pekerman was really, secretly, a genius. Perhaps he figured that his boring old 4-4-2 could make it through the group stage, and he was saving Tevez and Messi for the knockout rounds.

Well, now it doesn't seem to make any difference at all what Pekerman does. La Seleccion played the best football of the tournament so far, slicing through the S&M defense at will, linking up in every possible combination. They scored as a 4-4-2, they scored as TDH's preferred 4-2-1-3, with the Riquelme-Tevez-Crespo-Messi mini-team up front. If Crespo had gotten a better touch at the end, it would have been 7-0.

It's hard to keep this kind of momentum going, and the Netherlands will almost certainly be a come-down. But hey, TDH will always take the opportunity to enjoy some beautiful football when it comes along. Let's enjoy it while we can.


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

TDH, time to post an apology to Mr. Pekerman. Argentina put in the best team display I have ever seen just now, even better than the 1994 work of art that Milan installed in the European Cup final.

His first choice were brilliant, tearing S&M apart as a team (and that second goal was probably the best passage of football it has been my privilege to witness), and against ten tiring and demoralised men, Messi and Tevez showed their undoubted class.

But Pekerman obviously knows what he's doing. It's not possible to chalk a team performance like that first 45 minutes down to anything but a superbly drilled side, packed with talented players.

7:21 PM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

oh, and lest that seem like an "i told you so" kind of comment, I had been in full agreement with your assessment of his tactics before watching that.
I suppose that's why I'm not in charge of an international football team....

7:28 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

It's always a question, isn't it? Can a coach claim credit for anything more than team selection? I suppose he probably can, though a lot of stat-heads would disagree. Clearly the team are fit and linking up extremely well. Is it talent or training? Well, drills can't hurt.

Still, I wouldn't underestimate the intense desire that the players have as a guiding force. It's not just life and death they're playing for, it's life and death and afterlife and reincarnation and the eternal future of the universe....

7:36 PM  

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