June 12, 2010
Argentina are certainly my picks for the World Cup.
I can envision a Brazil v Argentina final, I think both sides have the right set-up to win a Cup competition, for those who are unaware, Brazil play a sit back and suck it up, then unleash hell on the counter attack brand of football, under current manager and former World Cup winning captain, Dunga.
Argentina, under the legendary Diego Maradona, have evolved much over the past 18 months, many styles of play and nearing 100 players have been tried and tested in that illustrious period of time.
The fact remains, in Lionel Messi they do possess the greatest player on Earth at this present moment.
Every team the Argies play will also be aware of said fact, and this should open up the realms of possibility for a new Argentina star to be born, as certainly Messi will be pounced upon by 2 or 3 opposition players when attacking, thus leaving space for his attacking comrades to exploit.
Angel di Maria is a name that some gooners will hold resonance with, he was apparently very close to signing for us, as a 16 yr old, but at the last minute some hitch caused the breakdown of this move, he ended up in Portugal with the Lisbon giants, Benfica.
What a player he is, and what a great chance he will have on the greatest stage in football, to highlight to his new suitors at the Bernabeu, just how marvellous a winger they are getting their hands on.
He is rocket fast, skillful, and certainly has an eye for goal.
For Argentina he will occupy the area down the right flank, and with Messi playing in the hole being the striker, and dropping out wide left, space down the right will be a luxury, a luxury di Maria will have to take advantage of.
Carlos Tevez will lead the line for the South American’s, which for my money, when you have Higuain and Diego Milito in the squad, is a wrong decision, I hope he proves me wrong.
Argentina play a similar brand of football to the Brazilians, they like to exploit on the counter, and with the pace, trickery and outrageous talent in their attacking players, they could spank a side for six in this tournament.
The Goalkeeper, gooners will again know of him from our games against AZ Alkmar this season, is Sergio Romero and this kid is going to be a superstar, mark my words.
Off the bench they have talent in Pastore, another dubbed the “New Maradona” and Maradona’s own son-in-law to be… the fantastic Atletico Madrid forward, Sergio Aguero.
All in all, they have the most talented squad, goals wise, in the entire tournament, and goals win you games, win you trophies.
The opening game against the Super Eagles of Africa, Nigeria, will lay down the marker.
Nigeria are ordinary for me, have a look at their squad… the star striker is Yakubu, and that says it all!
They have nothing in terms of real talent anywhere on the pitch, they are all good players, but nothing special anywhere, they endured a shocking Cup of Nations earlier in the year, and subsequently sacked the manager.
African teams usually play a very functional brand of football, and with a Swede at the helm now in Lars Lagerback, that is exactly what you will get.
Argentina should dispose of their African counterparts with relative ease this afternoon, the starter before the main course tonight.
I will stick my head out and favour a 3 or 4 nil victory.
March 22, 2010
“Arsenal were the very last team we wished to draw”
Why did Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, state this to Spanish media over the weekend?
Barca cannot defend.
They prefer to play teams who are tactical and spend time and energy trying to stop them play, as opposed to what The Arsenal will do to them.
Namely, attack them at will, with rapier like passing and movement.
The age old cliché of “this will probably end 4-4” is too widely used when certain teams come up against one another, but in this instance, it more than likely will end up being a similar scoreline.
Because in most examples, one team will bottle it, and employ tactics to counter the other team’s build up play, at the expense of a proper rumble.
This will not be the case when Barcelona come to London, and when Arsenal go to Catalonia.
Both managers have supreme confidence in their own players and style of football, and will send their respective team’s out to have a street fight to the death.
The countdown begins, there is not a hope in hell this game won’t live up to all expectations.
Thankfully, the meeting of the two best footballing sides on Earth will give us 180 minutes (minimum) of pure entertainment.
A final showdown is always classed as the dream meeting, but too much rests on one single 90 minute game to allow us complete viewing pleasure.
A two-legged Quarter or Semi final was always going to produce the kind of glorious sporting magic that so many are awaiting.
The ages have given us many great sporting head to heads including Borg V McEnroe, Prost v Senna, Coe v Ovett, Hagler v Hearns…
Arsenal V Barcelona 2010, will provide us with yet another legendary moment in sporting history.