Friday, 28 May 2010

Maradona's offensive nature

Diego Maradona's manners may not be the best, but I am writing today about his hugely offensive team selection for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Argentina have selected six forwards for the competition, and Maradona seems quite happy to ignore full backs or cover in midfield, as long as he has massive fire power up front. Argentina's strike force is certainly impressive, with five of the six playing for top European clubs (Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero & Diego Milito). Between them this season, these five players have won the Coppa Italia, Serie A title, La Liga title, Uefa Europa League and Champions League. In comparison, the England strikers between them have won the Carling Cup. Lionel Messi won the European Golden Shoe this season with a staggering 34 league goals in Spain, while Higuain and Milito finished as second top scorers in Spain and Italy respectively. The skill and clinical composure with which Diego Milito put away his two goals against Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final really emphasises how this Argentina squad is bursting with attacking class, especially when you realise that Maradona only considers him as fifth choice.

Maradona's six forwards have scored a staggering 165 goals in all competitions between them this season, and have the world's best player in their ranks, yet they are still not expected to win the competition. This is because Argentina are lead by the inexperienced, eccentric, unpredictable and inimitable Diego Maradona. He may have been one of the greatest players of all time, however as a manager, nobody can quite work out what he will do next. Being unpredictable could work out for Maradona, as he certainly has the talent at his disposal to go all the way in South Africa, but there seems to be a large self destruct button looming over this team. There will be more tactically sound teams and managers at the World Cup than Argentina and Maradona, and this could lead to lots of frustration for the South Americans. A team that keeps its shape, is compact and sets up with an effective game plan is likely to cause Maradona problems to which he has yet to prove he can solve. This is where England may be in a better position in 14 days time, even if our Milito and Higuain are Peter Crouch and '3 goals for Villa' Heskey; England have Fabio Capello in charge.

Argentina lost six games in the South American qualifying group and only managed to finish fourth behind Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. Their results included losing 2-0 away to Ecuador and being beat 6-1 in Bolivia. They come into the World Cup under a cloud of confusion, people genuinely do not know what to expect. Surely with this group of players, we are bound to be treated to plenty of goals, aren't we?

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
34 league goals, 8 goals in Europe
Won La Liga title

Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid)
27 league goals

Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)
23 league goals

Diego Milito (Inter Milan)
22 league goals, 6 goals in Europe
Won Uefa Champions League, Serie A & Coppa Italia

Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid)
12 league goals, 6 goals in Europe
Won Uefa Europa League

No comments:

Post a Comment