Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
Diego's mouth has been uncharacteristically quiet (full of pizza?) for a quite a while now.
But it is with a heavy sigh that we return to our irregular God Watch feature for all things Maradona.
Yep, the number 10 has somehow managed to upset Lio Messi in his criticism of his performance in a 1-1 draw against Peru in Lima on Wednesday. Diego, get this, actually accused Messi of being an 'individualista'. Pot, kettle, black.
"Even I could have scored that one..."
Messi shrugged off the comments telling the Spanish press on his return: "Diego always has something to say about me. It doesn't mean a thing."
Another star studded Argentine team, and another disappointment. Coach Alfio 'Coco' Basile, already on a short leash after his team's poor performances, was full of self criticism after Wednesday's game. "I'm worried about the level of the national team," he solemly said. "The defense was better but attack not so."
For Argie Bargy, it must be time to ask some serious questions about how far this manager can take the team. I have long said that, all things being equal - which of course they never are - Argentina should have a wonderful team.
Instead, they lack the cohesion needed to fend off even the poorest teams. The pressure placed on Riquelme distributing from midfield, in particular, must be questioned.
No one doubts his leadership skills, but the slowing 30-year-old can't be relied on forever as the sole pivot in the midfield. And the opposing team now know 'shut down Roman, shut down the attack' as happened against Peru.
But with Tevez suspended after being sent off against Paraguay and Heinze in an almost-public spat with Basile – rumoured to have ruled him out of any further games – the team is in disarray. And that blame must lie at the coach's door.
Argentina flop again, this time against also-rans Peru
Looking forward to the domestic games this weekend, the biggest is undoubtedly 1st placed Boca versus Independiente in 8th. Known as a classico (as opposed to superclasico, which is against River), it can be guaranteed come Sunday afternoon the cafes and bars of the capital will be full of fans, and it will be one of the most watched games of the season.
Meanwhile River Plate, in 9th place, are complaining that in 29 games there hasn't been one penalty given in their favour. Coach Simeone complained: "It's best not to talk about it, but they just don't happen for us. They don't give them to River."
Maybe Arsenal will slip up this weekend and give Simeone another reason to stop complaining.
Argentina are a great with the best player in the world.
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