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Argentina 0-4 Germany World Cup 2010 Quarter Finals

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Just after the Group Stage matches have been concluded in World Cup 2010, South American countries were so dominating with every single countries qualified to the last 16 in a so scintillating manner beating everything in their path and playing beautiful football yearned so much by fans to boot. Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay all qualified in a convincing manner into the last 16 of the competition. At this point of time, I even read a long-winded and detailed assessment on the various reasons for the dominance of the South American countries, and of course laced with superlatives. But, something went terribly wrong from there onwards as the South American countries fell out one by one from the competition. Argentina were dumped unceremoniously last night against Germany in which it was really supposed to be a tightly contested match between two giants in the game, but Germany were so extraterrestrial that it did not happen. Germany totally and thoroughly obliterated Maradona’s boys, and to think that Thomas Muller, the one Maradona “mistook” as a ballboy in a press conference dishing out the most damage, I shudder to think what Maradona would be feeling right now.

Actually, what Germany did was very simple, they took apart Argentina ruthlessly by taking a leaf out of their arch-rivals Holland’s book in which they exploited a weak link in Argentina’s squad just like how Holland exploited the weak link of Brazil in their match. It was Michel Bastos for Brazil on the left flank, but for Argentina, it was their right flank and the hapless Nicolas Otamendi which was truly overwhelmed and exposed by the Germans. In fact, all of the four goals conceded by Argentina were all from blitzkrieg (literally, as the speed of each attack is out of this world) piercing attacks from the left flank (thus Argentina’s right). Two German facts. First, Saucer shaped flying vehicles were reportedly invented in Germany as blueprints or even prototypes of them were reportedly retrieved from Germany upon the Third Reich’s defeat. The second fact is that, whenever we hear the world “Germany” or “Germans”, one thing comes to mind, “efficiency”. First up, the Germans really moved and passed the ball like how UFOs maneuver, just like how they thrashed England badly in the last 16 match, and just like the efficiency of the UFOs shape and mechanism, they do their moves in an efficient manner. Despite the wicked twists and turns all over the field, they really wasted little energy if not at all and no single move was wasted. They also totally exposed Argentina’s general weakness which is their back-line especially the right back position but they also efficiently and ruthlessly prevented Argentina from showing their strong points, which is their supposedly overwhelming attacks with an array of world class attackers at Maradona’s disposal in this tournament. Also, to Germany’s full credit and/or to an off day for the Argentine attackers, Germany foiled each attempts on goal very very easily in which Argentina were only restricted to futile long shots and even Messi was powerless against the German defense. Even if they got behind the German defense, such as how Higuain managed to “score” in the 36th minute, he was caught offside. Besides stopping Argentine attacks right on its tracks, they immediately launched their extra terrestrial counter led by Ozil and Muller which was truly devastating each time for the shaky Argentina’s defenders.

As for Argentina, it still baffles me as how Maradona managed to leave a gaping hole to be exploited ruthlessly by the efficient German UFOs. Nicolas Otamendi looked shaky throughout the match and Jonas would have been a much better choice. This is also in light of the fact that the Argentine defense was already very porous due to the absence of Walter Samuel, who earned the nickname “The Wall” certainly not for nothing. Tough luck for Argentina as the Inter defender was absent when Argentina needed him the most in this tournament. When Otamendi received a yellow card early in the match, I was sure that he was Argentina’s answer to Michel Bastos, or even worse to Felipe Melo, and when I saw several Argentina substitutes warming up early on I was relieved as I believed Maradona was about to make a very early change to alter the game’s proceedings especially as Argentina’s plans were failing as they conceded very early in the match and were in danger to concede more (which they did in the second half). I expected Jonas to replace the hapless Otamendi as he would be much more sturdy and solid in thwarting the German Blitzkrieg attacks from their left flank. But, Otamendi stayed on.

In the second half, Maradona did not make any changes and it duly got worse and worse and worse for Argentina as they conceded one more goal in the 67th minute. After this, Otamendi was finally brought off, but even if it was for Jonas, it was too late. But it wasn’t for Jonas, but for the attacking midfield Javier Pastore! Instead of plugging the leak, it only caused the already porous Argentine defense to be even more porous. At this time, with their attack totally shackled, Higuain caught in the efficient German offside traps plenty of times (as his style is in the mold of Inzaghi and van Nistelrooy) while Messi was closed down by 4-5 Germans when he tries to weave his magic, and their defense was totally shambolic and totally in chaos at this point of time as they conceded one more goal through Arne Friedrich, a defender scoring his first ever goal for the national team in the 73rd minute, a substantiation and a stamp of approval that Germany played close to their rivals’ Total Football and/or Argentina’s defense preferring the final whistle to be blown there and then. In the 75th minute, Sergio Aguero was brought on by Maradona to try to change the game, but at 3-0 down, it was futile, even if other two Messi-s were brought on at that time, it would have been futile. With Argentina all but given up, and Maradona’s face expression showed it all, as he ditched his usual animated and enthusiastic antics on the touchline and for the first time in this tournament he stood there in a stoic manner and was pale-faced from then on. At the 88th minute, Klose scored one more goal to make it 4-0 and also took his personal tally in the World Cup tied with Gerd Muller with 14 goals and just 2 more goals away to overtake Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima (so that people, especially younger ones won’t be confused with the Portuguese version).

As for Maradona, it would be inevitable from here on that the pundits and the media in general will be licking their lips with plenty of ammunition to be dished out to the coach. Once again, every section of the media and most if not all pundits will again be condemning the man which they have just started to praise and acknowledge as a good manager. However, the most potent and plentiful ammunition will be from the Interistas, in which they will undoubtedly re-ignite the debate about the exclusion of Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso from the Argentina squad, a debate which has been silent for a while prior to his horrendous defeat. In any case, looking at how weak and exploited Argentine’s right back position was, even I am starting to be carried off by those Interistas in which had Javier Zanetti occupied that right back position, all four Germany goals might have been prevented as all four goals came from the Germany’s left flank as mentioned in detail above. Javier Zanetti is certainly more solid and capable than Otamendi and even Jonas, whose natural position is as a left winger.

It was a bad day for South American football, just when pundits around the world started to embrace Maradona as a world class coach, with one journalist from a top newspaper even go as far as writing a long winded formal apology to Maradona, and another explaining in detail full of superlatives to South American football and the reasons for their dominance in great detail, South American teams fall down one by one, and after Argentina was knocked out in the match above, Paraguay was also knocked out by a somewhat fortunate Spain side once again having to thank David Villa as their messiah. Just two rounds from the seemingly imminent conversion of World Cup 2010 to Copa America 2010, with only Uruguay as the only remaining South American representative, many pundits and fans are already predicting a final which is the rematch of 1974 World Cup final between rivals Germany and Holland. In other words, instead of Copa America 2010, now it is becoming Euro 2010.

Written by cp

04/07/2010 at 11:04

One Response

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  1. The absence of Inter’s men hurt Argentina…

    Nicholas Otamendi for Javier Zanetti? Maradona needs to get his head analyzed Tim Vickery in his Sunday column for the Beeb posits the theory that Diego Maradona was too “emotional” for the team’s good. It clouded his judgment. Instead of starting J…

    06/07/2010 at 15:00

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