Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Argentina-Holland Press Review

Argentina's line-up is a well-kept secret, Pekerman hasn't even told the players. The only thing that's sure is that he won't play Heinze, Crespo or Saviola, who have yellow cards, to make sure they're available for the Round of 16. That means Tevez and teenage wunderkind Messi in attack.

Clarin hypes up the game as a modern futbol classic, recalling memorable encounters between the two squads in 1974, 1998, and of course the final in 1978. Buenos Aires' Diario La Prensa, on the other hand, calls it "little more than a bureaucratic procedure" and notes Van Basten is leaving four Holland starters on the bench. (Arjen Robben, Mark van Bommel, Joris Mathijsen and Johnny Heitinga).

La Nacion chips in that the Spanish referee Luis Medina Cantalejo is known for letting play flow and showing few yellow cards.

La Nacion also note that Pekerman baffled foreign reporters with his extremely somber, funeral director's demeanor and barely audible voice in yesterday's press conference. "Is he feeling ok?" they kept muttering to themselves...but, apparently, that's just his way. Obviously, he refused to be drawn on whether he'd rather face Mexico or Portugal in the next round, but Saviola broke with protocol, telling Pagina 12 that he'd much rather play Mexico.

So we'll be seeing a lot of the B-Teams, but I think that will make the match more exciting, not less. For one thing, both teams have so much talent on the bench that their B-Teams are virtually as good as their A-Teams. For another, B-Team players are desperate to start in the next round, and this is their one last chance to impress their coaches.


Anonymous mugabe said...

Both teams were visibly shaken by the mighty Ivories, and with Serbia-Montenegro arguably being the worst team in the tournament, those matches were no real measures of form anyway. Tonight's pointless game, lacking many starters, will determine who gets to meet any of Mexico and Portugal, both of which had a hard time against Angola. I don't see anyone really going for it, risking injuries/suspensions.

If anything, my bet's on Argentina, however.

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