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    View Poll Results: Champions !!!

    Voters
    48. You may not vote on this poll
    • Argentina

      24 50.00%
    • Brazil

      11 22.92%
    • Spain

      2 4.17%
    • France (if qualify)

      1 2.08%
    • Portugal*

      0 0%
    • England

      3 6.25%
    • Germany

      4 8.33%
    • Italy

      1 2.08%
    • Russia

      0 0%
    • Cameroon

      0 0%
    • Nigeria

      0 0%
    • South Africa

      0 0%
    • Ivory Cost

      0 0%
    • Netherlands

      1 2.08%
    • Ghana

      1 2.08%
    Page 19 of 433 FirstFirst ... 917181920212969119 ... LastLast
    Results 181 to 190 of 4321
    1. #181
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      cambiasso, crespo and zenetti... i think maradona will be screwed if something goes wrong... already there is a downfall in his popularity...

    2. #182
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      Quote Originally Posted by double chankan View Post
      paavam argentina fans...
      Brazil....

    3. #183
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      I think this problem is with most of the teams... Benzema, Nasri and Ptric viera out of the team for france...

    4. #184
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      Is Diego Maradona set to surprise people?

      May 28, 2010

      “Maradona’s crazy! He doesn’t know what he’s doing!” is the general attitude towards Argentina’s manager since he took over 18 months ago.
      The first part is undeniably correct – Maradona is crazy. He celebrated a crucial goal late on in qualifying by diving along a rain-sodden pitch, Klinsmann-style, and when Argentina finally secured qualification, he sat down in the post-match press conference in front of the gathered journalists, and immediately declared, ‘You lot take it up the a**e’. He is definitely crazy.
      But perhaps, actually – he might know what he’s doing. His rant was excessive, offensive and not atypical, but in a sense he’s just doing what Sir Alex Ferguson has always done at Manchester United or what Jose Mourinho has done at Porto, Chelsea and then Inter – creating an ‘us versus them’ mentality to enhance team spirit, which is reminiscent of the last time Argentina won the World Cup, in 1986 – where Maradona inspired them to the trophy under the management of Carlos Bilardo, now acting as Argentina’s general manager.
      When those two joined forces for their first World Cup, in 1986, they famously felt everyone was out to get them. “We had to leg it out of the country, even the government were asking for my head,” Bilardo would later recount. Their sense of triumph in adversity was a theme throughout that tournament, and when Fifa’s cameras captured the dressing-room celebration of a demented Diego waving his shirt in the air after the final and bellowing “we dedicate this to all of you, the f***ing whore that gave birth to you”, the clip was slotted into an otherwise classy edit of the tournament and released as a successful film, Hero.
      Those Inter omissions
      Then again, the feeling of incompetence is probably more inspired by his selection decisions. He has called up a ridiculous number of players during his relatively short tenure as coach, but the other side of the story is that Argentina have one of the the most settled first XIs in the tournament.
      Arguments about the composition of that XI can go on for days. The omissions of Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti are both shocking and unsurprising in equal measure – shocking that two Champions League winners and two of the best players in the world in their respective positions have been left out, but unsurprising given Maradona has not shown much love to either since he took over.
      But then, how many criticizing Maradona’s selection have actually seen Argentina’s games to judge the usefulness of either to the side? Zanetti was widely considered to be playing very badly when Argentina were at their worst during qualification. Building a good international side is not about selecting the 11 (or 23) players performing well at club level, and at least Maradona understands that, in his own way.
      And besides, now the squad selections have been made, the players omitted are fairly irrelevant. Argentina still have one of the best squads in the tournament, and within that, a solid first XI. Whereas England are still trying to find their best shape and seemingly have no idea who to play in the fairly crucial central midfield roles, Spain have a dilemma about whether to play one or two strikers, and France appear to have stumbled upon a brand new formation days before the World Cup, Diego Maradona’s Argentina line-up has been predictable for months.
      Argentina's starting XI for the World Cup

      The starting XI
      So let’s just say it then – Sergio Romero in goal. A back four of Nicolas Otamendi, Martin Demichelis, Walter Samuel and Gabriel Heinze. Javier Macherano sitting ahead of the defence, with Juan Veron as the deep-lying playmaker. Angel di Maria on the left, Jonas Gutierrez on the right. Lionel Messi playing in a classic No 10 role, and Gonzalo Higuain as the striker.
      With the exception of Walter Samuel, those players started in Argentina’s last day 0-1 victory in Uruguay to seal qualification, and that exact XI started Argentina’s friendly away in Germany in March, also a 0-1 win. Who would have thought it, taking pre-World Cup friendlies seriously and giving your chosen eleven time to gel? It seems like a rather good idea – maybe it’ll catch on.
      The pre-tournament friendly
      Argentina’s final friendly before the World Cup was a rather tame affair, a 5-0 thrashing of a half-hearted Canada side, who were missing many of their best players after a predictable club v country row, it being the middle of the Canadian season.
      Argentina, too, were without key players – having contested the Champions League final just two days before, central defenders Samuel and Demichelis were unavailable, although this barely mattered considering Argentina rarely needed to defend against a feeble Canadian attack. Nicolas Burdisso came in at centre-back, Otamendi shifted across from right-back next to him, Gutierrez moved back to right-back and Maxi Rodriguez came in on the right of midfield.
      They were also without Messi, who had picked up a knock in training, and was replaced by Carlos Tevez. The final deviation from Maradona’s favoured XI was an appearance for Javier Pastore ahead of Juan Veron – and if anyone is to test Maradona’s conservatism, it is Pastore. A skilful, creative attacking midfielder who has been wonderful for Palermo this season, Pastore is another fairly classic Argentina No 10. Messi’s brilliance has largely kept Pastore away from the inevitable ‘New Maradona’ tag (interestingly, Pastore’s former Huracan teammate Matias de Federico has been labelled ‘The New Messi’, which seems like quite a watershed moment in football) but having been largely ignored when playing in Argentina, Pastore is now one of those players you feel might just come from (relatively) nowhere to have a big impact at the World Cup.
      Full-backs who aren’t allowed past the halfway line
      Despite the absences, the basic shape of the team remained clear against Canada. Firstly, this is as ‘flat’ a flat back four as you will ever find in any top-class side in the world. Maradona has repeatedly insisted that he wants his defenders to purely defend, and despite us being at a stage in football where rampaging full-backs are all the rage and are arguably the most important players in the team, Maradona does not want his to attack. “Why do they need to cross the halfway line?”, he recently asked. “That’s what my wingers are for.”
      Gutierrez’s natural attacking instincts meant that he naturally got forward more than Otemandi would have at right-back, but on the opposite side Gabriel Heinze largely followed his instructions – being involved in build-up play and receiving the ball from midfield when it was on his side of the pitch (don’t think that the full-backs are literally shying away from the ball), but when the ball was in possession on Argentina’s right, Heinze stayed level with his two centre-backs.
      The defensive nature of the full-backs means Argentina can afford to play only one holding midfielder, when many sides play two. Mascherano plays a role both more energetic and cultured than with Liverpool, where he is used to having Lucas alongside him. He is forced to cover a greater amount of the pitch laterally (where at Liverpool, Lucas would cover one side of the pitch) and also plays more ambitious passes – he has one fewer central midfield colleague, and of course, the full-backs are rarely an attacking outlet.
      Argentina's line-up v Canada

      Considered attacking style
      Veron’s role in the side is near enough that of a deep-lying regista, although he does look to move forward and support the attack when the ball is wide. Against Canada, his replacement Pastore played much higher up the pitch, looking to drop back when out of possession, but generally looking for a straight, direct forward pass from Mascherano, rather than the shorter, simpler balls Veron would prefer to receive. Pastore effectively plays one pass ahead of Veron – Veron will distribute the ball to the attacking players who in turn look to play the killer pass, whilst Pastore will look for the killer pass himself.
      Angel di Maria plays on the left-hand side and provides a genuine goal threat from a wide area – against Canada he curled a beauty into the far post with the outside of his foot – whilst also covering his full-back well. On the opposite side Gutierrez plays a less flashy, more energetic role (Maxi actually did a good job of replacing him against Canada) in a not dissimilar way to Park Ji-Sung at Manchester United, almost as if he is under strict instructions to make sure he has the highest ‘distance run’ figure of the 22 players.
      Messi plays a central role, in behind Gonzalo Higuain – the two playing fairly fluid roles in terms of moving to the left and then the right in turn, and it’s not unusual to see Higuain working the channels in a deep position, allowing Messi to take up a more orthodox striking position. The team is essentially depending on Messi to provide a moment of magic, something he has rarely done at international level so far.
      Conclusion
      The surprise is basically that Maradona has not gone crazy with attacking players. Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Diego Milito will be substitutes, and rather than Maradona playing a 4-2-3-1 and trying to cram all his flair players into the same side, he’s actually constructed a defensive-minded team based around two banks of four, with only one player, Messi, given anything approaching a free role.
      With many sides playing on the counter-attack, Maradona’s tactic of keeping five defensive players in strict positions at all times might just make life difficult for opponents. The centre-backs at full-backs might create a new challenge for opposing wingers. Maradona will possess the most talented bench in the tournament with the aforementioned players should Argentina need to change things, and amongst all this is Lionel Messi, the best footballer of his generation.
      Argentina should progress past the group stage – but predicting what will happen after that is impossible. But again, it’s a Latin American side doing something different defensively which is more than welcome, and whatever happens, with Maradona, it won’t be dull.

    5. #185
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      An old-fashioned 3-5-2 for Uruguay

      May 27, 2010


      The three-man defence may be fairly unpopular throughout Europe at the moment, but it is alive and well in Latin America. With Chile having used a 3-3-1-3 system throughout qualification and Mexico toying with a 3-4-3, Uruguay will join them, with a more traditional 3-5-2 formation.
      Few other sides in this World Cup can boast two strikers as confident as Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez – the former having settled the Europa League final with two well-taken finishes, the latter having finished on a rather impressive record of 49 goals in 48 games for Ajax this season.
      Forlan plays slightly deeper than you might expect, coming short to receive the ball to feet, leaving Suarez as the more orthodox central striker, playing between full-back and centre-back and looking for through balls.
      With those two banging in the goals, it was always going to be two upfront for Uruguay – the question was what happened behind them.
      Although Oscar Tabarez only introduced the 3-5-2 system late on in qualification, it seems to have been installed as the clear first-choice formation, and the players seemed to have been picked with this shape in mind, considering that Tabarez opted not to pick Porto’s exciting winger Cristian Rodriguez for the provisional squad – Rodriguez clearly has the talent, maybe he just doesn’t fit into the system (edit: his two-game suspension is also most likely a reason – thanks to Derek in the comments section for the correction).
      Energetic wing-backs
      As ever, the key players in a 3-5-2 are the wing-backs. Tabaraz picks the two (unrelated) Pereiras – Maxi of Benfica on the right, Alvaro of Porto on the left. They are perfect players for those positions – both comfortable at full-back or wide midfield, and their main attributes being (a) their pace and (b) their stamina.
      Maxi is a fairly technically limited footballer but gets up and down the line well, whilst Alvaro is a more talented player on the ball, and seems to get forward slightly more than his namesake.
      Solid defenders
      The basic shape of the Uruguay side. The two forwards (in yellow) play close together. The wing-backs (in pink) take up very advanced positions. Perez and Gonzalez get themselves into advanced positions, whilst Gargano remains deep in midfield just in front of the defence (out of shot).

      The two full-backs retreat to standard positions when not in possession, level with three centre-backs. Captain Diego Lugano plays as the spare man at the centre of the three, with veteran Andres Scotti to his right.
      They are joined by the left-sided Diego Godin, by far the most comfortable on the ball, happy to bring it forward and distribute more expertly than his two fellow centre-backs. Their most well-known defender, Martin Cacares, on loan to Juventus from Barcelona, appears to be a back-up.
      Functional midfield
      The midfield enforcer is Napoli’s Walter Gargano, a stocky character who is essentially a classic defensive midfielder – fierce into the tackle and a reliable, passer who looks to keep things simple; he rarely gets forward and looks to cover for gaps left by the advance of the wing-backs.
      Alongside him is Diego Perez, a fairly unspectacular all-round midfield player, and the flair is provided by Ignacio Gonzalez, who starts from a central midfield position but looks to move into more of a trequartista role behind Suarez and Forlan.
      The midfield sits fairly deep when not in possession, there is little pressing high up the pitch (Forlan and Suarez don’t have particularly heavy defensive duties) and Uruguay seem content to defend with eight men in front of their penalty area.
      Here, the left-sided centre-back Diego Godin steps forward into defence, joining the five-man midfield

      Conclusion
      On paper this looks a decent side – it has quality upfront, experience in defence and hard-working battlers in midfield. And the players fit into the system very nicely – each player knows his role and looks comfortable there – it’s hard to earmark a player being played out-of-position, or a distinct lack of quality in any area.
      Uruguay’s problem might be the formation itself. 3-5-2 is very rarely seen this days, largely because it has trouble containing the opposition full-backs. Against a side playing 4-5-1 / 4-3-3, the 3-5-2’s wing-backs are forced to defend a wing against both full-back and winger. Support can come from the players in the centre of the pitch, of course, but you’re then dragging them out of position and possibly exposing yourself in the middle.
      It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a genuinely successful team playing a 3-5-2, and there are probably good reasons for that – but a 3-5-2 will bring more tactical variety to the competition, and that can only be a good thing.

    6. #186
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      Mexico’s fluid shape makes them dark horses

      May 27, 2010

      “There’s a lot of movement arrows on that diagram”, you might be thinking. And you’d be right – there are, for that’s the key to Mexico’s system – movement from almost every player on the pitch and plenty of width when attacking.
      The 3-1 defeat to England was harsh on Mexico. They dominated possession and created the better chances – a lack of composure in the penalty area was their downfall.
      Although expected to play a four-man defence, they instead lined up with what was basically a 3-4-3 system, with energetic wing-backs, pacey wingers, and Rafael Marquez stepping up in front of the defence to become a centre-half.
      There has been somewhat of a turnaround since Javier Aguirre took over as manager. This side featured just two of the players who started the final game under the reign of Sven-Goran Eriksson just 13 months ago, a disastrous 3-1 defeat to Honduras.
      Whereas Eriksson had the side playing cagey, static, rigid football, Aguerre has the side expressing themselves and playing more attractive possession football.
      Despite this, for the England game Mexico did not play Andres Guardado, the exciting left-sided attacking midfielder for Deportivo La Coruna, who many would pinpoint as Mexico’s best player. Instead, both Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela interchanged either side of Guillermo Franco.
      The basic formation

      This photo from the first half at Wembley (they are attacking the goal closest to the camera) shows Mexico’s shape when they have the ball. The centre-backs (marked in red) spread across the width of the pitch, with Rafael Marquez the only one within the width of the penalty area. Ahead of them, the wing-backs push on over the halfway line, whilst Gerardo Torrado comes deep and looks for a short pass into feet. His midfield partner, Efrain Juarez, plays a more energetic role and is further up the pitch.
      The three forwards are spread across the width of the penalty area. Guillermo Franco looked to drop deep and drag the centre-backs out of position (as you can see, there is a lot of space for him to receive a ball to feet), with Vela and dos Santos looking to run in behind the England defence.
      The most notable aspect of the above picture is that Mexico have three players wide on their right-hand side, wider than any England player, despite the fact the ball is on the opposite side of the pitch. This is a key part of Mexico’s game, looking to stretch the play and make the pitch as wide as possible.
      A five-man defence when not in possession

      Now in the second half (attacking the goal at the far end), Mexico’s defensive shape when they lose the ball becomes clear. The two wing-backs (in pink) drop almost level with the centre-backs (in red) when out of possession, creating almost a back five. The middle centre-back, Rafael Marquez, steps up ahead of his two central defensive colleagues and picks up any player playing ‘in the hole’ – in this case, Wayne Rooney. The three forwards (in yellow) stay high up the pitch and press the defenders, whilst the two midfielders (in blue) take up fairly standard positions, with Juarez dropping deeper than Torrado.
      Cancelling out a 4-4-2

      This reiterates the point that Mexico only have two midfield players when defending – it really is a five at the back, and three upfront. Mexico’s wide players occupy England’s full-backs, there is a straight 2 v 2 battle in the centre of midfield (blue), the wing-backs occupy England’s wingers (pink) and the three centre-backs take care of England’s two forwards. In the end, the only ‘free’ player on either side was a single centre-back. Rafael Marquez was able to step up more confidently than Ledley King (leaving two centre-backs against two strikers is more comfortable than leaving one centre-back against one striker) and therefore Mexico dominated possession.
      Marquez happy to step up

      Here, Marquez’s freedom to get forward is underlined – he moves a good 15 yards ahead of the other two centre-backs, giving Mexico a numerical advantage in the centre of midfield. It also shows how naturally Mexico’s system creates triangles in wide areas – here Torrado (6, in blue) and the two other players close to the ball should be able to hold possession and work the ball around England’s two wide players.
      In all, this was a rather good demonstration of how an attack-minded 3-4-3 can dominate possession against a 4-4-2. The key is the ‘free’ centre-back, who must be able to move into midfield to help retain the ball in that zone.
      As with many three-man defence systems, it may come unstuck against a side playing a 4-3-3 with two natural wingers. Look at the picture above, and imagine how much space England’s wide players in a 4-3-3 would have been afforded, with Mexico often leaving just two men at the back.
      With the players Mexico use, however, they should be able to respond fairly easily to this threat – the wing-backs are full-backs and therefore would be able to drop back and get goalside of opposition wingers, and Marquez is more than comfortable in a permanent central midfield role, meaning the side would become more like a 4-1-2-3 fairly seamlessly. ZM has recently put forward the view that an imminent tactical trend is a ‘centre-half’ dropping back from midfield to defence, creating a back three and allowing the full-backs to push on – Mexico’s switch to a four-man defence would essentially be the reverse of that, but has many similar characteristics.
      Conclusion
      Mexico’s system seems organised yet fluid, and very difficult to play against. Although they lost 3-1 at Wembley, they dominated the ball and created more genuine goalscoring opportunities. If they are to get to the knockout stages in South Africa they will need improvements at both ends – their centre-backs must be more dominant in the air, and they cannot afford to waste such glorious goalscoring chances. The latter issue is probably the key – either Carlos Vela or Giovani dos Santos need to step up and demonstrate their full potential – if they can do that, Mexico could progress.

    7. #187
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      Argentinaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
      Don't find fault, find a remedy.

    8. #188
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      Czech Republic undo ee WC???

    9. #189
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      Quote Originally Posted by Chakochi View Post
      Czech Republic undo ee WC???
      not qualified..their Golden generation inluding Nedved are retired...

    10. #190
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      Quote Originally Posted by nettooran View Post
      not qualified..their Golden generation inluding Nedved are retired...
      ente favourite aayirunnu...Peter Ccechum,Rociskyum ippol undu...pinne avarude oru kidilan Defender(peru ormayilla..Last WCil Red card Kitti poyi)

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