May 22, 2013
Will rivals follow Peru
Argentina are top of soccer’s World Cup qualifying group which always seems more of a South American championship than the Copa América (although this time Brazil is not in it). So, what more do they want? Their last performance — the 1-1 away draw against Peru — was not good.
A good player like Messi can have a bad day and there is this danger of the team depending on one man (mentioned before?). On the other hand, has the bad climate — stoning of the bus, whistling of the Argentine national anthem — it is time anthems were not played any more — and every time Messi touched the ball had any effect on him and the team? It should not, especially with professional players. Also, Peru played it rough and that is the fault of yet another poor referee. But one must accept that Peru were, with whatever tactics, the better team which stopped their rivals on the day and not only think that Argentina played badly.
But will Argentina’s future rivals take note and create the same climate and “playing tactics”? Colombia seem to be the team to beat at the moment. Argentina have already beaten them 2-1 away, but in that match their dangerous goal scorers Falcao and Gutiérrez were not playing.
Yet finally Argentina are using more attacking tactics with three strikers, even four, as often favoured in this column. Against Paraguay in the previous match it worked and even if there were complaints about the defence, one must realize that if a team concentrates more on attack, it will be weaker in defence.
That match in Córdoba was a sell-out, or was it? Spivs were offering 80 peso tickets at 700 pesos outside the stadium. Did they really sell at that price?
One good thing was that the hooligan gang calling itself “official national team gang” were absent after saying that 200 of them would go. This gang was strong when indirectly led and paid by former President Néstor Kirchner. When the money dried up, many members left as they were only there for what they could get.
One bad thing was that Córdoba governor De la Sota, a Peronist opposing President Cristina Kirchner, invited all provincial governors to the match, but Cristina “ordered” them not to go, fearing there would be a political meeting against her. Only Buenos Aires governor Macri, a notorious opponent, went. Cristina may have been right, but is it not ridiculous for her to stop people from going to watch a soccer match?