Messi Marvellous, France Shambolic + Keeper Errors Mount

The World Cup is finally coming to life. I was hoping for an exciting game between Argentina and Korea and Maradona’s team didn’t disappoint. South Korea tried to follow the Switzerland blueprint but Messi taught his Barca teammates a lesson or two in breaking resolute defences.

In fairness, the Koreans weren’t as well organized as Hitzfeld’s team and the own goal didn’t help their cause. Once they were forced to move out it was always going to open up for the Argentines. I must say Messi has taken his game to a different level in this tournament. At Barcelona, he enjoys a free role and others do bulk of the work in midfield but Maradona is playing him behind two strikers and in front of a weak midfield.

Messi regularly drops deep and has been running the show from midfield. This can be seen from the high number of passes he has and the heat map shows he spends a lot of time in the middle third, something he would rarely have to do at Barcelona.

Higuain got the man of the match award, which was a clichéd decision in my opinion. Just because he got three tap-ins doesn’t mean he was the best player in the game!

I’m still not convinced Maradona can take Argentina all the way but when you have a guy like Messi in the team even a clueless manager can look like a genius.

The same cannot be said about France though. In 2006 they had Zidane and Domenech got away with it. Unfortunately for the French manager, Ribery and co don’t look like they can cover his weaknesses.

In one of the most disjointed, disgraceful, and dispirited performances at the World Cup France succumbed to Mexico. Aguirre’s team deserved the win as they defended well, worked hard and took their chances on the break.

I hope South Africa pile on some more misery on a team that should never have been at this World Cup in the first place. I’m sure Ireland would have done much better!

Three Arsenal players were on the pitch. Vela had a decent start and made some good runs, he also missed a good chance when he smashed over from close range. We were then reminded that he is an Arsenal player as he limped off the field on the half hour mark. Diaby too had a decent start and was dominating the midfield but then went missing as the team struggled to gel. Sagna had a Sagnaesque game.

In the other game of the day the most noteworthy aspect was two goalkeeping errors – The Greek keeper let in a free kick as he reacted to the strikers movement in front of him and his Nigerian counterpart spilled a straight shot that allowed Torosidis to tap in from close range.

Victor Enyeama has had two brilliant games at this World Cup, winning the man of the match award in both, but even he was guilty of a mistake that cost his team the match. Of course, Sani Kaita made life difficult for his teammates with a silly red card so it would not be fair to blame Enyeama alone for the defeat.

Tomorrow’s games will be worth watching. I’ve an interest in the US games as I’m based here and England games are always fun if, like me, you don’t have an emotional involvement. Germany take on a better organized and slightly more defensive  team in Serbia and we will get a chance to see whether Ozil and co are the real deal.

15 Responses to Messi Marvellous, France Shambolic + Keeper Errors Mount

  1. Munish Gupta says:

    Argentinian defense still has question marks and I am not really sure how can tevez start ahead of aguero and milito. Think they will fall sooner or later against some team bigger than south korea and nigeria.
    France really don’t deserve to be here but it was a good performance by Mexico, they deserved the points.
    And less said about the goalkeeping errors of the other game, the better…

    • desigunner says:

      Yeah their defence can let them down. I think Tevez starts ahead of the other two because of his work rate and contribution in tracking back. Not sure Milito and Aguero would do that. Although since it’s Maradona, he might have his own weird reasons!

  2. Como Estas says:

    Bull shit article. The only reason Messi was doing that was becasue there was no Veron. Otherwise, he plays in his usual No. 10 position.

    And this was Enyema’s second game and he was shit today.

    And if a hattrick can’t get you a MoM i don’t know what can. Brillaint positioning. Typical poachers goals all of them.

    And Munish, use those brains of yours. Tevez will walk into any side ahead of Milito and Aguero.

    • desigunner says:

      Messi had the most passes even in the first game. Check your facts.

      Enyeama was the man of the match. Once again check your facts.

      “i don’t know” – those are the only words you should be saying.

      • Maddy says:

        Although, I do agree with the Higuain part a little really

      • desigunner says:

        Normally I’d have agreed with Higuain at MoM. He did his job well and didn’t do much wrong.

        My only argument was that hattrick = MoM should not be an automatic choice, especially when someone else played as well as Messi did.And I just meant that as a thought worth pondering upon, not as a criticism.

    • KarlAFC says:

      Very harsh on Enyeama.

      Except for the second Greek goal, he was outstanding once again.

  3. stonroy says:

    Where in the states do you live mate?

  4. Irish Supporter says:

    First off, Nigeria’s keeper Vincent Enyeama was just brilliant and I totally forgive him for that mistake which led to the winning goal, for it was he who prevented the scoreline being much greater.
    His saves were well judged and his positioning was first class, what is he doing playing in Israel? –
    What an asset he would be for a team in the English Premier League!
    Lastly to France and it seems they are finally getting their come-uppance for the blatant cheating they gave to Ireland in the qualifiers.
    Henry and his colleagues deserve to go home early just for that incident and it will give me the greatest pleasure to see them departing heads bowed during the coming days!- The Irish must be celebrating all over Ireland after last nights defeat!

  5. Robespierre says:

    The ball kills many game, not one good shot from distance , all dead balls fly askew or high, I am convinced that Messi’s finishes based on the most delicate of angled chips, untypically missed , are due to ball flawed aerodynamics.
    About Argentina, a good j.Wilson article makes an argument in favor of Maradona’s “advanced thinking” and “cutting edge” wisdom ( perhaps Billardo’s) in ‘broken team’ formation,or the flat line non-marauding fullbacks formation; alas, even if right, the personal at hand isn’t ideal. Jonas G. on the right is a calamity waiting to happen, the wall Samuel out now and Demichelis is Demichelis…., and Heinze who you have to like no matter what, is tactically being sucked into midfield play. Conclusion, Argentina will live and die by the sword. If Messi gets handle of the ball and get his usual 1:2 tries/goals ratio they can make it. I agree with you, to see him as midfield #10(its his future) is lovely, Argentina has real chance if he clicks. BTW, Aguero for the last 20-30 min is brilliant change of pace against tired opposition. otherwise Tevez play real well. whatever else Maradona is de la Gente, of the people, with his heart out on his sleeve..likable stuff

    • desigunner says:

      It could be a combination of the ball and the altitude. The Slovenia player, Birsa, did finally score a brilliant goal from distance, others might improve as the tournament goes on.

      I like Maradona a lot, not as a manager but as a character. I guess he is trying to make Messi play just the way he did. The good thing is their games will never be boring and that’s what I want from the World Cup.

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