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Posted by Sebastian Garcia on 07/03/2010

No more tricks then. Another World Cup and another defeat against Germany. This time, the result was heavier, but the way we lost it and with so much difference between both teams makes it somehow easier to absorb than when they knocked us out in 2006, when we were leading and we threw it away and then we failed on penalties.

It still hurts! Oh how it hurts indeed! It's painful to see yet another World Cup pass by and to do it knowing that we've got the best player in the world wearing our number 10 shirt.

But I think this outcome was only logical and here's why I'm saying this...

After we defeated Mexico 3-1 in the Round of 16, my reaction was something like: "Wow! Thank goodness we've got this kind of players, because we won it on pure individual talent".

It's been the main characteristic of Diego's team since he took over in 2008. Perhaps it's tempting to do so, but we relied too much on individual talent to rescue us. I mean...when you have the kind of players we have, it almost seems logical to bet on them to change any game for you and win it. But more often than not, it's the best TEAMS that win trophies. And today Germany were the better team. By some distance.

Yes, it could have been a very different game had that early goal from them never happened. Because it completely changed the nature of the game. It gave Germany the peace of mind they needed and it put an incredibly big chip on our shoulders. We never trailed during this World Cup and we were not prepare to produce a comeback. Not with a team that was set out to counter-attack and thrive on a lead.

There were other options (we've discussed them during the last few days in this space and on Mundo Albiceleste), but Diego firmly decided on keeping the same starting XI that defeated Mexico. Germany? They made us pay for the same kind of mistakes we made v. Mexico.

I keep bringing the names of Javier ZANETTI and Esteban CAMBIASSO and today it was proved that I did it for a reason. Germany won the game benefiting from a pathetic performance from Nicolás OTAMENDI. You know me and you know I'm a reasonable man. I don't fire at anybody just because I want to have fun or ridicule someone.

OTAMENDI gave Germany the free-kick early on from which they scored the opening goal and it was OTAMENDI himself who couldn't get anywhere near Thomas MÜLLER allowing him to head the ball past Sergio ROMERO. Could the keeper have done any better there? Maybe, but that man should have been marked and it was OTAMENDI the one in charge of doing that.

It is true that he was played out of position (he is a natural CB and he only has a few matches of experience as a RB), but it is also true that he didn't step up when the challenge was bigger than those he had to face when playing against Greece or Mexico. It's not entirely his fault. It's more Diego's than his. Especially when you notice that he is being completely 'killed' by anybody in a black shirt attacking from the left (our right). With 12 minutes gone, he had already done EVERYTHING wrong and I thought it was time for a substitution. He was at fault in Germany's second goal too! Going for a stud-first untimely challenge that left his back uncovered and gave Lukas PODOLSKI a lot of time and room to do whatever he wanted.

Then he was replaced. To say it was too late would be the understatement of the millennium.

To think we were playing an out-of-position youngster (with a great future as CB I might add), instead of going with our most reliable RB (Javier ZANETTI), was a thought that put me in a lot of pain during those terrible 90 minutes. Again, I'm not saying this now that we've lost. I've always regretted this decision and I lived in fear of the moment in which it was going to haunt us.

On the left? I would have given two arms and a leg to have Esteban CAMBIASSO instead of Angel DI MARIA. Again, a player who's got lots of fans amongst many of you, but someone who NEVER convinced me. I've got proof to back up what I'm saying. I have never questioned his skill, his quick feet and his decent shooting ability. But he lacks the most underrated 'skill' in football. A skill most of the German players we saw today have. And tons of it: INTELLIGENCE. DI MARIA seems to have no 'footballing brain'. His football IQ must be among the lowest in this Universe.

CAMBIASSO, on the other hand, must currently be in the Top5 of INTELLIGENT PLAYERS. Up there with Xavi HERNANDEZ, Andres INIESTA and Andrea PIRLO.

Again, amigos, I don't want to sound bitter now, take the easy way out and destroy Diego for his decisions. Right or wrong, deep inside, I still believed. I gave this team my whole support but I can't hide the fact that I knew we had better options in some key positions and now it really looks like we shot ourselves in the foot.

What DI MARIA showed today was nothing more of what he always showed me dressed in Albiceleste. He took EVERY decision wrong. He had to pass? He shot. He had to run and try to dribble a defender? He shot. He had to cross? He didn't. If you have to show a young player what NOT TO DO in football, show him a tape of what DI MARIA did today (and include a few moves by OTAMENDI if you want to go the extra mile).

We knew that Germany would use the entire width of the pitch to hurt you and we had nothing to stop them from doing it. Germany realised they had a free pass on their left and they went for it.

I'm sure I wasn't the only one to think it was game over after only 3 minutes and both teams were pretty logical after that opening goal. We had no clue and Germany were given a perfect gift and they took it.

There will come the time to put Diego's tenure under the magnifying glass and see which were the good things and which things were done wrong. It is too soon to do that.

This team (or to be correct I have to say: 'this bunch of players') made us dream it was possible and I've seen people in Argentina getting together behind Diego and our boys like few times before. Diego restored some of the pride we've lost in the past and we can't fault our players for a lack of commitment or determination. They gave their 100%. They made no excuse and they didn't go for the infamous foul play and sore loser attitude we've seen from our guys in the past.

We were again one of the most exciting teams to watch in this tournament and I'm sure Diego and our players made sure of capturing the imagination of many new Argentina fans around the world.

This is the end of the road and it's horrible to hit a wall like this, but perhaps even more than I thought four years ago, there are clear signs that the future is bright.

It remains to be seen whether the AFA would want to see us having a bright future or not.

It's been fun to have this space here on Soccernet and we will continue talking about Argentina in our shiny new Mundo Albiceleste site.

Thanks for all your comments and vamos Argentina!

Join us at Mundo Albiceleste, to hear what hundreds of fans of the Albicelestes from all over the world have to say!


Posted by Dennis Fernandes on 07/03/2010

Well written article... I am Maradona Fan as Player but not all can emulate the Kaiser not even Marradona. Lesson learnt are better than bitter if put to action.

Posted by Johnny on 07/03/2010

It would take another 100 years for Maradona to get it right. He picked the wrong players and has no clue about tactics and he hoped that the will of god will not punish his stupidity.

Someone correctly pointed out earlier and quote " Hand of God and a Brain of an Idiot".

Posted by YASIN KARIM on 07/03/2010

BIG fan of DIEGO MARADONA, heartbreaking to see Argentina go out like this - but thats football...Take heart from it, its not easy for a bunch of SUPERSTARS to perform together like they did.
Nice article man ! Won many new fans in KENYA !! Cheers

Posted by Hamdhan on 07/03/2010

i missed cambiasso and zanetti so much in this match..also riquelme..if they had played in this match, the score would have been different, well atleast not as embarassing as this one..we could have even won."Who says DEMICHELIS is playing badly? Whoever says that must be Andrea BOCELLI" ur the one who's blind maradonna u cudnt see the qualities that cambiasso and zanetti had that were so important for this argentina squad to win!seriously its maradona's fault for this huge emberassement. he didnt pick the right squad he didnt get his tactics right.

some players i would have taken for the squad : =D
cambiasso for bolatti
ever banega for veron
mauro zarate for di maria
zanetti for otamendi
lavezzi for palermo

i really thought this time argentina will go to the finals but again we got beaten by germany. maybe next time with a better coach!

Posted by hs on 07/03/2010

A lot of people saw this coming after watching the qualifier games.
A lot of people realized this team was a scam after watching how Argentina defeated Mexico 3-1, via a bad referee call and bad Mexican defense call..
If we take the errors away, you have a great Tevez goal vs. a Mexican goal.
The castle of cards has crumbled for all those who thought this team was the real thing.
Only a fool can expect to win a world cup playing with mediocre players like Otamendi, Jonas Gutierrez and DeMichelis
Maradona is a scam.
Welcome to reality.

Posted by Julian on 07/03/2010

you are absolutely right. Zanetti and Cambiasso is exactly what i was thinking the entire game. 8th minute i was hoping for otamendi to come out

Posted by Flush on 07/03/2010

Sebastian your assessment of todays match was spot on! Indeed Zanetti on the right would have curbed podolski and ozil runs on that left side. In all honesty we are talking of three goals from that position. But I will be skeptical to say that Argentina would have won had he been present but I would say the match would have been closer, probably a 2-1 or 1-0 scoreline. As for cambiasso, he is one of the most underrated players in world football. He selection might have made a difference, I guess we will never know! Yesterday match was won on gameplan, which Argentina seemed to have none.

Posted by Andres on 07/04/2010

Here is the difference, Argentina's stars played with each other...the german Team, after losing four of their starters before the tournament ( like Ballack and Rene Adler their number one goaly), they played for each other !!!!!

Posted by haji hamid on 07/04/2010

Argentina too arrogant, too confident. depends too much on individual players & Maradona lack on tactical knowledge.

Posted by Alfin on 07/04/2010

Bravo Mr. Garcia! You're on the spot.I knew the decision to leave Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso will back to haunt Argentina. What was Maradona thinking when he drops two Argentinean who just capture a treble to Inter and with a perfect mindset to be with national team. Zanetti will shepherd the back line with ease and Cambiasso will bring balance in midfield.

Posted by bazza on 07/04/2010

What a wonderful sight to behold.. A heart broken, shattered Maradonna. Now he knows how it feels to have your dreams shattered and Germany did not have to cheat to do it..We all knew once Argentina came up against a good side they would falter..It's easy against the lesser sides and getting the breaks from the referee. Maradonna may have had great skills as a player but as a coach he stinks.Now he is on his way home and the bad smell he brings to the game will go with him. Skill is not enough in this game, you also need class and respect. Maradonna has neither.

Posted by Stuart on 07/04/2010

Argentina should have selected a coach!

Posted by Archer on 07/04/2010

Argentina was simply outcoached, outsmarted and outplayed. The quick goal didn't matter that much at all. Germany would have won that one no matter what. They were the most hungry side so far.

And will give Spain a whole lot to think about, ending their games against England and Argentina with a 8:1 net scoreline.

Posted by Long suffering on 07/04/2010

It has been a 20 years way too long...when will my heartache stop ? We have the best players on earth but yet we have so many tactical flaws...when i looked at the starting 11 line-up, my heart was pounding fast...gosh ! could the back 4 and midfield withstands the pace of German and provide cover for the front to attack ? and it turn out, we were thrashed in such a margin...we have the players to rebuild but seriously need a new matter what, I will stand by you as what I did for the past 24 years. Vamos Argentina !

Posted by fred on 07/04/2010

maradona had way too much confidence having messi on his team and brought unheard of players to be original. Argentinas Game plan was get the ball and pass it to messi and we ´ll be alright

Posted by Addy on 07/04/2010

Hi, I've thoroughly enjoyed your blog during the last few weeks.

I'm a die hard Argentina fan and like you, I concede that we lost fairly to a better team. Can't complain but it sucks to have been exposed so badly. I thought the game was open until the Germans scored the second.

No matter what happened this time, i will be rooting for Argentina for many years to come.

Posted by Vishal Damree on 07/04/2010

Yet another poor performance by the Argentinian team, they never showed a team spirit.. it was more that ME.. than US...
Bravo to the German..they waited patiently and applied same winning formula that they used against England.

Posted by saravanan on 07/04/2010

A very impresive GERMANY. What made the difference between them was - Germany played as a team and gave everything but Argentina was relying on some indivduals, at the end the "TEAM" deserve the victory and played fantastic game which was very intresting to be watch from start till the end. May be the best game so far in this WC 2010.

Posted by Argentina Fan malaysia on 07/04/2010

It very dificault time to Argentina,without Aimar, Jose Sosa, Lucho Gonzalez n Cambiasso. Argentina cant conquer the game.Maxi Rodriguez was too old the be first eleven to Argentina.Germany have many great midfielder player n could do the best.Argentina should left Higuain only in the single forward and tevez should be in bench only. Javier Pastore is too young and we could see Argentina midfielder cant bring dangerous to Germany because milfielder cant bring ball into Germany defend and too depend on MESSI.

We must wait 28year to win World Cup. It is very hard to accept this word but we lose again n 2010 is over.

We had talent n many player but we always depend on some person only. It is my opinion.

Posted by Hugo from Mongolia on 07/04/2010

I am agree with points. Diego lost the game. Even with this squad good coach can do better. Changes were also bad.

Posted by devendra Panchakoti on 07/04/2010

I do fully agree with Sebastian, his article is more on target than Maradona's tactics. Yes, Zanetti & Esteban would have definitely been far better options than Otamendi, Jonas & Demichhelis. There was very poor marking for the Germans, but yet the Germans marked our Messi & Tevez so well. Veron would have been a far better option than the ones that maradona had chosen for the German match. what was disgusting is that maradona didn't even bring on any substitutions except for Aguero. He could have also used Milito as an option for Di Maria. Our defense was almost pathetic, & the Germans took full advantage of this. yes, there was too much of dependence on individual play, even though we have the best players in the fault of theirs. The German defense was rock solid, ours was not. Heinze did his best. he's now too old for 2014. When will my FAVORITE TEAM - ARGENTINA win the world cup again. Maradona is a legendary player, but lacks the mind of a coach. SEE U IN 2014, ARGENTI

Posted by luis on 07/04/2010

This is a great blog and I hope to hear more honest coments from real soccer fans regardless of their nationality. Maradona as a coach is the biggest mistake AFA ever made!!! The man was a good player, one of the best ever, but is always been a hothead that has very little common sense and poor judgement personally and proffesionally. It is time for Argentina to drop this clown and begin to form a squad that works and plays as a team and not rely on a bunch of great individual players. It is sad but mostly patetic to see the best players in the world humiliated by the best team...

Posted by Aboe on 07/04/2010

I think argentina is a bit overconfident. They only thinking about attacking, not about defense. Besides, they re only face the weaker team with weak defense like Mexico, Greece, Korea, etc..

And from the match, i can saw that Maradona is not analyse germany carefully.

We can see, how is Messi is so stubborn to make a goal. There are many waste chances, when he tries to do the shooting. Many germany players are surrounded him and already read what he want to do.

With 1 DMC (Mascherano) to face 3 AMC (Podolski - Ozil - Muller), We can see how bad the argentina is. MAxi and Di MAria don't have good defense. That's why the team need one more DMC. I wish there is Cambiasso.

And 1 player that really dissapointed me is DI MARIA. In whole World cup, i never see how good it is, how intelligence he is. There is no dribbling, penetration, shoot that is really good.

I hope Argentina could choose a right coach for the next challenge. Maybe DIEGO SIMEONE :D

Posted by Team XI on 07/04/2010

Great observations and well-written article!
Argentina was overconfident the whole time, they thought they had this game won even before it started. So, instead of spending the time preparing, they spent it trash-talking the German. Let's see what they have to say now, especially Maradona and Carlos Tevez!

Posted by Steve on 07/04/2010

The Jabulani ball has ruined this tournament. It has turned great players into mediocre ones. Several times in the game Messi cut inside onto his left foot as is his wont and shot at goal. We have seen this so many times over the last few years and it invariably ends up in or close to the back of the net. Here it ended up at least twice as high as the top of the bar. Watch an entire season of Messi playing for Barcelona and you will not see a single shot of his going this far over! The game becomes a bit of a joke when world-class strikers (e.g. Fernando Torres) cannot shoot with confidence.

FIFA needs to radically re-think its strategy of changing the ball just before the most important tournament. It's the equivalent of a golfer changing all of his clubs just before the Open or Federer suddenly switching to a completely different racquet before Wimbledon. The ball is the ONLY piece of equipment in soccer. Players have spent years perfecting how to play and this should be respected!

Posted by Sanjay Rai on 07/04/2010

Tactically Maradona is naive he started with Maxi and Mascherano in the middle, Mascherano did a great job protecting the centre but alas the germans run riot along the wings, Heinze was badly exposed for pace when Lahm had a go at him, Otamendi was badly exposed also, no protection for these two chaps at all, playing 3 strikers who keep going through the centre, did anyone see a single attack on the wings and a pull back cross...the germans are good at protecting their last line of defenders, a cambiasso would bossed the centre around freeing the wing backs to have a go at the germans..did anyone see a single cross from the wings to the box in the game?

Don't cry for me argentina, maradona is naive but wonderful passionate man, pastore build the team around him the next coach please..

Posted by Risky on 07/04/2010

Maradonna's team got beaten 1-6 by Bolivia last year... I've seen them play before the WC and they didn't look to have a proper tactical plan... Alright, they beat Canada 5-0 in a friendly, then no more matches but just training before the WC began, then beating a mediocre Nigeria 1-0, an error-prone South Korea 4-1 and a poor Greece side 2-0 was no big feat. They were lucky Mexico had poor defenders and no killer touch, and were lucky with the ref also...
Too often, Argentina relied too much on Tevez, Messi and Higuain to do something. They only had one real midfielder and that was a Defensive Midfielder in Mascherano. Maxi Rodriguez and Di Maria are natural wingers and Diego makes them play as midfielders... Heinze didn't offer any threat going forward, but just from set-pieces with his heading ability... It was very poor strategy from Diego... No gameplan... World-class players like Cambiasso, Zanetti and Diego Milito (who warmed the bench) were sorely missed

Posted by Reggae Boy on 07/04/2010

Hiring Maradona coach was lunacy from day 1.
I hear everyone speaking about Cambiasso, and Zenetti. What about Aimar & Saviola, did they die in car accidents, Those guys have been as good as De Maria at club level, and they have more football intelligence. Carrying Veron, an ageing player who failed in Europe was a mistake,taking Palermo was a joke, and not using a RB made no sense. Why play 4-3-3 with no creative midfielder, a some guys impersonating defenders, with a goalkeeper with a 50% saving rate? some variation of 4-5-1 made better sense. Milito over Tevez, as Tevez is a 1 trick pony, while Milito is a team player. Higuain is only as effective as the passes he gets. No passes no opportunities. No midfield, no defence, no tactics= No chance.. & it should be curtains on Maradona's tenure as Argentine coach.

Posted by Hoernerice on 07/04/2010

Hi there,
plz dont kill me for this question, but isnt it simple possible, that our germans not as bad as indivudal as i read here eveywhere? after england game...."Stars loose against team" i read mostly the same. argentina players are the better but not a team.
im sry to ask this, but can someone explain me, why there should be a induvdual differnt between the argentina stars and the germans? ok there is a messi...perfect dribbler. take him out. but rest? nearly all of geramn did play last session euroliga and chempionsliga. 7 with bayern in the chempionsliga final.
i think, Die Nationalelf is individual on same lvl like england or argentina (take messi out before u throw tomoatos on me ^^) AND has better team.
i think when u have "just" better team it look more like the swiss vs spain game. sry my loved swiss, but spain has def. the better players, but u was the better team.
just an idea from a german, which like to read here (already before that match) o/

Posted by Sathish reddy on 07/04/2010

Maradona is God.
Argentina is god's own country.
It takes away nothing from Argentina that they lost. they are among the elite that make this game "BEAUTIFUL"
It doesnt mean a thing that Maradona did not perform as a manger. (In any case a manger is only as good as his team.) To me Maradona is a legennd and the best player and he tried his best for his country and that is all you could ask for.

Posted by Sanctified on 07/04/2010

Well the right side wasnt chosen and germany made argentina pay dearly for their mistakes.

Posted by tachenamurthy on 07/04/2010

i think maradona just concern on attacking sideon midfields and defends he just missed to put exprience players.its a huge mistake that cost a final when he decide to withdraw zanetti and cambiasso.on defendsive midfield mascherano is just not that good to do good defending and distribute ball to sidemidfileder.

Posted by Rupam Ghosh on 07/04/2010

Well written, but can we bring back again that match or rectify our errors, so please stop blaming our GOD. MARADONA needs more respect from us and we need stand with him in this time of crisis. I am an Indian but believe me yesterday I can't even sleep. U know why because of that Face, which has given us to cheer, our own GOD DIEGO MARADONA. I know there are some areas which has been missed By Argentinna, but it happens when failures comes. Please come all and support DIEGO and request him to stay as Coach of Argentina and WE WILL CONQUER 2014 Brazil World Cup......VAMOS ARGENTINA

Posted by Patrick Tong on 07/04/2010

Why didn't he play Juan Sebastian Veron?. Veron played well in the group stage and it seems to me that Argentina needed a player like Veron to be a creative influence and allow Messi to move further up front where he is more effective.

The Argentine midfield stunk and Messi running back there to get a touch of the ball was perfect for the Germans.

Posted by Gonsalves on 07/04/2010

"Di no a las drogas Diego" Ger4-Arg0. Di NO MAS Diegito. No hand of a cheat to bail you out this time. The Argentinian team were outplayed by a fitter,younger, tactical team coached by a person with superior intellect. Argentina was coached by a demented 'snorter'. Argentina will come back, better and proud once Maradona goes.

Posted by rohit rajaram on 07/04/2010

yeah the early goal made all the difference....Argentina tried hard after that dominating the possession but cudnt break the German defense. Then after the second goal they lost their heart.

I feel for messi though....he was arguably their best player. Fans always pointed out the fact he doesn't come good for the national team. Despite the fact that he didnt score goals...he did all that he cud the make sure someone does.

Posted by Mizan on 07/04/2010

Agree with every point that has been written here. But I would surely like to make an addition of "Juan Roman Riquelme" into this squad. He already had a good WC experience in 2006. He was also being missed yesterday. He should've been selected for this tournament. Plus Maradona should've tried opening with other options from the bench players(Milito, Veron...etc). A very poor defence with a zero level goalkeeper. I say he has zero ability of goalkeeping.

Posted by Sugeeth Joseph,kerala,india on 07/04/2010

i liked the tells what exactly happened..hope it wont happen for next world cup,but it ll be really tough as it is brazil...they ll be the best team in tat world cup but we ll have to try our best to grab the trophy in passion..hail argentina..

Posted by ngtitao on 07/04/2010

Argentina did sorely miss cambiasso and Zanetti. However, as much as people is blaming Maradona, I think the Argentine defense is a let down. They were lucky in the other four games as the attacking players made the oppositions too busy defending and never exploited the Argies defense frailties.

Heinze went up the wing and not effective in attack, and often left the defense open. The real culprit however, in my humble opinion is Romero. I rated him as the weakest keeper of this tournament. In all four goals, as much as we can blame Otamendi and others, we can also blame Romero. Notice that Romero failed to get to the ball in each of the goals. A keeper with better and faster reflexes would have prevented at least half of them from becoming goal. In the first goal, Romero let the ball slipped past him and he simply jerked. A good keeper did not jerk like that, but would have at least pushed the ball out if not grabbed hold of it firmly.

Posted by ngtitao on 07/04/2010

Even against Mexico, Romero was not impressive. The long range from the Mexican player which hit the woodwork was a lucky break for Romero, I'm so surprised that Romero failed to make any contact with that ball; The ball was aimed to the keeper and he jumped, but his hands were misplaced and the ball flew just pass his hands but to the crossbar.

Posted by KRIHNENDU MUKHERJEE on 07/04/2010


Posted by Gabriel7 on 07/04/2010

I would love to see these Argentina trio ( in a 4x3x3 formation) at Copa America Mauro Zarate , Lionel Messi and Aguero. Maradona take a vacation. At the bench Higuain, Lisandro Lopez and Tevez. Messi shoud play at is natural habitat (right or left winger) to make his incursions and unbalance the game. With Mauro Zarate the team would win even more speed and shooting power from the center, right and left. Aguero have made an excelent partnership with Mauro Zarate at the U-20 World Cup that Argentina won and I I’m sure they would repeat the same at any competition.

Posted by jp on 07/04/2010

From the start I could not understand why Diego does not take a natural right back to a World Cup. He played Guiterez there first and that was a shambles and it was Argentina's undoing in the end. Germany exposed the right side weakness and that was it. Zanetti and Cambiasso could have been a great asset. Sad but at this level little mistakes have heavy costs !!!

Posted by Kuntal on 07/04/2010

I watch world cup football from 1990 world cup when I was just 7 years old.I love Argentina since then In every World cup I hope our time has come. But every time I became disappointed. 1990, Poor referring. 1994 Mara dona tragedy. 1998 Ortega blunder. 2002 bielsa's tactical error. In my point of view, we had best chance in 2006. But again peckerman's error. He withdrew Riquelme & became extremely defensive. As a result we lost the dominance of midfield, & eventually Germany took the control of the game & we ended the with a defeat in penalty. Can any one explain where we do lack? Why can't we go past quarterfinal since 1990 when team like Netherlands can make it more than one time. I'm so hurt. Every time with argentina's exit I think I will not be that excited any more. But I can't check my emotion. Messsi, can you win us a world cup?

Posted by Jan on 07/04/2010

I don't understand this anger against Di Maria. i've watched him play a lot of times in the Portuguese League and Europa League and is much better than he showed. He looked tired and not in the best system for his talents. Besides, it wasn't his fault that Maxi Rodriguez( who had a horrible season for Atletico) was indeed the worst player in the field on Saturda.
For me, the one to blame is Maradona. My favourite player of all time but not a coach to bring the albiceleste back to where it belongs. Pure and simple. You can't win without midfielders. Like Cambiasso.

Posted by G on 07/04/2010

I cannot believe that you guys are blaming Messi for his performance. The formation against germany was a Joke there was a hole between defense & strikers. Messi had to go deep deep to get the ball, Tevez & di maria were shooting the ball from everywhere without passing. Had they have Pastore or even old man Veron, Messi would have more chances up front.

Posted by muni on 07/04/2010

Hi guys, all of you keep blaming the coach selection and those players left out. Forget about left out players as they are not getting younger to fit into the team in future.

For me, those players whom spotted by Sebastian for their worst performance shall take all the blame. As coach, Maradona made mistakes by not changing the attacking player once he knows those on field failed to pass thru GERMAN defenders.

By 25 mins, OTAMENDI (worst) should be out and Rodriguz covers right back. Messi should switch to right wing and bring in Veron in middle. Move Di Maria to left. Tevev & Veron as CAM and Higuin as lone striker.

If no change, at interval Di maria out and Sergio in. By 60 mins replaced Higuin with Milito. It would have took some time for German defenders to settle with this new attacking options and by the time they settle, Argentina would have scored and no time for German for counter a attack.

Now all gone. Seeing my IDIOL (MARADONA) brings glory has dashed. I'm SAD!

Posted by VALLUVARAJ on 07/04/2010

The Argentine midfielders could not make it as both forwards and defenders as the German counter-part did. Moreover we can't expect messi can do all the things lonely.He is not having physical strength as morodona had it.
I think the short passes in front of goal areas of both end cost very much against the stamina full German players. Argentina and Brazil failed to clear away the ball when it is in danger level.
In this aspect paraguay tackled the spain very well.
Anyhave this is the common problem for both Argentina and Brazil, for them both, world over fans like me. Purticularly the star players faced hardships with Gilany Balls in sending it in to the goals.

Posted by dieterdödel on 07/04/2010

Sorry guys, but what an analysis by your soccer commentators in that 20 or so min video (esp. by that guy in the middle)

Germanys soccer strength of course is the team spirit, but to say these guys individually have shown nothing, e.g. in the champions league, or aren't that great is a joke. Bayern München by the way was in this years final, so was Klose (1 goal away from being the best scorer ever in world cup history), so was Müller (20 years old,what a talent), so was Lahm (prob worlds best on his pos), so was Schweinsteiger (prob worlds best on his pos with xavi and iniesta), Badstuber (20 y), so was Butt (german goalkeepers been amongst the best now for 40 years), so was Gomez...AND by the way Marin, Özil, Podolski, Kroos, Khedira, Boateng, Tasci are all around 20 and have talent, that u have to look for very hard in other teams...HAVE DONE NOTHING IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. LOL. THEY WERE IN THE FINAL AND EVEN THE BETTER TEAM...

Posted by The Electric Gypsy on 07/04/2010

I was born in 1978,a few months after Argentina had won their first world cup.I was 8yrs old when Diego Maradona lifted the cup in 1986.I have since waited in vain for a repeat of that sight,no,not Maradona lifting the cup again(though this represented the best chance of that sight)but to see Argentina win the World Cup again.Honestly,I knew that we didnt stand a chance.But you cant blame me for believing.Or hoping,maybe against hope for that matter.The facts are plain and simple.We had a bad game.Never played as a team.Didnt have a manager,who was what one might call a manager.But despite all that,we ended up in the last eight.Maybe more so because of a easy draw.There is no doubt in my mind that Zanneti,Cambiaso,Riquelme etc could have made a difference.But Maradona thought otherwise.I am amazed that we didnt bring on Milito,and that Kun only came on for 5mins.By then it was all too late Diego.I salute you for what you did nonetheless,but sadly,it was never gonna be enough..

Posted by stagy on 07/04/2010

i read with disbelieve comments on how well Maradona failed. this has clearly shown people and what we wait to see. none made these comments until the fall of the Argentine team led by Diego. what more do we need; this same WC where stars are not respected, where best teams had had to go in group stages......can somone show with all seriousness that a man(diego) failed becos he lacked the tact to make Arg progress? England was ousted in similar fashion and this didnt make the head of CAPELO twist. we can only wait to see the best of this changed soul. Mourinho failed in CL with Chelsea but is celebrated today and a success. of a truth, the result is an aberation of the squad. why are we calling for the head of maradona when Messi failed to score just one goal in all the matches in SA? christiano left humbled-no comment was made. it is always easier to criticize. Maradona's decisions are his. let it be that he made a decision. this is football. brazil, france, italy.........all gone

Posted by GURU on 07/04/2010

nothing to say argentina missed great players like riquelme , cambiasso, zanetti and aimar. need to reap what you have sowed
lets wait another 4 years for messi to lift the world cup
hail messiiiiiiiiiiiii.......

Posted by otamendi stupid on 07/05/2010

Stupid tactics, stupid choice of players n that idiot otamendi!!..
Why leave all 3 great players like cambiasso, milito, riquelmi,zanetti all who have played very well for inter milan n won!! why change them?
pls get the tactics right, players, coach right for the next world cup n hopefully wont waste the valuable skills of argens again..
individual skills are great but work as a team are needed to be champions!!!
Someone from argentina football federation should look at ur mistakes n learn from them..

Posted by Anonymous on 07/05/2010

well-written article.
But the truth is, the german played the better football.
Dream on beliving the argentian players are better in technic, dream on beliving you are able to form a new team at 2014. Football always develops and you are living in the past, when Marandona was young and tricky.
The Germans can show every one whos eyes are open, what modern football means...this grows over years an needs a vision and a concept.
best regards to a wonderfull country

Posted by Mayjoybastian on 07/05/2010

The thing which pains me more is that the Germans were no where near to us in individual quality.
The goals scored by our 3 strikers in this season up will outnumber that scored by the entire german team in this season.
still we failed to score a single goal.

The main failure is that we failed to come up with a good game plan.
we found how we palyed against the mexicans ,who were not tactically perfect as germans,in the opening minutes.
And to have the same team against Germans who are very fast and love to attack from the very onset was suicidal.

We cant blame Messi for not scoring goals.
No one can say Messi failed to do what Maradona did in 86.
But it is true that Maradona failed to do what Carlos bilardo did back in 86.

Posted by Team XI on 07/05/2010

To those of you who called for Maradona to play Veron in this game! I can tell you that would be an even bigger mistake. Veron is too old and too slow for these young and hungry German midfielders. He would not be able to keep up with them, be huffing anf buffing by half time, and then Diego would have to waste one substitution on him anyway. Against teams like Greece, he would be alright, but not against this German team.

Posted by azhar on 07/05/2010

Match played and lost.Argentina need to learn the lesson and pick up the pieces.Learning what went wrong is far better than sacking coaches every year.

Posted by SeanP on 07/05/2010

Maradona is now choking on the words he used before the match. He took an ass-whooping that was well deserved and then some. Read this FOUR to ZERO...the worse loss for the Argentines...thanks to Maradona !!!

Posted by Anonymous on 07/05/2010

messi did not fail! no one can say that..he did his best he did what maradonna told him to do..messi cud nt sho his best because he did not have the support or the quality players that can play alongisde him.seriously, veron is no xavi maxi rodriguez is no iniesta.maradonna didnt even give a chance for pastore to start a game. the tactics maradonna used was lame..everyone wanted to play on their own no team work.this is not 1986! the way teams play football have changed now..messi cant win the wc single handedly like how maradonna did back then..everone has to work as a team to win it.i think that's what maradonna depended on.just indiviual quality. that is what he wanted to see by taking so many strikers to africa.he even had trouble deciding his starting eleven for the wc when all the other teams' coaches had decided. he was not sure of what he was doing! he actually didnt fully understand his team.thats why even in the wc he was experimenting his team by playing gutierrez as RB

Posted by pedro on 07/05/2010

Messi most over rated player ever in futbol! No way will he play better than his coach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Andrew on 07/05/2010

I'm not from Argentina but I'm a true Argentinian fan..It is sad to see them losing to the Germans...I do agree with you when Zanetti and Cambiasso was left out from the squad.I was shocked to hear that..Eventually, I have strong feeling that Argentina could be the one lifting the cup..but it was wasted...Hope the Albiceleste would bounce back stronger next round!

Posted by Ekram on 07/05/2010

i think pastury should be given a chance...

Posted by sam on 07/05/2010

Conclusions in retrospect:

1) Organized modern football keep winning matches in this WC

2) Real offence is built and starts from the transition of a diciplined, coordinated and well established defence

3) Argentina underestimated not only the teamwork of the Germans, but their talent in ball handling. Germany proved to have world-class defenders, midfielders and strikers.

4) If talent differences was not an issue, then its safe to conclude that most of Argentina's inferiority shown came from tactical, strategical and organizational deficiencies

5) If "luck" can be discarded, Argentina would have lost no matter who was at the pitch considering their tactical proposition showed. More should have been studied from the GER-SERB match

6) For a more graceful exit, Diego could have at least recognized Loew's brilliance in reading this game

I am disappointed of this result and hurt as many in here, but we were outclassed from top to bottom

We will miss you Seba! Thanx!

Posted by 2006 team are better on 07/05/2010

will remember the 26 passes goal in 2006 tournament.
2010 is a disappointing world cup for Argentinna. i just couldn't recall any goal scored by argentina are properly set up. it always with high percentage of luck in it. just a group of individuals that will never be a great team under current coach. though i am a big fan of him..

Posted by dieterdödel on 07/05/2010

Technically Özil, Schweinsteiger, Marin...are brilliant. A Norwegian newspaper wrote, that the first 6-8 minutes of the game were maybe the best soccer ever played. Maradonna must his pants :-)

But that can happen and no team can guarantee against another team of good qualita to dominate over 90 minutes straigt.

In modern football though, all have to work defensively as well as push forward to close the gaps when on the attack. If you look at Higuain or Messi or Schweinsteiger for example. Messi was defended by Schweinsteiger. At the 16th from one more who defended the space. But when getting the ball Schweinsteiger initiated the attack, even went far in the other half. Messi never defended, never came back, Higuain once or twice. A modern team on top level cannot bear this. A Messi has to be there aggressively as well and help his men, work the space...

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Sebastian Garcia was born just a few blocks from the place where a certain Diego Armando Maradona first kicked a football. Regretfully, Sebastian had to make do with punching some keys and writing about football. He worked for Clarin newspaper and ESPN in Buenos Aires before taking part in Press Operations in several major sporting events such as the Beijing Olympics, when Argentina won gold at the Birds Nest.

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