Blogs & Opinion


Striker surplus

Argentina have a wealth of talent up front

Features Posted 22nd June 2010 view comments

Every game from now onwards will eliminate teams.

Argentina, among the four most impressive teams (with Brazil, Portugal and Germany) will qualify on Tuesday regardless of the result, really.

Maradona's team, even if the Greeks are permitted a miracle and are the victors, will qualify due to superior goal difference, after a highly impressive performance against South Korea, the second best team in the group.

Argentina: top class forwards

Argentina: top class forwards

Will they win the world cup? No. Their defence has less pace than England's and less positional sense than a dyspraxic ant which has been nonchalantly flicked by a bored and particularly disturbed human being.

They'll beat Greece though. That's that sorted.

England woe

Just going to wade into the entire England debate, now. I'm still really angry about how bad they were on Friday, more angry, however, at the stick the manager gets.

"Their defence has less pace than England's and less positional sense than a dyspraxic ant which has been nonchalantly flicked by a bored and particularly disturbed human being."

Christopher Panks
Quotes of the week

Yes, Fabio should have played Joe Cole on the left, yes, Gerrard, our best player against USA was utterly incongruent marginalised on the wing, no, Heskey cannot score goals.

Despite these poor decisions, it is unfair to blame Capello. The first eleven which graced the pitch on Friday and the previous Saturday are the same players who have been deemed world class for the past decade, without any proof.

Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Ashley Cole, these are the same men who were labelled "world class players" in previous years. In their international careers to say they have underperformed, suggests they've performed at all, which is clearly unfair.

Under Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McLaren and now Fabio Capello, the SAME players have not developed or performed. As has become the case, the media are now heavily critical that the England have not lived up to the hype that the media themselves have created.

Objective

While I feel the familiar disappointment, it is tempered in comparison to recent major tournaments, researching and writing about a different nation has allowed me to be a little more objective.

England's two best players - Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney are not good enough to carry the rest to victory. The keeper is decided on who is the least worst rather than world beating, the defence is weak at best, when you compare the midfield to the depth the Spanish or Brazilians have it's abject at best and up front... well, up front I think we're weakest.

Wayne Rooney is brilliant, but look at them in comparison to Argentina, other than the only person in Argentina to make Maradona look slim, Martin Palermo, the remaining five strikers are as good or better than Rooney. Carlos Tevez, Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain start. Sergio Augero and European champion Diego Milito start on the bench. On the bench!

Not good enough

England start with Emile Heskey, who has scored less international goals than Jose Luis Chilavert or Rene Higuita, both goalkeepers. That's the difference. It's not altitude or the ball being "too round" (if the new design was a trapezoid I'd have more sympathy) English players are not good enough. Why do we think they are? The media blows them up. It blows them up to knock them down.

England will win on Wednesday though. They'll top the group, the mission will be accomplished. They'll reach the semi-finals, mark my words. Either way, bring the next round of games on, there's been too many limp matches. Do-or-die* scenarios will always heat things up.

*No pun intended North Korea

How do you think England compare with Argentina? Tell us YOUR VIEWS using the form below.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Chelsea in good shape for PSG

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is likely to have a strong squad to select from for their Champions League game with Paris Saint-Germain.

'Let's throw some punches'

New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says he is planning to install a more attacking approach at the club.

LVG: We must sign a midfielder

Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Manchester United will attempt to sign a creative midfield player this summer.

Live transfer updates

Live transfer news as Louis van Gaal makes the signing a creative midfielder his top priority this summer.

Bony trains with new team-mates

Wilfried Bony has trained with Man City for the first time after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast.

Features

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

As Tim Sherwood settles into his first day at work as Aston Villa manager, the challenge of keeping the Premier League perennials in the top flight begins.

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Only a fortnight after the transfer window closed, Louis van Gaal has set tongues wagging again by admitting that Manchester United need to sign a creative midfielder.

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Adam Bate looks at Xabi Alonso's fine form with Bayern Munich and why he can make history this season.