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Are Argentina better off without Tevez?

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Tim Vickery | 07:12 UK time, Monday, 23 May 2011

The stocky shadow of Carlos Tevez is likely to be cast all over the Copa America in Argentina this July.

The Manchester City striker will almost certainly not be picked for the tournament as Argentina coach Sergio Batista is apparently building a side without him.

He is attempting to create an imitation Barcelona, with Lionel Messi in the 'false number nine' role that Pep Guardiola invented for him with the Catalan club. The back-up is to use Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid as a target man striker.

Tevez, then, is not in the frame in his favourite centre forward role, and he is not a flank flier like Ezequiel Lavezzi and Angel Di Maria, Batista's other strikers in his 4-3-3 foprmation - though it would be no surprise if Sergio Aguero were to force his way in and play the David Villa role in Batista's Buenos Aires Barcelona.

And if Tevez is not going to be in the starting line-up, having him in the squad carries an obvious risk.

As fans of most of the teams he has played for can testify, Tevez is a moaner.

He never seems entirely happy anywhere. The glass is not only half empty, it is chipped as well.

tevezmessi595.jpgCan Argentina accommodate the different styles and strengths of Messi (left) and Tevez? Photo: Getty

Stuck on the bench, sulking on the sidelines, such a player can contaminate the team environment. A few months ago, Tevez mused about retiring from international football - and Batista needs people committed to the collective cause as he goes in search of Argentina's first senior title in 18 years.

And there is something else. Tevez also finds himself in the middle of the cold war between Batista and his immediate predecessor as coach of Argentina, a certain Diego Armando Maradona.

In recent times, no Argentina coach has had a reign as short as Maradona's 20-month rollercoaster. He walked into a trap when he took the job, if it worked, Argentina's eternal FA president Julio Grondona could claim the credit. If it failed, then Grondona had drawn the sting of a potentially uncontrollable critic.

Maradona took over a team in crisis, with one win in its previous seven World Cup qualifiers. Looked at in that light, he did a reasonable job getting the team to South Africa. Perhaps inevitably in the circumstances, the team he built was cautious and counter-attacking - one where he had to leave out Carlos Tevez.

The striker's poor run of form was one of the reasons Argentina were struggling. Twice in the campaign he was sent off in the first half. In all, he started 11 games, coming on once as a substitute - a managed just a single tap-in goal.

Indeed, his international record is unimpressive - 12 goals in 60 games. But Tevez and Maradona share a bond, they were both poor boys a 'born on the wrong side of the tracks' in Buenos Aries tracks, who went on to shine for Boca Juniors.

Crisis averted, Argentina safely in South Africa, Maradona could not resist the temptation. On the eve of the competition, Tevez was reinstated, a move which ended up de-structuring the team and leaving it wide open for the counter-attacks of the Germans.

The Veron-Messi link was sacrificed - and since Veron was also the man to head away set pieces at the near post, this also led to a defensive weakness which the Germans exposed within five minutes.

The long diagonal ball to Di Maria was forgotten, and Messi had to drop deep to initiate the play. Maradona destroyed his own ideas as a result of an emotional commitment to Tevez.

That bond is still intact. Tevez was the one player to protest openly about Maradona's sacking. Meanwhile, Batista and Maradona, old friends and teammates, were now feuding. "I'm low profile," said Batista, in an obvious jibe at his predecessor. "It's easy for Batista to be low profile," said Maradona. "If he so much as crosses the border and goes to Uruguay no one knows who he is."

Last week, Maradona was on the attack once more. Batista, he said, must be drunk if he is thinking of leaving out Tevez.

diego595.jpgThe once-friendly relationship between Batista and Maradona has deteriorated. Photo: Getty

Batista, meanwhile was saying that he had been too busy to bother watching Tevez knock in two screamers against Stoke City. Since then, though, he has carried out something of a strategic retreat - which is probably good politics, because Maradona is far from the only one in Argentina with a special weakness for Tevez.

Messi can stress as often as he likes that he is a fan of Newells Old Boys, he is from Rosario and he is an Argentine. But there is inevitably a certain distance between him and the people in the land of his birth.

Argentines are fiercely proud of his success, but every disappointing performance with the national team causes some to proclaim that Messi has become primarily a Catalan.

There are no such strains on their relationship with Tevez, even though the player has spent six years abroad. Before that he starred week in, week out with Boca Juniors, the most popular club in the country. He still bears the scars of his underprivileged upbringing.

People can find plenty to identify with in his defiant 'take me as you find me' approach. Messi might clearly be the better player, but in a run-off for the title of 'Argentine Idol,' Tevez would be in it to win it.

For this reason, Batista changed his tune. By the end of the week he confessed that he had been wrong not to visit Tevez when he recently sat down with some of his players on a brief European tour.

He also stressed that the door is not closed, and that even if Tevez is not called up for the Copa America, he may well return for the subsequent World Cup qualifiers.

In July, Argentina will be under plenty of pressure to bring their long dry run to an end. If things go wrong, then the absence of Tevez will be used a stick to beat Batista and his players.

If there is a risk in taking Tevez to the Copa America, then there is also a risk in leaving him out.

Comment on this blog below. Questions on South American football to, and I'll pick out a couple for next week.

From last week's postbag:

Q) I just wanted to ask about Brazilian footballer Jardel. I remember him at Porto, Galatasaray and Sporting as someone who banged in goal after goal after goal. I understand he was hugely successful at Vasco and Gremio as well and I remember some truly great finishing during his time in Europe.

He later appeared at Bolton for a short failed stint before moving on to various clubs around the world before playing again in the lower leagues in South America.

In my opinion he was a truly remarkable talent with a goal scoring ability that could have matched Romario - his decline of course coincided with being left out of the 2002 World Cup squad and he's never been a player of any merit since.
Why on earth was he left out of that squad ?
Dan Ray

A) A lesson in the need to have mind and body together in order to shine at the top level.

Target men centre forwards are not always the most popular type of player in Brazil.

Jardel was hated at Vasco and only flowered when he went to play for Gremio under Scolari, who kept arguing that he should have been in the Brazil squad.

Then in 2001 Scolari became coach of Brazil, called him up - and immediately slung him out. Already he was not the same player. I believe he suffered some psychological problems after the break up of a relationship, he lost physical sharpness, and, in fairness, he really didn't have the ability of a Romario to fall back on.

Q) There have been rumours on the internet that Arsenal have made a pre-contract agreement with Velez Sarsfield for their 23-year-old attacking midfielder Ricky Alvarez. If this is true, could he be a successful player for Arsenal, and what do you make of him?
Yousef Teclab

A) I like him. Lanky left footed midfielder with some class about him. No express pace for a wide role, but can tuck in and shoots well. He has had some injury problems, though.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Some people tend to blame the reinstatement of Tevez causing the loss to Germany in World Cup. But, before the Germany game, everything went well, Argentina were winning games, those people didn't even complain then.

    Nevertheless, there were some signs of imbalance with Argentina team before the Germany game. Whether it was Tevez the one to blame, or Maradona couldn't see the danger of imbalance or Maradona didn't have enough experience to play the 4-3-3 formation, or there were other reasons, is up to debate.

    However, if Barcelona can use three not-so-tall strikers in David Villa, Messi and Pedro within 4-3-3 formation, without problem of beating any team, why would there be a problem using Messi, Tevez and Higuain at the same time?

    It is about how good you use the players, not about a single player (in this case Tevez) taking all the blame of the failure in World Cup.

    Same thing, if Barcelona can use all not-so-tall strikers (Messi, Villa, Pedro, Bojan) without problem of scoring goals, without even worry about disadvantage dealing with balls in the air, why would there be a problem using only Messi and Tevez as strikers?

    It's true that Tevez's scoring record is quite average with international team, but don't forget, Messi also has gone through a very long period without scoring a single international goal, right until he scored the winning goal in the 1-0 win against Brazil in 2011 friendly game.

    This proved that, when the strikers having problem to score goals, not just Tevez, but Messi as well, then it could be some problems with the team performance as a whole. The strikers can easily be the scapegoats of not scoring without looking deeply into the problems within the team. In other words, poor team performance affect individual performance of the strikers.

    Also, it is quite bizarre that Batista wants to build the Argentina team to play like Barcelona. For God sake, why would he want to copy Barcelona style for the national team? Argentina team is their national pride and should have their own attacking style, instead Batista bizarrely declared he wants to build the team like Barcelona, which hinted current Argentina team is inferior to Barcelona team. You really have to question his pride as a national coach!

    And as the best player in the world Messi should be able to play and adapt himself nicely in ANY team without a problem. Why Batista needed to build the Argentina team like Barcelona to suit Messi? No wonder some people question whether Messi is really the best without Barcelona! Batista as a national coach should be wiser than this.

    But one thing for sure, Tevez's behaviour is such a pain in the ass. If he behaved himself with less moaning and concentrated to become the best, he would become the best. He is wasting his time with his behaviour off the pitch and missed the chance to be the best time and time again. His character is ruining his chance.

  • Comment number 2.

    I used to love his spirit, his loyalty to his upbringing. Like all other Man United fan, I also wanted him to stay with us. Well, Sir Alex was right not to sign him, wasn't he!! What motivates this guy? Only money? He gained love of the fans wherever he played, yet he throws them away at the end of every season. Unbelievable!

  • Comment number 3.

    I really don't like Tevez anymore, when he moved to City, he made out as if United didn't want him, which was not the case as we had put in a bid.
    And when he is at City, he makes all these noises about missing his family back in Argentina. OK, so you say, so why not move back to Argentina where your family is?
    But no, he wants to be in Spain or Italy, which, although it might cut off a couple hours from the flight time, but anyone with half a brain can see that he's just out for more money and limelight again.

  • Comment number 4.

    I dont understand why sergio aguero is not being spoken about here, his scoring record isn't to shabby 74 goals in 175 games for athletico and 9 in 25 for argentina. he also offers more if argentina really want to imitate barca, as he is a great passer and is brilliant with the ball at his feet.....

  • Comment number 5.

    You can see why he wants to build a team round Messi though! As good as Tevez is, messi is better and if doesnt fit around that axis then hs should drop him. Anything else and your undermining your own strategy, like ou say maradona done.

  • Comment number 6.

    Moonsoul, Higuain is over six foot.

  • Comment number 7.

    @1. Moonsoul

    What makes Barcelona so good is that they have 3 midfielders who can pass the ball better than anyone else and can do it at a high tempo for 90 minutes which means the opposition is left chasing shadows so in the end all the 3 forwards have to do is time their runs and put the ball in the back of the net. If watch Messi for Barcelona he does very little running.

    With due respect to Veron he is no Xavi and never has been. This lack of service means Messi has to drop deep to get the ball instead of loitering in front of the oppositions back 4. By dropping deep it showed that Messi was a world class goal scorer but a mediocre goal creator.

    Germany exploited Argentina's inability to play at a high tempo with fast counter attacking football which in turn was nullified by the Spanish who a) were able to play at a high temp in midfield and b) The German manager was tactically out thought by Del Bosque, which was clear by the little smile by Del Bosque after the final whistle who hardly ever smiles even after winning the world cup.

    As for Tevez he is a player who needs to be man-managed. He isn't a team player but will work hard. Whatever team he plays in he will score goals but needs to be, like Ronaldo at Real Madrid, told how good a player he is, how much he is needed, how much he is loved and how the teams success is down to him. If he is told this I think he would run through brick walls for the team, if he isn't told this he will be a negative influence off the pitch. I think this attitude of a number of South American players who come from poor backgrounds. It is almost a chip on the shoulder. I would draws parallels with Baptista who now plays for Malaga who was a negative influence who for a few big clubs but now he is a big fish in a small pond now has the love needs to be able to enjoy his football and now is scoring goals for fun and kept Malaga in La Liga.

  • Comment number 8.

    I had a conversation about Tevez whilst watching the final games of the prem yesterday. I really question his attitude, every club he's been at, he or his management have manufactured a move away despite all his badge kissing and proclamations of love, yet the fans always seem to love him. He's a great player who works hard when he's on the pitch which obviously buys him some kudos but if I were a city fan, I'd be sick and tired of reading stories about his latest reason to leave the club.

  • Comment number 9.

    @4. Iveo1513

    Your right about Sergio Aguero. He is a fantastic player. Low centre of gravity, strong, great technique and a ruthless finisher. What might work against him for Argentina is that he his Maradona's son-in-law. Stranger things have happened.

  • Comment number 10.

    i think if he was at a bigger club there would be no problem with agueros inclusion, i don't like the way this hampers his international chances he has been a prolific goal scorer for years and it seems the only reason he hasnt moved on is that he loves his club

  • Comment number 11.

    Argentina have an embarrassement of riches up front , thats for sure...and they can't all play in the side !

    I've very rarely seen Tevez play well for Argentina to be honest, and if Batista is trying to emulate Barca's style of play, then leaving Tevez out, is probably a wise move.

    I can also understand why Batista wants to emulate this style of play, as it will suit Messi the worlds best player, and will have a better chance of getting the best out of him..

    As stated in previous comments, during the WC, Messi was too often having to drop deep to get the ball...too far away from the opposition goal to do any damage.

    I think using Aguero as a "Villa" in the Argentina set up could also work...Check out the goals he scored for Atleti against Mallorca on Saturday..a truely superb hatrick !

  • Comment number 12.

    i think if he was at a bigger club there would be no problem with agueros inclusion

    Just a note that Atletico Madrid ARE a big club ! Generally considered the 3rd biggest club in Spain after R Madrid and Barca !

  • Comment number 13.

    One thing I don't understand - if Batista wants to model Argentina on Barcelona then surely mobile, small forwards like Tevez (and Aguero) are exactly what he needs to play the David Villa/Pedro type roles in that shape. It's the big centre forward/poacher like Diego Milito and Higuain that don't quite fit into that formation (hence Ibrahimovic's 'failure' at Barcelona as well)

    Also the writer in the letter who suggests that Jardel's talent was comparable to Romario? That's like comparing Les Ferdinand to Samuel Eto'o...

  • Comment number 14.

    @1 I think you are right. You want to respond Tim?

  • Comment number 15.

    Batista certaintly has the right players in attack if he wants to emulate Barca. Lavezzi is almost a copy of Villa who will cut in from the left as he is a striker like villa. we have seen Di Maria cut in from the right and cause mayhem, his goal against spurs shows a good example of thisagain,he is like the bqrc. right wingers pedro, so I can see why Batista would want to drop Tevez. getting the best out of Messi has to be Batistas main objective. His downfall however will be his full backs. he hasn't got a dani alves type player .hopefully a midfield full of quality such as mascherano,pastoreandperhapsgagowillmake up f

  • Comment number 16.

    Your right that if he played at a bigger club there wouldn't even be a debate but this is the same for all top players who want to play international football. He probably does need to play in the Champions League more though to give him a better chance.

    To go to a bigger club he probably have to leave Spain and only a handful of clubs can afford his wages so that really only leaves Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

    He probably does love Atleti which is why he wouldn't go to Real Madrid or Barcelona.

  • Comment number 17.

    atheltico do not play much in the champions league and thats were the players are truly challenged athletico won the europa league against fulham last year, yes but this does not make them a big club and when they get there chance in the champions league they seem to fail. On malito his age may count against him although he is not very old now by the time the world cup comes around again he will be

  • Comment number 18.

    @Soria Saint- Messi not a great chance creator? He's got more assists over the last 3-4 years than Xavi and Iniesta combined! Just a thought...

    Atletico are a bit of an up and down team in Spain, Often find themselves mid table for most of the season before recovering to get Europe. Would love to see Aguero in the Prem but can't see it happening. Would do well in a Barce style formation but I think Batista will prefer Di Maria and Lavezzi as both naturally drop wider for their clubs, as a Pedro and Villa do.

    Surely Banega is perfect for the Xavi role? You've talked him up a lot in recent times Tim. Is there any other good centre mids coming through (younger than a Veron) that can compliment him?

  • Comment number 19.

    Atletico are a big club. The best description is that they are like Manchester City as in a big club living the shadow of a bigger club. Their problem is they are extremely mismanaged club. Year on year they should be qualifying for the Champions League and how they let a manager like Quique Flores leave is beyond be.

    They have two world class strikers and a future Spanish no1 goalkeeper. The rest invented the word mediocre. They really should have a better squad.

  • Comment number 20.

    To have a better squad they need to be in the Champions league year in year out

  • Comment number 21.

    At 10:43 23rd May 2011, jstan wrote:

    Atletico are a bit of an up and down team in Spain, Often find themselves mid table for most of the season before recovering to get Europe.

    As I said this shouldn't happen. If they were administered properly the would qualify for the Champions League every year. Everything is in place, Enormous fan base and large stadium but the board is more interested in taking money out of the club than investing in the team. And losing Quique Flores.......

  • Comment number 22.

    @Soria Saint

    Totally agree, tis a shame, seem to be a bit of a feeder club for great players and I fear that people like Aguero, De Gea etc will leave just as they are becoming World Class players.

    There are so many clubs you can look at today, both abroad and in England that you think, if they had held on to the players they've sold over the last 3, 4 seasons that they themselves have made... Welcome to modern day football though

  • Comment number 23.

    The Gil family still pretty much own Atleti, with their puppet president Cerezo.

    And the Gil family are lets say "bad apples"

    Atleti fans want them out of the club

  • Comment number 24.

    anyway back to s american football...Tim won't be too impressed with all this chat about spanish footy on his blog ! lol

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Tim,

    If Batista creates an imitation Barcelona, which players do you think are best equipped to play the Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta roles in midfield?

  • Comment number 26.

    Furthermore, do you see a roll for Pastore in a 4-3-3 formation?

  • Comment number 27.

    Oh yeah forgot about Pastore, the boy is quality (from the little I've seen of him). Esterban still has some years in him.

    Banega Pastore

    Messi Di Maria

    With Lavezzi pulling out wide, Messi coming inside, rotating all the time? Aguero, Higuain could replace Lavezzi though I'm not sure Higuain's natural movement would compliment the others. Not a bad option to have though.

    What England would do for just one of these top 5, or one of those centre mids!

  • Comment number 28.

    Tevez is in a difficult personal situation. He wants, understandably, to be near his 2 daughters who live with his estranged wife in Buenos Aires, but who in Argentina can afford his transfer fee to take him back? Secondly, any Argentine coach has to decide to play either Tevez or Messi and how can who leave the Worlds best player Messi out of your international team?
    Argentina's loss in the World Cup was more down to Maradona's poor selection of defenders than anything else. He ended up with an average centre back playing right back and persisted with Heinze at left back despite the fact that his tackling ability is very poor as well.
    For sure Man City need Tevez much more than he needs them and if he should go then they will have a heck of a problem trying to replace. He electrifies the team.

  • Comment number 29.

    @28 I think Maradona was playing an average left winger (Gutierrez) playing right back?

  • Comment number 30.

    "He is attempting to create an imitation Barcelona, with Lionel Messi in the 'false number nine' role"

    Aguero, Tevez, Higuain, Di Maria etc, all have the abilty to immitate David Villa and Pedro like roles so I don't think it matters which two acompany Messi in an attacking 3... Argentina don't have players who can replace Xavi and Iniesta in the middle of the park and this is why they should develop their own style of play without copying Barcelona!

  • Comment number 31.

    Was thinking the very same thing myself a week or two ago, Tim, but I don't want to go down the road of the bemused Man Utd fans incredulous that one of their idols, i.e. Eric Cantona, could possibly have been overlooked by the coach, Aime Jacquet, of the French national team that was to go on to win the World Cup. All I can say is, that City were making heavy weather of CL qualification, but from the moment CT came on 15 mins from the end of the Spurs game, it was comparative plain sailing, as you point out, epitomised with the 2 superb goals against Stoke.

    I have to admit, I get p'd off with all the baggage, but the bottom line is what is most important, and that is that Carlos gives his all when he plays for Man City, shares this season's PL Golden Boot, and, most importantly, is in Garth Crooks PL Xl for the season!

    Like you, I don't remember seeing him play for Argentina like he does for City. How many times have we said that kind of thing about other players? I don't know if it's because of the way the national team play, but like Cantona, Carlos sometimes seems a little aloof from the rest of the team, and very single minded in his football, accommodated by a perhaps desperate club coach, but not by not such a desperate national one. It might just be bad timing, but if you look on the City website at the social activities, you very rarely see Carlos' face, which might be the case again today. I find that disappointing, but his grinning contribution to an FA Cup and automatic CL place overrides that.

  • Comment number 32.

    I think Argentina definitely have nothing to lose from playing like Barcelona, obviously Argentina are inferior to Barcelona for two improtant reasons, firstly they dont play together every week and secondly they have a poor defence.

    The argentina attacking line up of Pastore, Banega, Di Maria, Lavezzi & Messi would challenge any country and there is plenty of backup in Aguero, Gago, Higuain, Maxi & Milito but there are just no good defenders and goalkeepers at the moment with Ustari, Romero, Otamendi, Fazio, & Garay not improving as much as you would have expected. Are there any goalkeepers & defenders playing in Argentina that could realistically make the grade?

  • Comment number 33.

    Tremendous summary of Argentina's current state of affairs... I was able to see Argentina take on the US in late March, what a wonderful attacking side Batista has constructed, even Mascherano is buying into the program, dropping very deep to sure up the defense. Messi has found a partner in crime in Ever Banega... the only one I'm not so sure about is Higuain, personally I would prefer the still uncapped Maxi Lopez, who in my book, has the prerequisite "Batistuta-like" swagger to be Argentina's target man.

    I was never a fan of Tevez, even that World Cup goal against Mexico was clearly offside --- to me all he brings to the table is that street urchin chip on his shoulder, Argentina needs to forget about that, there are enough players to form a dangerous side, not only reminiscent of Guardiola's Barcelona, but a side that sweep aside all CONMEBOL pretenders (Brazil, Paraguay & Uruguay) aside... provide of course that Batista continues with this project as is, and doesn't contaminate it with Tevez's surly attitude.

  • Comment number 34.

    As a Man City fan i know that Tevez does as most of you say need the love, but i think mancini, the fans, and the players have give him that. As for the Argie's they should play Tevez up front with Aguero and Messi of him they have good midfielders like Cambiasso, Di Maria, Mascherano, Pastore, and Niclas Gaitan, Although Veron should Retire from Internationals, they can play the barca way although it's not as easy to copy as the barca players have played together for years not easy to copy with a team patched together every now and then, espesially with all those ego's that's not just Tevez's fault. Bottom line if you leave Tevez out you better win.

  • Comment number 35.

    Tim, great piece, I have a few questions that spring from it.

    As a previous poster mentioned, Its the midfield 3 at Barca that really make them tick. Who in Argentina's team has the unenviable task of trying to do what Xavi and Iniesta do? I imagine Masch fits into the Busquet role.

    Secondly, what does Aguero have to do to get into the Argentina side? I think hes superior to Lavezzi and offers more than Higuain if they are aiming for a purely Barca style.

    Lastly, and I think this is the kicker, is it really viable for a national side to adopt the Barca style? National sides have very little time with each other. It took Barca years to perfect their style. I have a feeling we could see glimpses of greatness from Argentina in this style but they would eventually revert to something else in the tournament, or fail.

    Fully agree with the Tevez decision if it happens. If hes not being used, hes better out than in and Argentina have so many talents up front. However, if it fails, Batista will get a battering and Tevez will become undroppable after that I'd imagine.

  • Comment number 36.

    Like all fans of the teams Tevez has played for they all love him when he is in their team and frequently, but not always, protest at his disloyalty when he leaves.
    He didn't make football what it is now, a money game and cannot be blamed for treating it with disdain.
    He does a great job wherever he goes and earns every penny the clubs are prepared to throw at him.
    I am a Man City fan of old and now simply follow a club that is in reality nothing more than a rich families toy thing.
    Man City fans are grateful that he has graced their club and contributed massively to helping us to a champions league place and winning the FA Cup.
    As far as can be seen he loves his football and his real family and I for one admire the fact that Tevez belongs to no one but himself and them.

  • Comment number 37.

    If Batista wants a Barcelona 'Lite' then something along the lines of this would suffice


    Diaz Samuel Musacchio Monzon

    Banega Aued

    Aguero Lavezzi

    Sorted !!

  • Comment number 38.

    I think every manager is entitled to build his squad the way he likes it. Like Tim said, Tevez is not a guy who will sit on the bench and patiently wait for his opportunity to come and play. Maradona himself should know this, as Bilardo always built his team around him and left players such Ramon Diaz out (Italy 1990).
    Nevertheless, a player with the quality of Tevez should not be left out of any 22 man roster.

  • Comment number 39.

    I think it is a good idea to keep Tevez out. Even otherways, for his off field character, he was the person who lost a lot of important balls, at dangerous points, in the world cup.
    If there is any team, who can emulate Barca, other than Spain obviously, I would say it is Argentina. They were good in possession play - remember 2006 WC specifically - and now with the kind of talent they have they are well suited. Of course, there is no Xavi and Iniesta, but if the team gets some time to gel, Banega - Pastore - Messi would make a brilliant trio.

  • Comment number 40.

    With all respect, the 'false' nr.9 that Guardiola created for Messi really is the false nr.9 Cruyff created for himself at Ajax, and then exported the idea to Barça

  • Comment number 41.

    @7. SoriaSaint

    If you watch Messi for Barca he does very little running? Are you actually serious? Messi is the perfect example to any kid who is learning to play the game, he chases back when he doesnt have the ball, he makes runs the whole game and is constantly on the move.

    You couldn't be further from the truth

  • Comment number 42.

    @13 - Les Ferdinand, 5th highest scorer in the history of the Premiership???

  • Comment number 43.

    @1.At 09:14 23rd May 2011, Moonsoul wrote :And as the best player in the world Messi should be able to play and adapt himself nicely in ANY team without a problem. Why Batista needed to build the Argentina team like Barcelona to suit Messi?

    *** It's not about Messi adapting to another style of play..believe Me..i've seen Messi defending briliantly, assisting numerous goals,very effective in wings and o/s false #9 and he is everywhere on the point is Messi does not have to adapt to any style..rather what Batista is trying to do is to get the BEST out of Messi which is going to benefit the whole team as a whole !!!.This is a risk he has to take if he wants to win Big games.

    **** As for why Batista needs(try) to build Argentinian team like Barcelona is simply because its the style where you can get the most out of Messi's talent as seen in most Barcelona games(if you watch them you will understand) !!!

  • Comment number 44.

    @36 aka_bluepeter

    'I for one admire the fact that Tevez belongs to no one but himself and them.'

    Ha ha, take it you've never heard of MSI or Kia Joorabchian!!

  • Comment number 45.

    Tim some of your words are venomous and lack objectivity. I think your evident perceptions towards Tevez clouded your analysis. I couldn't even finish it. Yes Tevez may have an intimidating temperament but i argue that no player works for the team as much as he does. The guy is class. I personally think it will be Argentina's loss if they don't pick him...

    With Tevez you are guaranteed a 100% performance. Not many players can do that irrespective of their caliber. The job of a manager is to also integrate such players into the system without upsetting the rhythm of the team. I guess that's where the likes of Mourinho, Fergie, Mancini and co... earn their money. I think this Batista guy may not last long if he can't handle different personalities..

    "As fans of most of the teams he has played for can testify, Tevez is a moaner."
    What an outrage?
    Tim you can do better man....

    Sorry to sound patronizing but some of your inference are just too baseless to ignore

  • Comment number 46.

    '"As fans of most of the teams he has played for can testify, Tevez is a moaner."
    What an outrage?'

    Agree with Time and don't see the outrage in him being labelled a moaner. I recall his 'me, me, me' shenanigans whilst at United pretty well.

    He works hard on the pitch and is a team player in that regard but the second he comes off it, boy can he moan and whine.

  • Comment number 47.

    I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on Colombia taking advantage of the fantastic form that Falcao, Guarin and James Rodrigues have recently displayed at Porto. Do you think Colombia could (or even should) try to recreate Porto's style and take advantage of the fact that these three players play together every week (with great results)? Maturana, probably Colombia's most remembered coach, has come out and said that attempting to immitate Porto's style would go against Colombia's "footballing tradition" (think Valderrama and the #10/possesion/passing game). For as much as I'm grateful for what Maturana has contributed to Colombian football, I think this is a weak argument. It's a bit like saying that Spain should not take advantage of Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro and company because playing like Barcelona would go against Spanish footballing identity. I, for one, would love to see Colombia do well in the Copa America, even if our play somewhat resembles that of Porto. I'm tired of being SA's perennial underachievers and I think 40 million other Colombians might agree.



  • Comment number 48.

    ' Time '

    oopsy, Tim I mean

  • Comment number 49.

    45 - can't see anything baseless about calling Tevez a moaner - where hasn't he had a moan? And what else in the piece is 'baseless'

    fine player, but then the job of the national team coach is not the pick the best 11 - but to find the best blend. Based (not baseless!) on the record of Tevez for Argentina, Batista is probably entitled to give it a try without him.

  • Comment number 50.

    47 - i wonder if colombia can get the ball forward quickly enough to get the best out of Falcao Garcia, who is not great back to goal.

    I understand your frustration with Maturana's comments though - especially because i don't really know what colombia's identity is any more - for my mind that's one of their big problems.

  • Comment number 51.

    Firstly Congrats on us winning the league for the 19th time...

    But come on man, Tevez wanted to stay at Man Utd with all his heart. But Fergie messed the situation up, even though everyone avoids to say that....

    Tevez gave all to us. To think we paid 30 mill for Berba and let Tevez go still puzzles me up to this point...

    Berba just looked like a player resigned for the exit door yesterday...

  • Comment number 52.

    On the 'Buenos Aires Barcelona' thing - the key player is Banega, who links up so well with Messi.
    Why on earth he didn't go to the World Cup is a question only Maradona can answer - and one he should perhaps ponder before attacking the selection policy of his successor.

  • Comment number 53.

    Argentina play like BArcelona? Sorry but they don't have players with the ball skills of Alves, Pique, Abidal at the back, or Busquets Xavi, iniesta in the middle, or Pedro and Villa upfront. The Barca game is all about being good on the ball so you can receive it under pressure, keep it, and pass it. And they have these qualities right through the team, in every position. No other team can play like they do at the moment.

    Tevez is cut out for the PL. He is all about fight, blood and thunder. For me, the best player in the PL this season, by a mile. Would I like to have him in my international side? Not really. Same goes for Drogba and Rooney. International football is a different animal to the PL.

  • Comment number 54.

    'But come on man, Tevez wanted to stay at Man Utd with all his heart.'

    and? He might have wanted to stay at United but doesn't excuse his selfish behaviour such as doing a moaning media interview prior to a important game during the run in, in his last season. Doesn't excuse him making a game all about himself, when he waved goodbye to the fans when being subbed, when the game wasn't over and there are 10 team mates out there as well as the sub coming on. Constant moaning to the press during the season about United not signing him yet permanently.

    On the pitch, great but the minute he comes off it, he can bit of a selfish and repetitive moaner.

    Even City fans I know, know he is like this at City as well.

  • Comment number 55.

    "where hasn't he had a moan?".......maybe I'm missing the point when you say he was moaning. Tevez never did what Rooney did and yet it's easy for you media to generalize on what the fans feel for Tevez. Tevez never says the things Ronaldo uttered to his Real madrid teammates. That's what i meant by "baseless".

    It's like me saying, I hear many of your colleagues think that you are such a moaner... That to me is a bold statement that should not be casually. Just because you perceive so doesn't mean he is.

    Although impractical, you will need to produce any statistical significance for such a claim before unfairly crucifying him.

    I see many worse footballers, attitude wise, being glorified by the media and yet people like Tevez who give their all, are "unfairly" targeted. I think that's a bit misguided Tim. No wonder we now have the twitter debacle. I attribute it to rampant abuse of journalistic privileges. No wonder you don't see anything wrong.

    Which player have you talked to that explicitly or implicitly alluded to Tevez being "toxic" to the dressing room environment.

    Tim I know it's a blog, but a bit of factual analysis will make it more intriguing.

  • Comment number 56.

    Tim.. what do you think will be the impact of Brazil losing Pato for Copa America?

    Mano Menezes, please don't repeat the system with no real striker : Neymar-Robinho he used against Argentina in Doha, or Dentinho-J.Henrique he used once in Corinthians against Sao Paulo and it failed miserably..

    You don't need to change your system because you are facing stronger opponents.. well, even if you do, maintain a #9 Striker please!

  • Comment number 57.

    'Tevez gave all to us. To think we paid 30 mill for Berba and let Tevez go still puzzles me up to this point...'

    Doesn't puzzle me at all. Based on Tevez's form at United, no thanks to Tevez, as like Berba, he wasn't showing £30m form either. A different and really good animal at City though.

  • Comment number 58.

    'Tevez never did what Rooney did'

    But Tevez did put in a transfer request during the season.

  • Comment number 59.

    Anyhoo, I'll leave it at that as this Tevez thing has been quite tediously repetitive in the past.

  • Comment number 60.


    Tevez is a winner, I will rather have someone who enters the field and does what he does best than the constant sulking from Berba. Always remonstrating to his teammates although I feel sorry for him as He seems to have fallen out of favor with Sir Alex Fergie.

    I don't know whether you have played football on a professional level before. Because to play well and yet get overlooked by the manager is the most frustrating thing. Tevez would always earn his place and yet by default Fergie would overlook him.

    C. Ronaldo, Rooney, Drogba, etc can't take that. why should a hungry footballer like Tevez accept that.

    As for the media outbursts it's easy to make him the scape goat now. But I don't think things are that simple. Every time SAF came out he would try to pin the blame on Tevez, regarding the contract. So any human being would try to clear his name. Which is why I don't see why you are blaming him on that. Let's not forget that these players get asked such questions by the media. so why wasn't he supposed to defend his name...

    By the way I respect our Legendary Manager but that doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge his faults. He is human after all.

    With him falling out with Berba it just goes to show that the Tevez saga was a bit of rare oversight from him. I won't gloss it.

  • Comment number 61.

    "Messi might clearly be the better player"

    Wee bit of a contradiction here, Tim, No?

  • Comment number 62.

    Gonzalo Higuain 7 in 13, Messi 16 in 55, Tevez 12 in 58 (Tim 60??), Aguero 9 in 25, Lavezzi 0 in 10 & Angel Di Maria 3 in 18. Stats speak for itself.
    Maradona had his tactics wrong hope Batista doesn't do likewise. Also hope his feud with Diego wouldn't affect his judgement when it comes to Aguero & Tevez

  • Comment number 63.

    No talk of Juan Roman Riquelme. I know he's been out of the national side for 4 years. But Tim will he be any good to the side if Batista still wants to play Barca-like soccer to accomodate Messi's strengths?

  • Comment number 64.

    I don't think any blame lies with Tevez in the world cup. Indeed in the Argentina game I watched in South Africa Tevez was on fire. He overshadowed hatrick hero Higuain and Messi. The issue I believe lay with defensive strategies. In the earlier games of the world cup Guttierez was playing a right back! This shows maradona's contempt for defensive priorities.
    This season Tevez has been the most consistent striker in english football. He has also the shared golden boot with Berbatov. This bearing in mind Tevez missed a fair chunk of the season injured.
    Tevez would be an asset to any team in the world, that I have no doubt.

  • Comment number 65.

    Tim, feeling brave enough to comment on FIFA corruption? Do you have any thoughts on this?
    After all the BBC are running a Panorama programme tonight on FIFA corruption.

  • Comment number 66.

    61 - what happens when you take a line out of context.

    Messi might clearly be the better player, BUT (as the line procedes) Tevez is closer to the Argentine heart.

    Get to the second half of the sentence, and the contradiction magically disappears!

  • Comment number 67.

    Tim, what are your thoughts on a potential Copa Libertadores final between Santos and Penarol?

    It's a rematch of the original South American giants/the 1962 World Cup final. Is it ridiculous to compare the individual modern matchup of Neymar vs. Olivera to Pele vs. Alberto Spencer in the 1960s?

  • Comment number 68.

    Tim, what are your thoughts on a potential Copa Libertadores final between Santos and Penarol?

    It's a rematch of the original South American giants/the 1962 Libertadores final. Is it ridiculous to compare the individual modern matchup of Neymar vs. Olivera to Pele vs. Alberto Spencer in the 1960s?

  • Comment number 69.

    67/8 - let's wait for the semis first - there would indeed be something romantic about a meeting between the first two winners of the Libertadores, but Velez Sarsfield might take some stopping (and Cerro Porteno will be crazy to spring a surprise)

    62 - Tevez has played 8 World Cup matches, 20 qualifiers, 12 Copa America games and 20 friendlies - don't ask me to list them, but it adds up to 60!

  • Comment number 70.

    Thanks Tim won't agrue with you on that. Several sources including Wikipedia gave me 58 games. Dunno if they were listed as B friendlies though.

  • Comment number 71.

    @31 - Its curious you mention Cantona. The only French manager to ever really understand him was Platini - mainly because of their shared heritage and upbringings. You could make similar comparisons to Maradona and Tevez. Critics obviously suggested that the only reason he started was the fact that Maradona could be the one to 'unlock' the Tevez enigma. Never really worked in the same sense that the Platini-Cantona relationship did. I stlll think it was Maradona's loyalty to Tevez that undid them at the WC. You need to be bit ruthless at international level and put aside personal differences and allegiances. If that had happened we might have seen Riquelme playing instead.

    @55 - There is a general reason why Tevez only ever seems to last two or three seasons at one club. He is never happy.

    Back when he was in Brazil with Corinthians, Tevez complained incessantly to the media back home that he was the victim of some bizarre refereeing plot against him, purely because he was an Argentine in Brazil. He then went on a warpath with the club management, the Brazilian press, the FA, the fans and anyone else that would stand in his way so he could engineer a move to Europe.

    Prior to that in 2003, when at Boca - he threatened to sue the Argentinian FA because they attempted to prevent him from playing in the World Trophy thingy in Japan against Milan. He also had a fairly high profile falling out with the Boca coach as well (Bianchi I think it was?)

    His record in England is also fairly checkered. Walked out after being subbed in a West Ham match against Sheffield United in 2006 and wasn't exactly happy sitting on the bench at Man U. I think had it not been for the third-party/loan deal and Sir Alex Ferguson he wouldn't have lasted beyond a season at Old Trafford.

    Now again at City we have the whole transfer-request/home-sickness/Mancini falling-out shebang. He's like a broken record.

    You can play the pedant game all you like, but a guy with this track record deserves to be labeled as a moaner. It doesn't mean he is a bad player and the fans and/or players dislike him. The West Ham fans probably have a more rosy picture of him than most Corinthians fans do. That's just football. A great player nonetheless, but it still doesn't detract away from his influence - which I like I say can be fairly reckless if you want to start building a team.

  • Comment number 72.

    Tevez is the kind of player, or better, the kind of person, that will never be truly happy anywhere. If he goes to Real, Barça, Inter or whatever, pretty soon he'll be complaining too. He seems to have too much of a high opinion of his talents, maybe see himself as better than Messi, so being treated as anything less than the best player and playing in the best team won't be enough.

    And in the future, when he's either retired or approaching the end of his career, he'll complain that people used him, that they don't give him the proper respect, etc.

    #56- Brazil still has Leandro Damião, a very promising player (a more traditional #9), Fred, who is more experienced, but is as injury-prone as Pato, and Nilmar, who Menezes doesn't seem to like for some reason, despite the fact he scored and played very well when he had the chance of playing a few minutes under him.

  • Comment number 73.

    This just in: Apparently Aguero is leaving Atletico madrid to go play for..... Real Madrid!

  • Comment number 74.

    The Tevez situation is a tricky one. He's one of the best players in the world, but has often underperformed for Argentina. It's sad to see him ostracised, but I think we need to give Batista's plan time to develop.

  • Comment number 75.

    It Much is interesting written. Thank you.

  • Comment number 76.

    71.At 22:42 23rd May 2011, Aarfy_Aardvark - save 606 wrote:
    @31 - Its curious you mention Cantona. The only French manager to ever really understand him was Platini - mainly because of their shared heritage and upbringings. You could make similar comparisons to Maradona and Tevez. Critics obviously suggested that the only reason he started was the fact that Maradona could be the one to 'unlock' the Tevez enigma. Never really worked in the same sense that the Platini-Cantona relationship did. I stlll think it was Maradona's loyalty to Tevez that undid them at the WC. You need to be bit ruthless at international level and put aside personal differences and allegiances. If that had happened we might have seen Riquelme playing instead.


    Jacquet and Platini drove different cars, cars that required different components. I don't much about Batista and which car he drives, but I suspect it doesn't break down as often as Maradona's did/does!

  • Comment number 77.

    "Argentines are fiercely proud of his success, but every disappointing performance with the national team causes some to proclaim that Messi has become primarily a Catalan."
    -- --- -- --- -- ---

    I've not heard any Argentine say that Messi has become primarily a Catalan. (Yes, Tim, I read "some" proclaim.) So, that statement, or belief, is far from universal, no?

    While Tevez is close to the Argentine heart because of his origin (Forte Apache and Boca), so is Messi. Messi has something that Argentines must value more than Tevez's background and that is the broad (and more and more frequent) comparison to those considered to be "the best ever" on the field. This can only bring him even closer to the heart.

  • Comment number 78.

    Oh, screw it. In defense of Tevez, wasn't he an unstoppable Olympic gold medalist in Greece 2004? So, while his international record is unimpressive (Senior level?), he has one tournament result that shows he can be more than useful.

  • Comment number 79.

    I was always thinking that Tevez perhaps is not suitable for NT since he seems arrogant and would always want to be starter. Now I change my mind. If Batista reads Tevez's interview with Ole (if he has time...), he should call Tevez back. Explain to Tevez that Tevez needs to be left forward (I think he's still better than Lavezzi/Di Maria) and perhaps sometimes be a sub. I see nothing wrong with Tevez/Messi/Aguero or Tevez/Messi/Di Maria. I'm afraid though that Batista would not want to go back to his words or if Grondona is the one who doesn't want Tevez. I hope the manager and AFA will seriously think the best line-ups and plans to win the Copa.
    With respect, Cardova from bali villas development team

  • Comment number 80.

    Of course Argentina need tevez, he has been sensational this season and is the best striker that they have with the exception of messi who isnt really a striker. Tevez runs his socks off for his team and his work ethic and brilliance on the ball is what the fans love about him. He has tremendous ability and uses his low centre of gravity to shimmy past defenders and then unleash an unstoppable shot. I think that he will leave city, which i think would be the wrong move because they are a club with ambition and the premier league really does suit his playing style.

  • Comment number 81.

    Post 29 - Jstan - If you check your facts you will find that in both the Argentina games against Mexico and Germany, Maradonna played either Burdisso or Otamendi,
    both centre backs, at right back and NOT Gutierrez who I recall played in the first game against Nigeria. Gutierrez came on as a substitute against Germany but to replace Di Maria.
    Please, please check your facts before you go into print and attempt to correct someone else when you are in fact wrong yourself.

  • Comment number 82.

    For me the failure both of Argentina to get the best out of Messi and Messi's inability to take club form to the international stage are disappointing. Unless Messi can become more versatile and more successful for his country I can't see anyone in South America seriously proclaiming him (as some in Europe currently do) as Maradona's equal. I actually think that in big games Tevez shows up more often for Argentina than Messi does, despite the fact that Messi is clearly the more talented of the two.

  • Comment number 83.

    I also think that there's a place in Argentina's team or at least squad for Aguero - I suspect that he and Tevez are being overlooked by Batista because Batista wants to make the team his own and there's the obvious Maradona link. It backfired on Steve Maclaren closer to home with Beckham and there are parallels - it looks more like a manager imposing himself than it is about footballing reasons. Veron on the other hand is smart but increasingly pedestrian - particularly against European sides. I feel that he keeps his place because younger players haven't imposed themselves on the international game enough, not because he's 'evergreen'.

    Within reason a truly great manager can make a group of players work together as a team. The truly great managers get fractious players to succeed, if Batista wants to be one he's got to find a place for Messi and Tevez in the same team.

  • Comment number 84.

    Why are people still talking about Veron? He hasn't played a single game for Argentina since Batista took over and he's not going to either.

  • Comment number 85.

    Whilst playing Messi as a withdrawn no 9 has got more goals out of him, it has meant that Barca as a team has scored fewer than last season (I think Im right in saying that) What it has also meant is that Villa- arguably the best striker in the world- has been forced to play out wide too much. Barca would score more if the front three was a bit more fluid- i.e as it was when Eto'o, Henry and Messi were reigning havoc. It seems to me that Pep, and now Batista are going a bit too far to please Messi.

    Argentina do not have Barca calibre midfielders- as good as Banega is (I hope Gago moves in search of regular first team football as he can be a class act for them) and Higuian should not be forced to do 'a Villa' as he is a super finisher.

    In short ask Messi to play as he used to for Barca as a outside right of a 4-3-3, Higuain through the middle and Di Maria out left.

  • Comment number 86.

    Every team need's a Tevez....FACT! end of discussion

  • Comment number 87.

    I love the way the english media loves to emphasise the fact that Messi didn't score any goals in the worldcup and therefore he didn't have a good worldcup!! All Argentinians and football fans thought he was Argentina's best player by a long way. Just because he didn't score doesn't mean he didn't have a good worldcup as he created plenty and truly was a joy to watch - some of the things he did was simply amazing!!

    The truth is that Messi plays very well for Argentina, the only difference is that he hasn't replicated his exceptional Barca goal scoring record, but then again he does play a different role.

    The english

  • Comment number 88.

    In my opinion it would be a big mistake not picking Carlos Tevez for Copa America. He has been playing well and with two great goals against Stoke it shouldnt be a hard choice. A lot of people will be very dissapointed to see Tevez left behind. Thanks for a great blog. Chris following from DK.

  • Comment number 89.

    I think it is insane not to use Tevez [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 90.

    Looks like Aguero has been reading the comments on here . . .

  • Comment number 91.

    I can understand Batista's desire to structure the team around Messi in a Barcelona/Spain total football style, the squad is certainly capable of the crisp passing and precise movement required. In the last USA v. Argentina friendly Batista's squad showed brilliant passing and possession, but the 1-1 draw in the end revealed to me that as yet they're not able to keep up the sustained concentration and tempo needed to get results from that style of play. Any comments on that Tim?

  • Comment number 92.

    A very good article Tim and certainly a topic which has very much been on the mind of Argentina fans. Tevez' all out effort is why he has been so well loved by fans at clubs in both Brazil and England, Argentina's two biggest on field rivals and where Argentinian players are not always held in the highest regard. But it is true Tevez is the type who is never happy and it is proper to ask whether he would accept being a substitute. As for his frequent change of clubs, well look no further than Kia Joorbachian and MSI to explain that, how do you think they make their money?

    Over the past 4 fours for whatever reason Messi and Tevez have not really clicked on field so Batista feels he can make his best team built around Messi and as coach that is his perogative. Every coach is judged by results and while Batista has already had success in guiding Argentina's U23 team to the 2008 Olympic title the bottom line is at the senior level Argentina have not won anything since Copa America 1993. If Batista guides Argentina to this year's Copa America title then this controversy over leaving Tevez off the team will be forgotten. But if they do not win the title, Batista will be gone and his leaving Tevez off the team will be a major point of contention.

    Personally I think there is room for Messi and Higuain in the starting team as the team does not necessarily have to copy Barcelona player for player. I would use DiMaria wide left with Messi and Higuain interchanging between the center and right of attack with Messi having the option to drop deeper when necessary. Behind them a midfield of Banega, Cambiasso and Mascherano which will provide balance and in Cambiasso and Banega two players who can provide good service to the attackers. In defense Marcos Rojo seems to be the answer at left back while the evergreen Javier Zanetti may not be an answer for 2014 but will do just fine at this Copa America on the right. It is in central defense where questions still remain, no ideal choices but for now Burdisso should be one of the starters and frankly I would not mind seeing Garay as his partner in defense. He may not start at Real Madrid but he has the quickness and is decent enough on the ball to compliment Burdisso. Samuel's days seem over with the albiceleste due to age and injuries, Milito is not the same since his series of knee injuries and nobody else seems to be claiming a spot. Post Copa America, Lisandro Lopez, no not the Lyon forward but the Arsenal de Sarandi centerback could be an option. %0

  • Comment number 93.

    And Messi and Carlos Tevez are perfect players and are a dream for any football club. But the tip is Man Utd and Berbatov

  • Comment number 94.

    I've never liked the idea of building an international side- especially a major one like Argentina around one individual. It seems like for all the benefit for that one player it would be far more damaging in morale and possibly on field quality for the other players.

    I would far prefer to see Messi used as any other player on the right side of the front three where others can be used in their preferable positions. I think this would also allow to relieve some of the pressure on Messi for Argentina and then let him flourish as a regular member of the side rather than as "the best in the world".

    Then in this system Tevez/ Higuain can be in the centre and Di Maria on the left. Impressed with what I've seen of Banega and he seems like a must play in the middle.

    If every side Messi plays in does everything in order to concentrate on him then it could well have a reverse effect, because every other member of the team is concentrating on supplying Messi and cannot play naturally exponentially reducing their quality.

  • Comment number 95.

    NIce comment about Messi and Tevez

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    My comments on Argentina's goalkeeping situation above [#92] somehow were cut off. So I will give that another go here.

    Goalkeeper is Argentina's other worry going into the Copa America. Romero is a good shot stopper but not too reliable on crosses which could be a problem when facing Paraguay and Uruguay. Andujar the 2nd choice also is not the best on crosses, until a few weeks ago it seemed like Juan Pablo Carrizo, now back at River Plate was going to be Argentina's goalkeeper for Copa America as he was playing well and looking very secure. But these past few weeks he has been making numerous mistakes and his confidence is clearly shaken.

    3-4 years ago I thought Oscar Ustari was going to be Argentina's keeper for the future but he has been unsteady at Getafe and is another player whose confidence has been shaken. With no clear cut #1, I think Batista just needs to go with whomever is on form at the time and stick with him (and hope for the best), Oh for the days of a Fillol, Pumpido or Goycochea!

    Soccer Futbol Forum:

  • Comment number 98.

    Hello tim, sou brasileiro e acompanho seus comentarios no Sportv ok?

  • Comment number 99.

    this is ridiculous argentina are a good team but with tevez they are a great team play messi down the middle tevez right aguero left and 3 midfielders. you shud always play your best players to disregard him would be a crime.

  • Comment number 100.

    Maybe i don't really wanna know what's in Tevez mind, cos he just wanna fly (back to Argentina). Lately did u ever feel the pain...?

    I and the whole of Corinthians fans did!!! Carlitos: We miss ya!
    Please come back to the East end of Sao Paulo ´it's your "Wonderwall"



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