Friday, June 16, 2006

Argentina! Argentina!

By 'eck son, that was a right good kick about weren't it? (Sorry, no idea why I'm writing in a terrible approximation of a northern dialect.)

Argentina were quite simply stunning - they played breath taking football for almost the full 90 minutes and 6 was the least they deserved. Cambiasso's goal will be shown over and over again till time immemorial, and at last Alberto's 1970 goal has a genuine rival for best team goal ever scored at a world cup. Aesthectically, I'm concerned that Cambiasso's slightly mis-hit finish will count against it, but the build up (24 passes don't you know) and Crespo's backheel were out of this world. None of the other goals were exactly shabby.

So, it looks like whoever wins this world cup is going to have to beat Argentina, and it's not going to be easy, but I'm not sure I'd agree that it's already a forgone conclusion that they will be taking their first world cup home from Europe. The key difference between them and the others who are there or thereabouts is that they've already hit a smooth, purring top gear. I know it appears ridiculous to suggest this after the T&T game yesterday and the sheer majesty of the Argentinian performance today, but I do still believe that England could have a team to challenge them...

The half time analysis on the BBC, comparing the positional play of the Argentinian midfield to Englands was extremely illuminating - if we can find away to bridge the gap between defense and attack more effectively we'll be yet another step closer to being the world beaters we could be. And if, and it's a HUGE if, we end up playing Argentina in the final of this world cup with a fit and on form Rooney and Owen up front and a midfield which has clicked we would have nothing to fear (except of course Tevez, Riquelme, Saviola, Crespo, Messi, towering genius central defenders, tenacious full backs who add firepower going forward and the most effective midfield engine room in the tournament)

Oh who am I kidding, let's all go home now and give them the thing!

EDIT: I should also probably add, in the interests of fairness, the following piece of information. It may have been the hayfever, and the fact that it kept me up most of the night, but Mick McCarthy made me laugh out loud...Kezman had gone down very easily under a challenge, and Big Mick, with the disdain only he can muster said "he'd have put up more a fight if his wallet was being nicked..." It tickled me for some reason...