Allez Argentina!


As I said before the game, I´ll take it easy with the result.

There were other things I was focusing on and I´ve got some answers from the manager and the players that left me satisfied.

It was clear that this game meant a lot for BASILE and for most of the players on the field.

Usually, friendly matches are used to test formations, players, movements and stuff like that. But last night for COCO the result was crucial. That´s the way I saw it. He wanted to win at all costs and he only made substitutions to give the team a breath of fresh air to keep on looking for the win.

At the same time, most of the players were still hurt for what happened at the last World Cup and for the rough start they had under BASILE (losing to Brazil and Spain).

That translated into a very eager team, playing the game and fighting for each and every ball like if victory was worth 3 points or meant qualification to an hypothetical next round at a major tournament.

You gotta love that attitude. I want to see my team with that attitude all the time.

Back to the game and our performance, the first thing I would like to say is that I believe Javier SAVIOLA is the most underrated player in the World!

How come nobody seems to appreciate the way he plays. How he scores goals everywhere he plays. I´m out of words when it comes to this subject.

I don´t want him to play fancy, beautiful football. He is there to score goals and work for the team and he does both things ALL THE TIME.

The back-heel pass he sent to Javier ZANETTI, before PUPI crossed towards CRESPO was pure class. It mesmerised the French defense (no matter how weak it was for missing THURAM or other key defenders) and then he kept his head up to finish that play sending the ball home after COUPET´s save.

I think our defense looked great.

ABBONDANZIERI reacted very quickly in the game´s most dangerous situation for France when he stopped point-blank that shot by David TREZEGUET.

Gabriel MILITO stopped everything in the air and on the floor. Roberto AYALA was his solid self in a way that he put an end to many French attemps and also because he could have been send off as well!

HEINZE and BURDISSO were OK and I really liked the way we play in midfield.

It´s not easy to make your international debut for Argentina (or for any national side), let alone facing the World Cup runner-up at their own backyard!

So I think Fernando GAGO did exceptionally well considering all this and his footwork passing through Thierry HENRY and Patrick VIEIRA was a classic image to treasure. Nice passing, good on marking the opposition and composed all throughout the match. Well done, PINTITA!

CAMBIASSO looked like a man with a thousand games under his belt. Worked very well alongside GAGO.

LUCHO didn´t contribute much on offense. I think he suffered because COCO had to use a formation he is not very keen on using and he did have a lot of work marking the opposing midfielders.

PUPI really send a statement as he is clearly a great option for Argentina. An experienced, influential player who can be used in defense or midfield. He could have had an assist if COUPET didn´t stop CRESPO´s shot before SAVIOLA´s goal.

CRESPO didn´t score. He is there to do that. But he was active and trying his best all the time. The movement without the ball, to receive ZANETTI´s pass was sensational. A shame he couldn´t capitalise on that.

Diego MILITO, Jonás GUTIERREZ and Sergio AGÜERO did not play enough minutes to allow me to judge their performances and I would like to see them involved a little bit more in the future.

A very positive outcome after this friendly match and a good result for COCO to stop the pressure from growing.

I´m looking forward to watching the next couple of friendly matches and I think the team should be ready for the Copa America.