Thursday, November 10, 2005

Problems for Argentina?

This weekend England will face off against Argentina in a friendly. Whenever these two get together, it is always an event, but what to make of these two sides. Both are looked upon as having a chance to hoist the cup high, yet both have some noticeable problems. England's have been discussed by just about everyone in the soccer world, but Argentina's problems are only now getting some international press attention.

Argentina was the first big name club to qualify for the cup, but then they lost their last three qualifiers. Also, many (like past national coaches César Luis Menotti and Carlos Bilardo) feel that current coach José Pekerman needs to name 10 to 12 players that will be going to Germany. "Now there's great uncertainty, nobody knows who is a first choice and that leads everybody to voice opinions," said Menotti last month.

At least some of this concern is due to their very poor showing in 2002. Until they dispel those demons, every action Pekerman takes will be looked at with great suspicion and doubt. He has a lot a potential in his side (as realized in the 2004 Olympics (he was not the coach at that time)), but the fans know that beating Brazil in a qualifier is not enough. He needs to do for the seniors what he did for the Under-20s (he won three world titles and two South American championships). Come next July, Pekerman will either be the greatest hero in a generation or the latest let down.


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