Pierre Boisrond

Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of the World Cup.

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Prestige restored to English football

    England came to play with pride and determination but the Argentina came to sleep, no charisma at all. England earned these 3 points. The men of Eriksson played an excellent game and should have humiliated Argentina by 3 or 4-0. Veron was a disappointment and could not even move on the field, He was lost against his teammates of Manchester United. Nicky Butt was magnificent and managed the midfield with class. Butt definitely destroyed Veron, and England have proved the pundits wrong. Iíve never seen Argentina play so poorly in years. It must have dated back since 1993 when they lost 5-0 to Colombia. We must give credit to the English defense; they played with poise inspired by their coach. They showed that they were not going to be intimidated by the likes of Batistuta, Crespo, Veron, Aimar, etc. England finally put the ghost behind them.

    It is a great victory for the British people, and they clearly deserved to win it. I donít agree with Bielsa when he said that Argentina deserved a tie. No, Argentina should have lost by 4-0 so the superstars on that team could have felt the humiliation. This is a clean win for England with no controversy. As I said in my previous articles, perhaps Owen will come with some magic of France 98. Yes he did, he was a nightmare for Samuel. He ate Samuel alive. He turned upside down the Argentina defense. He caused panics for Placente, Samuel and Pochettino. If it were not for Caballero, Argentina would have been humiliated in Japan. Beckham, Owen, Butt, Sheringham dominated the Argentines. Veron talked the talk but did not walk the walk. Next time, he should keep his opinions out of the press. Making ridiculous statements is not going to help you if you canít even manage to drive your team to glory. To me, Iíll give him 1 point just for being on the field, nothing less.

    Bravo to Owen, Bravo to Beckham who suffered the humiliation of 1998. This time England sent Argentina to the reflection zone. The players conducted by Bielsa need to step it up in front of Sweden. If not, Ljungberg and Larsson will send them packing for Buenos Aires. As I said in one of my last articles, England might have a chance to come ahead since this World Cup is for the underdogs. Underdogs or not, England is on top and can manage to secure their trip to the second round with a tie in front of Nigeria. For Argentina it is life or death. Sweden are not going to be easy since they know they canít lose either or they will have to go back home. In the group of death, England, Sweden and Argentina have their destiny at hands. The Argentines must win or nada. They are favorites to win the World Cup, now it is time for them to show it. France and Argentina are hanging by a thread. Hopefully, Denmark and Sweden wonít use the needle on them. If that happens, they will take separate flights to Paris and Buenos Aires, respectively.

    Perhaps, today it is a lesson for the Argentines. The British players taught the Argentines how to be humble. Beckham, although on one foot, managed to keep his cool to beat Caballero on the PK. Butt masterminded the English midfield and Simeone and Veron were lost. The English people should celebrate, they should take to the streets and celebrate since they have been waiting 16 years for this victory. However, they must remember that there could be a chance for these two teams to meet again further in the tournament. Itís all open in the group of death.

    With the exception of Nigeria, The remaining teams in the group control their destiny. Will Beckham find away to resist the Nigerians? Will Owen show why he is the best in the business? Will Larsson drive Sweden to glory? Will Bielsa use the Duo Bati-Crespo? Will Bielsa recognize the fact he should have picked up Juan Roman Riquelme, the Boca talented midfielder and the South American player of the year? To many, he is the best Argentine footballer at the moment. Today, Riquelme could have penetrated the English defense and would have been a much better choice than Aimar and Gallardo combined. Sometimes coaches needed to learn. It would have been fair to England if they had won the game 4-0. They could have had it, and they should have had it since this Argentina team was lost, perhaps lost by contemplating the magnificent architectural design of the Sapporo Dome.

    Itís ok to lose, but lose with dignity. Play the game with passion and determination. Great players rise to the challenge. Rummenigge did it against France in 1982. Platini did it against Brazil in Mexico 86. Maradona did it numerous times against Italy in 1990. Rossi did it against Brazil in 82. The 1994 team under Alfio,ĒEL CocoĒ Basile played with pride against Romania conducted by the talented Gheorghe Hagi. What happened to the Verons, the Ortegas, the Aimars, what happened to this Argentina team?

    On the other hand Beckham, Owen, Butt and the whole of England rose to the challenge while the men of Marcelo Bielsa succumbed to the nth degree with a team built around a mediocre Juan Sebastian Veron. Now, Bielsa finally saw how he missed Juan Roman Riquelme who could have been a nightmare for the English defense and would have forced Collina to return the PK Favor.

    Eriksson taught Bielsa a lesson, a magnificent one indeed. The Swedish born England coach brought the pride back to England while Bielsa now is known as the coach who lost against England. After all Bielsa have accomplished, he did not know how to break Erikssonís schema. Eriksson 11 - Bielsa 0. Eriksson has restored the pride in English football. He has brought dignity back to the land of Queen Elizabeth. He managed to get rid of the ghost of Maradona and Simeone. Ironically, Argentina will have to go play against Sweden, the native country of England national coach to save some dignity. That combination does not sound good for the Albiceleste. It does not sound good at all. Bielsa should have known that Eriksson used to coach Veron, Simeone and Crespo. He should have known that Eriksson would have found a way to stop these superstars who have played with no hearts, no determination whatsoever. He should have known that at least.

    Bravo to England, million Bravos to England for making this Argentina team humble and for showing hearts. Beckham stepped it up while Veron became an ant on the field. Owen ridiculed Samuel and taught him some new tricks that Samuel had yet to learn. Get the tape Samuel, you might see him Again! Placente, a disaster, lost the ball to the English attack that ended up with a penalty kick. Ayala, get ready soon or it might be all over soon! Simeone had the ghost of Beckham on him in this game, completely erased from the field. Beckham shook hands with Simeone as they were headed to the locker room during half time, But Simeone did not know that Beckham was transferring the ghost to him, eventually buried Simeone in the second half. Zanetti, distraught with no focus at all. Crespo, Lopez, Batistuta, helpless, isolated by the brilliant defensive tactic of the English.

    Bravo England, Bravo England, it is a well-deserved win. For Argentina, Be careful of Larsson and Ljungberg because the Swedes are out to knock you out of the Tournament. France and Argentina are fighting to stay alive. However, if they go through the second round, the opponents will have to be very careful since they will come with a vengeance.

Good job Eriksson!



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