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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Bielsa: An undeserved second chance

    It is clearly evident that Marcelo Bielsa will again be the coach of Argentina. Well, perhaps Bielsa deserves a second chance after what he achieved during the World Cup qualifiers. However, we all know what does matter at the end is for the coach and his staff to win the World Cup trophy. If this is so, Bielsa choked big time and for this reason, he should have just resigned instead of lobbying for a second chance.

    Why giving him a second chance? Why? After such a horrible display of Argentina in Korea-Japan, this is not acceptable at the highest level. Alfio “El Coco” Basile did not get a second chance after USA 1994; Daniel Alberto Pasarella did not get a second chance after France 1994. Both did better than Bielsa. Somehow, Grondona and his allies find a way to bring Bielsa back to conduct the Albiceleste. Why not choosing Bianchi or Pekerman? Why should the Argentine fans have to see Bielsa going up and down on the sideline again? The world has seen enough of Bielsa! We have seen him against Nigeria! We have seen him destroy the pride of Argentina against England! We have seen him succumb against Sweden after refusing to change his coaching tactics. Why should the fans, specifically, the people of Argentina, have to revive these painful summer memories? Definitely, there must be a way to find someone to replace Grondona as the head of AFA. Grondona and Bielsa are the cause of Argentina’s failure. He (Grondona) could not even find a way to resist FIFA after refusing to retire the #10 Jersey of Diego Armando Maradona, El mas grande de todo los tiempos. Instead, we have seen a “desconocido” Ortega with that number that clearly symbolizes greatness in Argentina.

    Bielsa stated that he needs revenge. What kind of revenge he is talking about? A revenge to deny the talented Riquelme (Romy) out of the lineup again; or a revenge to negate Saviola, el Pibito; is it a revenge to humiliate another player as he did to Gabriel Omar Batistuta when he substituted him in his last game for the national side? Is this that kind of revenge Bielsa is talking about? Is it a revenge for him to continue with his tactics of aligning only one striker? Instead of bringing Crespo in for another player against Sweden, Bielsa instead humiliated Batigol by making him suffer on the Bench. Why not Bati & Crespo? Why not? Let’s hope that the revenge Bielsa is conjugating will force Argentina to play against the Europeans; If not, It will be all over before 2006.

    After what we have seen in this World Cup, Bielsa should have never been given a second chance. Perhaps, this is the right approach for AFA since a coach’s performance cannot be only judged on three games. However, these games are three crucial World Cup games. Coaches from the powerhouses are expected to bring the trophy home. If not, then their jobs are over. Most coaches ended it by resigning. It is very surprising that Big Phil of Brazil after winning the World Cup decided not to accept a renewal of his contract. Bielsa should have just followed Big Phil. However, the same Big Phil stated that he has used Bielsa’s tactics to win the World Cup with Brazil. Well, I can’t see the logics in Big Phil’s statement.

    Well, no one argues that Bielsa is not an excellent coach; however, after four years with a team full of superstars and a first round exit in the World Cup, Bielsa should have been on his way out. Now, Bielsa is about to start his final chapter, at least I hope so.

    I can only hope that Marcelo Bielsa will learn from the past World Cup. I can only hope that Bielsa will change his style of coaching if he wants to earn his respect back in the world of football. This past World Cup was a nightmare for the Argentines, and I can only wish that won’t happen in 2006 where the Germans will definitely be in charge. It is time for Argentina to bring the trophy back to the Rio Platense region. The time is long overdue. Argentina needs another Maradona or Kempes, two football masters, indeed.

    It seems that it takes a period of 20 years for the appearance of a football genius. Will that genius be the talented Juan Roman Riquelme? Will that genius be Andres D’Alessandro? Whoever that genius might be, Argentina does have the talents to win the 2006 World Cup trophy. Now, the only question that we’ll have to ask ourselves is whether or not Marcelo Bielsa, an excellent coach who can’t rise to the occasion, won’t hamper this process again.

    I wish Bielsa all the best. Even though I think he should have resigned, I should also say that he did bring the total football back to Argentina. He did an excellent job with the national team during the qualifiers, but failed to bring back the ultimate prize. This time, he must rise to the challenge and there won’t be any more sympathy for him if the same 2002 results reoccur in 2006. Somehow, I’ll manage to accept Bielsa as the coach. However, I still believe that Argentina’s coach should have been Carlos Bianchi, El Virrey.



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