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.
Read earlier columns
South American Contenders: So far nothing impressive in the World Cup
The World Cup continues and it has been bleak for the CAF (Africa). On the other hand it has been great so far for the UEFA (Europe), AFA (ASIA), CONCACAF (Central & North America), and CONMEBOL (South America) confederations. Concerning South America, let’s see how everything is shaping for the national teams representing South America.
The following South American national teams such as Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil have won their first games. On the other hand, Paraguay has lost the first game against England. Can the South Americans bring the golden prize back to the South American Continent where it belongs? So far we cannot answer this question because Brazil and Argentina have won their games because of experience.
For example, the Argentines were unable to control the midfield and we have seen that el “Chucu” Cambiasso and Mascherano have lost lot of key balls. Losing these balls against any solid opponent would have been a nightmare for the Albiceleste. These mistakes cannot be repeated. Therefore, Pekerman must change the lineup by bringing Luis “Lucho” Gonzalez in the place of Cambiasso. Argentina does not have any key replacement for Mascherano, so he will have to stay on the field. If Pekerman decides to take off Mascherano, he might have to gamble on Coloccini, but I don’t think he’ll do that at this time.
Concerning el grandioso Juan Roman Riquelme, Pekerman cannot force him to play on the left. He needs to give Riquelme his liberty to invent his plays as he did when he gave that magnificent thru ball to el “Conejito” Saviola. When every fails, just give it to Riquelme, and he’ll invent a play like the Brazilian Kaka. Another issue that Argentina will face is that Burdisso seems to be a liability in the back. Thus I would suggest substituting him with Leandro Cufre or Gabriel Milito. So far so good with Abbondanzieri on goal, he did fine against Ivory Coast. In the Attack, Crespo and Saviola are doing their jobs. However, I could not understand bringing Palacio for Crespo. Tevez would have been a much better choice. For Pekerman, he wanted to use the speedy Palacio but Palacio seemed to lose his equilibrium on every move. Concerning Messi, he needs to be a bit patient and the Argentina coaching staff needs to let him know that Maradona failed big time in Spain 82. He will get his time on the field at the right moment.
Brazil on the other hand did not have a great day either. It took a divine move by Kaka to make Brazil past Croatia. Brazil is Brazil. There’s no doubt about it. Brazil does not have to play well to win a game. When a team has superstars like Kaka, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, and Adriano then anyone of them can invent a move from space or out of nothing to beat the opponent and we have seen this yesterday. While the mathematical formula R^2 +K+A did not work well against Croatia, one needs to remember that Brazil is synonym with winning World Cups. However the Brazilians must be careful because playing like this against the World Cup Contenders can be very costly for them. We all know that Brazil will step it up when it all counts, but the Argentines would like to get a piece of the Brazilian and that remains to be seen. When Brazil faces Australia, I would suggest that Pareira starts Robinho in the place of Ronaldo. Ronaldo, Adriano, and Ronaldinho did not have a good game against Croatia, but they won it with a magical shot by Ricardo Izecson Santos Leite (Kaka).
Another national team that started the World Cup well is Ecuador. Ecuador won the game against Poland. Ecuador will face Costa Rica in their second game. The Ecuadorians will automatically qualify for the first time for the next round. They play a great football by keeping the balls from the opponent. Players such as Kaviedes, Valencia, and el “Tren” Delgado possess the skills needed to drive Ecuador to the round of 16. Costa Rica with Wanchope is not going to make it easy for the national team of Ecuador. It would be a very interesting game since both teams can display some great football. The team that commits fewer mistakes in the back will win the game but the South Americans will have the edge over the Central Americans.
Paraguay lost against England although the superstars of England did not play a great game. But they have found a way to score even if it were a gift given via a Beckham’s free kick. The Paraguayans will have to beat Sweden if they think of having a chance to be among the last 16 teams. Can the Guaranies step it up against Sweden that will come out with a vengeance after failing to gain three points from Trinidad & Tobago? Yes it can happen; the Paraguayans need to be very vigilant in the back, and Acuna in the midfield must use his technical skills to give some great balls to Roque Santa Cruz upfront. If they can play Sweden the same way they played England in the second half, then they will have a chance against Sweden. They have their destiny in their own hands to face a good European team, but they can earn the three points if they play with courage and passion.
As the battle of Europe versus the Americas continues, please take your seat to enjoy some great football.
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