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
Pekerman: The Culprit with his Defensive Gamble ended the Albiceleste World Cup Dream
Congratulations to Germany! It was a strategic game. The Argentines were comfortable and took the control of the game from the start. However, the coach of Argentina made some ridiculous substitutions with 20 minutes left to play in the game and therefore cost Argentina to continue in the World Cup.
Argentina was in complete control of the game until the coach decide to play the game of Poker and the end result is that Pekerman is not a good Poker player. First, he took out Juan Roman Riquelme and replaced him with Cambiasso. At this time, I could not believe that Pekerman was going to play a defensive game. Riquelme should have stayed in the game to start the counter attack that could have been deadly against the Germans. In a game like this, it is ridiculous to take out the Argentine play maker. It does not matter if he had played well or not because at anytime he could have pierced the German defense with a fantastic assist as he has been doing.
Thereafter, the coach replaced Crespo and brought Julio Cruz. Cruz should have not been the player to bring in at that time since he played the same way with Crespo, and the German defenders controlled Crespo very well. Pekerman claimed that he brought Cruz to finish the game. Finish what? Finish the game by playing some defensive game… I don’t think so with your playmaker on the bench.
He should have brought the young Messi that could have caused a nightmare for Germany’s defenders. After Riquelme left, Argentina lost control of the game and Ballack, the German playmaker, started to get more room to display his skills and sent a cross that encountered Klose who tied the game for Germany with 10 minutes left to play. Although Ballack look injured, the German coach, Klinssmann did not substitute him. And that was a fantastic decision. As we all know the game went to overtime and the Germans won in penalty shoot outs.
At this stage of the tournament, a team with the caliber of Argentina should have never played a defensive game with 20 minutes left to play. This is unacceptable. On the field, Argentina taught Germany a lesson and completely prevented the German machine to get at full speed. I expected the game to be like that. And Argentina played better than Germany. But that was not enough. It was not enough because Argentina did not go for the knockout and they failed to generate any clear opportunities in the first half. In the second half, after they were up 1-0, Pekerman committed a rookie mistake that cost Argentina this World Cup.
I always appreciate German because Germany always played until the end. In 1982 West Germany was loosing 3-1 to France; they came back and won it. In the 1986 finals against Argentina, the West Germans were down 0-2, they came back and tied the game 2-2. It took something special from Maradona to Burruchaga to win the game for Argentina. In the game played today, Riquelme could not come up with a moment of brilliance because he was on the bench. Even recently, Japan was up 2-0 on Germany, the Germans came back and tied the game. I, myself, knew that Germany would have tied the game because they were at ease on the field after the ridiculous poker game played by Pekerman.
Germany won well. They grabbed a golden opportunity handed to them by Pekerman. However, Argentina showed how to control the German machine.
As I said in my previous article, “Expect the Unexpected”. I saw the unexpected today. I saw a coach who took a costly gamble that plunged a whole country in sadness. A coach that plunged all Argentina fans throughout the world in a state of shock. Substituting Riquelme was an idiotic move and bringing Cruz instead of Messi was the final variable equation that plunged me and many other fans in a state of shock. And I know that again, my friends who supported Brazil are going to make it very difficult for me. I am still absorbing this defeat. In 1990, Codesal, the Mexican-Uruguayan referee gave the World Cup to Germany. In 2006, Jose Nestor Pekerman, handed it to Germany in a silver platter. And Miroslav Klose made them pay for it.
On a personal note, It has been a great ride for my team. But the coach killed us with 20 minutes left in the game by taking out Riquelme and forcing the team to play a defensive game by leaving the following superstars on the bench, Messi, Aimar, Saviola and Palacio. Sometimes, I wonder how can a coach commit this stupidity?
Well, for myself, the dream is over and I must wait for South Africa 2010 and I pray God to give another opportunity to see the other World Cup. It is indeed very painful! But I should recover very soon to finish covering the final games of this World Cup. The dream is over for 2006 but must continue for 2010 in South Africa and I hope that the coach won’t be Pekerman, and I thank him for his resignation.
Until my next article, Glückwünsche zu den Deutschen!
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