Thursday, July 29, 2010

Maradona sacked, nothing to see here

No surprise but Diego Maradona was shown the exit by the Argentine FA. Really not too shocking after the much fancied Argentine team was given a correction by Germany, the second world cup in a row that the La Albiceleste were shown the door by the 3 time World Champion from Europe.

Maradona led a love - hate relationship with the Argentina FA, the fans and players. Argentina struggled to qualify seeing Maradona call up 57,480 players, rumor is he called Mario Kempes to see if he was available. Couple this with his inexplicably not wanting to call up Higuain for the longest time, only to have the Real Madrid striker feature during the World Cup. He had a rift with Riquelme, making the play maker unavailable for selection. The smooth Boca #10...the current one, not the one that played there in the early 1980s...might have been useful in South Africa. I could have seen him slotting nicely next to Mascherano giving true creativity to the midfield, feeding the strikers - Messi, Tevez and Higuain. Maradona struggled to find a way to unleash the full potential of his protege - Lionel Messi (zero goals in the World Cup). There were also tactical questions - Maradona had 4 center backs starting on his back 4, no real full backs. Add to this Maradona's stubbornness when it came to dealing with the press as well as allowing the Argentine FA to have him take on a more technical assistant coach and you  were destined for a bad ending.

Maradona's great strength was his ability to get his players to respect and want to play for him and the blue and white shirt. More than you can say for the likes of Domenech! However his juvenile tactical knowledge inhibited he and Argentina from going further at the World Cup. His enormous ego and talent did not allow himself to accept the assistance the Argetina FA was attempting to have him accept when he took the reigns. Maradona needed a stabilizing and tactically sound lieutenant.  Unfortunately the greatest player ever to wear the blue and white strip was too proud to seek help on the touch line. For that he got to a 1/4 final, when he could have fancied his side to get to the finals and maybe win it.

It will be interesting to see what he does next. Could he pop up at Napoli to manage the club he brought so much success to? Possible. It was an interesting run Diego, it could have been extended had you allowed the proper managers to assist you.

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