Deja Vu, isn't it? It feels like yesterday MundoAlbiceleste had launched it's new website. Mundo has grown since July 2010, we have some of our older posters from Seba's blog day's to many new faces, which brings up many new opinions. So I ask all of you, what has changed with the national team within the last 12 months? You want your answer? Well, my answer is just blink, and that is your answer. That means, NOTHING has changed with the national team.
Sergio Batista the wonderful tactician that he is(I hope you are following my sarcasm here) was given the job after another mastermind named Diego Maradona was give the door. Batista was the same guy who managed to fail to get our boys in the 2009 U20's, yes, it was that Batista. The two time defending champions were not even there to defend their crown. It was a difficult time for us, anybody was better than Diego.We were given false hope by Batista when we beat the new world champions Spain, 4-1 in Bs.As. We were singing and dancing a new tune, because hey, Batista had started to call up some names we were begging for, we had Banega, we saw D'Alessandro, Zanetti was called up.
Batista's tenure was good and bad, we lost to Japan then beat Brazil. But it seemed late 2010 he was given the job as a full time job. Batista's plan was to create the team around Messi and duplicate Barcelona. This Batista guy is a genius I tell you, he needs to give seminars to Menotti,Bianchi,Bilardo and many other great Argentine coaches from the past. What I am trying to say is, Batista was no different than Diego, he was probably even worse. The players would of died for Diego and even though he was not the man for the job, the players responded to him. With Batista I am not so sure.
I will skip the first 3 Copa America games, because they were less than flattering but our 3 game we showed signs of life vs the mighty U23(Or is U20, or Olympic) Costa Rican side. The team responded well and won the game 3-0. So Batista tells that he was going to play the same way in the QF vs Uruguay. So, within 5 minutes of the game, we gaveup a stupid foul, Uruguay float the ball in and they score(Why does this sound like Germany in 2010 WC??). We managed to come back and tie with a great pass from Messi to Pipita, game on 1-1! Late in the first half, we catch another break, Diego "Russo" Perez is given a 2nd yellow, and is sent off. That meant, we were going to play for an entire half with a man up. Not only that, Uruguay also had 2 other players on yellows, while we only had 1 at the moment. So what happens in the second half? We all saw it, we played worse than we did when it was 11-11 and we 5 players picked up yellows, one Mascherano picked up two and was sent off.
So with nearly an hour of time, how do not score a goal, with a man up? Well, the answer is simple and it's going to be a problem we will have for some time. Sergio Batista, he had no idea what he was doing, the players looked lost, they were not playing well by any means. Sure, we had our chances to win the game, many of them, and they did not go in; however Uruguay held their own with 10 men and looked even better when it became 10-10. When the whistle blew at 120 minute mark, the TV camera went right to Batista who winced, he had the fear of God in him, when we were going to shootouts. Right there I knew we were not going to win. The same way I knew we were not going to win in 2004 at the Copa vs Brazil.
After the post-game, Batista said he did not look at this as a failure, it was just a a part of football. My respond to that is, no, Sergio, it is a failure when you are up a man for nearly an hour, and have players like Messi,Aguero,Higuain on the pitch and you manage to make your team look like they were the team with a man down. The reality is that, we are all but stuck with Batista until the 2014 World Cup. The reality, is that Messi will not play in another tourney until he is 27, which I am sure will be one of his last ones. At 2018 he will be 31, so I do not expect much from a 31 year old Messi in 7 years. The reality is that the 2014 World Cup will be in Brazil, the reality is that the 2015 Copa America will be in Brazil. With the managers we have had, it pains me to say, we could be going for another 20 years without winning anything.
This is suppose to be a golden generation of players, but this isn't gold with the likes of Maradona and Batista are handling, that gold is turning green when the heat is up or when they stick around for too long. It is fools gold, it is cheap and could fool a few (Meaning we could beat weaker teams but those with the proper eye, can spot a fake a mile away, like Germany and Uruguay). The likes of Messi do not fall in your lap every day. He is a unique gem which has become nothing but a cash cow for the AFA. A week back or so, I said, Messi needs to go to Grondona and say, "Give me a proper manager or I am going to quit the national team". Messi and Argentina have some friendlies coming up which mean squat to many of us right now, and it is all for money. I know this theory is a pipe-dream, but I honestly feel like something drastic needs to happen, or the reality is, that we are becoming a distant memory in the world of football.
The final reality is, the NT has become that girl who I fall for every single time. and who burns my heart is at it's weakest.