WORLD CUP JUNE 22, 2010
Not surprisingly, when it comes to Group B, our writers have focused on Argentina. Daniel Alarcón pondered whether he could root for Maradona:
Diego, with a much more talented team, barely qualified—but for a last minute goal by Martín Palermo (how old is that dude?) against Peru in the rain-soaked penultimate match, Argentina might be watching this tournament from home. His tactical acumen is zero; his misuse of the world’s best player, Lionel Messi, is almost criminal; and yet he made it. He could very well become the worst coach to ever win a World Cup. If he does, the canonization of Diego will be complete.
Aleksandar Hemon wasn't initially impressed with the Argentine midfield:
While Maradona has a lot of options up front, he has very few in the midfield. There were very few midfielders on the bench who could replace Veron. Maxi Rodriguez plays on the right side, while Pastore is young and untried. Veron is by far the weakest link and is likely to buckle under any serious pressure...
But their performance against South Korea lessened those fears:
The impressive part of Argentina's game was how Messi and Tevez (and then Aguero) kept coming back to the center line to get the ball and then running at the Koreans. The 4-3-2-1 formation, whereby the 2 come back for the ball, rather than waiting for it deep in the Korean half, stretched their defense and opened up avenues for Messi's sprints. It was beautiful to watch.
And Carolina Sanin kept her reasons for supporting Argentina simple:
All I could say was “Ojalá que gane Argentina.” And now I realize I may have chosen Argentina because it’s the most religious team of all. (Remember “La mano de Dios”.)