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Argentines often talk about how heavy a particular football shirt can be, River Plate’s, Boca Juniors’ or Argentina’s.
“La camiseta pesa” (the vest weighs (a lot).
This is what is happening to the players of River Plate, one of Argentina’s “Big Two”, who could be relegated for the first time this month.
The responsibility of being in charge of a squad that could go down to the Nacional B division is affecting coach JJ Lopez, who was a part of a great River team of the 1970s and early 1980s.
River were playing badly at home to Colon last Sunday so Lopez decided to bring off two midfielders and sent on two central strikers to add to the one he already had in the team.
from Left field:
With Sergio Batista at the Argentina helm, Lionel Messi has the chance to develop into the truly great footballer his talent has promised since last year’s exploits with Barcelona.
It could be that when the Argentine Football Association make their choice of coach for the 2014 Brazil World Cup cycle, they opt for a different candidate from Batista – Alex Sabella of Estudiantes for instance.
Argentina have not suddenly become world champions after beating Spain 4-1 nor have the Spanish lost the sheen of their World Cup victory.
For Argentine fans, though, the performance more than the result gives them hope for a fresh start, possibly with Sergio Batista at the helm right through to Brazil 2014.
Trying to read anything into Spain’s 4-1 defeat in Argentina is tough considering it was a friendly. Did the world champions take it too lightly? Was Del Bosque right to field Pepe Reina in goal with fringe players Nacho Monreal, Alvaro Arbeloa and Carlos Marchena in the back four for a match that was never going to be that ‘friendly’?
Or was it that Argentina really got it together under new coach Sergio Batista?
Spain started poorly conceding two goals in the first 13 minutes and the third came after an embarrassing slip from Reina in the 34th, but they responded well in the second half and hit the woodwork three times overall.