Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez, who is currently Argentina’s first choice right back in South Africa, says today that manager Diego Maradona will keep things simple with the two time World Champions.
Jonas Gutierrez – Maradona will keep things simple
Even though Maradona had a difficult time having Argentina qualify for the World Cup, he has – to his credit – allowed his players to play their game, and subsequently Argentina have 3 wins in 3 games and have looked a very good attacking side, if suspect in defense.
We often think tactics are way over-rated, and certainly so far in this World Cup the Argentines have been a joy to watch – unlike some other famous footballing countries – like England – as one notable example of course.
Argentina will take on Mexico in the second round on Sunday in Johannesburg, and Jonas said:
“The national team don’t want to play with frills, they want to play well, use the ball well,”
“I think that’s what Diego (Maradona) wants from us, not with frills or showing off, which has nothing to do with football.”
“Good ball circulation, looking for gaps, that’s what makes you play good football and I think we’re on the right track,”
But it seems like the Argentine manager doesn’t think too much of the new Adidas Jabulani ball, which has been criticized by many this summer, especially by the goalkeepers – as the new ball seems to swerve and move all over the place.
But Maradona says the ball doesn’t bend as he said:
“They say it’s the same for both (teams). It’s not, we are Argentine.”
“This ball doesn’t bend. I’ve experienced it in training, when you change the angle of contact with a cross-field pass the ball comes like this (he moves his hand from right to left)”
Many expected Maradona to be the big weak link in the Argentine set-up at this World Cup Finals since his coaching during the qualification rounds looked very weak, at best, but he has allowed his players to play and they have so far delivered the goods.
“If we have the ball, the others don’t and this team are capable of holding the ball much longer than any team, because of their skills, they all play well.”
If England beat Germany on Sunday the will meet Argentina in the quarter-finals, a repeat of the quarter final in both 1986 and 1998 – when Argentina won both games.
Newcastle United fans may see current player Jonas and former Newcastle star James Milner play in that game.