World Cup Provisional Squads- Part 2, South Africa 2010

continued from here

Well well, more shocks in store.  This time Domenech and Maradona did not fail to raise many an eyebrow.  Though I must say that Joachim Low’s selections are not without controversy.  Well here goes.

France:

France squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyon), Steve Mandanda(Olympique Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Girondins Bordeaux), Mickael Landreau (Lille)

Defenders: Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), William Gallas (Arsenal), Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Rod Fanni (Stade Rennes), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla), Adil Rami (Lille), Marc Planus (Girondins Bordeaux), Gael Clichy(Arsenal), Anthony Reveillere (Olympique Lyon)

Midfielders: Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid), Alou Diarra(Girondins Bordeaux), Jeremy Toulalan (Olympique Lyon), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Yoann Gourcuff (Girondins Bordeaux), Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Yann M’Vila (Stade Rennes)

Forwards: Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Sidney Govou (Olympique Lyon), Djibril Cisse (Panathinaikos), Hatem Ben Arfa (Olympique Marseille), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Marseille), Jimmy Briand (Stade Rennes)

The fact that Mr. Domenech still has a job can only mean that the French FA are either all insane, or that he has something on them.  France barely qualified for this WC, and that was not without controversy.  Henry’s handball is the most famous handball since Maradona’s in 1986.  But whatever one may think of the way they got there, the fact remains that France made is to the WC.  And on paper at least, they have a reasonably easy group.  Mexico, South Africa and Uruguay can be had by the talented French team.  And they are talented.  People might not think of them as a great team any more, but its not because of the players they have.  It because that under the current coach, they play uninspiring, boring football.  And recently they have failed to get the results.   There are several newcomers on this provisional team.  Like the Rennes midfielder M’Vila.  Yet there was no room for the likes of Patrick Viera who has 107 caps, nor for Karim Benzema of Real Madrid.  The young superstar striker who cost Madrid well over 30 million pounds may have gotten his dream transfer last season, but that transfer cost him as place in the French Squad.  He failed to impress at Madrid.  Then again, he rarely shone for France, but he is still young and I am sure he will improve his national team record.

Predicting the line up for France is like predicting the future based on the horoscope, … oh wait.  But unlike Mr. Domenech I am not an expert on such matters, so do excuse me if this effort proves to be mostly wrong, we don’t know what will be written in the starts in a month.  The very young and very talented Lloris should start in goal.  Sagna at RB perhaps, Evra looks good for the other flank.  Gallas should be fit for the WC and should start at CB, his partner might be Abidal who can certainly play CB.

The midfield should include two defensive midfielders, Lassana Diarra and Toulalan look the part.  It would be hard to not play Malouda after the season he had, so it think he and Gourcuff will play, with Ribery in a free attacking role supporting Henry.

As I mentioned, many have given up on France.  Their group is manageable, the teams they face are solid teams, but no more talented than the French.  It all depends which team shows up.  They were inspired in 98, shocking in 2002, a combination of both in 2006.  With no Zidane who will lead the team mow?  The most likely seems to be Ribery.  Much depends on Domenech himself.  His line ups and tactics leave many shaking their heads.  I think they will get out of the group, the rest depends on the draw they have and momentum.  This team can be dangerous to anyone given the right circumstances.

Argentina:

Argentina squad:

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon)

Defenders: Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille), Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Juan Manuel Insaurralde (Newell’s Old Boys), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes), Ariel Garce (Colon)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Sebastian Blanco (Lanus), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Jesus Datolo (Olympiacos), Jose Sosa (Estudiantes), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Liverpool), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina), Juan Mercier (Argentinos Juniors), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle), Javier Pastore (Palermo)

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli).

Well, this is strange.  But that’s one of the kindest words that Maradona’s reign as NT manager can used to describe as.  And he did not fail to live up to the weirdness when making his selections for the WC squad.  This is certainly his team.  No Zannetti or Cambiasso, who have been inspiring for Inter on their way to the Champions League final.  Yet Coloccini and Gutierrez who play for second division Newcastle make it.  As well as Maxi Rodriguez of Liverpool.  Go figure.  Frankly I have no idea who will start in goal.  The defence is weird as well.  Maradona says he will play four central defenders, though the likes of Heinze can play on the flanks.  Samuel, Demichelis and Heinze look most likely to start at the back.  The fourth I am not sure about.

In the midfield it definitely will be Mascherano and I think Veron.  Beyond that I just don’t know.  Depends on what system Maradona will try to play.  Leaving Di Maria out of the line up would seem strange, but its Maradona.  Messi will play.  That is certain.  Maradona claims he will give him a free role, but will it be in support of one or two forwards?  And which forwards?  Maradona loves Tevez and Aguero, but while Tevez had a very good season for Manchester City, he did not shine much for Argentina.  Aguero, Maradona’s son in law, a very talented player, has failed last season both for the national team and his club Atletico.  And then we come to Martin Palermo of Boca, he did not fail at his club.  But Diego Milito and Gonzalo Higuain have also shone for their clubs, and at a higher level.  Which ones will be left out of the line up or the squad altogether?  And I have still not mentioned the talented Lavezzi of Napoli.  That gives us seven players for at most 3 spots on the pitch and most likely 4, perhaps 5, spots on the team.  How can Maradona justify taking Aguero and leaving out Higuin or Palermo?

This team has even more questions than France.  The tactics, line ups are all unconventional and unpredictable.  Again, a talented team to be sure, but one that almost failed to qualify.  Frankly I do not expect much of them.  Unless someone like Messi will inspire the whole team I think they will fail.  They have an easy group.  Greece is a second tier European side, with boring players and tactics.  Nigeria talented, but tactically undisciplined and without continuity when it comes to management.  North Korea, well its North Korea, so who the hell knows what they will do.  From what little I have seen of them I was not inspired, nor shocked, a second level Asian side.  So Argentina should get out of the group.  Beyond that I do not expect much, even with an inspired Messi it could prove too much for them.  After all, Argentina does not have a Xavi to pass the ball to Messi, Veron is a very good player, but he is no Xavi.

Germany:

Germany’s provisional 27-man World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Hans-Jorg Butt (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen)

Defenders: Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Hamburg), Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Serdar Tasci (Stuttgart), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Dennis Aogo (Hamburg).

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea/ENG), Sami Khedira (Stuggart), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Christian Trasch (Stuttgart), Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen), Toni Kroos (Bayer Leverkusen).

Forwards: Lukas Podolski (Cologne), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Stefan Kiessling (Bayer Leverkusen), Cacau (Stuttgart), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich).

Not 30 but 27.  It leaves only 4 players to cut in June.  But Joachim Low still managed to rework the squad once again.  This is a German side that is a work in progress IMO.  While it has the likes of Ballack and Schewinsteiger and Klose, it also has many youngsters.  Now to be fair, some of those younger players are quite experienced at the national level but this is nothing like the 94 side.  Then again that side failed miserably, so it might not be such a bad thing.  Aside from Ballack they all play in the Bundesliga.  However not one player was called up from last year’s Bundesliga Champions Wolfsburg.  No Reitner, no Gentner.  Yet two uncapped players managed to get on the squad.  Kuryani also did not make it, his spat with Low has apparently not been forgotten.

At goalkeeper the Germans have a bit of a problem.  Rene Adler is injured.  He was inspiring for Germany, as brilliant as Kahn was, but seemingly sane.  Now I think another young keeper will get the nod.  Shalke’s Manuel Neuer is a very good keeper, and while Low called up the veteran Butt, it think it was mostly as a calming figure.  In defence Mertesaker is likely to play, as is Westermann I think.  Lahm will be on the flank, which one though?  Not sure Low will give another shot to Jansen or Friedrich, then again I would not be shocked if he just played some kid.

Ballack is the Captain, and along with Schweinsteiger will be in the midfield.  But along with whom?  Trochowski, Marin, Ozil, and even the young Kroos all seem to deserve a chance to play.  Just what roles will Low give the players will depend on who plays, so I think quite a few of the midfielders will get a shot at one time or another.

The forwards look familiar, well some of them.  Klose and Podolski, the Polish born tandem, have been great for Germany.  But Klose is not getting any younger, and Podolski has been less than inspiring for his clubs the last two seasons.  His record for Germany though has been brilliant.  Gomez has been also less than stellar for Munich, and for Germany too.  Then there is the in form Kiessling and young Muller.  Cacau imo is the outsider.  Klose and Podolski I think will both go.  Gomes should as well.  But how can Low leave out Kiessling, he might be not very experienced at the national level, but not taking him might prove to be a mistake.  A hot forward is a good thing to have.

Germany is traditionally strong in major tournaments.  They made the final of the Euros just two years ago.  But I think a a semi final might be too high a goal this time around.  Then again, its the Germans, count them out at your peril.

Spain:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), David De Gea (Atletico de Madrid), Diego Lopez (Villareal), Jose Manuel ‘Pepe’ Reina (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona).

Defenders: Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Osasuna), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

Midfielders: Xabier Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Javier Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Marcos Senna (Villarreal), David Silva (Valencia), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona).

Forwards: Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Juan Manuel Mata (Valencia), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Daniel Guiza (Fenerbache), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Valencia).

The European Champions look to be one of the strongest contenders for the WC title.  But its Spain, they only became the European Champions after years of terrible performances in major tournaments.  Will the last one prove to be the catalyst for great things or was is a one off?  The team on paper is certainly good enough to win.  One of the best keepers in the world, a good enough defence, several world class midfielders and two of the world’s best forwards.  Yep, on paper there is not much doubt.  But.  Yes, but, as I mentioned, its Spain, so don’t count your medals just yet.  Not many controversies in the provisional squad.  Some promising younsters did not make it, but they are youngsters, so they will get their shot in the future.  A couple of veterans who were somewhat poor last seasons did make it, but Senna is hard to leave out.  He has been always inspiring for Spain and gave them the needed protection in the midfield.  But he might not get to play.  Perhaps del Bosque will go with the passing midfielders?  Only questions are the injured players.  Torres, Fabregas are said to be recovering well, but until they play its a question mark.  Iniesta and Xavi have also not been injury free.

Cassilas is the undisputed number one.  His back up will be Pepe Reina, and remarkably that means one of Valdes or De Gea wont go.  Valdes has been very good this season, and the youngster De Gea just won the Europa League with his club.  Spain is as solid in the net as any country out there.  Personally, though its not fair, I would take the kid to let him get the feel of the great event.

Defence is good, but not great IMO.  Pique is a brilliant, and still young, defender.  The rest can be either inspiring or frustrating.  Puyol has his faults, but can be great and he should be the one partnering alongside Pique.  Ramos of Madrid thinks he’s an attacking superstar, unfortunately he plays at RB and at times is missing from the defence because he mindlessly ventures forward.  Still, a very good player that can be an asset to have as Spain will be on the ball more than without.  Capdevilla should be on the other flank.

In the midfield we have a problem.  Too many great players.  Xavi when healthy is a must.  But a more defensive minded player is needed alongside him.  Will it be Alonso or Senna, or perhaps the young Busquets?  Iniesta should also start, but will there then be any room for the likes of Silva and Fabregas?  Either way, its better t have these sort of problems than shit players.

If healthy both Torres and Villa play.  Problem is Torres is not very healthy.  So perhaps Villa alone up front and one of those great midfielders will be in support?  But even the supporting forwards are quite talented.  Problem is that because of the talent of Villa and Torres they do not get to play much for Spain.

Spain should go far in the tournament.  Whether they will win it or not will of course depend on the draw and a bit of luck, but if they can stay fit its hard to look past them.

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] here to see the original:  World Cup Provisional Squads- Part 2, South Africa 2010 « Rlisu's Blog By admin | category: Lille 2 | tags: bacary, bacary-sagna, girondins-bordeaux, patrice, […]

  2. […] World Cup Provisional Squads- Part 2, South Africa 2010 […]

  3. […] May 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm World Cup Provisional Squads- Part 2, South Africa 2010 « Rlisu's Blog […]

  4. […] World Cup Provisional Squads- Part 2, South Africa 2010 « Rlisu's Blog By admin | category: RENNES I | tags: 107-caps, karim, karim-benzema, likes, […]

  5. I think Milito really has become an amazing forward this season, it is just incredible how he is able to control the ball with a lot of defenders arround him. Another part of his success is Snyder, they play together really well.


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