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martes, 3 de agosto de 2010

The worst possible final for the Argentinean team (Yahoo)

In the Argentinean football environment it is discovered, these days, that not even the elimination of the National team vs Germany by 0-4 in the quarter-final of the last World Championship is the worst what could happen. On return, and especially last week, it appeared all the fury of the three main protagonists of the history throwing a very hard munition generating an absolute broking off.

Actually, the president of the (AFA) (Argentinean Football Association), the veteran Julio Grondona (31 years in that position and his eighth mandate ends in 2011), finally met with Diego Maradona first days of this week and though he offered him to renew the contract as coach of the National team he imposed the removing of his seven collaborators, two of them are field assistants and two physical assistants, knowing that this condition would not be accepted.

A day before the meeting, what did not seem the right moment to do it and without any diplomacy (as it is his characteristic), Maradona declared in one of the Argentinean TV program that if any of collaborator would be touched he would immediately leave. And it was thought because of the speculations about that Grondona would object the field assistant Alejandro Mancuso, considering him near to the ideas of Cesar Luis Menotti (coach world champion 1978), being this person enemy of the manager Carlos Bilardo.

But on Monday’s meeting, Grondona objected not only but another six collaborators, what found the absolute negative of Maradona and a few hours later (a strange time to debate a cycle of two years of job) he ratified that the relationship with the ex star ended in that moment.

From then on started the worst. Maradona called for a press conference in which he limited to read a hard release in which he accused Bilardo as “traitor” and Grondona as “liar” and besides his hard words, it does not seem that in these points he is not partially right, though it does not go by the same logic when he says that in November 2008 when he was convoked to be coach “we had to extinguish the fire and we did it”.

To say the true, Grondona convoked Maradona as coach in 2008 due to the renounce of Alfio Basile in full elimination for the World Championship 2010 and when the decision was already to call for the one who was better prepared in Argentina, Carlos Bianchi, and the two sons of the directive (one president of the club of the first division Arsenal and the other, vice director of the National team department of the AFA)) convinced him to give Maradona the opportunity as well as to the world champions of 1986.

Though Maradona’s work was far away of the ideal, not only in the team’s work, with a tactic very poor (he convoked 108 players in less than two years, he accepted as defensive adviser Oscar Ruggeri in spite the he was vetoed by the directives, he had outburst with the press, etc) we also must say that scarcely twenty days ago, Grondona insisted to renew his contract, sustaining that it concerns “ a very special person, the only one that in Argentina can do what he wants”.

Then, what happened with Grondona to change such decision? Just that the Government, on behalf of the president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, is close to grant him definitively a space that the AFA has in concession since years ago and therein is the TV channel that would be granted by the new Act of Media. At the same time, Maradona was considered an ally of the Government, backing the program called “Football for everybody” through which the matches of the contests of the local league passed to the State channel after 18 years of private company hands (Torneos y Competencias).

All this generated that Grondona opted for the strategy not to change anything in the Argentinean team structure because as a wise man of the times, he knew that it was necessary to let the months pass because in 2011 there will be two clue events, first, the Copa América as local, that would expose Maradona to a situation without exit (or turning out into champion or renouncing) and the presidential elections, that might mean the exit of the power of the present president with which everything would change and he would feel free.

And this freedom so much expected arrived sooner that was imagined. Because Maradona decided not to assist to the meeting with the president to “celebrate” the fifth position in the World Championship, partly he did not consider it to be something to celebrate and partly because those days he was enclosed at home trying to reinforce him to be able to continue with the Argentinean team. And a few days later he accepted an invitation to travel to Venezuela and appeared at the side of the controversial president Hugo Chavez when the later announced the broke off the relations with the president of Colombia Alvaro Uribe.

All this made the Government not to back Maradona with the same enthusiasm and then Grondona availed himself to say him that he will remove seven collaborators generating the absolute rejection of the coach but trying to influence the society something already reiterated: the idea that it is not the AFA who fired him but it was he himself who left.

The same was used by Bilardo to say that he did not betrayed Maradona pretending to stay in the Argentinean team as manager (position he had since 2008, together with him) and though the media repeated within the week what he affirmed in April 13, 2009 on “if Maradona leaves I have to leave, all of us have to leave with him”.

Bilardo sustains that he stays because “I wanted to say that if he is fired I would leave too but he wanted to go by himself, the AFA did not want to fire him only some of his collaborators” that besides would have been fired because of Birlardo’s advise.

Projects? Ideas? Antecedents? Absolutely nothing. Today the AFA is in fridge and waits for the storm to pass away, meanwhile names as coach of the sub-20 group, Sergio Batista, as transition for two friendly matches appointed for this semester 2010, August 11 in Dublin vs Ireland and September 7, in Buenos Aires vs Spain, the World Champion.

In the meanwhile, Bilardo prepares the munitions to respond to Maradona, who changes the promised participation in the TV to be able to respond to the Maradona, and Grondona tries by all means to silence the voices and to return to his low profile, at the same time thinking in a coach for the next four years.

Everything indicates that there are only two strong coaches: Alejandro Sabella, champion of the Copa Libertadores 2009 with Estudiantes, and ex player of Bilardo in the eighties, and Carlos Bianchi whom Grondona does not like very much neither of Bilardo but he is on the top of surveys. Also Batista in on the round if he is successful in these two friendly matches.

The Argentinean football lives these days its worst scenery. Much worse than what occurred in South Africa. Will they be able to get out soon?

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