Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Growing Pain

What is that old saying? When you do not have anything good to say, keep your silence...

Well, if I did that today, I would not be able to report on the 2-0 loss that All Boys handed to Newell's Old Boys, well, unless I took on the point of view of an All Boys fan. Which I'm not going to do.

No, all I can say is that Newell's did not play well, or, to be more exact, it seems that everyone has learned how to play La Lepra ever sense LDU Quito knocked them out of the Copa Sudamericana. It seems simple, really. At the moment Newell's only have two attacking players who can mount any kind of threat, Mauricio Sperdutti and Mauro Fórmica. If you can shut them down, Newell's will not score.

Then there is the defense. Individually Rolando Schiavi, Agustín Alayes, and Gabriel Cíchero are fine players, but in almost every game this Apertura campaign there has at least one breakdown in the defense that leaves goalkeeper Sebastián Peratta to pull off a miracle save. Sciavi has been consistently solid, making few mistakes, Alayes has done well enough. Cichero, while he has improved after having terrible games the first few times out, was caught flatfooted on both All Boys goals, the first scored by Mauro Matos after a shot from the left wing hit the far post. On the second he simple stood in place as a cross came in from the left wing, Emanuel Perea jumping over the defender's back to get his head to the ball.

I cannot put to much blame on Cichero, a player who has done his best playing as a leftback. As long as Roberto Sensini insists on playing a three man backline the Venezuelan International will be forced to play as a centerback. That leads me to the other questionable move Sensini has made, that of Sperdutti from right midfield up to forward. While on the surface of things it would seem to make sense, Sperdutti leading the team in scoring for the Apertura with four goals, and none of the forwards brought in to "strengthen" the team has been much of a scoring threat. But he has not done his best work up front, but cutting in from his natural position on the right side of midfield. If I am not mistaken he has not scored sense being asked to play as a striker.

For those who can take the pain, here are the goals:

For those who cannot, here are the goals from the Almeria vs Barcelona match, won by Barca with eight unanswered goals, three from Lionel Messi:

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