Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hand of God in charge

Diego Maradona officially took over as Argentina national team coach today. I can't say for sure just how effective a manager Maradona will be since he doesn't have much experience, but this roller coaster of a tenure is well underway.

Now, one obvious comparison of a former star taking over his national team is former Mexican star Hugo Sanchez. Many (myself included) felt he was the right choice for the job, while it is obvious now that he was not. But at least you could have pointed to his prior coaching experience to support your claim. Maradona has little prior managing experience and has been a borderline freak show since the end of his playing days. He went from Maradona the Hutt to the slimmed-down Maradona to coke head to Cuban to talk show host, etc. And now he's manager of Argentina!

I always think of Argentina as a force but I've got to be honest, I suddenly don't see them that way. Maradona has to prove me wrong I suppose. And Argentine pundits as well.

His first order of business: his roster for a friendly against Scotland on Nov. 19.

Goalkeepers: Juan Pablo Carrizo (Lazio, Italy), Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands)

Defenders: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan, Italy), Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan, Italy), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich, Germany), Daniel Daaz (Getafe, Spain) Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid, Spain), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle, England)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool, England), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Angel Di Maria (Benfica, Portugal), Fernando Gago (Real Madrid, Spain), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle, England), Luis Gonzalez (Porto, Portugal), Jose Sosa (Bayern Munich, Germany)

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Carlos Tevez (Manchester United, England), Lisandro Lopez (Porto, Portugal), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli, Italy), German Denis (Napoli, Italy)

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