It wasn’t just the score line that Argentina managed against Spain that I enjoyed this week. The team itself looks better-poised and more balanced, and lost none of the attacking verve that they displayed in South Africa. It also seems to augur the continued employment of Sergio “Checho” Batista as manage, another reason to be happy.
There weren’t many surprises during this week’s internationals, as most teams are just kicking off their preparations for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa later this year. But we’ve managed to learn a few things that we should keep an eye on.
What did we learn after the first round of games in the Confederations Cup? Though you should always be careful not to take much away from a single game by a team, we didn’t see much that we haven’t seen before.
Hidden amongst the reasons of Ronaldo’s move from Manchester United to Real Madrid is an important element which should have a significant impact on transfers to the Premier League, namely the UK’s coming 50% tax rate on earners of more than £150,000. That, combined with a weaker pound, is making destinations such as Spain more attractive to top footballers looking for a big payday.
Recent results seem to suggest that New Zealand’s main concern at the Confederations Cup this month will not be whether they can defeat Spain, Iraq or South Africa, but rather, whether they can score at all against them.
Of all the positions on the field, there is one more than the others that any manager would like to fill and forget about: goalkeeper. One team suffering greatly from indecision at this key position is England. David James has gotten by far the most time in goal but has never been able to generate any confidence either with teammates or any of the last 3 coaching staffs.