One of Damien Comolli’s tasks as Director of Football is to scour the continent and find the best young players who he can recommend to the Liverpool manager. Well I’d suggest he avoids Argentinian players. Why? Whilst there are many talented players in Argentina, they seem to be too much trouble.
Watching Barcelona matches, it’s quite amusing to see that Javier Mascherano is a largely unused substitute. How ironic that the Argentina captain, the player previously touted as the best defensive midfielder in the world, the man who moved to Spain because his wife wanted to live somewhere warm, now spends most of his time warming the bench. For him to break into the team he will have to edge ahead of Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Pedro. Oh and you can probably add Fabregas to that list in the summer.
The furore from the Catalan club during the transfer window when Liverpool were loathe to sell now seems hugely melodramatic. The incensed anger from Lionel Messi because Liverpool were condemning his national team mate to slavery by refusing to let him leave for less than our valuation (Messi’s club have a price tag of £150m written into his contract) now seems absurd. And the lowly figure of £18m that Barcelona paid for a player they see merely as a sub now seems extortionate.
I bet Mascherano is wishing he wore the trousers in his relationship. And that’s got nothing to do with the cold.
It’s not all bad news Masch, you’ll get an occasional run out in the Spanish cup.
Over at Eastlands, Carlos Tevez has been causing Man City a headache with his antics this season. And whilst it was funny to see him leave Man Utd on his own terms and fire parting shots at Fergie and Gary Neville, his attitude towards his current team is ludicrous. One minute he’s going to leave. The next he’s going to stay. Whenever he’s injured he scuttles back to South America at the first opportunity. And when he does play he wears so many layers he can hardly run. Throw in his threat of retirement because he’s homesick and it’s absolute madness. The man is 26, he is earning £150,000 a week and he only has a few years left on his contract. He should see it out, give 100% and when he does finally retire he will probably be able to afford to buy Argentina if he wants to.
If I were him I wouldn’t relish living in Manchester either but it’s not like he has to stay in England for the rest of his life. Just a few years. When you think how many normal people have to relocate for work and you consider how many lads dream of being professional footballers it puts the situation into perspective. But then perspective seems to be a quality that many modern footballers lack.
Back to Argentinians, the recent behaviour of Mascherano and Tevez, along with the memory of how Veron spectacularly flopped when he played in England, means if I was managing Liverpool, I wouldn’t be in any rush to sign an Argentine player. (Lionel Messi excluded of course).