Checho Checks Out of the Overlook Hotel

For the last year the Selección has been all about image, an insubstantial rebranding exercise with about as much chance of success as getting rid of a tape worm by rougeing yourself up. Batista constantly tried to give the impression that he was feelin’ fine, that he was a nice, simple guy, just a football man – nothing like the media whore Maradona. Yet in reality he was far worse. His laconic, laid-back style was just as vacuous as Diego’s occasional diatribes. Lest we forget, however, Maradona is a real sociopath whereas Batista is a poser. His desperate attempts to convince us of his self-assurance never once rang true. His endless harping on about his idea futbolística was as cringeworthy as the holiday snaps he’d take with startled and/or bored footballers and show the world on twitter. The craven little captions remind us of a hip priest trying to get down with the kids.

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The stubbly wonder Sergio Batista had just taken his seat before the gang of shivering pressmen. Serious questions needed to be asked; serious answers needed to be given. This was very serious. A 1-1 draw at home against Bolivia is a serious matter at the best of times, but, seriously, when you’re looking to kickstart a long-term project of reinstating Argentina among the serious teams of the world, a project so serious even stopping to pick up the gaudy bauble that is the over-sized Copa América along the way needs to be given some serious thought, an emphatic win is hardly even sufficient – you need a serious declaration of serious principles, you need to finally see the much-vaunted footballing philosophy manifest itself on the pitch for the full 90 minutes, you need to produce a display of such earth-scorching fantasy that a mere footballing humiliation of the kind not seen since Maradona’s boys last went to La Paz does serious harm to the normally chummy relations between the Silver Surfer and the Tin Man. But a lame, frustrating, heart-chilling farce of a performance, a desperately humdrum, plodding, exasperating showing from your boys, no, that’s a very serious matter indeed.

Checho had just got into his opening mumbles about how happy he was with the group, however, when the grave atmosphere was interrupted whimsically by some unseen announcer. The Man of the Match award had to be given out. The LG Man of the Match award had priority and Batista could damn well wait. The camera zoomed out jerkily, taken unawares much like Banega at the near post, and Messi shuffled in from the right, as he once did for Barcelona. All hunched shoulders and darting eyes, Lionel had to walk across the front of the table where Checho sat statue-like in a vain attempt to maintain his dignity. The best way to do this, he seemed to suggest, was to try and put the few feet of the universe immediately surrounding him on pause.

Messi wasn’t having such a great time of it either. Although posing gormlessly for photos must be a reflex at this stage, the seconds he spent holding what looked like a giant cheque seemed seriously vexing. Not for the first time watching Messi suffer in South America, we were reminded of Kevin Kilbane, in particular his bewilderment at being named man of the match after the 1-2 win over San Marino a few years back. He tried to exit swiftly, but he was stopped by some LG stooges, who gestured to him to put his hand on or near one of their new line of phones.

Checho continued to sit upright, passive in attitude, impassive in aspect. It was only a matter of some thirty seconds but by the time Messi scuttled back across the front of the podium and straight out the door on the far side, icicles were hanging from his stately nose, the Jack Torrance impression reinforced by the greasy slicked-back hair.

Checho Batista at the post-game press conference

That would never have happened to Maradona. Or if it had, he would have dealt with it so differently, as after the now-foreboding Germany friendly in March 2010.

Poor Checho, he never really had a chance, did he? Tonight, if the carefully orchestrated ‘rumour’ mill is to believed, he’ll become the first manager to be fired in don Julio Grondona’s thirty-two year reign. He’ll also have the ignominious distinction of having been in charge for less time than any Argentina manager since the early 1970s. The fact is, however, that Batista was never really in charge. He was just the caretaker. He has always been the caretaker.

The evil spirits at the Overlook Hotel/AFA have been calling the shots all along. We’ve been through all this before: ghouls like Humbertito Grondona and Bilardo deliberately delayed Batista’s appointment in order to accommodate themselves in their respective positions in the turmoil that threatened to engulf them following the World Cup last year. This strategy carried the extra bonus of weakening the new man’s hand. After Diego had spent a year and a half giving them wedgies and indian burns, it was imperative the next man be a pushover – someone willing to lead a band of nobodies on a Tour of Shame round Nigeria and Belgium a few weeks before the first Copa América on home soil in a quarter of a century; someone whose ear could be bent so that players bound to certain agents could get some potentially-lucrative game-time in the prestigious albiceleste jersey. A financially-secure national team coach with his own ideas about what games will be played where and with which players is merely a hindrance, an eyesore on an otherwise delightful, lush, dollar-green prairie. Besides, what’s the point of racking one’s brains for the perfect candidate anyway? Sure with better men than Batista, the results in World Cups and Copas were always the same: quarter finals or lose to Brazil. Unlike Delbert Grady, the AFA aren’t even too interested if the job gets done or not. People are not going to lose interest in football: they’ll keep painting their faces and playing for tickets. A new man can be brought in. They’re not worried about any ‘nigger cook’. 

What is important, though, is that the illusion is maintained; the pueblo loves an idol, an image. And so Messi was thrust to the fore – the Messiah presented as a strong man whose every whim must be met, the man to whom the rest must bow and cower if anything is to be achieved. It was irrelevant whether Messi actually wanted any of this, – pegamequemegusta has it on good authority that lil Lionel’s only real concerns as he roamed the halls of the hotel on his tricycle was to avoid the terrifying spectre of the Milito-Burdisso sisters – but someone had to be seen to be occupying the vacuum the mumbling Checho clearly couldn’t fill. 

Messi enjoying some downtime during the Copa América earlier this month

For the last year the Selección has been all about image, an insubstantial rebranding exercise with about as much chance of success as getting rid of a tape worm by rougeing yourself up. Batista constantly tried to give the impression that he was feelin’ fine, that he was a nice, simple guy, just a football man – nothing like the media whore Maradona. Yet in reality he was far worse. His laconic, laid-back style was just as vacuous as Diego’s occasional diatribes. Lest we forget, however, Maradona is a real sociopath whereas Batista  is a poser. His desperate attempts to convince us of his self-assurance never once rang true. His endless harping on about his idea futbolística was as cringeworthy as the holiday snaps he’d take with startled and/or bored footballers and show the world on twitter. The craven little captions remind us of a hip priest trying to get down with the kids.

May 6th: 'We gave Nico the folio. He's really psyched! Always a pleasure to talk footie with him.'
11th May: 'With Otamendi watching the Barcelona game. We talked football and what lies ahead.'
April 28th: 'Meeting over with Lucas Biglia. We spoke of the future and our footballing idea.'
May 4th: 'At an Inter Milan training session. I was received very well by Leonardo. Later I had lunch with the players.'

It’s a still-frame version of An Impossible Job – but without the sympathy. Do you, dear handsome reader, think for one minute the players didn’t take the piss out of him for it?

He was isolated and alone from the start, then, but he did himself no favours. The shallowness of the ‘project’ was reflected in the gutless displays on the pitch. For all his talk of a plan, of folios, DVDs and analysis to ensure success, it immediately became clear in the Copa América that, far from producing something novel, he may as well have spent the previous few months rattling out the same sentence over and over again on a beat-up Underwood. His one innovation, playing Messi as the central striker, he abandoned after 45 goalless minutes against Bolivia. The Uruguayans bashed him on the head with a bat and locked him in the pantry. The ghouls were none too pleased. 

Over the last few days, the brave administrators at the AFA have been calling for his head. Yes, in the great democracy that is Argentine football, the same people who apparently voted Batista in last October 19-1 are now, according to a report in Olé today, 16-4 against him staying on. They regard the Copa América campaign as an unremitting disaster and have lost all faith in the man who only last month signed his contract taking him through to the end of the World Cup qualifiers. Most importantly, however, some are upset they were not allowed into the dressing room in Santa Fe, while Checho’s brothers were. Now it’s Batista’s turn to stay out in the freezing cold, lost in a maze midst a blizzard of bullshit as the little pigs at the AFA yet again seek to save the hairs on their chinny-chin-chins.

Humbertito & Bilardo

The favourite for the job is Alejandro Sabella. He spent much of his career as Passarella’s assistant before winning the Libertadores and a few league titles with Estudiantes in 2009. It’s really quite irrelevant, however. Humbertito Grondona and Bilardo look  likely to stay on in their posts, looking out for their own interests, messing about in team affairs, undermining the manager and generally helping to bring out the worst in the players available. Don Julio, of course, will remain untouched and will continue to sate the ghouls at the AFA with the blood of Argieball. Great party, isn’t it?

Lionel Messi & the Campaign Against Heterofascism

There is hope, however. Occasionally the perverts break out. Last night in Santa Fe was a prime example of otherness, of freaky queerness, as Sergio Batista’s boys gave us a lesson in how to buck the system. Cunningly, they made a mockery of the whirlwind of promotions using the Copa América as an excuse to vend their dubious wares. Every stumble, every misplaced pass, every balooned free kick, every weakling challenge with less shoulder than a quadreplegic, every outlandishly bizarre through-ball to an advancing Colombian striker, every aimless scuttle up the wing was a hook in the eye of the hustlers and their shoddy merchandise. Buy a new TV for the Copa América! Make it a plasma! Get 15% off your building supplies with this Copa América coupon! Play like Messi, drink Coca Cola! Well, last night Messi showed em all Coca Cola doesn’t just rot your teeth.

The newspapers and radio waves of the Argentine Republic were a-fizzle again this morning with questions that go right to the core of one’s being, questions of such profundity angels need a crash course in spelunking just to probe their quartz-starred depths for a whiff of sin. More than mere questions, indeed, they were treating issues. For one doesn’t like to mess around when it comes to the overarching matter of identity, of who you are and what you are doing with your life; not to mention the ethical quandaries involved regarding one’s relationship to society, how your work affects others, how, my god, how it could affect children, or how you should feel about accepting money in exchange for the giving of pleasure. Yes, the newspapers and airwaves were positively buzzing with debate over the removal of what is known as Rubro 59 from a well-known Buy & Sell-type publication.

Rubro 59, of course, is where the advertisements appear for those seeking a little solace with a stranger. Scandalously, the project of human happiness begun several thousand years ago has failed to develop a system whereby every member of a society can discharge themselves of the tyrannous instincts their body and mind impose on them. Nor has it ensured a common level of wealth for all, hence some people quite rightly seek to fill this hole in the market by offering themselves as receptacles for the genital-orientated violence of others in return for money. If these despotic urges are not satisfied, and regularly by gum, emotional states commonly known as unhappiness, frustration and even anger come to prevail. Hence, for the good of all, the people willing to provide these services quite naturally seek to let others know about them. They do so, just like any other business, through the media. On Tuesday, however, the President decreed that henceforth this practice would be prohibited, Rubro 59 would be no more, presumably because sated citizens do precious good to a nation’s economy.

Dear handsome readers, so sure in your skins, of course you have never suffered exclusion or crises of the self. Yet although the demagogues of the free press will no doubt try to convince you the move is solely concerned with the protection of the vulnerable, be not so fooled. This is about identity. It’s about streamlining the urges of the masses, bringing them into line with the demands of the market. It’s their way of telling you who to be. Sure they’ll put a few sell-out queers on primetime tv now and again, but they’re always hardworking, honest consumers, slaves to the capitalist machine. The real deviants (from the norm) they condemn to clandestine dives. 

There is hope, however. Occasionally the perverts break out. Last night in Santa Fe was a prime example of otherness, of freaky queerness, as Sergio Batista’s boys gave us a lesson in how to buck the system. Cunningly, they made a mockery of the whirlwind of promotions using the Copa América as an excuse to vend their dubious wares. Every stumble, every misplaced pass, every ballooned free kick, every suicidal through-ball to an advancing Colombian striker, every aimless scuttle up the wing was a hook in the eye of the hustlers and their shoddy merchandise. Buy a new TV for the Copa América! Make it a plasma! Get 15% off your building supplies with this Copa América coupon! Play like Messi, drink Coca Cola! Well, last night Messi showed em all Coca Cola doesn’t just rot your teeth. What other possible explanation is there for this, for example?

The only thing that went wrong in la Selección‘s plan to raspberry capitalism and heterofascism in the face was that the match ended 0-0. Despite the pleasing symbolism of those two gay-friendly digits – anti-digits really, to boot – a Colombian victory would really have led to a revolution. God knows Gaby Milito and Zanetti did everything to help them, but the cafeteros managed to miss two open goals. Moreover, Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero clearly hadn’t been filled in on the plan, making several excellent saves to follow up on his nifty performance against Bolivia Friday last. 

Hence the media was left without a real fracas to savour, just a bewildering, ominous evening. They felt they had been challenged but weren’t quite sure why. Qualification was still pretty likely, after all. With the appearance of the Rubro 59 story, they were saved. It became clear that to discuss questions of identity and Argentina’s Copa América campaign was more or less the same thing.

So Olé was once again consumed by angst concerning the team’s innermost being. The photo on the front cover portrays the people’s warrior as a nancy, pulling out of a challenge with the fiery, maned, Colombian alpha male Yepes. Inside, two of their top scribes address the question of identity. Marcelo Sottile says: “Checho has spoke so often of playing like Barcelona that la Selección no longer even plays like Argentina.” While Juan Pablo Varsky’s editorial piece on the onside cover carries the headline: ‘An Unrecognisable Messi’ [‘Ni Messi se parece a Messi‘].

Here it is in full:

La Selección rescued a point last night. A vital point. When you play that badly, when you’re so completely outplayed, when the only saving grace is your goalkeeper, when you end up hoofing the ball out of defence hanging on for dear life, a draw feels like a blessing. Especially in a competition that doesn’t leave you much room for manoeuvre. La Selección is not dead yet. They can still advance to the next round.

But is the Selección still alive? Rather, is the team still alive? The team, the, team, what bloody team? Let’s see. When you have the best player in the world at your disposal, the obvious question is how the team measure up to him. And if you’ve been watching this version of the Selección, you’d have to say: in no conceivable way. La Selección in no way reflects Messi. Hell, Messi himself is unrecognisable. If you didn’t know who the little fella in the number 10 jersey was, you’d probably say to yourself: he’s an interesting player that there lefty, he’s got some nice moves…

Batista. Let’s talk about Batista. It might seem insulting, a lack of respect, but it’s about time. Possession alone does not make a team. It’s about how you use the ball, how the team occupies the space on the field, how you deal with your opponents. And the way the Selección occupies space on the pitch is horrifying. When they have the ball, there is a dearth of options, of angles, of intensity. And when they lose it, there’s no-one standing by, they don’t regroup, there’s no cover. Colombia, on the contrary, had all of that. Wise to Argentina’s strengths and weaknesses, Colombia controlled, bossed and schooled the Selección in how to work as a unit. Far from personifying their individual genius, the Selección was the embodiment of Lavezzi’s obstinacy, Tevez’s contumacy, Zanetti’s obduracy. A Selección, in the end, where everyone either takes two touches too many or one too few.

You will note, dear handsome reader, that the article in no way singles out Messi for blame or attacks him personally. These days Messi-bashing only features in the discourse of the terminally wretched – shock jocks, daytime chat show hosts and dyslexic teenagers on twitter. Criticism from the crowd in Santa Fe was in no way limited to Messi himself, raining down from all sides on all the players in the form of a sarcastic song usually reserved for (club) teams in the most ignominious of circumstances: Jugadooores / La concha de su maaaadre / A ver si ponen hueeevos / Que no juegan con naaaadie [Basically: give it some socks, sure the other team are shite]

Hence our surprise at Jonathan Wilson’s piece in the Guardian today. No, all football people recognise that Argentina’s football ills go far beyond Messi. He still occupies the centre of it, but only because everyone is so convinced any possible solution must come through him. 

In any case, any criticism that might be out there only comes from the capitalist establishment. We here at pegamequemegusta, and now you, dear perverted reader, know that the Messi who plays for Barcelona could not possibly resemble the one who turns out for Argentina as they are two completely different projects. Barcelona seek to advance the cause of the Catalan nation, and the Qatari one, too. Why, until recently they explicitly sponsored the protection of children via UNICEF. Whereas Argentina look to give a voice to all those who rejoice in the wasting of seed.

We argued on Tuesday that the Selección would overcome Colombia once they rediscovered the death drive, personified by el Kun Aguero, who is currently seeking a move to Real Madrid. However, last night’s events in Santa Fe showed us the error of our ways. Last night in Santa Fe we saw an expression of queerness, a refusal to reproduce, a refusal to get into bed with capitalism and heterofascism. We saw quite a daring refusal to even play the game of football. It was remarkable. Unfortunately, the revolution was left incomplete as Colombia never went beyond giving a masterclass in tantric titillation. However, you can be damn sure the same mistakes will not be repeated against Costa Rica. Next Monday night Argentina will finish the job: no more football, no future. Aguante Argentina carajo!

O Death!

After 67 minutes of Argentina’s game with, or rather, match against Bolivia last Friday night, Carlos Tevez received the ball on the edge of the box with his back to goal. Not only that, the pass had come rolling swiftly along the grass so he could stop it with his foot with relative ease. This is important as it opened up several possibilities. He could pass the ball to a teammate, who in turn, given his proximity to the goal, could take a shot and hope the man in the gloves would not stop it. Alternatively he could shield the ball himself and trust in his own considerable skill, strength and punch to burst past the defender and fashion a shooting opportunity of his own. Another possibility was that he roll the ball back to the player who had so cleverly passed the ball to him in the first place so that his companion could have a more or less unobstructed shot at the goal. This move is known to erudites as a one-two as it consists essentially of two parts. The third part, however hypothetical, consists of a shot or a cross or a pass or even another one-two, perhaps with the same teammate, perhaps with another. There are all sorts of possibilities. Indeed, one is tempted to say that it is precisely this array of possibilities stemming from a simple situation – as opposed to the rather more limited potential concatenations involved in a tennis serve or a pitch, to give but two examples, although of course there are many more – that accounts for the popularity of association football.

The pass along the ground to the player’s feet allowed for all this. It gave him control of the situation in a way that a ball sent through the air would not have done. In such a case, it was much more probable that the goalkeeper, who is allowed to use his hands, would have plucked the ball out of the air like a slimy frog does a hairy fly, or a hairy frog does a slimy fly – neither the hair or the slime are particularly relevant, we admit – or it may even have rolled sadly behind the chalked touchline, bringing a definitive end to the possibility of a chance, not to mention a goal. For goals are important in football. They make it more probable that a team will win, thereby accruing points or advancing to the next round, and ultimately being presented with a trophy, thereby increasing one’s value in the market, and hence making it more probable that one will find a partner to reproduce with, or maybe even more than one. Hence we can see that the pass along the ground to Tevez’s feet was a veritable expression of the death drive. It is no coincidence that the Bishop of Barcelona has taken to condemning misplaced passes as abortions and contrary to God’s Will.

In the event, Carlos Tevez was tackled illegally by the Bolivian defender and a free kick was awarded. This was also an opportunity for the furthering of the human race, if not the nation of Bolivia, and while the possibilities such a situation offers are not as great as when the ball is in open play, it was still a positive outcome. The resulting free kick was taken by Lionel Messi, widely regarded as the best player plying this trade at this moment in history. His attempt bounced off the defensive wall and went out for a corner kick. Although a chance of a very different kind, it was nonetheless also a promising state of affairs.

That corner kick ended up in the goalkeeper’s hands, thus thwarting Argentina’s drive to the laurel-crowned harem in their hearts, temporarily at least. Amazingly, however, they did not seek to repeat the move. Despite its relative simplicity and the multitude of positive scenarios such a pass is likely to create, the team failed to recognise the path to a more precious future and onanistically wasted their seed, selfish Peters in a crowd failing to heed the cry of the cock. 

Yet, oh dear handsome readers, should we really have been surprised? For it had taken them 67 minutes just to conjure such a situation. Despite Checho Batista’s much-vaunted ‘footballing idea’, after months of tramping around Europe with a gaggle of assistants and being stopped many times at the Old continent’s frontiers under suspicion of being a roving DVD pirateer; despite a year’s worth of ‘renovation’, of change; despite a month of training together; despite the inclusion of Cambiasso and Banega in the midfield, the tonic we were told – you all said – that would have had the Germans spinning on their axes like greased up spinning tops on a roulette wheel attached to a carousel pumping out Scooter tunes on Adrastea, the fastest moon in the solar system, kids; despite being at home in the first game in the first tournament to be played in their homeland for nearly a quarter of a century; despite being up against Bolivia; despite it all, they were rubbish.

Checho’s Guardiolan plan of playing Messi as a ‘false 9’ lasted a mere 45 minutes: at half time Cambiasso was replaced by Di María, and Argentina were now lining up exactly as the hopeless, clueless, insane, not-a-coach Maradona had seen fit a year before, with two in midfield, Di María out wide, and Messi behind the front two, which was really a front one as Lavezzi stayed way out on the right shanking crosses until he was hauled off. Meanwhile, noted philanthropist Javier Zanetti was doing a faithful enough impression of his previous performance in an Argentina jersey in a competitive game some two years before, when he was torn asunder by nimble, tough Paraguayans. by turning green and tucking his head into his shell. On the opposite flank, teammates found it hard to pick out Marcos Rojo as no-one was sure who he was. 

June 2011 - The Tour of Shame

Thankfully, Pablo ‘Captain of the Tour of Shame’ Zabaleta will take his place tonight. Then again, what’s the point? Are the team, and by extension, us, that is, we, likely to find more suitable life partners because the Captain of the Tour of Shame is playing? Perhaps. It’s worth a go. More important, however, is that the players try to repeat that fleeting moment of genius when the ball was rolled to Tevez’s feet and an array of possibilities presented itself, forked tongues eagerly licking out into the future, mocking destiny, praising God.

Not that those feet must necessarily belong to Carlos Tevez, mind, lest the dogmatic of you take these words of wisdom and set up an idolatrous church. No, for Carlos Tevez, after all the spittle, ink spilt and sandwiches left only half-nibbled on the counter such were the pueblo’s nerves, finally ended up starting the match. And what a start! Two minutes in, onside and directly in front of goal, he sent a header five or six yards wide. After four minutes, he dived in embarrassing fashion in the box. Then he disappeared for fifteen minutes, during which time he was only seen to appeal lamely for a supposed handball from a corner. He next popped up on the left wing but soon fell over, notwithstanding the absence of any actual challenge. At the 25 minute mark, he went on a good solo run into the box but he was soon crowded out. In the 37th minute, he was booked for charging into someone or other. “We’re seeing the Carlos Tevez of the World Cup qualifiers,” quoth the commentator. Not true, it was far worse than that. 

Messi, on the other hand, had definitely left his mopey, slumped-shoulders qualifiers persona far behind him. However, the class he was showing not only made him stand out from the Bolivian players harrying after him, it also illuminated the gulf of class that set him apart from his own teammates. Like a bird trying to teach its young to hunt, he’d eviscerate his prey, leaving his teammates the simple task of finishing off the now but faintly-squawking mess of tattered green feathers. Nonetheless, whether it was Carlitos, Lavezzi or even Cambiasso, they always managed to make such a hash of the opportunity that the wretched creature could crawl off and recover. 

Such opportunities were more rare than a non-talking parrot in a feel-good summer blockbuster, however. Batista brought seven forwards to the Copa América (Messi, Tevez, Aguero, Higuaín, Milito, Lavezzi and Di María) and has Messi as the number nine in a three man attack. Yet even in the second half when Argentina were desperately searching for a goal, much of the time there was no-one up front. They were way out wide, they were back in midfield, they were checking to see if their mistresses were sitting near to their wives in the stand, but where the striker was supposed to be there was a vacuum. We’ve all scoffed longer and harder than kilt-less Scotsman at a school sack race at Batista’s pretension to play like Barcelona, but on Friday it was clearer than ever: Messi was expected not just to be Messi but also to fill in as Xavi and Iniesta, too. (Mundoalbiceleste has a fine description of this we don’t care to improve on). It did not work.

Even though we don’t agree with his line-up, however, in fairness to Batista the real problem here is the players. Tactics only delimit a basic shape to the team and probably have more to do with defending and launching attacks than the actual creation of chances. The players he selected, with the exception of Rojo, all have considerable experience yet shirked all responsibility. This has been a constant feature of the team since the defeat to Brazil in the last Copa América in 2007, apart from a few games in the World Cup last year, when Diego had them believing they were champions. The refusal to step up means – even, say, after a bright start to a game – confidence drains out of the team until they no longer even know how to do the simplest things, as outlined in the 67th minute epiphany above. And God help them if they go behind, as against Brazil in Rosario in 2009 and Germany last year (in the third minute!)… The management team and the AFA’s constant elevation of Messi to beyond Maradona status hasn’t helped either. It’s given this weakest of groups another excuse to offload the ball in the middle of the pitch and hang back hoping someone else will sort things out. 

On the other hand, what on earth Tevez and Lavezzi were up to last Friday night is anyone’s guess. In barely 20 minutes Agüero changed the game by actually making it look more like a game of football: he would interact with his teammates, he would pass, run and shoot. Apart from that, though, he looked tough and lean. His military hair-do oozed death drive. He won’t start tonight but that hardly matters. He’s keen to show he’s happy to be a sub. Thank Christ he’s currently angling for a move to a bigger house in Madrid. And what’s more, they’ll be playing in Colón’s ground, el cementerio de los elefantes. Hopefully the whiff of death will be sufficient motivation to give the Colombians a good rogering.