Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Portugal Preview

So, how about those Portuguese? Are they going to do anything this year? I'd love to tell you they're going to win it, but I'd have a really hard time convincing anyone that that's going to happen. Here is the squad (Portugal Squad). Portugal's got a few major problems. First, we don't have a right back because Bosingwa is injured. That's a huge loss as Miguel is fat and Paul Ferreira is old. Second, we don't have a left back. Duda's just not a good enough left back and Fabio Coentrao can't defend. His supporters will tell you that he is an amazing attacker down the left. Yeah, but left backs tend to have to defend, which he can't. Lets take a look at my line up for this team. Keep in my mind that this is the team that Queiroz chose which I have to work with. I would have made some different selections which I'll cover later.

GK: Eduardo - He had a good year with Braga and I think he should start. He's a solid goalie.

Left Back: Ricardo Costa - He finished the year strong in France. Although his primary position is not left back he does have some experience there. Most people want Coentrao to start here. Coentrao will get beat every time. I don't care if a left back or right back can attack really well. I'm much more concerned about them being able to defend. That's why I'll take Ricardo Costa over Coentrao at left back. Costa is also good in the air and a good player to have on set pieces.

Right Back: Paul Ferreira - He's old and not as good as he once was. However he's the best right back on the roster. One of my fears is that he will play left back. He is terrible there. The other right back on the team is Miguel. When these two were in their prime the argument for Miguel was that he was a much better attacker, however Ferreira was the better defender. Well, Miguel is now old and fat. He is no longer the speedster he once was. Although Ferreira is no longer the player he once was he can still defend better than Miguel and that's why I'd go with him.

Center Backs: Bruno Alves and Ricardo Carvalho - No need to explain this decision. Pepe hasn't played in too long and isn't in game shape. So you have to go with these two who form a very good pairing in the middle of defense.

Defensive Midfielder: Pedro Mendes - Mendes is a hard worker who can win those 50/50 balls and help out on defense. He's also a smart player who can distribute the ball well. You can argue that Miguel Veloso is a better player. He is, when he wants to be, which is pretty hard to predict. So that's why you have to go with Mendes.

Other two midfielders: Deco and Tiago - Deco isn't the player he once was but when he's on he can still play. Tiago has played well since moving to Atletico Madrid on loan. Really don't have much to choose from here. Raul Meireles has been disappointing all season long. He'll probably start but I don't think he should.

The wings: Cristiano Ronaldo and Danny - Ronaldo should probably start. I've heard he's a pretty good player. Danny should start over Simao and Nani. Simao is overrated. Often times I will watch Portugal play and not hear his name for over 20 minutes. Danny is just a better player than Nani, although Nani does have those moments of brilliance they tend to be very inconsistent.

Center Forward: Hugo Almeida - A big strong forward who is good in the air. Amazing left foot. Liedson can stay at home.

That's my starting line up given the players that Queiroz chose for the team. So is this team good enough to win. Yes, however they will need Ronaldo to be at the top of his game and will need some big performances from guys like Ferriera, Deco, Tiago, and some very good defense. I just don't see it happening. It could but it probably won't. So I wouldn't count on these guys winning it. Obviously not winning the World Cup is a disappointment, a disappointment that we are very used to. But realistically, if Portugal makes it to the quarter finals I'll say they did pretty good, even though I will be crushed by the disappointment of not winning, although not as much as usual.

Here are some players who should have gone:

Makakula - Had a great year in Turkey. Similar player to Almeida.

Joao Moutinho - I was shocked when he wasn't picked.

Vieirinha - Had a very good year in Greece. Should have been given a chance on the national team but never was.

There are a few others but the list could get pretty long so I'll stop there.

But lets be serious. The biggest omissions from this team were Carlos Rocha and Carlos Semedo. There's no way we're winning the World Cup without these two guys.


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