LEFT behind, ‘zit RIGHT?

June 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm
Posted under: 2014 FIFA World Cup, News

Kaka and Robinho by Getty Images
Kaka and Robinho by Getty Images

Everyone has an opinion on who they think should be in the World Cup squad that’s representing a country. But like every subjective issue as this one is, squads will not be every fan’s pick. Here’s a list of some of the players whose omitted names have caused much hysteria.

Samir Nasri (France)

He was left out of France’s previous World Cup squad coming to South Africa, but omitting him from the French squad going to Brazil came as a shock, especially after the season he had at Manchester City under Coach Manuel Pellegrini.

Coach Didier Deschamps left out the 26 year-old because he believes he won’t be content with sitting on the bench. This has led to Nari’s girlfriend launching a scathing attack on the French coach on social media site twitter. So bad was the attack that Deschamp is considering taking the legal action, and suing Anara Atanes.

France has many quality players, but the Premier league winning Nasri would really add to that tally. It is to be seen if the midfield maestro will be missed as his countrymen pursue the world cup glory they last had in 1998.

Isco (Spain)

The talented 22 year-old was unfortunate not to make the cut in the immensely talented Spanish pool of players. The Real Madrid player has represented Spain at junior level, from the U/17’s right through to the U/23 squads, with great maturity in his skill.

He hasn’t had the best start at Real Madrid, since signing from Málaga. He hasn’t been able to secure a spot in the starting line-up, with Ronaldo, Bale, Di María and the other midfielders at the club in fine form. Manger Carlo Ancelotti’s 4-4-3 formation doesn’t suit Isco’s style of play, but the coach does concede this needs reviewing.

The fortunate thing for Isco is that he still has youth on his side. Though he’s bracketed with the likes of Thiago and Koké as the heirs to Xavi’s throne, Isco is a unique talent.

Mario Gomez (Germany)

Many people are surprised at the omission of the 35 year-old. I’m surprised at their shock as Germany has seen some of their finest products from their youth structures in the past decade.

Coach Joachim Löw must be of the thought that the Germans only need one elder statesman in the team, in the form of Miroslav Klose. But more than that, Gomez hasn’t had a great season at his Italian club Fiorentina. He scored only three goals from the nine games he played.

Even with his impressive record in national colours where he has netted 25 goals in 59 games, it’s difficult to see how the Germans will miss this one.

Diego López (Spain)

Having another Spaniard on the list prompts the question: Just how many good players does this country have?

Diego López is the infamous Spanish goalie that managed to keep the fan favouriteIker Casillasout of the Real Madrid starting line-up for parts of this season. Even though Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has preferred López to keep goal in most of Los Blancos’ league games, Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque still chose to go with David de Gea of Manchester United and Napoli’s Pepe Reina as Casillas’ backup at the tournament.

Gaël Clichy (France)

The former Arsenal man has been one of the notable surprises in the French team. He and Éric Abidal don’t seem to crack it with Coach Didier Deschamps, but Abidal’s omission according to Dechamps, is due to the influx of youth in the squad. Clichy’s exclusion raised some eyebrows, although he hasn’t been a regular at Man City his skill would’ve come to good use for the French.

The French defence will rely heavily on the 93 caps experience between Patrice Evra and Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna, with each of the other defenders having less than 20 caps each. Clichy’s experience would have come to good use, albeit that he only has 20 caps himself.

Landon Donovan (USA)

Soccer in the United States of America hasn’t been the number one sport but has grown rapidly. One of the reasons for that has been because of Donovan. The country’s leading goal scorer has been left out of Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23 man squad. Donavan has missed a number of the country’s World Cup qualifying matches, so they did prepare themselves for life without their most capped player.

A lot of pressure will be on the shoulders of Captain Clint Dempsey to not just lead the team but also to score goals.

Ashley Cole (England)

The Chelsea left-back was probably the biggest omission in England’s squad. It’s obvious that this was Cole’s final World Cup, so much so that when he learned that he was not part of Coach Roy Hodgson’s preliminary squad, he called quits on his international career.

Everton’s Leighton Baines hasn’t made life any easy for Cole, as he has made the left-back position his own. Other talent on the come-up is Southampton’s 18-year-old Luke Shaw. Although Cole has been a regular at Chelsea, it looks like new talent is to blame for his exclusion.

Carlos Tevez (Argentina)

This is probably the biggest eyebrow raiser on the list. The Juventus striker has been left-out of the Argentina squad. His performances in Serie A have been so strong that Tevez fans even took to the streets of Buenos Aires to protest against his exclusion.

Like Spain, Argentina has an abundance of talent in attack. But this doesn’t explain Coach Alejandro Sabella’sexclusion of Tevez in his squad. Talents such as Sergio Agüero, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gonzalo Higuaín are deserving of a place in the squad, but Tevez’ talent would have come to good use, even from the bench.

Jermain Defoe (England)

The speedy forward was disappointed at his exclusion from Roy Hodgson’s squad, though he could still find himself in Brazil and has been placed on standby.

His disappointment doesn’t make much sense as he is a year over thirty and there is blistering talent coming behind him in the form of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Raheem Sterling.

The former Spurs man may not have played a pivotal role in any of England’s games he has played in, but his 55 caps could’ve come to good use for Hodgson in Brazil.

Kaka and Robinho (Brazil)

With a new wave of talent that includes Nyemar,Willian and Oscar the AC Milan duo have been left out of Brazil’s squad. Kaka and Robinho were the darlings of Brazilian football but after the country saw a dip in world dominance in football.

Kaka and Robinho – the stars in the 2010 World Cup – still had hopes of playing in the tournament at home but were left-out of Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s squad. It seems the coach wanted to continue with the bulk of players who won him the Confederations Cup last year.

Brazil’s squad is brimming with new exciting talent, and they have a sprinkle of experience in the some crucial positions in the squad. It will be seen if the inexperienced members won’t fold amid pressure from protesting fans that don’t support the spectacle in their backyard.

By BongiNkosi Tiwane


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