Muslera, Fucile, Giménez, Scotti, Mono, Arévalo, Tata, Cebolla, Lodeiro, Cavani, Suárez
Muslera: Had a solid game, won some face-to-face situations and improved considerably against crosses (an usual weakspot on his play, also atypical for a guy this tall).
Fucile: Credit to “El Maestro” here. I was surprised how this player can come back after so long, and play with hunger instead of nerves, this isn’t exactly a pleasant game to regain your form.
Basically he showed he’s always here available. In a post-match interview he said: ‘I don’t have friends inside the pitch. I get on this jersey and automatically opponents turn into ogres to me. Inside there it’s war’.
Giménez: “He had to dance with the ugliest one”, popular saying over here, fits perfectly to define this young boy’s duty. He’s barely 18. Showed confidence, attitude, strength, temper, timing and proved promising for the near future. The experiment went out okay.
Scotti: managed to organize the defense in a very tidy way. He was always last man in town, and payed especial attention to his new teenager partner, so credit to him, who meant a “defensive compass” to Giménez, his reference, the voice of experience in a kind and smart way.
Mono: Tireless. If I say he looked like the old Mono Pereyra, is it enough? His performance was unarguably beyond acceptable.
Arévalo: Was a beast. A hairy one (and nothing to do with his bald patch). A real pitbull. Looks like playing time in the US pretty much helped him. He was brave, active, and mostly precise on passing the ball.
Cebolla: Ran far. Not the best version of him, but acceptable. We need more of the onion.
Lodeiro: Probably and hopefully his last game in a Celeste jersey. I’m being a little harsh on him cause we never get what we expect from the guy. Psycologically he’s not ready. God knows if he’ll someday be. Some skills in there, not enough perhaps. Big players show up in big games. According to this, he’s not.
Tata: Not anyone’s cup of tea, but my limited football knowhow forces me to be frank here and admit he had a decent game, being active in midfield, participating, running, defending, and more importantly, the magnitude of this match neither enhanced nor worsen his typical game.
Cavani: A beast. Tried always to decide for the sake of the team, so he was not selfish. Defended well, yeah this is Uruguay we’re talking, Cavani is centre back, right back and also a striker, in fact, if my memory doesn’t trick me, it was him who stole the ball from the Colombians in our own pitch, passed to Maxi, received the ball after both ran like madmen and scored from a header. Surely deserving a wage increase.
Suárez: I noticed some selfishness in “El Pistolero” this time around. Not his best game, but we can forgive him for the countless times he saved our skin.
Stuani: Showed a cold mind in the good sense of it, precise with the ball, proved good as a midfielder and as a striker. Another credit to Tabárez, because even though we all wanted to see more of this player, like it or not, it was our coach who saw him first.
Gargano: Was very solid and seemed inspired for this game.
Ramírez: Showed exactly what’s expected from Lodeiro.
We are many steps closer, but we should not be happy allowing anyone to impose a possessional game over us. Spread the midfield with players who have a good enough ball control to endure any opposing pressure without making mistakes. That’s James Rodriguez type of player. It was impossible to get the ball off his feet, to force him to blunder, he would always find destiny to his passes. I witnessed something familiar to this watching De Arrascaeta in sub-20, amazing ball control and passing accurately vs. desperate Spaniards.
So it’s not about passing a ball when there’s nobody around to annoy, what counts is to achieve accurateness in passing against teams who don’t want you to do so, and who have quality to press and then pass. It is being able to hold that round thing waiting for something smart to do. You need some skills for that, and these are the type of player we need to welcome. Ball control, technique, tactical understanding of the game, strength or speed, accurateness are some of the ingredients which should be mandatory in any midfield. This is the answer to the million dollar question: Why can’t we play a possessional game. It is not because “we are Uruguayans” and it’s set in stone we should play cavern-man football.
I’d be glad to test, just to name a few: Cristóforo, Nacho González, De Arrascaeta, Ale Silva. Jiménez is great, but have you seen Guillermo de los Santos (Nacional wonderkid)? He also deserves a shot.
Conclusion is, all these suspensions and injuries were a blessing in disguise as they gave birth to a new era in which Change ain’t a bad word anymore. Generational change is more than welcome!
Thanks for supporting us all the way and see you in Brazil.
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