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July 13, 2014


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I'm still bummed for the same reasons, I really wanted Messi to take it. So close. Oh well, not meant to be. Obviously it was not enough, but I thought Messi was pretty good given the tenor of the game, especially in the first half. If you compare him to what other attackers did he was relatively influential, but it was the sort of game in which deep lying midfielders were dominant, and Mascherano and Bastion S. were both very good. But I worry Messi is entering the Michael Jordan-post 1996 stage of his career, where he's still the best but not quite the same electric presence he was before. He had to ration his legs more in this tournament than I've ever seen him before.

In theory Messi will be young enough to win in 2018. In practice, Argentina will need a reinvigorated squad.

The parallel with the '97 Yankees breaks down in that respect: that squad was young then. But it's annoying for the same reason. The 1995-2001 squad was quite likely the best group of baseball players ever assembled, but worse squads won longer World Series streaks in the mid-20th century. So I wish they had won five in a row, to make their dominance obvious to even the most casual observer.

Ditto Messi. He's likely the best player ever. (My wife holds out for Pele; I'm not as sure.) but without a World Cup win, casual fans will hold him inferior to Maradona.

Ni modo. I don't think Messi is quite at the Jordan post-'96 phase, though. He's only, what, 26?

Just turned 27 I think. It doesn't seem like he should be losing his legs, but he just hasn't looked right since really last spring when he got hurt playing PSG. He has looked to me like he is conserving himself. But then I dunno, I'm not sure I trust my eyes on him, I inevitably wind up comparing him to the 22-year-old who hung four on Arsenal, which is an impossible standard.

And yeah for Argentina, they and he could be OK for 2018 but they needs some fresh legs. They had an old team this time around and I don't know of any 19-year-old Argentine superstars, but they could use one or three. Especially in the midfield.

Say, you still in D.C.?

I am indeed. You?

I will be permanently as of July 29th! (Check the new blog header. And your email! Assuming I have the right address.)

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