Maradona has found right blend, says Caniggia
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Last Updated: Monday, June 14, 2010, 20:07
Pretoria: They made a huge meal of qualifying but Diego Maradona - who has used more than 100 players during his 19 months in charge - has now found the right blend, says former striker Claudio Caniggia.

"Argentina turned in the best performance so far under Diego - they really dominated Nigeria," said Maradona's former teammate Caniggia as he reflected today his compatriots' opening Group B win over the Africans.

With Lionel Messi in effervescent form - even if some of his shooting and that of his colleagues was either errant or else dealt with smartly by busy Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama - the South Americans look a genuine force to be reckoned with.

Maradona may not be able to afford himself the luxury, however, of keeping an unchanged winning team as he looks to build on the momentum of the win in Johannesburg.

With South Korea looming in their sights Thursday, Maradona is likely to reinforce his defence with Roma's Nicolas Burdisso after essentially trying a back three underpinned by Newcastle's deep-lying midfielder Jonas Gutierrez while midfield linchpin Juan Veron is nursing a calf strain.

If Veron is not risked that could mean a call-up for Mario Bolatti.

Maradona insists that "I have 23 tough cookies in my squad and any one of them can be a starter."

He also insisted after the Nigeria victory that "we are on the right road" after all the trials and tribulations of the qualifiers which saw the Argentinians come close to missing out as he constantly chopped and changed his team with bewildering regularity.

Fiorentina's Bolatti says he hopes he will get the chance to get stuck into the tournament having been the man who scored the goal in Montevideo against Uruguay which brought qualification.

"I am ready to to come in and do whatever the boss wants me to do. I am a winger essentially but I can fill whichever role the coach wants me to," he told reporters.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, June 14, 2010, 20:07

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