Sergio Batista and the Argentina fiasco!


Its been a really long time since Argentina National Football team underperformed in the opening stages of a big competition. For nearly 15 years, we have seen the team play promisingly in the opening stages and eventually flopping in one of the knock out rounds ultimately breaking millions of hearts all over the world. They broke my heart in the 2006 World Cup, 2007 Copa America and again in the 2011 World Cup. But the same trend was seen even as back as the 1998 World Cup in France where we fell to Holland. Though the 2002 World Cup was slightly different, we did show a lot of promise before the tournament. But lacked motivation in the group stages. And in the following Copa America in 2003, heart break again. Losing in the final after throwing away a winning position. But this years Copa America has been very different.

After flopping totally in the World Cup under ‘El Diego’ even with a superb squad, the team got itself a new manager in the form of Sergio Batista. Batista was formerly the youth team coach who won the Olympic Gold Medal. Inspite of that many doubted whether he had the tactical knowledge that a manager of a big national team must have. But things changed after a couple of Friendly matches. Argentina beat Spain comprehensively and beat Brazil and Portugal with some ‘Messi Magic’. So I thought “Ok. We finally got ourselves a good manager after Jose Pekerman. We should win the Copa without much difficulty”. But things changed dramatically. First he made clear that there would be no place for Carlos Tevez in the team. That put him under immense pressure from Argentine press and more importantly Diego Maradona whose words carry immense weight in Argentina. This made him rather uncomfortable. Then came a series of friendly matches which were supposed to be practice matches for the Copa. But Batista surprisingly played a B team or rather a C team against these teams and the NT played really really bad. Even though he intended to rest his stars, he should not have let the NT’s prestige go down the drain. And then came another stupid announcement.

He declared that the NT would be playing differently from now on. And that they would try to mimic FC Barcelona’s style of play as much as possible, with the World’s Best Player, Lionel Messi playing as a fake no.9. Many raised doubts as to whether Argentina has the players to match the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Villa etc. I also wrote an article about this, comparing the Barca and our NT’s squads. Still, people had some faith in our team and most were excited and eager to watch the team play that way. Then the final friendly against Albania before the Copa came and we played with Messi as the fake no. 9 and with Lavezzi and Di Maria playing on either side and more surprisingly Batista included Tevez in the squad. This raised questions as to whether he has a proper plan in his mind and as to whether he has complete control over the team and as to whether he is being influenced by people higher up in the ‘dirty’ Argentine football Hierarchy. Inspite of all doubts, the team played brilliantly and scored 4 goals with the four strikers Messi, Lavezzi, Tevez and Aguero getting on the score sheet. This raised the hopes and expectations of all the fans. But having said that Albania were not playing very good and their defense was amateurish to say the least. Still, Messi was playing like he was playing for Barca and everyone was doing well. But things soon changed when the Copa finally started.

When the team news came out hours before (a rather odd practice followed by all teams in the Copa America) the opening game against Bolivia in La Plata, every one was rather surprised. Batista put Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Mascherano and Ever Banega in midfield. And completely overlooked Pastore and Gago. There was absolutely no way the Esteban could play like Xavi or Iniesta. He is too old for that kind of stuff.  And more surprisingly Carlos Tevez was included in the starting lineup, despite the fact that Batista claimed that Tevez  does not play well for Argentina only few weeks earlier. Surely the Albania game would not have changed his mind. What changed his mind then? God knows… or may be Don Julio Grondona knows!

Even though the midfield lineup looked rather ‘uncreative’ or ‘dull’, I was still hoping that Argentina would put up a very good display considering the fact that Bolivia beat Argentina 6-1 in La Paz (at high altitude) in the World Cup Qualifiers under Diego Maradona. But the opposite happened. The team had zero creativity, poor movement, poor defensively and bleak infront of goal. Tevez was uninterested to play, all that Lavezzi did was run without any aim or motive, and the only played who you could say played well was Messi. But he too was poor after the restart at Half Time. Marcos Rojo looked pretty fragile at left back. And Cambiasso who should never have played was completely static in the middle of the park. He was the exact opposite of Xavi and Iniesta. No one wanted to link up with Messi. He had to drop deep to collect the ball and tried to dribble a long distance but couldn’t. How much can a little guy do?  There was no support for him. And things took a turn for the worse after half time. Bolivia scored a lucky goal and we were 1 down. Then came a stupid substitution. Di maria was brought on for Cambiasso and that demolished the precious little balance in the team. Later Lavezzi was taken off and Aguero was brought on and he saved Argentina with a sensational volley. It was clear that Argentina couldn’t adapt to the Barca game. And many players raised their concerns.

Still, Batista didnt change. He put out the same lineup (except for Rojo being replaced by Zabaleta of Man City) to the surprise of everyone. The mood of the fans and media now changed from one of hope to anger. Argentina underperformed again against Colombia and were lucky to get a 0-0 draw. To be honest, Argentina should have lost 2 or 3-0. Keeper Romero was brilliant throughout the game and kept out most goal attempts. But Batista tried to change the system by bringing on Gago and Aguero, but things didnt change. Then he brought Higuain on and we showed some promise but still it was not enough. Batista should have changed it from minute 1 itself! But why the hell does he not want Pastor to play? This seems really stupid. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Batista puts out the same squad against Costa Rica in the final must win group stage game. I hope he doesn’t.

Who knows what he will do next? He has really good midfield options with him. God knows why the 45 million pound rated Javier Pastore is being kept warming the bench and why he insists of always playing Cambiasso and Tevez and Lavezzi who look totally useless. This is the difference between previous tournaments and this. We wont be heart broken if we loose the game against Costa Rica. Even though I’d love to see my team progress, I’d rather face the World Cup without Batista than to win the Copa America and have that mad-man still as manager. I hope that man gets his senses and put out a different team. The pressure’s on with Costa Rica playing well and winning against Bolivia in yesterday’s game. Lets he what he does now!

 

Steve Robinson,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of a million hearts wanting Arg to win the Copa!

Bypassing School/College Firewall


College and School Computer Centre Admins do their best to irritate students by blocking several websites like Facebook, Youtube etc. using firewalls or Content Filtering softwares. But as in any security scheme, there are workarounds. Some of them are highly popular and reliable. Even though the admins know these techniques, most of them don’t take the effort to block these techniques. So there is a big chance that your admins might also come under this category. There are many techniques to by-pass firewall protection and web-filtering. But I’m giving you three techniques that are highly reliable and have a high success rate.

Preliminary Checks…

First and foremost ensure that there is no admin or staff is behind you and choose a terminal (PC) that is away from their view. Next, never have friends who cant keep their mouth shut. Keep this to yourself. Then, the most important thing you will be needing to do all sort of dirty jobs is the Command Prompt. An average computer user would never dare to even open it let alone work with it. But for a computer geek like you and me, it opens up a whole new world. So first verify whether your admin has blocked the cmd prompt or not. You can do this by just opening run from start menu or using “Windows Key + R” shortcut. Then in the run window type ‘cmd’ without quotes and press Enter. If it is not blocked, a black console screen should open up. If it shows a message that it has been blocked don’t worry, there are several ways to access it. So, if you have access to the cmd prompt I advice you to skip the following paragraph.

Heres a simple and reliable technique that should work in all computers. Open Notepad and type the following line in it.

command.com

Save it as “filename.bat”. (the .bat extension is very  important). Save it anywhere you have permission to save files. Then run it by double clicking it. And Voila! The command prompt should have opened up. Its working directory would be the directory in which you saved the bat file.

Now lets move on to the main course…

Bypassing the web filters…

I’ll give two methods that are used mostly first and then I’ll give you the one that I feel is the most reliable.

Method 1: This method involves the usage of a Web Translator service like Google Translate etc. Just go there and type the URL (address) of the website that you would like to access. Now select any “From” language other than English (say, French, Danish etc.) and select “To” language as English. A link to that address will be displayed on the right side panel. Just Click it and you will be able to access the website.

Method 2: This method is the classical approach. Here you make use of a very useful tool called as the proxy server. Many of us really don’t know what the web proxy is. Its nothing. It’s just a remote server through which we can access other servers (websites). But the local computer (the one which we use) doesn’t know the terminal server that we are accessing (the website accessed through proxy server). It only knows that we are accessing the proxy server. And the server that hosts the website that we are viewing also doesn’t know your actual IP address (the address of the computer from which you are viewing it). So you can easily mask yourself and the remote server that you are accessing behind a proxy website that looks harmless and hence is normally not blocked in schools and colleges. I wanted to limit the usage of jargons in this article because I wanted to reach school students who may not know their meaning. But I couldn’t help it. I want to explain everything in full depth. And hence the usage of jargons is unavoidable. So please excuse me. But I have added links to Wikipedia pages describing those jargons 🙂 . I found this wonderful image on Wikipedia that should explain by itself what a proxy server is.

Anyways, so to use this method, first you need to visit a proxy website. There are numerous proxy sites on the internet. Google can help you find them(click here). Go there and just type in the website you need to access in the text box given there and you can gain access to the desired website.

Method 3: This is the most reliable method that I was talking about. This method requires you to make use of the command prompt. Open it if you have access to it or follow my instructions that I gave in the above section if your admin has blocked it. Now after opening the command prompt type in the following command.

ping  www.websiteaddress.com

Replace http://www.websiteaddress.com with the URL of the website you would like to access. Now after that, you will see some messages being displayed on the screen. For those who are curious about what those messages mean I’ll explain it. What you are doing now is, you are “pinging” the remote server (the website). Pinging means sending a defined number of bytes (packets) to a server and finding the amount of time it takes for it to be transmitted and received (round trip). That time is displayed as, say, 56 ms (milliseconds). So this is a measure of latency between your computer and the remote server.

But we don’t need that data. All we need is the IP address of the website.  The IP address is the number with four fields separated by dots. Its like the pin code in your address. For those who want to know more about  the IP address ,click here.

For example, I ran the command “ping http://www.google.com” and I got the following output:

Ping Output.

So the number, 209.85.231.104 is the IP address of Google Server (The server hosting Google.co.in website).  Dont worry about the green colour. It may appear as black and grey for you. I just altered the colour scheme to give a Sci-fi effect. Just note it down or copy it (To copy in Command prompt, right-click the title bar of the window and select properties. Then check the Quick Edit mode check box under the Options tab. Then apply it and then click and drag out a selection of the text that you want to copy and just right-click over it and it should be copied to the clip board). Now that you have got the IP address, just enter it or paste it in the address box of your web browser. Eg, to access google.com, using the IP address that we got above, type in ” http://209.85.231.104 “. Then you can browse the website without any problem at all.

I want to teach you guys (for those who don’t know) an important concept. Actually the web-servers and the websites are identified and located by their IP ADDRESSES. But memorizing IP address is a tough job. So engineers came up with a cool technique called Domain Name System. By this way, the websites were assigned human readable and remember-able text addresses called domain names (eg. http://www.google.com). And then servers called Domain Name Servers (DNS) were used to resolve or translate these domain names into the corresponding IP address so that the website can be reached. So this is the concept behind this technique. The Local computer that you are accessing has a Web Filter software that knows only the domain name (i.e. google.com) but not the IP address. So if you can find the IP address, then you can browse to that website without using domain names and hence the Filter doesn’t know where you are browsing to.

Regards,

Steve Rob.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative and educational purposes only. This is not intended to aid any sort of crimes and the author will not be held responsible for any actions committed by the readers.