Re: Davis Cup 2008 final - leading Argentina's quest to win their first DC
I was having a discussion with Julia about the press articles that have been going around, and this mainly sums up my thoughts on the matter:
Certainly David did show some poor behaviour during the tie, although you have to put it into context. The tie meant a lot to him. He wanted it so badly and expected to win, so when things didn't go as planned, he didn't deal with it well. As far as I'm concerned, that's all it was, not some ego trip, like some journalists have written. He is human, after all. When you're that passionate about something, it does result in sometimes extreme emotions either way. I guess, next time, he should learn not be as overconfident to be more well equipped to deal with any setbacks that occur along the way.
As for David ruining the unity of the team, it's far too hypothetical to speculate how much of an impact of the team. Regardless, I felt like both Calleri and Acasuso put in relatively decent performances, which could not have been called poor at all, compared to their recent form anyway, and played some good tennis in patches. All of the players were feeling down after the doubles (and maybe even after the singles), and it can be hard to bond together after times like that. I have always got the feeling anyway that David is the kind of team leader that can inspire others when he's really confident and playing well, but he doesn't do a good job of lifting others when he's feeling down himself - as can be seen in some of his doubles matches.
There were some heated exchanges with Calleri after all (no fight though), but it was more of a heat of the moment thing, but they're fine now. Whereas him and Del Potro don't seem to be on speaking terms. It's hard to comment on the extent of any of these incidents, based on reports, so I'll keep it generalised.
The arguments didn't really start until after the first day's play, so Bodo's reference to Del Potro's performance is reaching, if all they are referring to were his court surface demands and overpowering attitude. I did read a rumour though that David was already getting on Del Potro's case about him arriving late for Shanghai when they started practicing, insulting him (not arguing), but I find that one hard to believe since that sort of thing would be harder to hear from outsiders and I find it hard to believe that he would be acting like that at a time when he was optimistic and confident of success. Not to mention that this particular rumour is not widespread.
Regarding the campaigning for Cordoba, I remember back then that the team did get together and discuss the issue after the tie against Russia, and they all agreed to play in Cordoba. But now they are reporting, that David was the only one that wanted to play there. Certainly, he was the one that wanted it the most. In hindsight, I didn't really agree with the press conference he held to endorse Cordoba, but in the end, it's not a big deal, and it's just another thing they've used to criticise him with. The thing is, at that time, the players were not aware that it was even possible to play at Mar Del Plata since the place needed a lot of renovations, and no one thought it was a candidate, which is why they may have voted for Cordoba, but preferred to play in Mar Del Plata.
As reported earlier in the week, the speed of the court was not only tailored for him but for the rest of the team as well, although understandably his opinion is more important than Acasuso and Calleri's, since they were only slotted in for the doubles and Del Potro was not there to have his say. I find it amusing that both this and the information about the venue was already widely known before the tie finished, and no one cared about it then but they've now used it as yet another negative point about him.
As for Canas not being the team, that seems like such an obvious decision, I have no idea why he is held responsible for it. Canas has been nowhere near good enough recently and was left out accordingly. Apart from David wanting to play with Arnold Ker in the final, he also wanted Calleri to play instead of Chela in the 2006 final, and didn't get this say both times - so obviously he's not the one running the show.