3 managerial options for Argentina after Sampaoli's sacking

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Jorge Sampaoli got sacked by AFA after a disastrous World Cup campaign

So, it is now official that Argentina has parted company with manager Jorge Sampaoli after reaching a financial agreement, that will see the former Chile coach leave his post by mutual consent.

While many would laud this decision due to La Albiceleste’s poor World Cup campaign in Russia that saw them bow out from the round-of-16, one thing that’s worth noting here is the fact that Argentinian Football Association (AFA) are now back to where it started.

Gerardo Martino, Edgardo Bauza and now Sampaoli all came and gone as AFA now looks for their fourth coach in four years since Alejandro Sabella took them to the World Cup final in 2014.

With years of mismanagement, AFA remains one of world football’s most incompetent federations and hence the prospect of finding a suitable coach looks daunting at the moment.

However, with Sampaoli gone, immediate task at hand is to find his replacement who would guide the team in next year’s Copa America and hopefully beyond that as well. Here is a list of 3 potential candidates AFA could be looking into. Let’s have a look:

#1 Diego Simeone (Manager, Atletico Madrid)

Atletico Madrid Training And Press Conference
Diego Simeone is Argentina's best option but highly unlikely that he will take up the role

Ever since Argentina looked to replace Alejandro Sabella, Diego Simeone has always found his name at the front of the queue and remains there this time around as well.

With over 100 Argentina caps to his name, Simeone was a vital player for La Albiceleste during his 14-year-long playing Career and he has carried the same passion and desire into his managerial career as well.

After a scrappy start to coaching in Argentina, he took charge of Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has been instrumental in establishing the Spanish club among Europe’s elites. One standout aspect of his sides is their defensive discipline.

With Argentina in desperate need for defensive solidity, many would opine that he is just the man who could take Argentina football to heights. However, the 48-year-old remains under contract at Atleti and has never really shown any interest in coaching the national side. So it is fair to say that Simeone remains a pipe-dream for the South American side at this juncture.

#2 Jose Pekerman (Manager, Colombian National team)

Colombia v England: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
The experienced Jose Pekerman is a worthy candidate for Argentina job

That Diego Simeone would prove to be an expensive option for AFA is a no-brainer. So, a realistic and more financially viable option would be current Colombia manager, Jose Pekerman.

The Argentine’s six-year stint in charge of Los Cafeteros is likely to end after his side suffered a painful penalty shoot-out defeat against England in the last 16 at the recently concluded World Cup and hence could be tempted to take up the job.

Known for his impressive work with Argentina’s youth sides from 1994 to 2001 that saw La Albiceleste dominate Under-20 football, the 68-year-old has the experience and expertise to bail Argentina football out of the muddle that they are in at present times.

Pekerman is also known to be close to the current AFA president Claudio Tapia which means discussions might already have started regarding the same and we'll know whether such a move materializes or not in a few days time.

#3 Marcello Gallardo (Manager, River Plate)

River Plate v San Lorenzo - Superliga 2017/18
AFA could be looking to convince the River Plate Manager for Argentina Job

Another interesting option could be the former Argentine footballer and current manager of River Plate, Marcello Gallardo. The 42-year-old represented Argentina in two FIFA World Cups as a player. He played as an attacking midfielder all through his career and his playing style reflects in the sides he has coached so far.

Gallardo has been highly successful in his comparatively short managerial career and looks certain to follow the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Diego Simone to a big money move to Europe sooner than later. His aggressive style of football, impressive man-management and phenomenal record in the domestic competition have left many believe that he is the right man for the job.

The Argentine has recently extended his contract at the Monumental until 2021 but a financial settlement with River should not be an issue if he agrees to oversee the national side. Yes he is relatively inexperienced but given his recent achievements, it would be worth taking a gamble for the AFA, should they decide to entrust him with the managerial role.

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Edited by Siddharth Ostwal
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