3 managers who could replace Sampaoli as Argentina coach
Jorge Sampaoli's tenure as Argentina head-coach has been woeful, to say the least. The former Sevilla boss somehow managed to turn the 2014 World Cup finalists from a team of accomplished footballers who could play well together to a squad of 23 seemingly uninterested individuals, who have no clue as to what they are doing or what is expected of them as professionals.
The writing is on the wall, and has been for quite some time now: Sampaoli has got to go.
Be it refusing to pick Mauro Icardi for the squad to Russia or leaving all of Dybala, Higuain and Di Maria on the bench during crunch games, a spate of inexplicable, confounding decisions left the Albiceleste teetering on the verge of a group-stage exit, before Messi and Rojo rescued the day in an unconvincing 2-1 victory over Nigeria.
The 'Round of 16' clash against France saw the Albiceleste snatch an unlikely lead for just 9 minutes, but a rampaging Kylian Mbappe and midfield pivot of Pogba and Kante soon overpowered Leo Messi's side.
The 2014 finalists thus endured one of their most disappointing World Cup campaigns and could spark mass retirements of several senior players, even as Mascherano and Biglia announced their decision to hang up their boots.
It appears to be a case of when, and not if, Sampaoli is sacked as Argentina coach. A hugely talented squad of under-performers will require a person of iron will and great technical ability to be in charge, rather than a manager who is prepared to throw every single player under the bus following a disappointing result.
Here, we take a look at 3 managers who could replace Sampaoli as Argentina coach after he gets the boot:
#3 ALEJANDRO SABELLA
Sabella coached Argentina to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final against Germany, where they lost 1–0 in extra time. The last time Argentina had advanced beyond the quarter-finals was when they made the final in 1990 where they lost 1–0 to West Germany.
Sabella had scheduled his resignation for after the conclusion of the World Cup, stating on the eve of the final that the result would not change his mind.
During his tenure, there may not have been anything particularly flashy or thrilling about Argentina's play, yet there was a degree of efficiency and team-spirit the current squad would kill to have.
While in charge, Sabella accomplished what appears to be the world's most difficult task: establishing a system that allows Messi to flourish apart from accommodating players who can lend adequate balance and support to the superstar.
Although Sabella hasn't taken up a job since the previous World Cup, he seems to be the perfect candidate to be Sampaoli's replacement. Sabella's hugely under-rated tactical nous and excellent man-management skills may just get the best out of an Argentina squad bristling with talent.