Nobody who has been watching Argentina under Sampaoli can be surprised about today’s 3-0 humiliation by a great Croatian side (where Luka Modric outshone everyone). Argentina are not a football team, and have not been one for long. They don’t work together, have any ideas, and their defenders are among the worst in the world. And when Lionel Messi does not perform, their only real football player, the team ranks below the mediocre levels of mediocrity. Nobody performed today and the slight hope any Argentina fan had (and it was just a slight hope) were dashed by the incompetence of the team.
Argentina are out (I do not mind much their slight theoretical chance if they defeat Nigeria).
But let us look forward a bit. This could be good for Argetina. Just like Brazil’s 1-7 defeat to Germany led them to re-organize, this could lead to Argentina starting from fresh: (1) get some competence into the Argentine FA, who has been largely to blame for all the chaos around the national team for years; (2) revamp the failing Argentine youth system that used to be one of the best in the world, but has failed because of FA incompetence; (3) get rid of many of the current players, notably Aguero, Higuain and Mascherano, and build something around new younger players who, first of all, must play with heart for their country. This generation of Argentine footballs did their part, but shall quickly be forgotten. And all this must also include a farewell with gratitude to Lionel Messi. Gratitude, because he did a lot for the country during a difficult time for Argentine football: great player with amazing skills, perfect for the age of Playstation and Twitter.
But among the best there ever were..??
No way in the world.
I am personally hugely disappointed to see Argentina out. I will not bear my Argentina shirt for a long time. But I certainly hope and expect that a revived Argentina will be back. Not least because of the fantastic fans.