Aguero defiant: “Sampaoli can say what he wants”
The Argentinian national team must fear seriously for the round of 16 after a 3-0 defeat by Croatia. The mood among players and fans could not have been much worse afterwards. Sergio Aguero reacted defiantly to an unfortunate question.
After the 0:3 against the Croats the heads went down with the Argentine players. The supporters of the Albiceleste were angry in the stands, especially coach Jorge Sampaoli was abused. Even pictures of a spit attack by a fan towards the 58-year-old appeared. “There’s nothing to say. The result says it all. It’s not the time to analyze anything, you have to swallow the poison,” defender Javier Mascherano said drastically.
Sampaoli quickly identified himself as the main culprit, then formulated a little diagonally: “The project has not worked and so it is difficult for the players to develop on an individual level. Shortly thereafter he corrected himself that “the match plan” had just not worked out.
In the mixed zone, attacker Aguero was approached by a journalist: “Sampaoli said that the players did not understand the project. It was an odd formulation of the Argentinian coach’s previous statement, but the answer was very clear. “Sampaoli can say what he wants,” defied the Manchester City striker. The relationship between team and coach seems to be shattered.
“Our nervousness was felt after her gate. It’s a brain thing, everything happens there,” midfielder Enzo Perez argued. Aguero added: “I don’t know whether to call it hope or whether we need a miracle. In reality, it looks like we need to look at the other results.”
Argentinean journalist: Messi may resign again
Dependence on Lionel Messi is a big issue back home, but it has become almost an even bigger one as “La Pulga” influences the decisions surrounding the national team. In a video column, Argentine journalist Fernando Niembro made it clear: “Messi has taken over the Argentine team, he is the coach of the national team. He decided to set up his friends – and this is the result: a weak team without a heart. Enough with Mascherano, your friend. No more Sampaoli and his contradictions. It’s enough to let yourself be pressured. And the truth: You’ve already resigned from the national team once. It wouldn’t hurt for you to think about it.”
Should the Argentines say goodbye to the World Cup in Russia after the preliminary round, it is quite conceivable that Messi will finally draw a line. Maybe then it would be time for a change, with Paulo Dybala (Juventus Turin) or Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain) some hopefuls are already gathering with their hooves.