Argentina didn’t quite limp out of the World Cup as they did at least bring some excitement to their elimination but they looked a lot more likely to go through when Sergio Aguero did eventually make it onto the pitch.
In most of their three group games at the World Cup Argentina were toothless as they drew with Iceland, got hammered by Croatia and were lucky to sneak a late win against Nigeria to go through.
Amidst all their problems on the pitch, and the under performance of most of the players, was issues with the management of the team and Jorge Sampaoli reportedly losing the dressing room.
Such were the problems that there had been reports, even before the Nigeria game, that the players were actually picking the team.
Reportedly Sergio Aguero was amongst several players to have gone to Argentine FA president Claudio Tapia to ask for the manager to be sacked or to allow the players a chance to help pick the team.
And according to another report that is why Aguero was benched for the Nigeria and France games, only coming on as a substitute.
Against Nigeria the Manchester City forward was replaced by Juventus front man Gonzalo Higuain in a system that seemed to work, even if they were pretty lucky against the Africans in the end.
Then against France, in the second round match, neither striker played as Argentina played with two wingers and Messi in the false nine position.
It didn’t really work as they went down 4-3 to Didier Deschamps side, despite leading 2-1 at one point early in the second half.
Aguero after his consolation goal. Image: PA Images
Aguero came on late in the game with Argentina 4-2 down, scored a brilliant header and looked extremely dangerous during his time on the pitch.
There’s every chance Sampaoli will lose his job after crashing out of the World Cup in the second round and Aguero will have his way.