Is Lionel Scaloni falling into the same old selection trap with Argentina?
Background photo: Ricardo Freitas, CC BY-SA 3.0
Taking risks is synonymous with caretaker managers. They dare to swerve from the status quo to install their philosophy. Sometimes it yields dividends, earning them the full-time job. Take Real Madrid’s Santiago Solari. Everything seems rosy until the job becomes permanent.
Lionel Scaloni resides in a similar place with Argentina. Things are looking good for him but his recent selection announcement for the upcoming international window raised eyebrows.
Argentina's FA is notoriously impatient. Scaloni is the AFA’s sixth manager since Diego Maradona left the post in 2010. None of his predecessors, bar Alejandro Sabella, lasted beyond two years.
Argentina is a nation blessed with immense talent, topped by the greatest footballer of all time. Failure in major tournaments shouldn’t be part of their discussion but it is. Hence the managerial carousel.
Following Jorge Sampaoli's departure last July, Scaloni parked himself in the hot seat. Fellow retired internationals Pablo Aimar, Roberto Ayala and Walter Samuel comprise his staff. Per the AFA, this team will be in charge through the Copa America in June. Critics will insist Lionel Messi has a large say in matters, however.
Regardless, La Albiceleste has been impressive under their new gaffer. They’ve picked up four convincing victories in their last six games. The other two were a scoreless draw away to Colombia and a last gasp 1-0 defeat to Brazil at home.
Without a doubt, Scaloni and his team will be in the dugout for Argentina during the Copa America. However, he’s making a strong statement with his recent team selections. Four big names have been dropped from the list for forthcoming fixtures against Venezuela and Morocco. Is it a step too far or the right move?
Let's look at each.