It was never going to be pretty, but rumours emanating from the local press paints a picture of full-scale mutiny in the Argentina World Cup camp.
The Albiceleste find themselves on the very verge of elimination after capitulating against Croatia in their second group game, slumping to a wretched 3-0 defeat in Nizhny Novgorod.
It would appear that the blame is being squarely laid at the feet of coach Jorge Sampaoli, who even resorted to the unedifying spectacle of begging fans to forgive him in the direct aftermath of the match.
I would beg for their forgiveness, especially those who made such a great effort to be here. And I repeat what I said, I’m responsible. I was just as dreamy-eyed as any fan before.
So I’m hurt. I did the best job I could and I quite simply did not find a way to give them what they wanted.
Sampaoli also claimed that Argentina were “mentally broken” by the result and that his talisman, Lionel Messi, had his brilliance “clouded by the reality” of the rest of the team.
Later on Thursday evening, Argentinian television channel Todo Noticias claimed that the squad banded together and asked that Sampaoli step aside for the third and final group match against Nigeria.
According to the station’s anonymous source, Sampaoli may have even accepted the request with Jorge Burruchaga set to take the reigns, though rival broadcasters TyC Sports seem a little less certain…
Despite claims on here, TyC are not claiming players have asked Jorge Sampaoli be sacked before Nigeria game. It mightn’t be the worst idea but TyC actually say the opposite
— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) June 22, 2018
Either way, this looks like a clear case of horse; stable door; bolted; etc.