‘UN EQUIPO CHIFLADO!’, read the headline Argentina’s biggest selling paper Clarín on Thursday morning- A crazy team; a broken team.
Something is very much broken with the albiceleste right now, something which runs even deeper than the two abject performances they’ve delivered to date in the Copa América. Good teams can play badly, and good players can have off days, but this something bigger, something existential.
It is a collective failure that can be traced back to Argentina’s devastating defeat to Brazil in the final four years ago, in a Copa where they had looked head and shoulders above the rest until the moment of reckoning arrived. Now, we see a team burdened, an ensemble of players who look a shadow of their true selves.
This wasn’t part of the script. They had flickered briefly in last summer’s World Cup before getting tonked by Germany in the quarter finals, the day that Diego Maradona’s side came unstuck having been overrun in midfield and just about every other department. Getting rid of El Diego was the first part of the solution, we were told. And few disagreed..............