Argentina players have taken control from Jorge Sampaoli – Tim Vickery

Argentina’s senior players have taken charge of the national team due to boss Jorge Sampaoli being “thoroughly lost”, according to South American football expert Tim Vickery.

Sampaoli, previously head coach of Sevilla, refuted claims there was a rebellion in his squad ahead of Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Nigeria which secured their place in the World Cup last 16.

However, Vickery believes Sampaoli’s one-dimensional approach has led to the camp losing faith in him and taking the reins instead.

When asked who’s in charge of the team, Vickery told Sky Sports News: “The players. There’s a huge element of player management going on there.

“There’s two problems: there’s been a lack of youth development over the last 10 years, it’s a very old side Argentina sent out yesterday as consequence of this.

“The other problem is the coach Jorge Sampaoli having one idea – the high press – it’s the way he’s played throughout his career as a coach and he doesn’t have the players to do it.

“He’s been thoroughly lost jumping from idea to idea to idea, like a blind man in a shootout.

“What seems to have happened is the senior players have sat down with him and said, ‘let’s just keep it simple, we’ve been switching from a back four to a back three, we’ve been playing wingers as full-backs. Let’s just have a back four with conventional full-backs and conventional centre-backs and hope a combination of common sense, experience, Argentine fire and rebellion and flashes of individual brilliance from Lionel Messi will be enough to get us through,’ and they were against Nigeria.”




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