Jorge Sampaoli's Argentina future up in the air following World Cup exit

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 02 July 2018, 09:03

Jorge Sampaoli’s future in charge of Argentina is shredded in doubt following La Albiceleste’s 2018 World Cup last-16 exit to France.

Argentina were defeated 4-3 by Didier Deschamps’ men in the first knockout-stage clash of the tournament, which brought to an end an eventful and at times preposterous World Cup campaign that raised far more questions than answers.

A decision is now expected to be made at some point this week.

Sampaoli's tournament started with a disappointing draw to debutants Iceland. He then reportedly came close to losing his job after Argentina were crushed by Croatia, however he clung on and oversaw a dramatic late group stage victory over Nigeria.

But, a defeat to France means Argentina are on their way home and will now have to wait another four years (at least) until they next attempt to bring home the golden trophy for the first time since 1986.

In the aftermath of the defeat to Les Bleus, the under-fire Sampaoli said:

"This is very painful, especially because the players have made a huge effort.

"It was a very difficult game but we have not achieved our goal here in Russia. I'm sad, I'm frustrated - I think that's quite normal.

"I won't decide my future today."

Sampaoli’s constant chopping-and-changing ruptured any chance of rhythm and consistency, while his tactics, systems, substitutions and baffling decision to leave free-scoring Mauro Icardi at home - and barely use Paulo Dybala - have been heavily slatted.

The 58-year-old's fashion sense is also qustionable, but that’s the least of his problems at the moment.

Sampaoli previously worked wonders at Chile with whom he led to Copa America glory in 2015, but it’s clear that a clean slate is needed at Argentina, along with a coach who can implement the best system for the array of talented attacking players.

The Argentinian Football Association now has a big decision to make, although it will reportedly cost $16m to sack Sampaoli.

River Plate’s Marcelo Gallardo, who played for Argentina between 1994 and 2003, frequently crops up in conversation when discussing a potential replacements for Sampaoli while Antonio Conte could soon be available, with Maurizio Sarri expected to replace his fellow Italian at Chelsea.

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