Time’s up for Sampaoli to find Argentina’s tactical masterplan


Anything other than a victory for Argentina against Croatia could spell the end of the country’s World Cup campaign – time for one last roll of the dice for Jorge Sampaoli 

“I think, playing like that, Sampaoli shouldn’t return to Argentina. It’s a disgrace that there wasn’t any game plan.”

Diego Maradona didn’t hold back in his criticism after La Albiceleste’s opening draw with Iceland and while many of the outspoken idol’s opinions fall on deaf ears these days, the 2010 World Cup coach is better placed than most to know all about bad game-plans at the tournament.

That is not a reason to start listening to El Diego but the display in Moscow on Saturday looks to have been enough to prompt Jorge Sampaoli to go back to the drawing board.

As another of Marcelo Bielsa’s disciples, Sampaoli has built his success on a relentless high press aiming to suffocate his opponents, overloading down the wings and attacking at will with a quick back three to cover ground and play out from defence.

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