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Monday, 7 September 2009

Argentina unexpectedly undone by decision to appoint troubled loon as coach

Argentine football is in shock after another World Cup 2010 qualification defeat against Brazil left Diego Maradona's men needing a win from one of their next three games if they are to avoid the terrifying possibility of a play-off with Costa Rica or someone like that.

The decision to appoint Maradona as national coach in November 2008 met with some criticism as the dwarven playmaker genius/revolting drug-addled cheat had very little management experience and a tendency to do stupid things to get attention.

The naysayers seem to have been proven correct. Maradona has inspired little confidence, often naming 11 strikers in his starting line-up and, infamously, selecting five of his 1990 World Cup teammates, a trio of famous Argentine poets, several characters from children's books and a type of cheese to face Bolivia.

Fortunately for Maradona, South American qualification is a tiresome affair with four teams qualifying by right and another simply needing to whale on some CONCACAF cannon fodder to book their place. It's a system that has enabled Paraguay to bore the world for the last three competitions and it should allow the demented Diego to save his job for the time being.

Nonetheless there are a few question marks over Maradona's future and the Argentine Football Association has admitted that for the first time in recent memory they may consider sane candidates for the job.

The rumour mill in Buenos Aires has gone into overdrive after reports that Terry Butcher was seen entering AFA headquarters late last night.

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